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.