Guilty Crown – Let’s Play God

I didn’t mind when our young protagonist stuck his hand into a willing girl’s chest, nor did I mind when said young protagonist was unwillingly willing to join the so-called terrorists in their attack on the government, but when our young songstress transferred into the high school of our main man, I thought, “Something new would be nice.”

In my Fall 2011 preview over on Yumestate, I said, “In all honesty, I’m watching this for the gorgeous art and the animation, if the story turns out to be groundbreaking too than that’s just icing on the cake.” Three episodes in, the art, animation (Oooh shiny!), and music is the main reason I’m still watching. Though, I do admit, the cliffhanger at the end of episode three does have me intrigued. How will Shuu get himself out of this one?

I’ll probably get the snot kicked out of me for saying this but I find Inori to be one of the most visually appealing characters in a long time, revealing outfits aside (can’t wait to see if she wears the outfit in the above picture). It’s too bad she’s simply there to boost Shuu’s ego and present him with sharp pointy objects. Is it just me or are female characters never really pushed to their fullest potential in shows like these. It seems like they’re there for the sole purpose of being useful to the useless main guy. Yes, it’s only the third episode but even at this point in time there’s little to make me think otherwise. Though that look she gave at the end of the third episode gives me a bit of hope that she’s not just going to remain the same throughout the entire show.

Why is it that in shows like these we can’t have a mature male hero partnered with a mature female heroine? Is it because there wouldn’t be any conflict without an adolescent school boy? Or would there not be any development if the female wasn’t a complete nuisance or a socially awkward robot?

I’ve found that when shows fail to live up to my expectations, I like to think of a way that might make it better. At first I thought maybe Gai would make an interesting protagonist. At least it would be a break from the wimpyness that plague most young male protagonists, but then I thought Inori’s character would suffer as a result of being paired with take charge male. This might not be the case though. While I agree that watching a couple grow together can be a complete spectacle to watch when done well, focusing on two characters limits the development. With Gai as the main man, Inori would take center stage as the character who would undergo the most development.

It’d actually be quite interesting to see how differently she would grow depending on which male character was supporting her. Though I guess switching the focus to Inori would drastically change the genre Guilty Crown finds itself in. Would that make it better? Who knows. What I do know, though, is that Shuu is not why I’m watching this show.

The thing with generic-ness is that anything has the ability to change the direction of the plot. I’m waiting (maybe in vain) for the one thing that blows my mind and keeps me at the edge of my seat for the rest of Guilty Crown’s run. I may be waiting for some time, but I’ll see it through to the end. Optimism never hurt anyone.

So, I’m curious as to what you would do to change Guilty Crown for the better if you suddenly took hold of the directing reigns starting with the fourth episode. Would you make it a comedy, completely redesign the Shuu’s character, get rid of the fanservice? What would you do with the plot? With the amount of skills at your disposal – the animation power, the awesome musical capabilities of Supercell – the world is at your fingertips. What would you do with it?

Stray Observations:

    • When I first saw this scene in episode one, the first thing that jumped into my head was Wolf’s Rain. Inori’s probably some mutated Human/Flower species. Why else would she be sitting under direct sunlight like it might end up healing her wounds? (Yes, I’m aware why this was really included . . . . for Fanservice!)
    • I found Inori’s real life counter-part. She even has the same fashion sense and messy hair. Just check out her album cover. Plunging neckline indeed.

About Nishimura

An anime enthusiast who finds time to blog when she has no time to spare.
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7 Responses to Guilty Crown – Let’s Play God

  1. Cholisose says:

    Yeah, after reading the synopsis and seeing a few pics, I decided to steer clear of this one since it sounded really derivative. And from what I’ve seen since on the blogosphere… it *is* really derivative. Too bad, but not every anime is going to try treading new ground. Fortunately there are plenty of other shows this season with really good animation, so I feel I’m not missing much. But I can see why shows like this get made (high-quality animation + mecha + fanservice = profit from core otaku crowds).

    If you want a fantasy adventure story with a heroine and hero who both have strong characterization and backbone, a good manga I suggest is Dazzle (AKA Hatenkou Yuugi). The first Last Exile anime was also good about this, and I think Allison & Lillia could be a decent suggestion as well. And of course my all-time favorite series, Pandora Hearts. I think it may help that the male protagonists of these series are either adults or are not school-attenders, and the female protagonists each play very active, central roles in the storylines.

  2. Nishimura says:

    I’ve actually seen Allison and Lillia. The first half was okay but the second half completely ruined all the good points the first half tried to establish. It was immensly disappointing. I haven’t seen Dazzle or Pandora Hearts yet so I guess that’s something I should check out if Guilty Crown fails to impress.

    I’ve always wondered why male lead are wimpy (particularly in harems) but when I asked someone this question they gave me the most plausible answer. It was: “If they weren’t such wimps then there would be nothing holding it back from being a full blown hentai” While that is a completely reasonale response, I’ve always wanted to see a show that had two badass leads that weren’t completely awkward around each other while at the same time not trying to get into each other pants. I think Code Geass was the closest I ever got to that.

    • Cholisose says:

      I really loved Allison and Lillia for the positive characters, and the rather fun, adventurous atmosphere–and the romance between Allison and Wil was both hilarious and sweet. I agree the second half was less fulfilling (especially the ending), but I loved the idea of the story continuing into the second generation, and still having the old characters (now parents) still playing a big role in the stories. I found it extremely refreshing, despite the plot problems–I’d love to read the original light novels one day to see how they fare (and I’d like to read the Kino no Tabi ones, for that matter–by the same author).
      Hatenkou Yuugi does have a ten-episode anime adaptation, which I feel was pretty much just made to get people interested in the manga (which is called Dazzle in Tokyopop’s English release). The anime is fun, but won’t make as much sense as the manga.
      And Pandora Hearts has a great anime, but you’ll have to accept that it doesn’t cover the entire storyline, as the manga is still ongoing (but keeps getting better and better with every new chapter IMO).

      I have essentially no interest in the harem genre–I find the rampant fanservice of those shows rather upsetting. I guess I can enjoy one that’s really tame and tongue-in-cheek, at least (i.e. I saw the first 3 eps of Hayate no Gotoku recently, and found it amusing–it may help that it seems to be for a younger audience). But yes, I imagine the male lead for most harem shows needs to be wimpy because… well, if he was active and engaging, he’d be able to just pick one of the dozen girls at his beck and call, and then the main conflict of the show would be resolved rather quickly. If there is ever a couple established, that brings in entirely new kinds of conflicts, which are better dealt with in a romance series.
      For adventure/action stories, I imagine there are many wimpy leads so that they can develop into strong ones (in theory), and have that be their (extremely basic) character arc (i.e. they learn to protect their friends, and thus become powerful fighters).
      Code Geass had lots of fanservice and melodrama, so I wasn’t able to get into that show. Lelouch was certainly a strong, competent lead (usually), but it didn’t seem the female lead (CC?) was very active. But I stopped watching after six or so eps, so I’m not an expert on it.

      • Nishimura says:

        Yeah, it all depends on the genre the wimpy character finds himself in that will end up determining how he will grow (if at all). I’ve learned to stay away from Harems simply because I know they won’t provide the romance I’m looking for. I may get pulled in at first depending on the art style but that’s usually just a lapse in judgment.

        Now that I think about it there are a few other examples that have two leads that are very close to badass levels of awesome (Macross Frontier and Spice and Wolf come to mind. Holo and Lawrence are very similar to Lelouch and CC in my opinion). With Code Geass, the two leads (and I use that term loosely, CC doesn’t have as much screen time as she probably deserved) just meshed really well together. They acted maturely and yet were still teenagers at heart and acted as such. As a result the audience was spared of experiencing that awkward first step that usually hampers teenage couples in shounen genres. In Guilty Crown, Shuu has that typical blush and timid behavior when Inori is concerned, not that that’s a bad thing, and Inori doesn’t help this with her ignorant personality. But you’re right, if I wanted to watch a show about a couple then I should just watch a romance series. I’ve just always wanted to see a badass couple kick butt in an action show without the romance or action suffering. Macross Frontier came close, too bad it ended just when the main couple was established.

  3. Cholisose says:

    You comment makes me think how interesting it would be to have an action/adventure story of some sort with a couple… that’s already married (and both actively involved together in the central conflict of the storyline). I can’t think of an anime off the top of my head that has this, and quite frankly, I can’t really think of a good story in any medium that has this. I guess audiences love to see a romance develop between the two leads, rather than having it already established. But really, I think it would be intriguing to see, just for a change of pace, and to see what sorts of unique conflicts and concerns such characters would have as they go about saving the world and whatnot.

  4. Nishimura says:

    Yup, usually we see the awkward first steps of a relationship and not the trials that come after. It be quite interesting to see I think, but that might be quite difficult to mesh with an action plot. For now though, I’ll just contiue my search for a great action show with well done romance on the side. It’ll probably be some time before I can get both without the other suffering as a result.

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