Guilty Crown, an apocalyptic Japan with abominable characters. The story with huge potential with questionable character development and motivations.
The main protagonist, Shu Ouma (桜満 集)
Always indecisive and thinking lowly of himself, Shu is the opposite of what we think a ‘shonen’ character should be. A character development that lasted all the way to the end, where his void was revealed. This showed that his power is basically is take on everyone’s burden. The backstory of him regaining his memories and how he used to be more brave and courageous didn’t have much effect on the present Shu, which made the whole “student president arc” all the more frustrating. You would think he would revert back into the more courageous Shu in his past memories, but he got even more annoyingly indecisive.
After traumatically seeing Hare die, he ended up taking his leadership to the tyrannical extreme. Mind you that this is over halfway through the anime and Shu had displayed very un-hero like characteristics. He’s been used and manipulated by Gai. He lacks resolve. He lacks the ability to make hard decisions. When he did make a decision as a leader, he ruled entirely on fear, rather than inspiration. His interactions with Yahiro, who betrayed his trust on multiple occasions, made him look like a fool. In the end, he grew a pair of balls. Still, that did not make up after suffering through the entire series banging my head on the wall.
Gai Tsutsugami (恙神 涯), the Simp King
The guy became a cult leader and manipulated everyone to get a girl that doesn’t want him. He was literally trying to bring the apocalypse to the world.
Inori Uzuriha (楪 いのり), a robot of a character
There are 2 reasons for a character like Inori, fan service and being the main romantic interest to Shu. She is a character that doesn’t have any personal motivations of her own besides to serve Gai and then Shu. If we are suppose to believe that Inori built this incredibly intimate relationship with Shu, quite frankly, I did not buy it. Nor do I think anyone else could have. In the end, she felt that her emotions and feelings were her own. I guess that maybe the only relatable part of her character.
Shu’s dad’s “best friend’s” (Shuichiro Keido) motivations is bland and lacks depth.
I’m going to kill you, make your legacy and bring the apocalypse to the world because of jealousy. I guess this somewhat fits the “mad-scientist” trope. No one likes being looked down on, but to think you can be that insecure enough to want to kill someone..
Saving Kenji Kido, the mass murderer
There was no explanation of why saving a murderer was a good thing besides the perception that the Funeral Parlor organization is on the morally good side. Sometimes you have to compromise your morals for the greater good. That is what the viewer may have believed until we realized, Gai was trying start a new world without us in it..
Did they really try to say Daryl Yan had redeeming qualities at the end?!
At no point did Daryl Yan display any redeeming characteristics. The scene at the end where he got his life saved seemed so out of place for his character. If there were any good qualities about Daryl, it was never shown onscreen.
Odd incest-y stuff
So a virus infects your sister and now your sister wants to bang you. That’s gross (キモイ)..
The tragic downfall of Arisa Kuhoin, the ex-student body president
A character with high status that wanted to do the right thing. Though her character flaw led to her downfall when she sought validation from others. Eventually, this lead her to make very questionable decisions like trading sexual favors with Hirohide and killing her grandfather. Ultimately, she sought validation from Gai, who only used her for his own goals.
Was there anyone worthy of rooting for?
We have Shu, who is a total wuss and Gai, who is a cult leader. There was a slew of characters that blindly followed Gai throughout the whole series, even though they were being used for his own personal benefit. Inori was basically a robot with no clear personal motivations herself besides helping guy and Shu.
List of Redeeming Qualities
- Relating to the pitfalls’ of Shu, which ultimately is represented in his void power.
- Action of courageousness in action scenes
- Death of important characters
Overall, Lackluster Execution
Overall, Guilty Crown had the elements of a top notch apocalyptic anime with cool concepts like voids with visually pleasing fights. What was lacking was the execution of the characters being presented to the audience in a palatable way, that would make us respect the characters, even though we may have not have liked the characters. The lack of depth and simple motivations behind the characters made grand scenes that should show more complexity seemed very basic.