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Guilty Crown – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「My Dearest」 by supercell
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「適者 survival of the fittest」 (Tekisha)

The Power of Kings along with a gorgeous singer saying she’s mine and all I have to do is help liberate my country in return? Where do I sign up for that? I’ll take two please. It never hurts to have a backup ability when changing the world, or another beautiful girl as support.

If it wasn’t apparent from my earlier post, I consider Guilty Crown’s type of fan-service some of the most enticing anime has to offer. Rather than shoving boobs in our face or getting the male lead to “accidentally” grope them, the series goes for an arguably more tasteful approach where our reasonably proportioned heroines happen to wear skin-tight outfits in their quest to free Japan. In the process, they happen to flaunt us with their curves, both while piloting a neurally controlled Endlave mechs and managing a virtual control room. It’s all very alluring but doesn’t terribly detract from the story, so this is by far and large the type of fan-service that I’d like to see more of in anime. There’s no denying that it’s there to promote the sexual appeal of the characters — since there’s no real reason for Tsugumi to be pressing buttons with her butt, nor for Inori to be climbing through a shaft ahead of Shuu — but at least it’s not in a typical anime scenario where the intention is clear from the get-go (e.g. a beach episode). Also, when we have awesome character designs by redjuice, bought to life in beautiful animation by Production I.G, it would be a waste to not tease viewers a bit with this kind of stuff. The only awkward thing is how it’s making me develop an interest in submissive soft-spoken girls, which is just asking for trouble. It’s a trap I tell you — the kind that will land someone in prison. (Damn you anime, stop trying to corrupt me.)

As for the story itself, I don’t see any point in making constant comparisons to other series, nor do I plan on knocking Guilty Crown because it features some rehashed ideas. I realize some people feel very strongly about originality and perceive it as a fundamental flaw if a premise doesn’t offer anything new, but I fall into the group that likes to look at every new show individually to see what it has to offer with its own version of an existing idea. After all, “original” is all relative. If we were to shun every new show because it features something that’s been done before, we would never have another show with robots, zombies, and whatnot, which may be fine for those who have seen their fill, but would completely neglect those who are just getting into them (i.e. younger generations). They’re classified as tropes for a reason, which is somewhat akin to genres except at a sub-series level. As far as Guilty Crown is concerned, it’s new to me to see a lot of tropes I enjoy mashed together and spun in a different way. I mean, what’s there not to like?

  • Post-apocalyptic world in a sci-fi setting? Good.
  • Unique power that can change the world? Good.
  • Military action with mechs? Good.
  • Beautiful soft-spoken songstress with perfect curves in a revealing outfit? Gooooood.
  • This isn’t to say that Guilty Crown is off the hook in every regard though. Looking solely at this series, I couldn’t help but question some of the developments in this second episode, like how Shuu just happened to be in the right wrong place at the wrong time, landing him the Void Genome power (and Inori) that was originally intended for Gai. While it’s debatable whether it’s better to have a main character who gets drawn into a conflict because he 1.) started with a special power or 2.) stumbled upon it, I find it really takes away from Shuu’s character to have the Power of Kings bestowed upon him by chance. Shuu isn’t someone the “Funeral Parlor” scouted for their cause, but merely a normal teenager who got in their way, forcing Gai to have him do what he probably would’ve done a million times better himself. I can’t see this boding well for Shuu’s character in viewers’ eyes, plus it throws into question why Gai even encouraged him to rescue Inori, so it probably would’ve been better to make Shuu special to begin with. To make matters worse, Gai actually relied on Shuu to execute the most critical part of his plan against the Anti Bodies division led by Major Guin (Shimura Tomoyuki), where he put his life in Shuu’s hands. No matter how I look at it, that was completely idiotic on Gai’s part — staking his life as the Funeral Parlor leader on a complete rookie — so it took some real suspension of disbelief common sense to overlook that part of his plan. It’s easy to say that Gai’s an absolute genius after the fact, but there were way too many variables with Shuu for me to buy into idea just yet. For now, I think Gai’s crazy.

    Aside from those two irksome developments, the rest of the episode was pretty good in establishing GHQ’s cruelty, particularly with the introduction of the GHQ commander’s seventeen-year-old narcissistic son, Daryl Yan, whose Void Weapon is the beam-reflecting Kaleidoscope (i.e. Mangekyou). It was a bit odd hearing Uchiyama Kouki (Ichika in Infinite Stratos) voice him it at first, since I’ve never heard him play an antagonist before and find it hard to perceive him as one, but Daryl quickly established himself as an unforgivable villain with the way he mercilessly stomped on a mother and executed some prisoners. His custom Endlave also sets him up as the ultimate antagonist, so it’ll be interesting to see Shuu, Gai, and Inori clash heads with him later on. I can already picture him doing really terrible things to Inori if she were to get captured (damn you again anime), so hopefully Shuu can protect her properly. I presume she’s transferred to his school because Gai hasn’t given up on getting him to join Funeral Parlor, which I find refreshing because it’s all too common for the main protagonist to quickly get on board with something that turned their world completely upside-down. Shuu didn’t try to play hero and actually turned Gai down. He’s not swayed by the “Inori Effect” like me it seems. That fool. :P

    Other thoughts:

  • It looks like Void Weapons consist of a person’s essence in the literal sense, as the sword returned to Inori afterward. I wonder if this means she would die if her Void Weapon were destroyed.
  • In a somewhat similar sense, I presume Ayase would’ve died if Tsugumi didn’t disconnect her from her Endlave when it was destroyed. I’m thinking sensory overload from her pain receptors just like in The Matrix.
  • It’s cute how Ayase has a crush on Gai.
  • As much as I enjoy Supercell’s music, it’ll probably take me a while longer to get used to hearing “My Dearest” as the opening theme. It’s a nice touch to have Inori singing the first line, i.e. “I’m yours”, but it’s a little unusual to hear since Chelly is Inori’s singing voice in the show, not Supercell’s new vocalist Koeda. They’re playing tricks on my ears.
  • Niconico and FUNimation’s simulcasts translate “Sougisha” (lit. Undertakers) as “Funeral Parlor”, so I decided to go with what they use. They also translate “Fyu-Neru” as “Funell”, but I kind of prefer the former.


    Watch the Preview!: Streaming ▼

    End Card

    October 21, 2011 at 6:30 am
    • October 23, 2011 at 8:15 pmOwaranai

      I don’t know how one defines fanservice as being ‘tasteful’, nor do I know its standards, but it’s certainly better than those who goes with a ‘in-your-face’ approach.

      One needs to realise that the story is still developing, so to call it paper-thin is kinda harsh. Furthermore, I do like what I see so far as well as how the producers are building up tension and excitement. Gai certainly draws sparse comparisons with Zero of Code Geass for me with his audacity alone, though he lacks the flair and tactical genius (since it wasn’t better elaborated).

      Unfortunately, Inori doesn’t seem to be as interesting as I thought thus far, but things should get better once we touch on the characters’ backstories. FYI, I do like her quiet charm as well. =P

      On the other hand, Shuu is proving to be what he’s supposed to be – A normal student. Normal students don’t think of joining rebellions and wielding Powers of the Kings, so I had no issue with him not joining the rebellion YET.

      Moving on, Gai’s actions are rather puzzling, but like any story that looks promising all these apparently strange actions will probably be explained in the future.

    • October 23, 2011 at 10:25 pmYuumei

      I just got around to watching this episode today so everything’s probably been said already, but OMG–Are there seriously over 250 comments on this episode? I didn’t know there could even BE a second page of comments.

      • October 23, 2011 at 11:03 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

        Me either. The last series I saw with over a hundred comments per episode was Steins;Gate. Well, it only shows how much this show is anticipated. And of course, there’ll be plenty of haters if this show doesn’t deliver.

      • October 24, 2011 at 4:33 pmJ

        Series finale of Code Geass had 1500+: http://randomc.net/2008/09/28/code-geass-r2-25-end/

        • October 25, 2011 at 9:51 pmYuumei

          Yeah, but the series has just started and it’s raking in this number of comments. Neither Steins;Gate nor CODE GEASS broke 100 comments in their first episodes. I think it’s really saying something about the expectations from this show (and also the viewership)

    • October 24, 2011 at 4:25 pmDaisy

      aren’t lots of characters basically clones of rei ayanami from Eva

      Ruri hoshino
      Yuki Nagato
      Kanade Tachibana
      ninomai kisaragi

      I thought fans found the “emotionless girl” persona interesting because it wasn’s like the typical nice girl persona since the characters so quiet we the viewers don’t know what they are thinking but now we are complaining, I don’t understand the contradiction.

    • October 24, 2011 at 7:40 pmemessen

      Really a lack luster second episode… that tends to be common among series that have action packed premeires.. but while there was an enourmous amount of exposition i felt as if there wasn’t anything explained at all..

    • October 24, 2011 at 8:18 pmEvil713


      dosent it seem a bit odd that the entire plan revolved on getting the weapon out of the guys chest, when there was no prior knolege about what the weapon would be?

      it could of just been a confusion ray or somthing else that would not of helped at all.

    • October 24, 2011 at 9:14 pmbertman4

      Gorgeous animation. Intriguing plot. I’m hooked.

    • October 25, 2011 at 10:57 amAshen

      I’m really loving this show so far, but I do agree with you to an extent about Shu’s accidental inclusion in this little gorilla war against an oppressive superpower.
      My theory is this: He’ll later be shown to be much more involved it’s thus far been suggested, such as having family or close friends who were involved in the creation/weaponization of the Void Weapons and that person/persons singled him out to be future catalyst all along. Somehow events didn’t go as planned (they never seem to) and this was abandoned/put off/unknown to those currently in power at GHQ, which would explain their bewilderment at Shu’s appearance now.

      I’d have to agree about Gai. My thinking is either 1) he’s aware to some degree of the aforementioned theory I proposed, so he’s putting on an act for everyone but in truth knows Shu is more crucial than he’s let on and this is Gai’s roundabout strategy to get Shu to join their side. 2) He really is mad as a hatter, but is also simultaneously such a brilliant/self-assured guy that he has absolute faith in the people he employs for these missions, including Mr. Happenstance Shu. Gai appraised Shu’s character during the interactions he had with Inori, so Gai’s decision to include Shu in the later – vastly more risky and dangerous – operation to free the hostages wasn’t entirely “let’s randomly bet everyone on the untested new guy.” OR! 3) Gai’s battiness is attributed to a type of devote faith, believing everything his group does is linked to a ‘divine master plan’, so Shu’s part in this is deemed “destined,” thus he then assumes Shu possesses whatever luck/skill/qualities needed to aid Funeral Parlor (Awesome name, by the by) since Mr. newcomer was “always meant” to be.

      Working theories, but there they are. Anyone agree? Disagree? I’m always up for in-depth discussions and theorizing.

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:02 amVincent

      When Gai’s operation was executed flawlessly, the image of Yagami Raito came into my mind.

      Just as planned.

    • November 4, 2011 at 4:55 amSingerOfW

      Was there no end card in this episode?

      • November 4, 2011 at 5:53 pmDivine

        I added it just now. I didn’t include the end cards originally, but will from now on.

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