Guilty Crown – 22 (End)

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Loud, messy, and pretty – that about sums up the finale of the most maligned NoitaminA series ever.  What, you were expecting anything else?

A good deli will always have something called mish-mosh soup.  Basically the idea is that you take everything that goes into the other chicken soups on the menu – noodles, matzo balls, rice, kreplach, whatever – throw it all in, and there’s your mish-mosh soup.  Guilty Crown has been kind of a mish-mosh soup from the very beginning, so it was certainly no surprise that this was the metaphor that kept playing in my mind as I was watching the finale.  In short, there was some good stuff in there, but what a mess.

You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t have a whole lot to say, because as much as any two-cour anime I’ve watched in a while, this one leaves me feeling almost nothing.  I’ve mentioned it many times, but the character arcs are so forced and artificial that I was never really anything other than curious to see how it was all going to come out.  Truth be told, there was no character death or survival that was going to have a significant emotional impact on me, so in that sense the finale never really had a chance.  I can tell you that I thought –  as usual – the show looked great.  There were some indelible visual moments that would have been powerful if in the context of a good story.  There was some lovely background art, and some nice use of the original ED as an insert song.  But beyond that, not much made an impression.

Why?  The usual suspects, really.  I’d reached this point with no buy-in, so strikes one and two.  As usual, the plot of the finale was a mess – a little of everything thrown in, and it only intermittently made sense.  I think scenes like Mana ballet dancing to operatic Latin as the fourth apocalypse rains down on the world are supposed to be a sort of poetry, but for all the visual flash they tend to come off as unintentionally funny and sort of absurd.  As for the ending itself, maybe it’s my lack of deep concern but I’d be hard-pressed to tell you exactly what happened, and why.  I can’t help but think of Eureka Seven, another sprawling sci-fi epic whose narrative reach often exceeded its grasp, as a comparison.  While much of the final arc of that series didn’t make sense (though not quite to the degree here) it still had a sort of emotional power to it, because the characters had earned their emotional stripes.  Their arcs were cohesive and involving, and I cared what happened to them.  That, sadly, was not the case here.

So in the end Shu is alive, blind and hobbled, and Inori is gone.  I suppose we can assume that it’s thanks to her that he’s alive at all, though I couldn’t tell you exactly how it happened.  Gai apparently did everything to try and save Mana , though whether he was successful or not I can’t really say.  I also have no idea how Inori managed to stop fourth apocalypse and reclaim her body in the first place, or why Keido infected himself, or why Daryl was allowed to survive after having never redeemed himself as I expected for several episodes.  It all just feels like an avalanche of whatever, as if the finale was improvised just like the rest of the series.  It’s too bad, but really, were you expecting anything else?  I know I wasn’t so at least I can say I wasn’t disappointed.

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  1. F

    I didnt like the ending, it felt so rushed,not much to say, lot of unanswered questions, the only thing i really liked was the epic soundtrack and the pretty visual, the bitch of arisa survived at the end and daryl, really? at least no more guilty pleasures from now on.

  2. I

    I dropped this at ep 2 and never regretted it. I did follow the episodes on here and I think GC will be like Infinite Stratos; in the way that a lot of people thought it was cool and the girls were hot, but for those of us looking for some form of coherent story telling and characters this was effectively trash.

    Expect to see this show sell well in BDs and Inori to do well in Saimoe. Its shame that most people find this entertaining, but entertainment has always been for a certain someones rather than everyone.

    At least Noitamina will return to its roots in 2 weeks time.

  3. Well, first volume did 10K so yeah, that's pretty darn good.

  4. A

    Does Japan just have really bad tastes to gobble this stuff up? I mean, they must have at least a few discerning viewers.

  5. There's certainly been a good deal of criticism of the show among Japanese fans, and I think that when the series began I.G. would have hoped for even more DVD sales than they're getting now.

  6. Z

    If they had put 1 tenth of the work into the story as they did into the animation so would this have been a great anime series!

  7. l

    We can finally close the doors of this disaster for noitaminA and open an new one: With Sakamichi no Appolon and Tsuritama as the head starters.

  8. B

    An ignoble ending to a terrible show. Pretty much right on the head with this Enzo, it was a mess. It was sort of like the whole series in miniature, jam packed with as many unexplained character behaviors and deus ex machina devices popping out of nowhere as most of the rest of the show combined.

    Character reversals. Why did Keido infect himself? Why did that one dude who was BFF's with Daryl commit suicide when he could have easily gotten on the elevator himself at the same time? Why did Ayase do anything she did? Most egregious of was Gai's "HAHA me being a dick was the plan all along because I knew you would defeat me!" All I could do at that point was put my head in my palm and shake it sadly.

    Deus Ex Machina. What the hell was that flower thing? How did Inori reclaim her body when Gai made it clear he had erased her memories? How did Inori stop Shu from biting it? How did Ayase survive a bunch of dudes with automatic weapons shooting at her? Since when do void genome readings shut down electronics? I just… I don't even… where do you begin with this shit? All of this is stuff that could have been answered over the course of 22 episodes if the writing staff was competent, but instead it all seemingly comes out of nowhere in the last episode.

    At the end of the day the only ending that could have satisfied me is "the apocalypse happens everyone dies the end" so I wasn't going to be happy no matter what but this was even worse than I expected. I guess it's fitting that a show so terrible should end with one of it's worst episodes.

  9. B

    I've been awake for 30 hours and posted this in a hurry, and am also retarded. All instances of the name "Ayase" in my post should be read as "Arisa" instead. That is all.

  10. e

    By readig this alone I was wincing. Enzo, you brave merciful king of blogging *patpat* thank you for saving me from watching pains and a throbbing forehead. And from a possibly desk damage bill XD.
    You've earned a Hare-hug.

  11. A

    Uhmmm… ok. the end…

  12. A

    Actually I think that as Shu executed his void in carrying all the cancer of the world within him, and since Inori was in that crystalized state, both were slated to have died eventually since Shu said, "Let's go together". But I think it was eventually Inori who took on the pain of the world that Shu sucked in that made her disappear, leaving Shu alive.

    Am i inferring right??? o.o

  13. A

    Here's how Shu became blind.
    1st: Gai uses Mana's void
    2nd: Shu killed Gai, destroying Mana's void (destroying voids will kill its owner as it is their very heart)
    3rd: Mana lost her grip, and on the verge of death, got shrouded with the crystals (similar to Hare), part of its side effect was that she became blind.
    4th: Inori's consciousness came back, but since Mana used Inori's body, Inori became blind thus explaining why she couldn't see Shu.
    5th: Shu absorbed the cancer saying, "Let's go together" since Inori will die from the cancer and he'll be absorbing the world's cancer so he'll die too.
    6th: [OPINION] I believe that it was Inori who eventually took on all the pain and died, allowing Shu to live.
    7th: Then we see Inori giving her soul (red string) to Shu
    8th: Because she gave her soul, and that she was blind, it infected Shu, thus making him blind too; explaining the ending.

  14. A

    Yes,but how does your soul go blind?Its not like it has eyes.

  15. A

    He carried her pain.

  16. You'd have to get me to care about the characters a hell of a lot more than I do to do that kind of analysis…

  17. A

    Obviously if you play with your void too much you go blind

    common knowledge really..

  18. d

    Speed Grapher cross over?

  19. A

    Me giving that kind of analysis has got to do with how much damn care you give the characters.

  20. d

    nooooooo T.T

  21. Don't take it so hard – you survived to the end!

  22. d

    That hacker boy… Reminds me of the wolf from little red riding hood. What big teeth you have…

  23. D

    Copypasted from Randomc:

    My expectations were for it to answer at least some of the questions it set up, like the fates of characters that contributed to the final battle. I think I may be to blinded by my rage right now, so that’s probably what’s clouding my judgement, but I still don’t see how this episode concluded or solved anything.

    It’s never mentioned if:
    1. GHQ or Funeral Parlor are disbanded or any changes to the Japanese government (KIND OF IMPORTANT)
    2. If Daath is still in the shadows trying to plan another Fourth (or Fifth) Apocalypse or who they are or why they wanted one in the first place. (Evolution has many different definitions throughout sci-fi, so they need to pin that down here)
    3. Whether anyone other than Shu, Kanon, Yahiro, Souta, Ayase or Tsugumi lived or did anything else with their lives.
    4. Why Inori’s void is a sword
    And many many more.

    So if any of these were covered during the episode or series and I didn’t see it, please enlighten me.

  24. A

    It's like you think people care enough to read it twice lol.

  25. A

    When reading the number 2, I think a movie may come into play. Probably a different main character and we might see Shu giving up his king's power (if he still has it).

    Guilty Crown was actually good. Everything was there to make it a big hit. The only problem is that they didn't deliver it right.

    About the hype, seems that everyone was so hyped bringing the show down that they continuously watch every episode till the end just to find it's flaws. Normally, watching anime is a form of entertainment. Not something to make you all depressed because they couldn't meet your expectations. Nagging about something that you can't do anything about is actually pointless.

    The last episode didn't produce any emotion for me. The delivery was a mess. But what the heck, I still enjoyed the show overall.

  26. S

    On point #3:

    It seems no one but Kenji, Gai, Inori/Mana and Kenji of the "named" cast died. If anyone did anything after? Eh, probably not. Rebuilding would mostly be done at a level none of them would now be involved in.

    Which also ignores a lot of the stupid for the world building they did.

    On #4: Because it makes the song sound better and this is an action series. (Seriously, there's no explanation past that)

    Oh, and this wasn't a good series. It looked & sounded really pretty. That's it.

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