Promotional artwork featuring main characters: Inori Yuzuriha (left) and Shu Ouma (right).
|Genre||Action, Romance, Science fantasy|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tetsurō Araki|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Yoshino, Ichirō Ōkouchi (assistant)|
|Music by||Hiroyuki Sawano|
|Network||Fuji TV (noitaminA)|
|Original run||October 14, 2011 – March 23, 2012|
|Published by||Square Enix|
|Magazine||Monthly Shōnen Gangan|
|Original run||November 2011 – ongoing|
|Guilty Crown: Princess of Deadpool|
|Written by||Gan Saaku|
|Illustrated by||Production I.G, Nitroplus, redjuice|
|Published||April 25, 2012|
|Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas|
|Released||July 26, 2012|
Guilty Crown (ギルティクラウン Giruti Kuraun ) is a 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by Production I.G which aired on Fuji TV's noitaminA program block from October 2011. The story revolves around Shu Ouma, a high school boy who inadvertently obtains an ability called "The Power of the Kings" that enables him to draw out items called "Voids" from other people. He is then thrown into the conflict between a resistance group called Funeral Parlor which aims to restore Japan's independence from a quasi-governmental organization known as the GHQ. In the process, Shu has to deal with the burden his ability puts on his shoulders and the horrific mystery of his past. The series incorporates elements of numerous genres, mostly drawing from science fantasy.
One manga adaptation has been published by Square Enix in their Monthly Shōnen Gangan which began in November 2011. A light novel was published by Nitroplus entitled Guilty Crown: Princess of Deadpool in April 2012. A spin-off visual novel named Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas was also developed by Nitroplus which came bundled with a 15 minute original video animation (OVA) tentatively named Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas. Critics praised the series' presentation but panned the plot for being jumbled and cliché.
Prior to the events of the main story, on December 24, 2029, a biological hazard known as the Apocalypse Virus plunges Japan into a state of chaos. This later became known as the Lost Christmas incident. Unable to contain the threat, Japan sought international help and the United Nations sent an organization known as the GHQ to their aid. The GHQ successfully contained the outbreak and restored a level of order at the cost of Japan's independence. Ten years later, a resistance organization known as the Undertakers waged a campaign against the GHQ in order to liberate Japan once more.
The story begins when a high school student Ouma Shu is reluctantly thrown into the middle of the struggle when he finds a wounded girl called Inori Yuzuriha, the vocalist of a popular internet group EGOIST taking refuge at his film club's workshop. He helps her before the GHQ Anti Bodies storm the workshop and arrest her for involvement with the 'terrorist' group Funeral Parlor. Shu follows the coordinates of Inori's robot to a drop zone where he meets Gai Tsutsugami, leader of Funeral Parlor who asks him to safeguard a vial. As GHQ begins attacking the Ruppongi area looking for the vial, it shatters as Shu goes to rescue Inori when she becomes threatened by GHQ Endlave Mechs. The vial contains something called the Void Genome, a powerful genetic weapon derived from the Apocalypse Virus, developed by Sephirah Genomics, that grants Shu the "Power of the Kings", an ability that allows his right hand to extract Voids, weapons of people's psyche given physical form. Shu then extracts Inori's Void and destroys the attacking Endlaves.
As events progress, Shu falls in love with Inori and reluctantly joins Funeral Parlor with the Void Genome, since it was originally supposed to be used by Gai, helping them with various operations in order to cripple the GHQ. Eventually, the source of the Apocalypse Virus: a meteor fragment is stolen by head of the GHQ Anti Bodies, Dr. Shuichiro Keido who lets himself get caught by GHQ's leader, setting the stage for a planned internal coup d'état of GHQ. As Funeral Parlor launches an operation to retrieve the meteor fragment now held by GHQ's Major General Yan, they walk into a trap set up by the Anti Bodies Major Segai. Unknown to both the GHQ and Funeral Parlor, Segai then activates a broadcast from Tokyo Tower which resonates with the fragment causing the Apocalypse Virus to spread over Roppongi and form a crystalline tower, affecting everyone except the Anti Bodies due to a vaccine. Yan is then killed by his son Anti Bodies Lieutenent Daryl, toppling the GHQ as Shuichiro assumes command. However Dr. Haruka Ouma - Shu's adoptive mother creates an anti resonating device which Inori uses to counter the effects of the virus with her song. Shu goes to rescue Inori and upon reaching her, a boy called Yuu - "The Envoy of Daath", who possesses the second Void Genome, shows up, extracting Inori's Void and attacks Shu, but Gai takes the hit. Shu follows Yuu inside the crystal tower where after some events the repressed memories of his past are brought to the surface.
As a child, Shu and his sister Mana both found a young Gai washed up the beach on an island in Oshima. They spent the summer of 2029 together where Gai fell in love with Mana and became Shu's best friend. However, Mana had been the first to be infected with the Apocalypse Virus, making her insane and sought to propagate a new race of humans with Shu. Shu rejected her at which point, Mana lost control of herself and caused a massive explosion which spread the Apocalypse Virus across Japan: the Lost Christmas. Following the aftermath, Gai resolves to get stronger and leaves. A horrified Shu then repressed his memories. In the present, Shuichiro reveals his plan of using Inori who was created to hold Mana's soul and become the "Adam" with Mana as "Eve" and create a new race of humans using his genes after the Apocalypse Virus annihilates the current human populace of Earth. Gai and Shu then work together and manage to stop Shuichiro where Shu, stabs Mana's stasis pod through a fatally wounded Gai as the tower crumbles.
Two weeks since the second outbreak of the Apocalypse Virus, the GHQ cordons off the area surrounding Ruppongi in Tokyo. With nowhere to go, a large number of teenagers take refuge at Tennouzu High School along with Funeral Parlor members Shu, Inori, Ayase and Tsugumi. Later Shuichiro, who has now assumed command of Japan's Provincial Government completely seals off the Area which he calls "Loop 7" claiming that there are no more survivors. Following this announcement a mobile perimeter is set up, guarded by Ghost Endlaves and begins reducing the confined area on daily basis, slaughtering anyone who gets close. As food and Apocalypse Vaccine supplies run low, social order comes dangerously close to collapsing. But Shu is able to restore everyone's resolve and is elected the new Student Council President. Shu's friend Yahiro, makes plans for a Void Ranking System, in that supplies will be rationed to students based on the strength of their Voids, which Shu is initially reluctant to use. However as events culminate, a band of F-ranked students try to prove their worth which ultimately results in the death of Hare as her Void breaks which Yahiro witnesses but hides from Shu. Hare's death pushes Shu over the edge and his personality abruptly changes from the kind, people pleaser to a tyrant, implementing the Void Ranking. As events progress within Loop 7, elsewhere, Haruka and Shuichiro resurrect Gai.
Arisa Kuhouin, former student council president, secretly gains the support of the students and conspires a coup against Shu when she learns the dangers of Voids kept a secret by Shu and Yahiro. Eventually Shu begins an Operation Exodus: a plan to free the students from Loop 7 whereby they launch an attack upon Tokyo Tower to destroy the remote system controlling the Ghost Endlaves. Shu's actions, were however anticipated by Shuichiro aided by Yuu. Upon successfully destroying the Tower, the barricade is lifted and the students begin leaving. Arisa initiates her coup and Shu is removed from power and humiliated. At this time, Gai appears and ruthlessly severs Shu's right arm, transferring the Void Genome to him and declaring himself the "true king".
The United Nations learn that the GHQ can no longer be trusted as Shuichiro had been covering up Japan's state of affairs for years vote to destroy Japan to stop the Apocalypse Virus. Gai ruthlessly destroys the incoming UN bombs by fusing the Voids of nearby students, killing them in the process. Meanwhile Daryl is shocked to hear that the Anti Bodies who have now joined forces with a new organisation, must protect Gai. Following the UN's failure, Gai makes a worldwide broadcast that no country is permitted to enter within a 30 mile radius of Tokyo, or else one of 256 orbiting space cannons called Leukocytes will attack them. Okina later reveals that the mastermind behind the events in Japan is an ancient organization known as "Daath" whose purpose was to obtain Shu's power and now Inori, who is plagued with the essence of Mana. Inori later lets her self get captured by "Daath" in order to protect Shu.
Haruka then betrays the GHQ/Anti Bodies/Daath and steals the third Void Genome and meets up with the rest of Funeral Parlor and the Kuhouin Group. At the same time, Shu, resolving to save Inori, is able to meet up with the others thanks to Arisa. Meanwhile Gai releases Funeral Parlor's second in command, Shibungi and gives him a diary to reveal the truth to Shu. Later just Haruka and the others are attacked by Major Segai and a platoon of Endlaves Shu arrives. Despite the pleas that the third Genome will kill him by Haruka and Ayase, Shu injects himself with the third Void Genome. He then extracts his own Void, revealed as the power to assimilate the Voids of others and accept the burden of their characteristics. He borrows the Voids of his friends, killing Segai and defeating the Endlaves. As events progress, Shibungi is reunited with Funeral Parlor and the Kuhouin Group stating that Gai intends to cause the Lost Christmas event on a global scale and brings Dr. Kurosu Ouma's diary which reveals the origins of the Apocalypse Virus.
The diary reveals that in the past, Dr. Kurosu Ouma - Shu's father and Shuichiro were best friends and through their work, Kurosu had developed the Genomic Resonance Theory which could potentially unlock the secrets of Evolution and Natural Selection. At this time, Kurosu met Saeko Shijou who was already pregnant with Mana. In 2022 a meteorite was found by Mana and infected her through a cut. Upon analysis by Kurosu and Shuichiro, they discover that it contained a virus that causes cancerous crystallization of matter when activated by Genomic Resonance. Some time later they are approached by Yuu, who states that meteor fragments were already scattered throughout Japan which would soon bring about the "Fourth Apocalypse" i.e. spread the aptly named Apocalypse Virus across Japan when activated by the Genomic Resonance. At which point, Mana would have matured into "Eve" and would seek an "Adam" to propagate a new species of humans in the wake. Some time later, Shu is born, after Saeko dies of the virus, and Mana selects him as "Adam". Kurosu, not wanting his children to be part of something so horrific, declines Yuu. Enviously realizing that Kurosu's genes may propagate the new race of humans, Shuichiro conducts experiments on countless boys in order to create an ideal "Adam" for Mana. A frightened Gai being one of the children, escaped and was eventually found by Mana and Shu on Oshima. Eventually Kurosu met Haruka, Shuichiro's younger sister and remarried. Finally, Shuichiro discovers from Kurosu's diary that the Apocalypse Virus physically manifests the hearts of people and that he discovered a genetic code that is able to control the phenomena which he called the "Void Genome". In a rage at Kurosu's unwillingness to let Shuichiro share the burden of his discovery, Shuichiro kills him. Simultaneously, Mana causes the first Lost Christmas.
In the present, as Haruka deduces the exact nature of Shu's Void, temporarily absorbing the Voids of others as well as being able to absorb the Apocalypse cancer cells. She also explains that the Loop 7 incident was staged so that the fragments of Mana that were scattered to the Voids of other people during the first Lost Christmas i.e. the students trapped inside the zone could be collected to make her fusion with Inori complete. As events progress, the United Nations and Funeral Parlor/Kuhouin Group/PMC surround the GHQ Headquarters at Tokyo Bay, it is revealed that the Leukocytes were a ruse by Gai to stall for time for Mana to fuse with Inori. As the attack commences, a small Funeral Parlor group infiltrates the HQ and fend off the Ghost Unit. As events culminate, Gai erases Inori's memories in preparation for her fusion with Mana as she laments about her time with Shu. Just as Inori's memories evaporate she sheds a tear which crystallizes into a flower.
Shu then encounters Yuu, who identifies himself as "Daath" i.e. the will of humanity personified. He then adds that for humanity to be able to evolve to the next stage, the current race must be obliterated. Impressed with his actions of once again obtaining the Void power, Yuu offers Shu to become the "Adam" but he refuses and proceeds to fight Yuu. After a fierce fight, Shu, calling upon his feelings for Inori is able to overpower Yuu, and proceeds to confront Gai, where he witnesses the rebirth of Mana. As a fierce battle commences between Funeral Parlor and the GHQ/Anti Bodies/Daath, the Apocalypse Virus begins spreading across the planet from the GHQ Tower, crystallizing humans as part of the Natural Selection process.
Shu then battles Gai, but is overwhelmed. Just as he is about to be killed, Inori's soul appears from the crystal flower and Shu is able to draw out her Void and defeat Gai. Shuichiro then kills himself as he is confronted by Haruka, admitting his defeat. Just as Gai is about to die he shows Shu the aftermath of the Apocalypse, where everything is frozen in crystal. Here Gai explains that the only way to stop the Fourth Apocalypse was to let Mana fulfill her destiny of starting it after which she would finally be able to rest in peace, which is why he aided Daath. If she hadn't, Daath would only resurrect her again and again. As Gai contently embraces Mana, the Virus envelops them both and shatters. Gai's Void Genome then transfers back to Shu's right hand. Shu awakens to find Inori, partially crystallized and blind, searching for him. Shu embraces her and activates his Void, absorbing everyone's Voids and taking all of the Apocalypse Virus onto himself. As he is about to be consumed, Inori sacrifices her own life to the virus, saving Shu. With the virus finally eradicated, the GHQ Tower begins crumbling and everyone rushes to escape, with the protagonists fearful that Shu couldn't get out.
Some years later, Ayase, Tsugumi, Yahiro, Kanon, Souta and a now blind Shu celebrate Hare's birthday in a rebuilt Tokyo. Shu then sits on a bench beside a lake listening to one of Inori's songs while reminiscing about his past with her.
Guilty Crown was directed by Tetsuro Araki with the series' script supervision being handled by Hiroyuki Yoshino and assisted by Ichirō Ōkouchi. Jin Hanegaya from Nitroplus will also be assisting with the screenplay. The mechanical designs were done by Atsushi Takeuchi and prop designs handled by Yō Moriyama. The original character designs were drawn by Redjuice, with Hiromi Katō providing the character designs for the anime. Yusuke Takeda was the anime's art director. The animation production was done by Production I.G's Division 6.
When asked what circumstances led to his involvement, Redjuice responded that the production staff's illustrators and animators felt that his concept art exhibited a sense of compatibility with the final product. While Ryo of Supercell was providing the insert songs for the show, Redjuice himself was not participating in the project as a member of Supercell. Besides liking Inori, the main heroine of Guilty Crown, Redjuice stated that he had done many drawings of Tsugumi. The staff had no qualms with the cat-like ears of Tsugumi so Redjuice feels that he has slipped his personal tastes into the series. Redjuice also likes Kanon although she was not originally written into the scenario. As Redjuice has not worked with 3D CG much, he was able to learn a lot from the staff at Production I.G.
New York Anime Festival screened the first two episodes of Guilty Crown on October 15, 2011. The screening of the second episode was a world premiere as the episode did not air in Japan until October 20, 2011. At Anime Weekend Atlanta 2011, Funimation Entertainment announced that it would simulcast the series in October, followed by a DVD and Blu-ray release in 2012.
The music used in the Guilty Crown anime is composed by Hiroyuki Sawano. Both the opening and ending themes of Guilty Crown are written by Supercell. The first opening theme is titled "My Dearest" and is performed by Koeda. The CD single for "My Dearest" was released on November 23, 2011. The first ending theme is titled "Departures (Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta)" (Departures ~あなたにおくるアイの歌~ Departures (Send your Love Song) ) and is performed by Egoist, a fictional band from the series. The single for "Departures (Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta)" was released on November 30, 2011. A new 17-year old artist named Chelly provided the vocals. Chelly was picked by Ryo of Supercell after an audition of 2,000 candidates. Chelly also sang the insert song of Guilty Crown. The second opening theme is "The Everlasting Guilty Crown" by Egoist and the second ending theme is "Kokuhaku" by Supercell.
|Guilty Crown Original Soundtrack|
|4.||"Ready to Go"||4:16|
|9.||"close your eyes"||3:51|
|12.||"Release My Soul"||4:34|
|14.||"Hill Of Sorrow"||4:11|
|16.||"Home ～in this corner～"||3:48|
A manga serialization was published by Square Enix's Gangan Comics imprint in their Monthly Shōnen Gangan. The serialization began on the November 2011 issue of Monthly Shōnen Gangan. Five tankōbon volumes have been published.
Internet radio show
An Internet radio show named Guilty Crown Radio Council to promote Guilty Crown began airing every other Friday starting on October 7, 2011. The show is hosted by Yūki Kaji, the voice actor of Shu Ouma, and Ai Kayano, the voice actress of Inori Yuzuriha.
Nitroplus developed a spin-off visual novel named Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas (ギルティクラウン ロストクリスマス Giruti Kuraun Rosuto Kurisumasu ). The visual novel was previously known as Lost X. The scenario writer for this game is Jin Hanegaya, who also penned Demonbane. The game focuses on the "Lost Christmas" incident. The full version of the game includes a short 10-minute anime.
A side story novel titled Guilty Crown: Princess of Deadpool was written by Gan Saaku from Nitroplus, with illustrations done by a Production I.G and Nitroplus collaboration. A special version that came along with a special book cover was first sold at Anime Contents Expo 2012 in between March 31 and April 1, while the official release was on April 25. The first chapter was put up for public reading.
Anime News Network praised the presentation and described the series' script and characters as cliché while following the trend of presenting a standard anime trope before suddenly shifting the plot sideways. ANN praised the series' bravery on reinventing its plot but described the plot as jumbled and continued the trend of weak characters and clichés. THEM Anime Reviews agreed with ANN on the presentation and plot. THEM panned the pacing of the plot and called the characters unsympathetic with back stories that do not add depth to the characters.
- Lanson, Greg (September 8, 2011). "New "Guilty Crown" Promotion Video Streamed, Theme Songs Announced". Crunchyroll. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "Death Note Helmer Araki, supercell Involved on New Work". Anime News Network. July 7, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- "アニメ旋風". Nitroplus. September 22, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- Lanson, Greg (August 11, 2011). "Nitroplus Announces Guilty Crown Spinoff PC Game Project". Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "10月期ノイタミナ『ギルティクラウン』公開直前！ キャラクター原案・redjuice氏も衝撃の「″鬼″すぎる」制作現場". Livedoor. September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
- "NY Anime Fest to Host U.S. Premieres of Guilty Crown, Fate/Zero". Anime News Network. September 20, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "Funimation Adds .hack//Quantum, Streams Guilty Crown". Anime News Network. October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- "アニメ『ギルティクラウン』 音楽担当". September 11, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "Supercell Selects 15-Year-Old Singer for Next Album". Anime News Network. September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "supercell、新ボーカル決定 ノイタミナ新アニメテーマに". Oricon. September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "supercell、新ゲスト・ヴォーカリスト＆新タイアップ決定". BARKS. September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "ニューシングルのリリースが決定！！！ 新ゲストボーカリスト「こゑだ」を迎えた新生supercell第一弾の詳細を発表！" (in Japanese). September 29, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
- "17-Year-Old Wins Supercell Audition to Sing Guilty Crown Songs". Anime News Network. September 8, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "ギルティクラウン ：挿入歌とエンディング曲に17歳の新人歌手を抜てき 2000人から選考" (in Japanese). September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "［ギルティクラウン］挿入歌とエンディング曲に17歳の新人歌手を抜てき 2000人から選考" (in Japanese). Mycom Journal. September 9, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "アニメとゲームは友達です！". September 22, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "Square Enix Anime". Square Enix. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "「ギルティクラウン」ラジオ配信決定！" (in Japanese). Onsen. September 26, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- "Guilty Crown Gets PC Game Spinoff from Nitroplus". Anime News Network. August 13, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
- Kamlinger, Carl (November 16, 2011). "ANN reviews episodes 1–5". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Kamlinger, Carl (May 12, 2012). "ANN reviews episodes 13–22". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- "THEM Anime Review". THEManime.org. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Official website (Japanese)
- Visual novel official website (Japanese)
- Side story novel official website (Japanese)
- Guilty Crown (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia