This week marked possibly the greatest moment of the winter season. Fans worldwide most likely danced in the streets in jubilation, starting fires every which way with reckless and gleeful that still have glowing embers as I write this. That’s right, today marks a joyous occasion, in which both Black Rock Shooter and Guilty Crown have come to screeching and catastrophic ends.
Okay, so maybe celebrating the end of both shows wasn’t a good enough cause for wanton property damage, but it’s finally a sign that we can put both of these horrible shows behind us, letting them fester in the squalid realm of forgetfulness, something that I’ve been eager to do for quite awhile. But alas, there’s a reason that I dredge up painful memories of watching these animated abominations, and it’s not just that I want to reflect on how beautifully animated they both were. No, I want to answer the argument that’s been posed by nobody in particular: Which has the worst finale of the two? Well wonder no more, as I shall dig through the shit that encrusts both final episodes to determine this answer that has plagued my morbidly curious self. Here we go!
1. Worst Fight Sequence
Both of these episodes ended in unbelievably anticlimactic, pretentious ways, even when compared to what’s been presented before. Guilty Crown had the most fight sequences of the two, but they were so carelessly intercut with each other that all sense of tension was lost as the audience was left wondering just what the hell was happening. We had the one between Gai and Shoe, between Daryl “Why won’t you fucking die already?” the butcher and the endlave pilots from Funeral Parlor, and between who I assume was Shoe’s mother and her apparent brother… or that woman who looked suspiciously like Shoe’s mom and her brother… or whoever the hell she was. The point is, there was absolutely no point to any of the action and it didn’t flow at all.
On the other hand, Black Rock Shooter had maybe three minutes of actual fighting toward the beginning of the episode, the only three minutes that held my interest throughout. The rest was nothing but dreadful angst and horrible symbolism. Still, the quality of those three minutes was actually good, compared with Guilty Crown’s schizophrenic mess. Point of awfulness goes to…
2. Most Hilariously Cringe-Worthy Use of Dramatic Music
Guilty Crown wins this right away for a number of reasons, the first being that Black Rock Shooter was completely devoid of memorable insert music. The biggest reason though is the ominous singing used when Mana began her ballet of death sounded like Mushmouth from Fat Albert trying to sing in Latin after his balls dropped. Point goes to…
3. Most Nonsensically Out of Place Themes
Guilty Crown: Nothing but random biblical allegories, ascension to a higher plane of being, and the glorification of needless sacrifice. The sheer number of characters in this episode that could have avoided biting the dust is staggering. Though since this is entirely an action show about a teenager whining from Point A to Point B in every episode while somehow avoiding death, these fit somewhat well while still being entirely superfluous and horribly executed.
Black Rock Shooter: From what I could string together from this melodramatic mess, the point that they want to get across is that taking on others’ burdens will ultimately lead to one feeling saddled with too many bad vibes, but that’s nothing a good ol’ slog in the Subconscious Battle Arena won’t solve. I guess what the show means is that catharsis is good… or something. I still don’t get it, nor do I get the use of that color bird book in getting that point across. Winner is Black Rock Shooter, if only because it didn’t know what it wanted to settle on.
4. Missing Side Character That Almost Made the Show Worth It
Guilty Crown had Dan Eagleman aka the best fucking character to ever happen to anime. What do you do when you have to target a ship and the only missiles you have are surface-to-air? Simply tip the missile silos over and shoot them horizontally! Alas, we lost Mr. Eagleman early on, so his sudden return would’ve been out of context even for Guilty Crown. It would’ve made the show much better, but that’s barely an excuse for violating your own incredibly dumb canon.
However, Black Rock Shooter had that school counselor that seemed hell-bent on making sure that her students suffered as much as possible in her office despite giving them coffee. Even though her motivations were kind of explained later, there was simply no reason to leave her out. Point goes to…
Black Rock Shooter
5. Most Annoying Deus Ex Machina
This was admittedly a pretty tough choice since both were just terrible. Guilty Crown had Shoe on the brink of defeat, only to be saved by Inori in the form of a crystal flower… who then proceeded to save him again when he was finally (mercifully) about to be swallowed up by the crystals. Meanwhile, Black Rock Shooter had Mato’s realization casting sunlight onto the dark BRS World, apparently saving everyone from further melodrama. So uh… yay for that? Point goes to Guilty Crown, because the world needed Shu to die for its sins, preferably staying dead.
6. Level of Boredom
Guilty Crown may be incorrigibly stupid, but at least it’s entertainingly so. Black Rock Shooter was so dull that I spaced out during the last fifteen minutes, only remembering that something was going on about a girl from Mato’s universe wanting her to resolve her problems and crumbling to dust for some reason as a result. At least most of Guilty Crown stuck, for better or for worse. Point goes to…
Black Rock Shooter
7. Biggest Overall Disappointment of a Finale
Both final episodes had a fair bit of closure, which is about the only good thing I can say about them. Black Rock Shooter’s was an annoying “Everyone just needs to calm the fuck down” said in more boring words, with everyone completely ignoring what happened before and being so friendly that just looking at them would be enough to give anybody in their world diabetes. Meanwhile, Guilty Crown had that gibberish about ascending to crystal and redemption and needing Mana to finish destroying the world and shit like that. Black Rock Shooter would take the award for nearly putting me to sleep, but Shu didn’t actually die at the end of Guilty Crown. He’s still alive at the end, something that I just can’t forgive. Point goes to Guilty Crown because fuck Shu for living and not being Crystal Jesus.
With a tally of 4-3, Guilty Crown barely edges out Black Rock Shooter for ending as the most detestable lump of shit imaginable. Congratulations, you abhorrent little shit, you certainly earned it. Both shows were incredibly eager to be just awful, but only Guilty Crown could kill its canon, skullfuck it each episode, and pass it off as the greatest anime achievement since ever, something that Black Rock Shooter couldn’t even dream of doing to such a degree. I hope you enjoyed this edition of “Which Finale Was Worse?” and will exercise discretion if you have to choose between the two for some reason.