Guilty Crown – 13 Review
Right, because when shit has hit the fan and a city has sunk into chaos every teenager would go to school wearing the school-uniform…
Guilty Crown 13 – You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party
Two weeks have passed, this episode tells us in the beginning and like predicted in these two weeks Shuu has already grown a pair which excludes him from any sort of whining-sequences. Filling that spot will be Ayase who still can’t get over her failure to save Gai. Shuu’s completely fine with it and even has convinced himself that he let Gai die because stabbing someone with a big kick-ass sword isn’t killing or something like that. The evil guys (not the real heroes of this episode, I mean Sergai, Professor-Dude & Co) also have a nasty surprise for the protagonists… Apparently Aquarion Evol isn’t the only series these days realizing that a wall is an amazing plot-device.
After two weeks of chaos and confusion Shuu’s school has become a refuge for all the prestigious under-17-teenager-survivors in Tokyo – and they all wear the school-uniform. Not everyone of Funeral Parlor ended up at that school but most of them did anyway. The known characters who did end up there are members of the ruling council of that school. While they think about their future steps and realize how grim the situation is Souta has the brilliant idea that they should held a cultural festival like they usually did. Because keeping up appearances by having overbearing festivals during a crisis is important. It also cheers up the teenagers in the school – and pisses off everyone else in the city.
Using that aggression Sergai helps a group of Defenders Of Justice who are disgusted by the display of wealth and nonchalance shown by Shuu’s school in contrast to the misery and ruin in the rest of the city. And so they attack. Ayase who’s in a bad mood since Gai died for which she blames herself sees in the attack her chance to finally do something useful. But Shuu just rolls her away first, indirectly telling her that she’s indeed useless (he’s a jerk after all…). But she can convince him to help her and so he pulls out her Void which are a pair of levitation-boots coincidentally. And she uses those to get rid of the Defenders Of Justice despite the fact that sitting in a wheelchair should mean that she can’t move anything below her waist. Shuu also destroys the Endclave by using Inori’s Void. After that display of action everyone in the school claps like that has been some live-action-stunt-show. In the midst of confusion and chaos the school also managed to get the equipment for a EGOIST-concert where Inori shows that she’s quite the one-trick pony with singing the same song we saw her sing in the first episode already.
I assume letting even characters in the series realize how ridiculous the plot was, this whole thing was supposed to be funny or something. Well, it’s not, people are dying in the rest of the city – and these kids organized a festival…
Last week’s Guilty Crown episode was good, I have to repeat that, it was actually good. I was entertained while watching it. Of course it was strange how much of a clean cut the last episode was and I guess nobody could escape the feeling of seeing an acceptable finale. So the preview told us already one giant horrendous detail of this episode: They all go back to school. Tokyo’s central area is buried by crystal-stuff, thousands of people died – and Shuu & Co go back to school.
It isn’t the normal school-life anymore, though. It has become a refuge for lost kids who bravely wear their school-uniforms while around them the whole city is crumbling into ruin and chaos. And these kids are (of course led) by another bunch of kids which are all the known protagonists. Gee, Infinite Ryvius may have been whiny at times but at least it knew what happens when you leave a bunch of brats to their own devices. But not here: Everyone still acts as if this were a normal school, even the punks of the school still bully and pester the weak like they did before the second ‘Lost Christmas’ (it wasn’t Christmas exactly but who cares about these details…). So what I’m getting at is that you never get the sense of crisis from this episode. The city is supposed to be in ruins, people have died, kids have lost their parents – and Ayase gets bullied at school like it’s another one of those school-life- series. The destruction wrought by the last few episodes events is talked about instead of shown and that’s always a bad way of storytelling in my book.
So these kids are sitting around in their own council and ponder the question what the hell they should do now. Then suddenly Souta has a brilliant idea: “Let’s make a school festival!” Yeah, because that will cheer these people up… who lost family, home and money. And the majority of the Council likes the idea although Yuu (who apparently is now the brains of the show) thinks it’s a crappy idea. And everyone else with a decent brain thinks so through but the general public of teenagers at school seems to like it and they spend their time playing “school” although there’s a danger of getting infected, food-shortage, riots and the usual crimes you see committed when chaos rules. It’s a preposterous concept, not only because a very familiar generic trope got shoehorned into the plot at a point where it doesn’t seem appropriate. What’s far worse is how this episode lacks any sort of substance and really goes back to all the flaws of plot-progression the first half had. This kind of episode is the reason why the decent semi-final didn’t get sufficient build-up.
Wait, did the bad guys just build a giant wall around this part of the city with the tech to let it disappear in the ground – and nobody on the imprisoned side noticed any of this?
So looking at the filler-esque plot of this episode there are two elements which got real development over the course of the episode. One is Ayase bitching about her weakness and Gai’s death and the other is the antagonist’s showing up to have some fighting scenes. The rest is very banal except the last few minutes of course.
So, the antagonists… A band of men judging it unfair how the school can have the resources to have a party while around them people struggle to find food or get the cure. Does that strike you as evil? No, me neither. In fact it’s understandable to be baffled by the resourcefulness and cheerfulness of these brats in their school. I have no idea who got the idea for these antagonists but they sure were successful in continuing with the theme of making Shuu look like a jerk. Forgiveness? Naw, just kill the intruders, people above 17 just have to be jerks who don’t deserve mercy or pity in this situation. It certainly also continues the theme of this show which gives the people under 17 all the privileges.
Shuu’s new power is really giving everybody the chance to use their own Void-powers which is as convenient as it gets with the concept of Void, I guess. And Ayase’s Void certainly made me roll my eyes since the Void’s form was once again shaped by plot-convenience. Ayase’s sub-plot of self-pity and whining seems very strange in relation to Shuu’s behavior. Shuu was the wimp and Ayase was the strong one but apparently Shuu has really manned up after Gai’s death and just takes the burden of killing him. It’s funny how Shuu corrected Ayase by saying “You didn’t let him die, I let him die.” since technically Shuu killed Gai, he didn’t let him die. Shuu’s over the death of Gai apparently after two weeks but Ayase just goes on and on being all gloomy and jerky. And all it takes to brighten the mood is her kicking the asses of some random guys. Wow, that really sounds like deep character-development to me. Perhaps everyone should try to kick some random people’s asses the next time anyone’s in a sad mood. You never know, it might cheer you up! Shuu also had a typical jerky moment when it comes to Ayase’s second problem in this episode. She wants to be useful despite not having an Endclave to control. So what does Shuu that jerk does as soon as the action starts? He rolls her away from the action and tells her “Oh, I’ll just roll you to this quiet spot where you can hum and stay out of everybody’s way.”. Then Ayase tells Shuu what a jerk he is, has a dere-moment and then he pulls out her Void out and voila, it’s the one she needs. It’s great how this plot-convenience always seem to help when you need it.
Then the last few minutes of the episode: Whoa, way to make yourself look bad. The Professor-Dude (who should be dead) announces himself to be President of Japan and his first action is building a big wall around great parts of Tokyo. Parts of Tokyo are under quarantine now which weren’t destroyed or ravaged by the previous events. Remember that? Well, no wonder because it’s the exact same thing that already happened at the beginning of this series – only on a larger scale. At the beginning of this series one of Gai’s arguments why GHQ is evil was that the ruins of the quarantined parts aren’t actually full of infected people. Yep, same old shit, history is repeating itself with a speed that qualifies as a serious lack of imagination. It’s only on a larger scale than before but all in all we’re back at the beginning of the series with Funeral Parlor in a wrongly quarantined zone fighting the good fight against GHQ. And there I’ve thought this series would try to depart from the school-setting and delve into the mythology of the Apocalypse-Virus… Well, that wouldn’t be generic enough of course, I guess.
After a rather good episode Guilty Crown returns with an underwhelming aftermath/filler-episode. Most of the characters’ development was inconsequential and it was only Ayase who got any sort of character-development. But her sub-plot like the rest of this episode fails to acknowledge the bigger picture of the setting at this point and fails in creating the appropriate atmosphere. One could also complain that the plot-twist at the end was a poor attempt of kinda time-travelling to the beginnings of this series.