Guilty Crown – 17

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It’s pretty hard to write seriously about Guilty Crown at this stage, so I guess the thing to do is not even bother trying.

I suppose that ep has to go down as one of the most bizarre, over-the-top FUBARs of the last year in anime, and probably set the bar at a new high (or is it low?) for Guilty Crown.  I think the problem comes when I try to view this series through conventional lenses, looking for things like logic and character progression and common sense.  None of those things really exist in this series, which I suppose is what happens when you have a writer of very shallow talents who thinks he’s deep.  There’s the germ of something wild and spectacular here, but it sure isn’t fully germinating.  If someone like Urobuchi Gen had written a series around this basic premise, you could have had something special.  On the other hand, imagine if Yoshino Hiroyuki had written Madoka Magica.  Well, I guess you don’t have to imagine that hard really…

This week’s miracle character transformation belongs to Kuhoin, who the plot needs to be a treacherous slut who sells her body for information of dubious worth in order to engineer a coup of dubious merit.  It also needs her to inexplicably withhold the information that it was Inori who attacked her until nearly the end of the episode, for no special reason that I can tell.  But in GC, what the plot needs the character does, and it was her turn to take one for the team this week.  Well, take several I suppose, at least as far as Nanba is concerned.

I couldn’t help but laugh uproariously when Gai showed up and cut Shu’s arm off, à la “The Empire Strikes Back”.  It was a combination of things, really, starting with the hilariously dramatic BGM that played through every such moment in the episode.  Plus, it was so absurd for Gai to be back alive in the first place, and then the situation, and Kaji Yuuki’s usual efforts at playing a dramatic moment…  I feel badly, but I haven’t laughed that much since the last episode of Blood-C.  It really is an ignominious end (not really, of course) for Shu – betrayed by pretty much everybody apart from the Undertaker girls.  Mom, Gai, Kuhoin, heck – even Souta was the one who pushed him into the pit.  If his complete 180 from kind-hearted schnook to Emperor Palpatine hadn’t been so sudden and unbelievable, perhaps I would have felt he somehow had it coming, but as it was the Shu of the last episode was like a grotesque parody of himself, and it felt like the Shu of the first 15 eps getting his arm cut off.

Therein lies the problem, really – Shu’s transformation should have taken three or four episodes minimum, but it happened like a light switch.  That pretty much describes most of the major character progressions in this series, and it robs the events from having any lasting impact.  There was an enjoyable insanity to the episode in that so much was crammed into 22 minutes up to and including the UN planning to nuke Japan, and as always it was animated well.  They threw pretty much everything but the kitchen sink in there, all of it wildly overdramatic and preposterous and utterly lacking any permanence.  It was just an exercise in eye-popping nonsense, which admittedly not everyone can do this well – but in the end that’s not much to hang your hat on.  I’m not disinterested in what’s going to happen from here – especially in what Tsugumi and Ayase decide to do now that Gai is back in the game – but it’s pretty much impossible to take any of this seriously anymore.

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  1. C

    You hate this this much? I'll suspend my disbelief and logic for this show.

    Of course if it had more transition for his transformation, most would probably hate him. With lesser development, I kinda pity him actually, being used by so many people throughout.

    So would've it been better if he never had the power of the kings in the first place?

  2. b

    That's a very short post you got there.

    And yeah, really hard to take this show seriously anymore. I just take it at face value and try to stop my hand(palm) from making a connection to my face.
    Though everyone seems to like it, saying things like shit just got real and stuff like that.
    Le sigh…

    Betting Shu will pull off a Nine Lives Blade Works sometime in the future with that arm covered in Magic Circuits in the OP. I call BS when that happens.
    Kudos to who can figure out what I'm talking about 😉

  3. My post short? 4 paragraphs is about my usual for GC, sometimes five. Like I said – I just didn't see any point in trying to write seriously about the episode.

    Cyber, I didn't hate it – as I said, it had an enjoyable "champon ramen" quality about it and not everyone can do eye-popping nonsense like this. I just don't think I was supposed to be laughing nearly as much as I was.

  4. E

    Well, I hate the show. :/

  5. C

    Oh I see then. I can look past the flaws and stuff [saying the guy who watched finished Blood-C and Sacred Seven] but the only thing I really hate is not Shu's personality nor cowardice but people keep using him and taking advantage of his niceness.[from own experience]

    The only person who would stand by him no matter what was Hare… Damn she's gone noone to go to anymore.

  6. S

    I've felt that GC has been a bunch of overdramatic plot twists, all too close and too rapid in succession to make anything feel interesting.

    The writer of this series really needs to be shot, or given a year long class in PACING. Good God, is the pacing for this series all over the place.

    In many ways, I think GC has been trying to be Code Geass all along, and failing miserably at it.

    Code Geass R2 in particular, was something that had some really fast paced episodes, where tons of content was thrown into an episode. And I think GC tried to do it as well, except a fast paced series with tons of twists, is EXTREMELY hard to do.

    Code Geass R2 tread that fine line… And I think GC just wanted to be Code Geass so bad, but it didn't have the characters, the pacing or the writing to back it up, even if the animation, character design and concept could match or even potentially surpass it.

    So overall, its dissapointing that so much budget was sunk into this series, and more so because of how much potential and promise was brimming at the service for this series.

    And yes, your review inspired such a detailed comment out of me XD

  7. B

    This series continues to impress in a negative way. Once again we have characters behaving completely differently than they have been with no foreshadowing of it whatsoever. Once again we have plot twists that may have been good if they had been developed properly instead of being pulled out of someone's ass. Once again we have a show providing a valuable object lesson in how not to write.

    At least now I finally have a character in this show I can feel good about cheering for. Gogo Bomber-san, kill all of these asshats and let the FSM sort them out later.

  8. A

    ''This week’s miracle character transformation belongs to Kuhoin, who the plot needs to be a treacherous slut who sells her body for information of dubious worth in order to engineer a coup of dubious merit.''

    To be fair, the show did try (emphasis on ''try'') and set this up back in Episode 7. Of course the way it played out here was in typical Guilty Crown fashion, so yeah … headesking and facepalms all around, as usual.

    Anyway, since we are at the final stretch now, I would like to say that Guilty Crown had succeeded in falling 100% within the expectations I had set for it since day one. When you put Araki ''LASER PEN, MATRIX BOOBS'' Tetsurou and Yoshino ''Oh God What did you just write!?'' Hiroyuki in the same room together, and then ask them to make … what was it again? … oh yeah, an ''original series'' that would ''create the next generation of anime'' with an emphasizes on ''action and plot(lol)'' in other words ''a cutting-edge TV show'' in lieu of ''Ghost in the Shell'' but for a younger generation … *snort* … The end result would of course be Guilty Crown.

    Well, glad to see the show is showing how ''deep'' everyone connections and relationships are in any case! I mean, we only have 5 episodes left, and we already explored all sorts of differences between actual trusting relationships, and contrasting them with the shallower ones and how do people react to each other and …

    I'm sorry … can't type … too … much … laughing …

  9. d

    So Shu became the (weak minded) Inori. Inori became the (helping hand) Gai. Gai became the (king) Shu.
    So what is Shu's void? Power to make himself and others emotion go berserk. Yes, emotional amplifier, that is what he is. People go mad around him, himself included.
    So insanity is his void.

  10. C

    That sounds cool…Nice guys tend to bring the worst in people for some reason.

  11. i

    @ Enzo: I hope you would look @ the preview for next week and change your mind about Ayase and Tsugumi (and Argo for that matter, since he was only disagreeing on how Shu is running the school like WW2 Germany – ya, I saw the joke in the AS forum)

  12. S

    Well said Guardian Enzo! Clap clap clap. I wish I was uninterested in further episodes, but some characters, like Ayase havent been disgustingly distorted…yet. I can only imagine the horror of seeing her transform illogically to some random plot device, like a used toy in garbage heap, waiting for the big smelter.

  13. R

    It's what I been saying since like episode 4 but nobody ever listens to me lol. Yoshino, the man is the worst writer in the industry (who gets any lime light) bar none.

  14. j

    ok… I am not going to bash Shu that hard… this show has problems, the MC has problems, but I got to say, I almost feel sorry for him… betrayed by all his friends (except 1 Inori with some questionable quirks of hers), lost power, lost arm, being used then disposed… it is like he is not the MC but some random guy that deserve to be like this… (not that I have much love for him though)
    Arisa's change was abrupt and strange, and it shatters her character quite a bit… it has been hinted that she might one day do this kind of things (her grandfather wants her to take care of the dark business after all), but I just can't see her doing it with the guy…
    Then there is Gai… who comes back in a weird look, talking like he is a different person (I never thought he would sound so cocky)… I would so laugh if Gai and his robots kill all the students who were part of the coup 🙂
    lol… for some reason I will still watch the show, but it has lost the last bit of respect I have for it 🙁

  15. E

    A show who's stupid beyond belief, yet we still continued watching.
    To learn from it's mistakes, probably.
    They throw everything they can think of but watermelons in a short 22 minutes. A really messed up combination that's seem to be written by an middle schooler's wild imagination.
    Next week is probably Ayase and Tsugumi's turn to become sluts. They served everybody so that they will not kill Shuu. Wohoo.

  16. a

    Felt to me like this episode was written by M. Night Shyamalan.

  17. F

    I really hope the ending is good, if not well 8 hours im never ever going to get back, i bet shu is going to end everything with his own void, or something like that.
    That's why he lost his arm, the thing i dont understand is why gai, changes, did they mess with his hear or something.
    Shuu reminds of sasuke, the only way he is going to redeem himself is dying in an epic way, but the thing with GC is that nobody dies ever.

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