Guilty Crown – 12

Anti Bodies Chief Koudou captures Inori with the goal of reawakening Mana, the entity that caused the first Lost Christmas. Koudou wants to bring about a second, remaking the world for him to rule. But he has to ‘marry her’ in a strange ceremony. With Gai and Ayase’s help, Shu remembers what he had forgotten: Inori/Mana was his big sister, and together they found Gai washed up on a beach and became good friends. When Mana touched the purple rock, she became infected by Mana, eventually leading to the Lost Christmas. Shu draws out Gai’s void – a gun that itself draws out voids, then uses Inori’s sword void to stab Mana, sacroficing Gai as well. Apocalypse averted.

Well, now, that certainly took a few twists and turns we were not expecting. Seriously, a whole lot of stuff came out of left field this week; much of which, as far as we know, wasn’t ever foreshadowed or touched upon in the previous eleven episodes. We knew there was something odd about Inori, but never suspected she was some kind of clone of Shu’s big sister. Of course, with this revelation, there are a few uncomfortable Luke+Leia moments, but chalk that up to his sis being under the influence of what is essentially a horny demigoddess.

As for Gai, well, we hardly knew ye…until your last episode. Turns out the reason Shu has been such a bland, wishy-washy character is because he repressed much of who he was, who Gai will say he emulated. “You can be me, like I was once you,” he says in his last moments. Shu used to be a take-charge, assertive dude, and can be again. So he takes charge, and saves the frikkin’ world in the deal. This episode wasn’t without its oddities (crystal eyeball monsters? Digital nuptual veils?), but we still enjoyed it; it was a pretty nice wrap-up to the Undertakers vs. Anti Bodies arc. So…what’s next? Where does the show go from here?

Rating: 3

Inu x Boku SS – 01

Ririchiyo Shirakiin is a member of a very rich and powerful household, but due to being bullied for her wealth in her past, she has developed the bad habit of verbally abusing anyone who talks to her. She moves to Ayakashi Kan, a exclusive mansion for elites, in order to be alone and independant. There she meets the Secret Service agent assigned to protect her, the utterly devoted Soushi. She remains aloof and irritable towards him until a burglar infiltrates the mansion and accosts her. Soushi transforms into a fox spirit and stops the assailant. Everyone there, including Ririchiyo, are human/demon hybrids.

This is the story of a spoiled, bratty, petitie tsundere, and how many times per episode the animators can get away with showing her panties. Just kidding, but honestly, our first impression of Ririchiyo pretty much matches her own opinion of herself: boring and kinda useless. Everyone can magically transform into demons or spirits by making their eyes glow all spooky-like, but she never gets to transform this episode, which seems kind of odd. We learned so much about her, why not show her other side?

There are other problems: the butler/bodyguard/stalker Soushi seems like a nice enough guy, but there’s not that much to him either, at least not anything that jumps out at us. The pink-haired Karuta’s ability to transport seems like a somewhat forced opportunity for future fanservice; ditto the public bath. I guess what we’re trying to say is, this season looks really promising, but this series does not. It seems to us like a rehash of Otome Youkai Zakuro; not bad, but not that good either. Which makes this the first true dud of the season.

Rating: 2.5