Back with the much awaited and anticipated (for me, at least) 22nd and final episode of the Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 series, Guilty Crown. If you don’t want spoilers…why are reading? Spoiling is the like the only way to get across the sheer mind-blowing emotions and opinions I have right now. So I guess I’ll just apologize in advance. To make up for it, I’ll promise no spoiling in the final review coming soon. But if you haven’t watched yet, please don’t read this. Take 30 minutes to watch, take another 30 minutes to pick up your jaw off the floor, come back and read :3
This is the final chapter of the story, the world stands at a crux, Gai’s Fourth Apocalypse will either ravage the Earth and select out a new human race with the Apocalypse Virus, or Shu can become the king and savior, draw his friends’ voids, and stop the annihilation of the world as we know it. With Mana in full control of Inori’s body, she’s begun to spread the virus acros the globe, creating a genomic resonance not seen since the Lost Christmas incident. This time, the disturbance is great enough to interfere with the Endleave RC signal, causing units to drop left and right, including Ayase’s, which now leaves the Funeral Parlor crew sitting ducks at the mercy of Daryl and his massive Gespenst unit.
As it seems the entire world’s armies press assaults into Tokyo, Gai’s forces hold strong, including Kuhouin who uses her shield void to keep back intruding ground forces. The Apocalypse Virus is steadily covering the planet, virtually leaving no one left in its wake. Soldiers continue to fight, half devoured by the virus, as Shu and Gai lock horns in a battle of kings. Gai cuts down all of Shu’s attacks, rendering each of his friend’s voids useless. After a slash to arm, Gai stands over Shu to deliver the final blow, and as Shu lies numb on the floor, he hears Inori call out to him…here’s one of my few complaints about this final episode: Gai and Shu’s battlefield scenery seems to shift constantly. All of a sudden, a crystal flower (that I guess contained Inori’s essence or soul or void) appears, and Shu draws that classic sword-void. [Return to original hexagon staged field] Shu, with Inori in tow, takes his heavy strike at Gai, as Inori’s song begins to resonate, overshadowing Mana’s accursed virus.
As Inori’s song fills the air, Ayase direct connects back into her Endleave as Tsugumi retakes control of the bases computers (away from the double-crossing, two-timing mass murderer, Kenji). Daryl’s Gespenst is impressive, but ultimately no match for a two-front attack from Ayase and Tsugumi. All of the GHQ defensives begin to crumble, and even Keido sees the truth of their defeat, as he injects himself with the virus. As Gai begins to fade away, he and Shu are taken to the utopia Da’at envision, a world where the human consciousness became immortalized in the crystal structures of the virus. Gai admits his true intentions from start, how he was truly afraid of going unselected, which is why he so desired to become Mana’s “Adam” into the new world. He knew the only way to truly stop Mana was to make her desire come true, and unleash the apocalypse, so Gai helped her achieve this, hoping Shu would be there to stop it, the true King becoming a Savior to the world.
In one of the most visually stunning scenes I’ve ever laid eyes on, Shu and Inori (taken back control from Mana), take on the void resonance and apocalypse virus, freeing the world from the ravages and double-edged swords of these heart manifestations. People everywhere, crippled from the virus, are restored to their former health, and voids Shu and Gai had released were returned back to their owners. It becomes a mad scramble to escape the crumbling GHQ base, Ayase and Tsugumi escape because of Argo’s sacrifice, and Daryl escapes with a final wish from Rowan, to be kinder towards others.
In a surprising twist, it seems Shu survived the apocalypse with only his eyesight and already-missing left arm taken in the fray. The world has returned to the everyday norm we all know and love, as the group of heros celebrate the birthday of their tragically fallen friend, Hare. Though Inori didn’t survive the event, Shu still reminisces and carries her memory with him always. I feel like there are too many unfinished character stories, but maybe I’m just being greedy. (What of Daryl and Kuhouin? We’re all certain Daryl at least tried to get close to Tsugumi, and what will Kuhouin do now that Gai is gone?)
In the final review I’ll cover aspects from the spectrum ranging from plot to sound (best part of Guilty Crown) to animation and visuals. But as for this final episode, though the action and dynamic animation seemed to drag a bit in the previous episodes, this seemed to keep par and even set the bar for the series in terms of quality. My appreciation goes out for not slacking off at the end. If you want a sampling of the sound for Guilty Crown in general, they pretty much included the whole soundtrack in this one episode (not really, but you get my point). And I was afraid they plot would be wrapped up too quickly, but it was somehow pulled off if a very well-done framework of scene sequencing, everything (while technically happening simultaneously) flowed together very well to weave a good picture of the events unfolding around the Fourth Apocalypse. A very fitting and well played ending to what has been, at times, a rocky and tumultuous series.
As stated, I’ll go more in depth on the series in a final review to come in the next week or so.
Until next time,