Guilty Crown is a dumb but fun action anime that doesn’t know it’s a dumb but fun action anime and instead fantasizes itself to be a renowned stroke of genius driven by its pivotal characters and enthralling story. It isn’t. Until it realizes what it is and acts like it should, Guilty Crown won’t improve as an anime. But there’s an obstacle it must overcome first before it can begin to solve this problem.
I’ve gone over this subject a few times already in previous posts but usually from different angles and with different levels of thoroughness. I’ve said my favorite episodes have been the ones where the anime doesn’t take itself seriously, instead opting to have fun with its characters and have mindless action sequences for the sake of entertainment. I’ve pointed out that the anime becomes overdramatic too easily and loses the audience with emotions it failed to build up or justify. Today will be another post on a similar topic: Guilty Crown has become a different type of anime that originally intended and it needs to begin acting like it should or it will continue to struggle. And while that is a major and probably the most apparent problem with this anime, it is not the main problem. That one lies with those producing this anime.
The creators and directors of Guilty Crown have yet to realize that their anime does not have captivating characters, an innovative story, or is the masterpiece they’re trying to produce. Instead, Guilty Crown is basically an action anime with adequate characters, an incoherent but ‘who cares’ story, and is a decent anime if you want some entertainment or are into that sorta stuff. It is what it is and those creating the anime fail to recognize what it truly has become. They don’t realize what they’re doing isn’t working the way they intend. They don’t seem to know that Guilty Crown is suffering from some very basic storytelling and character development problems that are instigating a negative effect on the audience. What they are currently doing prevents the anime from conveying its original intent, one that the creators want us to see, and gives us a product that is trying to be what it is not. There has been marginal progress on this front leading me to believe that the people behind this anime don’t see what we see. This is the main problem with Guilty Crown: the creators don’t realize there is a problem.
This post has become a little complicated and I don’t want to lose you, so let’s use some examples to clarify these points. Let’s say the creators want to make a deep and conflicted protagonist struggle with juggling his personal beliefs, his inhibiting doubts, and wanting to be a playboy pimp with kick ass martial arts and lots of guns (like Gai but only better). That’s what they want us to see in Shu. What we really see is Shu whine excessively, become reserved, and repeat the same mistakes and outcomes over and over again highlighting that he isn’t learning from these faults rather than grow as a character. Plus there is no transition from emo Shu to hero Shu besides talking to his friends and having them join his deathwish of saving Inori in the middle of the battlefield. There was no justification for him suddenly summoning his strength and no real rationale why his friends would join him on such a clearly dangerous mission. Another example, this time shorter, is that the storytelling lacks focus or logic frequently. The GHQ is supposedly this ruthless and oppressive military organization that Funeral Parlor combats and portrays as the enemy, which we see in certain scenes, but they’re completely disregarded when we seem them constantly make dumbfounding mistakes and generally act negligent every time we see them. The creators of Guilty Crown want us to see them as some sort of super evil organization but what we’ve seen in the anime refutes that idea.
Once the producers behind Guilty Crown realize what they’re doing is not what they want, then they’ll be able to address the more obvious problems which belong to it conveying a different message than what they want. But will they recognize this problem in time and address it appropriately? There are two reasons why I believe they won’t. While solving the first problem is certainly simple (seeing that there is a problem) it is also the most difficult for people to make (admitting they are making a mistake). Furthermore, if someone is set in their ways or has actually intended the anime to be executed as such, then there is little to no hope in convincing them that there is a problem. And even if they did solve the main problem, fixing the anime will require time which the anime is quickly running out of. It’s possible but not probable that Guilty Crown will begin to improve as an anime anytime soon. Its best hope is that there were prearranged episodes, scenes, and moments which employ the dumb but fun action mentality with a full heart and make something worthwhile and entertaining to watch. Until then, I don’t see Guilty Crown improving at all.
Also, Dan Eagleman fucking rocks. Not only was he the most likable character in all Guilty Crown but he also was the embodiment of the non-seriousness that has helped and would’ve helped Guilty Crown improve. He will be missed in more ways than one.
I’m beginning to think of Guilty Crown as the girlfriend that everyone, even yourself, finds annoying and stupid but you put up with her just because she’s beautiful. Guilty Crown, in my eyes, is one of the most beautiful anime out there, but there are so many other negatives about it that it comes across as irritating or frustrating. Wonder how many others get that impression from this anime.