Guilty Crown – 13
OP2: 「The Everlasting Guilty Crown」 by EGOIST
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「学園 isolation」 (Gakuen)
After the conclusion of “Guilty Crown season one” last week, I’m admittedly torn over the direction of this continuation. The new opening sequence foreshadows a much darker and gloomier tone with Shuu manning up in Gai’s absence, but the episode itself switches back to the school life side of things with a culture festival during a quarantine lockdown. This isn’t the first anime to suggest something as preposterous as holding a school culture festival to help students forget about the graveness of a situation — nor will it be the last — but I really don’t feel that Guilty Crown is in any position to do so after finally making good on its questionable start. Episode twelve was a definite improvement from a series standpoint, albeit still a bit too forced at times, so I had to question the decision to try and lighten the mood immediately after. After all, only two weeks had passed since the repeat of the Lost Christmas. I would’ve like to see a lot more guilt, sadness, and distress in the characters, especially over Gai’s death and the fate of Funeral Parlor, rather than everyone taking it so well. Objectively speaking, the episode itself was perfectly fine; the timing of it was another matter though.
At this point, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Guilty Crown will have a questionable direction — or at the very least, one that I don’t quite understand what the producers have in mind — so I see little point in sounding like a broken record by bringing up the “concerns” that I have before. Execution-wise, I did find it a bit unbelievable to see the other students get on board with Souta’s culture festival idea, and even more so that the extremely volatile Daryl somehow “degraded” to a male tsundere. I dare say I had more respect for him when he heartlessly shot a mother and killed his father after finding out he has a mistress. The mere idea that he has any redeeming aspects is just weird, since I don’t see him quite on the same twisted and manipulative level as Segai. The latter will likely have a prominent role now that Shuuichirou’s cut him off and decided to be the temporary President — not Prime Minister — of Japan, whereas Daryl will probably remain his henchmen at best.
I’m not too sure what Shuuichirou hopes to achieve by sectioning off the area around ground zero — or why he’s still alive — but I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Black Spot in NEEDLESS and to a lesser degree, the Great Tokyo Earthquake in Deadman Wonderland. It’ll be interesting to see how this next arc plays out surrounding this cliffhanger given the similarities, considering that Mana is technically gone and his plan of reviving her through Inori has been derailed. It was a bit unusual to see this moment built up toward by an Ayase-centric episode, but I was willing to overlook that to a certain degree since I’ve been wanting to see more of her character. Granted, these were still far from ideal circumstances to show off her Void Legs — i.e. against some throwaway thugs whom Segai supplied an Endlave with — even if it improved her relationship with Shuu and showcased more of our main protagonist’s evolved power.
While I didn’t particularly mind either development — not even how Void Weapons can be used by their owners now — the latter did come off as a deus ex machina last time. It helps that using one’s own Void Weapon is going to be an integral part of the plot now, but wow did it come out of nowhere. It was almost as if the writers had only decided on that plot point last episode and are now running with it. Whatever the case, I just hope it pans out better than it was brought up, starting with a noticeable shift away from the high school aspect and toward the tone set in the new opening sequence.
ED2: 「告白」 (Kokuhaku) by supercell
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