Though the writing in Guilty Crown dependably stays somewhere between atrocious and horrific, there are still aspects of this anime that create some genuine enjoyment for me. This episode did well to magnify two of these elements to even greater degrees and thus, are worthy of comment and admiration this week. One of these features is that Guilty Crown is usually entertaining, especially when spectacular action sequences dazzle with visual eye candy, vigorous energy, and hilarious circumstances. The other is the generally likable (and attractive) cast of minor characters, specifically Haruka and Ayase this episode.
While entertainment is not the main purpose of Guilty Crown, unlike comedy or fanservice anime, episodes end up satisfying this characteristic through visually appealing action sequences. The spontaneous skirmish at the end of this episode, pitting the ruthless Segai and his Endlaves against the remaining members of Funeral Parlor, Shu’s schoolmates, and his non-blood-related mother, was more than enough action to take the episode from humdrum to exciting. Simple firefights with machine guns, explosions, and giant robots are enough to pass that entertainment threshold. But what happened next is what made the whole episode worthwhile in terms of entertainment.
Shu’s appearance and subsequent broken use of his new Void power really took the episode over the top both in terms of hilariously bad writing and entertainment. And while it took the anime down a step in terms of writing, seemingly reaching a new low each week, it was a positive move in terms of entertainment. Not only were the battle sequences brilliantly directed and gushing with visually stellar sequences, the writing and turn of events added a bit of camp value too to add in some comedy to an otherwise somber and serious scene. It’s not hard to peg that there were plot holes, shoddy storytelling, and awful pacing in this episode but it’d be even harder to deny that it was not the least bit entertaining.
Despite the fact that the writing has also limited character development and reduced characters to mere stereotypes or background scenery (poor Kanon), I generally like most of the cast of Guilty Crown. The reason for liking most of the characters, however, is pretty shallow but is a reason why I, and likely many, continue to watch Guilty Crown. For one, Haruka has always been attractive, both in appearance and personality, even without the unnecessary ecchi scenes, and her seemingly lost or confused role in the story. Seeing her actually advance the plot in a meaningful way really helped her character by showing that she’s more than just fanservice. Also showing her deal with these moral dilemmas, such as how to use the final Void genome, showed some growth in her character. She’s beyond that underwear-clad, beer-drinking, free-spirit that we were introduced to back when Guilty Crown attempted to be something akin to an action/comedy/fanservice anime.
Ayase, though significantly more developed and prominent than Haruka, also dazzled in the spotlight in this episode thanks to the way the episode was structured. Like most of the female cast of Guilty Crown, Ayase benefits from being cute (and therefore popular), but what separates her from the rest of the girls is her strong, independent, and compassionate personality. This was on full display when she wanted to assume the burden of the final Void genome and face Gai herself. What backed up this decision was a throughout explanation that seemed valid from her point of view. Furthermore, she had the tenacity to act on her decision when her party was trapped in a pincer attack and risked her life in an attempt to rescue her comrades and new friends. Her noble personality is really what makes Ayase one of the more likable characters in Guilty Crown.
Though Guilty Crown continues to be ridiculed weekly for its horrendous writing, and rightfully so, there are areas of the series where I find authentic enjoyment and actually like Guilty Crown for what it is. Removing the elements of the writing, such as the issues with plot progression and character development, really removes most of the problems with the series and leaves behind a decent or respectable anime. The directing, cast, voice acting, setting, and entertainment are all performed quite well for the anime and I’m still thoroughly pleased with the art and animation. It’s a shame the dreadful writing in this anime has stolen most of the focus from this show away from its better aspects but it makes it more meaningful to take a step back and examine the other aspects of the anime and come to your own conclusion or judgment for how they’re doing.
So Shu’s new void power has the ability to absorb everyone’s voids into himself for him to use whenever? Despite breaking numerous rules that were established throughout the series and again raising the ethical questions behind using voids when they were a death sentence just an episode ago, does this mean that character will no longer be needed for their voids and can fade into irrelevancy now? I’m assuming that since Shu has all these voids now he won’t need to see them again to use their voids which means the character as essentially unnecessary for any further action or battle sequences. I doubt they’ll be gone for good but I foresee that these characters, Yahiro, Kanon, and Souta, will quickly disappear from the anime until perhaps the finale or epilogue or something. If they do show up and are relevant to the circumstances or play a role of any kind, I’d be greatly surprised. For now, I figure these forgettable characters will slowly disappear from the anime until the very end which is either sad or not depending on how much you liked these characters.