|Another train wreck anime, this one not too original.||1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
Guess the rumors were true of this being as much of a train wreck with plot as Code Geass was and Guilty Crown sure loves milking its tropes and stealing plot setups from other anime. The premise of Japan being taken over by a corrupt foreign power and a mysterious girl who bestows power upon a high school boy to fight said power while teaming up with a resistance group is milked from Code Geass. It also rips off Evangelion in having a mentally flawed, angsty teenage boy and emotionless girl with a mysterious connection to one another (a la Shinji and Rei) in the form of Shu and Inori respectively. Originality is certainly not this title's strongest suit if you've seen your fair share of anime and you'll be quite disappointed if you were expecting as much from this anime.
It also doesn't help that many of the characters in this series suffer greatly in being two-dimensional archetypes, many of whom don't get much in the way of depth or development here. Guilty Crown is prominently focused on Shu and Inori's problems with their mysterious connection and the other characters are along for the ride to either support, guide or serve as obstacles in their developments or aiding Japan's populace against foreign occupation. As lead characters, both are really hard to care for as Shu spends a good part of the series being a pathetic, angsting mess over his predicament while having sudden emotional swings as the plot requires and Inori doesn't have much of a character beyond latching onto whomever she is dependent on.
Ah yes, the plot. The first half of Guilty Crown starts off with the typical plot developments you would expect of a series like this and would be standard fare on its own. But in its second half, the series gets in a really bad habit of tossing in plot twist after plot twist in its direction that was never foreshadowed or delved into. Characters suddenly change moods or alliances for no real reason other than that the series does it for the sake of delivering a sloppy plot twist. A major foe and ally thought dead following Guilty Crown's first half are conveniently back from the dead and the main foe responsible for this never gets proper fleshing out until the second-to-last episode in a poor attempt to explain his reason for even existing in the show at all. It looked like the show's creators were relying on its second half to make Guilty Crown a hit just through the plot twists created, yet they completely fail to do so due to failing to properly develop its plot and characters.
What I can genuinely praise with the series is its presentation sporting high quality visuals filled with bright and vivid color and plenty of detail in its designs of characters, mecha and scenery. The Void abilities that Shu gains for his use in battle against enemy threats contribute to the anime's animation highlight with fluid and intense battle scenes that involve the boy making use of a diverse number of weapons formed from Voids like swords, a pair of mecha legs and guns. Some of the lyrical songs in the series sung by Inori's seiyuu are nicely sung and are a memorable element that sticks out in the series for me.
Praises for animation aside though, Guilty Crown is still quite a cliched title that gets quite sloppy in its plotting for its second half due to relying heavily on plot twists that fail to deliver effectively due to the lack of proper buildup and fleshing out of its plot and characters. This is a series that is guilty for wasting one's time.