Guilty Crown. Maaaaaan, Guilty Crown. My feelings on this show are somewhat well documented, and as you might understand picking just one moment from this colossal trainwreck is a nigh impossible task. I could list all possible ones, but that would just read like a breakdown of the entire plot.
By what criteria do we judge a suitable moment from Guilty Crown. When it jumped the shark? But was there ever a time when it wasn’t flying high over the ocean? Its most offensive scene? Offending what? My morals, my intellect, my very being? Its dumbest bit? See my arguments above against listing all possible moments.
No, I had to go a different route. This crowning moment is chosen not for its stupidity or offensiveness or anything like that, for there were plenty worse, but for being the one moment where I lost the ability to even articulate any thoughts or questions regarding the staff’s creative decisions. Other times I could at least see what they were trying to accomplish, or it was so obvious that they had no idea what they were doing and were just pulling whatever they could out of their arses. This one scene though… this one scene.
To comprehend just how awful this scene was, we need a little background first. Shu started out as a spineless, whiny, awful piss-stain of a human. And then he got magical powers, whined, fell in love, whined, saw his childhood friend die, whined, and then became the leader of the resistance of high schoolers. And whined a bit more. A manipulative friend of his suggested that he impose a hierarchical rule based on how innately useful everyone was. The lower classes would receive less and do more than the best, the superior humans.
That’s right. Shu became Hitler.
You’d think that’d be it, wouldn’t you? No? Not even when he fucking EMBRACED that shit after a friend died? Nah, of course not. It couldn’t be that. No, what I’m looking at is so much better.
After some fighting, including getting his ass (and arm) handed to him by his zombie childhood friend, he and the stripper Inori go into hiding. Then shit goes down and he needs to save the day and protect his friends.
This moment was meant to be the most important moment of his entire character arc. Where he rises to the challenge, grows a pair, and becomes the hero the world needs.
This was what I expected.
What I didn’t expect was for him to become fucking Jesus.
Let that sink in. Jesus. As in, Christ. As in, the single most culturally important individual in western culture, whose teachings represent a cornerstone of morality and ethics for millions — billions — worldwide.
A whiny, obnoxious, teenage anime boy became him.
He absorbed everyone’s cancerous crystals into his own body, healing them and hurting himself. The crystals which represent humanity’s guilt… sin even. He was to become a saviour and a martyr. He was to wear the crown of thorns… the guilty crown.
WHY DID NOBODY ON THE CREATIVE STAFF NOTICE HOW GODDAMN MORONIC AND LUDICROUS AND HILARIOUSLY TERRIBLE THIS WAS.
Perhaps it doesn’t sound it to you. That’s because you haven’t seen it. In the moments preceding it, he flies around like a cybernetic dolphin, kills a bad guy in a manner that was oddly homoerotic, and grows a freaking magical arm to replace the one he lost.
AND THEN HE BECOMES JESUS.
His character development was all building up to make him Jesus. HIM. SHU. MOTHERFUCKING SHU WAS BUILT UP TO BECOME JESUS. FUCKING. CHRIST.
I could forgive it if it were just me reading far too deeply into the imagery and symbolism. BUT I’M FUCKING NOT.
IT COULD ONLY BE MORE OBVIOUS IF THEY EXPLICITLY SAID “GOSH HE SURE LOOKS LIKE JESUS FREAKING CHRIST”.
It was absurd. It was ham-handed. It was fucking Guilty Crown. Everything after? Merely badly written. Everything before? It was all building to this.
I wish I had the words to explain it better. I truly do. But they, by their very nature, cannot do it justice. It has to be seen to render you speechless in disbelief.
The best worst moment in anime this year. Well… at least I thought so for the longest time…