If I ever were to become a writer, should I ration out all of my “good” ideas for other works or use them on one? Well that depends, really. Am I writing to cover my point only; for no sequels whatsoever, am I trying to make my work the next big series, or am I trying to get famous for the sake of being such? The anime Guilty Crown attempts all three ideas and, let me say, puts all of its eggs in one, crushed basket.
Ever since “Lost Christmas,” an apocalyptic virus pandemic that swept through Japan in 2029, Japan has been under the influence of a government organization called GHQ that is set out on curing the virus while managing public safety. Shu Ouma, your average normal high school teen who is bound by “fake” friendships, is thrown into a rebellious group by the cold name of Funeral Parlor when he gets infected with a stolen Void Genome. Given the “King’s Power,” a biological weapon that allows him to draw out voids, which are physical manifestations of one’s heart or soul, distraught Shu is forced to fight on the front lines against the twisted government and their ultimate plan to resurrect the “Eve” of the apocalypse virus.
When I summarize the plot for my reviews, I do so with the intent of leaving out any spoilers that might ruin one’s experience, like ya do. But in this anime’s case, I left out A LOT. For spoiler’s sake? No. Simply because there is way too much going on in Guilty Crown. I know this anime was wanting to be the next “end of the world” type that covers every single detail to the finale, and that’s fine, but some of these ideas don’t even flow well together. The show’s story steals something precious from every solid robot/action anime prior to its own existence, so why would I not want to watch it? It’s too choppy; fails to explain itself and its motives by just throwing in ridiculous action scenes, one-liners, or ways to put the main character through hell.
While many people disagree with the many, many characters, I think that they are one of this show’s few saving graces. I found Shu Ouma to be a very relatable character (I love his hair). He lacks confidence and so he regrets his mistakes too much – but that’s what makes him such an ideal protagonist. He is, in his friend Hare’s words, “The Kind King.” You can especially witness his behavioral changes a little more than halfway through the series. There is the most powerful and memorable event in the anime (I cried, and I don’t ever cry for anime).
Gai Tsutsugami is the other male lead. He acts without feelings to his followers yet when he does express the slightest emotions, they are meaningful and inspiring. Leadership is one of the story’s main themes, and Gai presses that issue to the point where you’d follow him to the end, too. Though corrupt, he truly is a good leader.
I was actually a bit disappointed in the show’s female lead, Inori Yuzuriha. I can’t mention a whole lot about her for spoiler’s sake, but she is pretty static as a character. I mean, she’s a famous Japanese pop singer, a dangerous fugitive of Funeral Parlor, and more. She plays the role she is given, but you’d wish she did a little more in the first half of the show. However, she does have brilliant costume designs if that counts for anything!
As I mentioned earlier, the animation by Production I.G is stunning. Everything from the vivid voids, the sharp, geometric architecture, and detailed characters are brilliantly done up. There are many unique character outfits, so that is also a plus. The animation quality remains strong to the end.
The openings, “My Dearest” written by Supercell, performed by Koeda and “The Everlasting Guilty Crown” by Egoist, a unique band from the show featuring the voice of Inori, show rapid flashing images with upbeat tempos. The sweet first ending, “Departures – Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta,” is also performed by Egoist. A shout out to “Euterpe,” the best insert song I have ever heard and have even memorized the lyrics to J which is also performed by Egoist.
Hiroyuki Sawano brings to the show epic techno soundtracks that add to the wonderfully choreographed battles. He provides suspense and drama in softer times, too. “Bios Delta,” the main theme of the show, is just mindblowing – a perfect interpretation of Shu Ouma’s struggle! Give all of the songs I listed a listen – you won’t regret it!
Now back to the top, Guilty Crown is a huge, disastrous train wreck, but at that, one hell of a ride. In a similar way to Sword Art Online, I feel that younger viewers would see past the bi-polar character motives and glaring plot errors to just focus on the action and character relationships – well, that and the awesome music! At its time in 2011, the anime tried to be the next big thing, and sadly because of that goal, it was just visually epic; failed to deliver a consistent story to the end. If you enjoy a decent crack at science fiction and the apocalypse, amazing action and intricately romantic scenes, then hey, give it a go. Otherwise I think you can skip this one; it’s just a messy conglomeration of past sci-fi anime. I liked it way more than I should have, though, and its impact on me couldn’t be replaced by any other anime!!
I admit I LOVED GC, and presently, FUNimation’s limited edition copy of Guilty Crown occupies a neat section of my shelf, waiting to be downloaded and heard by the world as the song of the apocalypse. “The right to use my friend as a weapon – that is the sinful crown I shall adorn.” What a great caption for Shu.
And with that I hope you all have a less complicated day! I say “Hi and welcome to Takuto’s Anime Café” for all new followers and viewers. You’re awesome 😉 Hit that like button if you enjoyed this review and until next time, this has been
– Takuto, your host