Friday, October 14, 2011

Guilty Crown: Episode 1

I have to start out with saying that Guilty Crown is the first anime I've ever attempted to watch from a new season of anime in Japan. I was looking up ANN's Fall Preview Guide, searching around Crunchyroll, and I was on Facebook where I saw a post from Funimation about Guilty Crown just premiering and how I should watch it. So I went to Funi's site and saw this large banner with stylized artwork promoting the show.

And there you have it.

Guilty Crown is an interesting name for an anime where the title doesn't have much relevance in the first episode. Actually, speaking of the first episode, it packs a lot of setting and information into just 25 minutes. But it does it rather well, introducing characters and situations one after the other.

*Spoilers Ahead*

We follow the male lead Shu who makes it clear that he's not the strongest guy in his class. He's fairly average, seems to have a few friends, and is seen as "dense" by his fellow classmates. He acknowledges that he's a bit different in narrative dialogue, which is a bit too direct for me. But hey, I guess the guy knows himself pretty well.

Shu arrives at his own place, but it's hard to tell if it's his home or his secret getaway. He finds a girl named Inori that was shown previously being shot at by large mechs and the like. There's definitely something going on between Shu and Inori, because when he gets close to her he has a flashback. They may be siblings, or they may have been best friends when they were little. Either way, the government shows up and takes Inori from under Shu's feet, leaving him helpless.

Inori gave Shu the task to deliver a particular item to an anti-government group, and after she's been taken away it's the only thing Shu can do to prove he's worth something. After getting caught up in a battle and truly showing that he has a pair, Shu summons a large sword-like weapon by using Inori as a form of catalyst. Yeah, I have no idea what's going on but it's damn cool.

Guilty Crown really packs a punch in its production values and goes to great length to show off its soundtrack. The dialogue was nice and the actions of the characters were fairly realistic. It's easy to take this show seriously, and I like that. One of my favorite parts of the first episode is when Shu hesitates before going to possibly save Inori. He pushes himself to take that step and be a man.

If the story can keep up in quality and stay interesting, then I believe Guilty Crown has the potential to have some jaw-dropping moments. Hopefully it'll stand its ground in a season where there's not much competition going on...

*All image credit to Funimation.

-Jared C.

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