Blu-ray Review: Guilty Crown – Part 2

Guilty_Crown_Part_2_Screenshot (1)

It’s been a long time coming but the second and final instalment into the Guilty Crown franchise has arrived, but what exactly can we expect from the remaining episodes of the series and the disc content? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Guilty Crown – Part 2.

Synopsis:

Shu’s desperate quest to save Inori from the mysterious spectre known as Death sends him hurtling through a horrifying flashback. Glimpses of the boy he once was combine with fragments of painful memories to hint at the harrowing origins of the Apocalypse Virus.

Meanwhile, nefarious GHQ agents seek to incite chaos by turning the frightened band of young rebels against each other. Division in the ranks – and the shocking death of a dear friend – pushes Shu to the brink of madness, exposing Inori and everyone he loves to an eerily familiar enemy. As the terrifying truth about the power of the King’s Right Hand emerges, Shu and his comrades must place their faith in one another – and fight for the future of their world!

Our View:

As you may have already noticed this second instalment of Guilty Crown contains 11 episodes, 9 of which are on the first disc with (amusingly) the remaining 2 on the second disc, and despite the unusual episode count there is plenty of content to go around, especially in the extra features – but more on that later. In my eyes this release (although mimicking the American and Australian releases) seems to be all over the place and contain multiple story elements (or stoy arc’s), each with a plot twist and an ending. For instance the first episode brings the first major story arc to it’s conclusion, whereby we see Shu and Gai attempt to rescue Inori from Shuuichirou, during this rescue attempt Shu’s memories of Lost Christmas are finally unlocked while in the process Shuuichirou is attempting to override Inori’s personality with Mana. The memories unlocked in Shu’s mind provide an informative insight into the cause of Lost Christmas, but more importantly it allows Shu to wield a new ability, an ability to use multiple voids at once and use them without the host losing consciousness.

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It’s an episode that brings a conclusion to everything we witnessed in the first half, and while the first half ended on an explosive cliff-hanger the inclusion of this ‘single’ episode to end the story just seems a bit cheeky. It feels like this single episode was intentionally placed here to make people buy this half of the season, as the remaining episode of this set are relatively stale in comparison to the first half. Episodic options aside a lot of information is provided to the viewer within this single episode, including the GHQ’s real intentions for Inori and a relatively dark bond between Shu, Gai and Mana (Shu’s sister) being mentioned, with the full events of this secret being explored in the final stages of this set.

With the story left open at the end of the first episode the remaining episodes focus on the aftermath of the attack, whereby part of the city has been quarantined by the GHQ due to the Apocalypse Virus spreading rapidl, and because of this all of the students are taking refugee within Tennouzu High School. It’s your typical “calm before the storm” moment with everyone helping each other and being friendly, but after attacks from bandits Shu is appointed as leader of the school and is tasked without securing their survival. Survival is pretty much the aim here, but when friends eventually die due to Shu’s incompetence he decides to treat everyone like pawns so that an escape from within the quarantined area can be achieved, however in the process a darker, more colder Shu appears, which leads most of his school-friends to betray him.

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While this second story arc is short lived it’s where the new rules of the series are introduced, for instance the series take a darker turn with more mature (questionable) content being used, such as two rape attempts on main characters and someone selling their body for information. It’s all part of the character build-up and exploitation of characters, but more importantly it’s a darker side we have never seen before and that’s before you mention the ultimate punishment – death. Within these few episodes Shu allows people to use their void’s freely, but it’s soon discovered if the void is broken then that person will die – a fact which was never mentioned in the first half of the series and adds a bit more intensity to the battle field.

The final story arc, which takes-up the remaining four or five episodes, sees the GHQ use Gai and Inori in order to restore Mana to her original form, and as such create another disaster like lost Christmas. In hindsight this was the real objective for Shuuichirou Keidou – to restore Mama so that her abilities could destroy the world and turn it into crystal. Once Shu and the remaining members of Funeral Palour discover this fact they team up with outside sources for a final full scale attack on the GHQ headquarters.

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I should probably point out that these aren’t officially classed as “Story Arcs” but it just seems easier to class them this way as after ever few episodes it’s a new objective and a different way of telling the story, whether it be Shu leading the school to safety, Gai’s return to the battlefield or GHQ attempting to destroy the world by using Mana there is always something going off – so as you can assume it’s rarely a dull moment.

Extras:

With a series this good you’d expect a few extra features being included on the disc and luckily Guilty Crown – Part 2 doesn’t disappoint as in addition to the usual content we also receive some mini episodes and a bonus “Reassortment” episode.

Guilty_Crown_Part_2_Bluray_Disc_Extras

Just like with the previous instalment the extra content is spread out across both Blu-ray discs, with the English Cast Commentaries placed on the first disc (to tie in with the episodes) while the remaining ‘visual’ content is placed onto the second disc. It’s standard practice for Anime Blu-ray releases, as the space left over is used to compensate the extra content and in the case of Guilty Crown – Part 2 that extra disc space is needed.

Disc 1:

  • Episode 15 English Cast Commentary
  • Episode 19 English Cast Commentary

Disc 2:

  • Next Episode Previews (Episode 12 – 21)
  • Guilty Crown 4-Panel Theatre (Part 6B to 11)
  • Reassortment (Series Digest)
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • US Trailer

Next episode previews, text less songs and a US Trailer are all what you would usually expect to receive in a release such as this, so what really makes this release shine is the inclusion of the remaining Panel Theater episodes and the Reassortment episode, which is basically a series digest.

The Panel Theatre segment contains six episodes whereby we see the cast of Guilty Crown in chibi form getting into all sorts of “off-topic” styled events, they are extremely short episodes, each lasting around 3 minutes in length, but more importantly they provide some comical relief to a series that is so serious. The Reassortment episode on the other hand is a 45 minute re-cap of the previous 11 episodes (i.e. the entire first half of the series) and as such is worth watching before you watch the first episode of this release, especially if you have forgotten what has happened previously in the series.

It’s nice to receive these items as additional content, as they could have easily been stripped out, unfortunately those wishing to watch them in English will be disappointed as they are only available in Japanese with English subtitles.

Specs:

Media: BD 50 x1, BD 25 x1
Region: B
Running Time: 3:25:56 (Disc 1), 45:44 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Be prepared to throw everything you knew about Guilty Crown out the window, as in this second instalment the rules have completely changed, whether for better or for worse I’ll let you decide. While the rules may have changed the episode contained within Guilty Crown – Part 2 attempts to offer one action packed and emotionally fuelled series right to the very end – even if the characters are a little cliché.

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The episodes contained within Guilty Crown – Part 2 are just as visually stunning as it was in the first half, if not better, however the inconsistency within the storyline, cliché characters and drastic plot changes do not make it as entertaining as the previous set, but on the plus side there is plenty of surprises in-store that will keep viewers wanting more.

In regards to this Blu-ray set its business as usual, with Manga Entertainment UK opting to use Master’s authored by Madman Entertainment and because of this we are treated to all of the usual content, such as White English Subtitles and a quality 5.1 English Surround Dub by FUNimation. More importantly all of the additional materials, such as Audio Commentaries and the Bonus Re-Cap episode, are all included so there is plenty of viewing material left over for those who have finished watching the series. The only disappointment that can be had from this release is in order to change the audio language the pop-up menu must be used, as you can not change the audio format via the audio button – additionally the English subtitles are locked to the Japanese audio track and can not be removed.

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Overall Guilty Crown – Part 2 is another top quality release by Manga Entertainment UK with the series is visually detailed quality being the best part of this release, of course there is more to it than visuals but for me that is the best thing about it, although if you do want a highly evolving storyline with multiple factions and possibilities then you’ve got that aswell.

Score: review-stars-5

Guilty Crown – Part 2 will be available on DVD & Blu-ray from the 28th April 2014.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

4 Responses to Blu-ray Review: Guilty Crown – Part 2

  1. willsilva12 says:

    Does this mean that the Reassortment will not be in english dubbed?

  2. TheMorry says:

    Does the blu-ray have signs and songs while watching it dubbed? The DVD version doesnt have it and that bug the crap out of me.

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