Guilty Crown is a story centered around a high school student named Shu Ouma. Shu’s your average shy anime protagonist who is accidentally bestowed with the power to draw out weapons, called Voids, from people’s souls. Once he obtains this power, he is drawn into battle on behalf of a group of rebel fighters called “Undertakers”.
This is what Guilty Crown was like in my brain (spoilers):
So, a virus has infected Japan, it came from space and gave this girl some weird powers and also seems to have made her crazy (or maybe she was already crazy). Then she gets angry and stuff explodes and she dies. Then people get sick because she infected them all with…cancer…made out of parts her body (still not really sure how that works)? But then science steps in and they try to cure the cancer or make a weapon, I can’t really tell. But they end up making a weapon that pulls weapons out of people that represents their own personality. This weapon gets implanted into the main character (who’s also the crazy girl’s brother, that she was in love with). He goes around pulling weapons out of people and fighting big robots so people start to like him. His primary “weapon” is this girl who’s also a singing Idol and, of course, he’s in love with her (even though she likes another dude).
We go along like this for a little while until we find out that the Idol is actually a clone of the main character’s sister that’s been created so that she can be resurrected by taking over the Idol’s body. But, since the main character’s in love with her we can’t have that. So now the other dude has to die so that they can both be saved. BTW, the guy that reveals this and causes the dying is some random creepy kid who appears to have superpowers and represents some mysterious organization who’s just started showing up, alla Xellos from The Slayers. So, he’s probably important.
But after the dude dies the main character gets to be with the girl and, bonus, he gets to be in charge. The downside, he’s in charge of a school that’s part of an area of Japan that was completely walled off and quarantined from the rest of Japan over nite (because apparently, this government is great at building huge walls and putting guns around them). So then it turns into a kind of weird emo thing and the main character becomes a dick who starts ranking people and arresting them and belittling his friends, you know, the normal stuff. But then the dead dude comes back and takes the guy’s powers by cutting off his arm and proceeds to be an even bigger dick. So then the main character has to become the hero again and save everybody by launching headlong into one huge final-ish battle. And, as you’d expect, the girl has to sacrifice herself to save him (and everyone). A year later, the people who survived this foolishness get together and have tea.
If that summary sounds a little bit hacked together to you, you’re getting the same impression I did from the show. Not to say that it wasn’t enjoyable and that there weren’t good parts to it but, to me, this show suffered from a strange method of plot presentation and pacing that really detracted from an enjoyable show by causing me to stop and say “wait what’s going on now” a few too many times. At first, I thought this was going to be something along the lines of Negima, where Shu would just get a few partners and the show would be some fights mixed in with dealing with his relationships with his partners. A few episodes in Shu runs around pulling Voids out of (or as we called it, “Soul Raping”) a ton of the characters in the show. At that point, I knew I was wrong.
For me, the best thing about the show is some of the visual effects. For lack of a more eloquent description I’ll just say they look cool. Specifically, the manifestation and visualization of the Voids (the weapons the main character uses in the show). I also like the fact that there were so many different voids to see and the different ways that they can be used. Unfortunately, since a void is unique to a person, lots of voids means lots of characters and this show can suffer from a bit of bleach-like over saturation when it comes to characters.
One other nice thing the show has going for it is its soundtrack. The music for the show was done by Hiroyuki Sawano. It probably helped to have a character be a singer in order to feature more of the music in this show. Still, having the opportunity to do something isn’t worth much if you don’t execute it well. And the music in this show is executed very well.
It’s nothing ground breaking, but there’s enough characters and plot movement to keep you from getting bored and the story is actually pretty good once you understand what it is. There’s talk of there being a 2nd season of this show, which I think would actually be great if it helps flesh out a lot of the questions that are left unanswered in the show. I’d say watch it as a stop-gap if you’re in between shows you like.