I won’t rehash all the old discussions about where Guilty Crown came up short as a series. It seems like you’d be hard-pressed to think of a series that garnered more volume of commentary with less affection than GC, so I’m happy to leave that in the past. But given that I blogged the series start to finish – and didn’t dislike it nearly as much as some folks did – it only feels right that I should blog the OVA, too.
To be blunt, while this can truthfully be called an OVA, in effect what it really amounts to is a commercial for the Guilty Crown VN of the same name. It’s only 11 minutes long, and doesn’t manage to do in half the time what the series rarely did in 22 minutes – which is tell a compelling story about compelling characters. Given the circumstances though, expectations should be different – with only Segai (and briefly Da’ath) carried over from the TV series, I don’t hold a half-length prequel up to the same standards I did a 22-episode series. And viewed through that lens, the Lost Christmas OVA is perfectly fine.
We don’t get a whole lot, here. We have “Scrooge” (Sakurai Takahiro), the predecessor to Shou and Gai in possessing the Hand of the King. His sidekick is Carol (Asumi Kana – “Scrooge and Carol” and “Christmas”, get it?) and her sidekick is a little dog named Drood, who’s apparently been subject to some genetic experimentation and had human genes implanted in him. So has Scrooge, of course – he’s escaped from a research facility where he was being engineered as a weapon. They show up in Segai’s town, and he acts the mysterious joker-like figure as usual (though this time much obsessed with classical music) and we meet the Endlave for the first time, among other things. For the rest of it, you’ll need to buy the VN. Or was that the whole idea?
In a funny way, I think GC benefits from being an 11-minute short that isn’t really charged with doing anything but looking pretty and whetting the appetite, because those were things it was always pretty good at. It was when a larger story and character development came into the picture that things went off the rails. “Lost Xmas” is light as a feather, but it looks and sounds great – the usual high-quality I.G. animation with the series’ usual excellent art direction, and a really lovely ED to tie a bow on the whole thing. It might serve to remind you painfully of what might have been, but if have any affection for Guilty Crown in spite of its flaws you’ll probably enjoy Lost Christmas.