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GUILTY CROWN #1 - - Watch & Learn

Anime or GQ photo spread?

He plucked that.... thing out her skull.
He plucked that.... thing out her skull.

This might be the first anime I’ve seen whose opening titles look like a magazine spread in motion. Something about the typography and the lens flares made it feel like somebody ripped some pages out of GQ and slotted them into a flipbook. The heavy integration of pop (more than in MACROSS?) just bolstered that. I was honestly waiting for one of the characters to start pitching me cologne. In other words, this show’s high on style. I haven’t decided if that’s at the expense of substance just yet, but I couldn’t tell what the hell was happening in the last five minutes, so maybe I’m sniffing the smoke before the fire.

Actually, I’ll fess up to it… I did some snooping online to find out how exactly how we went from seeing our plucky lead pushing his lady out of harm’s way to pulling some giant freaking sword out of her upper chest (and that would seem to just be a chamber of goodies between this and DANTALIAN.) Once the mecha started enforcing Orwellian order on the poor people of the ghetto, I sensed that this was strumming on a lot of the same chords as CODE GEASS. Now that I know that this pop princess grants our plucky private school lead some highly-potent mental powers, I’m surer of that suspicion. Granted, these are some broad strokes similarities, but I’ll leave it to you more seasoned anime aficionados to decide whether the timing incriminates anybody.

It seemed like a more mainstream, blockbuster-y start to a story in the same fashion as EUREKA SEVEN; albeit with a more imbalanced substance/sheen quotient. I don’t know why, but the kid’s line about this girl being his only chance to feel good about himself didn’t sit right with me. Obviously, your lead has got to go through some growth, but I can’t help wondering if that kind of arc reinforces poor attitudes on self-esteem in guys the same way that TWILIGHT's supposedly done for girls. Just an idle thought...

Anyway, this goes in the "maybe" pile. Keep your eyes open for the next regular show I’ll be watching and learning from.

Watch this episode, "Genesis” below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

InfiniteGeasson Nov. 16, 2011 at 5:15 p.m.

This show seems OK so far, but I really do not like the angsty main character in this who in the 3 episodes I've seen still hasn't manned the fuck up. Also whoever designed the mechs in this world to where your mech gets hit and you get hit even though your not in the mech is an idiot. The only things I really enjoy so far is the production values of the visuals an music. It's a very pretty lookin show at least. If this show has more Gai and less Shu then that would probably make it better.

KuroNekoXIIIon Nov. 16, 2011 at 5:58 p.m.

Shu's attitude does tick me off, and I'm waiting for the moment he starts pulling his act together. Then again, if he was overly confident, then it would be Code Geass all over again, and the series would lose its originality.

What really drew me into the series is the post-apocalyptic genre, and its references to scientific concepts. I also really like the series' art and character design.

Overall, I'm enjoying the series, since its good points outweigh the bad ones, IMO

takashichea moderator on Nov. 16, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.

Shu reminds me of Emiya Shirou from Fate Stay Night. Both are weak and wimpy protagonists, and for Shirou, he got more mature as the series progressed. I got into the series because of KuroNekoXIII. Like everyone else, I enjoy the music and the animation except for the ending theme song and its credits that makes me sleepy.

I haven't watch Code Geass yet, so all I know it that both series have big mechs.

arch4nonon Nov. 16, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.

I like Guilty Crown because the main character isn't a complete ninny like every other male protagonist in anime right now. Though, the show is only a few episodes in and it kinda gives off a power levels/dating sim vibe.

Needless to say, every episode so far has made me both happy and incredibly angry and I guess that counts for something. I'm a little optimistic for this one, albeit cautiously, and partially because there is an overwhelming amount of really bad shows this season. Beggars can't be choosers right now.

sate2801on Nov. 17, 2011 at 1:57 a.m.

Before it aired I watched a PV of it and thought it'll be something cyberpunk with schoolboys and girls. Then when I actually got my hands on #1 I was kinda disappointed, but still the beautiful scenery and songs keeps me in. I just don't get the costume design for Inori...who the heck would want to run around wearing that mid open costume?

The rebel against GHQ and Gai's tactics/calculations reminds me of code geass, other than that there's not much similarity between them I think.

fijilovesyouon Nov. 17, 2011 at 6:41 a.m.

I really love the art, the character designs, the sound, animation, everything accept for the character development. I just can't seem to love the characters. I just don't like the characters personalities. I will still give this anime a chance since it is still developing.

YotaruVegetaon Nov. 17, 2011 at 7:36 a.m.

I think this is one of the best shows of this season.

ESREVERon Nov. 17, 2011 at 8:10 a.m.

I'm really liking the this show. It's mostly the soundtrack doing it for me though. Its absolutely amazing. Can't wait for the 30th where that EGOIST single is finally released in its full form and I can stop listening to the youtube version that's just the first couple minutes of episode 1.Music aside, I'm still really digging the show. The only complaint I have is that I feel Shu is holding the show back. So hopefully he stops doing that soon. I feel if they just made the show about Gai, then we would just have another Code Geass on our hands. Not that that's a bad thing.

The presentation is gorgeous, liking the character design, action sequences are pretty awesome to watch when Shu decides to stop being a lil wuss. The "extracting VOIDS" from different people is a cool concept since its kind of new to me. I realize it's probably been done in some form in other shows, but I'm still relatively new to anime so this doesn't seem something that's been done to death for me.

Also, I believe this show shares the same writer Code Geass does. That might explain the similarities people are seeing.

coonce staff on Nov. 17, 2011 at 10:52 a.m.

I doubt it will make the spread.

Galmia_Pepeon Nov. 18, 2011 at 12:15 a.m.

To be honest, I find the protagonist to be the least of an annoyance compared to the rest of the package--I'm not alone on this right? These head creators of this show lack restraint, I even find it's exceptional visual quality to be somewhat aggravating--it's like it's supposed to barely disguise up all of these awful "action-packed" scenes and a cliched theme and plot.

Why did you give these guys the time of day?

I didn't watch much of Eureka Seven, but I did remember its first episode was a lot more engaging.

And what Shu does with his right-hand plunging it into the young lady's chest, I've seen that done before in Dantalian No Shoka (The Mystic Archives of Dantalian)--I was bored with the first episode too.

And what I also don't get is this stigma toward insecure protagonists because their is a lot of potential in character development, and maybe growth depending on the writer's idea--giving this poor little kid a ridiculously towering, God-like, (I assume some knock-off) Mythril phallus from some schizoid sex object's rack isn't an idea I had in mind for plenty of potential here. Your observance that this kind of stuff reinforces poor attitudes on how to combat low self-esteem; well you're so damn right about that.

Marshal Victoryon Nov. 18, 2011 at 10:39 p.m.
Shows pretty decent so far. Animation it top notch.Story is so far so good.
zaldaron Nov. 19, 2011 at 3:27 p.m.

@Galmia_Pepe: Agree with Galmia except for the last sentence. Seems all flash and no substance to me but gorgeous visual art was never the reason I watched anime to begin with. As for the last sentence the problem in America right now is not to little self esteem it is to much. We are last in everything of import. Science education, math education, and are falling behind in innovation to places like India (and Japan) but we have more self esteem than any country on the planet.

Self esteem isn't something you have just from existing it is something you earn by DOING something.

Dig Deeper into Guilty Crown

"Guilty Crown" is a post-apocalyptic anime set in Japan, in the year 2039. The story follows the 17-year-old boy, Shu Ouma, who acquires a mysterious power that has been awakened by a synthesized genome called "Void Genome", in which he will use to fight the overruling GHQ.

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