First Impressions: Guilty Crown

When one boy decides to fight back,

he unleashes a mighty power.

All the anime blogs I’ve seen over the weekend have been buzzing about Funimation’s premiere of Guilty Crown at New York Comic Con, so I thought I’d check it out myself (though I’d heard nothing about this show prior to seeing it mentioned by Funimation on Facebook).

Shu: loner, do-gooder, pop music enthusiast.

Shu is a loner type of guy who’s “different,” or at least he feels that way from his boisterous high school classmates. He goes to an abandoned building to eat some onigiri, and there he finds an injured girl whom he recognizes as Inori, the lead singer of a band called Egoist. She offers him a cat’s cradle or some sort of yarn thing, but before he can take it a bunch of mean guys with guns come in and take Inori away. After they leave Shu admonishes himself for not doing anything to help her, but the little robot that was with Inori interupts his melancholy by drawing up a map and encouraging Shu to follow it. Shu remembers that Inori said something about “get this to Gai,” so he figures it’s the least he can do. He takes the robot (and somewhere along the way slips the vial that the robot was carrying into his coat pocket) and sets out to find Gai.

Yarn makes you brave... or something.

Once Shu arrives at the location a random gang of thugs tries to take the robot from him, but Gai makes a badass entrance and beats the hell out of them. He’s barely had time for introductions before the mean guys who took Inori show up in full attack mode, looking for the genome that Shu has brought to Gai (the vial in his pocket). Gai tells him to look after it (isn’t that putting a lot of trust into a high school kid that you just met?) and Shu takes off at a run. He rounds a corner and sees Inori, who has just escaped from an overturned trailer where she was being held hostage. However, she stands in a daze right in front of an enemy’s giant scary robot thing.

Exterminate, annihilate, destroy!

Shu decides to do something not like himself and runs up to her, grabbing Inori just as the robot fires a gun at him. The bullet hits the vial in his coat pocket and it shatters. Suddenly he and Inori are in a strange circular ball of light and she’s floating in front of him with a glowing cavity in her chest, telling Shu to “use” her. Then, in what is probably the most overtly sexual non-sex scene I’ve ever seen in anime, Shu plunges his hand into her half-naked chest, and, while crouching over her, pulls the biggest, most phallic object EVER out of her body. The mean guys’ science team is like, “Whoa!” while Shu uses his crazy-long sword-thing to deflect missiles and finally slash the robot in half like a hot knife cutting through butter. In the end, Shu stands in the street amidst the fire and the chaos, looking destructive.

Shu 2.0: pulling swords out of chests and shoving them up bad guys' asses.

I’ve got to say, I was fairly impressed with what I’ve seen of this series so far. The artwork is stunning, just really crisp and detailed and lovely. The music is excellent and very fitting, especially when the badass fight scenes take place. I was worried when I saw all the fighter robots (and still a bit worried for future episodes) given that I don’t care for mecha anime in general, but as long as the human story doesn’t get lost and they retain the balance that they created in episode one I’ll have no complaints. The story seems pretty clear-cut this far in, though obviously all the cards have not been shown yet, and I’m intrigued enough by the characters to want to know more about them. Overall I’m quite glad that I hopped on the bandwagon and checked Guilty Crown out, and I’ll definitely be looking for more episodes as soon as possible.

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