To answer that question truthfully... it’s a lot of both. In fact, the show almost feels like two separate series. The first half of the show came out guns blazing, throwing everything shiny about anime in our faces, and pretty much forgetting that whole thing called storytelling. Now, somewhere along the way, someone totally changed the gears and attempted to make the show much more character driven. Also, at this point production quality slipped ever so slightly.
With that established let’s look at the first half of the show, where all your anime genre orgy dreams came true. The show heavily borrowed from familiar themes and situations, and made absolutely no qualms about it. Ballsy. The strength in that was they never really focussed too much on those themes, they were just kind of there. That being said, the show looked fantastic, and it didn’t hurt to have two exclusive songs from Supercell. However I doubt I can find a fan that can deny that the show deserves its nickname of Evangeass.
The second half of the show flipped the script and focused on the characters much more, but in a totally jarring fashion. One episode the world is ending, everything is hell on earth, the next episode it’s high school drama time. It may sound like I’m complaining, but I found every second of it entertaining. The show became way more interesting at this point, even if it wasn’t quite as pretty as it was. Don’t think for a seconds that the insanity factor toned down at all. It hit ridiculous levels at this point. There are a handful of episodes that I could not explain to you what happened, but I can tell you that I was enthralled and totally entertained.
People really started digging the show after they threw out any need for reasoning or logic. The show is great fun. If you approach it any other way, you may walk away slightly disappointed. Want two endings in one season? This is the show for you.
The main character of Shu Ouma is extremely hard to like at first, but believe me. After he barfs his emotions, insecurities, and presents himself as a pretty hard to like guy --you begin to like the dude. That crazy friend of your with no sense or self esteem, always getting into fights or passing out in a corner. Your party friend.
Now Inori. Early on a pink haired Rei Ayanami. Later in the series, pretty bad ass and integral. There was a lot that could have been done with Inori that wasn’t explored, even her not better half. Maybe they didn’t have enough songs from Supercell to develop the whole Egoist thing, but more of that could have really rounded things out. In the closing moments of the series, you can feel nothing but utter love from the flawed songbird. She isn’t without her nonsense and totally annoying moments, but come on, she is a woman after all!
The rest of the cast including badass/evil ass Gai, are a mixed bunch. They are extreme caricatures of certain anime tropes, but like much of the show, found a way to become likeable and pertinent later in the series. Don’t say I didn't warn you though. The first half of the show you will find yourself naming who each character is from a show you’ve seen.
Now to what usually matters the most. The plot and the way the story unfolded. Like I said before. Doesn’t matter here. I think I get what happened in the show, and why. It doesn’t matter, get over it. Why does bacon taste so good? I don’t question such trivial matters. Just get your pork on.
I almost stopped watching Guilty Crown. I was literally spending a half hour yelling at my TV every week. Then the second half came, and it justified the first half. It was a totally disjointed venture, something I typically would be telling you to stay far away from. Something strange happened though. I find myself recommending the show, actually finding quite a few moments really memorable, and a bit sad it’s all over. Luckily I get to look at the show as a whole, and it’s not a sum of its parts. The good wins over the bad here, don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy?
8.0 - The show had some major flaws, so much so I almost stopped watching. I kept going and discovered a surprisingly entertaining, fun, action packed show.
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