Posted on 14 October 2011 with categories: Guilty Crown, Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam, Some Quick First Impressions, Un-Go

Last Exile – Ginkyou no Fam

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a young genius pilot.
Well, first things first: it’s awesome to see Gonzo back. It’s not just the series they make. It’s because of their balls: they like to take risks like no other studio out there, and that’s why I became a fan of them, even though they did release their fair share of crap. Now, as for this series: it looks just gorgeous. The CG is still up to Gonzo’s high standards and the creators didn’t just copy designs from the first season, but came up with a whole new set of eye candy that certainly does not stand out as inferior to its predecessor. As for the story of this episode: it’s definitely more childish than the first season, and shows a bunch of teenagers being able to disrupt an entire fleet. The first season had this too, but was a lot more subtle about it, especially with the enemy fleet having very stuck-up commanders and deploying no vanships whatsoever to intercept the main cast. There’s also fanservice, though thankfully not as much as was feared. The acting is overall very good, though it does have a number of weak points. The direction is also quite solid, despite the lighter tone. This is a typical example of a first episode with a lot of potential to become amazing, but also with quite a number of things that can hold it back and didn’t work out as well as you’d hope. Yup, that’s Gonzo alright.
OP: The OP of the first season was much better.
ED: A familiar voice. The song is a bit redundant after hearing it in other EDs, but the picture slideshow looks nice.
Potential: 80%

Guilty Crown

Short Synopsis: Our lead character meets a half-naked girl.
That was absolutely gorgeous. The first episode of Guilty crown is a visual feast, in the way that just about every frame is meticulously detailed and well drawn, in the way that only Production IG can do for a television series. If they keep this up, then this will very likely be the prettiest Noitamina series of the year. As for the rest of the episode though: there were a number of issues I had with it. The biggest is that outside of the visuals, I miss creativity: the scenario of this episode had a been there, done that”-feeling, and the main characters are a bunch of walking cliches. On one hand you have the really bland male main character, and on the other hand we have this female who has special powers, is his childhood friend, and gives the male lead a special weapon that he can use to kick ass. There have been way too many shows already with that premise, and the only thing that this show really added to that was its gorgeous visuals. This is a show that needs to grow significantly. But heck: at least the characters are far from as stupid or annoying as they were in Fractale.
OP: Good idea to combine it with the content of the episode.
ED: A bit of a dull ballad with nice art from the promo images.
Potential: 75%

Un-Go

Short Synopsis: Our lead character solves mysteries.
Here is a very interesting one, and I don’t mean that in the way you might expect. At first this episode started off like your average murder mystery series: the protagonists happened to be stuck in a room full of people where someone conveniently got murdered. It was well built up, but strangely mundane. Then however the second half came around and this episode just kept switching moods, themes and atmospheres. This series is attempting to breathe a new wind into the episodic murder mystery genre. This episode had science fiction, horror, and the post-apocalypse all stuffed together. This was the strange case of not the culprit getting some surprise added depth, but the setting itself became a lot more intriguing once this episode started putting the pieces of its puzzle together. On top of that, this episode was well produced and well directed with very natural camera work. The creators definitely took creative liberties on the original work it’s based on, and the episodic set-up really allows them to try a wide variety of different stuff. Oh, and as an added bonus this episode had the best use of music and sounds of the entire season so far. My only warning for when you plan to check it out: the characters. They are not on the list of priorities for this series.
OP: A bit of a dull song, but lots of neat eye candy.
ED: By far the best ED of the seasons. Heck, even the OPs get nowhere as close to the imaginative visuals and music that was displayed here.
Potential: 90%

31 Responses

  1. pat says:

    If it really kept switching moos, it is a very strange series indeed.

  2. psgels says:

    Ack, typo. I meant moods, not moos.

  3. lialiakicks says:

    UN-GO has the best theme songs IMO. School Food Punishment & Llama? UM YES PLZ. Still not really sure where UN-GO is headed, but it definitely looks promising.

    As for Guilty Crown, I’ll probably check it out just for the pretty visuals. I hope the story is as good as the art. :/ It always sucks when good animation quality is wasted.

  4. DangerMouse says:

    Awesome, love detective style shows and given the two primary key staff of the first FMA reuniting, Un-Go was one of my most anticipated shows along with Last Exile, Guilty Crown and P4, good to hear the director and writer with the setting/moods etc. are off to really good start, I have faith this writer will deliver the characters too over time.

    Looking forward to checking out Guilty Crown, the visuals look gorgeous and I like the setting and type of story and the character art looks fantastic, only bit I’m worried about is the whole cliche idol chick love interest thing.

  5. Cholisose says:

    Un-Go was very, very… different… yet familiar. The whole episode, my reaction bounced back and forth between “This looks really interesting!” and “What is this I don’t even.”

    The setting is probably what intrigues me the most, but I have no clue what it’s trying to be. Japan has had a war with terrorists of some kind… and people are dressing like it’s Victorian Europe or something (mixed with some random bizarre outfits here and there)… but technology seems more advanced than present-day reality. And the city still looks in ruins at the moment. And there’s some kind of magic going on too, it seems.

  6. Tomtom says:

    Guilty crown started of so good. Half-way through the episode i was hoping: Please, just for once, let the male lead not have uber magical hidden pixie powers… of well :S. Still the show has potential.

  7. synkronized says:

    Yeah, Guilty Crown pulled the old – The end of the 1st episode main lead turns out to pwn everything and save the hot waif like female lead who’s the source of his powers trope.

    That and the “Boohoo Japan’s a victim of the brutal West” grows pretty damn old real fast. Especially considering the fact that Japan’s been more the perpetrator of brutality than the victim makes me always cringe.

    Still, the visuals and music do provide enough of a draw to keep me watching.

  8. mario2man says:

    Oh yea the girl is not the source of his power just that weapon. He has the guilty crown that allows him to forge weapons and tools from people. And what gets forged depends on the person.

  9. m says:

    I think Guilty Crown just out-Sunrised Sunrise. For what looks like a dumb action show that was pretty well executed.

  10. manlyflower says:

    Yeah. Lama? The ED is going to kick ass no doubt.

  11. Frost says:

    Holy crap you werent kidding, Guilty Crown has movie quality visuals… At this point I dont care if the story is crap or whatever, Ill watch it just for the eyegasm, and I really like the main girl anyway so thats a plus

  12. BKskaiserz says:

    Something random : Hatsune Miku @5:25

  13. Gintoki says:

    What? I thought the characters of Un-Go were interesting. While we only get a glimpse of their backgrounds and personalities, the air of mystery that surround the main characters is quite intriguing. I mean, Why is Yuuki seem so straitlaced, even when he’s being called the ‘Defeated Detective’? Who’s that girl at the beginning and how is she related to Yuuki?And most important of all, who or what is Inga? Can’t wait to get these questions answered!

  14. Tuuli says:

    Both of these seem interesting to me. Hoping they both will be good on the long run.

  15. Raggers says:

    Loved Un-go. The visuals of Guilty Crown had me gushing.

    There was one character you forgot psgels – the kick-ass boss of the super-powered girl, who the lead will no doubt surpass pretty quickly.

  16. I believe the person doing the ED to Fam is the same person who did the first season’s ED, maybe that’s why it sounds familiar?

  17. Alec says:

    Yes, both EDs are sung by the same person: Hitomi Kuroishi.

  18. Puran says:

    Soooo. After watching Guilty Crown’s first episode I have to say I didn’t like it. Apart from the high production values (I’m not going to say great visuals) I didn’t like anything else… The atmosphere that the director’s works have (and that I enjoy) was gone. The direction in general (apart from the opening, I thought that was well done) was bland. I didn’t get excited in the fights or the transformation sequence. And I didn’t really like the music…

    And the story… Well it can still go anywhere, but everything in this first episode felt stereotypical and forced. And after the production values go down in the next episode (which is bound to happen, although production IG is generally known to be more or less consistent), I’m not sure what the series will have going for it.

  19. DmonHiro says:

    Hey… wasn’t Dio… uhm… dead?

  20. Alec says:

    @DmonHiro:

    No he wasn’t. He even said the words “ascending” when he was with the the guild’s former house member and current Silvana’s chief engineer, Dagobert in the final episode

  21. CandiRae says:

    Love the visuals for Guilty Crown! Think this is my favorite.

  22. Enna says:

    I can’t say I really enjoyed Un-Go or Guilty Crown. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about them, but Guilty Crown felt too bland to me and Un-Go felt very rushed.

  23. Jellyfish Marine says:

    Agree with synkronized, Japan being bullied by other big powers is really getting old… I don’t know how Japanese watchers feel about this but from the perspective of a foreigner, it does not make me sympathize with Japan at all. Don’t get me wrong, there are a bunch of anime and Japanese movie that moved me to tears and left me in awe over Japanese nationalism, but definitely not Guilty Crown and other recent anime shows that involve the similar setting. Let’s see, for this season alone we already have Horizon and Guilty Crown. For Horizon I do understand because Japan is basically the only habitable land left in world, but otherwise what is so good about conquering the country that has to import foods to feed its own people =w=?

    Nevertheless, I guess I will still follow Guilty Crown, and may check up on Un-go too

  24. c160 says:

    Guilty Crown is super pretty but annoying due to its blandness. Still the super high production values are sucking me in like a black hole :P

    Un-Go was awesome though. I think this is the first mystery series that had the detective to be so creepy. Definitely THE show for me this season.

  25. Kanub says:

    Guilty Crown… Stunning visuals. But the end was a huge dissapointment. I already disliked Shining Hearts for their “pull magic pwnass swords outta chicks chest” thing.

    For Last Exile. Huge fan of 1st series. Hopefully 2nd will stay in the same track.

  26. Petit says:

    I hope Last Exile 2 will be another Yukikaze and not another Dragonaut with angsty and childish teenagers.

  27. Oroboros says:

    Verdict after one episode:
    Guilty Crown is derivative eyecandy, but has potential to go in new directions. Let’s hope the creators learned from their mistakes on Code Geass & Death Note.

    Un-Go has far more interesting characters, but its episodic nature will rise or fall pending the over-arching plot. IOW, Dantalian no Shoka failed by not taking its over-arching plot more seriously. OTOH, Gosick failed by taking its over-arching plot too seriously at the expense of everything else.

  28. Puran says:

    “Let’s hope the creators learned from their mistakes on Code Geass & Death Note.”

    Forget learning about mistakes. Guilty Crown doesn’t even have the good qualities of those series. Death Note had an incredible atmosphere. Kurozuka too, but that was a bit more style over substance. From what I can tell from Guilty Crown’s first episode, it so far has neither style nor substance.

    I really hope it can win me over in the next few episodes. Because Production IG + SciFi + that director should be something amazing.

  29. Tuuli says:

    I can’t remember if it was mentioned when or where was Ginkyou no Fam’s events happening?
    It was very, very nice to see Dio again. :) Wonder what will happen to him during this season…he seems to have calmed down somewhat even though he has the scars from last season for sure.

    Hopefully this will do good even if it seems a little more lighter toned at the moment. It might not be so at the end.

  30. DangerMouse says:

    Yeah, based on the way this episode progressed I do not think that the new season of Last Exile will be particularly lighter toned as the progression throughout successfully addressed multiple tones while being slightly brighter but then built up the tension nicely, similar to the first episode of the first series that hinted that things wouldn’t remain small for long, the progression felt really smooth and nicely paced, even a bit faster than the first series. It’ll probably be a tone progression over time like in the first series. :)

    ANN’s preview report from back at Anime Expo of the Q&A I believe reported that we are on Earth (I believe Dio’s line at the beginning is also supposed to hint at this too according to some posts I’ve read since I’m still waiting for subs to really understand the dialogue).

    Yeah, it was nice seeing Dio starting to recover, he was so “Dio” in the ep, and that sweet little tease of a badass duel in the OP with him fighting one of the enemies was pretty sweet :)

    Loved the start and tone of the story that’s already proving once again it’s got a large scale story in mind and the stunning visuals (best of the season IMO), and how quickly I got attached Fam, Giselle, the Sky Pirates plus re-aquainted with Dio. I still love this unique steampunk/scifi world :)

    I hope this continues to deliver and does good as well, and continues to keep building a strong atmosphere.

  31. DangerMouse says:

    Oops, I can’t forget to mention the soundtrack, still as awesome and distinctive as the first series, I love this franchise’s “sound”

    Totally agree on the OP hopefully it’ll grow on me since those visuals are so good, though the song that played right after it during the sky pirate mission that sounded like it was at an homage to Shuntaro’s pieces made up for it IMO, and notably another great ED similar to the the first season’s.

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