Guilty Crown – 20

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In which all the exposition that was skipped over for 19 episodes was shoehorned in for your entertainment.

I always have a bit of a problem with characters launching into long, rhapsodic trips down memory lane for no reason but to fill the audience in on what the writer thinks they have to know.  It’s a symptom of lazy writing and as such fits right in here, though in all fairness it’s a very common crutch in anime (and not just anime).   But even if Guilty Crown is in good company, it still says something about the seemingly improvised nature of the story – it honestly seems as if things weren’t planned in advance but rather we’ve gone from one blind corner to the next, making wild steering corrections (in the form of radical shifts in character behavior, mostly) to keep the car on the road.  And it still is, but just barely.

In the end, most of what this episode laid out in flashback form (mostly from Keido)  could have been inferred, with a pretty high accuracy rate.  Keido is an egotistical megalomaniac, a former close friend of Kurusu who grew jealous when Kurusu (Toshihiko Seki) – who was both a lone wolf and more socially adept than he – eclipsed him personally and professionally.  The apocalypse virus came to Earth on a meteorite that crashed in Oshima, where Mana was the first to touch it and get infected.  As a result she began to transform into “Eve”, the bringer of the fourth apocalypse that would reshape the planet and mostly wipe out humanity.  She started her brocon tendencies while said brother was still in the womb of their mother, who was dying of the virus, because she’d picked him out as her “Adam” (I keep expecting Cruz to show up any second). 

Baby Shu is born, Mama dies, and Kurusu eventually remarries Haruka, a grad student and Keido’s sister, who looks after Mana and Shu.  Meanwhile Keido has been experimenting on boys trying to  engineer his own Adam, and failing miserably – and one of his subjects escapes and is rescued by Mana (Triton/Gai).  Kaido is in a hurry because he’s cut a deal with Daath to deliver Adam and Eve to them, and eventually he goes to Oshima and shoots Kurusu in the head to prove what a nut job he is.  I suppose Inori was an artificial being created in his lab to act as a host for Mana, though I’m not completely clear on how or why, nor am I really clear on who exactly Daath is and what their motive is (except that they’re older than those nasty Zionists) or why their envoy, Yuu, never seems to age.

In the present, a lot of things were happening that were supposed to pack an emotional punch, but they mostly missed the mark for me.  Yahiro’s transition back to being a nice guy seems totally arbitrary.  The touching farewell between Souta and Shu was inflated way beyond the importance it should have held in the story.  Shu’s decision to return the voids so the others wouldn’t die if he did was nicely portrayed, as was their refusal to allow him to, but the whole thing was just a little louder and more histrionic than it needed to be.  I think it does tell us that Shu is very unlikely to be KIA in the battle with Gai, as I don’t see all those who stayed behind just popping out of existence.  I do wonder what happens when Mana/Inori sees Shu – since he was the one she originally wanted to pair-bond and make the apocalypse with, why would she settle for “Rebound Gai” now?  He’s not even her blood brother – where the forbidden thrill in that?

In the end, the degree to which I can care about the finale is really limited by the lack of buy-in to the character arcs and the slaphazard nature of the plot.  I still don’t have any feeling for why Gai is doing what he’s doing, beyond the pure mechanics of it.  The Daath are a cipher, a random variant with no anchor in the story.  I’m curious to see how it all turns out, but it doesn’t go much beyond that I’m afraid.  About the most authentic element of the story for me at this point is Haruka, who comes off as a sort of hero for doing what she did in raising Shu.  Sadly, it does look as if the most interesting character in the series, Segai, is actually dead.  Leave it to Guilty Crown to make the one character to actually stay dead be the one I wanted them to bring back.

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  1. D

    So this means ShuXInori really IS straight incest, right?

    And here I thought they had covered that by saying they were step siblings, but Mana is Shu's blood and flesh sister and therefore, so is Inori. *sigh*

    At least their dad was cool.

  2. A

    Again, what is Inori? I'm still not sure. They've said she was a artificial vessel for Mana's consciousness but just how much is she genetically tied to Mana and Shu? We can assume she's a clone made from Mana's DNA but I'm not sure if they ever confirmed that or have a miss the part where they said that.

    Same goes for Gai, is he a clone or a vessel with Gai's "conciousness"?

    Except you know Gai really looks like Gai. Mana and Inori look alike only through the colour of their hair and eyes. Otherwise they look pretty different in the way they're drawn.

  3. D

    Come to think of it, Mana had pink hair even after just finding the rock. I guess pink hair runs in the family?

  4. A

    All I can think of watching this is how much wasted potential. Such a damn waste. If the writers had only put in some forethought and put in the effort to develop these characters then Guilty Crown might have been a fairly successful anime. At this point I can't even criticize anything they do wrong anymore because it's got no point. I just want to watch it end, praise it for what very little it accomplishes to do right, and move on.
    RIP Segai

  5. d

    I was right. Shu and Mana are real siblings.
    Only question: why wait till 25 dec to end the world?

  6. A

    This episode is awful

    GC is at its best when it doesn't worry about trying to make sense, but instead focus on amplifying both its plot and plotholes up to 11. I was totally expecting Shu to para-drop into Gai's HQ, beat up security with Ayase's legs, pull out Keido's void (a large chunk of Jello), and throw it in Gai's face. Gai will then thank Shu for giving him the most delicious dessert ever, abandon Mana, and walk into the sunset hand-in-hand with Shu while everything else explodes. I am so disappointed.

    Well, I guess there are still 2 episodes left… can't wait until next week!

  7. J

    I teared up when Shu and Souta shook hands… XD
    Great voice acting on that part.

  8. A

    I just loved the ost playing in the background for that scene really helped set the mood.

  9. A

    I didnt see anything wrong with this episode, in fact was one of the best so far. The true is you're all biased and there is nothing GC can do to change that now, because character developments and plot wasnt well directed.
    But im sure if this wasnt the case, even if this episode remains the same, you would had like it.
    My point is as a stand alone, the episode was good, but the way the story was driven was bad, so i guess people keep writing about GC just for the lulz of it and nothing more.

  10. D

    Nothing wrong? Do you really think Yahiro and Souta deserved that kind of redemption or closure? What have they done to deserve any sort of treatment other than being mercilessly killed off? I'm legitimately asking. A hint: "They're soooooorrrrryyyyy" is not an answer.

    I did like the flashback stuff, since it actually explained why certain things happened, and we got a character who we could root for: Shu's father. He was damned by canon, but I think he was an awesome guy. We learned more about him and had more reason to like him in the 10-15 minutes we saw of him, than Shu in this entire series.

    Now maybe next they'll explain what the hell Yuu is.

  11. A

    Well you're right about Yahiro he didnt deserve anything he was always the manipulating type, but Souta was just a kid, caught in a middle of a war, that didnt justify his actions, but he wasnt bad he was just confused and afraid, In the end im sure he just wanted to apologize and he did, because he knew he acted the wrong way.

  12. A

    Shu's father is the only character that makes sense, well Mana too, cuz the meteorite just turn her into a psycho incenst killing girl.

  13. S

    GE you nailed it. This episode could have been inferred if they had tried. We knew about 90% of the backstory already, we just needed to know that Keido was a jealous d-bag after getting showed up and not getting some action.

    I think the only new thing that is brought to light that is super big is the apocalypse.

    WHAT I REALLY WANT TO KNOW, why on earth were the 2 researching this stuff at a high school (where they met Yuu). That is the same place were Shu had his computer biz setup. I assume it is the high school as it is closely associated when they did stuff there in season 1.

  14. A

    High School? They were wearing lab coats, getting girls pregnant, doing important pretty much professional level research. They look old as too.

    They would have at least been in the their later years of uni. I honestly don't know how you could think they were high school students.

    The place that they met Yuu where Shuu goes, I'm not sure where that is or it's significance to their research but I seriously doubt they're high school students just because they were there.

  15. S

    I didn't say they were high school aged; just that it was done "at a high school," not "during high school." It is obvious they are the same place, but why would they be working at the same place that Shu later takes as his hangout area.

  16. B

    Am I terrible person for hoping for an "everyone dies" Apocalypse ending ala Gilgamesh?

  17. E

    This backstory should be shown before the semi-final clashes between:
    Shuu x Gai <> Keido x Da'ath
    It's as if they only come into realization now, "Oi, this is bad, we have never explained properly what the heck is this crystal disease!"

    Considering episode 22 is the END, I would be really happy if it jumps straight to action, just like what anonymous suggested:
    "Shu para-drop into Gai's HQ, beat the shit out of everybody, walk into the sunset with explosions as the background."
    Now they are packing in the final battle and epilogue in 2 episode left?
    It won't be satisfying…

  18. I'm not all that worried about the pace being rushed, because at least that will give the last two eps a little focus. At least in theory.

  19. d

    Reminds me of the song "I am my own grandpa"

  20. A

    2 episodes left, we can do it guys, hold on a little while longer, and it will be over : D

  21. A

    I got the most huge smile hearing Toshihiko Seki voice eanother "mad scientist" with his energetic voice (Yutaka Watari).

    It' pretty bad that I consider this a good episode when everything is just flashback. I mean "The Land of the Lost" has more direct then this show.

  22. A

    Guilty Crown: The only anime where the words slapdash and haphazard must be combined to truly explain what it is.

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