Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guilty Crown - 01

As I wrote in the fall anime preview, this series feels a lot like Code Geass.  Ten years prior to the start of the show, a pandemic caused by the Apocalypse Virus caused so much damage to Japan that it was forced to take so much foreign aid that it became, in essence, owned by other countries via a governmental body called the GHQ. Inori Yuzuriha is an idol singer with the in-universe Egoist, and a member of the resistance group Undertaker, who manages to steal the void genome from a GHQ facility.  In her escape, she, the minibot Fyu-Neru, and the void genome go missing after being blown off a bridge in a clash with GHQ forces.

 Ouma Shu, a 17 year old high school student has spent much of his life living in this occupied Japan, and as a coping mechanism, simply goes along with other people, never doing much for himself.  The day after Inori goes missing, he sneaks into an abandoned building next to his school to eat his lunch in peace, where he finds Inori, singing to herself after tending to her injuries. 
Is this Guilty Crown or Final Fantasy VII
 They are soon interrupted by the arrival of the GHQ's "Antibody" pursuit squad, which had tracked Inori to that location, and after a short scuffle, knock her out and carry her off, leaving a damaged Fyu-Neru and Shu behind.
 Fortunately, Inori had stashed the void genome inside Fyu-Neru, and the little bot does its best R2-D2 impression, displaying a map of where it needs to go.  Shu pockets the void genome, and carries it out into the slums, where he is attacked by a group of thugs.
Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi
The attack doesn't last long, as Undertaker quickly shows up, and their leader, Gai, steps in and takes them out, while another member takes Fyu-Neru back from Shu.  While questioning him about Inori's whereabouts, the GHQ, frustrated over her not responding to their interrogation, begins an extermination campaign of the area under the guise of cleaning up a virus outbreak. 

Undertaker responds by sortieing their own mech, and in the initial chaos, Shu is separated from the rest of them, and is ordered to escape and protect the void genome.  While he is trying to escape the area, he finds Inori, who had escaped from a damaged GHQ command vehicle, moments before she is shot by a GHQ mech.  At the last second, he manages to push her out of the way, but the container holding the void genome breaks, binding it to him in the form of a crest on the back of his right hand.
Guilty Crown's equivalent of the geass mark, I suppose
Using the power that it gives him, he reaches into Inori's chest, extracting a massive sword, with which he cleaves the attacking mech.

Guilty Crown is turning out to be much more similar to Code Geass than I had originally anticipated, but considering that the writers are the same, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised about it.  Of course, Code Geass was a wildly successful series, and there is more than enough here to clearly differentiate it from its spiritual predecessor, so I'm expecting a lot of good things from Guilty Crown.  Characters, design, and backgrounds all look spectacular, and the story so far seems pretty solid.  It might not be for everyone, but I'd recommend checking this one out.

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