Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas Review

 

THE RIGHT TO USE MY FRIEND AS A WEAPON. THAT IS THE SINFUL CROWN I SHALL ADORN.

You know what’s coming.

title

Everyone’s favourite anime series, succeeded by Nitro+ and adapted into the visual novel form. Can’t ask for anymore than that!

ギルティクラウン ロストクリスマス by Nitro+

Company = Nitro+

Scenario = 鋼屋ジン(Haganeya Jin) (Demonbane)

Artist = 中央東口(Chuuou Higashiguchi) (Evolimit!)

Genre = Near future, drama, battle, apocalyptic sci-fi all age-ge.

What’s so special = High budget effects, animation scenes, un-ending choice looping, and ofcourse…OUMA SHUU, GUY, AND OUMA KUROSU CAMEO

Foreword and Discalimers

The first thing to do, naturally, is then to dispel the belief that Guilty Crown Lost Christmas is in any form a sequel to the series. Lost Christmas is, as they have said in the PV, a spinoff: another story that happened in the shadows of 2029.12.24 (For those who don’t know, projected day when Mana goes out of control the first time due to rejection by Shuu during childhood). Nitro+ was rather conservative in introducing any other new elements to the world and rather they focused on supplying some answers to the original’s holes. Spoilers abound.

Synopses

Set in year of 2029 Japan, a man escaping an underground research facility with a girl. His codename is “Scrooge”, a “failure” of an experiment who has woken from his slumber meant to be his last. Having lost his memories, his only solace came from another experimental victim he met while escaping, the mysterious sarcastic girl “Carol” who seem to have known him from before he lost his memories. Scrooge must use his “Powers” to fend of the pursuers, while the fated day slowly approaches.

Characters

I’ll mainly stick with the original characters from Lost Christmas since I’m lazy, but do note there are cameos from the original anime series.

Scrooge(スクルージ)- the protagonist of Lost Christmas, a superhuman (spoiler: genome soldier) but very cold hearted lead? The question mark is because there are actually choices in the game for the player to dictate his motives, but I think the canonical character is that of a cold hearted badass (the “true ending” and nature of Scrooge made me believe this). He isn’t the that cruel per se, just once he sets his own personal goals, he doesn’t care the process of getting it done as long as the means meet the end. As mentioned in the synopsis, he has supposedly failed the transplant for the “Power of Kings”: he disrupts the introns of  when drawing voids, making the weapons rather fragile. The fake king. Haganeya Jin himself said in the liner notes that Scrooge is essentially the incredible hulk, superhuman strength, very agile with his jumps, and accomplishes very flashy feats. Coupled with the void drawing powers, it really makes for an unbeatable protagonist. Personally, despite all these attributes we associate to power levels, I thought Scrooge is a reasonable protagonist as he makes pretty logical choices (controlled) while fighting hard against fate, something very human-like that we can sympathize with.

Carol(キャロル)- the main heroine for Lost Christmas (well she is the only one). Mysterious partner in crime who claims to be Scrooge’s only ally: his weapon. She is cheerful in a semi-conniving, sarcastic attitude. Seems to know Scrooge from before he lost his memories, but avoids the subject when asked about it. Oddly enough, she seems to be an exception (according to Ouma Kurusu) to the rule of one void per person, and has loads of voids that when broken doesn’t even harm her. *Cough cough, ofcourse there is a reason behind this, but major spoilers so I’ll leave it for you to find out. We don’t get THAT much interactions with her (other than her “Use me Scrooge, until I’m broken” which sounds like an innuendo more than anything else) so I never really developed an impression of her character. Still a very important character to the Lost Christmas story.

Present(プレゼント)- The Ghost of Christmas Present. Assassin sent by the organization to hunt Scrooge and Carol. Has the power to control apocalypse virus (crystal) and manipulate them. The important thing to note here is that there are no confirmations about her gender. But I refuse to believe she is anything other than a female. Either way, has strange affection towards Scrooge and makes “moves” on him in her own fashion. Loved this character! Very confident and Chuou Higashiguchi’s art was just perfect with her (the stare and smirk :P).

ghost

Past(パスト)- The Ghost of Christmas Past. Also an assassin sent by the organization, though in her case she seems to remote control mechas in capsules to fight instead (nerve enhanced power). Later revealed to have a rather shocking relation to one of the characters?

Yet to Come(イェット・トゥー・カム)- Yet to Come/Ghost of Christmas future. Assassin sent by organization, in a sense the last boss.

System

system

Save-load, configuration and the extra section that is unlocked with a full clear. A guilty crown-esque theme (futuristic feel: hexagons crystal-like.) Standard below the screen textbook (though the background is coloured by who is speaking). Aesthetics aside, there weren’t anything that was out of the norm. One thing to mention is that there is no music library.

Art and Animation

Chuou Higashiguchi’s style is rather different than the original anime style. It can come off as a bit rough in comparison, but I assure you it grows on you fast. The style makes for a rather strong impression with the simplistic but different “texture” feel. Especially when contrasted with the detailed background, it is easy on the eyes to track all the motion when Scrooge moves on and off screen. With that said, there are a lot of effects in Lost Christmas, as well as some animation sequences. For an action genre enthusiast, this means that even though this is in VN format, the action feels quite real!

Music

The soundtracks in Lost Christmas seems to be directly from the original anime series (except the OP). I’m not that well informed in the names of the soundtracks, but I do think I heard Bios Delta for quite awhile when trying to fight this choice..

Story and Impressions (Spoilers)

I’ll start by saying that I watched the anime series and wasn’t exactly impressed with how it turned out. First off, there aren’t any explanation given to why or how Japan was hit with the Apocalypse Virus. The details around it was rather hazy as well (Apocalypse virus gave shape to the void? Only youngsters have them, but why?). So in a sense I was hoping that there were some answers around the virus with Lost Christmas, unfortunately I was not given them. Scrooge’s ability to turn all the enemy soldiers into crystals seemed to be associated with the fact that adults cannot have void harvested from them, but I’m also confused by voids coming out before the Lost Christmas hit (which made every children born from then bear a void). It almost seemed magical that Carol (even with the big reveal) was able to give a void every single time as it is supposedly a rare phenomenon. Not to mention the whole genome project was left in the dark.

Barring that, I do think Lost Christmas provides very interesting answers to the original such as to why Daa’th has the power of the kings (for both Guy and the blonde shota), and more importantly how Mana was stopped (and how Shuu and Guy are alive from the danger close zone).

Other than those, there aren’t too much connections to the original, Haganeya Jin’s writing is crisp and well paced. The fight scenes are quite fiery with explosions happening in the background via special effect. The game also follows the events of Guilty Crown loyally, and makes for a consistent world. If I had to pick a bone with the original content it would be that it is too short, with 7 “episodes” and each lasting only as much as an hour.

It really was like watching the anime, except more actions and less grief.

Conclusion

I had fun playing through this. While my head is filled with questions (such as why are the outfits for the main heroine always so skimpy!) I found myself wow’d and fascinated by the impressive effects/animation and detailed aesthetics throughout the game. A short and sweet addition to the Guilty crown universe. Definitely try it if you are a fan of Guilty Crown, but the action is really nice even if you aren’t.

Also, lest us forget (not from game).