Understanding Guilty Crown’s Failure

My favourite Katawa Shoujo.

It’s very rare for the collective response to an anime as widely viewed as Guilty Crown to be so unified and even rarer when that response skews so strongly to the negative, but that’s where we are after 15 episodes. Right from its debut the show was compared incessantly with Code Geass, propelled by a similar setting and premise and the fact that the two shows share the brains of the writing crew. Those comparisons died down a bit when the differences became clear and very quickly it was apparent that Guilty Crown simply wasn’t going to be anywhere near as fun, let alone as good as Code Geass. The question of what makes Code Geass more entertaining than Guilty Crown has been considered, but generally quickly dismissed with references to Lelouch’s naturally magnetic leadership. I think it’s worth considering at a (slightly) deeper level. (Major spoilers for both titles within.)

Code Geass is commonly referred to as a divisive anime, but this is mostly directed to R2. When I did a survey of 40 of my dearest friends (ie, I looked up the stats pages on MAL), Code Geass averaged a beefy rating of 8.19 with a scatter of just 1.24. Alternatively, R2 had an average rating more than a full point lower, 7.15, with a much larger standard deviation of 1.56. No one on my MAL Friends list dropped the first season, but three people dropped the second, and kadian1364 along with NHRV Forum regular, Flash Sword Irene, must have watched the show through gritted teeth, giving it a low rating of 4. Ironically, the global rating for R2 is higher than the first season by 0.09, and Code Geass‘s second season is ranked as MAL’s 8th highest anime overall. Momentarily making the assumption that you have to be of discerning taste to get on my Friends list, R2 is a prime example of a title where the critical and popular reception diverged.

Obviously, we’re still waiting for most of Guilty Crown‘s stats to come in at this stage, but there’s one that already makes a statement. Of my 26 MAL Friends who have listed it, 8 have already dropped it. Guilty Crown has been criticized for its weak characters, inappropriately timed fanservice, questionable plot and its delusions of grandeur. My biggest criticism of the show is that anything goes: each new void is introduced at a time when it’s most convenient to the plot. However, momentarily ignoring the characters, many of the same criticisms were also levied at Code Geass, particularly its second season. So why were we so much more forgiving of Code Geass‘ indulgences? (And to say Code Geass was indulgent is the understatement of the century.) Was it simply because its cast was that much stronger and more developed? Or was it execution or atmosphere related, or something else a little less tangible?

Cringe factor: over 2000.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that Code Geass has a much better cast. Parallels exist between the two ensembles, that have come a little further around with the death of tortured childhood friend, Hare, in Guilty Crown‘s most recent episode. Shu and Lelouch occupy the lead role (in two respects of the word), except Lelouch climbed to that position quickly, through the force of his character, while Shu was placed there to fill a vacuum created by Gai’s death, pretty much because there was no one better around. Shirley and Hare are the tortured childhood friends who die, propelling the lead(ers) into further action, Kallen and Ayase are the fiery female mecha pilots and third wheel in the love rectangle, while CC and Inori are the mysterious supernatural entities who act as enablers, supporters and confidants for the leads and are the most likely to form a relationship with them. Suzaku’s reflection is most closely matched by Gai, but the differences between their characters are more stark, with Gai occupying a mentor role for Shu, while Suzaku was mostly Lelouch’s enemy and rival. Even more analogues between the two casts exist between less important characters (although I’m not sure who Tsugumi’s counterpart is), but almost universally, the Code Geass character is the more interesting and likable.

The two main script writers for Guilty Crown also worked on Code Geass, but their roles have been reversed this time, with Yoshino Hiroyuki the primary writer for Guilty Crown and his support, Okouchi Ichiro, being the main writer from Code Geass. Code Geass has better writing, but it came under heavy fire, particularly as it was airing. I suspect Code Geass‘ director, Taniguchi Goro, did a much better job of papering over the cracks in the series’ writing than Araki Tetsuro has done with Guilty Crown. I’m not overly familiar with Taniguchi’s work outside of Code Geass, but I know that both Infinite Ryvius and Planetes are very highly regarded. However, I’m anything but a fan of Araki, who seems to love to emphasize the superficial and seems to believe that subtle is what happens at the end of a zombie apocalypse.

This post is now about Katawa Shoujo. (Click for .gif.)

For mine, outside of the characters, it’s the things that are less obvious, such as tone and pacing, that make Code Geass a superior work. Code Geass knew that it needn’t be super serious all the time, yet, within its more dramatic moments there was more tension, more impact and, at the very least, the illusion of more meaning. When it comes to meaning, neither story can be taken extremely seriously as a comment on occupation and interventionist foreign policy, particularly not compared with any anime by Takahashi Ryosuke (Flag, Gasaraki, Votoms, etc). Meaning-wise, the difference comes from what the two shows want us to get from their characters. Guilty Crown is turning more and more into the story of how a boy who is as emotionally maladjusted as the average teenager grows into a leader, hardened by the events that take place around him. That’s the type of story you could get from watching Naruto. Code Geass fast forwards through all of that in the first episode, and the rivalry, battle of wits and constant betrayal that Lelouch is involved in paints him as a much more conflicted person, allowing the show’s commentary about him to be much deeper and more engaging.

31 Responses to “Understanding Guilty Crown’s Failure”

  1. For me, the main difference between Code Geass and Guilty Crown is that, like any good thriller, the former gives you just enough of interest that you can overlook the flaws and inconsistencies, while the latter leaves you hanging, which makes the viewer focus on those same flaws. It’s like Code Geass isn’t an enormously goofy anime, as you point out. For God’s sake, it has an episode dedicated to a cat stealing Lelouch’s Zero helmet. But you also had Lelouch’s machinations, Suzaku trying (and failing) to change Britannia from the inside, all the crazy melodrama, and so on. There’s so much of actual interest. What does Guilty Crown have? Not much aside from unintentional hilarity.

    Also, I realized a while ago that Goro Taniguchi is one of my favorite anime directors. The man just knows how to make an entertaining series. Even R2 with all its stupidity is at the very least entertaining the whole way through.

  2. Whatever the case, can you guys believe GC sold over 10k? Call me flabbergasted, because that’s what I am, but I guess Japanese fans will buy anything that is decently animated?

  3. I knew the show was going to sell. I just didn’t think it would sell that much, to be honest. Even with Infinite Stratos, I sort of got it (plus, that show is a guilty pleasure of mine) due to the girls and the mecha, but mostly because it knew what it wanted to be. Persona 4 had the game, so I can sort of understand that. This? Not really, especially when you compare it to the Future Diary sales. Now that’s a stupid series that took advantage of the fact that it was stupid, and it had a manga beforehand.

  4. Geass had three distinct advantages: one, it came first. Two, we were younger and less critical then. And three, it actually went the extra mile to give us something interesting to watch (Lelouch).

    Why would the youth of today, who haven’t seen Geass, care? Crown is engineered to appeal to them, which is low-hanging fruit (just look at Twilight). If anything selling 10k units seems painfully low to me.

  5. I think Guilty Crown’s biggest problem is that basically ever episode that has aired has followed the exact same sort of episodic outline. Episode starts, GHQ is plotting something really devious and comically evil to draw Funeral Parlor out into the open, Shu is reluctant to get involved at first, but then when it becomes apparent that everybody is going to die if he doesn’t do something he rushes into whatever the conflict is at the last second, draws out somebodies context sensitive void/macguffin/gadget that is always the perfect counter to whatever the problem is and uses it to save the day. Somebody (typically Inori) praises him for being such a good leader, everyone watching assumes it’s a sign that he’s finally going to stop being so wishy-washy, but then it goes through the same formula again the very next episode while ignoring almost any sort of progress that had been made in terms of character personality, character relationship, plot points and scenario.

    Code Geass was never this predictable…in fact arguably one of it’s more infamous traits, love it or hate it, was it’s ability to pull off completely unexpected plot twists that would totally change the power dynamic of a given scenario and keep the viewer guessing as to where events would lead next. Guilty Crown has done almost anything but this despite having similar pieces to it’s whole puzzle of a plotline.

  6. Suzuka’s reflection is most closely matched by Gai, but the differences between their characters are more stark, with Gai occupying a mentor role for Shu, while Suzuka was mostly Lelouch’s enemy and rival.

    Suzuka’s reflection

    Suzuka

    Wait, Suzuka was in Code Geass?! :O

  7. Well you noted one of the key differences between Code Geass and Guilty Crown. Yoshino wasn’t the main writer for Code Geass, and now he is here. Quite frankly he is the most awful person in the anime industry as far as I see it. Also Code Geass was held up by Lelouch’s fabulous persona, where as Guilty Crown Shu constantly begs you to take the show really seriously with his incomprehensible internal character struggles, but the show’s story and cast end up being too ridiculously stupid for this to work.

    To me, I knew this show was dead when early on I read an interview that the makers thought that Shu was a 2011 Shinji Ikari (WTF??????), and that it was a show with cutting edge action and plot. It just showed how delusional they were.

    Overall Guilty Crown is but a hollow shell. Everything in it is soulless. I never once had the impression of any serious feeling or emotion being put into this work. Everything seemed designed to pander to some sort of audience. The female cast has been no better than a display of sex dolls. Yoshino has showed he is no better than a bad fanfiction writer. Terrible.

  8. Sorrow-kun mentions a lot of points that are valid, such as the charm of the cast. In terms of plot inconsistencies, Code Geass R2 was just as bad as Guilty Crown, and probably even worse. I wouldn’t call the packing of Guilty Crown any worse than Code Geass R2 either. Considering these, what makes Code Geass better?

    To be honest, I think Hogart has a point aside from the ones Sorrow-kun mentioned in this article: It’s just simply very likely we were all younger and less critical back in the days when Code Geass aired. I was only 13 years old when I watched Code Geass. I started watching anime in 2006, and Code Geass really helped solidify this hobby of mine alongside Suzumiya Haruhi, both of which I watched while airing. I remember how I thought that this was the best thing I ever watched, and I’d rush onto the computer every Sunday morning to see if the latest episode was subbed yet. I didn’t even care whether #Eclipse did it or #gg. I just wanted to know what happened next.

    It’s embarrassing to admit, but both Code Geass and Code Geass R2 were 10/10 entries on MyAnimeList up till 2011. The journey was simply stunning for me back in those days and to this day I never saw another anime that captivated me as much. During the Christmas holidays though, I realized that I was the only person amongst my friends who gave Code Geass 10/10, so some doubts arose about how decent my judgement was. Then, I gave the series a rewatch. Suddenly, everything ugly about the series that I couldn’t see before revealed themselves to me. I had thought Code Geass was flawless. At that moment, I realized it had more holes than a butterfly net. To be honest, I don’t even think that Code Geass / R2 is worth the current 8/10 score I assigned to them should they have aired today, but I simply cannot discredit them for being the best anime I’ve ever followed whilst airing. Was it because I was young and naive that I enjoyed it? Certainly. If Guilty Crown aired in 2006, would it have captivated me in the same way? I don’t know, but I can’t deny that possibility.

  9. Pacing*

  10. @Shinmaru
    Guilty Crown is entertaining it its own way. I just wouldn’t call it “good”. For all of R2’s ridiculous indulgences, I was ultimately able to forgive it, and rated it “7”, partly because Zero Requiem was just such a well executed scene, and partly because I couldn’t not like its characters. I don’t think I’ll ever be in a position where I need to “forgive” Guilty Crown, because I haven’t, for a moment, been invested enough in it to get angry at it. It’s too silly to get serious about.

    @cyth
    Anything except Nichijou, it seems.

    @Flawfinder
    Well Infinite Stratos is all about the girls. I wonder if that’s part of the appeal of Guilty Crown as well, that people are buying it for the bodacious girls in Shu harem and quietly ignoring how crappy the plot is.

    @Hogart
    Speak for yourself. If anything, I was probably more critical back then. You’re right that CG had the advantage of coming first, but I think you’re third reason far outweighs the other two.

    @Kaioshin Sama
    That’s a good point about CG. It’s unpredictability was definitely part of the appeal. Guilty Crown has had, perhaps, two major plot twists in the entire story to date. It’s weird that so many parallels exists between the two shows, but Guilty Crown fails epically where it really matters.

    @feal87
    Fixed. At least I didn’t say something really embarrassing, like “King Author”.

    @Reckoner
    Harsh. Taking a quick glance at Yoshino’s past jobs, it strikes me as more hit-and-miss than anything else. Then again, arguably the same is true of Okada Mari who is one of the most well-known (and celebrated?) scriptwriters in anime right now. Which is why I tend to think the director is a better indicator of whether a work will be good or not. They ultimately have the final say on things.

    @ImperialX
    My Code Geass story is completely different. I was highly suspicious of it when it first came out, and didn’t get around to watching it until almost six months after the first season ended. So I wasn’t hugely invested in it at first. As far as what you say in regards to plot inconsistencies, I wouldn’t quite go to that extent, but I do agree that R2 in particular was littered with them. Which I think ties into Shinmaru’s point that there’s enough in Code Geass to chew on that it’s easier to overlook its flaws. And, for mine, a lot of that credit should go to the director, particularly when he has a proven track record with such things.

  11. Code Geass R1 is still rated a 9 today in my list. Sure I have only rated it so high because of the fact it was one of the first animes I watched outside of Bleach and Naruto, but when I rewatched it, it was still entertaining, I still loved Lelouch and Kallen, and it had nostalgia value. I’m considering rewatching it again, even now.

    The thing is, I don’t think Guilty Crown is too bad, well, that’s wrong, it’s just I don’t consider it a chore to watch. It’s fun, and I’ve found it’s always high on my viewing priorities when it comes out. I want to see what happens, how stupid it gets, how much physics and logic it can defy, I still find it entertaining, sort of in the way I enjoy Infinite Stratos combined with what I flt for Code Geass.

  12. My biggest criticism of the show is that anything goes: each new void is introduced at a time when it’s most convenient to the plot.

    Exactly. As for the comparison to Code Geass. Guilty Crown tends to accentuate the differences between Geass and R2, meaning everything that was wrong about “anything goes” writing. And the first season of Geass was generally well-written and consistent in both narrative and characters. The first half of Guilty Crown has been similar to Geass in that regard, but much less compelling due to the story. I dare say Guilty Crown is better evolved in it’s tone and style, but it seems to be undermining itself for out-of-thin-air shock value, which is quite a bit like R2.

    Oh, and why much of the fandom is so hard on Guilty Crown is simple: we’re 3-4 years older and wiser. Hopefully we’ve learned something since R2.

  13. I’ll be frank that I never saw that much of a difference between Code Geass and R2. I never saw this huge dip in quality because I never felt the first season was that great to begin with. It always seemed over the top and ridiculous to me.

    That being said I did enjoy watching the series in large part because the fandom was a lot of fun and well Lelouch was a great main character (I was also fond of CC & Kallen).

    Guilty Crown though has everything that was bad about Code Geass but nothing that is good. It also gave me glimpses of NGE but again only the bad stuff. The series just feels so derivative. Of course I am not saying something has to be completely original but when I watch GC and all I can think of is other series that’s not a good thing from the start.

    Well I dropped the series after episode 5 and I can’t say I feel I am missing much.

  14. Most of the things I think stifled Guilty Crown has already been mentioned, but one little detail that I also think is important is usage of secondary characters for world building. Taniguchi Goro is a master of creating interesting and believable worlds, and he does this by utilizing side characters to create many small, recurring side stories that may have little to do with the main characters or the main story.

    In Infinite Ryvius, there were a ton of characters that had no bearing on the direct plot but had entire story arcs play out throughout the series. The most memorable was a girl who spent all 26 episodes looking for all the pieces of her dinosaur costume. Literally, amongst all the chaos and destruction, the show will devote a few seconds every couple episodes to show this girl looking for pieces of something as trivial as a costume. In Planetes, many of the side characters that were introduced in the more comedic “problem of the week” first half of the show actually became actors (and often victims) in the geopolitical debates that spring up in the second half. It’s one thing for someone to say that war is bad; it’s another to show a likable character see his factory and livelihood burned down by senseless mortar fire.

    For Code Geass, I think that these world building elements were present in Suzaku’s relationship with his technicians (Lloyd’s crazy and he’s going to bang Milly), the students at the Ashford Academy (Xenophobia… and tables), the Black Knights (Ougi bangs Villetta, Tamaki wants to be a politician), etc. A lot of the less important characters have lives and stories outside the main narrative creating a world that feels more whole.

    Now tell me, what are the lives of secondary characters of Guilty Crown like? What are their ambitions and dreams outside of “free Japan”? Outside the core story, there are no supporting narratives to really bite in to.

  15. Fact is I enjoyed watching code geass while im suffering with GC…i even challenged myself to rewatch code thinking about everything you guys said but its still so entertaining.

  16. […] If you weren’t convinced of the parallels between Code Geass and Guilty Crown the first […]

  17. Guilty Crown Is A Copy Of Code Geass… But GC IS Boring.. Specially Cause Shu’s Attitude… Lelouch Was Different. But Anyways… Personally Don’t Like GC But Other People Would Like It… It’s Up To You Which One Is More Interesting.

  18. Guilty Crown really brought me down. I had such high hopes but they ended up killing all of my favorite characters especially Hare and Inori (Thank god they didn’t kill Ayase too). Sure Shu ended up alive blind and alone … but wouldn’t it have better for him to die instead. In the end this anime sure sucked as hell…

  19. I hope there is another season on a movie. I just want Inori back.

  20. first of all i dont know what the hell is code geass, all i ever watched are naruto, bleach, one piece and other popular mainstream anime… like many other highschool boys,

    i think kids these days hardly ever watched a 22eps anime or that kind of short anime, at least in my country
    that’s why i’m going to give my opinion as a common highschool boy,

    the first time i saw GC, it was really cool, i mean you dont see that kind of graphic often, the soundtrack, the setting, the power, the conflicts, the struggles was to me really unique and cool,and the girls are really attractive especially inori, although i still think the main character is a little weak in personality , but everything was so damn cool and awesome i dont even know what the bad points in this
    anime, ok i dont really pay much attention on the plot because it’s so different i hardly saw any flaws

    reading most of your comments makes me notice some of its bad points, but i still think GC was really cool

  21. I had to admit i agree with G on some part of GC. I dont watch popular mainstream animes like bleach,naruto,one piece, fairy tail bcuz its too long n i cant keep up with watching 1 anime. I havent seen CodeGeass but i know wat it is. Idk if im planning to watch it or not bcuz CodeGeass rminds me of Gundam for reason and Lelouch dies for some reason.But GC had one or two things CG didnt. GREAT OST which i loved especially towards the dramatic parts. And DAMMM great graphic n cool characters especially Hare(love her kind king story).i like how plots evolve around an age i can relate to. But bad ending n hate how they killed off good characters. i wuld have been fine Shu get crippled as long as Inori lived or how both survive n healthy. Overall, GC was cool in a way
    P.S sorry for my english im just trying to type fast/short bcuz idc abut grammar n stuff and wanted to get to the point.
    P.S.S animes with main characters having more talk than fights r boring n also its overused using the idea of “saving every1”

  22. Ok guys…i like GC in a way. I didnt care if its a wannabe codgeass.So wat? theres animes that r similar to others.GC isnt like the first anime to be a wannabe. So calm down people.GC n CG has its pros n cons like how cool characters dying.Piss me off -_-. Yeah i loved the ost n graphic GC. Not to mention they put alot of effort on GC. Last time i saw a graphic like that was prbly 5cm per sec.Great story and lesson in 5cm but ME NO LIKE END bcuz he wasted his life on 1 girl.
    ~There will always be haters bcuz nothing in the world is perfect.

  23. So I haven’t finished Guilty Crown yet, but I think it’s okay. Not great but okay. Things happen too fast and like people have said the voids are way too convenient. Code Geass on the other hand is an amazing anime in my opinion, and I don’t understand all the hate on R2, even though all I remember Is Shirley, Rolo and Lelouch dying, I feel it was still good and was in no way better or worse than season 1, I mean it is the same show but uhhh ya good article n such.

  24. […] If you weren’t convinced of the parallels between Code Geass and Guilty Crown the first […]

  25. Guilty Crown was so thin, and i dropped it immidiately at Gai’s death. Shu is such a frustrating character which i normally don’t have a problem with since that’s the ‘reality’ of the story, but such a cowardly unsure character being blindly supported by everyone for no reason other than that he’s the main character irked me. I could figure out the rest of the story from there, and had no qualms about simply waiting to hear the ending. I absolutely dropped the show, and was so sad to discover that the writer of code geass was the one who wrote this show.

    The only thing that got me going was it’s sublime graphics. I know graphics will only get better, but Guilty Crowns’ will stay with me for a long time, so, good for them in that aspect

  26. code geass is a solid 10 on my anime list! both r1 and r2. its the best anime i have seen, it touches something almost no other anime touches. the truth of totalitary regimes! there are not many charachters as strong as lelouch. I am now watching the third episode of guilty crown and its very inferior but its still not bad, dont try to campare it with code geass because that will only turn you off from the anime.

  27. I hate CG, but i love GC. I don;t love tactics drama, i love romance drama.

  28. first of all, to the people who said that GC is too predictable. then you so DEAD WRONG! *SPOLIER ALERT*
    The main character which was Ouma Shu was a weakling but also a kind-hearted high schooler. BUT when Hare died, he bacame BERSERK! He turned into a real BADASS guy! and FYI GC had the most dramatic and exciting story line iv’e ever seen in the history of animes! They had the best,coolest and the most exciting music of all time! The openings and even the Endings! I was heart-broken when Inori(2nd main character) DIED! Most animes don’t let their main characters die BUT this, anime GC had their 2nd main character which was Inori die! it was so unexpected! i thought that Shu would save her but instead, Inori sacrifised herself for Shu. SO DON’T YOU DARE TALK BAD ABOUT GUILTY CROWN!! IT WAS THE BEST ANIME IV’E EVER WATCHED!! GUILTY CROWN WAS THE MOST SADDEST YET EXCITING ANIME IV’E EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE SO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE CRITIZING ABOUT THE ENDINGS OF GC OR WATEVER, SHUT UP AND JUST WATCH YOU CG!

  29. *spoiler alert*
    The description u gave about code geass was wrong “code geass fast forwards all that in the 1St episode”
    Wrong totally worng.. In code geass lelouche has already been shown to have leadership qualities! He was a by-birth leader and a mastermind.. The 1St episode only shows how he got his powers! It doesnt fast forward about how he becomes a leader.. He is already a leader.. In fact he is shown in such a way that he can defeat his enemies even if he didnt had geass, geass was just a bonus(ofcoz I am exaggerating a bit.. But i am just concentrating on his leadership qualities)! Code geass has this plus point of being slow.. Its a slow anime with nice character building(all the building is centred around lelouche.. But hey lelouche is all we want to see in code geass) + there are sudden twists! On the other hand the only negative point of guilty crown is its too fast! Everything about it is fast.. Even the psychological state of shu is fast forwarded.. Too fast forwarded, so much that it removes interest from people.. At one point gai is there, another point he dies and another point he is there again.. Like seriously everything went by in a flash! Just in 15-20 episodes the anime had around 10-20 twists.. Lmao that many twists are not even called twists! they r just randomly changing the plot lolol!!
    If guilty crown was much slower in placing its events then I guess it could have been comparable to code geass.. Yeah that was the only mistake of guilty crown.. But the biggest mistake too!

  30. I can relate with one thing u said completely.. Well described, yes guilty crown is in many ways like Naruto.. It shows how the boy named shu slowly becomes a leader from a naive immature boy! But Naruto is almost 700 episodes long and slow and well developed with the emotions touching deep aimed towards our hearts!! Imagine what would happen if u compress those 700 episodes into 20 episodes?! U would get a stupid anime called “Guilty Crown” an anime with no plot developmemt at all.. Seriously I am dissapointed in the code geass writers!!

  31. I watched Code Geass after I watched Guilty Crown, and only by a few weeks. Therefore my judgment on both was at the same age, and I was not any less critical for either of them.

    Also I’m a teen, so I fit the audience the writers of Guilty Crown aimed for.

    To me, Guilty Crown was just a lot more memorable than Code Geass. Maybe it’s because I watched it first, I don’t know. Code Geass has Lelouch which I can remember very well, but mostly because of his manipulative skills and his Geass, which I found a very unique power. Guilty Crown, on the other hand, has Shu, who has the ability to pull out voids, another very interesting power. Shu is not very memorable other than his unique power and self-centered wimpiness, but his wishy-washy nature kind of reminds me of my own sometimes. I guess that’s why I relate with Shu better than Lelouch. Also, I am very obsessed with Inori. I’m not sure why, but compared to other anime girls, Inori has always stood out. Sure she’s mostly emotionless. Sure she likes Shu for no real reason. But there’s this thing about her I can’t help but love – which is her voice. There aren’t many anime out there that gives singing such a huge part of an anime character, and I guess her voice and sacrificial nature just really appeals to me. I love how she always dedicates herself to her cause, whether for Gai or for Shu. I know many people don’t like characters like this because they seem like “mindless machines”, but I do. Yeah I know I sound really bias right now, but this is a good example of the fact that there are people who like Guilty Crown. I can shamelessly admit I gave GC a 10/10 on MAL. There are people like me out there, and I’m not sure why. Most of your criticism is right – the plot is kind of confusing and has holes, many of the characters are superficial, the plot twists are very random and unexplained and that Shu is a whiney wimp. But a major point I disagree with is the fact that Shu goes through no character development. This is BS imo, because he becomes very developed. He starts off wimpy, but if you pay attention you notice that he slowly becomes less and less self-centered and focused on people liking him, and more concerned about people genuinely. He is later shown to be legitimately nice and tries to atone for all the bad stuff he’s done. He also has lots of doubt for people sometimes, although one can argue that this was simply due to manipulation from Makoto and Gai. The biggest development imo, is the arc where he goes insane after Hare’s death. This leads to the revelation of many characters true personas, which is Arisa’s manipulative nature, Yahiro’s manipulative nature, Souta’s vengeful nature and the fact he really can lose his kindness and Kanon’s desire for peace and desire for the old days. But most importantly, it shows Shu’s development into a tyrant, and a good example as to how people can be broken. It’s true a lot of things in GC seem underexplained, but for people who enjoy making inferences (like me), even farfetched ones, it isn’t so bad and it actually makes it better. It makes me think about the anime long after I finished it. As for CG, I usually forget it because they lack a lot of deeper meaning and everything is kind of just explained plainly, so you’re just like “ok cool, what happens next?” (and also “AWESOME ACTION AND PLOT TWISTS GIVE ME MORE”), and at the end your just like “that was great”. Then 1 month later your like “oh yeah the plot was ….” but you don’t really feel much emotion. GC isn’t like that. Even thinking about GC, I can remember all the emotions I had when watching it. They gave me very deep emotions, and I think that’s important in an anime (the most important imo). Great writing and beautiful storytelling is obviously important, but the most important is how much people enjoy it and how well people remember it. GC lacks a bit in amazing plot and great storytelling, but makes up for it with it’s great emotional impact (if you strive to think deeper into the events given to you) and longer lasting memories (if you think more about what happened and develop theories [which I realized I did because of how sad the ending was]). Now a lot of people may disagree with me, but I think people critic GC as if it were a normal anime, in which case ofc it would seem bad. Imo, it is different from a lot of anime, because it’s so similar. Okay, that made no sense, but uh, I’m not very good at explaining what I mean. If you have a better explanation as to why I love GC so much, then do tell me (don’t just say UR STUPID AND LIKE BAD ANIME, because I do like good anime that are considered popular, Code Geass included). Wow. Long post. No one is going to read it lol.
    TL;DR I love GC. I don’t know why exactly, but I speculate on reasons I like it so much and why I remember it over CG.

    Oh yeah I’m sorry for placing points which I said you said which you did not. I was simply countering common points against Guilty Crown, and not yours specifically. No hard feelings!

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