Why Guilty Crown Is Bad

Oh yes, Guilty Crown

This is by far, the most controversial show of the fall season, it’s either a love or hate. For the majority people, it’s a blind love, for the people with common sense, it’s basic hate. Prior to this airing, I was pretty hyped for the show. A full season followed by a cast of above average’s, and a huge production budget. I wasn’t disappointed with the aesthetics; the art and the soundtrack are ridiculously good. Mostly everything else however, was an inherent,inevitable, and regrettable disappointment.

I’ll split the explanation into two parts, “Why It’s Good” and “Why It’s Bad”

Why It’s Good

Art/Animation: The art is fucking great. It was outshined by Fate/zero’s unparalleled production quality during the first half of the fall season; but catching up to Guilty Crown after a temporary hiatus, it looks ridiculously pretty. The animation’s also great, the fight scenes are good. [I can critique art about as effectively as I can remain respectful in arguments.]

Original Soundtrack: The soundtrack is also fucking amazing. Most action soundtracks tend to be mediocre shit; it’s mostly the emotional soundtracks that stick with you after you’re done watching them; Guilty Crown on the other hand, has a blend of both. The emotional soundtracks are memorable, along with the numerous insert songs. [It also has fuckin’ broken German, who doesn’t like being cultural?!]

Premise: The premise of this also wasn’t mediocre shit. During the first few episodes, yes, it was ridiculously reminiscent of Code Geass. It was basically identical; a rebel group fighting against the core government, it screamed Geass; they even had storyboard members, who worked on Geass, on the staff of Guilty Crown. Now, after a while, they began to break away from the inherent Geass storyline, and form their own. In all honesty, the premise itself was pretty intriguing shit. It incorporated biological elements with technology, a decently defined system of combat, and just overall, cool shit. What Guilty Crown lacked however, was a good execution of these premises; it resulted in taking a decent source, and turning it into a shitty,mediocre, and laughable storyline.

Character-Yahiro: Probably one of the better characters of the show, he was actually developed in a logical way. He began as being relatively ruthless, and objective, but after realizing that he basically created a monster by influencing Shu; he began to change.

Why It’s Bad

Character-Inori: During the first half, Inori was nothing but fap fodder. She was an apathetic glutton for fan-service, she contributed fuckin’ nothing to the storyline, all she did was look cute. I don’t mind characters that exist to solely look cute, but that role is usually reserved for small animals, and not the major heroine of an entire series. During the first-half, she was ridiculously loyal to Gai, but after his death, she suddenly becomes attached to Shu, for no inherent reason [The first opening song “My Dearest” revolved around dedication in a relationship, Inori ignored Shu when Gai told her too, logical]. There was no development between her and Shu, it was instantaneous. However, you could also argue that she was essentially just a shell during the first season, she began to learn about emotions during her stay with Shu, thus learning what love actually is. Raised initially as a tool, she begins to develop actual emotions, once those emotions become fully developed, she was then truly in control of her will.

Character-Shu: Now, everybody’s on the bandwagon of hating this spineless idiot. I am too, I don’t like his character, he’s cowardly, and he pulls the most retarded shit at times. He’s emotionally unstable, and when he loses his sanity, his asinine actions as a result cost numerous lives. I simply don’t like his character. But from a analytic,realistic viewpoint, his character is fairly realistic. He was created to accentuate and fully exemplify the archetype of just another, generic, high-school boy with shitty self esteem. There aren’t a lot of things he excels at, but being a spineless idiot during the first half was an innate gift.  However, during the second half, when faced with the sudden death of a close friend, he loses his sanity in ways, and turns into a ruthless despot. Now, people can call bullshit on this development; but if you view it from his perspective, it’s fairly realistic. Take this generic high-school kid, he doesn’t have common sense; he’s just another idiot waiting to be molded into another archetype. Given a catalyst, or the death of Hare in this case, he effectively changes into a full-blown dictator of sorts, but,his fervent love for Inori remains adamantly constant. This beloved staple of his remains constant; his development wasn’t entirely illogical, although not practically likable. Afterwards, he goes into a relapse state, this is also logically realistic. However, the primary concern I have for this character is his development. He is ultimately a “different” person than the cowardly boy he was at the beginning, but most of his development was forced; it didn’t flow.

Character-Arisa: During the first half, she was portrayed as a strong, intelligent woman. She had her mind set on doing whatever, and she usually accomplished it; she emitted the aura of being the ideal “strong female character”. What the fuck do they do with her in the second half? She whores her body off to get her way with things. I couldn’t give less of a damn if this specific attribute was given to someone much more inept, but come the fuck on. You gave her a 180 degree character change due to one catalyst, Inori attacking her. She wasn’t cowering when she was threatened during the first-half; why the fuck did she snap and suck off every other guy to get her way after being impaled by Inori? For a half-assed love interest?

Character-Shu’s Mother: To prevent her son from having responsibilities, she basically says “Fuck You” to the rest of the world. This isn’t motherly-love, this is borderline insanity. Her entire character, and back story was essentially built through one fuckin’ episode, not through subtle, incessant reveals, but through blatant, plain monologue.

Character-Daryl: Essentially introduced as the manic character of the series; it was pretty evident that they were going to develop him. During the second-half, it appeared as if he was going to change from his so called “evil” ways; however, it appeared that the writers of Guilty Crown went fuck it; let’s make him manic all the way. And that’s how it remained, up till the final two minutes of the series. He was suddenly swayed to change by the dying breath of the guy he essentially called a “dumbfuck” for the past season.

Character-Gai: Another victim of the creative storytelling that Guilty Crown insists on. The story begins with him as the leader of the Undertakers; he’s essentially the guy with the heart of gold, he invokes the strategy of tough love with Shu. Suddenly, his entire past gets developed within the span of an episode; he dies as an indirect result after. Given this, he’s suddenly revived in the second season, with no inherent explanation other than “It’s fuckin’ magic”, this time, a changed person intent on seeking destruction on the world. When Shu finally stops him, he breaks into monologue and explains his actions; he did it for the good of Mana, Shu’s “sister”. Then, he dies telling Shu to save Inori, and to be himself. Therefore, what the fuck just happened.

Storyline: Given a decent premise, Guilty Crown managed to fuck even that up. They executed everything in such a mediocre manner; the storyline did not flow. Numerous dei ex machina were introduced as staples of the series [Gai’s entire fuckin’ childhood friendship with them was developed in one flashback episode; so many developments, you won’t believe it’s not a soap-drama.]; they turned the unique concept of voids to nothing but meager weapons. The simplest analogy would be a box containing random ideas. Everyone working on the script wrote fifty, unrelated ideas, and put them into a box. Prior to each episode, they shook it, and drew a random slip. Regardless of the content of the slip, they used it. In other words, most of the developments were sporadically random, and extreme in some cases; this crucial flaw killed characterization, and the other fundamental components that could have made Guilty Crown great.

Threats: Back in the day, people made good threats in anime. It usually revolved around breakin’ a leg or two, you know, to get your point across. What does Guilty Crown insist on doing? They insist as using the threat of rape in every other fuckin’ scenario against the female cast. Hey, you won’t listen to us? Well shit, let’s threaten to do the fuck out of you. The fuck did you call me? You’re a quadriplegic on the floor defenseless? Well shit, let’s insinuate a rape scenario. Using sexual assault as a catalyst for sympathy is an effective, but low blow. It starts getting irritating after the sixteenth time or so. [Contrary to popular belief, threatening a character with sexual assault, does not make the series a psychological anime, or any darker for that matter.]

Politics: During the second half, all the nations essentially went, “Fuck Japan, let’s nuke it.” This shit does not happen in real life; it’s not very logical. Prior to this, politics wasn’t even mentioned, it was a sporadic, generic roundtable discussion going, “I don’t like dem Jap’s, let’s just nuke the shit out of them.” But in all seriousness, they wanted to nuke Japan to contain the virus. The general principle is to quarantine the country, not nuke the shit out of it. It’s counterproductive, and it raises arguments for moral grounds. Then again, history has proven itself to be ridiculously paranoid.

Potential: I believe this ties in with everything here. People wouldn’t give a damn about Guilty Crown if it had a shitty, generic premise, a lackluster OST, and mediocre production-quality. But when it has numerous significant’s and far above average’s in all of those, it’s basically having high expectations to be handed shit with glitter. To put it simply, it was a ridiculously hyped show, I hyped for it; what we got was just another generic shounen carried by pretty aesthetics [Essentially Ao no Exorcist, with prettier heroines and shittier developments]

Voids: The concept of a “void” is really simple, however it still held a lot of potential for characterization. It could have been applied and executed far better than it was, but what exactly does Guilty Crown play the voids as? Quite frequently, they serve as catalysts to a dues ex machina; the void is just too ridiculously convenient given the scenario. The ability of unknown voids match the scenario, and the ability of the known voids adapt to the scenario. I would have hoped for the void’s power to be similar to the wielder of it [Like Hare’s void], they could have gone into some complex symbolism; but rather, most of the voids were ridiculously well-suited for the scenario at hand.

Deaths: In most series, deaths have a meaning, when major characters die, even supporting characters, sympathy is felt, you feel somewhat sad. When a major enemy is defeated, you feel triumphant. How does Guilty Crown handle this? They use the formula of constant deaths; ranging from insignificant characters, supporting characters, and major characters. Hell, they even revived a few major characters for shits, with no inherent explanation other than the miracles of science. After a while, deaths became flavor of the month, they lost their meaning. Wasn’t shocking, but expected. It’s essentially pompous as to how they’re going “A lot of people die, therefore, this is not a generic shounen, it’s a mature, dark show.”

Philosophy: Guilty Crown tries to be an intelligent show by raising moral questions, most notably at the end with the allusion to the biblical parable of Adam and Eve. It’s a ridiculous sporadic, dues ex development; at times, I question if Guilty Crown is just a really intelligent parody on storytelling as a whole.

Concluding Thoughts

Well, that was a long-rant; I probably missed a lot of things. Overall, it was a disappointment, but I don’t exactly regret watching it. Treat Guilty Crown as you would that one irritating friend you have. He’s a consistent asshole, and he’s irritating, but over time, the thoughts of murdering him subside, and you begin to view him more as a friend, and less as a subject of your violent delusions. Meaning, regardless of the shit, incoherent developments at the end, I showed more empathy to the on-going situations, rather than a preferred apathy, if you watch it long enough, you’ll inevitably begin to give a damn about it.

I personally felt bad for Shu at the end, it’s a rather shitty reality. Even if his characterization was written by a magical box, if we assume the emotions as “true” and “genuine”, then it’s a pretty shitty scenario to lose the person you care for most in the world. Most anime tend to leave both the hero and heroine alive, or they kill both off. Call me a romantic, but leaving one alive while killing the other is a bit too cruel.

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24 Responses to Why Guilty Crown Is Bad

  1. tala says:

    “For the majority people, it’s a blind love, for the people with common-sense for the most part, it’s basic hate.” No offense, but that’s kind of a bullshit thing to say. People are different. There’s just going to be some people out there that like things that you don’t and that does not make them blind. It’s okay to criticize things like this anime but please, you should not judge other people based on a show they happen to be entertained by.

    • mdlolz says:

      If you can justify a liking for it other than just is or pure subjective reasoning, then go for it. I’m viewing this objectively, and criticizing it as such.

  2. grek14 says:

    You’re right, objectively it sucks. Still, I somewhat enjoyed GC.
    If for nothing else, then the soundtrack, which in my opinion is probably one of the best out there (I most likely say that about every Supercell soundtrack xD)

    And where is the German in the OST? Seems like I missed that :O

  3. Dafuq did I just watch? says:

    I think pretty much most of the things I was going to rant about was already included but there is one you missed. Inori is a different character every episode; different personality, different abilities, just waiting for her to switch gender.

    Another thing is I like how whenever someone criticizes this show, blind fanboys immediately jumps in and say this same line over and over again: “if you don’t like it, don’t watch it”. Well I don’t like the holocaust either but I still have to read up on it. (This show is comparable to the holocaust)

    I’ll admit I was pretty hyped up for this show before it aired but upon the first couple of episodes, I immediately realized that I am going to face the same kind of disappointment as another anime that aired earlier last year (C-The Money of Soul and Possibility Control). Both shows have really catchy titles, great synopsis, and have great potential but just ends up like other generic mindless shounen time waster. These series try to be serious but with the lackluster plot and poor execution it’s kind of hard to take the show seriously. Unlike another show, Legend of the Legendary Heroes (retarded name I know and shitty description as well) which was actually pretty awesome despite the lack of appeal in the departments Guilty Crown excelled at.

    • mdlolz says:

      Difference between this show and [C] is, [C] simply didn’t have enough time to actually explain or develop anything, the idea was far more original than Guilty Crown. And yeah, LotGH is known to be a great show, even today.

      Just a disappointment; you’re right on the fanboy factor and Inori’s character.

  4. Anonymous says:

    >stumble upon some anime blog
    >read first paragraph
    >”common-sense” instead of “common sense”

    The hypocrisy is overwhelming. Now I know why people talk shit about anime blogs.

    • mdlolz says:

      I write so it’s understandable, that’s all. Perhaps if you paid more attention to the content, rather than nitpicking the grammer, you’d learn something aside from “How to Fanboy the Shit Out of a Shit Series”. [I understand that fanboying the shit out of something isn’t proper English. I apologize for my illiteracy in advance.]

  5. encore says:

    i dropped it after ep 17, googled it to see if im not the only one, i guess your rant is pretty much my rant. I dont really watch a lot of animes and i thought this would be good, but for me this anime is what air gear is in manga. =.=

  6. LC2 says:

    Hey a question, mdz, you said about the threat part that use sexual assault for as you said 16 times. Did that scenario happen that much? I only remember 1 episode (refer to your pic) but admittedly I have lousy memory & just half-heartedly watch the show thinking in the end it will be one of the great then it just smack in my face & screw my common sense & logic thinking.

    Anyway sorry about my rant.

    • mdz says:

      It didn’t happen that much, was a hyperbole; but it wasn’t a one time thing, it almost became a recurring staple in drawing sympathy.

  7. Jeffrey Zin says:

    THIS is the reason why I take this anime so seriously! I mean THIS IS AN OUTRAGE after I finished watching that show till i’m havin some sorta ‘psychological trauma’.

    I was like ‘what the hell just happened?!’ this anime really makes NO sense till it shakes my head sometimes. I mean they also never explained other things that why:-

    – how did Kenji Betrayed undertaker & joined GHQ instead till shibungi ended up in prison cell?! They never really explained about this how.

    – I’m not really sure how that prick Keido survived the collapse till he become a president of japan?! Did we see what happened on EP12?

    I can’t believe things were changed in the 2nd halfway of the show. God, I just hate myself.

  8. nope says:

    thanks for the rant and actually giving a detailed analysis on the good and bad. I was contemplating watching this show after seeing a shitload of it on tumblr, but now I think I’ll retract from that thought. honestly that’s a problem with a lot of today’s anime, they look great on the surface and try go all out in trying to be different; and the next big thing, but they just don’t deliver.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Comments on the *spectacularly* executed time skip ending?

    • mdz says:

      I couldn’t help but feel bad for Shu, he essentially lost his driving force, the girl that he loved [even though it was developed halfassedly, but let’s assume that his emotions were true.]. I felt that the ending could have been far worse than it was; I liked it I suppose.

  10. Ice says:

    Some things I had against the anime, Arisa Huhoin whoring herself (that just screwed my mind up), she was indeed a strong and intelligent female character. Also Hare did not deserve to die deserve to die. There should have been some kind of counter to Void Breaking to save her. The ending would have been better if they have both lived or stayed crystallized together. I understand being realistic to a point, but I’ve been seeing so many of those when expecting something else that it’s getting old. Those twist plots ruined the anime.

    The first 12 episode was great though, I hoped they would have developed the romance a bit more though instead of half-assing it. The romance isn’t as bad as a lot of anime I’ve read where there is literally no content to the romance, but just a hook, but still, all I’m asking if for a little bit more.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You mother fucking bitches, This is a awesome anime but you people call it bad. Are you mother fucking stupid or what you fucking idiot! Go to hell you morons!

  12. momoy says:

    So, There is another season right?

    • mdz says:

      Not as of right now.

      • momoy says:

        So that means there is a possibility of a 2nd season? Sorry to bother because I really wan’t a 2nd season because it makes no sense of all -_-
        Thanks for your Time! :)

      • mdz says:

        Not sure, sales were moderate; there’s a spinoff visual novel and an OVA, but an additional season seems unlikely [a direct one at least]. Guilty Crown ended somewhat “conclusively” [storytelling wise, not content-wise].

  13. Integra says:

    A spot on review. I found it especially sad since so many scenes had a NICE punch to them.

    Episode 1 when Shu pulled the Void from Inori was nothing short of foreshadowing epicness, as the metalesque music starts to play after the flashback. I can’t believe how flat the VOID concept turned out. They had nearly NO substantial plot-turnarounds, where they combined skills to create surprising new outcomes.

    It seriously lacked one of the ultimate strengths in anime aswell, namely m i n d g a m e s. I was never perplexed or kept wondering about loyalties or peoples minds. All betrayals felt scripted, not like a bullet through the heart.

    Worse than the sum of it’s parts indeed.

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