Guilty Crown – 16

Everyone should be considered a failure for allowing the current events in Guilty Crown to transpire.  This totalitarian dictatorship developed through the pressure of the students during the miniature revolution, Shu’s lack of confidence and resolve, Yahiro’s hateful advice, and the fact no one ever tried to influence Shu or anyone in a positive way.  The result of everyone’s combined efforts has created an autocratic society founded on fear, prejudice, and inequality.

The student body at Tennouzu First has gone through quite a bit in the past week or so.  They’ve seen their normal high school lives jump through a number of phases including a reawakening of the Apocalypse Virus, being unjustly quarantined, holding a pleasant school festival quickly followed by internal revolution, then a brief gap where things were decent before devolving into a miserable totalitarian dictatorship.  It didn’t have to happen this way but it certainly did.  So what events occurred that lead the school down this destructive path and what could’ve changed to allow for a democratic and obviously more functional society than the one we’re currently witnessing?

The first step in the process began with the student body and their sheep-like mentality. Throughout this bizarre timeline, the student body has rarely done anything besides following orders and being constantly influenced by a few choice characters.  Rather than take action and voice their own personal concerns, they exist to mirror or amplify the thoughts and actions of a few characters.  Because of this, two students who were grasping for power during the turmoil following the school festival were able to fertilize the concept for Shu’s autocracy.  There must’ve been some students who had trouble with the those two students, we already knew Shu and friends did, yet no one spoke up to challenge their asinine opinions and allowed the revolution to happen.

Related to the last point are those few students who tried to usurp power from Arisa.  Their whole purpose was simply to seize power and be in control rather than lead the school to freedom from the quarantine zone.  It’s been quite clear throughout the storyline that they’re up to no good but at least they were taken down when Shu stepped up to be president.  However, the question becomes, why are they high-level officers within Shu’s secret service?  You’d figure they’d be prisons given how they wanted to kill Shu and Arisa early on but no, they’re still among the most influential people in the school.  And they continue to uphold everything that’s wrong in Shu’s new society.  The blame for these two stem from the next two points, those being Shu’s indecisiveness and Yahiro’s manipulation.

Throughout Guilty Crown, Shu has always experienced uncertainty and an inability to make decisions.  Because of this, Shu is an easy target for manipulation, both from good and bad parties.  It’s been clear throughout the anime that both sides have tried and successfully manipulated Shu and caused him to take action that he doesn’t necessarily agree with.  Now, it’s more clear than ever, and it seems like Shu is mainly following the advice of Yahiro, a person who formerly sold Shu to the military to prevent his drug-dealing service from being publicized.  Had Shu ever developed a brain or spine, he would’ve realized he doesn’t agree with the society he’s essentially created and ruler of.  Of course, this would be easier without the constant poor guidance from Yahiro but the fault still exists with Shu.

Yahiro is essentially the architect for the current totalitarian dictatorship.  Through lies, prejudice, influence, he’s essentially become the most powerful figure in the school.  You figure that since he dictates Shu’s schedule and Shu never seems to question his advice, he’s the one running the society and all the students within these walls.  He leapt at the opportunity to become Shu’s right-hand man and will do nothing to relinquish his power.  Hell, you even wonder if he’ll want to see the students leave the quarantine zone seeing as his power will be useless in the real world once this ordeal is completed.  And Yahiro has always been a questionable character given the fact that his actions toward Shu have never been positive.  It’s rather surprising how much Shu listens to Yahiro but that could also be because none of Shu’s other friends have tried to steer him otherwise.

The rest of Shu’s friends, including Hare and Arisa, are also to blame for the current society by not overruling Yahiro’s guidance or providing advice to Shu on a more acceptable society.  Rather than speak their minds like they have for most of the anime, especially Ayase and Tsugumi, the characters have followed the student body’s model on the current situation and act like sheep.  They could have easily been a part of developing the new government but instead chose not to and allowed Yahiro all the control he needed.  The result is a society in which none of the characters are happy, especially the other students like Kanon and Souta.  Had they been a part of the process initially, they would’ve been able to shape the society into one in which they (and the rest of the student body) would be comfortable to live in.

Had there been disturbances or differences with any of these events, the school’s current society could be vastly different.  Imagine instead had Guilty Crown taken an approach where the student body was more active and diversified, the two corrupt students were jailed, and Shu had more confidence and listened to his true friends rather than his ‘friend’ Yahiro, then the society would’ve been a better one.  There’s no question this society could’ve also performed the same tasks as the current one.  Rather, that society might do much better since it’d require less secret service and policing which would allow them to work in other areas and help remove the fear and oppression the students currently live with.  But the society exists because it’s essential to the story.  It’s rather amazing how all the events transpired in a way to create this government but its purpose is for something we haven’t seen yet regarding the whole Shu/void/king themes.  Perhaps we’ll see shortly what happens when his society begins to fall apart with the constant use of Voids.

Judging by the way this current timeline is taking place, I seriously wonder where the ending point of this anime will be.  I figured the anime would end with Japan liberated from the GHQ and Shu and his friends living happily in a reconstructing and recovering nation.  I also figured the whole Apocalypse Virus and Void aspects would be explained, too, in detail and help clarify the constant biological/medical themes present throughout the anime.  But with only six episodes left and the fact we’re still at school with dictator Shu, I wonder how if the anime will head down a path I was not expecting and if it will ever clarify any of the major themes that seemingly operate on magic rather than reasoning.  The anime has already been frustrating throughout but it’d be unimaginable if they failed to deliver on the explanations.  The ending, fine, whatever, it would be more interesting to take a different path but it never seemed that way until recently.  Rather than dealing with the GHQ and liberating Japan, the anime is content with showing Shu be a dictator over about a thousand (not sure how big the school is but judging from its size, about this) kids for only a brief period of time.  Will be interesting to see how much the anime can resolve given its limited allotment of episodes from this point on.

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  1. #1 by Myst on February 12, 2012 - 6:32 AM

    Best scene of this episode was Ayase slapping Shu when they were alone in the student council room. No, not just because I enjoy seeing Shu get bitch-slapped, but because she is one of the few characters that actually speak their mind. And the best part? Shu just takes it cause he knows she’s right.

    • #2 by avvesione on February 12, 2012 - 2:41 PM

      Yeah, seeing Ayase stand up for what she believes in and trying to slap some sense into Shu was great. I’m glad to see Shu’s old friends try to persuade him against the current situation but I can’t help but feel this is too little, too late. Too bad for Ayase and the others. I also liked how Argo punched Shu across the face toward the end of the episode. Those two were the best scenes in the episode.

      • #3 by Myst on February 12, 2012 - 4:28 PM

        Hm, the best scenes of the episode both revolved around Shu taking some kind of physical abuse…. I think we are onto something here! But as you point out, both those moments had meaning in the large scale of things. Now, if only more of Shu’s actions had meaning.

        • #4 by avvesione on February 12, 2012 - 5:31 PM

          Or we could just have people beating up Shu in every episode. I’d be fine with that.

          Actually, I see Shu as a product of the influences of everyone else around him. His actions don’t carry much meaning because they’re the result of someone influencing him to do that. Rarely have we ever seen him act on his own. He’s voiced his opinions from time to time but never really followed through on them or, in the few cases he has, they’ve often ended in problems for everyone.

          I’m kinda interesting to see what happens to get Shu out of this funk that he’s in. Going to guess that job is left for Gai v2.0

  2. #5 by Soji on February 13, 2012 - 1:01 AM

    it’s seem that I was the only one to think that Argo was a hypocrite? Mind you, I don’t say about what he say but from how he act. He don’t know the whole situasion that lead Shu to the point his now. And yet he do and say like that. With Ayase was perfect the scene,I mean she know everything she was with Gai and Shu(at least for a while) when Mana was yandere mode ,she was with Shu when the whole mess start and she was with him when Hare die.So her actions were totally justified but not Argo (at least in my eyes). Anyway Shu was still shu(at least before the end of this ep ..I don’t know how much he change again) I mean if you guys think what he say to Inori ,You know that he do what he did because he think his the only way to save more people that he can(then again with Souta was hate for sure).Anyway last but not last Mana is back with shu lol.So now Shu seem to had both Mana and Inori to back up him with all they had. Ops ,I almost forgot Yuu,Keido and Shu mother seem to do whatever it take to made Shu more out of mind and made him use more and more it’s power. That’s mean they plan is to mindbreak shu and it seem they do good job in this. If this keep up Shu really become like how Mana was.

    • #6 by avvesione on February 14, 2012 - 2:47 AM

      I don’t think Argo is a hypocrite, mainly because his actions are justified. Shu is the ‘leader’ of this school and he’s discriminating everyone based on the power that he controls. And from the looks of it, those Voids aren’t doing much besides giving the students weapons to suppress those without. It’s a horrible system and Argo knows Shu should know better. Argo also sees that Shu has changed due to the influences of all the bad people around him and is trying to set him straight. I can’t fault Argo for that. He might be a hypocrite in the most basic sense of the word but this is what he should be doing in that situation.

      Also, on your last point, I’d love to see Shu’s mind completely broken thanks to Yuu, Keido, and Haruka. Would certainly make things more interesting given the reappearance of Mana and Gai.

      • #7 by Soji on February 14, 2012 - 3:07 AM

        I agree about what you say on Argo,It’s just he don’t know all the info he need.How he can Argo set him straight if he don’t know that info? But ,yeah with hypocrite I was mean in the most basic sense of the word. I like that Ayase try as well knowing the whole story and I hope she will try again. About the last part,I think it’s obvious that that is their plan.They want that Shu brings together mana fragments(void?).And they want him to lose his mind (probally because it’s something tide on his king power and his role a king/adam choce be Mana/eve?)
        From now we know that Mana or at least a part of Mana is inside Inori.I really wonder how shu will deal with her. Maybe when shu will owercome the problem that he had now he will (somehow) help Inori and both Inori and that mana side will become one? maybe like the op.Shu will be back more like when he was young(and like gai) and inori will be more like mana? I don’t say exactly like these two..just more alike.

        • #8 by avvesione on February 14, 2012 - 3:35 AM

          I suppose you’re right in that Argo didn’t know the full situation but I still don’t think he needed to in order to act and do the right thing in his situation. Him not knowing what’s going on should not matter in him trying to rescue Souta when he was in danger while Shu was just saying “if he doesn’t learn, then there’s not point in saving him.” Ayase certainly knows more about what’s going on yet she failed to prevent it, so perhaps she’s more of the hypocrite here for being alright with it at first and then flipping her position in the past episode.

          Heh, can tell you I didn’t think about Guilty Crown when you wrote that last part. Did you put fragments, Adam, and Eve in that one sentence just to confuse me? =P But yeah, I think the baddies of the series (that includes Haruka now) are going to try to do something along those lines given Shu’s king power/void power and the fact that Mana and Gai are back. What exactly they’re trying to do, I have no idea since they never really explained all that (not like they explain everything anyway).

          And on your final point, about Mana coming back in Inori, I’m not sure exactly but it seems to be a gradual and slow progression that Mana is taking over Inori. I’m guessing she’ll quickly come to the point where she’s more Mana than Inori and Shu will realize this but who knows if he’ll accept Mana for who she is now or if he’ll try to get Inori back. Guess it also depends on his mental status, too, which might be called into question depending on the next set of events. I’d be inclined to agree with your thoughts, that they’ll be more alike rather than replications of the characters they once were.

  3. #9 by Soji on February 14, 2012 - 4:26 AM

    I wonder if I say that way to confuse you ;D seriously I dont know how else put that sentece (you know my english still bad ..so a time I do a big mess XD).Now back on topic…I see what you mean about Ayase and if you put that way I had to agree with you here. About my last part I think that way because one theory that I have. I hope you don’t mind if I put her here ,maybe will help us to understand the future event (then again I had to see how the whole thing will evolves from now on).
    What I think is something like this. Young Shu was that way because of Mana, Mana was his source of power/center of the universe / and a central pillar for his personality.Whic mean he can be that way ,a way that young Gai admired thanks to Mana.Now, because the whole lost Christmas mess Shu lost his source of power and because his own word something like that shock him at the point to made him forget everything for protect himself.But because the one more important for him(source of power/central pillar )was lost ..he himself was lost wich mean we had the Shu that we see from the first ep.From ep 1 we see that one of the thing that made him feel better was Inori song(and thank ep 12 we know why) thank is meet with Inori half of his source of power come back and shu start to change in positive way(we see this thanks to hare and other people) but because Inori is the way that she is and she is no like mana …she was no enough to shu .Then we have Hare thanks to Inori that made Shu move again(i think we can say that way) Hare that was one true firend for Shu. She can start to being more close to Shu and tanks to that Hare become the other half of source of power for Shu. What I try to say is Inori+Hare = Mana role….thanks to that Shu start to change more and more in positive way. If you see ep 11(if i recall right) and the other before Hare die…then hare die and half of his central pillar /source of power vanishes again .With only Inori is not enough for him and we have the current situation.Now what I think will happen is…that some how Inori will become more like Mana was pre virus or the one that shu know but at the same time she will still Inori and that this Inori will be for the present Shu like Mana was for Young Shu. And thank to this will we had the Inori and Shu from the Op and Ed. Wich mean a Shu that we can like (or at least this is what I hope and think).Sorry for the big post,but I want to tell you why I think the way I wrote in my last comment.

    • #10 by avvesione on February 15, 2012 - 12:19 AM

      That’s an interesting theory you have there. It does take a lot of unexplained elements of the series and puts them together into something that is plausible but I think Guilty Crown isn’t that clever to do something so complex. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing this come true and for Shu to turn out good in the end because I don’t like him in his current form. Guess we’ll see what happens next with Inori/Mana, what Gai brings, and what happens to Shu as a result of all this.

      • #11 by Soji on February 15, 2012 - 2:26 PM

        The sad thing is,I’m almost sure this is what they want convey to us. But they fail hard in this and is really sad this show would be so much better if they don’t change director every (or almost every) damn ep. And they do better job in story telling._.If I was a their place I would made sure to show more shu thought and more him question himself or had more flash back from the star of the show .And made sure that some one see as well how he feel about all that.I really hope they will do better from now on…because for now more ep I see more I think they waste one huge chance to create something really epic.(and I’m no one to say something like this so often.).

        • #12 by avvesione on February 16, 2012 - 1:58 AM

          I, too, really hope they do better from here on out but I’ve been feeling that after every episode from the beginning until now. At this point, I’ve given up hope that the series will significantly improve but instead, I hope it just becomes more consistent and goes in direction that makes sense. At this point, I think that’s all we can hope for.

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