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.