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Guilty Crown – 09

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「捕食 prey」 (Hoshoku)

At times, it feels like Guilty Crown is on the verge of shaking off the jitters from a rocky start, but every time the series is about to, it has a knack for injecting a sudden development with no precedence or build-up and expecting viewers to get emotionally invested in the subsequent scenes. It’s a shame to say the least, because I feel Guilty Crown can take a drastic turn for the better with a single episode that touches upon everything that’s been established thus far and takes it in a new direction. Shuuichirou’s past with Shuu’s father felt like the beginnings of that and received further foreshadowing amidst a high school romance here, but for whatever reason, was allowed to fall wayside once Yahiro and his younger brother Jun (Tsuda Minami, Phryne in FRACTALE) came back into the picture. It’s almost as if the writers don’t want to get a good consistent flow going with the way the put off a recent development and opted to follow-up on a subplot from way back in episode three instead.

Not only does all the jumping around each episode makes it hard for the story to be engaging, it has the adverse effect of making some of the subsequent developments come off somewhat forced too, much like they did here with Shuu’s desire to protect Jun. I can totally understand that the writers want to shed some more light on the Lost Christmas incident through Jun, but the part where he asked Shuu to kill him before he comes to hate his brother was so abrupt that I don’t see how anyone could have felt sympathetic toward his situation. My thought process as I watched that was something along the lines of, “Wait what? Um, okay…” — a head-scratching type of response that wasn’t going to shed any tears. With a better lead-up toward Jun’s death request, that scene could have easily drawn the intended viewer response though, especially with the background music and the traumatized look on Shuu’s face afterward.

That being said, I hope there’s an implicit understanding after nine episodes that I’m not purposely trying to find faults in Guilty Crown — seeing as I want to like this show — but that there are simply questionable developments that are hard to ignore even when I give the series the benefit of the doubt. I’m actually still optimistic about Production I.G’s original noitaminA series, in hopes that it’ll pull itself together and improve people’s opinion of it, but until I get a strong impression of that, I can’t help but hum and haw over some things. Going back to the above, my biggest concern is how unnatural some of the progression comes off in light of everything that’s happened so far, which suggests to me that the writers need to do a better job of depicting how some characters get from point A to point B development-wise. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, because as soon as there’s a breakdown in viewer understanding on why a character is handling a situation the way they are, it’s hard to take anything at face value. Even then, I was willing to overlook some other things this episode, such as how Segai ordered his snipers to fire at Shuu and Yahiro with no intention of hitting them. (i.e. What was the point?) Leading up to that, I really thought this episode was going to hit the story in good stride, with the high school romance aspect care of Hare and even Shuu’s decision to harbor Yahiro and Jun despite how he was betrayed, so it’s regretful that I couldn’t just say beaming things about Guilty Crown this week.

Naturally, overshadowed by my negative impressions are the things that this episode did do well from both a series and story standpoint. For instance, I quite enjoyed the high school side of the things coming off of the beach episode last time, plus it was nice to see more of Shuu’s new-found resolve even though he’s still unknowingly Gai’s lapdog.

There were numerous other positives to take away too, such as:

  • Further build-up toward Shuuichirou as the ultimate antagonist, as Commander Yan isn’t even aware of his true ambition.
  • Subtle intricacies in characters like Yahiro, who referred to Shuu as a “friend” in front of Jun.
  • Ongoing lighthearted dynamic between Dan, Segai, Daryl, and Rowan. (lol @ the continued use of “Scarface”.)
  • Additional foreshadowing revolving around a special-use song that Inori deems “wrong” now.
  • Continued emphasis on Segai’s infatuation with Shuu and his Void Genome.
  • Daryl referring to Shuu as a “faceless bastard” and literally, not being able to make out Shuu’s face from his Endlave.
  • The Apocalypse Virus’ ability to transfer hosts along with one’s consciousness, even to machines through “Genome Resonance”. It explains how Shuu and Jun were able to make a mental connection.
  • Revelation that those who have been infected with the Apocalypse “Cancer” can see Voids, explaining Gai’s ailing condition and how he’s able to do so.
  • And most importantly, evidence to support that Void Genomes are linked to the Apocalypse Virus as per my suspicion last time.
  • As far as plot goes, it’s fairly clear to me that the writers have a story they wish to tell, so hopefully the production staff will do a better job of actually conveying it to us on screen. I still believe that Guilty Crown has a lot of untapped potential — it just needs to start living up to the sum of its parts.

     

    ED Sequence & End Card

    Guilty Crown   ED1.09   01 Guilty Crown   ED1.09   02 Guilty Crown   09   End Card 01

    Preview

    Guilty Crown   09   Preview 01 Guilty Crown   09   Preview 02 Guilty Crown   09   Preview 03

    Watch the Preview!: Streaming ▼

    December 9, 2011 at 5:18 am
    133 comments »
    • December 9, 2011 at 5:23 amGuiltyPig

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • December 10, 2011 at 4:54 pmEva22

        Why so many dislikes? there’s nothing wrong with his comment except for his name “GuiltyPig”

        • December 11, 2011 at 5:34 pmStranger

          Because “First!” comments which contribute absolutely nothing to the discussion of the episode are just plain annoying and can even as so far be downright disrespectful.

          Not only that- but it is a telling sign that those whom continually post such comments are sorry beings indeed- with lives so completely devoid of any meaning that they must strive to post the first comment in order to obtain any such insignificant resemblance of a ghost of an iota of a sense of accomplishment.

        • December 11, 2011 at 8:10 pmComM3

          Could’ve just left it at the first paragraph. He made a mistake, no need to say his life has no meaning.Excessive flaming scares away other commenter(s).

        • December 13, 2011 at 2:36 amStranger

          The obsession with “First!” is hardly a mistake when plenty of people will stay up late purposely to get the glimpsing chance to be the first one to comment.

    • December 9, 2011 at 5:26 amEnmire

      The “kill me” plot twist really came out of left field, but otherwise this has been my favorite episode yet. The characters are starting to feel like people and they’ve finally started some actual foreshadowing.

      • December 9, 2011 at 8:10 amTez

        I think they foreshadowed that by showing Jun attempting to kill himself in the beginning of the ep

        • December 13, 2011 at 4:59 amEnmire

          I meant more along the lines of setting up a rough outline for what we can expect future development to focus on. I get what you mean, but hinting at something that happens later on in the same episode doesn’t really have the same weight. It’s still foreshadowing, so you got me there.

    • December 9, 2011 at 5:29 amSchmell

      I am kinda dissapointed: great animation and stuff, but plot and characters of this anime are just trainwreck. Un-go seemed to me like this at start too, but they have started collecting the pieces together, and it looks quite good. This…i honestly dont know

      • December 9, 2011 at 8:47 amAni_BEE

        I get the impression that this being a 2 part series they don’t want to divulge too many keys points about the plot early on. BUT we are 1/3 of the way in and everything is still half-assed.

        I like this episode because it had a more serious note. But the lack of lead up to Jun request to his life maybe the point. I foresee this being an issue Shuu is going to have to face with so many of the victims of Lost Christmas in the future. Now he has to deal with the family left behind like Yahiro which Shuu does know.

        Segai playing with Shuu is so wrong but I’ve always got the impression that i want’s to under stand how his abilities work for actually shooting Shuu is not an option at this point.

    • December 9, 2011 at 5:41 amfragb85

      Well call me surprised. An episode that I actually like and don’t have to much to complain. The show would have benefited more if it took this kind of tone for the last eight episodes. This episode was finally able to answer some stuff like the nature of Voids and the Apocalypse Virus. Not to mention having Shu develop as a character. Shu really benefits when he doesn’t have Gai upstaging him or Inori turning him to wishy washy person.

      I really, really hope they don’t delve to far into Shu wangsting about killing someone. I could use a little less of that kind of pretentiousness.

      • December 9, 2011 at 5:52 amDivine

        Be warned then, as the preview suggests Shuu’s pretty traumatized from this incident.

        • December 9, 2011 at 6:04 amfragb85

          That’s fine as long as Shu gets out of his funk ASAP. They just showed Shu a lot more confident, I’d hate it if they backtrack his character AGAIN.

        • December 9, 2011 at 7:30 amshinkirou

          well is more like shu get infected with Apocalypse Virus in the preview, seeing that this episode the virus can be transfer /resonance with machine at the time he come contact with jun. Show Spoiler ▼

        • December 9, 2011 at 7:01 pmTimelessness

          @shinkirou
          I like the idea but I think it won’t happen, from a plot standpoint. Could be wrong though.

          @Divine
          I did notice the preview and I really don’t like the idea of Shuu getting caught up on Jun’s death. Most likely it’s because I don’t like Shuu’s character, I don’t think it fits too well. (opinion though) And I don’t think his character is subject to change, due the fact the writers are “digging him a hole”, and by that I mean narrowing the possibility that his character could change. I kinda see the next few episodes, or more accurately the time it takes him to get over this the last window of opportunity for him to undergo serious character change. Like mentioned below, like in CG (and Gurren Lagann, as I found out before divine put up the spoiler tags) this is a very common way to bring on some serious character development, and I’m really hoping for it.

    • December 9, 2011 at 5:54 amJif

      Hmm. They’re trying a bit too hard to show some development in Shuu at the cost of some coherency. I feel like they did progress some things, but few beyond what could be inferred from prior episodes. In that context, the Jun arc was somewhat appropriate. Can anybody expect viewers to develop a sentimental attachment to Jun, who played little role except to make Yahiro a desperate and depraved wreck? No, but this development was perhaps meant to emphasize the role of the “guilty” crown instead, showing a Shuu that crossed the line after murdering an innocent child – one who he had vowed to protect, no less. This is your standard slaughter of innocence that makes me want to draw parallels to Lord of the Flies. You can’t run around happily touching peoples’ chests (fine, hearts) forever, and I just wish they would’ve showed Shuu’s dissonance earlier. Conversely, an argument can be made that the more happy-go-lucky material was thrown in, the more jarring the contrast would be. I think that point is well made, but I would be surprised if very many people agree with me on this one.

      I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed, because this episode moved a lot forward, and I was quite relieved to see that. However, I guess what we can all take home is that just because your show is two-cour doesn’t mean you should spend an entire season’s worth of material doing trivial, tangentially related things. It’s a poor use of budget considering how strong the storytelling in some of our shorter series have been this season.

      • December 9, 2011 at 6:06 amShinmarizu

        I agree with you WRT Shu’s dissonance. The happier/unrelated stuff could have been saved for later; so much could have been done earlier story-wise, (1) to prevent Shu from looking like such a pantywaist all the time; (2) to allow Shu to grow, as realistically as possible given he possesses something that would make him feel such guilt.

      • December 9, 2011 at 7:50 amThe Story You Don’t Know

        I agree with you, it’s a big move forward at the very least. Well, we should expect more pantsy episodes with Shu being traumatized but I bet things will be more interesting after it. I’m guessing that Shu will get a huge character development in the next 5 episodes.

        I’m not really comparing GC, but this episode somehow gave me similar vibes I felt when Show Spoiler ▼

        Both the protagonists of TGTL and CG got “traumatized” then got a huge leap in character development after those incidents, so it’s not far off to think that CG will go on the same route.

        • December 9, 2011 at 8:01 amlol thanks

          …I know I’m late to the game but I just started watching TTGL. Ah well I guess spoilers like that are only expected for popular series.

        • December 9, 2011 at 8:09 amThe Story You Don’t Know

          Crap, I’m really sorry. I’m not trying to be Mr.Know-it-all or something, but I never actually thought I’d be spoiling somebody with a TTGL post. Well, you should still continue watching TTGL. It’s one of the best animes out there. Actually, you can say it’s one of the most surprising and epic animes created, as it really exceeded everyone’s expectations. I hope you enjoy it as well :)

        • December 9, 2011 at 12:54 pmDivine

          You spoiled me too actually, but I’m used to it. I edited your comment with tags.

        • December 9, 2011 at 6:09 pmToshiki

          Nah, it’s okay. I understand since it is a relatively old and popular series. It’s just a bad coincidence that I decided to start to watching it the day before. haha I didn’t expect to see a spoiler either. But to put a more positive spin on it, you’ve actually given me more incentive to continue. :) I’ve put off watching it for so long. Thanks, hopefully it really is as good as you make it sound.

    • December 9, 2011 at 5:59 amShinmarizu

      If only the rest of the episodes we’ve seen were more like this. I swear, if this episode was actually episode 4 or 5, and the writers kept this up, we’d all be a lot happier. Shu needs to angst over this – it’s pretty much a right of all weak teenage male anime protagonists – but they have a great opportunity to right this ship (Shu’s development and the series as a whole) and get on with some quality storytelling. *crosses fingers*

      Half of us are expecting that Shu’s going to go emo next episode and prevent his balls from dropping, while crying for Gai/Inori to support him. BLARG.

      Seriously, though, I personally think Shu could use some talk time with Tsugumi and Ayase (it doesn’t seem like being near them affects his ovaries as much) before the next plot point hits him in the face.

    • December 9, 2011 at 6:13 amBass.EXE

      Perhaps Cour One they’re like jumping around to see what hits with their audience and then Cour Two will just be consistent awesome. Yeah, that’s going to happen. One can hope, right?

      • December 9, 2011 at 6:27 amShinmarizu

        They really shouldn’t do that for an entire cour….

      • December 9, 2011 at 1:54 pmThe Moondoggie

        Precisely what I was thinking….

    • December 9, 2011 at 6:20 amCybersteel

      I hope they won’t waste too much time until the really good part comes along. I really want this show to be good. So do you think they’ll manage to turn the tides on the anime Divine?

    • December 9, 2011 at 6:21 amSnuckerpooks

      I’m wondering how much Hare saw. All of it or just the end? She sort of disappeared after she followed Yahiro and Shu walking off and then re-appeared at the end.

    • December 9, 2011 at 6:24 amComM3

      Highlight of this episode” The dialogue between “Scarface” and Dan

      • December 9, 2011 at 10:03 amFlamingYu

        YES! + Thumbs Up
        Dan and “Scarface” relationship + 1%

        • December 9, 2011 at 3:40 pmYoyo

          DanxScarface doujinshi would be a nice pairing.

        • December 9, 2011 at 5:16 pmJared Drake

          @Yoyo – Bleargh… I just spewed out my lunch. Thanks man.

    • December 9, 2011 at 6:36 amMinami

      Comparing it to the last few weeks, I really liked this episode and felt like the show was finally starting to pick up again. I actually thought the response would be a tiny bit more positive then negative but I guess not. Well in my case I hope they keep it up and that GC is just a late bloomer, not a wasted investment.

    • December 9, 2011 at 7:06 amlucci

      Anyone else got some Alphonse Elric vibes?

      • December 9, 2011 at 8:03 amJustSharin

        Nope, not really. From who are you actually feeling the Alphonse vibes? Sorry, i might be missing something here for me not to feel that alphonse vibes :-/

      • December 9, 2011 at 10:12 pmBeeonacar

        I wasn’t feeling them, but now that you mention it, I can see where you’re coming from

    • December 9, 2011 at 7:08 amTez

      “how Segai ordered his snipers to fire at Shuu and Yahiro with no intention of hitting them. (i.e. What was the point?)”

      Shuu explained that right after didn’t he? Segai fired the shots to get them to run toward an obvious exit that was actually a trap. However he ended up cornering them anyway in the warehouse. Segai doesn’t want to kill Shuu he wants to learn about the King’s Hand and wanted to see it in action again.

    • December 9, 2011 at 7:42 amThe Story You Don’t Know

      Amidst all the plot holes in this episode, I like how things ended up. The title is getting more relevant since from here on, Shu will start building up his “guilt”. Since this is somewhat a generic anime, there are a couple of scenarios I can think of.

      One is that we can pretty much expect Shu to get traumatized and stuff(as shown in the preview), preventing him from functioning well in battle, and ultimately getting Gai killed in the process in the following episodes. That builds up his guilt more, but it becomes a wake-up call to reality and becomes more of a leader amidst all the hate he will get from FP until he finally regains their trust.

      Another one is that things wil turn out pretty much the same as the first scenario, except he will be abandoned and hated by FP as well, getting him all emo and stuff. Even if everybody now hates him, Inori will stay by Shu’s side, being the only person to still “like” him, aside from Hare. Since I noticed that GC is trying to emphasize their songs, I guess it won’t hurt to follow a song’s lyrics(My Dearest by Supercell) as a plot device.


      Even if someone calls you a liar
      and tries to hurt you with heartless words—
      Even if the world tries to make you wear a crown of thorns
      without even trying to believe in you—
      I can be on your side and no one else’s
      I know your loneliness and pain
      so, everything that makes me whole
      Now I’ll offer it to you
      I’m Yours

      That’s pretty much of a hint.

      • December 9, 2011 at 2:40 pmDa5id

        But isn’t just implied to be about Shu and Inori’s relationship? Their inconsistent and unoriginal relationship?

        • December 9, 2011 at 3:26 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

          I just realized… there was no fan service this week!!!!

        • December 9, 2011 at 3:33 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

          I just realized… I posted in the wrong section!

      • December 9, 2011 at 3:08 pmThe Moondoggie

        Totally agreeing on the song being the basis for the plot…

        But I would like for it to go the other way and have Shu become an anti-hero who does what he only believes in. It might end up like Prototype if that happens.

    • December 9, 2011 at 7:48 amJustSharin

      I’m still not sure where the show wants to head. They just keep on giving us little hints (with an obvious foreshdowing) – just like in Blood-C but more predictable. Honestly, what’s up with Production I.G.’s storytelling these days? At least the animations are still quite an eyecandy to watch.

      • December 9, 2011 at 7:53 amThe Story You Don’t Know

        Blame the writers

        • December 9, 2011 at 2:40 pmDa5id

          So blame the show then?

        • December 9, 2011 at 3:10 pmThe Moondoggie

          But then, the writer of this episode also did some for Angelic Layer and Eureka Seven.

      • December 9, 2011 at 8:47 amSoiyeruda

        They used the Jun subplot at such a weird point but at least the story finally looks like it will have a focus.

        • December 9, 2011 at 8:56 amSoiyeruda

          Posted in the wrong area, by bad.

        • December 9, 2011 at 8:56 amshinkirou

          in other word jun is scapegoat of the show………

    • December 9, 2011 at 7:54 amx

      This episode finally makes this anime feel less eye candy focused and more plot focused. Not sure I’m enjoying it as much as previous episodes though. Mainly because I never felt the plot being the strong point of this anime, and I’ve been watching it mostly for the eye candy (mechas, girls, guys, beautiful backdrops…) :p. If this continues, I wonder how long it will be before I get bored. Maybe even before the first half ends?

    • December 9, 2011 at 8:12 amUmadBro?

      i dont get it, i thought the virus could spread and they went to touch the boy… and it spreaded to a robot

      nvm

      • December 9, 2011 at 8:57 amJif

        Either it makes no sense, or genomic resonance refers to the possibility that an Endlave is connected to its pilot’s DNA somehow, which still makes no sense biologically, but would explain the pain feedback (using your genetic material for more control? Oh well, it functions). Instead of siphoning the King’s Hand, Daryl’s machine siphoned the Apocalypse virus and got cancer.

        Anyway, Shuu stuck Yahiro’s shears into his little brother, so here’s hoping that he gets a little present next episode.

      • December 9, 2011 at 1:57 pmThe Moondoggie

        Fascinating isn’t it?

        The fact that DNA too can be coded into machine language isn’t as far-fetched as anyone thinks. So a biological virus infecting a machine isn’t too far off.

    • December 9, 2011 at 8:55 amCorodix

      This episode is giving me the feeling they engineered the entire Virus in an attempt to create the void genome, and that they are using the population as test subjects.

      • December 9, 2011 at 2:02 pmThe Moondoggie

        It is a possibility:

        And(adding a theory of mine to that) that it affects machines so that any tool of war would be powerless against it.

    • December 9, 2011 at 9:19 amewok40k

      I am more and more tantalised by:
      1. Shuichiro, his past with shu’s father, possible links to his mother (coworkers? or maybe co-conspirators?)
      2. Segai and his seemingly “wait and observe” way of dealing with Shu
      3. Gai, Inori and “special song” they are planning to use.
      4. genesis and nature of the apocalypse virus – and it’s ability to change hosts – even to machines! – and carry with it parts of the victim’s soul? – possible link to the void genome?
      It is obvious there is story out there to be told, just the production team is completely clueless how to do it…

      • December 9, 2011 at 10:49 pmThe Moondoggie

        I was kinda thinking that the way the virus migrated to the machine carrying the consciousnesses of the person infected might be the main source for the endslaves’ technology of being controlled and affecting it’s pilot’s thoughts.

        Also I bet Lost Christmas isn’t an accident anymore… By how the scene with Jun unfolded,it looked more like a terrorist attack. But from whom? GHQ?

        • December 9, 2011 at 11:43 pmewok40k

          when Gai set upon raiding GHQ vault on the island, he mentioned “the rock that started it all”, leading me to suspicion it was an extraterretrial virus carried by meteorite like in Crichton classic thriller “Andromeda virus”…

    • December 9, 2011 at 9:19 amInoriDisward

      Wow, that shocked expression on Shu’s face at the end really hurt my heart, literally :(

      How is the Apocalypse Virus spread anyway? The amount of times Shu and Yahiro touched Jun, you would’ve thought that they’ll be infected by now…

      • December 9, 2011 at 5:19 pmJared Drake

        I keep getting Psycho Shinji Ikari vibes from Shu. I don’t know why… I hope I’m wrong though.

    • December 9, 2011 at 9:23 amznail

      Wait a second. He left school with them being busy filming Inori, but when he called for Gai so is he out travelling together with Inori? She sure manages to move around quickly.

      • December 9, 2011 at 5:03 pmJustSharin

        Hahaha! So true lol

        Apparently, girls in this show has some teleportation powers =p. Just look at Hare. Where was she when all hell breaks loose in the warehouse? She just comes back scratch free at the end of the show. And she was out all night. Where the heck are her parents?!

        Kidding aside, i wouldn’t mind if they give a little explanation as to where Hare was during the warehouse commotion.

    • December 9, 2011 at 9:43 am0927123

      While watching this ep. This is all I could think of to sum it up. Though this ep made something clear, infected people can see other people’s void. I’m looking at ya, Gai.
      Loved the Dan and Scarface moment, lol.

    • December 9, 2011 at 10:18 amDelwack

      General Series Comments
      I’ve always believed that any premise can work if the execution is done right; that premise matters very little in the scheme of things for entertainment but I do acknowledge that a good premise can add that little extra bit that makes takes a show from average to good, from good to great, or from great to masterpiece. Guilty Crown appears to have that little extra in a its premise, but the actual execution of the storytelling had been very mediocre. This storytelling problem far outweighs any benefit the show gets from an excellent premise.

      I couldn’t agree with Divine more about how choppy this feels: how little empathy I feel for the characters due to the barely coherent developments and how badly things have been put together in general. It’s good that the story and motivations are starting to make more sense now but there is an art to to telling a coherent and captivating story that Guilty Crown’s story boarder and director can’t quite seem to grasp. When the audience, due to clumsy storytelling, can’t connect with the characters and can’t enjoy the plot developments it really feels like an unfortunate waste of potential.

      The visuals and premise are great, here’s to hoping that they can execute the storytelling a bit better because the potential for Guilty Crown to be great is clearly here still, even if some of it has been squandered.

      Episode Specific Comments, Character and Plot Analysis:
      The bit about helping Yahiro was pretty well done. It made sense to me.

      However, is Shu really going to angst over the brother of someone who’s betrayed him, someone he doesn’t even know and has no real connection with? An innocent he was trying to save who ultimately tried to kill his brother? I don’t have a problem with agnst, I just really need to feel the character was emotionally scarred and needs to work through it. I don’t feel it here, Shu just didn’t really have a deep connection with either yahiro or his brother. It would make more sense to me considering the relationships if Shu was regretful for his actions and sympathetic to Yahiro, but the incoming BSOD-level angst feels forced.

      Is it implied that Hare saw everything? That’s a bit ridiculous, considering that GHQ was pursuing Shu almost the entire time. GHQ just left her alone even though she was observing it all? Really? I’m interested to see what part she will play in all this (besides I’m sure being another void to use), but I’m sure there are better ways to get her involved in this than simply ‘observing everything, even though it was really really really dangerous’.

      With the explanation of the genome virus carriers being able to see voids makes analyzing Gai a lot easier. I think it’s fairly safe to assume he either has the virus, or is using it in some form to obtain his ‘ability’ to see voids. Some earlier hints for the viewers would have been helpful, and would have helped to make him a more sympathetic character.

      This also has interesting implications with respect to blood transfusion from Inori. Either he has the virus, and the transfusions help with his resistance and immunity (e.g. Ranka -> Sheryl in the Frontier Movies) or else the transfusion provides him a ‘temporary’ infection that grants him the same benefits as an actually carrier of the virus (this path of thought leads to ‘Inori is an experiment subject of some type or else an artificial human/lifeform a la NGE’s Rei.’

      Knowing that both Shu’s mother and father worked on research related to the virus and the void genome, this makes it doubly interesting that Shu’s mother appears to recognize Inori (or the ‘childhood friend’ version that they keep on showing with Shu and Gai), implying that she was both a friend and connected to Shu’s parents’ research. Does this imply brainwashing? serious mistreatment? a cloning? At least one is likely.

      I think the biggest problem for me right now is that these connections aren’t really being emphasized in the right way. Yes, it is a given that every show wants to keep the audience guessing to help build suspense. When executed well viewers get an inkling of where the story is going without giving it away, which helps make everything feel just right when it finally snaps together. While Guilty Crown is putting all the pieces in place, the poor execution makes it feel very disjointed. While interesting, it would be so much easier to really enjoy if they could just smooth out the storytelling.

      • December 9, 2011 at 11:16 pmn30nl16ht

        Thumbs up to you man, excellent take on Guilty Crown. The execution in each episode is a bit random and forced. The writers are like good in school but have little experience making their own, aside from reading other materials. OR maybe they have conflicts within the group on how to do stuff?

        But aside that this episode had more positives than the previous four. and for your question Is it implied that Hare saw everything? Well no to get ahead on things, i’d say the next episodes should explain this otherwise it was just completely stupid of her to be there.

    • December 9, 2011 at 11:17 amsuff

      OK. Now that Shirley Hare has seen the truth, will Lelouch Gai erase her memory? Also, will shits break lose 10 episodes later when Orange-kun Scar-face restores Shirley Hare’s memory???

      I kid, of course.

      So I think we are at least clear on one thing. Once you get infected, you can see Voids. Gai’s power is probably derived this way as well.

      • December 9, 2011 at 11:22 amsuff

        Also, I think this episode shows that Inori is not just Gai’s lapdog. She seems to have an opinion about how things are progressing.

        I agree with Divine on one thing: the writers could have spent more time on the scripts. A lot more time.

      • December 9, 2011 at 12:16 pmJif

        Unfortunately, absolutely 0 justification can be made for the King’s Hand only working on those 17 and younger. If only the Apocalypse Virus exclusively worked on kids. Maybe the special modification to the King’s Hand that develops over time is its ability to scale with the age of the user. Otherwise the story ends with Inori turns 18, and that would just be no good.

        • December 9, 2011 at 1:51 pmThe Moondoggie

          Or we could finish this off before they reach 17.

          @suff:

          Since there is no Geass here, they might just kill her off. It WILL break Shu and two things MIGHT happen:

          1. Shu becomes badass…

          2. Shu becomes evil…

        • December 9, 2011 at 1:52 pmThe Moondoggie

          Sorry: Typo…

          I meant “before 18…”

        • December 9, 2011 at 2:45 pmDa5id

          Or Shu breaks down and becomes utterly useless for remainder of the series. His role as main character has been such a stretch, I wouldn’t be surprised if the just kill him off too 5 episodes before the end.

        • December 9, 2011 at 3:55 pmDarkRyter

          Well the obvious reason for the king’s hand working exclusively on youths is that it will be important to the plot at some point or another. Maybe Shu’ll be surrounded by old dudes and be unable to get a void. Maybe somebody will become to old to have their void extracted. Who knows. But Doyleian explanations aren’t exactly satisfactory.

          The way I figure is that it has to do with the genetics concerning the aging process. When you get older, your telomeres shrink, and since the void powers are based in genetics, there could be some substance to the theory that telomeres have to be a certain size to have an extractable void.

          Hell, if you can believe magical weapons related to your thoughts and feelings can be extracted from your genetic code, an age limit doesn’t really stretch it that much further.

          How that dress stays up, though, just baffles the hell out of me.

        • December 9, 2011 at 5:18 pmDa5id

          It’s a stretch when there is no scientific basis for it in the show.

        • December 10, 2011 at 4:36 amsuff

          Jif:

          I am pretty sure that it only works for people under the age of 17 because of something that happened either around 17 years ago or around 10 years ago (Lost Christmas).

    • December 9, 2011 at 12:37 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

      That ending pic. Best one so far.

    • December 9, 2011 at 1:02 pmskylion

      This episode fails even more than the last one. Absolutely no Tsumugi at all. None. Zip. That sucks, folks.

      Well, it was alright.

    • December 9, 2011 at 1:29 pmThe Moondoggie

      FINALLY! Shu is on his way to be my dream Evil Overlord!

      No, seriously…

      This is what I have been waiting for all along: the scenes where Shu had to do something he doesn’t like. If you are going to compare this to Code Geass again, sorry. But comparisons ends here: Lelouch was more than happy to have killed the people he killed, maybe except Euphy. Shu, on the otherhand, seems to never had realized that he was killing people when he was bashing endslaves(?) around. Now that some kid is asking to be killed by him, I didn’t think he’d really do it.

      Well? What would you expect from a person who helped pen Code Geass, Angelic Layer, Eureka Seven and others?

      Oh and now that Hare knows: I expect its obvious to everyone now that she’s marked for death as well. If, by some miracle of God, that they had someone help pen this who isn’t connected to Code Geass, she might survive this show. But I highly doubt that.

      Also we see two things that will keep us thinking until next week: One is that Gai is infected with the virus. I guess he evades the crystalline look and pain with the blood transfusions. The other is the virus affects machines. Wow!

      Short post is short: 8 out of 10. Its finally improving. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

      • December 9, 2011 at 3:22 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

        This episode probably marked Hare’s death and Shu becoming an anti-hero with only Inori by his side.

        • December 9, 2011 at 10:10 pmThe Moondoggie

          But then they might kill off Inori too just to break Shu more.

          He should be dark, angry and berserker-insane by the end of this series if they keep killing off people he cares about.

        • December 9, 2011 at 10:29 pmDa5id

          I cannot stress enough how that scenario could just as likely turn into a walking corpse that does nothing but whine and cry for the remainder of the series.

          Actually, from the looks of it, it’s MORE likely.

        • December 9, 2011 at 10:41 pmThe Moondoggie

          THAT will only happen Da5id… IF YOU are the writer for the next bunch of episodes…

          But what we have here are writers who wrote stories for may previously successful anime. And like I said, she’s “marked”: She still has a chance to live, though it’s as dim as a candle in the darkest place on earth. And my God: the one thing that catches everyone’s eye in all their resumes: Code Geass, which turned out quite well.

        • December 9, 2011 at 11:08 pmDa5id

          Well, it’s a good thing I AM. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA…*writes troll fanfiction*

          And I don’t see any death flags being raised around her so far…just like I don’t see any badassery flags being raised around Shu.

        • December 10, 2011 at 7:19 amThe Moondoggie

          Well that’s because it’snot there yet. You need a general idea on how similar situations turned out, as well as a good foresight.

        • December 10, 2011 at 9:34 amDa5id

          So what’s an example of this happening in a different show?

        • December 10, 2011 at 10:04 pmThe Moondoggie

          Ok so we first break down the situation:

          1. trying to save – There are tons of that in anime.

          2. trying to save – not necessarily sick: you can use this on or too…; and finally

          3. stalking – can be either yandere or innocent girl

          In any situation in other anime where in no.2 the person being saved dies, we can use those to guess which will happen next.

          Now, since Yahiro is related to Jun, we can make a guess here: while Shu will be blaming himself, Yahiro will be plotting revenge. The “he killed my brother/he’s the reason my brother died” situation.

          Also there’s Hare, who may have discovered Shu’s power, let’s assume she does for now, and also that Shu killed someone. She may/may not lose her love for Shu. By the looks of the preview, she didn’t and still continue to stand on Shu’s side of things. If Yahiro tries to kill Shu, she may/may not sacrifice herself, depending on if she’s present at the time of the event. If she is, she may “take the bullet” meant for Shu, which might/might not kill her, depending on the graveness of the injury.

        • December 10, 2011 at 10:06 pmThe Moondoggie

          Ok so we first break down the situation:

          1. protagonist trying to save friend – There are tons of that in anime.

          2.protagonist trying to save sick person – not necessarily sick: you can use this on oppressed people or group of kidnapped scientist too…; and finally

          3. possible love interest stalking protagonist – possible love interest can be either yandere or innocent {insert usual love interest trope here} girl

          In any situation in other anime where in no.2 the person being saved dies, we can use those to guess which will happen next.

          Now, since Yahiro is related to Jun, we can make a guess here: while Shu will be blaming himself, Yahiro will be plotting revenge. The “he killed my brother/he’s the reason my brother died” situation.

          Also there’s Hare, who may have discovered Shu’s power, let’s assume she does for now, and also that Shu killed someone. She may/may not lose her love for Shu. By the looks of the preview, she didn’t and still continue to stand on Shu’s side of things. If Yahiro tries to kill Shu, she may/may not sacrifice herself, depending on if she’s present at the time of the event. If she is, she may “take the bullet” meant for Shu, which might/might not kill her, depending on the graveness of the injury.

        • December 10, 2011 at 10:06 pmThe Moondoggie

          @Divine:

          soory for the double post… the first one bugged out on me… ;)

      • December 10, 2011 at 12:43 pmJif

        A mainstream-targeted show like this wouldn’t kill off Inori, since she’s P iG’s silver bullet for inducing hnng~. There has to be some limit to how many people you can kill off to allow Shuu to grow a pair, and I mean, he’s already cut out a lot of the self-hate. We might get some more angst next episode, but I personally think it’ll actually be HIV. Err, Apocalypse Virus. Wish I knew Japanese so I don’t have to sound like an idiot.

        Hare, though… I hated Shirley for just being straight up useless, and Funeral Parlor (why can’t it be Funeral Parkour instead?) has enough bodies to go around and *more* than enough hnng with the trifecta of Inori, Tsugumi, and Ayase. Just kill off the unrelated people and go after the big bad government already.

        • December 10, 2011 at 10:10 pmThe Moondoggie

          why can’t it be Funeral Parkour instead?

          They should be able to jump over roofs individually without any aid if we are to name them that way ;)

          Ayase cannot jump without her endslave, and I guess the big dude with the guns can’t either.

          Well, they could semi-replace Inori with that cute pink haired girl we see in the pictures and flashbacks.

        • December 10, 2011 at 10:14 pmJif

          C’mon now… Inori jumps *all* the buildings.

        • December 10, 2011 at 10:29 pmThe Moondoggie

          I didn’t say Inori couldn’t jump. Remember how she cleared a building with one? Shit! Their world’s physics isn’t working like ours XD…..

    • December 9, 2011 at 2:10 pmEssence

      Powerful episode, definitely the best episode thus this far, I expected you to like this episode to divine but eh what ever. Hopefully episode 10 can follow up being just as good as this episode and GC can finally start to turn into the series we all hoped it to be.

      • December 9, 2011 at 2:19 pmnexus

        Yeah I was kind of disappointed in this weeks write on GC on here as well, this weeks episode as far as general reception goes is a lot better then past weeks. Most people really liked this episode. Weird when a really good episode shows up divine doesn’t like it.

      • December 9, 2011 at 4:09 pmJif

        The only disagreement I have with Divine is that there was no basis for Shuu’s desire to save Jun. I think it’s very understandable that Shuu, who clearly is sensitive, wants to prevent death as much as possible – when he sees Yahiro about to die, that impulse kicks in and he ironically ends up killing Jun. But you are right in that this was a fairly poignant episode.

        There are a lot of overarching themes that haven’t been discussed yet. Gai’s cross, the title itself (crown of thorns) – examples of religious symbols – are juxtaposed with genomic technologies. Modern facilities are placed next to run-down warehouses and chain-link fence. Despite weaknesses in storytelling, I have found the world itself to be very intriguing, masterfully woven through its art and imagery. I have faith that iG will pull everything together, so I watch GC not to nitpick on literary devices – I have philosophy journals for that – but to enjoy the awesomeness that is there, just buried under a rectifiable amount of storytelling muck.

    • December 9, 2011 at 4:16 pmJif

      @DarkRyter:

      Haha, point taken. I actually had that thought when Shuu got arrested by the GHQ. No kids there, right?

      I would be happier if they did not attempt to wander too far into the world of molecular biology. Or evolutionary biology, or biology in general. My inner Biology major would just rage. Look, Jun has a plasmid and NO nucleotides ;_;

    • December 9, 2011 at 4:38 pmChaos

      Another week, another boring episode…

      Guilty Crown is failing to live up to its expectation. I blame Divine for that. I don’t even know why I am watching this show anymore. I guess I just like seeing Inori in different scenes and outfits.

      Anyway, on the bright side, new episode of Mirai Nikki in 3 days. Awesome!

      • December 11, 2011 at 2:52 amtuturut

        Mirai nikki sucks ;/

    • December 9, 2011 at 4:45 pmDragonite88

      Form ELS now to crazy and similar looking characters. The crazy eye from this guy http://randomc.net/image/Guilty%20Crown/Guilty%20Crown%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2011.jpg and clever planning reminded me of none other then this guy http://randomc.net/image/CODE%20GEASS/CODE%20GEASS%20R2%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2011.jpg

      Scary. and Could Hare end up like Shirly seeing has she too was sneaking around and found SHU secret.

      • December 9, 2011 at 5:30 pmEva22

        Scarface is more awesome compare to orange-kun :)

    • December 9, 2011 at 5:45 pmRS456

      I think we are going to see Shuu go through a mental breakdown for a couple of episodes. My guess is his childhood friend is going to help him get through this having seen everything.

    • December 9, 2011 at 8:13 pmJustinnnnnn

      You know the blogger did a good job when talking about the episode when a viewer who does not watch the show, like me, can feel what it is like. I really dig the fact you mostly talked of the show and your current take on it: what you think of the show’s direction, the staff behind it.
      The few names and events you included were stuff that one can imagine what is like too, thanks to your take on it.

      …Good stuff Divine, really digging your blog as of late. Keep it up!

    • December 9, 2011 at 8:16 pmJS1122

      Not a bad drawing, but there are some problems with the perspective of her ankle.

      • December 10, 2011 at 1:03 amJustSharin

        This reminds me of the blogger who was obsessed with Nagi’s legs XD. Was it omega? Oh my gosh, i really don’t remember.

        • December 10, 2011 at 4:44 amAzure

          It was Jaalin and his ankle fetish. Weird, I wasn’t even reading RC back then and yet I still know about that post.

    • December 9, 2011 at 8:21 pmAniota

      Apparently Ayase is going to Shuu’s school.
      This pic is supposedly from some anime magazine.
      http://brunhild.sakura.ne.jp/up/src/up527979.jpg
      This is actually understandable move because after this episode obviously Shuu is going to have some mental problem and then FP has to figure out what is going on in Shuu’s mind ASAP.
      Inori is already with him but, you know, she is the last person in FP to do this mind survey/observation kind of job.

      • December 10, 2011 at 4:47 amJif

        Shu harem. Yes.

        • December 10, 2011 at 7:11 amThe Moondoggie

          If you can add her to Shu’s harem, sure… But I specifically remember she’s Gai’s….

        • December 10, 2011 at 7:14 amJif

          Never underestimate the power of a supporting-cast tsundere.

        • December 10, 2011 at 7:20 amThe Moondoggie

          The let’s all just wait and see…

          But yeah… Ayase in uniform XD….

    • December 9, 2011 at 9:17 pmSOSAnimeBoy

      WTF… Hare was following them… then suddenly vanished… endlaves came, things blew up, Yahiro woke up… and she’s randomly back without looking even slighly shaken up by all the madness? Where was she all that time when snipers were missing their shots at two slow-moving HS boys and an endlave was appropriated at the genetic level?

    • December 9, 2011 at 10:06 pmtorleywowlol

      fuck your opinions

    • December 9, 2011 at 10:36 pmYanDaMan263

      What the hell is going on with this show? I want to like this show, but everytime it starts to get good, the next episode always ends up as an incoherent trainwreck that nobody can follow. What is the plot of this show and whats it trying to tell us? I dont even know anymore.

    • December 9, 2011 at 10:55 pmAvgJoe

      • December 9, 2011 at 11:05 pmThe Moondoggie

        WTF!?! (O_o )’

      • December 9, 2011 at 11:09 pmAvgJoe

        LOL, inserting some epic Battlefield3 video on Randomc.net, is bloody awkward as it is.

        • December 10, 2011 at 6:50 amThe Moondoggie

          No, I mean… YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO THAT?

          Gonna try it tomorrow….

      • December 10, 2011 at 2:26 amKabayongtao

    • December 10, 2011 at 12:19 amNanashi

      So at one point, I am willing to venture Shu can use any void he previously used before, based on the increasingly chaotic opening. Maybe multiple voids at once at that. Only possible power up for his ability imo.

    • December 10, 2011 at 12:34 amZaku Fan

      Now this episode was what the series should have been. With so many previous episodes making Shu an unlikeable deluded person, i do not see this episode rescuing his character’s popularity (unless the viewer is like Shu, having total amnesia on what happened an episode ago). Along with the time lag from ep 3, the impact of this episode is severely depressed.

      The part where the episode mirrors the feelings of those who have to take long term care of someone is very much real life, for both those being taken care of and those doing the caring. The mix of feelings could have been brought out better though. For example, when Shu tells Yahiro that Jun is dead, its very likely he felt shock + relief as an intial feeling followed by guilt over his relief and sorrow. The animation didn’t bring that out well enough.

      There was also the big question that logically since Jun could transfer his mind (and soul?) into the Endlave, why not simply transfer himself into a computer and become a network (or internet) consciousness. Its at the very least much much better than constant pain and lack of mobility. The episode also implied that the virus brought out the primitive dark side of people and made it dominant.

      With Shu being portrayed as a total idiot for the previous episodes, the scared+sad face he did at the end did not make me sympathetic. If only they made his character better than Guilty Crown would at least be considered “good”

      • December 10, 2011 at 6:59 amZaku Fan

        Listening again to the very first song “Euterpe” that Inori sings in episode 1 in youtube just brings out how much the wonderful music and animation was ruined by the storyline. Episode 1′s Inori and Shu was actually alright, especially Inori. What a waste

    • December 10, 2011 at 1:34 amAmbrosia

      “We’ll clear this mission with guts” hahaha, nice scarface!

    • December 10, 2011 at 7:51 amn0216332

      imo, jun was very unlike-able, he selfishly demanded to be killed not knowing/thinking how it will impact on shuu’s mind…shudav just let jun killed his brother XD, he betrayed him anyway… but hey… im a horrible person, thats why im not a protagonist of an anime.

    • December 10, 2011 at 6:58 pmWhee

      rly? I thought the progression wasn’t that horrid or out of the blue… Thought ep was fine as is.
      As Shu mentioned, the snipers were trying to lure them into using the cart so the endlave can handle it or w/e. I CAN tell you that I’m neither fully enjoying the show, but I don’t think it has to do with the lack of understand char’s thoughts or plot progression or w/e as ppl are seeing it here.

      Anyways, did Hare witness everything from all those explosions and stuff xD? or just found Shu and Yahiro at the end (As in is she getting involved in this mess?)

    • December 10, 2011 at 7:46 pmsealouse

      Man this whole episode came out of left field. I don’t care where it fits in with the whole story this episode by itself was amazing. Again though you really gotta wonder if they planned this whole thing out beforehand.

    • December 10, 2011 at 8:52 pmhaseo0408

      A void is the representation of a person´s heart, that´s what´s been established so far, the most inner desire turn into a weapon. Using that information it can be determined the true personality of some of the cast so far:

      1.-Souta wants to be open with his feelings around, eliminate any barriers that could be in the way of friendship, suiting his straight foward personality, that´s why his void can open doors.

      2.-Arisa hides her tue self from others in order to acomplish her family´s expectations and hopes, reason why nobody really knows so she needs a to put a barrier around her heart to protect herself from being heart, that´s why her void is an invinsible shield.

      3.-Argo has a gloomy personality even when his actions around his comrades are of encouragment, quiet the oposite, that why his void is a light that brings darkness.

      4.-Yahiro has two possible explanations, iether he truly hated his little brother deep down for forcing down a path of misery to help him get medical treatment or he felt such sorrow for seing a person he loved so much in such painful miserable state that he truly considered killy as misguided act of mercy. In iether case I don´t sympathy for Yahiro beacuse his thoughs led his brother to the edge of insanity. We all have ugly sides that nobody wants to see, but wishing the death of your own brother is an abomination regarlees of the reasons!!!.

      5.-Inori is still a mystery to me but a posible hypotesis is that she sees herself as a weapon to be use to fullfil Gai´s wishes.

      6.-Darryl only sees his own image reflected in his eyes, he doesn´t care about anything else at the time to fullfil his ambition. A true narcisistic bastard that reflects the world without truly sing anything at all.

      7.-Kenji is even more of a mystery, someone give help here because I don´t have a clue of how gravity manipulation and murderous personality come together.

      That´s all for now, what do you think people, give some goods comments to see if I´m not so far off from the mark.

      • December 10, 2011 at 8:55 pmJif

        Nice. Shu should try pulling out his own void. Or Gai’s. For Science!

        • December 10, 2011 at 9:29 pmhaseo0408

          Just thinking what kind of Void Gai materialize cause a shver down my spine. If jun was in the doors of the realm of insanity, Gai must already be the king. That bastard reminds a lot of Lealoch but without any the good traits that made his character so unique and awsome, what is left is manipulative monster who apears to not have anything close to a soul.

      • December 10, 2011 at 8:57 pmDa5id

        Maybe Kenji doesn’t understand the GRAVITY of his situation?

        *buh dum tishhhhhhh*

        • December 10, 2011 at 9:17 pmJif

          You’re probably right. Comic relief + manservice.

    • December 11, 2011 at 5:36 amZanyuki

      This episode seems a bit too contrived. Suddenly, Jun. Jun everywhere.

    • December 11, 2011 at 6:56 amOrinX

      I gave it 9 episodes….Im out

      • December 11, 2011 at 4:05 pmThe Moondoggie

        Smart Move… Don’t like it? GTFO!

    • December 13, 2011 at 1:00 amZakuja

      I actually feel like the best of the storyline is going to come from the fact that Hare saw everything that happened