「告白 sacrifice」 (Kokuhaku)
I think I died a little inside watching the latest episode of Guilty Crown, as one of my big reasons I’m still enjoying the series was snatched away before my very eyes. Why damn it why? I actually know why, but I choose to feign ignorance when it comes to killing off Hare to set Shuu down a path of self-destruction where he has little to no remorse for anyone. Some may say that there were death flags everywhere after the fact, but I disagree as this very episode didn’t really suggest that Hare was going to die. If anything, her indirect confession to Shuu looked like it was going to give him the confidence to lead the students of Tennouzu and save everyone from getting executed by the Anti Bodies — not turn over to the “dark side” and manhandle Inori like she was nothing more than a tool and then proceed to beat the crap out of Souta. I will commend the writers for this unexpected turn of events — and for getting me teary-eyed at the sight of Hare’s body after hearing her extremely touching final words — but they’re a far ways from redeeming themselves for sacrificing Hare, even if this new direction with “Evil Shuu” (as noted by his scarf) somehow turns Guilty Crown into a smash hit.
I’m sure a lot of people will be blaming Souta for Hare’s death, much like Shuu himself did, but I actually see it as a tragedy that resulted from things well beyond his control. I don’t find it all that unbelievable that the F rank students would recklessly try to prove their worth after finding out that vaccinations would be prioritized based on Void Resonance values. Instead, I’m finding it kind of unbelievable that they were so understanding after catching wind of it, as widespread panic in a fight for survival is more in line with what I imagine would happen under those circumstances. The same goes for the rest of the student body pinning its hopes on Shuu as the new student council president, which somehow quelled the commotion last time and managed to maintain order in a time of crisis. In comparison to a small group of students acting on their own to try and prove their worth, the situation probably should’ve been a lot worse with a deadly disease going about, so I really can’t see what happened to Hare as anything but tragic. After all, if there’s anyone who should be blamed, it’s Shuuichirou and his Anti Bodies who’re mercilessly killing people. Souta? He already feels responsible for Hare’s death so he’s already suffering with that sense of guilt looming over his head.
Where things get interesting is how Shuu takes Hare’s death, blinded by his rage after losing his queen — effectively losing sight of all the good parts she saw in him — and misdirecting his anger at all the wrong people. The preview suggests that he’s going to put the Void Ranking System in full effect, cruelly discriminating between people based on their worth, which has me wondering who’s going to be the righteous protagonist in this series if Shuu becomes the antihero. I suspect that everyone will prioritize bringing Shuu to his senses; however, part of me is curious to see what this series will turn into if he never really comes around. With Shibungi turning out to be the mysterious hand playing chess — and someone whom Segai looks like he wants to let go to stir things up — plus Daryl and his fascination with Tsugumi getting some more build-up (much to my dismay), there are actually several ways the story can still progress without Shuu reclaiming his seat as the righteous protagonist. I gather we’ll get a better idea next time, once we hear what Ayase, Inori, and the others’ take on Shuu is.
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