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Guilty Crown: The Complete Series

FUNimation // Unrated // July 5, 2016
List Price: $69.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted August 5, 2016 | E-mail the Author


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Guilty Crown Blu-ray Review


Guilty Crown is a
science-fiction action anime produced
by acclaimed animation powerhouse Production I.G. (Ghost in
the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
). The series was made for
Fuji TV during 2011. The series popularity resulted in a manga, novel,
and
video game version also becoming produced.


The story takes
place in a post-apocalyptic world following a terrible event: a
meteorite
crash-lands on earth and causes a virus outbreak that takes out members
of the
population. Indeed, much of the human population has been affected by
the
virus. Who can save humanity? The series turns to high-school student
Shu, who becomes
a player in the battle for earth between a rebel group named Funeral
Parlor and
a corrupt government agency that is hurting the citizens.


Shu meets and
befriends a girl named Inori, who is a pop idol, and who helps him to
join the
team of rebels. He also learns a special ability which is of great
importance
to the rebel team: Shu can reach into human beings with a method known
as the
"king's right hand" to turn them into elaborate weapons and can see
their inner-self. He uses the power to fight the rebel's enemy and
transforms
humans into fridges, hammers, and more. (Frankly, that's kind of a
weird
ability).  


The animation
quality is absolutely impressive. This is a terrific looking and
visually
creative production. In terms of the production aesthetic, Guilty
Crown

is an awesome achievement with great flair and plenty of style. The
character
designs are fluid and worthwhile. The background art offers a detailed
and
stunning environment to the sci-fi series that helps the production
feel more
compelling to behold. Without a doubt, this is the best aspect of the
show. In
terms of the animation, Guilty Crown is a series that doesn't
feel
disappointing at all.


The music score is
composed by Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill).
It's
an often kinetic and exciting score which blends well with the action
and drama
of the series storyline. Many action-heavy scenes succeed more than
they would
have otherwise with the help of the original score music. Sawano's
contribute
is certainly a worthy one.


The screenplays
for the series are written by Hiroyuki Yoshino (Mai-HiME, Mobile
Suit
Gundam SEED
) and Ichiro Okouchi (Turn A Gundam, Wolf's
Rain
).
The series has some positive aspects: intriguing premise, characters,
and some
exciting sequences. Unfortunately, the series also feels quite
redundant and
repetitive: Guilty Crown is just like many other anime
productions with
a generic storyline containing an assortment of convoluted sci-fi
mechanizations. Many of the series prominent ideas seem so convoluted
and
downright silly that it's hard to become as involved with the story.
The series
is a misfire creatively in this sense. The story feels so recycled from
past
anime productions that it doesn't stand out much.


Guilty Crownstyle=""> is too convoluted and confusing to be a great
series. It would have benefited from a better story. Alas, Guilty
Crown

will mainly appeal to action anime fans simply looking for mecha
battles and
edge-of-your-seat action (even if the rest of the series isn't as much
fun).  


Directed by
Tetsuro Araki (Death Note, Attack on Titan),
style="">Guilty Crown is a hyperkinetic action
show with an array of well-orchestrated action
sequences but not much else. Araki has a hyper stylized approach to
anime which
can sometimes be quite effective. His work is full of energy that
translates somewhat
to a better (and more entertaining) show.


Overall, Guilty
Crown
is nothing terrific though. Alas, despite 
some impressive production aesthetics and
fast-paced direction, the series simply doesn't manage to be as
impressive as
it could have been with better storytelling. The series has a greater
emphasis on
action and style than on the plot. The 
story itself often seems absurd. Fans of action-sci-fi anime who
care
more about the style than the substance might want to check out the
show for
it's beautiful animation and the stylized direction but beyond that
most
viewers will find it lackluster. It's too bad the writing wasn't as
good as the
visuals or action. Guilty Crown ends up feeling average at
best despite
some impressive productions elements.


The Blu-ray:


style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


Video:


Guilty Crown style="">arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC
encoded presentation in the original television broadcast aspect ratio
of
1.78:1 widescreen. This is a beautiful looking Blu-ray presentation.
The series
has terrific colors, clarity, and detail. This is actually amongst the
better
releases from Funimation Entertainment. The picture-quality doesn't
disappoint.
This is certainly a worthwhile native high-definition presentation
which fans
will enjoy. The image is also generally quite effective (without much
of an
issue with banding - a common problem on many Funimation releases).


Audio:


The series is presented in English 5.1 Dolby
TrueHD and
Japanese 2.0 Dolby TrueHD. The lossless sound quality is excellent. The
English
dub sounds terrific with excellent voice-work, depth, clarity, and
dimensionality. The presentation effectively uses the surrounds for a
more
exciting and immersive experience. The score composed by Sawano
and the energetic songs also sound
terrific on the release. The music adds much to the experience.


Subtitles are provided in English SDH (for the
deaf and hard
of hearing). style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


Extras:


Please Note: The
release is a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack.




The set contains several supplements (more so than
your
typical anime release):


Guilty Crown: 4 Panel
Theater - Episodes 1-11
is a collection
of mini-episodes with Chibi-like versions of the characters. Subbed
only.


Into the Void - The
Creative Vision
(10 min.) is a
behind the scenes featurette with
members of the Japanese production team. The featurette contains clips
from the
show and interviews with the creative team. Subbed.


Select Episode
Commentaries
featuring members
of the English Dub Cast: Episode 2, Episode
4
, Episode 15, and Episode 19.style="">


Reassortment (48
min.) is a series digest: in other
words, a clipshow episode which is meant to bring the audience up to
speed at a
certain point in the story.


Episode Previews: 1-21


Textless
opening/ending credits/songs


TV Spots, Trailers,
and Promotional Videos


U.S. Trailer forstyle="">
Guilty Crown


Trailers promoting
other Funimation Entertainment
releases.


Final Thoughts: style="">


Guilty Crown isn't
a great anime series but it does have
quality animation and action scenes. The storytelling isn't as good as
the
production aesthetic and is quite run of the mill. The series feels
unoriginal
and cliché. Even so, anime mecha sci-fi fans might want to rent
it just for the
quality animation and action set-pieces. Funimation's Blu-ray release
is also
top-notch and delivers an impressive presentation that will please fans
of the
series. It might be worth a rental (at best).


Rent It. style="">



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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