Arguably a forerunner, if not the most anticipated series of fall, Guilty Crown delivered with a stunning visual display coupled with an exquisite musical selection—promising to rapidly gather an impressive viewer base as a pandemic rivaling that which brought the post-apoctalyptic city to its knees. According to RandomC.net, “The series topped the season charts with 68% of all voters including it in their top 5 picks”. As a first glimpse of what appears to be a particularly complex series, there are obviously many questions left unanswered, however I would definitely recommend becoming part of the the ‘68%’~
Enter Ouma Shuu, a much reserved High School student inadvertently living beneath the expansive canopy of GHQ’s military rule—protected from the ever impending threat posed by the wide-spread destruction taking place across Japan. The pandemic which occurred ten years prior has left most of the country in ruin, or on the verge of eradication. While wandering off for a peaceful lunch alone, Shuu encounters just the opposite—stumbling upon the melodic voice of Yuzuriha Inori accompanied by her insect-like robot companion, Fyu-Neru (ふゅーねる). Although her voice and outfit are wonderfully beautiful, her demeanor implies a reserved, yet mysteriously determined personality. Alarmingly after meeting, their peaceful respite is invaded by GHQ’s ‘retrieval’ division know as “Antibodies”—sent to retrieve the “Void Genome” apocalyptic virus—who violently arrest Inori on charges of terrorism, leaving Shuu defeated and alone.
Using a map provided by Fyu-Neru, Shuu is able to advance to a decrepit town where he is rescued and acquainted with Gai, the tenacious leader of “Sougisha” (葬儀社) (i.e. “Undertakers”), the resistance group fighting to liberate Japan from GHQ’ s dominating rule. With the aid of Gai, Tsugumi (apparent second-in-command) and a small Sougisha force, Shuu abandons his overbearing feelings of fear to attempt to halt the destruction of a nearby district targeted for elimination. Amid the chaos, Shuu encounters Inori escaped from her captors, but now in danger of seizure. Shuu frantically rushes to save Inori, shattering the “Void Genome” capsule and acquiring the ability “Power of Kings” in his right hand, allowing him to extract weapons from the “void” located within Inori’s body—in a complexly-dazzling visual sequence, Shuu reaches the pinnacle of the story’s basis as he wields his summoned power.
A series infused with stylistic depth and perfectly complimented audio enhancement, Guilty Crown makes a powerful impression as a late-release to the fall season. I’m amazed at the dexterity possessed my Production I.G. and noitaminA as the series displays such variety—from melodic musical sequences intensely-captivating scenery. My favorite sequence being the three-minute opening, “Eutere”, by EGOIST, again, giving such welcomed diversity to the series.
In speaking of “unanswered questions”, I’ll highlight a few of those of note: Firstly is Shuu’s acquisition of his ability “Power of Kings”, as it appears he obtained such power after shattering the “Void Genome” vial left when Inori was seized by “Antibodies” (a similar department to “Anti Skill”, if you recall, from the series “Toaru Kagaku no Railgun”). However, Inori and Gai gave the impression of “knowing” his abilities would be “activated”, and thus enlisted his help. Additionally, and definitely more subtle, are the somewhat unclear divisions between the many warring factions, namely between Sougisha, GHQ and even Antibodies. Obviously, this will become more distinct in time, but as for a first impression, there is little information as of yet. Fortunately, the series is promising an extended following of around 24 episodes, giving avid viewers plenty of opportunity to become acquainted with and enjoy all that the series has to offer.