“Now if you want to crown them, then crown their ass!”
There’s a lot going on in Guilty Crown. Unfortunately, not a lot of it is well written. Let’s go over some highlights, shall we? First off, they can’t even get a Dr. Pepper sponsorship. If Steins;Gate and White Fox can score some Dr. Pepper, you can do better Production IG. Dr. Ginger? You couldn’t even score Fanta or Faygo?
(Andohbytheway, the idiot Shu, which really should be his name– Idiot Shu– befriends and trusts the drug addict/dealer/whatever. He endangers and doesn’t listen to Inori, a girl he is infatuated with and someone who has saved him before, to take a chance on a total stranger druggie. That’s not a pick a lot of people would make, but he made that pick. The druggie then betrays him the following scene. Even Melrose Place would have waited an episode before the eventual backstab. Needless to say, trusting drug dealers is about as smart as trusting Goldman Sachs.)
Probably the defining scene of Guilty Crown so far to me: Inori running past a line of mecha and guys with machine guns unscathed and then jump so high that she’s on top of a huge skyscraper. She dodges bullets better than Neo. What the fuck? Beyond ridiculous. Production IG– you should be ashamed of yourselves– not even Major Motoko could jump this fucking high. You guys are better than this. I can imagine some Sunrise executive watching Guilty Crown and breathing a huge sigh of relief before going back to work on Gundam Age.
(Inori runs straight into the guns and spins to avoid bullets. She doesn’t get hit. These guys are worse aims than Imperial Stormtroopers, and she’s wearing that frilly Final Fantasy-inspired dress. Her normal blouse or school uniform outfits seem more appropriate for a war zone than that red dress. Even Sheryl Nome is shaking her head at that battle outfit.)
The OP/ED are well-done (as expected of Supercell and Production IG), but the songs just don’t fit the show. It’s just same bittersweet theme from Supercell, but it’s not really thematic for yet another dystopic terrorist Japan with mecha. I don’t feel it the same way MEMORIA comes up after Fate/zero or how Hacking to the Gate kicks off Steins;Gate. Good music is one thing, but for an OP/ED to be really great, it has to mean something in the context of the show and not exist out of it. Guilty Crown feels like it was a bunch of big names jumbled together: Hey, it’s Supercell and ryo on music! Redjuice on characters! Code Geass team on story (snicker)! Production IG on animation! Yet, it fits as well as the Philadelphia Eagles. They’re not a cohesive unit.
In contrast, Fate/zero is pushing ahead like the 49ers: one huge cohesive unit. They have one asset in Gen Urobuchi’s storytelling (Jim Harbaugh) who is pacing and telling the story perfectly, and they have Ufotable doing their best in pounding out great animation (Frank Gore). They also try to minimize the damage of the previous regime and limitations from Fate/Stay Night (Alex Smith). And, yes, I’m writing this after seeing 49ers steamroll to their 7th win in a roll while the Eagles get beaten by a helpless Arizona.
(Also, Inori keeps singing the same insert over and over… yet… it’s not as catchy as “What ’bout my suuuutaaaari?” I can’t remember her lyrics at all, and it must have played like twenty times so far. It’s a problem.)
I don’t get the pen thing at all. Wouldn’t in this futuristic Japan, they have GPS? We have Idiot Shu jacking off to a YouTube clip on his iPad knockoff in the OP, and the police can’t place GPS tracking bugs? They probably know where Gai is already– what does clicking the pen do? Blow shit up? They could have done so with their orbital ion cannon by now. More importantly, is Gai dumb enough to let people close to him without frisking them first? I think the answer to all of the above is “Guilty Crown‘s writing team hasn’t properly thought this through.” A pen? That’s the best they could do for a Shu betraying Gai angle?
Ayase is my favorite character. Melonpan plus ponytail 4tw. More importantly, I can’t wait for Guilty Crown to pull a Downton Abbey and have Ayase walk again. (And, yeah, if I spoiled it for you, Downton Abbey fans, sorry. Both of you. Don’t worry. It happens like two episodes later, so you’re not missing much suspense. And Downton Abbey’s writing became just as hackneyed as Hiroyuki Yoshino’s.) Plus, she’s perfectly comfortable wheeling around at night wearing just a camisole… gotta like her spunk.
(Ayase must have happened when they were in designing Guilty Crown by committee: they loved Kallen from Code Geass, put a ponytail on her, and then they went catch an afternoon screening of Avatar. I can imagine Hiroyuki Yoshino thinking, “Hey, if a paraplegic can pilot a Navi… mmm…”)
“Who does everyone like Gai so much?!”
Because he’s a real leader who has managed to keep everyone alive while you’re the new kid who can’t stop whining? And harbor thoughts about betraying everyone? Idiot Shu isn’t just whiny, he’s cowardly whiny. Between him and Yuki, it’s a banner season for people whining. Fortunately, we have The Main Character of Ben-to and Kanba/Shouma acting like people with spines to balance things out. Also, it would have been a ballsy but awesome move if Gai were bonking Inori. It would totally make an Idiot Shu betrayal make sense, and it would provide some depth of character for Gai and Inori. And, Oharuhi-sama knows, Inori needs some personality at this point.
(Never realize how much Yuki whines. I guess it didn’t bother me as much in the manga since I can just skip over his whining to get at more Yuno craziness, but you can’t avoid it in the anime. Just constant whining. You’d think he were a players rep for the NBA or something.)
(And, yes, I’m totally upset at losing an NBA season. The whole labor ordeal has been a train wreck of Guilty Crown proportions, and both sides got caught up in their egos. I think I’m going to throw my support for StarCraft 2 to be our third national sport. A good siege tank line is like a zone defense… I guess…)
In terms of idiot plot, Guilty Crown is a top five contender. All of this shit could have and should have been avoided if Idiot Shu handed the vial to Gai when he had the chance. Instead, Idiot Shu just got angry at Gai because Inori might like Gai. What the fuck. This is worse than when Rygart not telling Zess about the Hodr condition when he had the chance in Break Blade, only Break Blade isn’t founded on that idiot move. Guilty Crown is in Battlestar Galactica territory: not only were the human colonies dumb enough to trust all the security codes with one man with no backups, humanity was dumb enough to debate the pros and cons of abortion when there’s only 35,000 humans left. I never rooted so hard for the Cylons.
(Also, they couldn’t tell Cylons apart from humans in Galactica… except Cylons could revive instantly on the other side of the galaxy if they died. You’d think they’d have at least an extra implant or organ or two to perform this magical feat… and that would distinguish them from normal humans. Terminator had the same issue. Really? Just because the guy puts on an Arnold skin mask, we can’t tell a three ton metal robot from a person? Metal detectors not invented in that world?)
Also a ridiculous scene. Utena is giving the eyes of disapproval for this sword extraction. Even if I believe that there’s this void genome that allows Idiot Shu to extract weapons from people, how can I believe it lets him jump across a fifty feet gap to slice the mecha? The jumping physics in this show make Luigi feel underpowered in Super Mario Brothers 2.
Inori likes her cat’s cradle. I just imagine her playing it with Himari for full effect.
(Inori is a homeless man’s Rei Ayanami… err… that’s too kind. She’s the drug addict’s Rei Ayanami. Ice Witch is a poor man’s Yuki Nagato.)
As rageful I was at Inori jumping higher than Superman, I raged harder when she jumped down and seemed to take like three minutes between when she jumps and when Idiot Shu extracts the void from Kenji. Three minutes! Senjougahara weighed almost nothing, and she fell faster than this! I’m willing to believe in a future where Japan is ravaged by disease, and we can pull weapons from people, but, come on, at least get physics partially right. 9.8m/s^2! At least be in the ballpark of that.
Let’s just introduce random characters– because we can. Hey, Rolo, how’s it hangin’?
Funeral Parlor is such a terrible name. By far the worst organizational name since… since… Nashville Predators or Utah Jazz. They sing funeral songs for you? That’s their rationale for picking such a terrible name? What part of that screams, “Rebellion”? Why not go with something that commands respect or authority like “Iskandar” or “Knights of Justice” or something random like “Shinonome Labs” or “SOS Brigade”? But having a terrible reason to give yourself a terrible name like “Funeral Parlor”? Terrible.
The other names like “Antibodies” also seem forced– this is apparently a disease-ravaged Japan a la Eden, but there’s hardly any disease. Outside of a few scenes with the druggie’s brother, the show is terrible at reinforcing any idea that a plague wiped out most of Japan. But, hey, at least we have immune system motifs for all the governmental forces. And Funeral Parlor… which breaks the motif.
(I like how Funeral Parlor is a huge sausage fest outside of two hawt girls in plugsuits and Inori. Tsugumi is the hacker catgirl while Ayase is the paraplegic mecha pilot. Everyone else, guys. It’s exactly like the Fourth Holy Grail War… outside of Saber, Irisviel, and Maiya, where are the women? Sola-Ui? That’s it? No wonder everyone has the hots for Saber. It’s a total sausage fest.)
Despite all these issues, I’m still watching Guilty Crown. It has almost the same qualities that Mai Otome and Code Geass (proving it’s more about staff than studio) had that makes them so damn enjoyable to complain about. Now if you want to crown them, then crown their ass! Can’t think of a better way to describe this genre.