Set in a post apocalyptic Japan where military strive runs amok, a teenage boy is content living a simple school life… But as he gets complicated in things, he discovers his horrific past.
Lost Christmas. An virus disaster 10 years ago causes the whole Japan population to plunge into chaos, so international assistance, the GHQ in the form of a dictatorial army, people tries to live a normal life alongside the GHQ with it basically killing anyone it deems “infected” until a terrorist group known as Funeral Parlor stands up against it.
Ouma Shu just wants to live a normal life with school projects and listening to music, but everything changed when the fire nation attacked.
Or rather, a beauty in red appeared in front of him.
So our main character gets entangled in the rebellion when he gains The Power of the King – The ability to draw out people souls as weapons. With this immensely powerful ability, the GHQ doubled down their efforts to eliminate Funeral Parlor, while the latter are able to carry out their resistance much more effectively. Each episode is packed with sci fi action you’d expect from any other hack and slash anime with the main character looking cool while doing so, usually drawing out someone’s void accompanied with over dramatic actions as the music starts playing. As the series progresses, we get glimpses of the mystery surrounding the main characters as Shu falls head over heels for Inori.
I would too
However, things take a turn as the anime reached the second half, the plot started to shift from hack and slash mode to uncovering the mystery mode. It is also where an anime makes or breaks – In guilty crown, the shy introverted Shu gets trapped in his school with hundreds of people, he takes charge since he welds the Power of the King, and gets increasingly dictatorial and gets overprotective of Inori even though she shows weird signs of violence. This all leads the collapse of his mini school kingdom when his childhood friend (who is in love with him) dies due to his actions, causing his hand to be severed, his power and Inori taken away from him.
Long story short, after doing some soul searching, he returns, takes the last experimental thingy and regains his power, eliminates the enemy as the whole mystery behind his past, Inori and the virus are revealed. Things end bittersweet as Inori sacrifices herself to let Shu live, abit without his right hand nor eyesight.
Guilty Crown has since developed a fairly extreme split in opinions, with people commenting “Great Music, Shit Characters” or criticizing that the “Story went downwards as the series progresses.” Obviously, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and many presented their case with very valid points, but for me…
When Inori turns to face Shu, spreads her arms and Bios starts playing
The goosebumps that forms when Shu reaches in to draw her void is one if the coolest imagery I got to see in my teenage years…
One of the main reason we even got Egoist to keep producing songs after Guilty Crown was because of the popularity of Egoist/Inori. Not a lot of bands in anime are able to achieve the kind of support Egoist had. Even until now, up to Koutetsujou No Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress), a lot of people get hyped and attracted simply because Egoist is singing it’s opening (including me~).
All in all, an extremely cool concept, stellar animation, an incredible soundtrack and a beautiful female lead.