Guilty Crown – 3

I’ve always been judgmental and critical of school settings in anime and this episode of Guilty Crown is no exception.  Schools in anime are always the same and always a negative.

Schools are one of the predominating settings across anime regardless of genre or audience.  With most shows involving a cast of teenagers or families, it’s only logical to see schools be an appropriate setting since virtually every child, teenager, or young adult are in some sort of education setting full time.  And it’s something that everyone can relate to, so it’s easy to understand what’s going on or why the characters are there.  It’s such a simple and common setting, you’d wonder why I have such a massive issue with it but Guilty Crown offers me a few examples on why I find it to be a negative.

First, one of the subjects I specified out in the previous paragraph is one of the biggest problems I have with school settings.  That is, schools are excessively overused in anime.  Every school, institution, or academy is always the same with students sitting in classes doing whatever.  It’s tedious and tiring to see those exact same activities in every single show, even if they are appropriate or logical.  Why not have it broken up showing kids in various homes, shops, restaurants, parks, subways, etc with more diverse populations?  Obvious kids need to go to school but it’s always the same thing every single time.  Schools in anime fail to differentiate themselves from each other even when they have wacky teachers, magical classes, or whatnot since there are so many.  It always boils down to a bunch of kids sitting in chairs pointed in one direction doing something boring.  And Guilty Crown does nothing different from the norm.  The school had some nifty sci-fi screens but that’s all that’s different from any other anime.

What’s worse is that the scenes at school hardly ever advance the plot or the characters and if they do, they’re always clichés.  This isn’t true for all shows, especially ones that take place entirely within a school, but for shows like Guilty Crown where it’s just a part of the show, these scenes do nothing.  In this episode, we saw the short break where Inori, the mysterious and beautiful transfer student (like it’s a law you need to be mysterious and beautiful to transfer between schools in Japan) was swarmed by the students and later being idolized during PE.  These scenes never really added anything to her character that we didn’t already know and were tired clichés repeated from about 50% of anime.  For Shu, they failed to provide any new information or developments, too.  There were some scenes later in the episodes that offered some plot advancement and character development but those scenes could’ve been done outside the school.

School settings, especially in shows that aren’t entirely set within a school, often have no sense of time.  For starters, there are always students wandering around the school, like they’re on infinite break and only need to show up to their classroom when they want to.  Otherwise, how was Shu and Inori able to run around and check the voids of so many students?  It just doesn’t make sense to see so many students wandering the halls and campus during normal school hours.  You’d figure that in a building so massive and grand that all the students would be incredibly wealthy and natural scholars, being in their classes at all times.  It’s a weak argument but it’s something that bothers me whenever I see it.

Was it required that this anime take a turn and end up in a school?  Before, we had a setting of a militaristically oppressed Japan trying to be liberated by a rebellion group in the years following a deadly pandemic virus and massive war.  Now, we’re in a stunning and majestic school trying to find out who saw the terrorist incident from earlier in the week.  Honestly, which sounds more interesting?  You already know what I think.  Couldn’t this episode have taken outside of the school?  It would’ve been more interesting, trying to track down an individual within a bustling metropolis, searching the streets for clues and information all while being weary of the constant surveillance of the military?  Imagine all the different locations, backdrops, and people there’d be in that richer and more diverse setting.  I’d love to see more of this world rather than be imprisoned in that classroom again.  At least with the ending to this episode, I might get my wish, although it might be an imprisonment somewhere else…

This anime needs more Gai Tsutsugami.  Seeing him in that exceptional tuxedo really won him over for me.  Sure, him standing out in the middle of the city with armed guards around giving out a random briefing to someone who’s not even connected to his rebellion organization is incredibly stupid but he doesn’t give a damn.  He just does what he wants.  And his personality matches the profile, being a true leader, authoritative, confident, intelligent, and properly managing his forces and their tactics.  He’s easily the best character in this anime.  Can’t wait to see and learn more about him and his comrades in the next few episodes.

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  1. #1 by tsurugiarashix on October 27, 2011 - 5:44 PM

    Well, the episode did prove one thing: Shu is so unbelievably gullible and trusting. Still trying to remember what character he reminds me of.

    Anyway, I was not expecting much to happen, but at least it did explain the Voids, despite how quick and common the information was. Academia is just a common staple of life, so I am not all that fazed by it. Messes with the dynamics somewhat, but too be expected.

    • #2 by avvesione on October 28, 2011 - 5:34 PM

      This episode did better than I anticipated which just goes to show how little I expected out of it. Still, I’d rather have this episode take place outside the school where either Gai or Inori explains the Voids to Shu (and us). I really like the world they’re creating and I want to see more of it and see it used in the story, so whenever they go to a generic school setting, I feel it’s limiting their creativity.

      Oh well, looks like the next episode won’t take place at school, so I’m happy.

  2. #3 by zammael on October 27, 2011 - 9:40 PM

    Just saw it (while I’m supposed to be studying!) and was mildly pleased. Agreed with your tirade about the tired/expired trope of schools in anime.

    Naturally, a young kid spends most of his time in school, but you’re right: the world is fascinating, and it’s just too bad that the show just wasted an entire episode in school. The story actually becomes interesting whenever it steps away from the school. That’s why it almost feels like the show’s creators were listing a checklist of classic anime tropes when writing this show. Tsk.

    • #4 by avvesione on October 28, 2011 - 5:40 PM

      The creators of this series spent a lot of time coming up with the background to this anime with the Lost Christmas virus, the battle-ravaged Japan, the oppressive government, and a whole line of mecha and military to rule the land. It’s really a great setting they have going, so it bothers me deeply that they used a school setting for this episode. In fact, it bothers more more than anything else on that checklist of classic anime tropes, including Inori moving in or suddenly girlfriend with magic powers falling in lap of generic teenage boy.

  3. #5 by clazy on October 28, 2011 - 7:34 AM

    moral of the story: don’t trust druggies

    • #6 by avvesione on October 28, 2011 - 5:41 PM

      Yeah but I love that dick move he did at the end. Hopefully it’s a sign of more to come.

  4. #7 by Justin on October 29, 2011 - 9:49 PM

    Well, to be fair, Shu is conveniently always wearing his school uniform…

    • #8 by avvesione on October 30, 2011 - 11:37 AM

      He did wear his PE uniform when he was running around but yeah, he never changes out of that thing. Bet you he even wears it to bed.

      And all this does is make Gai look even better with that tux.

  5. #9 by feal87 on October 30, 2011 - 1:36 PM

    Now if Shu die in the next episode this series may actually start to get really interesting…:D

    • #10 by avvesione on October 30, 2011 - 1:50 PM

      I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement. I’m hoping something happens to him now that will change his loser personality because I think he and Inori are what’s keeping this show down. Not the bad story or the clichés, I think it’s the two main characters which are hurting this show more than anything.

  6. #11 by Shu Ouma on November 2, 2011 - 4:15 PM

    I think Ouma Shu reminds me of Yuuki Rito from To-Love-Ru: a complete loser that seems to get popular as more characters are introduced and stuff. At least that’s what I’m finding in this anime, but the action and music is amazing– we just need to see more of that am I right? There’s only 3 episodes so far so we’ll have to wait and see I guess it’s too soon to say. About school, teenagers like Shu and Inori can’t get away from education. c8

    • #12 by avvesione on November 2, 2011 - 7:38 PM

      I don’t think anyone has had a problem with the music or action, it’s just the story and characters, especially Shu and Inori, have underperformed and more of the music and action can’t alleviate that issue. But like you said, it’s been only 3 episodes, so we’ll see where the show goes from here.

      As for the school, if Shu joined the resistance, then he wouldn’t have to go to school anymore =P That was the option I was hoping he’d take.

      • #13 by Shu Ouma on November 3, 2011 - 11:03 AM

        I guess you’r e right, but I loved the show!! Maybe it’s because I never watch Code Geass or a lot of anime so I’m like yay!!

        Well the 4th episode is out already and it’s awesome *O*
        Not gonna spoil it, but check it out!! Too bad I have to wait till next week for the 5th one T^T

      • #14 by Shu Ouma on November 3, 2011 - 11:03 AM

        I guess you’re right, but I loved the show!! Maybe it’s because I never watch Code Geass or a lot of anime so I’m like yay!!

        Well the 4th episode is out already and it’s awesome *O*
        Not gonna spoil it, but check it out!! Too bad I have to wait till next week for the 5th one T^T

        • #15 by avvesione on November 3, 2011 - 3:29 PM

          Glad you like the show so much. I like it, too, but I’m expecting more from it given the staff and production values. The fourth episode has been my favorite so far (just finished a post about it) but there are still too many distractions with the anime which is why there’s negativity around it.

        • #16 by Parth Srivastav on November 4, 2011 - 10:02 AM

          if u haven’t watched code geass u must watch it and by this time i dont find code geass similar to GC.

  1. Notes of Guilty Crown Episodes 2-5 « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses
  2. » Notes of Guilty Crown Episodes 2-5

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