Friday, December 9, 2011

Guilty Crown - 07, 08

Wow, I'm really behind on GC now... time to catch up! Since it's only a little late, episode 9 will get its own post.

I'll say it again, forget all the other characters in the show, Ayase and Tsugumi are the best reasons to watch Guilty Crown.  The other characters?  Nah.

Guilty Crown 07
Shu finally makes his return to school, a week or so after being arrested by the GHQ back in episode 4.  Of course, by this time, everyone recognizes him as the "guy who got arrested", and he is harassed by a few of the other students.  He is rescued from this by the student council president Kuhouin Arisa, who slaps and chastises a couple students who were causing him some trouble, then follows him to his class and sets up another conversation which gives him the chance to stammer out the excuse that he was picked up and disappeared for a week because he found a GHQ cell phone.  The "misunderstanding" now resolved, they proceed to bombard him with questions.
And they bought it?
That evening, after he and Inori go back to his apartment, Shu's mother, Haruka (who he calls by name, for some reason), returns from her job working for GHQ, and discovers the two together.  Once again, Shu stammers out a pathetically weak excuse about hiding her from her horrible, abusive, but still cool "brother", but she just ignores it and tells Shu to go buy some food and tell her the actual story over dinner.
I don't care how hot your anime mom is.  That's just awkward.
The Undertakers, despite having funds, do not have supply routes to replenish their supplies, and after several large-scale battles against the GHQ, are running out of weapons and ammunition.  Luckily for them, the Kuhouin Group, which happens to specialize in such backroom deals, and is also looking for ways to circumvent new GHQ laws, and are planning a dinner party on a cruise ship out at sea, away from GHQ control.  Word of the event, however, has been leaked to the GHQ, and Dan Eagleman, a painfully straight parody of an American, is put in charge of the operation to sink the ship where elects to use anti-air missiles in a surface-to-surface role, because:
The dinner turns out to be a meeting for nationalist Japanese groups and figures, and Gai and Shu sneak aboard, and knock out and steal the uniforms of a couple waiters.  In the ballroom, Shu notices his mother talking to Kuhouin Okina, Arisa's grandfather and head of the Kuhouin group, and panics, running blindly into the crowd and, naturally, straight into Arisa.
The best way to avoid being the center of attention.
Back on shore, preparations to fire the AA missiles sideways (read: flipping all the missile trucks on their side) are wrapping up, and Tsugumi calls Shu, telling him to inform Gai of the development.  Gai, however, approaches Okina, delivers a cell phone, and asks for his support before being interrupted by Shu.
Yelling from the dance floor. Again, a good way to keep a low profile.
After being filled in, Gai sends Shu up to the top deck, while he finds Arisa and takes her up as well.  Seconds before the first missile hits, Shu extracts her void, a large segmented shield, and uses it to disintegrate the missile.  On shore, Dan berates everyone for not having enough guts when they shot it, and orders all the missiles to be fired, despite the incredulity of his underlings.
I'm with Segai here.  That's probably the best way of dealing with the crazy American.
After several minutes of defending against missiles, the GHQ forces finally run out of ammo and halt their attack.  Okina, having witnessed the attack and now convinced that Undertaker has the capability to fight against the GHQ, decides to ally himself and the Kuhouin Group with the Undertakers and help them with procuring supplies.
Missiles look like fireworks.
 The next day, Haruka sees Shu and Inori off as they head to school, and once they're gone, pulls out a picture of herself, Shu and another yet-unidentified girl (though we've seen her a few times already) who looks very similar to Inori, and reminds herself that they need to protect Shu's future.
Can you still call it foreshadowing when they bludgeon you with it?

Guilty Crown 08:
Under Gai's orders, Shu convinces the members of his AV club to go on a trip to Oshima because one of the members, Tamadate Souta, has a void that Gai wants to use to infiltrate a GHQ base on the island.
Instant ramen, food of choice for rebels everywhere!
After they arrive at "Shu's family's summer home", really a mansion used by the Kuhouin Group, Souta reveals to the rest of the group that he had seen Shu and Inori going home together, and that he's figured out that Inori is staying with Shu.  Unlike Shu's mother, however, he doesn't even pretend to buy the excuse about the "violent older brother", but when Shu doesn't say any more, lets it go and drags everyone to the beach instead.  Hare, however, realizes that she's been careless in letting Shu get away from her, and drags him off into the water.
Proactive (albeit probably doomed) love interest is still more interesting than Inori.
The other members of Undertaker are, of course, also in the area enjoying the beach in their own way.
Real subtle group, aren't they?
Shu, however, eventually leaves the rest of the group to visit the grave of his father, Ouma Kurosu, who was one of the world's leading experts on the Apocalypse Virus before his death.  Gai also pays the grave a visit, where he tells Shu to get Souta to the operation location, and suggests baiting him with Inori.  Shu objects, but Gai tells him to just do it or get out of the way. 
Using a shrine as cover? Wouldn't it be easier to use something else?
Shu changes his mind later that evening, after Souta tells him that he plans to confess to Inori, and sets up a meeting between the two.  In reality, however, he's unable to actually sit back and watch it happen, and before Souta can get the words out, declares that Inori is his and rips out Souta's void, only to have the rest of Undertake come out from hiding.
Ayase diapproves.
While Tsugumi is amused.
Souta's void happens to be a camera-like device that opens any mechanism that it's directed at, and using it, Undertaker infiltrates the facility.  Slightly ahead of them, however, is the commander of the Anti Bodies, Shuichiro Keido, who uses Kurosu's ID to access the facility and steal the item that Gai was after, with plans to use it for something yet to be disclosed.
Obviously the bad guy
Back at the park, Shu finally admits to Souta that he has feelings for Inori, and after finally voicing the things that they hate about each other, manage to patch things up.
Guilty Crown is continuing its rather lackluster "introduce problem, introduce void to fix it" pattern with these two episodes.  Arisa's void just happened to be exactly what was needed to defend the ship, and Souta had one perfectly suited to getting into the base... and speaking of the base, what the hell is wrong with the GHQ anyway?  Ouma Kurosu has been dead for a decade, and his access privileges are still completely intact?  Aside from a plot perspective, how does that make any sense?
As for the characters, I'm really disliking Shu's whining and near-constant panicking over everything, as well as his extreme possessiveness of Inori.  Dan, as a parody of an American, is downright painful to watch, but I can't say that he isn't amusing.  And Segai, despite being one of the closest things there is to a real bad guy in Guilty Crown, is surprisingly hard to dislike.

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