Guilty Crown – 15

As the red line draws nearer to the school, food and vaccine supplies are dwindling. Shu, now president, doesn’t want to use the void ranking system Yahiro devised, but he realizes he may not have a choice. Some low-ranked students including Souta get ahold of the ranking, and trick Shu into releasing their voids. Rather than practice, they head out to find more vaccines, but are intercepted by Antibody gunships and endlaves. Shu and Hare head out to help them, but both are seriously injured when Souta makes Hare try to fix a car, which Daryl Yan blows up. Hare heals Shu, at the cost of her own life. When he wakes up, she shatters in his arms. Consumed by fury, Shu uses Inori’s sword to destroy the Antibody attackers. After beating up Souta, he vows to purge his kindness and do what must be done.

This week the series didn’t hold anything back, putting Shu up against a wall. He has a clear choice between discriminating against the weaker students and surviving, or continuing to be kind to everyone and merely delaying the death of all, and the inevitable chaos when supplies run out. Taking over as class president was such a hopeful, optimistic moment, but this episode wasted no time bringing the reality of the situation to the forefront. Shu tried to stay on the fence, but in the end, his hand is forced by the tragic and surprising death of Hare, who was on the cusp of confessing her love to him when their last moment together was interrupted by the news Souta was going off to be a hero.

Hare has a powerful final episode, in which she’s nudged by Tsugami to confess, because there’s no telling what may happen tomorrow. She’s then her usual selfless self, doing all she can to heal the wounded in an extremely hazardous situation where she’s in the line of fire. Her final act of sacrifice to save her “kind king” is heartbreaking – there’s no words of goodbye- she’s dead before Shu wakes up. And when he does, cries of grief are stuck in his throat. Then, like a switch going off, the old kind Shu is gone. Kindness didn’t save Hare, and it won’t save his kingdom. The gloves are coming off. The dark side beckons…


Rating: 4

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Guilty Crown – 08

Gai’s next mission requires that Shu go to Oshima with his school friends Souta, Hare, and Kanon under the guise of a school vacation trip. In reality, Oshima’s shrine is a secret GHQ facility that can be unlocked with Souta’s void, and the core of the Undertakers are hiding out until Shu can draw it out. Doing this requires him to get Souta alone, which means arranging for him to meet Inori alone. When Souta’s about to confess to her, Shu interrupts by drawing his void out, and they proceed with the mission. They infiltrate the facilty easily, but Shu’s dad, Korosu – who he believes is dead and buried in Oshima, has already been there and taken the strange crystal that Gai was after.

Beach episode! It wasn’t that bad though. GC tried its best to justify Shu’s presence on Oshima. The actual fanservice bits are quite abbreviated and don’t detract from the mission, which turns out to be a bust prefaced by lots of bluster (the design of the various locks in the facilty were cool though). Combining Ouma’s regular school friends with his “job” was inevitable, but only Souta was directly involved. One thing we can say for sure is that Haruka is a really annoying mom. Seriously, put some clothes on when there’s company. We get it, you’re very attractive for your age, but that’s your damn son. Gross!

While Shu’s mom is a creepy cocktease, Shu’s dad is apparently the type to make others believe he’s dead, while he’s actually alive and well – and chief of the GHQ, no less. We were waiting for Haruka to drop her act and confront Shu, but here we get an entirely different shoe: Shu’s got a living dad, and where things stand now, he’s one of the bad guys. Like many of the things in this series, the hero with the parents he has to stand against is nothing new. But we get the feeling Korosu Ouma has plans for his clueless son with the magic right arm.


Rating: 3

Working’!! – 03

Souta’s youngest sister Nazuna starts working at Wagnaria, and upstages Aoi. She also gets the wrong idea, telling her writer sister Izume that Popura is his love interest. After seeing a photo, Izume thinks Popura is underage. When Nazuna learns Yamada feels threatened, she breaks a plate and asks for help, boosting Yamada’s confidence.

When it comes down to it, Working!! is a show about nothing, but that nothing is very well-presented. Things happen, certainly, but rarely anything of lasting consequence. No huge conflicts. No villains. No ultimate goal. It’s all about the in-between; the minutiae; the creamy middle. And the details. And so far, Working’s second season has all that down. This week was as pleasant as Nazuna is tall for her age.

This episode focuses a lot on Takanashi’s four sisters, particularly Nazuna and Izume. It’s pretty obvious there are two camps in the Takanashi household: the givers and the takers. Souta, Nazuna and the eldest, Kazue, are the former; while Kozue the flirt and Izume the struggling author are the latter…it’s just interesting how each sibling makes use of their energies, and how the family manages to stick together just fine. Everyone has their role; just like at Wagnaria.

Rating: 3