Cover of the first Blu-ray volume released by Aniplex in Japan on January 25, 2012.
|Genre||Action, Romance, Science fantasy|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tetsurō Araki|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Yoshino
|Music by||Hiroyuki Sawano|
|Network||Fuji TV (noitamina)|
|Original run||October 13, 2011 – March 22, 2012|
|Written by||Yōsuke Miyagi|
|Illustrated by||Shion Mizuki|
|Published by||Square Enix|
|Magazine||Monthly Shōnen Gangan|
|Original run||November 2011 – December 2013|
|Guilty Crown: Princess of Deadpool|
|Written by||Gan Sunaaku|
|Illustrated by||Production I.G, Nitroplus, redjuice|
|Published||April 25, 2012|
|Guilty Crown: Dancing Endlaves|
|Written by||Gan Sunaaku|
|Illustrated by||Ryōsuke Fukai|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Magazine||Dengeki G's Magazine|
|Original run||July 2012 – May 2014|
|Original video animation|
|Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas|
|Directed by||Shinpei Ezaki|
|Music by||Hiroyuki Sawano|
|Released||July 26, 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 "Power of the King" that enables him to draw out items called "Voids" from other people. He is then thrown into the conflict between a quasi-governmental organization known as the GHQ and a resistance organization called Funeral Parlor which aims to restore Japan's independence from 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.
Two manga adaptations were published by ASCII Media Works and Square Enix. A light novel was published by Nitroplus titled 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) named Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas.
The series has received polarized critical reaction, with praise going to the series' music and artwork and criticism going to the plot for being jumbled and cliché. Some character developments have been well received and the series' second half has been praised for its setting.
Before the events of the main story, on December 24, 2029, a biological hazard known as the Apocalypse Virus brought on by an impact event 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 Funeral Parlor waged a campaign against the GHQ in order to liberate Japan once more.
The story begins when high school student Shu Ouma encounters a wounded girl named Inori Yuzuriha, the vocalist of a popular internet group Egoist, taking refuge at his film club's workshop. 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 the Void Genome, a powerful genetic weapon derived from the Apocalypse Virus that grants Shu the "Power of the King", 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. During one operation, Inori is taken by a boy named Yuu, who possesses the second Void Genome. Shu's repressed memories return to him, revealing his sister Mana had been the first to be infected with the Apocalypse Virus and caused a massive explosion which spread the Apocalypse Virus across Japan: the Lost Christmas. Inori was created to hold Mana's soul to create a new race of humans after the Apocalypse Virus annihilates the current human population. Gai and Shu work together and Shu manages to stab Mana's stasis pod, knowingly killing Gai in the process.
Two weeks since the second outbreak of the Apocalypse Virus, the GHQ seals off the area surrounding Ruppongi in Tokyo, now called Loop 7, leaving a large number of teenagers to take refuge at Tennouzu High School along with Funeral Parlor members Shu, Inori, Ayase and Tsugumi. As food and Apocalypse Vaccine supplies run low, Shu is elected the new student council president and eventually becomes a tyrant, after Hare's death. Shu and the others eventually break out of Loop 7, though in the process a resurrected Gai appears and severs Shu's right arm, transferring the Void Genome to him.
Gai protects Japan from being destroyed by the United Nations in an attempt to stop of the Apocalypse Virus. The mastermind behind the events in Japan is an ancient organization known as "Daath" whose purpose was to obtain Shu's power and Inori. Inori later lets herself get captured by Daath in order to protect Shu. Haruka Ouma, Shu's adoptive mother, betrays the GHQ and steals the third Void Genome which Shu later injects himself with. As events progress, Gai intends to cause the Lost Christmas event on a global scale. Funeral Parlor surrounds GHQ Headquarters at Tokyo Bay and attack. The Apocalypse Virus begins spreading across the planet from the GHQ Tower.
Shu defeats Gai who 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. Gai then dies with Mana as the Virus envelops them both. Shu embraces Inori 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. Some years later, Ayase, Tsugumi, Yahiro, Kanon, Souta and a now blind Shu celebrate Hare's birthday in a rebuilt Tokyo.
In the making of the series, the staff wanted to make "the next generation of anime with this show." For this they wanted it to be an original anime rather than an adaptation. The staff also wanted it to be a "two-season show" regardless of possible difficulties. The basic concept of the show is in a "Japanese style, a Japanese concept, and that is what makes it more original than other shows." When asked about similarities between Shu and Neon Genesis Evangelion's lead Shinji Ikari, the staff answered they are both passive characters although they found Shinji more passive.
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.
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 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 songs in Guilty Crown. The second opening theme is "The Everlasting Guilty Crown" by Egoist and the second ending theme is "Kokuhaku" (告白?, "Confession") 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|
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.
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.
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 announced that it would simulcast the series in October, followed by a DVD and Blu-ray release in 2012.
A manga adaptation titled Guilty Crown, written by Yōsuke Miyagi and illustrated by Shion Mizuki, was serialized in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan between the November 2011 and December 2013 issues. Square Enix released seven tankōbon volumes between January 21, 2012 and December 21, 2013. A second manga titled Guilty Crown: Dancing Endlaves, written by Gan Sunaaku and illustrated by Ryōsuke Fukai, was serialized in ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine between the July 2012 and May 2014 issues. Three volumes were released between January 26, 2013 and May 27, 2014.
A side story novel titled Guilty Crown: Princess of Deadpool was written by Gan Sunaaku 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.
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.
The series received mixed critical reaction. Carl Kimlinger from 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. Kimlinger praised the series' bravery on reinventing its plot but described the plot as jumbled and continued the trend of weak characters and clichés. Aiden Foote of THEM Anime Reviews agreed with Kimlinger on the presentation and plot. Foote panned the pacing of the plot and called the characters unsympathetic with back stories that do not add depth to them. Chris Beveridge from The Fandom Post commented "While it goes big and throws a lot at us, the end result that defines the rest of the season is one that works fantastically well for me because it introduces radical change into the series." He praised Shu's character development as well as the setting chosen for its second half.
DVD Talk's Kyle Mills gave the series more praise, noting that despite small criticism "the 1st 11 episodes of the series are great." He praised the story and setting but criticized the development of certain characters comparing them to "flaws" Gurren Lagann made. UK Anime Network commented on the series' second half that the series "bites off more than it can chew, and at times the fervent mastication that comes from this leaves certain aspects of its narrative as something of a sloppy mess, but there's still an interesting story being told here and much of it is delivered in an enjoyable fashion thanks to a superb soundtrack, slick action set pieces, and some strong ideas that make good use of the show's cast of characters." Despite criticism, Andy Hanley of UK Anime Network praised the animation as "visually eye-catching."
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