Guilty Crown – 15

Shu’s character development feels a bit like an unstable rollercoaster.  Not only have we seen his progress go through  ups and downs and venture all over the place but at times it feels very unsure of itself like it isn’t certain it wants to do the things it does or how it goes about implementing such developments.  At first, you could understand where Shu was going as a character.  Now, after the past few episodes or so, it has become muddled and irrational leaving Shu’s character to lose any established identity and causing him to suffer as a result.

The fifteenth episode of Guilty Crown introduced yet another twist in Shu’s character development, this time turning our compassionate and concerned protagonist into a ruthless and vehement individual drunk on his the power of his authority and the Voids he controls.    In the episode prior, Shu lacked the confidence to lead even himself but after being influenced by his friends, he summoned the power within to restore order to the school and assume the role of School President.  And right before that, Shu was a withdrawn individual distressed from Gai’s death but acted impulsively, something akin to Gai, to save the school from invading renegades.  That’s three episodes now with three clearly distinct and dissimilar paths taken by our protagonist, going from Gai-wannabe, to confident leader in his own style, to an emotional and troubled person who only cares about his own selfish desires.  Let’s not forget there were a variety of other developments Shu faced in the first half of Guilty Crown, too, that, together with what has happened recently, has lead Shu down a variety of character routes.  Because of all this, Shu is lacking any consistent character development save for an evolving lack of identity.

Something needs to change and change quickly with Shu as his character is beginning to resemble a different person each episode.  Guilty Crown seems to write Shu inconsistently from episode to episode for him to adhere to each specific outline and plot.  Or at least that’s the way it seems to me.  It seems like they had the ideas for each episode to tell a discrete story but never considered the consistency of the characters between each.  The results are some decent plots for each episode but confusion and headaches with the characters.  It’s one of the biggest problems Guilty Crown has and it doesn’t look like it will be addressed anytime soon.

Although I’m not very fond of the Shu that we saw at the end of this episode, I would be happy to see the anime take this current state and personality and run with it for a few episodes to see where it goes with the story.  The only problem I have with that though is that this will not be Shu’s final form and he will change for a better personality before the end of the anime.  In that sense, I’d like to see Shu change to his final personality as soon as possible but then we’d be obeying what my complaint has been this entire post.  It’s become very frustrating to follow Shu’s character with all these random developments and personality changes.  Until Shu reaches a consistent and final personality and the anime works on that, I don’t see the point of following Shu’s character since it changes as frequently as he changes his underwear.  And now I’ve left you with an unpleasant image in your mind.  Gee, thanks Shu.

Could someone explain to me how Endlaves work?  I’ve been meaning to ask this since the first episode but the whole pilot/mecha system doesn’t make any sense.  First off, you have a pilot in an offsite location who navigates the mecha remotely.  That’s a great idea, especially since you can switch your best pilots between multiple mecha without losing any human lives or anything like that.  The problem occurs when the mechas take damage and the pilots subsequently feel pain.  Why the hell would you ever program these machines so the pilot feels pain?  It’s completely asinine.  Who the hell thought it’d be a great idea for that to happen?  Second, why does it seem like these machines are not piloted remotely and have people in the cockpits?  That defies logic again because you’re putting your most valuable resources, the pilots, into danger for no benefit.  Why would you risk your pilot’s life when they can be in an offsite location and pilot the same mecha with no clear difference?  Hell, it’s even better their offsite because if they are removed from the battlefield, they can be transferred to another mecha where the pilots needed and the other mecha can act as a drone or be commanded to return to the base or whatever.  These Endlaves were one of the concepts of Guilty Crown I was excited most about when the anime began but they’re being used ineffectively and have backwards logic for such an advanced technology.  If I’m making a mistake or have completely missed something about the Endlaves, please tell me because otherwise they’re one of the stupidest things about Guilty Crown.

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  1. #1 by tsurugiarashix on February 4, 2012 - 7:52 PM

    Knew another death was on the way, but this time it was for no good reason…well, at least I hope so. The writing for Shu’s character development is definitely making a straight dive for the abyss and just when I was slowly coming around to him, too. Although, the writing entirely is one big mess….

    As for the Endlaves, the pilots use their brains to control them. However, since the brain is also in control of nervous functions, any damage the machine sustains, the pilot will also feel it. Best of my understanding is how the system works, but still pretty ludicrous. Better to send in a unmman drone, lol.

    • #2 by avvesione on February 4, 2012 - 10:09 PM

      One of the problems with the anime I’ve found (actually just did some quick research on it) is that each episode has a different author for the script and a different storyboard director. In fact, 4 authors for the script and 11 storyboard directors have worked on this anime including 3 each for the last 3 episodes. No wonder why it seems like Guilty Crown is going in so many different directions. I guess this specific writer/storyboard combo decided to take Shu off the deep end despite what the previous authors and storyboard directors wanted. Actually, I think I’ll save that topic for my post next week and expand on that subject once I get some more research done.

      As for the Endlaves, that’s not a bad explanation but it’s still a bad system. How do they even translate the pain from the mecha to the brain? Are there censors throughout the mecha to detect this? Why? And even if you program something asinine like that, why not limit the pain to something tolerable but noticeable like something poking your arm or a pinch at most? I really don’t understand that system at all but thanks for giving me your thoughts on the system.

  2. #3 by Soji on February 5, 2012 - 2:14 AM

    Yeah.GC had multy author and director. I admit this is something that I hate myself. Anyway back on the ep itself.I knew that Hare would die in this episode ,but still sad thing to see , especially given that Hare was the coup de grace to Shu sanity .In less that 5 weeks Shu Kill Jun , remember about Mana and his past with Gai and then kill them both himself and now the only one of his friend that had always belivede in him die like that O_O.Not wonder he finally snap.And our Inori made us understand what happen to Shu at that moment she was scary becouse….1 She understand that something bad happening from Shu eyes 2 That one not was really Shu but something more scary. If you look look Shu closely you’ll notice that he was, essentially Mana 2.0 I always thought that Mana and Shu were something at like and this episode just confirmed this idea. If we go with the Ed and the Op the one that will help shu to getting back so balance will be Inori (a strange as it sounds) but I bet Ayase we will try well. The problem with Ayase I fear that she will die as well .. the scarf that Shu wear in the op seems the thing that Ayase was made in the during the ep that Shu kill Jun .One more thing that I want point out…the Ed was damn spoiler if you think about it ,you see all Shu school friend disappear one by one with Hare being the last one to do so. When in the anime itself Hare is the first one to say good bye(die) ,now I wonder if the Ed meaning to show us who first die/leave Shu side ? And if this is the case we just have backtrack from Hare .Another thing from the ED is that Inori is the one that help Shu when he lost all his friend and pull him out ,and they run togheter until it’s not shu to pull her.And the meaning of the op seems to increase even more this role that Inori will have( I can be wrong thought.)

    For the Endlaves I agree with tsurugiarashix .But I think they also want that the pilots to be more Skilful.Think at thismore careful when we feel pain or feel that we are in danger of life … the survival instinct takes over, increasing our ability and made us do everything possible to survive.Or at least this is what I think.

    • #4 by avvesione on February 9, 2012 - 12:11 AM

      Interesting… I like your comment on Shu being Mana 2.0. That’s something I missed but I did realize he was psycho from the way his eyes looked and how he acted after that. You figure Inori would be the one who brings Shu back to reality but I wonder how long it will take. Hopefully sooner rather than later but I wouldn’t mind seeing it be a process than something another “void” can fix. Hopefully Ayase and Tsugumi help out, too. Also, going to watch the ED now and see what you’re talking about with the disappearing friends. Actually haven’t watched the ED yet this season (just minimize it and do something else while the song plays).

      And as for the pain, they should’ve toned the pain down a bit. Most anime have red alerts that pop-up, so I figured something like that would be practical but yeah.

  3. #5 by Burnout on February 24, 2012 - 4:49 AM

    I assume that the Endlave’s controls are hooked directly into the user’s nervous system. He’s not ‘piloting’ the Endlave, so much as the Endlave becomes his body. Hence the feedback. I suppose this was to allow the machine to be more agile, but it’s still rather silly.

    And – Let’s be honest – Endlaves haven’t really had much to do with the plot. We have seen a total of THREE Endlave designs: Ayase’s unique Endlave in Episode 1, Daryl’s machine Steiner (Now destroyed) and the generic Endlave. They’re pretty much a placeholder, so Shu doesn’t have to kill actual people in his Void-fuelled rampages.

    • #6 by avvesione on February 26, 2012 - 9:29 PM

      Yeah, the Endlaves must be connected to the nervous systems of the pilots but it still doesn’t make sense that they’d feel pain when their robots take damage. For that to happen, they’ve require mechanical or heat sensors throughout the body to communicate that back to the pilot and then register it as pain with them. It’s irrational but I guess it makes it look dramatic or something when a pilot’s mecha blows up or whatever.

      And yeah, I was thinking this would be a mecha anime from the PVs when I saw a few Endlaves flying around and fighting but they’ve been a major disappointment. Can’t believe they’ve never expanded on this when they could’ve been an interesting part of the anime.

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