Initial Thoughts: Mirai Nikki, UN-GO, Guilty Crown

I couldn’t help but group these three together since I get a similar sci-fi feeling from all of them.  They all also easily made my watching list, which makes dropping Kimi no Boku. even more likely.  A lot of hype has been built up for each of these, and now I understand a little why.  If Mirai Nikki, UN-GO, and/or Guilty Crown are not on your list of shows to check out for the season, then you’re definitely missing out!Mirai Nikki
Watching
A lot of other bloggers have already compared this show to Eden of the East, as the characters in both series play a death game using their cell phones.  That’s pretty much where the similarities end, however, since I view Eden as much more heart-oriented than Mirai Nikki, which is more of a psychological thriller than anything else.  Considering some of the characters involved, you might even recommend this anime to fans of the horror genre.  What at first appeared to be strictly some sort of mental instability complete with some disturbingly real imagination work turns into a very real life and death fight to survive and inherit god’s throne.  Now, I obviously don’t trust this “god” that protagonist Yuki once imagined, since I have a hard time imagining anyone wanting to give up such a role of power, much less a deity who pits humans against each other in a game with their lives at stake.

Since I’m pretty weak with horror and thrillers, I wasn’t sure how much I would like this show at the start.  But rest assured, Mirai Nikki quickly grabbed my attentions and had my heart beating irregularly all the way to the end.  It’s easy to get sucked into Yuki’s fear and feel slightly disgusted yet intrigued by Yuno’s predatory obsession/affection with him.  The sound effects and music do a good amount of work in this department, helping build the tension and effectively setting the eerie mood of the series.  The graphics are nothing to laugh at, either.  All in all, this is a very promising show that I’ll probably avoid watching by myself at night.

UN-GO
Watching
It’s a bit early to feel too unsatisfied as of yet, but Bones’ mystery of the season, UN-GO, failed to both keep me on the edge of my seat and interest me in the main characters.  As of now, I view them as slightly irregular and wouldn’t mind knowing more about Inga, but also wouldn’t really care if they suddenly died and were replaced by two new members.  This lack of attention to building the appeal of its main characters may prove to be the undoing of UN-GO, as characters often vie with plot for fulfilling the parameters for what makes a great show.  Neither one of the above has yet proven itself, which concerns me given that this is only going to be an 11-episode show.  But maybe I’m just panicking here, and the second episode will invest a bit more in its protagonists and plot.

I have no problem with a mystery show opening up with a mystery, but I do have a problem with a mystery that opens up with a lame and predictable mystery.  This was the case with UN-GO‘s opening episode; furthermore, while the criminal responsible could be seen coming a mile away, the motive behind the crime made hardly any sense–understandable when considering out-of-control emotions, maybe, but certainly not the most viable option for an interesting end.  I’m pretty let down that the two mystery-type shows, UN-GO and Phi Brain, have started out so sub par.  I really do like the ideas of the characters, so if any of you have read the manga, I hope you can reassure me that this show will only go up!

Guilty Crown
Watching
Guilty Crown quickly jumps to the front vying for some of the best animation and art of this entire fall season.  Watching this was a visual pleasure by itself, as well as an auditory delight.  The OP and ED themes are also in the running for the best of fall 2011.  I simply love the creativity of incorporating the protagonist’s watching of a Youtube music video with the opening credits.  That the singer turns out to be one of our main characters is even more of a treat.  A strange mix of Code Geass and Dantalian no Shoka, Guilty Crown strikes a pose on both sci-fi and fantasy.  My eyes were riveted to the screen not only because of the A+ graphics, but also because I was intrigued at how alike this show is to the aforementioned anime.

With the slightest likeness, both Dantalian and GC make use of a supernatural female and her ability to open herself up for a contractee’s use.  Maybe a bit of Sacred Seven and Code Geass as well, then? Visually, though, the males of Dantalian and GC must both reach inside these very giving females to extract the necessary powers.  Dalian and Inori‘s expressions are somehow crossed between pain and orgasm, but let’s save that for another day.

The plot itself is nothing new to anyone who’s been around and seen Code Geass.  I say this with a bit of a smirk at myself since I only just recently started re-watching Code Geass, a show I had never finished.  The set ups are almost mirror images of one another, as are the leads of the shows: outside influence, a.k.a. control, of Japan’s leadership, “terrorist” acts of rebellion, pessimistic young men who desperately want to act but just need the means to do so, and peculiar young ladies with inexplicable powers which they cannot use themselves.  Maybe my lack of awe for Code Geass has leaked over a bit into my viewing of Guilty Crown.  Deserving a post to itself, I find CG enjoyable, though greatly inflated by its passionate fans.  And while I appreciated the intelligence of Guilty Crown, I still couldn’t help but question some of the aspects that it completely overlooked: why in the world would the soldiers not do a complete search of the building in which they found Inori to see if she had hidden Funell (which may be/have the “stolen” Void Genome?) somewhere?

11 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts: Mirai Nikki, UN-GO, Guilty Crown

  1. these three shows are my most anticipated shows this season..

    being a fan of the manga, I was really glad that the adaptation of Mirai Nikki turned out even better than I expected😀

    as for UN-GO & Guilty Crown that I both haven’t watch, looks like UN-GO didn’t really made a good opening episode. but then, since i’m a sucker for mystery shows, i would like to go && hopefully finish this show. as for Guilty Crown, given your impression, its looks better than i expected. also, when you compared it to Code Geass, you just made want to watch it even more.

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    • I’m encouraged that a fan of a manga approves of the anime🙂 It gives me some hope that the anime will go the right direction!

      If you do get around to trying out UN-GO and Guilty Crown, do let me know what you think. I love mystery as well, which is why I’m sticking it out with UN-GO until it either improves or drops to the pits.

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      • i just watched both UN-GO && Guilty Crown and they’re both good..

        though UN-GO did opened with a boring mystery, i’m still looking forward to better episodes.. though my concern now is that i have this feeling that this’ll be like Dantalian which had one mystery every episode since it only has 11 episodes.
        as for Guilty Crown, the opening is really good plus the art is really outstanding. as for your question, it is a wonder why they didn’t searched further… but then, overall, it looks interesting.

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    • I didn’t feel this way last season as I absolutely adored Usagi Drop, but still found NO.6 very intriguing all in itself, despite its very many flaws. UN-GO still has a bit of time to prove itself🙂

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    • Hah, nooooo, there are too many good shows this season🙂 And I’m still watching Code Geass, slowly but surely. I stubbornly stand by my statement of it being overrated :p

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  2. The only one I’ve seen so far is Mirai Nikki and I do believe I’ll be following it to the end happily, but Guilty Crown is on my list of to-watch shows. Not too sure about UN-GO right now though.

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    • Perhaps for UN-GO it might be best to wait and read up on the reactions of viewers? You can’t always trust those since I’ve liked plenty of shows that were generally disliked, but it can help.

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