Am I missing something with the Guilty Crown opening song? It has been one of the few aspects of the anime I’ve seen that gets near universal praise, yet I fail to see the appeal. There’s no consistent tune. It sounds like thousands of people smashing their heads off broken drum kits while a woman yells at them. I do like the BGM a lot, rather reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, but I’m rather baffled by the popularity of Supercell. Their music sounds like standard jpop except less cutesy and less coherent. But then again, I barely listen to music, often going entire weeks without hearing a full song, so what do I know.
My episode 3 post was mainly praise, yet that somehow did not seem to make it into the minds of my readers. At least, not those of you who posted comments, because almost every single one seemed to be in agreement with some entirely negative rant I supposedly made. So let me make this clear: I quite like Guilty Crown. I like that it’s actually trying to say something with its story. It’s not doing a terribly good job of it, and the story elements it is trying to cover have been done before and done better by Code Geass, but that’s more than I can say for the likes of Phi Brain or even Gundam Age. But it’s not much of a plus point when these elements are handled so poorly.
Episode 4 set up a few little moral dilemmas for our main character. Do we agree with how Gai is trying to overcome the occupation by the outside forces? Gai is basically Lelouch here, a morally ambiguous rebel leader who sometimes has to commit atrocities to achieve his goals. For example, he plans to rescue a mass murderer from high security prison. This is all well and good, but what is the alternative to Gai’s methods? Side with the occupiers? This episode seemed to be trying to push this point across by having poor little sisters dying from the biological weaponry (actually it was a little brother, which was probably the most shocking part of this episode). The problem here is the spectre of stupidity from episode 2 hangs over that balance of views. It’s hard to side with these guys when they’re so comically evil. Even this episode didn’t help the issue when the interrogator shot a nameless goon in the head just so he could jizz his pants at the sight of Shu waving about his overly compensating piece of weaponry.
The comically evil side of the villains keeps coming back to haunt every decision in the series. The entire of Gai’s force consist of attractive young people while the villains are all mentally unbalanced nutjobs. It’s like they took all the rejects from Dues Ex Machina’s potential [Insert Ability Here] Diary owners and put them in this anime. It’s hard to take the interrogator’s claim that Gai is doing something wrong seriously when he probably eats live bunny rabbits for breakfast. Guilty Crown tries to pretend Shu isn’t convinced by Gai just yet by having Shu pocket the transmitter, but what’s the alternative? Suzaku in Code Geass offered a reasonable alternative, while all Shu is going to do is whine. The most irritating part is I could actually see the logic behind siding with the Anti-bodies side, if they weren’t too busy playing football with decapitated babies.
There is plenty of other stuff I could nitpick. They are nits, in that I’d be more willing to let them slide if they above issue of comically evil antagonists weren’t at the core of the problems with the show. But that problem does exist, so nitpick away!
How exactly did Shu know to leap in and grab a weapon from the convict? I suppose you could make a claim that, since Gai was going to all this effort to save him, he must have a pretty awesome weapon, but that’s flimsy theorising. Admittedly his weapon was fairly useless in the given circumstances. A gravity gun that makes things float? Perhaps useful against one mecha grunt, but they can still machine gun you down just fine. Also, speaking of rather convenient, how on earth did Gai get passed the guards with that flimsy disguise? You could make the argument that, in the world of Guilty Crown, it was a master disguise and we shouldn’t let our own amazing powers of recognition colour our view of their world, but that argument got shot down when Shu recognised it was Gai instantly. Like, come one guys. Gai had just broadcast his intentions. He’s the most wanted criminal in the country. Shu has seen the guy about twice in his life. How would a top security prison like this one not know what he looks like while Shu does?
Then there’s Inori. What on earth is going on here anyway? Why is she so…thick? Sitting in a room by herself, singing and being in intense emotional pain because some bloke she has known for all of 2 days was taken away by the police. Was she won over by his charming charisma? “Why do I feel so cold, would Shu know”? Lady, you’re probably cold because your clothes don’t cover most of your torso. Leaving aside the fact that she can apparently fly now, why did she fly up to that spot and then jump down 100 stories to be with Shu? How in god’s name would she know that Shu would have an anti gravity gun? While other parts of the series are at least attempting some depth, Inori is a bland ball of nothingness. I get the feeling that Shu’s decision to stick with Gai at the end had less to do with him wanting to keep by his side and judge for himself whether Gai is making the correct moral choices, and more that he was won over by Inori’s unwavering devotion to him. It rather ruins the depth that scene was meant to have.
Didn’t I say at the start of this post that I quite liked Guilty Crown, yet now I’ve spent the entire post complaining? So what was good about the episode? Well, it looked pretty…and…ummm….