Friday, January 10, 2014

Rewind: Guilty Crown

Guilty Crown entered its second season about two years ago. It's hard to believe it's already been so long. That season, I tried following 14 anime as they aired. I dropped a couple of them after a few episodes, but for the most part, I stuck with it. I haven't stuck with quite so large a load since then, but I've continued to watch airing shows. Before that, I almost exclusively watched completed anime, with a few exceptions. So Guilty Crown was part of a significant change in my viewing habits. 

I started watching Guilty Crown on the recommendation of Zeroe4 (of Beneath the Tangles and, and I enjoyed it. For those of you who don't know, Guilty Crown is a sci-fi show set in a future where the Apocalypse Virus threatens people's lives so much, Japan is under military rule by a global organization. The main character is a high school boy, Ouma Shuu, who... you know what? I think I'll send you to Anime-Planet if you want the description. As much as I enjoyed it, I remember the second season best, especially around and after episodes 15 and 16. 

I remember that section not just because I wrote about it, but because it's the part that affected me the most. Shuu had the fate of a lot (hundreds?) of fellow teens in his hands. Because of his abilities, he'd been appointed leader of the group, which was trapped in part of the city without any adults. He had to agree to a system of rationing vaccines in the face of the deadly virus. His choices made him into a tyrant. It didn't make me hate him, but boy, it made me mad! 
From the 19th episode. I'm sorry to say I don't remember
the context for this screenshot. I might eventually re-watch
it and find out.

Shuu wrestled with serious ethical questions, which meant I had to wrestle a bit with them, too. Would I find another way to keep such a large collection of frightened teenagers alive and civil? If I did, it would be by the grace of God. Without Him, fear would certainly drive me to act in a manner similar to Shuu's. 

The drama in these episodes frustrated me. If it went on too long, I probably would have dropped it. I couldn't handle this kind of conflict in large doses. As it was, I knew that my frustration came from how much I cared about the characters and the story, so it was a good thing. I ended up rating the show five stars on my Anime-Planet list.

When Sword Art Online came out, people compared it to Guilty Crown, and not in a good way. Apparently, not everyone liked Guilty Crown as much as I did. I'm not sure what was considered wrong with it. I didn't pay close enough attention to Tweets and blog posts. So if you know why some people dislike the show (or, even better, if you're one of those people), I hope you'll enlighten me in a comment. 


  1. I think people felt the series was all style and little substance. I can tell you that I didn't enjoy it - I dropped at the midway point because I wasn't particularly interested in where the story was going. I did enjoy the first several episodes, the animation, and the music in the series, though.

  2. That makes sense. "All style and little substance" would especially account for the comparisons to SAO. Thanks for the comment!


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