Guilty Crown Episode 01

When I started watching Dantalian no Shoka I wrote up a post where I explained two guiding principles in my anime-watching: to give shows produced by Gainax a chance (Iron Principle), and to give shows where someone thrusts their arm into another’s chest and pulls something awesome out a chance (Rose Principle).  The Rose Principle applies in this show so I’m definitely checking it out.

I’m really starving for an anime to love right now.  I loved Code Geass so honestly if this were just like Code Geass I’d probably watch the whole thing.  Heck, they could just start airing Code Geass this season and I’d probably pretend it’s a new show and tune in every week.

Anyway, on to this episode.

It looked great.  No problems there.

As to the story…

The first half had a great mix of mystery and suggested some major epic past events (of the appetizing sort that makes you want to stick with the show to see what it all means).  That said, there was a a massive golem of silliness lurking in the shadows and threatening to come out (I caught glimpses of it while the girl was running for dear life with the little R2D2, even though I enjoyed the scene), and I do think that the golem stepped out of the shadows in the second half.  The rock music while Gai was pulverizing the street thugs really exemplifies this silliness.  Then later on toward the end we got into the mysterious epic mode again, though the final sword battle was a bit weak.  I found the flashbacks/visions/screenshots between Shu and Inori very effective.  Whether the plot will deliver or not I can’t say, but one can hope.

All in all this episode was very much in the anime tradition.  Of course, there is also a tradition of starting off traditionally only to subvert conventions and get really weird and innovative later [I’m thinking of Evangelion, say].  Code Geass to me was an extremely innovative show, especially in the person of Lelouch, how he wasn’t Japanese, and how that brought up all sorts of issues anime doesn’t usually address.  The hero here seems typically Japanese, and in fact the premise of the show is reminiscent of many a Leiji Matsumoto manga [where several foreign nations in concert occupy a weakened Japan] but again, with the show this pretty and this suggestive I will definitely be around for episode 2.



~ by Haloed Bane on October 13, 2011.

21 Responses to “Guilty Crown Episode 01”

  1. I would not complain at all if they reaired Code Geass either. Lelouch was such a fun character.

    That music really was out of place, it was quite jarring.

  2. The Gai scene was the best scene of the episode. The music was fucking perfect.

  3. I’m surprised that no one really brought up Lelouch’s non-Japanese origin in Code Geass (or at least, I don’t remember). Care to share your thoughts on why you think it’s innovative and interesting? I kind of want to rewatch the first season now…

    • LOL I rewatched the first 2 eps of R1.

      A lead that isn’t Japanese while the setting is in Japan… and is the savior of Japan?! That sounds interesting to me. Otherwise foreigners wherein race and country factor a lot… are more like Chibodee Crockett LOL

    • Well, the whole point of Code Geass is that Lelouch is from Britannia, and that he somehow becomes the savior of Japan, not because he feels the Japanese are awesome and he wants to become a Japanese citizen, not because he’s pretty much a foreigner only in name, but because the salvation of Japan is a tool for his own vendetta. In a real sense this series wasn’t about Japan at all! It was about Britannians for Britannians against Britannians, but everything takes place in Japan, so the writers really had to struggle to put themselves in these non-Japanese shoes, and worse, think of what a foreigner (and an arrogant foreigner at that) would think of the Japanese.

    • I believe they had Lelouch explicitly tell the Black Knights he’s not Japanese at one early point and later on another character says they should still trust him in spite of that.

      In addition to that, there were other interesting implications. The general public probably assumes that Zero is Japanese, yes, but the Black Knights aren’t initially presented as a specifically anti-Britannian force. Rather, Zero basically says they are fighting against Britannia and its occupation for the sake of justice, but that they wouldn’t mind receiving the support of Britannians who share that just cause. Which is acknowledged as a form of propaganda even within the show itself, but it does reflect Lelouch’s lack of a patriotic interest in Japan.

      Generally speaking, Lelouch/Zero either eliminated or absorbed and manipulated the more militaristic and nationalist resistance forces into his own group, such as the JLF. He does eventually announce the creation of a United States of Japan, but in a late scene Lelouch also indicates to Japanese aristocrats that he doesn’t simply want to bring back the “old” Japan where they rule.

      Even R2 had the logical next step of making Lelouch/Zero create a truly multinational organization during the second half, which isn’t what you would have expected from a Japanese character. The focus of the story didn’t really become universal, of course, but the concept certainly grew out of his status and beliefs as a non-Japanese person.

      • Right. I can’t remember offhand but I have a vague recollection of Lelouch actually making some pretty disparaging comments about Japanese people.

        What a brilliant man he was! And yes, everyone assumed he was a Japanese patriot. He called himself Zero for crying out loud, how more Japanesey (and specifically Japanese animeish) can you get it 😀

  4. I was captivated by the superb production values — it reminded me of interesting elements from Code Geass and the more recent No. 6, and then the superhero conventions from the recent Sacred 7.

    It looks a lot prettier than all those examples and it has wheel-propelled bipedal mecha which is the big story in mecha design in 2011… which if I were to trace the tradition…

    Armored Trooper VOTOMS (early 80s) Sunrise
    Ghost in the Shell – Production I.G.
    Code Geass – Sunrise
    Tiger & Bunny – Sunrise
    Sacred 7 – Sunrise
    Guilty Crown – Production I.G.

    I’m certain I purposely ignored Appleseed, but I also haven’t seen Dominion Tank Police which is a Shirow work (and he loves his wheeled quad-pedal machines).

    • I’ve definitely seen these wheelies around. I don’t remember Dominion Tank Police, but I know I saw it. I don’t know what I think of the wheelies aesthetically.

  5. Production values were great, music aside. Given, much of what we’ve seen in the first episode is fairly standard anime, story-wise, but it’s resting on a good side of the blade at the moment. I fear this could flop into something like Dragonaut, but I’ll wait it out a couple episodes to see how it goes.

    I found the flashbacks/visions/screenshots between Shu and Inori very effective.

    Agreed. They had a dark, creepy, and almost demonic feel to them.

    • Very standard, yes. So there are two ways for it to stand out: a) veer into something unexpected (and interesting, it won’t do if it’s unexpected and boring) or b) continue to be standard but in a superlative way, with awesome production values and lots of action.

  6. The main source of potential within Guilty Crown is that the creators themselves almost certainly know we are hoping to find parallels to Code Geass, Death Note or even Macross Frontier but if they play their cards right, this very fact will either allow them to surprise us by not always following up on those expectations, or at least they will combine their consituent elements in unusual ways.

    It may still remain a very traditional type of story where in the end our shounen protagonist will learn to grow up in order to accept his powers and protect his friends, at heart, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make the experience feel more worthwhile than other similar tales.

    • All of what you say is let’s hope that the show takes any of a number of positive routes, and none of the many dreadful ones!

  7. […] Geass. I object to the fact that Guilty Crown doesn’t resemble Code Geass enough! (Thanks to animekritik for leading me to realize […]

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