Well, well, well… I’m back with another Anime selection for you to check out. I have no idea if anyone checked out the last one, but that’s cool. Someone will respond sooner or later and just so you know, we do read comments around here. Now on to the good stuff! It’s very rare that to find a cartoon that isn’t at least a full one or two seasons ahead in Japan, so I was very shocked to find out that Guilty Crown was actually premiering only a few weeks ahead in Japan. Imagine... a new Anime for both markets! Even so I didn’t find out until becoming hooked on the show and was forced to wait for the twelfth episode on Hulu.
The premise is that a terrible virus has struck Japan leaving it under military rule. They call the even “Lost Christmas” since it happened around the day of Christmas. The show begins with an internet popstar Inori being chased by the GHQ aka the military. She’s stolen a vile that when used gives the person access to other people’s voids. A void is an item that people keep hidden from others, but is the true reflection of them. Honestly it’s a rule that is broken often in the show and only brought up when one of the main supporting cast members have their void used.
The main character’s name is Shu Ouma and he’s the key to everything when it comes to the plot and I do mean everything. He of course ends up using the vile that Inori has and starts using people’s voids. Because of Inori and his fascination with her, he joins the Funeral Parlor. The name sucks and even though they explain the meaning it still doesn’t make any sense, but whatever. Soon enough this high school boy is training with the FP and going on missions that depend on him and his ability to take void’s out of people. The funny thing about the voids is that they’re only inside people under the age of 27, so everyone is younger than that.
The leader of the FP is named Gai. He’s basically the most bad ass of the bunch. He’s leading the crew of young adults against the military which is basically fucked up and corrupt in many different ways. Now add in mech suits that are driven Matrix style by plugging in the drivers brain and you’ve got a pretty big world.
What hooked me was Shu’s character… at first. I found it very interesting that he was basically working with the FP then quit and went back to school. Then they send Inori to keep an eye on him and that’s when it gets interesting. Later what becomes interesting is the storyline that surrounds Shu, but his character becomes kind of lame. He’s constantly yelling at Gai and never commits to any of his feelings which makes it hard to tell if he’s genuinely feeling anything at all.
I won’t say that it’s perfect and really there are several episodes that you can basically ignore. There are also some plot inconsistencies as well more than likely due to the translation. The second episode makes it seem like the infected are a new race capable of doing more than humans (mutants), but this concept is completely dropped mid-way through the story.
Even still I enjoyed it a lot. The eleventh episode is by far the best and really shows the power of the series. If only the other episodes were as strong. I get the strong impression that a lot was cut out of the Manga to meet budget and scheduling restraints. There is a kick ass opening and closing song for the show that I enjoyed so much that I never skipped them. The opening song tends to be used a lot in the episodes which started to ruin its charm, but thankfully they toned it down in later episodes.
The last thing that grabbed me was the animation style. Sure it looks like a typical Anime in design, mech robots and everything, but this is one of the best drawn Anime’s I’ve watched. The production value on the show is intense and it gives it a movie look and feel to it. I think that the art and music really kept me coming back to the show and if it continues past the twelfth episode I’ll still be watching. If this sounds interesting to you then check it out, if not… then I failed at my job, but hey I write about comic books and believe it or not summoning up twelve episodes of a show is very different.