Guilty Crown – 08
「夏日 courtship behavior」 (Natsubi)
It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone other than Gai take the initiative, though I never thought I’d be saying that about Hare of all people. It wasn’t all that unexpected since she did give Shuu the green light back in episode three, but it was still somewhat surprising to see her take her jacket off in a hurry to pull Shuu’s eyes away from Inori. In the battle of curves, Hare wins hands-down; however, it’s her active attempt to get closer to Shuu that makes me want to root for her. In comparison, I actually felt worse for Souta, since the poor guy was honest about his feelings for Inori and even checked with Shuu that there’s nothing between them, unaware that he was being led on by everyone just to make use of his Void Weapon. Judging from Shuu’s frantic actions, it looks like he can’t even stomach the idea of Souta getting closer to Inori — even if it were all an act — so for selfishly interrupting (and looking like a creep), I say he deserved all the ridicule from Tsugumi, deathly stares from Ayase, and embarrassment from Gai and the others.
Incidentally, I did appreciate how this episode finally hinted at the supposed theme of series that ties in with the title, namely that Shuu feels “guilty” about using his friends as weapons with the the Power of Kings (hence “crown”). (Granted, it only looks like it weighs on his conscience provided that Inori isn’t taken away from him.) Better yet was some background story on the Apocalypse Virus that Shuu’s father, Ouma Kurosu, studied. If nothing else, that reinforced the idea that Shuu isn’t completely detached from what’s going on, and came with the added bonus of seeing someone foil Gai’s plan for a change. As for what Shuuichirou actually retrieved from elaborately locked room using Kurosu’s ID card, my (wild) guess is that it’s some meteorite that Shuu’s father studied to create the Void Genomes. I would further speculate that something went terribly wrong during their creation, resulting in the outbreak that is now known as “Lost Christmas”, and Kurosu sacrificed himself to minimize the damage. After all, the rock-like clusters when a Void Weapon is extracted look very similar to the effects of the Apocalypse Virus. Keidou Shuuichirou of course, intends to continue whatever they started despite the risks.
Assuming that’s the case, where that leads us is anyone’s guess. Along with the implication that Arisa’s fallen helplessly in love with Gai and that Daryl may not be the GHQ Commander’s son, I’m just happy there was enough of an overarching plot in this “beach episode” to help me overlook the brevity of the operation in relation to the setup for it. Quite frankly, I found pacing and screenplay in this episode a bit awkward and forced — especially the part at the end where Souta’s thankful about Shuu being straight with him — so if it weren’t for the story developments, I probably would’ve been wondering what the writers are thinking again. As I mentioned last week, Guilty Crown is far from establishing itself as a smash hit that can get away with more frivolous showings, so the last thing I wanted to see is the questionable direction continue. What this series really needs now is for the plot to gain some steam, which hopefully Yahiro and his virus-infected brother will provide next time. The occasional cliffhanger wouldn’t hurt either, just to build up some viewer anticipation.
ED Sequence & End Card
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