So following the aggravating disappointment that was Negima’s end as well as the sad example of unimaginative thinking that was Mass Effect 3’s ending, I sat down and finished the anime “Guilty Crown.” As you can probably tell by the less than optimistic title to this post, that didn’t end well either.
The series follows a young man named Shoe who goes off and gets involved with terrorists after he inadvertently absorbs their superweapon. With the idealistic goal of making friends and gaining the affections of a convenient pop idol who can pop off a headshot at 50 meters, Shoe embarks on a journey to take down a bunch of vague tyrannical government agencies that in no way represent American intrusion into the Japanese economic system. After getting made fun of and generally shown how much of a beta he is to the terrorist alpha leader Guy, he ultimately comes into his own, mastering his mystical power of FRIENDSHIP WEAPONS to demolish the tyrannical puppet government at the cost of his new/old friend Guy. While this only takes up the first half of the series, I liked it. I was rooting for Shoe despite the terrible (English) connotations of his name, and honestly was interested in seeing him grow.
The second half of the series takes fans’ expectation of a cool action sci-fi shonen romp and punches it in the face. Shoe’s growth is implied to be complete, but that too is quickly shot down along with his right arm. More than half the main cast dies on both sides and by the end Shoe is left with a rather bleak resolution to the crisis after fighting Zombie Guy and getting most of his schoolmates killed. Apparently he can barely see, has poor motor control, and didn’t grow his arm back. I have to say that while I can admire bits of sacrifice as far as some plotlines go, the series basically left Shoe with next to nothing besides a replacement girlfriend in a wheelchair. Admittedly, it could’ve ended much worse, but I feel like Shoe sacrificing himself would’ve fit in with the series’ theme near the end. It’s bleak and depressing regardless, but I can’t help but feel this ending was actually crueler to poor Shoe. Kinda screwed up, to be honest, because the way I saw it all his hard work doomed him to a debilitatingly slow death in a physically broken form without the love of his life to help get him through it. Even his surviving friends seem to not have been in contact with him on a regular basis.
Now that we’re past the review, let’s see about something else- some odd facets I’ve noticed through these fictional endeavors about myself, in particular this show. I find myself largely content in my day-to-day activities, but whenever I consider the future, I either experience gut-wrenching terror or dark, poisonous fatalism. I have no real dream or ambition beyond having the means to live comfortably and carefree. I’m told I’m good at writing, among some other things, but I honestly can’t tell whether I’m just kidding myself because I’m lazy or if I genuinely don’t care. Even with some kind of talent I have no idea how to utilize these skills effectively and the ways I have been taught don’t work for me. These shows, games, and other mediums that I peruse consistently point out characters with goals that they not only work reasonably hard toward, but seem to have the proper skill set to achieve. I’m fully aware that the plots are what make things work out for the protagonists most of the time, but I can’t help but be jealous on some level. I look at a number of goals I might find myself working toward and soon discount even the process of working, because I’ve already found it to be a fruitless and unsatisfying endeavor. Even what work I do get done feels empty and not my own. Take this blog for instance. I’ve already come to terms with the fact that it will not be successful, will not help me in any feasible way, and will ultimately be left to collect dust when I can no longer work on it for whatever reason.
I guess you could say that I’m like a lot of people who want validation for their continued existence. Being an unemployed full-time student who has never taken a significant break from school, I have yet to see a real payoff for any work I’ve ever done, and don’t feel as if I can really contribute anything to people.
I could go on about these issues of mine, but it’s midnight where I am and about the only thing that will make me feel useful in the morning is a good night’s rest. As for Guilty Crown, it’s an entertaining series with a unique flavor, not to mention character design by a Deviantart user. Need something out of the ordinary but still recognizable? It’s a good bet.