Guilty Crown – 18

While I could choose any topic or idea from this episode and rail against it in the form of an angry hellstorm of fire, I’ll select something specific and discuss it with a positive opinion.  Now, the material from which to use is quite limited due to the sheer chaos that was this episode but regardless of the quantity of selectable material, you can look no further than to Inori’s transformation to monster Inori or crystal Inori or whatever for the subject for today’s post.  Yes, let’s explore this topic in a positive manner.

Since the beginning of Guilty Crown, Inori has been the character known for her few outward emotions and numerous inner secrets.  And throughout most of the series, that hasn’t changed.  Inori’s character, despite being the lead female and arguably the most central character in the anime, has been severely underdeveloped compared to the progression of the plot and Shu’s character.  The few times we’ve seen Inori’s character advance in any meaningful way were muddled and poorly executed, often coming across as arbatrairy due to lack of rational connection to current plot or was rushed due to mismanagement of timing in the episode in which the development occurred.  That’s not saying that the few scenes of Inori in this episode were golden compared to these; they did present similar flaws.  Still, this episode demonstrated much better characterization for Inori which is the first of the positives to take from this episode.

Any substantial change for a character requires multiple pieces for it to come together and Guilty Crown successfully was able to accomplish this complex task.  For one, the development needs to take place in the context of the story, which was evidently clear with Inori facing the reemergence of Mana and needing to protect Shu despite him being completely useless to everyone in the world at this point.  She came to the conclusion, after an internal monologue with her inner personality, that it is acceptable to be a monster or a fake so long as the outcomes are the ones that are desired.  Can’t say I agree with this twisted conclusion but it works for the character given that she’s far from perfect and under much distress and anxiety over the recent events that occurred over the past few weeks.  And that’s the second piece of character development, presenting the character with a problem or issue.  The third is requiring them to change  which occurred when Inori shreaded her outfit for something more ecchi and summoned crystal swords from her body to destroy an army of Endlaves that were poised to capture her for Gai.  Yeah, despite the silliness and absurdity of the situation, it was able to put Inori’s response into the context of the anime and actually made for some decent action sequences.  Fourth, the development needs to be meaningful to either the character or the story and yes, that, too, is obvious seeing how Inori is accepting her inner self and willing to fight and kill for what she believes in.  Anything else would be superfluous, so kudos to Guilty Crown for having proper character development for one of your most essential characters.  By handling the scenes in an acceptable manner such as this, I’m curious to see what will happen now that Shu has returned to Earth.

In case you assumed I would be gushing at the seams with praise for how Guilty Crown handled Inori’s development in this episode because I stated I would review one aspect of the series with a positive light, sorry to disappoint.  I’m giving praise equal to the amount that it warranted and that’s about what it deserved.  Yes, that means even if I didn’t announce that I would be taking a positive opinion on a subject this week the scenes did leave a positive impression on me, thought that’s not to say there were enough negatives about it to make another negativity post.

Nevertheless, this was merely an exercise to find something positive in this horrific episode.  The reasoning behind this post is that for all the flack Guilty Crown receives, it does do some things well but usually those get immediately passed over for what it does wrong or what it unintentionally makes absolutely hilarious.  Even the scene which was the subject of the post could be taken the other way, questioning the origins and rules on Inori’s new powers, her superhuman abilities which allowed her to take on a dozen Endlaves and why she never used it before while in Funeral Parlor, and her distorted rational for doing what she did (Shu was never the target, so why protect him and put yourself in danger?).  Yes, finding positives in Guilty Crown can be difficult from time to time but it’s appropriate to recognize them when they are positive rather than always taking the negative path on things.  And that’s not to say that taking the negative road is wrong, especially since I’ve been doing it for most of the series, but it’s about time to take an objective stance on areas that deserve it and bring it to light.  But regardless of what I say here and now, I’ll probably return to ridiculing the series next week with whatever comedic goal they come up with next week.

I’ve always liked Haruka but found her a bit strange at times (I mean, she’s the oldest female in the series yet she’s the only ecchi character, what’s up with that?).  Perhaps now is the time that I find her actions and reasoning to be the most bizarre and inexplicable.  Let’s recap: Haruka is still one of the top scientists working to the GHQ and is working directly with Keido and Yuu to resurrect Gai to nearly kill Shu so he loses the one attribute that makes him useful or meaningful to anyone.  And her reasoning, revealed in this episode when she was (again) naked, was to release Shu from the fate of the king.  Not sure exactly what is going on with the fate of the king but I suppose Haruka feels she knows enough on the subject and is acting to save her son from some terrible doom that belongs to the holder of the genome or whatever.  Her heart is still with Shu, even saying sorry first, and the gun on her table in her room seems to reveal she’s contemplating suicide due to her internal moral conflicts.  I’ll admit the gun is unnecessary and a bit asinine since we know she won’t kill herself (or even die) anytime soon before reuniting with Shu but it does show the magnitude of her feelings toward Shu and what she’s done to her son.  I’d rather prefer her to hit the wall of the shower or better yet just down a few cold ones but whatever, it’s still hard to know what she’s going through given our lack of information on the subject and her character.  Also curious what Shu will do when reunited with Haruka and how he’ll respond to knowing his mother was behind the most excruciating and painful moments of his life.  I hope the ending for these two is a happy one since their relationship is one of the few that feels authentic in this series but the path Guilty Crown seems to be taking is one that will not be happy for anyone, especially Shu and Haruka.  Oh well.

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  1. #1 by Burnout on February 24, 2012 - 4:45 AM

    This was a horrible, horrible trainwreck of an episode, especially Inori’s sudden, inexplicable Witchblade powers. I did like that Gai seems to be using his new abilities on a larger scale than Shu ever did, but the introduction of a new, ancient conspiracy, and a orbital ring of destruction is just, well, retarded.

    The bizarre thing is, after so many episodes, Shu has literally no investment in the plot. He is, in fact, better off now he’s lost the Power of the King; He hasn’t accomplished a single positive thing in the ENTIRE SERIES that he wasn’t poked, prodded or bullied into. It’s ridiculous.

    Even /a/’s fan-made Visual Novel synopsis:

    http://pastebin.com/A9YSXirP

    …is a million times more coherent than the plot we actually got. Did they really plan out the entire story like this? What were they thinking?

    • #2 by avvesione on February 26, 2012 - 9:38 PM

      I don’t believe they planned the entire story; it flows with the pacing and direction of a rambler trying to tell a story from start to finish in one go and with a thousand disconnected ideas in their head. Whoever wrote the story for this obvious did not have the entire thing finalized and it must not have been given any oversight or been approved before anyone read it because this is probably one of the worst anime original stories imaginable. I don’t mind that Inori transformed into a crystal monster in this episode since it was kinda hinted at with Mana and Mana’s reawakening in prior episodes and Gai’s new powers are pretty cool but all the story developments and advancements they showed in this episode were awful. I would’ve loved to rant on this episode but tried to take a positive approach for a change of pace this week (thought it might be a good challenge and a break from repeating myself every post).

      Your recollection of Shu is spot-on and I enjoyed the link you posted. Thanks for the two comments.

  2. #3 by Myst on February 24, 2012 - 11:03 AM

    Sorry Inori, Kerrigan did it better… :3

    I am also confused about Haruka’s purpose in the story (FANSERVICE). When her relationship to Shu was first revealed I was thinking that there would be drama considering she is a top scientist for the organization her son is fighting. But, they didn’t do anything with that. Which brings up the question, has there been any contribution from Haruka to the overall plot of the story given her nature as Shu’s mother? If I were to replace her with some random female character I don’t think anything would have changed. At most, maybe there would have been a few less melodramatic comments, but that’s as far as I can see.

    • #4 by avvesione on February 26, 2012 - 9:46 PM

      There doesn’t seem to be any relevance to the plot that Haruka is Shu’s mother besides a few ecchi scenes (her walking around in her underwear after coming home from work) and a few development scenes (Shu has no familial support, Haruka can’t seem to take care of herself showing that Shu has to assume the role of ‘parent’ in his household, that Shu disrespects his mother (calls her by her name rather than any formal title), and maybe a few others). The only times she did anything plot in regards to Shu was mentioning about his father’s grave before he went on the club trip to the tropical island and that she feels bad about doing these things to Shu. Other than that, not a whole lot. I can’t help but feel she may do something at the end since she’s the only character who knew Shu, Gai, and Mana when they were alive and together but other than that, she seems to only be here for fanservice.

  3. #5 by inori_fan on February 26, 2012 - 2:02 PM

    inori :3 :D

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