Preview: Guilty Crown

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I still don’t have a concrete idea on what to write for NaNoWriMo, but I have a prologue in mind that I like. I also have character ideas that I like. The main thing I’m struggling a bit with is thinking of an overarching plot to connect everything. My first instinct was to go with the standard “oppressive rulers” idea, but so many stories take this route that I want to think up something unique. Or at least a twist on the standard formula.

I know NaNoWriMo is where you’re supposed to just surrender to artistic impulse rather than literary desires, but I’ve never managed to finish a genuine story/novel before, and I want to be able to do so with the 50,000 word count goal of NaNoWriMo motivating me.

If there’s one thing that everybody can agree on, it’s that Code Geass Guilty Crown looks fantastic. It’s obvious that it has the highest budget this season (though Fate/Zero is probably extremely close), and they aren’t afraid to show it.

However, something that people can’t agree on is whether the show is actually good or not.

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Nearly everyone used this screenshot, so I thought I would too.

For a show that’s airing in the noitaminA slot, Guilty Crown has an extremely heavy shounen vibe to it. I thought the point of noitaminA was to target a different audience, not the same one? It looks like future noitiminA slots are slipping even further from its original goal.

Now, shounen isn’t inherently bad, but there’s a matter of expectations to be applied here, especially with how excited people were getting for the show. In fact, I even wrote something about that in the seasonal impressions post I believe. Let me go grab that…

Original anime, Code Geass writers, Death Note director, etc. Honestly the fact that it’s original, has some of the Code Geass writers, and the director did Death Note doesn’t automatically mean this will be a good show. I mean, come on, Death Note was pretty much already written for him, guys. And just because the writers did Code Geass doesn’t mean every other story they wrote is automatic gold. There are plenty of authors that gained fame for a single work they’ve done, and all their other work is mediocre at best. And I’m not just talking about anime here, it’s the case for novel/book authors, too.

Boy, did I call it or what?snap3

I suppose I’ve been beating around the bush as to giving my actual opinion on the show, though. The problem is I’m still not entirely sure which side of the fence I’m on, because this show can be seen two completely different ways. If you bought into the hype ahead of time, you’re going to be disappointed big time. You’re going to see a rehashed Code Geass with a lot of shounen elements added to it. However, if you approach this show without having bought into or exposed to the hype beforehand, there’s plenty to enjoy about the show.

Honestly, it comes down to a matter of expectations. On the one hand, I really, really don’t think this deserves the (two) noitaminA slot(s) it got. But on the other hand, since I didn’t buy into the hype at all, it allows me to sit back and enjoy the show for what it is.

This is the wild card for me this season. I doubt I’ll have a legitimate opinion one way or the other until the eventual review for when it’s over.


15 Comments on “Preview: Guilty Crown”

  1. Ritsuioko23 says:

    Inori is sexy but not as sexy as you :3

  2. This series looked and sounded amazing but I’m still doubtful because the story looks like a lot other dystopian/sci-fi anime and it’s a bit lacking in originality thus far to have me too excited.

    • Riyoga says:

      It is lacking in originality a bit, but it’s presented decently enough to pass, which is why how the entire story plays out is going to be a huge portion of how I grade it. Hence why I probably won’t have any real opinion until the end.

  3. Shu Ouma says:

    This show’s really good, but probably because I never watched Code Geass or anything.

    • Riyoga says:

      If you saw Code Geass, you’d recognize all of the similarities. There’s a LOT of them. Even the King’s Power (Power of Kings in Code Geass) is extremely similar. Need eye contact, loses memory of incident, etc.

      But yeah, if you haven’t seen Code Geass, that makes sense why you’d enjoy this a lot. No nagging thoughts in the back of your head saying, “Wait… haven’t I seen this before?”

      Also, clever blog journal you got there. Never seen someone take that approach.

      • Shu Ouma says:

        LMAO I only know the characters since I hunt for anime pictures to edit on PhotoShop. But yeah I’m glad I never watched Code Geass or else I wouldn’t be enjoying this show as much xDD; And thanks!! Countless blogs already reviewed the crap out of the show, so I decided to just RP as Ouma Shu.

      • Code Geass was a decently engrossing watch but so far I think Guilty Crown has it beat on sheer technical execution alone.

        • Riyoga says:

          I would definitely argue with that.

          Code Geass was a story of rebellion that you were never sure was going to happen, due to Lelouch always thinking ten steps ahead. It also had the ambiguity of you not being sure whether Lelouch or Suzaku was correct. While Lelouch had an advantage by being the main character, they balanced it out by also throwing in the question of whether the ends justified the means by occasionally having cruel actions be necessary.

          Guilty Crown, on the other hand, is about Shu getting over being pathetic, which is definitely less interesting. Obviously Guilty Crown also has rebellion, but it doesn’t have the moral ambiguity. While Gai may be the Lelouch of the show, there’s no Suzaku. Any thoughts of even slightly agreeing with the government forces are tossed out the window when you remember they all seem to have a constant hard-on for being evil. I don’t think there was a single government soldier, officer, or whatever in the second episode that didn’t have some stupid, evil grin on their face at some point.

          Add the fact that Inori is completely worthless, personality-less, and serves no purpose (or they’ll pull something out of their ass at the end), and Guilty Crown pales in comparison to Code Geass. Everything it’s trying to do has been done by Code Geass and better, and there are some points that fail even without comparison. The only point it has over Code Geass is that it looks fantastic, but being perty a good show it does not make.

  4. Even though I did, I didn’t mean to make my language sound so pointed by saying Guilty Crown was better than Code Geass. I merely meant to say that Crown’s production values are much higher than Geass’s. Your rebuttal was very sound and articulate though.

    • Riyoga says:

      My bad, it was me who jumped the gun on that. Guess I was just kind of eager to let that all out. The fourth episode frustrated me immensely with it’s retardation. Can’t they pull an exciting moment without breaking the rules of the universe they’ve established? Because apparently Inori can fly, Shu magically knows how to navigate in anti-gravity, and the weapon Shu got conveniently had an ‘overload’ function he wasn’t aware of that allowed him to hit everything within a gigantic radius.

      Oh, and apparently Shu has a split-presonality that turns him into a cold, emotionless master swordsman. Why bother with a plot point of Shu getting over being pathetic when you can just pull a Deus Ex Machina that I’m sure will get some half-assed explanation later on?

      Blech. That episode left a bad taste in my mouth.

  5. The story did take some drastic turns there didn’t it?

  6. roundround says:

    Agree with Rigoya. Code Geass’s characters are so well-developed and the conflicts are so beautiful that Guilty Crown seems so shallow in comparison. Ones who enjoy Guilty Crown should really watch Code Geass. It is a masterpiece.

    • Riyoga says:

      I’m reluctant to throw around the word ‘masterpiece’, but Code Geass is definitely some fantastic viewing. I’ve already watched both seasons at least three times, but I’m not sure it’s quite a masterpiece.

      That title obviously belongs to Shana.


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