Un-Go – 11 (Fin)

Everyone is invited back to the damaged TV studio and given weapons. But Shinjurou insists everyone stay calm as he works through the mystery. Kaishou reveals himself after a staged gunfight, but Shinjurou exposes him as a double created by Bettenou. He names Hayami as the culprit, working with Kuramitsu to eliminate the threat of Kaishou, and in Hayami’s case, to be acknowledged by Izumi. Inga chases down and devours Bettenou, who is not a true god. Even with this mystery solved, Shinjurou still has questions for Rinroku. He finally sits down with Rie and tells her about how a woman who became Inga saved his life.

Kudos to Bones for giving this relatively brief 11-episode series a stirring, mind-twisting send-off. We enjoyed every episode thoroughly, and as a result has earned the highest rating of the Fall shows (not including Penguindrum). We’re not sure if this final mystery was our very favorite (the Kazamori arc was awfully good), but it can claim the most twists and turns, and put Bettenou’s reality-warping powers to more clever, subtler use than her introduction. Our experience watching taught us to suspect the characters who either appear the most innocent or the most underused, and the revelation of Hayami and Kuramitsu as the culprits proved us correct.

The overarching theme of this mystery, and perhaps all those before it, is that we are driven by those we perceive to be gods, whether they truly are or not. Hayami’s God was Izumi’s acceptance; Kuramitsu’s was the power of the government; Inga’s was Bettenou; Rinroku’s was the dream of a world without borders. And Shinjurou? The Truth is his god. For him, it isn’t enough for him to better himself. He wants to expose everyone’s souls until that final truth is uncovered. It may only be another impossible goal, but working towards it gives his existence purpose, while repaying the woman who saved his life and became Inga.

Rating: 4

Guilty Crown – 11

With the apocalypse virus running rampant across the city and the Undertakers pinned at GHQ headquarters, Shu is racked with guilt, but Hare and Tsugumi snap him out of it. He gathers his classmates together and gives them the skinny on how he can draw out voids, how he drew theirs out before, and how he needs their help to save the Undertakers, who gave him the chance to be “someone who matters.” They storm GHQ while Inori sings a song that cures the city, but when Shu reunites with her, a pocket in space opens and a mysterious person draws out her void and nearly kills him, but Gai takes the blow.

The finale to Guilty Crown’s first half pulls out all the stops, and we mean all of them: we were reminded of such epicness as Macross Frontier (the last series we watched in which a songstress played a vital role) and Evangelion (what with all the apocalyptic sky-scorching, big bad government officials, and mythic superweapons). All this goes to show that when push comes to shove, we’ve seen most everything that’s in this series; it’s shounen with a slick futuristic sheen. But just because it reminds us of stuff doesn’t mean we haven’t enjoyed just about every minute of it and are eager to see how the good ol’ cliffhanger is resolved.

Like any good stopping place, this week gave everyone some time, including all of Shu’s friends, and hell, he even confessed what he is and what he’s done to them. They took it well, and it was cool to involve them, although we somewhat doubt they’d survive being tossed around in that Humvee as much as they were. Shu’s grand to-the-rescue entrance, making use of all his friends’ voids, was particularly rousing, and even his mom lends a hand with the hacking! Shu has had a crown all this time, but he’s felt guilty about using it. But it looks like someone’s taking that crown, and he’ll have to stop that guy and save Inori.

Rating: 3.5

Guilty Crown will conclude in mid-January 2012.