|Guilty Crown: More than just a Familiar Tale||1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
A young adolescent boy just wants to be left alone. He does not have many friends, but he is okay with that. On an ordinary day, at his ordinary secret hideout, he finds internet celebrity Yuzuriha Inori, injured and on the run from authorities. Swept into a world of violence and dystopia, Ouma Shu, the main-protagonist, finds himself caught up with the often misunderstood terrorist group, the Funeral Parlor, and its young leader, Tsutsugami Gai. Inadvertently, taking an experimental drug, the “Void Genom,” Shu gains the ability to manifest the hearts of others in the form of weapons and tools (voids). The scared and inexperienced Shu is hesitant about fighting, but with Inori’s support, he finds the courage to defend his friends, fight for his beliefs, and to shoulder the burden of everyone around him. “Believe. You can definitely do it. Because… I belong to you now.”
As a reviewer, I almost feel obligated to point out a few of the more obviously borrowed themes and story beats.
I would argue that Guilty Crown's most criminal offense is how comparable it is to Eureka Seven, but this does the series no justice. I could continue to go on about how similar the two series are (Gekkostate vs Funeral Parlor, Gai vs Holland, Lost Christmas vs Summer of Love), but I would prefer to make another argument--that this anime series can be compared to a more well known story.
Bottom-line: This is not just a Eureka Seven clone. Believe me on this one, because its coming from someone who, from the bottom of his heart, wanted Guilty Crown to be.
Anyone that knows about my opinions on the state of the anime industry knows that I think its changing. Even though Guilty Crown has more than its fair share of Eureka Seven comparisons, some forget the sheer length of 50 episodes in one series. However, the short and sweet of it all is that Guilty Crown manages to do what Eureka Seven does in just 22 episodes. In a way this is story telling genius.
Guilty Crown’s cast of lovable, hateful, and sympathetic supporting characters is what really differentiates the series from the rest of its contemporaries. It is not only the main character, Shu, who grows and learns life lessons. The writers are not scared to tackle difficult subjects like betrayal, greed, death, and envy. And the way all of the characters learn to cope with these hardships, in one way or another, is what makes everyone’s actions believable and human.
Guilty Crown's excellent story telling lies in the way it makes you absolutely hate a character until his or her motive is finally unveiled. In a kind of sadistic way, it challenges you to not feel compassionate and to not feel empathetic. And in this weird full-circle turn of events, Guilty Crown asks you express forgiveness, one of the more powerful story troupes throughout the 22 episodes.
No words can express how well Guilty Crown uses music, literally no words. From the overall message that music can save lives to the grand concertos that accompany dramatic scenes of the anime, there is a devotion to song throughout the series that is unexplained. And in this case, it is better that its not.
Whether it is Gai's rosary or this obvious allegory to the biblical Adam and Eve story (don't worry that isn't much of a spoiler, but I'll hide it for those more prudent than most), Guilty Crown lives and dies by its symbolism, literally. There is so much to dissect in this series because of how open to interpretation everyone's actions are. And because the character's are so believably human, their arbitrary motives become fun mental exercises to tease out. While most mysteries are uncovered by the last few episodes, just enough to left to the viewer so that he/she feels engaged and not spoon fed.
In a world without Eureka Seven, 5/5? Sure. I cannot reward Guilty Crown as much as I would absolutely love to. There are a lot of things that Guilty Crown does right, but only because another anime series has already proven those to be so. But give credit where credit is due, Guilty Crown paints an exquisite, and nearly unrivaled portrait of dystopian science fiction. It is sometimes easy to forget that: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." (Ironic because imitation, as well as flattery, are keys theme of the story as well).
Guilty Crown is a sincere and passionate tale that both draws from the classics and in some cases, improves upon them in profound ways.