Guilty Crown 2, Kimi to Boku 3, iDOLM@STER 16

After the second episode I’m still of two minds about Guilty Crown. There’s nothing that really sets it apart from any other SF anime out there. All the gear and the standard plot bits are there. But they’re oddly put together and I am not sure whether the creators are being inept or have something up their sleeve.

We start with Shu dragging his magic sword around, still wreaking havoc on the bad buy forces, known as “Antibodies” because they have the legal ability to declare people “infected” and dispatch them without trial, in other words, they’re another ruthless army with yet another justification for their cruelty. This is demonstrated by a group execution scene complete with pleading mother and child, but we’ll get to that. After the Antibodies withdraw, well after we meet Daryl, your typical prissy/mad killer bad guy, Shu meets up with the rebel leader Gai, who’s not much fun himself. He’s pissed at Shu for using the Void Genome meant for him, so he grabs Shu by the coller and tosses out some “You’re in it or you’re not” lines. Everyone else in his army (named The Funeral Parlor, for reasons either hard to translate or inane to begin with) hangs on his every word. He might be right, and his actions justified, but he’s such a dick that I personally would have trouble following him.

In real life, when a commander says something like this, it's time to get a new commander.

He plans to get some people rescued from an underground parking lot, and without any explanation Shu is crawling through conduits staring at Inori’s ass in front of him. We get that execution scene, THEN their attack is launched. Which is actually a nice touch. FP just wasn’t in position yet, and so some innocent people died. The battle is good fun to watch, as are all the action scenes in this show, but really nothing more than a staredown between the two field leaders.

Thinking about it all too closely won’t help your opinion. What about all the poison gas bombs the Antibodies rigged? Why did it suddenly become Gai vs. that bald guy? How did timid Shu suddenly find himself in the fight? I imagine Inori gave him some type of courage-enhancement when she transformed, but what about before? How could he just go back to school the next day? And that’s the oddest thing about the episode. The last few minutes looks like a series finale, with rescued citizens blinking in the sunlight of freedom, etc. And Shu’s back at school. And to cap it off, we get that old anime cliché: Inori enters his class as a transfer student. Hey, this is a noitaminA show! Even the failed recent series didn’t go that far. It makes me think that there’s more to this, like the show is going to turn into a commentary of SF anime clichés. … Well, probably not. But I’ll say it again, the show looks great.

In Kimi to Boku 3 we meet chizuru, the straw-haired boy who we see in all the credits. He’s pretty much as expected, an excitable guy. And he seems to remember Yuki from childhood. This gives the four guys all sorts of chances for puzzled, nonchalant dialogue. While there’s a mystery as to how he knows Yuki (turns out he met both twins, and let me just say here, that it’s not fair when they both wear the beige blazer. How am I to tell them apart?), I was waiting for the moment when he meets Shun and realizes he’s actually a guy. His initial confusion brought out the best lines of the episode from Yuta and Kaname.

The IDOLM@STER 16 brings us the return of Kuroi and the evil 961 company, this time set out to sabotage and Hibiki’s animal show and discredit her in the process. And she doesn’t help matters by having a fight with her star dog before the filming. It’s all ridiculous. Animals and people travel great distances to reach one another, Hibiki slides down a cliff and doesn’t injure herself. I could mention the fact that Hibiki can communicate to her pets, but that feels like a natural thing for this show. Oh, there’s a bit with Chihaya having a bad dream at the show’s start, but we don’t get any more than that.

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