A thoughtful response to current anime.

Guilty Crown – Episode 1

I don’t really know much about Guilty Crown – even the basic descriptions I was reading in the visual season guides kinda made my eyes glaze over, lots of Specialized Terminology that doesn’t make sense to you if you haven’t already watched the show and had it explained to you that a Geass is a magic mind control power or whatever.  On the one hand, a summary that’s just a slurry of Named Entities doesn’t seem to give you much information about the show; on the other hand, if there are more than a couple Capitalized Phrases in a single paragraph about the show, that tells you enough to know to steer clear.  But Guilty Crown is a Noitamina show, and while not every Noitamina show is good, there’s usually more to them than just a pile of Uppercase Letters.  So let’s  see how episode 1 of Guilty Crown turns out.

…thirty minutes pass…

Ooh, I know this one! That's a Command Spell, he can enforce absolute obedience from the pinkhaired chick three times, but once he runs out he won't be able to control her.

This is just, Code Geass.  It’s completely isomorphic. They took the first episode of Code Geass and changed all the Capitalized Proper Noun Phrases to different words and re-aired it.  I don’t usually bother writing episode summaries, but it seems worthwhile in this case.  Spoilers for the first episode of Code Geass ahead, not that I’m going to spoil anything they didn’t already by ripping it off.

Okay, so the scene is set with Japan trapped by foreign imperialists that have destroyed its national sovereignty.  Good thing there are a plucky band of nationalist terrorists to resist the giant robots of the occupation forces with their own giant robots!  The terrorists are carrying out one of their terrorist plots when a high school boy, seemingly unrelated, gets caught up in the action.  (But there are hints this boy is more than he seems…) The imperialists get mad at the terrorists and decide to go through an entire neighborhood of Tokyo killing all the Japanese living there.  The boy is caught up in this and tries to resist, but things seem hopeless until a mysterious girl provides him the means to fight back through a magical power that is visually represented by an abstract symbol appearing on his body.

I mean, I liked Code Geass fine.  But one of the things I liked most about it was the vibrant, larger-than-life characters.  Yeah, they could cross the line into “wacky” sometimes, but I’d rather take that risk than have characters like this, with nothing interesting about them at all.  The terrorist chick likes to sing, the protagonist guy is socially incompetent.  That’s really all I was able to get of their characters from this episode.  This show seems like they took Code Geass and carefully removed all the fun with a scalpel, I don’t think I’ll follow it.


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