Guilty Crown – 10

[Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_02.42_[2011.12.15_17.07.10] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_14.58_[2011.12.15_17.19.48] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_20.55_[2011.12.15_17.26.03]

Whatever else you might think about this episode, there’s no denying it was eventful.  And I think it’s one that’s going to polarize the fans quite a bit.  As anyone in P.R. will tell you, that’s better than having them not care one way or the other.

I’ve mentioned in the past that one of the problems I have with this series is that it tends to manipulate the characters so that they behave in a way that’s necessary to drive the plot, rather than have the plot evolve as a result of the characters behaving naturally.  That’s a sign of weak writing – certainly, Guilty Crown is not the only Fall series that’s an example of this – and the result is that the characters never soar beyond the one-dimensional cages the writers trap them in.  We’ve seen it with most of the main cast and this week was certainly an example with Shu, who’s been the biggest victim.  To be honest Yoshino-san has been laying on the Shinji vibes pretty thick, and the parallels this week were pretty obvious.

Most egregious, for me, is the scene where Shu puts the moves on Hare.  It felt out of place and out of character, and Shu has shown us nothing whatever in nine episodes to indicate that this sort of behavior is in his nature.  The indecision and self-pity, yes – while not especially attractive qualities they’ve at least been a consistent part of him.  I feel for Hare, who now knows more than she should and is clearly no more than a crutch for Shu – a convenient source of comfort when the rest of his world has gone crazy.  Nevertheless I don’t see him trying to force himself on her that way.  I also don’t totally blame Shu for feeling a little wigged-out after what happened with Jun last week.

Rather than Shu, who’s mostly a victim in all this, the character I’ve really come to dislike is Gai.  I don’t think he works as a dramatic device, and I certainly don’t like him as a character either.  If he’s trying to win Shu over to his cause he’s doing a piss-poor job of it.  He clearly sees Shu as a disposable convenience, a tool, and he makes sure Shu knows it.  It certainly doesn’t help Shu’s cause that neither Gai nor anyone in Undertaker seems remotely interested in why he’s so freaked out by what happened in the last episode, and when this leads to his inability to extract Inori’s void and thus scuttles a major operation, the endgame of this thread is already clear – he’s going to quit Undertaker (again).  Gai’s response is classic Gai – point a gun at this head and threaten to kill him, then dismiss his existence in disgust.  It’s hard to feel too much sympathy for Shu’s freak-outs and hallucinations, but Gai makes it almost possible.

On the plus side, the revelations this week certainly have added some spice to the overall plot.  I’m more curious than ever about Shu’s childhood now that he’s had another (and clearer) flashback to his youth and the mysterious girl who calls herself his “Onee-chan” – though it’s unclear if the meaning is literal or not – and it does seem as if she was a victim of “Lost Christmas”.  We now know Gai and Shu have a childhood connection to both this girl and each other, though not yet what the exact connection is.  We also don’t know the nature of the blonde child who appears as the close of the episode.  Another specter from the past is Keido, who we met briefly in episode eight where he stole “the rock that started it all”.  Keido has mysteriously waltzed into GHQ and allowed himself to be confined, and the rock is about to leave for America with Major General Yan (Hashi Takaya) who despite the name appears to be an American, judging by the reference to the rock bringing him “one step closer to the White House”.  The reasons for Keido’s move become clear soon enough, though, when Segai reveals that he’s been planning a double-cross and uses the rock to unleash another wave of Apocalypse virus on the population of Tokyo (bar his own troops, who vaccinate themselves). 

So we have Segai and Keido doing a double-cross against GHQ, with Keido vowing to “finish what was started on Lost Christmas”, and the pieces have certainly been shifted on the board.  It’s seemed likely for a while that Gai had the virus, and as he and Undertaker have fallen into Segai’s trap they might be in serious trouble.  Gai is bemoaning the fact that Inori has “chosen” Shu, and Keido pretty much confirms that he has connections to Shu’s parents, judging by the chat between he and Haruka.  With the split in GHQ it’s no longer a simple “Undertaker vs. the World” scenario, so I wonder if they might be forced to form an alliance with the international wing of GHQ, though Gai was also trying to ally himself with Kuhoin (who calls Gai “that man’s son”), who seems more ideologically aligned with the nationalism of Keido and Segai.  As for Shu’s role in all this, well, it’s obvious that simply refusing to play is not going to be an option.  Keido confirms to Haruka that Shu has “The King’s Power” – the Void Genome – which seemingly makes him the key to the entire conflict.  I sense Shu has to free himself of connections to Undertaker and become a free agent in all this, because no one else is on his side and worse, no one else seems to be trying to do the right thing for its own sake.

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[Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_17.25_[2011.12.15_17.22.16] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_19.38_[2011.12.15_17.24.46] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_20.13_[2011.12.15_17.25.20]
[Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_20.23_[2011.12.15_17.25.31] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_20.40_[2011.12.15_17.25.47] [Commie] Guilty Crown - 10 [6094511C].mkv_snapshot_21.14_[2011.12.15_17.26.22]
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13 comments

  1. K

    I can't bring myself to like Shu. He is one of those wishy-washy main characters that has the backbone of a jellyfish. He is all over the place character wise (and not in a good or thrilling way).

    I was thinking to myself when I went to download this episode we are getting to the half way mark. Pretty soon we are gonna see a major world changing event to start the 2nd cour of this series (most action series do). Guess I didn't have to wait long.

  2. A

    I dont understand why so many people watch this if all they do is hate it. Anime is entertainment, if you dont fell entertained then dont watch it and dont fill up forums with the fact that you hate it.

    BTW I dropped this at episode 2, thought it would be one of those shows you should only watch after it airs and if the reviews were good.

    Im guessing the reviews arent gonna be good. Teehee

  3. P

    I feel bad for Shu more than anything. He's suffering from decidedly PTSD like symptoms, and all everyone in Funeral Parlour is doing is being a jackass to him.

    I found his "seduction" of Hare OOC but somewhat understandable if you consider his state of mind. He's desperately searching for something to take his mind off of the images he keeps seeing, and that's twisted his judgement considerably.

  4. K

    I enjoy watching the series. Just can't stand the fact the main character is so… Shu.

  5. As long as he doesn't pleasure himself all over Inori while she's asleep.

  6. M

    I'm still trying to figure out what made Inori fall for Shu.

    This episode felt all over the place for me.

  7. S

    @Murkel

    I don't understand made Inori fall for Shu either. I can't recall anything in the previous episodes that would change her feelings towards him. Sure, she was living at his place, but we weren't shown much about their everyday life.

  8. Are you guys looking for actual character development in GC? Inori fell for Shu because it was necessary for the plot.

  9. b

    QUALITY all over this episode. Guess IG exhausted a lot of funds in the previous episodes. So much for one of the plus points in this series.

    And I'm more interested in the plot than the characters. The characters arent that interesting for me to care about at all and they're just getting swept by the events which is not good writing.
    Pretty unlikely that things will change now. Oh well.

  10. S

    @Guardian Enzo
    I guess you're right…

  11. A

    Shu has to be one of the most irritating characters to grace the anime. He is just….so spineless (even more so than Shinji from eva I'd say) to a point where it angers me. Unfortunately I ended up watching the series thus far to fuel my hatred for Shu, somewhat of an addiction if you will.

  12. I find Gai much more irritating that Shu, personally.

  13. E

    I was on the fence with this episode. As far as hating Shu and not hating him that is, since there was no question that this eppy underlined how flimsy this series is from a plot/writing perspective. But back to Shu …

    I thought his reaction to the last episodes events was actual right on the money, someone mentioned it b4 me but PTSD is no joke. And what he went through would definitely fit the bill for something that would traumatize the hell out of just about anyone – let alone an invertebrate like Shu. So from that standpoint it was difficult to hate him for freaking out, I didn't at all feel sorry for him though and I wasn't going to hate him on the basis of being a coward cause well … we've known he was that since episode 1.

    Gai on the other hand is actually one of the only characters I can stand in GC aside from Hare. I didn't at all mind his treatment of Shu, he's the commander of a militant rebel faction, not a babysitter or a therapist. It might be to his benefit to have Shu in his corner, but Undertaker's pretty screwed if they can't do without him.

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