I think I’ll keep using the unconventional review style—just for Guilty Crown, though. I think it’s more fitting with what I want to say.
The first half of Guilty Crown was actually pretty good! Like with all other episodes however, it started going downhill once it hit the halfway mark…
The first half of Guilty Crown is easily the most violent we’ve seen of the series. Daryl murders his dad and dad’s girlfriend mostly because his dad forgot his birthday. He was under the control of Chief Keido too, I guess; but still… GODDAMN. Haruka’s forced by Keido’s most competent goon, Seiga, to do… something. But even as competent as he is, he still can’t stop the sheer force of patriotism that is DAN, and gets punched out, allowing Haruka to escape. After finally redeeming himself, Dan promptly gets killed, like all the other good characters in this show.
Meanwhile, as Shu is still moping around in his hideout going, “but Funeral Parlor wouldn’t do this!”; Tsugumi sends him a message via Funell and says it’s ALL HIS FAULT that Funeral Parlor couldn’t complete the mission. Because apparently, the Funeral Parlor (who is being manned by Gai, the most competent character in this whole series) can’t even function on its own until a whiny 17 year old magically gets duex ex machina powers. Alright then.
This causes Shu to ask the film club for help and… Yahiro comes along for some… reason… Then Shu ANGSTS some more and finally tells/explains to his friends about his void powers. And then they all agree to help him almost unanimously (EVEN “YOU KILLED MY BROTHER!” YAHIRO?!?) and then they somehow steal a military vehicle and attempt to infiltrate GHQ headquarters. Uh… PLOT CONVENIENCE!
Meanwhile, Haruka (Shu’s mom in case you forgot) ends up meeting with Gai and Inori, and helps Inori broadcast her song over the whole… city? Country? Somehow, her song’s able to reverse the effects of the apocalypse virus and Shu finally meets up with Inori. But then SHOCK AND HORROR, she’s voided by that blonde douche from the last episode (he draws a machine gun thing out of her) and shoots Shu with it. But Gai takes the blow for Shu and dies. And thus, episode 11 signifies the point where the producers decided to kill off the one good character in this series.
As I said at the beginning, the first half-ish of the episode was actually really good! It was surprising. The writers actually managed to make Chief Keido’s forceful takeover look horrifying! They actually managed to make him even more evil than GHQ had been before! But then the scene switched to Shu and I was all, NOPE.jpg. I’m pretty sure that Funeral Parlor was pretty good on its own before. But ever since Shu joined their ranks, all everyone cares about is Shu. It’s kind of annoying how dependent they are on him. Okay, I guess I’m being a bit unreasonable here. Funeral Parlor never had as much manpower as GHQ, so I guess that having a member that has magical powers is a great advantage. Unfortunately for the Funeral Parlor, the writers decided to give the absolute worse character these powers.
I know I rag on Shu a lot, but he is seriously pathetic. He is also greatly inconsistent! Seriously, in this episode alone, he yo-yo’s from being a wimp to being INSANELY COMPETENT with his void powers! Keep in mind that he’s pretty much just your average guy, so he’s not as skilled as Gai and the others. I don’t care that he has magical powers; even during the “training sequence” in episode five, Shu didn’t improve much physically. HAVING MAGICAL POWERS ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH TO INSTILL SUCH SKILL IN SUCH A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. I just… aalgskdjfljdfeahoie
Even character-wise, Shu’s a terrible character. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him actually get some development. Sure, he goes back and forth between being a coward and being absurdly brave, but he’s seriously still the same whiny kid we know from the very first episode. A lot of the personal conflicts he has get resolved far too easily. Yahiro just following along with Shu’s idea is a case in point. It’s surprising that Yahiro forgives Shu so quickly since Shu, you know, killed his brother. We got cheaped out of seeing what happened after episode 9 so we don’t know if Shu told Yahiro the whole story, so I’m just basing this on Shu’s sole line before the episode ends. In which case, it just makes Yahiro’s willingness even stranger. A lot of the plot direction seems like it’s only written that way to serve Shu’s needs. Which is why Shu has probably developed the least of all the characters.
Inori’s angsting was also pretty out of place. “Will Shu come?” It’s just as bad as the “Am I in love with Shu?” in the last episode. Bland female heroine, meet bland male lead! I guess they’re fitting for each other, at least. Poor Gai, he was too good to last. I knew he was going to die, simply based on the rules of anime. It states: any character who is better than the main character will somehow die or get put on a bus. So what now? Is Shu going to take over the Funeral Parlor? I’m not really looking forward to that…
Another thing I still don’t like is new blonde douche. Does he even have a name yet? Whatever, apparently he has duex ex machina void powers too. Except he is also a VAMPIRE! I think. (seriously, look at his teeth) Also, he somehow magically crosses dimensions just to draw a void out of Inori for dramatic effect? Couldn’t the writers have written that scene better? And good job Shu; just stand there while your girlfriend gets voided, uh huh. This is what I mean when I say Shu swings wildly between being competent and being amazingly incompetent.
Huge ranting aside, this episode was… so-so. It was nowhere near as bad as the last episode, but the ending left much to be desired. The animation is still very lovely, and the action scenes (I admit) were still very cool. And of course, the music is also very lovely too. If only Guilty Crown’s story could match…
Out of five for this episode:
Sadly, no questions were really answered from last episode, was it? GUILTY CROWN! Also, checking out the Lost Christmas visual novel game; did they really name the main character Scrooge? ARE THEY REALLY GOING FOR A CHRISTMAS CAROL REFERENCE WHEN DEALING WITH A VIRUS THAT NEARLY WIPES OUT JAPAN’S POPULATION?!