“Guilty Crown” is a Funimation series produced by Production I.G and released in 2011. You may recognize this production company as the makers of “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex”. “Guilty Crown” became popular enough to also feature a video game and manga series. “Guilty Crown” is almost post-apocalyptic in a way, but not in the way one would imagine. After a meteorite crashes into Japan, the Apocalypse virus is unleashed onto the world. This causes extreme chaos and fear. Additionally, it deeply affects the survivors of this virus. Shu Oma, who once had a strong and powerful personality, is reduced to a timid teenager who never speaks what is on his mind. After meeting the pop singer Inori, his life is turned upside down once more.
During their chance encounter, government officials attack Inori. Shu finds himself in the middle of a battle between Funeral Parlor and a corrupt government that uses the Apocalypse virus as an excuse to kill others in order to meet their own goals. Shu immediately becomes an important player in this battle once he comes into possession of the King’s Right Hand. This is a mutation that gives him the power to pull Voids out of the hearts of other people. Each Void is the physical manifestation of the person’s heart. Shu can use Voids as a weapon. It is up to Shu to decide what to do with this power. The question is, will he use his power to save those who need his help, or will he turn his back on those who need him the most?
The animation quality on both the DVD set and the Blu-Ray set is stellar. It is fun to watch and you can easily become lost in beauty of the battle scenes. The colors are pristine and each character is easy to recognize (even side characters). It is clear that the makers went to great lengths to make sure that everything looks as “realistic” and as beautiful as possible. It is easy to imagine yourself in this beautiful sci-fi world; even the effects of the Apocalyptic virus look beautiful in its own way. “Guilty Crown’s” animation is one of the things that makes this show so fun to watch.
Hiroyuki Yoshino and Ichiro Okouchi wrote the screenplay. The story is original and compelling and the events that unfold can easily drag you into the depths of the show. I constantly found myself on the edge of my seat, shocked by what I was watching, and hurting for the characters in pain. However, “Guilty Crown” is a series that you will need to pay attention to in order to get the full story. It can be easy to miss important plot points and get confused later on as the story unfolds.
Tetsuro Araki directs “Guilty Crown”. It features impressive production value, outstanding animation, and a story line to keep you intrigued. Although there are some funny moments in the show, they do not turn it into a series that tries to spend too much time on the high school aspect. “Guilty Crown” is a series perfect for people who enjoy intricate and action-packed story lines; fluid and fantastical battle scenes; and enough humor to balance out the drama and action.
Special features for “Guilty Crown” include commentary by the actors, trailers, textless songs, TV spots, promotional videos, episode previews, and “Guilty Crown 4-Panel Theater”. Additionally, this includes a feature titled “Into the Void”. The Blu Ray/ DVD box set includes English subtitles, Japanese audio, and English audio. “Guilty Crown: 4-Panel Theater” includes eleven mini-episodes with Chibi versions of the characters. However, it only includes English subtitles. “Into the Void” includes behind the scenes clips with members of the production company. It only features English subtitles and contains interviews with the team and clips from the show. Episodes 2, 4, 15, and 19 include commentaries by the English dub cast.
The Guilty Crown DVD and Blu Ray combo pack is certainly worth the money for fans of other apocalyptic action-packed anime shows. As a fan of shows featuring characters who have to sacrifice their own humanity in order to face the government, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The quality of the animation and production alone is enough to make me want to watch the series again.
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