Guilty Crown: I'm NOT Lovin' It
Imagine a commercial for a fast food conglomerate. It depicts a juicy tantalizing beefy cheeseburger with lettuce, onion, and tomato, paired with crisp golden fries and an ice cold cola. Your mouth waters and you obediently oblige to the commercial (and your gluttony), by running to the nearest fast food service (I refuse to call that a restaurant, but that's a rant saved for later) and you order whatever that you saw on the commercial. You have your hopes up, craving for that delectable image you saw on TV. Finally your order arrives, you take it out of the bag, you unwrap it from its tin foil wrappings and... you find a small squashed bun, with something brown and shriveled on the inside and a gooey yellow substance pasted on to the the interior of the bun. You look again in the bag for the crispy golden french fries, and much to your dismay, you find a package of soggy pale french fries. Despite all this, you still want to eat it, just for the satisfaction of your money. You take a bite,you swallow, and then you gag, wondering if this substance is even FDA approved. You glance around and see others consuming it, and you see the huge poster of the special glaring in your face. Hoping that it will get better, you keep on eating, each bite and swallow more painful and wretched than the first. It feels like ages, but finally you are done with your tasteless meal, you clutch your belly filled with regret.
Just as the average idiot that is fooled by fast food commercials, I must admit I felt the same when watching Guilty Crown. I'm not that much of an avid anime viewer, to be honest, I watch a fairly modest amount of anime to base an opinion,I believe. So, for Fall Anime 2011, I was seeking out certain sci-fi/ action animes, since those are the genres that interest me most. I decided to try out Guilty Crown because I saw the pretty animation and mechas. Of course, I had no idea it was a decision that I would regret.
I saw the first episode and I managed to gather something like this: Okay, wimpy male protagonist named Shu discovers he has a power to extract what is called "Voids" from people's souls. Then there was mecha fighting and him being cool sticking his hand in people's chest retrieving a sword or some violent weapon. Oh and there was some pink haired loli girl that frolicked around in something that barely could be considered as clothes.
Judging from the first episode, I couldn't really say much, but like the poor man eating the cheeseburger, I decided to continue with the hope that it would get better. Boy, was I ever wrong.
Each episode I watched, the more I hated the show, and its characters. With unlikable characters, it was even harder to watch. But what made it extremely unbearable was the amalgamation of every single anime cliche. I'm not saying that cliches shouldn't be used. Sometimes they work or you need to use it for the sake of the plot. In this case... just no.
Compiling typical high school anime cliches such as cultural festivals and beach episodes with hard core science fiction anime cliches like mechas, monster girls, and evil government scientists, it just didn't and couldn't work, no matter what universe you are in. Because of all these cliches pieced together, there was no discernible plot that was comprehensible. Well, there was a plot of course, but it was just hard to find underneath the layers of unoriginality, just like looking for actual beef in a cheeseburger.
I can rant all day and night about the show, but I must admit that the animation and visual effects were superb. Not to mention, SOME elements of plot that I managed to extract, like the Apocalypse Virus, and the Void Genome. Those I found fascinating and I honestly wished they focused more on those elements rather than mixing everyone's favourite anime into something horrendous. If Guilty Crown just focused on one of those elements, it would be a far more successful show, or at least more bearable to watch.
Alas, I am just one opinion in the world. For those who actually enjoyed the show ( and tasteless fast food cheeseburgers), I apologize and I accept your opinions as well. Maybe I missed something when I watched it. Or maybe I took it too seriously. I don't know. Despite everything, I learned my lesson: Pretty animation and mechas does not guarantee decent plot or characters which is required for some people like me. Guilty Crown's plot was so nonsensical by adding random plot twists and forgetting to explain the significance of certain events that I thought for a moment, I was watching a science fiction parody. Anyways, feel free to watch Guilty Crown and judge it yourself. If you find something I missed, please let me know, maybe it will make me feel better for my agony while watching this show.
baltakatei on March 24, 2012:
It sounds like "cliché storm" accurately describes this show. Shows with rudimentary plot are more appropriate to younger viewers who get bored by complexity. I'm still waiting fr a hard sci-fi anime with lots of attention paid to making the special effects physically accurate and, in cases where fictional science is used, to ensure fictional physics are at least internally consistent. Like something written by Peter F. Hamilton or Alastair Reynolds.
Thanks for enduring Guilty Crown so I don't have to dig and maintain false hope to find the sci-fi anime I'm looking for.