I've been drooling over the trailer for Guilty Crown over the past few months now. The moment I saw the gorgeous animation, I had to really do the Hiroko reality check. I am a huge victim of over hyping myself over anime series. I don't know, maybe it's genetics, but I fall for it every time.
Had the flashy art work, scantily clad characters, and big time sound track tricked me again? Was I about to fall for the glitter and the glam? Hit the jump to find out what I really thought about it.
We begin with an amazingly animated mixture of a sexy music video of idol Inori, and her in a desperate escape from her pursuers. A normal young girl this is not. The whole scene is actually very telling of the entire episode. The whole thing plays out like a hyped music video, but I gotta say, I like it. Hey, there's mecha! I love me some mecha. Active camouflage? Let's throw some of that in there.
The details and the art of the weapons systems and mecha is nice and clean. It has all the right touches. The show seems to borrow heavily from successful anime concepts, but the whole thing comes off as pretty refined. The show is not playing out any one aspect too much. None of the battles are over extended, they are sharp, explosive, and quick.
We get to meet our protagonist Shu Ouma, and get to see a small slice of his daily, anti-social life. My main issues with this episode lay pretty much here. It's not his portrayal of the unwilling, unlikely hero. I'm able to stomach gobs of that. I get it he's unlikable, and anti social, but it all comes out like one long whine. I just didn't get anything out of his character development.
I did really like the whole creation of the dystopian future being presented. The whole idea of a virus being the world is in turmoil after apocalypse virus is spread. It's actually still a huge thing on Japanese people's minds, ever since the subway terrorist incident. Basically Japan's government is in shambles due to its over dependence on the rest of the world post disaster. These topics hit pretty close to home for me, and the were worked in just right. All these things have lead to a total police state, in which the government controls the public. A very simple and salable way to determine who lives and dies.
I might have zoned out a bit when they explained it, but what the significance of Shu's video he's making? I know it has something to due with his relationship with his friends. Anyways, Shu goes to his usual lunch time work/hiding spot to find the Inori injured, and barely clothed! Imagine walking into your room to find your favorite idol laying there barely clothed! Seems like a good time waiting to happen. We find out that Inori is the lead in a popular band, the Egoists, but things quickly turn sour when the government thugs catch up to her.
All sorts of self doubt, sadness, and inspiration occur, all ending with Shu running off to deliver Inori's mysterious package. He has one objective, get the goods to Gai. Well, Gai and his posse turn out to be a inch of well armed badasses. They even have their own distant relative of Kuro-Neko. Only this time she is seems to be the resident mecha expert. We get an interesting vie woof the mecha in play. The pilots seem toe somewhat [psychically linked to the mecha, and can sense pain. They are so badass, they don't even pilot them with their eyes open! Like a boss!
Things come to a head when Shu finally makes it to Inori and the Guilty Crown is released in the process. Turn the music up! The sound track goes crazy and so does the anime! I don't think I mentioned how great the sound track is. It's really movie quality. Maybe it's actually a bit heavy handed. It seems a bit too intense at times, especially since we only hear clips. Are we going to hear the same sound track every episode? It seems like they have quite a budget to be working with here.
Anyways, Shu gets all Dantalian on Inori, complete with markings and the goodies. In goes the hand, out comes massive sword. Our previously emo Shu becomes bad ass Shu, and lays down some slicing and dicing. I am glad he didn't just blank out and get all rage on everything. He seemed fully aware and in control of the situation. Let's see how they explain this all next week.
Whew. That was a pretty wild 30 minutes. Let's go back to my original point. Did I get sucked in by the over hype again? My honest answer? I don't know. There was so much touched on, but not really played out in this one short episode. It was an excellent teaser for the possibilities though, and my gosh it was gorgeous. Production IG really went all out on this one. I can't stress how happy my eyes were for the entire 30 minutes, and I honestly don;t say that often. I can't wait until the next episode.
[Guilty Crown streams at Funimation]
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