The Masochist's Corner Guilty Crown

by Kiss of Death

Kiss of Death
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11-15-2015, 06:50 AM
#28234 (1)
[Image: 687474703a2f2f7374617469632e7a65726f6368...302e6a7067]

Guilty Crown


DAY #17616360
introduced emo main character
gave him a love interest and an overpowered item
made him use the item
introduced an antagonist pissed off at the main character
antagonist was pissing people off, made him into a good guy
killed him off as a hero
girl was too close to main character, killed her off too
main character tried to play a villain, made everyone forgive him
revived the ex-antagonist hero
made him an antagonist again
made the main character lose an arm and gave his power to antagonist
made main character's love interest protect him
gave her a ridiculous power that doesn't help her much for no reason at all
made the main character gain the power again
made the main character defeat the antagonist
antagonist dies a hero again
love interest dies a hero too
main character becomes blind

In case anyone is wondering, yes, it's the event log of Deus Ex Machina. I found it lying around so I figured I'd quote it here.
Well, not to take too much a detour now. Fall 2011, the season of great anime for everyone - from Chihayafuru, the shoujo anime that grasped everyone's hearts, through Ben-To, an unique take on the daily lives of students, Haganai, the comedy following the socially awkward people wanting friends, up till Maken-Ki, your ordinary undress-fighting anime that each season tended to have back then. Despite the great titles making way onto the TV screens, two shows have managed to steal the spotlight immediately - one of them being Mirai Nikki, the other one - Guilty Crown. The first one is a talk for another day, so today we'll dissect the latter. And boy, is there a lot on the table...

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The first factor of the series is how it looks. And honestly, by concluding it in a single sentence, I'd be doing this series a disgrace. The animation is very smooth, so nobody can say they look lacking. There's plenty of backgrounds and seemingly no frame errors, for which the creators deserve high praise. But something I liked the most is how the characters look - the designs reminded me of something, and as soon as episode 1 started outlining the people responsible for this project, I knew what it was. The one responsible for character designs is no other than redjuice, someone who's work I admired before seeing Guilty Crown for the first time. The lighting, sadly, is something I have to nitpick about - most of the effects containing it look pretty awesome, yet there are noticable some hiccups with it. Furthermore, it's not toned - in some scenes you'd wish the creators didn't abuse the lighting this much, while in others you could beg for them to use even a little.
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The other thing that instantly steals the spotlight is the soundtrack. While, over the course of this review, you'll uncover many negative facts about this title, undeniably the best thing this anime did was bringing EGOIST together. EGOIST, in case you lived in a cave for the past four years, is a musician group assembled for the needs of this title. Among the crew you'll find the composer Ryo (better known as a part of supercell) and Chelly, the singer. And I have to admit, their duo is one of the best combinations there are. If you don't believe me, try listening to any of Guilty Crown's openings/endings. Or 'Namae no Nai Kaibutsu'. Or 'Fallen'. The songs so catchy most people don't listen to the lyrics... but they should! Yes, I'm outta ideas. So, put aside the greatness of EGOIST, the rest of the soundtrack is actually on par. While the engrish in some places can hurt, the overall soundtrack is great and makes you feel at ease watching this title - regardless of the scene. At one point I even downloaded some of the tracks to listen to casually. Which is why I decided to do an unusual thing and instead of putting the score at 0... I deducted two points.
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As the unwritten rule of my reviews goes, whatever has had a good score in two first paragraphs will only disappoint you in the next three. And it seems like this rule will hold true in Guilty Crown's case as well. The idea behind this anime was indeed pretty clever and indulging, but there's one vital flaw to it that makes it so hard to watch at times. Namely - the very essence of any anime, the plot. Let me repeat, the idea behind isn't the one at fault - it's how they adapted it. I understand how many titles begin in a similar pattern - there's an ordinary guy who's going to be the protagonist, he gets caught up in the events going on around him and ends up ridiculously overpowered. But having that ordinary guy, Ouma Shu in our case, caught up in the events and then giving him the overpowered item right away by a chance? Having him use it by accident because of the smart guy's fault?
The world this story is presented in is our ordinary world with some technical advancement, but with one difference. A few years before the plot starts, there's been a virus outburst in Japan. This virus caused many to die and had Japan take help from every other country, not being able to stand on their own. The very virus, however, came from space, and the first one to get infected was Ouma Mana, our protagonist's sister (and trust me, even Ako or Riko from KissXSis would admit she was crazier in love with her brother than they were with theirs), who died in the process... or did she...

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Ouma Shu was an ordinary guy indeed. He had nothing special going for him except for being a really loyal fan of Egoist (or Inori Yuzuriha), an internet star singer. Then one day in his hideout/studio/whateveryoucallit the very same girl appears being pursued by special forces, they make a scene and take her away, leaving the item she carried behind. Shu is told by the bot that was with her to deliver the item somewhere else, he does, meets Tsutsugami Gai there (who's the leader of a terrorist group), but instead of handing over the item, the two split up, Shu uses it and Gai is reasonably mad about it. This item, called Void Genome, is something that allows Shu to materialize weapons out of people's hearts. And so, Shu's forced to join forces with Gai and they fight against the ones in power...
The characters don't really help in telling the story. Ouma Shu, our protagonist, is yet another wimpy kid who got his hands on power by pure chance, but this time it comes with a little twist. After some time, he tries to antagonize himself. You know, like Lelouch. But in Shu's case it's a miserable failure and he's a simple dick instead. Inori Yuzuriha, the singer he loved, is a quiet mystery that's attached to Shu for some reason. Too bad she can't really express what she feels, which causes a lot more unnecessary drama than it's needed - like when she went into Gai's room at night and Shu saw it. Jealousy over nothing, as it later seemed, is something that will really hurt if you're watching it. Tsutsugami Gai, our antagonistic leader is someone I can't say much about - for a simple reason that I'm not sure how I really feel about him - and that's because the anime is so poorly directed.
From other characters, the significant ones are, as follows: Hare Menjou, Shu's long time female friend, who developped feelings for him, but then died, which left Shu depressed for a long while, Daryl Yan, the spoiled brat that doesn't know what he wants, Shinomiya Ayase, the wheelchaired girl who's very fine on her own, Tsugumi, her friend that wears cat-like suit for some odd reason, and hands down the most interesting character of this anime, Makoto Waltz Sekai, who's one of the best detectives (personality-wise) to date. There are many more characters, but they don't deserve much attention - after all, even if this review spoils the show for you, a handful might still watch it, so I'll leave the dessert to you.
During the course of this anime we're conflicted all the time. We're not sure if the terrorist group really is the 'bad guys' there, if Gai is really that tyrannic authority he seemed, if the fight they lead is really justified or for the best... but it's not because of how clever the story has been told. On the contrary - it's because the producers didn't know what to do of it. The terrorist group appears bad, then becomes the saviors, then becomes tyrannical and then saviors again. Gai is the obvious antagonist, turns out to be a really good guy, gets killed and upon his revival he's even worse than before. See the problem? Well, it doesn't even end here. The plot stays half assed until the very end, which does finish up the series well... but isn't the least bit satisfactory.
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All in all, this anime follows the principles very well. Wherever the technical aspects are all intact, the story usually fails, and Guilty Crown is no exception. To date, it has received mixed reviews, but manages to stay on honorable places of popularity lists. Then again I'm pretty sure it'd be closer to the top - if not for the small detail I forgot to mention. This anime contains mechas. For some it's the deciding factor on not watching this anime, for others it might be a kicker to keep going - and in both cases, the feeling of being let down remains. The former viewer will regret not picking up such technically well-executed anime because of mechas, the latter will regret expecting anything of said mechas - because those play next to no role in this anime. They just... exist. Nothing more, nothing less.

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As for me, I had enjoyed some of this show. But it all was killed by how they executed the ending. Made me feel like this was the worst waste of time I could potentially imagine. Then again, after calming down I got to understand that there were still some positives, namely - redjuice and EGOIST, which I listen to while writing this review. Hence I went a little easily on this title...
Still. I'll be guilty of crowning this anime as the biggest disappointment of 2011.
[Image: 687474703a2f2f692e696d6775722e636f6d2f51...4a2e706e67]

Total score: 60/100

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They call me Simi
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11-15-2015, 07:53 AM
#28242 (2)
Very good review indeed.
As someone who has no critical point of view while watching something, I enjoyed Guilty Crown quite a bit, and is still one of my favorites. Mainly due to the music tho (some people might recognize EGOIST from Psycho-Pass as well, not playing a part in the story like in guilty crown tho.). ßios was one of the sountracks that struck me the most, since it has complete german lyrics but the choir, which is english. And as someone who's mothertounge is german I can tell ya', absolutely not understandable what she is singing unless one listens to it while readin the lyrics.
On the other side, as someone who knows what to look out for when it comes to a critical point of view, I toally agree with pretty much all the things you listed.
full-time autistic hypocrite
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11-15-2015, 08:06 AM
#28248 (3)
Great review, I enjoyed reading it, but did you not think Inori had the personality of a fucking brick?

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11-15-2015, 10:42 AM
#28263 (4)
Good review.

Somewhat disappointed as I haven't seen it but had just heard such amazing stuff about it from a friend.

The plot and all seems interesting and well, I'll still give it a try and see how I like it.

oh and @nanashim at the overall did you gave it a 17 or a 12? Because it certainly looks like a 17 but the score given is 60/100(12)

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Kiss of Death
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11-15-2015, 01:34 PM
#28279 (5)
> oh and @nanashim at the overall did you gave it a 17 or a 12? Because it certainly
> looks like a 17 but the score given is 60/100(12)

It's a 17. Overall enjoyment, so still a partial grade, didn't really think much when posting it. -2/20 + 2/20 + 21/20 + 22/20 + 17/20 = 60/100

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11-15-2015, 03:23 PM
#28296 (6)
This is a really nice review.
Guilty crown used to be one of my favorite animes but i hated the fact that it changed the plot so much.
I don't think that shu needed some attatchment to the characters in the past cause it kind of ruins
the surprise part of the show. Plus it over viewed some very large plot holes.

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11-15-2015, 07:41 PM
#28375 (7)
Neat review.
I enjoyed reading it and I agree with most of what you said.
Though I'm not entirely sure how your numbering system works, you enjoyed the music so you gave it a score of -2?
also, would you mind using a different font for the numbering in future? It's kinda hard to read.
Kiss of Death
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11-15-2015, 07:52 PM
#28381 (8)
> Neat review.
> I enjoyed reading it and I agree with most of what you said.
> Though I'm not entirely sure how your numbering system works, you enjoyed the music
> so you gave it a score of -2?
> also, would you mind using a different font for the numbering in future? It's kinda
> hard to read.

My numbering works in an easy way, this is Masochist's Corner, so I'm judging the worst of the worst. The numbering system is opted for that, so the higher the score, the worse it gets, with 0 being mediocre and negative values being a bliss.
If you read any of my earlier reviews, you'd know that this is the first and only time I went for this kind of operation on the grades. I usually just use the normal text editor for the whole thing instead of messing around in Photoshop. Still, wanted to make it somewhat more original than my previous reviews, so I did what I did. If I ever decide to go that way again, I'll make sure to use a more user-friendly font.

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11-15-2015, 08:08 PM
#28383 (9)
Fair enough, I should have accustomed myself to the tag before questioning your scoring method.
Thank you for your consideration in future font choices.
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