Was this the best episode of Guilty Crown so far? That’s subjective, but it was certainly right up there.
After more false deaths than Takakura Himari, I think Gai finally bought the farm for real this week. But dammit, they robbed me of the satisfaction of taking glee in his death, because at the very end the bastard refused to grant me even that, becoming sympathetic if not likable. There have been more than enough hints that Gai had a prior relationship with Shu, and we pretty much knew he had an older sister, but it was pretty interesting the way it was all put together. All in all it was some of the better writing we’ve seen thus far.
Who would have believed that Shu was once the confident risk-taker, and Gai the timid wallflower – and that all that could actually be made sort of believable? Under the circumstances it was, though not everything that was revealed made sense. It can’t be a coincidence that Gai washed up on that beach where Shu and big sister Mana were frolicking, but when she revived him and named him “Triton” the chain of events leading to the present day was really set off. It appeared as if Mana might be Shu’s guardian in addition to his sister, and Triton later mentions that Harukas was Shu’s “new” mother – but I’m not exactly sure how that was intended. Were he and Mana both adopted by her, or was she to become Shu’s adoptive mother after Lost Christmas? That question is especially interesting in the context of Mana’s stated intention to marry Shu and subsequent kiss, though of course she was under the influence of the apocalypse virus at the time.
With the big reveal that Mana was the first person infected by the “rock that changed it all”, we also get the reveal that Inori was “created” in order to give Keido a means to communicate with Mana, who’s know in a sort of suspended animation. Keido wants to “wed” Inori in order to lay waste to the world with a new wave of the apocalypse virus for reasons that aren’t immediately clear to me but seem based on the two of them being a new Adam and Eve and progenitors of a new human race, and he’s working with Eyebrows, who he refers to as “Death”. Mana is totally under the power of the virus of whatever is behind it, but some small essence of her remains, as we’ll see. But it’s Triton who saves the day, pulling out another miracle void for Shu and managing to stay conscious (Why? The hand-holding?) and then sacrificing himself and Mana besides. Poor Shu, first he kills his friend’s brother and now his best friend and big sister – this will set him back a bit psychologically.
There’s an awful lot we still don’t know. Just who was Triton, anyway? What’s the nature of the virus – is it alien, which would explain Keido’s actions and cast it as a sort of colonization weapon? Was it simply a matter of blocking out the horror of having seen Mana succumb to the virus and begat Lost Christmas that made Shu lose his memories? But at least these are interesting questions, and the last couple of eps have definitely seen GC raise its game story-wise. I’m wondering, too, what’s going to happen with Undertaker now, and whether Sagai’s alliance with Haruka is real or simply a ploy. In death Triton suggests that Shu could become him just as easily as he once became Shu, so perhaps that portends Shu taking Gai’s place at the head of Undertaker. But the whole politic of Tokyo has changed radically with the dissolution of GHQ, so I’m not sure if Undertaker even has a reason to exist anymore, at least in its current form.
Sadly, there is troubling news this week – the animation quality in the last few eps continues to be a pale imitation of the gorgeous display we saw earlier. Hopefully Production I.G. is hoarding its resources for a huge final arc.