Rui is kind of a wish fulfillment for Steve Carslberg. Like Steve, they want to share their ideas with the world. But where Steve is just a normal, somewhat sloppy man, Rui is a fashionabe social media pioneer. While Rui struggles often against humanity’s worse instincts, they’ve got far more at their disposal.
Rui believes people are able to do good on their accord, and thus leaders are unnecessary. But when the small group of people they entrust their abilities to misused them, all seems lost.
The solution is to take this ideology all the way: give their powers to everyone. That Rui never did such a thing in the first place is a potent truth: we don’t always commit to our stated beliefs. It’s usually because those beliefs are dangerous and we aren’t willing to admit it, but sometimes it’s okay to get dangerous.
In Gatchaman Crowds insight, Rui lives in a changed world. They continue to fight for their principles, even as people like the VAPES and Gelsadra stand in opposition to them. Then they lose, and they break.
When Japan is thrown into a mess of groupthink and overly direct democracy, Rui basically loses all purpose and relevance. Their ideal of equality has been implemented, at least by some interpretation, but the ideal of societal advancement has been stopped. Does Rui mope, or campaign, or go crazy in all this?
Rui just lies down on the couch all day. The series icon of taking action and individuality just sits down, and soaks in the atmosphere. And that’s how you know everything is messed up.
Rui represents a modern hope for humanity. It’s a naive one, but not one you should put away. Keep that hope in the back of your mind, keep that belief that everyone has a say, and everyone can do something good for the world. If you don’t take the possibility into account, you’ll get burned.