Of all the people in Funeral Parlor, it’s clear that Inori has, without a doubt, the worst job of all of them. Think about it for a sec. Whenever she’s not endangering her life on another abstruse mission of Gai’s, she’s busy needing to keep Shu happy so that he (well, mainly his Void ability) will actively participate in their missions. Everyone else has it much easier, much safer, and much more enjoyable. When looking at it that way, you can’t help but feel sorry for Inori.
Probably the worst part about her job is that she is forced to hang around Shu and all his friends every day. Sure, they’re not all horrible or anything but let’s just look at how Shu’s three friends interacted with Inori on this day vacation. Hare hates her because one, she’s drawing Shu’s attention away from her and two, she’s much more beautiful than her. So while she remains friendly to Inori in public, Hare probably wants poor Inori to die more than anyone else on the planet. Kanon immediately molests Inori when she steps in the bath, stroking her naked body without permission and grabbing things that make everyone feel uncomfortable (I’m guessing Kanon grabbed Inori’s elbow there). And Kanon is the responsible and reserved scholar of the group, this being the first deviant thing she’s done all series (although I guess she has a crush on Yahiro, the drug dealer, so maybe she’s not as moral and shy as her stereotype suggests). And then you have Souta who’s bold enough to reveal to Inori that he spent the whole vacation secretly filming her in her bikini and edited it to his favorite song of hers. And who knows how much video he didn’t show her either. I’m sure Inori has dealt with many perverts and stalkers before this one but she was pretty much forced into this by Gai and Shu for this mission. Poor Inori had to endure all that hardship while everyone else in Funeral Parlor enjoyed their time on the island. It’s probably the same every day at home, too, where everyone is relaxing in their secret base and Inori is out having to deal with all those kids at school and live with Shu and his mom.
Shu is another challenge for Inori. Inori is really the only reason why Shu is in Funeral Parlor and it’s her job to keep him interested and involved in the missions that require him. She doesn’t have to do a whole lot to keep Shu captivated, and really she doesn’t do a whole lot anyway, but Shu is high maintenance in that he needs Inori around him. That’s not saying that without constant reassurance, Shu will die but rather without Inori around him, he doesn’t really see the point of risking his life for Funeral Parlor, an organization he doesn’t fully support like everyone else. Shu frequently argues with Gai over various issues. Without Inori, he’d just go sulk somewhere and shut himself off from the rest of the world. It’s up to Inori to bring him back, get him on focus, have him assist in the missions, and keep involved with Funeral Parlor. And it probably isn’t completely comforting to Inori either knowing that Shu has a crush on her this whole time, too. So instead of making things easily and going all in, she needs to find the right balance to keep Shu in Funeral Parlor but not enough for them to start dating or anything. What makes it unfair is that everyone else in Funeral Parlor can have an honest relationship with Shu, like Gai or Ayase, and not have any dire consequences. If they get in a fight, then at least Inori can make things better but if she gets in a fight with Shu, then it’s game over for Funeral Parlor to use the Void Genome. So with that, that’s two major tasks for Inori and we haven’t even arrived at her normal duties yet!
Somehow less problematic than dealing with Shu and his friends is how Inori always risks her life for Gai and Funeral Parlor. Have you noticed that Inori is always in danger one way or another in every mission? Every mission she’s been in, especially the first one where she was sent in alone to steal the Void Genome, she’s been out in the front with little to no protection, two small pistols, and completely alone sometimes. The two other girls are usually safe, away from the battlefield, either piloting a mecha offsite or using drones to carryout unsafe duties. Even the guys are usually safe, although they’re in slightly more perilous conditions than the girls. But Inori? Nah, she’s running around inside bases, shooting up guards, getting assaulted by various mecha, and likewise. What might be the worst is when Shu needs to use her Void since she remains unconscious there, on the battlefield nonetheless, until he returns with the weapon. Fortunately for Inori, she’s skilled in stealth and combat arts, so she’s able to survive these deadly missions. But when you look at her conditions compared to everyone else, it’s apparent that Inori has the worst job of everyone, yet again.
And then there’s the issue with Gai. We’ve seen Gai use girls before in the past in order to complete a mission, like what happened with Arisa (that scene with her in this episode, watching the video of Gai with those longing eyes further was wonderful, I’ll just add). Inori is a little different though and Gai treats her much better but you still have to wonder. Inori’s primary goal in this mission was to be ‘bait’ for Souta in order for Shu to take his Void. Simply put, Gai used Inori here. He’s used her in the past, too, quite a bit if you think about it. She’s being used every day to keep Shu happy and she’s used every time they need to her Void to get out of a messy situation. At least Gai isn’t dumping her like Arisa but you have to wonder why Inori sticks around Gai and follows him as closely as she does. She did reveal a bit of her reasoning to Shu in the fifth episode but her relationship with Gai is entirely complex and the information we have to solve it is clearly lacking. But it’s clear that in this complicated relationship, Gai is using Inori for certain aspects of Funeral Parlor. Gai really doesn’t use any of the other characters of Funeral Parlor in a similar fashion besides Shu, so you have to wonder why he does this to Inori and not anyone else. It’s not that it’s just his personality that he uses girls but maybe because Inori is dependent upon Gai while Tsugumi and Ayase (to a lesser extent) aren’t.
It’s fairly clear that Inori has the worst job in Funeral Parlor. But what’s keeping her there in this organization that forces her to take the most demanding and awful jobs there are? Obviously there’s something there with Gai but she never really has shown any hatred or aggression toward GHQ or the Apocalypse Virus or modern Japan or anything. In fact, maybe all these nasty jobs have caused her to become the tranquil and stoic heroine we see before us. Maybe they’ve desensitized her to the point where she can only feel apathy and takes everything as it comes at her without any complaints. Of course that’s not the true reason but wouldn’t it be great if that’s why she has the quiet personality she has? Maybe we’ll find out more again soon when they decide to explore her character in depth but for now, it’ll be another mystery in the series. Until then, Inori will have to endure all these unpleasant hardships. But hopefully she can take some time off to rest and recover from her encounters with the rival, the molester, and the stalker.
Is anyone else getting bothered by the size of the Guilty Crown cast? It continues to grow with every episode as each one introduces (or reintroduces) a small batch of new characters. It makes it feel like the series is full of temporary characters, especially the ones who were chosen for the position of “Void Weapon of the Week” (Kenji, Arisa, and now Souta), while all the recurrent characters remains underdeveloped. And those that do get screentime never really make any progress as characters, either. Take Haruka for example. She’s a Senior Researcher at Sephirah Genomics who works alongside Keido for the GHQ, is involved in various projects (including the Void Genome), and has an intriguing backstory. But whenever we see her, she’s lounging around the home in her underwear and being all touchy-feely with Shu. Maybe she’s exhausted from her job and doesn’t want to work on progressing her character right away but for someone so significant to the anime, you’d figure we’d know more about her and her connection to certain things. The same thing with Ayase. We barely know anything about her, especially with things that interest the audience like what caused her disability and why she joined Funeral Parlor. And things beyond that, too, like why she is so skilled as a mecha pilot or how she fell in love with Gai in the first place. We know nothing about her. Hopefully soon the anime will be content with its cast size and begin to work on the characters it has already established and build from there. I’m eager to learn more about the rest of the cast, so let’s get started on that next week!