27 Oct 2011

Guilty Crown 1, 2

The visuals are just gorgeous! With character designs by redjuice, music by ryo/supercell, and animation by Production I.G., this looks to be the most anticipated, and hyped, series for this season. Add to that the awesome director of Death Note and a whole load of talented Production I.G. staff, it's hard to see where this series might fail.

So how does it fail? By being shallow. Beauty is only skin-deep. It has the potential for be a key Production I.G. work (much like GitS), but at the moment the characters have not gotten enough development and viewers are mere participants in this visual spectacle. Not much is none about this world or the motivations of the different characters. Episode 2 did nothing to help this aspect as it just went into the story of a boy who gained some courage to... do what other people tell him to. Honestly, I don't think he even knows what he is fighting for. He just does it to show he has the guts to kill a bunch of bad guys and save some terrorists.

Despite all that, the action scenes really do hold up. They are somewhat short but intense moments, accentuated by a rousing soundtrack and smooth animation. Also, they have...

Taketatsu Ayana who voices the energetic Tsugumi (who happens to wear a head gear shaped like nekomimi). Aya-chin, when was the last time your character wasn't cat-like?? Actually I know the answer to that. She plays Fu in this season's Tamayura which, so far, hasn't grown cat ears.

I want to highlight a particular scene in episode one. Specifically, the weird montage just before Ouma Shuu pulls the sword out of Inori. That scene alone sold me on this series and is probably 50% of the reason why I'm still giving it a chance (the other 50% is the awesome production values). A bunch of screenshots of that scene below.

That montage + supercell music was fantastically done and hints at a much deeper back story to be revealed sometime in the future. For now though...

... we have Inori joining Shuu at school. Quite the typical harem-style set up, but could also be laying the foundations for some bitter-sweet moments as seen in the montage. Noitamina has been rather hit or miss, with the past 3 season having a 50% hit rate (Wandering Son, AnoHana, and Usagi Drop were good, but Fractale, C, and No. 6 were not). This season's UN-GO has already disappointed me, so if I have to drop Guilty Crown as well, that would mean the first Noitamina-less season for me, after a 10-season streak.