Guilty Crown – 9

The most unfamiliar component of Guilty Crown thus far has been the underdeveloped setting.  The anime is situated in the years following the Apocalypse Virus (Apoc Virus) epidemic, an event that devastated Japan and which lead to the current timeline in which the GHQ governs the recovering nation, the Funeral Parlor retaliates against their oppression, and Voids are the physical manifestations of people’s hearts.  But the series has done little to clarify these crucial matters that structure the world and the plot of this anime, and that has left us in the dark regarding many issues with the setting.  Fortunately, episode 9 provides some answers on these issues in addition to expanding on essential matters like the Apoc Virus and its relationship with Voids.

The focus of this episode, however, was neither through a history lecture nor an extended flashback but through the bond between Yahiro and his younger brother Jun.  Jun was seen previously in the series in episode 4 when Segai showed Shu the ward where helpless patients battled the cancer-like disease state from the Apoc Virus.  I found it interesting since Jun was like our only visual representation of the virus but I thought his character would be used only once and merely as a way for Shu to sympathize with the GHQ.  But no, he and his crystal-encrusted body were back and used in a way to illustrate the connection between the Apoc Virus and the Voids.  I always appreciate it when an anime uses a storyline in the present to explain various issues and further construct its world rather than having a sequence of still-frames accompanied by narration telling us every detail.  So while this did not explain everything I wanted to know about the world and the virus, it did the episode in an entertaining and productive manner.

One of the most important points we learned from this episode is that the Voids and the Virus illicit the same response in the physical world.  We learned previous that the genomes are derived from the same source and we’ve seen the initial form of the Voids (immediately after Shu pulls them from their chest and before they are in their standard weaponized/refrigerator form) be crystalline but this showed that the crystals on Jun’s body and the Void Shu pulled from Yahiro are indeed the same material.  And we already knew that Voids are the embodiment of people’s hearts, so does that mean the crystals on Jun’s body were where his heart was?  That’d connect well with what we saw when the crystals transferred over to the Endlave, showing Jun’s pain and his desire to kill Yahiro.  So there’s a connection between all these ideas.  People’s hearts, desires, and emotions are manifested either through Voids through the Void Genome (and perhaps the vaccine they received) or deadly crystals from the Apoc Virus.  An intriguing revelation on the Apoc Virus if that is true.

I want to stay on this topic for just a little bit longer and try to relate it to some other scenes from before.  During the Lost Christmas montage in episode 1, we saw what appeared to be Shu’s childhood friend covered in those crystals amid the flames and mass destruction.  We’ve also seen her superimposed on Inori a few times, too, hinting at a major connection between the two.  Perhaps the reason for Inori’s emotionless state is that she is a survivor of the Apoc Virus but lost her ‘heart’ when she was cured from those cancerous crystals.  It could be also why Gai was the one who gave her a name and why she follows him so closely, him being the one who found her and rescued her from certain death.  But the counterargument here would be that Inori still has a Void, the overpowered sword, so how is it possible she lost her ‘heart’ but still has one?  Good question.  What if Inori is actually the crystals from the girl but reconstructed into a human?  Ummm… okay, let’s stop this speculation and go back to factual information.

Another piece of the setting that was explained in this episode that Shu was able to access the inner persona, that is the memories and subconscious, when he combined a Void and the crystals together.  Through masterful direction and gorgeous artwork, Shu was able to have a conversation with Jun while watching his cherished memory of life before the virus.  It showed exactly what the ‘heart’ is that is being manifested in the real world.  We’ve seen Guilty Crown use the generic term ‘heart’ when attempting to explain what Voids were but they always came out unclear or generally half-assed.  But this episode showed us what the ‘heart’ actually is.  What Shu actually pulls from these people are the incarnation of their memories and desires.  It makes sense that these can change depending on Shu’s relationship with characters since these memories and desires can shift and the Void can metamorphose into something dissimilar to what it was before.

If this is true, then this can also be applied to explain events in earlier episodes.  Perhaps this is what Gai ‘sees’ when he can see the Void within each person.  Maybe he can discern everyone’s Voids and from that, understand everyone’s dreams and recollections with his special power.  Maybe that is how he was able to form such an organization for Funeral Parlor with everyone being engrossed in his plan to liberate Japan.  And going back to Inori, during the first episode, that montage could have been a representation of ‘heart’, too, although this appeared to be Shu’s memories and not Inori’s.  It will be interesting to see if this theme continues and if Shu is able to access the ‘heart’ of more people in the future to see their inner selves.  If it’s possible, I’d love to see Gai or Ayase developed further like this, although I hope it’s a supplement to other character growth and not a standalone alternative.  Maybe even Shu’s friends at school, too, although I’m not sure when he’d have the opportunity to do that.

Outside of those two developments, there were a few other developments for the setting in this episode, too.  Jun’s memory is one, showing the typical lifestyle in Japan before the Apoc Virus, our first time to see what the world was like before.  And while it was fairly normal and peaceful, it just goes to confirm that there was no real malice or uprising in Japan before the Apoc Virus.  Life appeared to be fairly safe and easygoing rather than anything strange or abnormal.  Plus we learned a bit more about the Endlave and how this mecha might have some biological aspects to it.  We saw the crystals transfer from Jun’s body to Daryl’s Endlave meaning there must be something special about the Endlave to accept the crystals from the Apoc Virus.  Exactly what, we don’t know, but it does help explain why the pilots react so dramatically to what’s happening with their Endlaves.  Before, all we’ve seen are the pilots sitting with their eyes clothes moving the Endlaves with just their minds.  There might be a biological component to Endlaves that translates the thoughts of the pilots into motions or actions.  But really, we did not get a whole lot on the mecha this episode and they continue to be one of the more mysterious aspects of this anime.  And there were some other minor details relating to the setting but nothing conclusive or terribly helpful to the story.  Still, considering everything we saw in this episode, we learned quite a substantial amount about the setting, especially on significant aspects to the anime like the Apoc Virus and the Voids.  There is even more out there yet to be seen regarding these issues and other details about the setting, so let’s see where Guilty Crown takes us and what is truly going on with the Apoc Virus, the Voids, and the war we are currently in.

In addition to all the setting development, we had some nice character progress for Shu, Yahiro, Hare, and Segai.  Oh and all those storylines going on now, they all showed some progress, too, like Keido being confronted by the GHQ and Gai and Inori traveling together for what appears to be a concert or a recording or something.  Previously, that’s about all we would get from a normal Guilty Crown episode: character and story progress.  This episode, however, took some time to develop the setting.  We’re seeing more of the world be constructed through each new detail and understand what type of place this story and these characters are currently in.  I hope there is more development on the setting again soon since there are still so many questions remaining to be answered and that these questions would help with the story and characters, too, but it never seems to be a priority with this anime.  But then again, there are some things more important than the setting, too.  Dan Eagleman, for example.

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  1. #1 by Soji on December 9, 2011 - 6:05 AM

    Good analysis as usual. But,honestly I like Hare as character but dont pairing with Shu as couple.Seriously for me she dont suit him at all.She fine for him just as friend and dont at Girlfriend.Anyway ,I really like this episode and how Shu behaved during all that.Shu really show in this episode how much it’s grow from before he meet Inori and the other of FP.Thanks for what happen will be really interesting to see from now on.From the previw it’s seems that the next ep will be really good..Anyway at least we finally have some new info about the virus and perhaps the reason why Gay can see the void of others.
    For previw ep 10 ,spoiler a head.
    It seems that Shu haves some big problem. Now, I don’t know if is because the guilty for the deth of Jun and is king power gone crazy or just the guilty or if Shu is infected a little with AV because it’s seems like that he see the inner side of people(like Jun said in this ep)…now,maybe I’m wrong and is really his guilty the cause of all.But if is the virus or the king power to do so …this would open some interesting developments.Interesting is that it seems that the FP has a mission in an airport (or military base, I think) but you do not see Shu. And I do not think just because he is in a broken state but for the simple fact that seems to be locked up (again, if he is the one at the end of the preview).

    • #2 by avvesione on December 10, 2011 - 1:59 AM

      I agree with you that Hare is a good character but not a good match for Shu. She’s not really the type that would let him grow as a character and she really doesn’t have a whole lot going for her besides being the one character that likes Shu in that way. Maybe after this episode she’ll start to change after what she saw.

      I’m glad Shu is able to do things independently now like take the initiative and try to save Jun rather than sit back, wait, and react. And he was able to survive an intense battle, too. He’s finally starting to think, act, and look like a hero.

      I’m not sure why Shu was able to see Jun’s inner thoughts but it’s likely to do with Jun’s crystals and his Void power (and the fact he has the AV vaccine, too). And I haven’t seen the preview yet, so I won’t comment on that but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shu still be shaken by what he did, especially since he did that without Yahiro around at all.

  2. #3 by Soji on December 10, 2011 - 3:40 AM

    I agree on this ,Hare can’t help him to grow as a character…honestly after the episode 5 I thought Ayase would be the best match for Shu (even just as a friend) in that episode Ayase seem to handle shu pretty well and he seemed to react in a positive way or I’m the only person to thought so? Talk about Ayase here a good news for her fan. This pic is supposedly from some anime magazine.
    http://brunhild.sakura.ne.jp/up/src/up527979.jpg
    Apparently Ayase is going to Shuu’s school.If this happen 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.(not to mention emotionless as Inori is ,I doubt she would be able to help him in this situation.)Anyway I hope this thing is true because in this way we will have more Ayase screen time .Before I forget if you’re curious on the preview is shown every week on the official website but I think you already knew this. If you don’t I can give you the link always of course if you’re interested.

    • #4 by avvesione on December 13, 2011 - 2:03 AM

      Hmmm… not sure what to think about Ayase at school with Shu. One on hand, I’d like to see Ayase more but I don’t know if school is the best setting for her to be in. She’ll be limited as a character there since she’ll have to put up an act whereas in Funeral Parlor, she can be herself.

      Yeah, I knew about the previews on the site but I never bother looking them up. Guess I should though if someone is talking to me about it but it’s something I haven’t done all season. But thanks for the heads up and the link to the magazine.

      • #5 by Soji on December 13, 2011 - 4:49 AM

        I understand why yuo said like that,but I’m sure that she will behave as usual ….I mean I understand your fear but I’m sure we dont have to worry about that.after all she will spend more of her time with Shu and Inori and therefore she has no reason to act with them.The thing I’m curious to see is how their relationship will change ,afterall they going to spend more time together and of course, the reaction of his friends to see Shu with another beautiful girl (especially Souta and Hare).Anyway here’s the full pic of what I already posted . also there is some Japanese text for those interested.Post by konart on animesuki(so the credits to him.).http://kurisu.imouto.org/sample/d11413b4a15c8dfab39333309da4d9d4/moe%20200537%20sample.jpg

        I just share what I found or know,so it’s nothing I need to be thanked for.

        • #6 by avvesione on December 13, 2011 - 4:39 PM

          Well, Ayase won’t be piloting her Endlave or kicking ass at school which are my two favorite things she does. I guess I should wait and find out how she really acts at school before saying I’m against the move but I just don’t see her being her normal self at school compared to what she is at Funeral Parlor. Then again, she’ll probably act normal when she’s alone with Shu or Inori at school, so hopefully that takes up more time than her with other students.

  1. Notes of Guilty Crown Episode 9 « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses
  2. Notes of Guilty Crown Episode 9 | Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

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