「流離 Dear…」 (Ryuuri)
“Okay… I’m way too tired to be writing about an episode like this, so you guys can have first crack at it. I’ll have a full write-up tomorrow.”
I didn’t intend to make my original note to be as sarcastic as it ended up sounding — as I was simply too tired from work to put together a coherent post for such an episode full of “interesting” developments — but it does touch upon my ever-changing impression of this series. While Guilty Crown does continue to entertain and spark lots of discussion in some form, it’s almost as if the writers have very little regard for how they go about it. They’re throwing out a lot of sudden plot twists that come completely out of left field and feel like obvious attempts to win audiences over with sheer shock value. Some are all right and have some form of precedence, which is key in my eyes for believability and continuity sake, whereas others just feel tacked on, creating a dissonance between what the series looked like it was going to be and what it eventually became. It’s as if Guilty Crown is a “work in progress” with a rapidly evolving storyline, and the writers themselves have lost sight of their original vision. When on-the-fly writing is done in a humorous way, it’s all fine and dandy, but not so much when it’s for an original series that’s taking itself seriously and showed so much potential five months ago.
If we’re talking specifics, Gai’s return and use of the Leukocyte orbital weapons to hold the world hostage is actually something I can get on board with since it has precedence in the form of prior build-up. The same goes for the questionable yet growing interest that Daryl has in Tsugumi, and Arisa happily being a tool for Gai in any way, shape, or form. I even liked how Gai did us a favor by sacrificing all of Shuu’s former followers without a second thought, as they were slated to die at some point in my mind. I’m also okay with the sudden implication that Kenji may have struck a deal with GHQ, since it seems like something his character would do. What left me scratching my head though was the way Arisa’s grandfather was scripted to show up only to allow himself to be killed. Did he simply outlive his role in the show and didn’t deserve any more screen time, or was I supposed to feel sympathetic to either situation there? I’m still not sure. Then there’s the recent introduction of Kurachi 「倉知」 (Kawashou Miyuki), whom everyone treats like she’s been here all along yet seems like she’s only here to fill in the depleted ranks in Funeral Parlor. Her name has yet to be mentioned in the show, which is why I mistook her for the nameless girl in episode 16, and I really don’t see what she adds to the story at this point, other than being the one who pointed out that Daath is an organization older than Freemasons and Zionists — yet another head-scratching revelation this late in the series.
In terms of more notable developments, I’m still having difficulty accepting Haruka’s inconsistent stance on trying to run away from Shuuichirou before and working with him now — to the point that she actually hopes chopping Shuu’s arm off will free him from his fate. That kind of inner turmoil just didn’t seem appropriate, nor did it come off all that sincere, even with Ouma Kurosu coming into the picture. Will Haruka’s guilt lead her to do something significant next time? Perhaps, but it won’t wipe away all the other less agreeable stuff that’s happened up to this point. Last but definitely not least is the “awakening” of Inori. I can’t say I feel the need to actually transform her into an actual monster beyond the lingering Mana presence — going back to what I said earlier about plot twists for the sake of shock value — but everything leading up to that point with her attachment to Shuu wasn’t too bad from a characterization standpoint. If nothing else, Shuu looks like he’s ready to become useful again, as hinted by the black and green arm in the opening sequence, and the preview suggests that Haruka will be the one to get a hold of the third and last Void Genome, so it’ll be interesting to see how this roller coaster ride of a series ends.
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