UN launches a massive assault on GHQ, but Gai emerges and destroys the force with a single devastating attack. The Undertakers take advantage of the distraction to infiltrate the building, led by Shu using everyone’s voids as he goes. When they reach Central Command they are blocked by Yuu of Naath, who isolates Shu and duels him. Shu wins, but is a moment too late to save Inori, who Gai has had enclosed in crystal to be reborn as Mana, his Eve.
That was a mighty fine penultimate episode. It employed an enthralling “infiltrating the final dungeon” setpiece, complete with a nasty-ass boss in Yuu, who sacrifices minions for void weapons like we usually eat popcorn chicken – rapidly and without mercy. Finally, it just about finished explaining what the heck is going on. Yuu is a member of Naath (he says he is Naath), an organization that apparently chooses the next stage of evolution for humans. Inori is their Eve, it’s clear, but Adam was pretty much a stalemate between Shu and Gai until Yuu asks him a simple question: Will you press the reset button on the world?
Shu is, as Inori observes, “heartbreakingly human”, so much so that heals guys who aren’t even on his side. Eliminating the entire human population, including his friends and family, simply isn’t in his character. Killing Gai to save them all is, though, as he states in perhaps the most touching scene with Ayase yet – part goodbye, part acknowledgement of mutual affection. The stirring score really makes its presence felt and adds gravity to the proceedings. We’re feeling good about a coherent ending taking place, though we can’t speak to how derivative and/or contrived said ending will be.
A surprise attack from GHQ’s Leucocyte jeopardizes the mission, killing Kyo and all of Undertaker’s reinforcements and supplies, but Gai is determined to continue the mission, using Kenji and Shu to knock out the satellite cores. Shu initially refuses to participate, but Inori arranges for him to eavesdrop on a vulnerable Gai who thinks he’s talking to her. Knowing the weight he carries, he agrees to help. Daryl Yan’s interference interrupts the delicate shutdown procedure, and the satellite beings hurtling toward Tokyo. Gai volunteers to destroy it at the cost of his life, but Inori lends her strength to Shu once more, giving him a void weapon that eliminates the threat.
Ah, it’s good that Gai got a chance to show us somebody other than the fearless leader – and good for Shu to see, too. He’s afraid of getting blood on his hands, and thinks it’s stupid for people to keep laying down their lives just because they love Gai. But he’s got it backwards. Gai loves them, and would die for them. He also happens to know that Shu has the pen Segai gave him. That Shu’s one trump card turns out to be something that would’ve killed him along with whoever was around him when he pressed the buttons is a nice piece of treachery on Segai’s part.
Inori proves quite the perceptive ‘lil minx in sensing Shu’s main objections stemmed from his misinterpretation of Gai’s personality – and the use of computer signage to fool Gai was clever. Shu may never be the cool, collected killing machines Inori or Gai are (Gai taking out Yan’s endlave on foot? Pretty awesome), but killing anyone at all is still tough proposition for him, which isn’t good considering in the business he’s in, reading people wrong and hesitating will get you dead. At the end of the day, though, he’s still standing, this was another rousing, action-packed feast for the eyes, and we look forward to more.
Shu is arrested and interviewed by Major Segai, who shows him why Yahiro betrayed him: his brother is at GHQ’s Isolation Ward, being treated for the Apocalypse virus. He wasn’t an addict; he was a dealer, to make money to pay the hospital bills. Segai tries to convince Shu to betray Gai when he and Undertaker storm the facility to rescue a dangerous criminal named Kenji Kido. Gai arrives disguised as his lawyer, and the operation begins shortly thereafter. With Inori infiltrating the facility on her own to rescue Shu, he decides to go along with Gai’s plan, drawing out Kido’s void, immobilizing the enemies and cushioning Inori’s fall. He uses her sword to mop up as Segai watches. Shu finally agrees to join Gai and Undertaker.
Order. All societies worth their salt have it. Japan has it in spades, as does America. But that order comes at a cost. In Guilty Crown, that cost is perhaps higher than in the real world, but it’s no less necessary. And those groups that have a problem with how that order is achieved and maintained – they’ll always be terrorists in the eyes of the order-keepers. We noticed how Major Segai didn’t call it “peace”, just “order”. Peace isn’t all that possible when bombs are going off and the government slaughters innocent people who refuse inoculation. Blood must be spilt for this society to survive, according to those in power. Blood is also inevitble if anyone is to oppose them. The no-omelettes-without-broken-eggs analogy.
This was a phenomenal episode in many ways; perhaps GC’s best. it showed a waffling Shu finally make a choice (though he holds on to Segai’s transmitter, just in case), and it also showed a GHQ facility getting totally wasted by an extremely coordinated, multi-vector attack by Undertaker. We like how mechas are only one facet of the operation and of this series in general; not the end-all-be-all of the show. Only Ayase is regularly even in one. Everyone has their role to play. Nobody’s all that deep yet, but we have a long way to go yet. We will say that Segai got some more dimension this week, and he genuinely feels his cause is righteous. We were also impressed with the lighting this week, and the soundtrack rocked, too.
Ouma Shu contracted with Inori with the Void Genome that was meant for Gai, the leader of the resistance group called Undertaker. He’s pressed into service to deliver the coup-de-grace in an intricately planned operation to save a hundred citizens from the Anti Bodies, among them the sadistic Lt. Daryl Yan, son of the Bureau’s leader. The operation is successful, but Shu turns down the offer to join Undertaker. He believes he’s put it behind him and returned to his normal life when Inori shows up at school, having transferred to his class.
This episode was another feast for eye and ear; home to some pretty fantastic action and combat sequences, with some nice gamble suspense mixed in for good measure. Ouma Shu may not like it, but he has the powers of a god now, and a girl who isn’t shy about calling herself his. He stuck his neck out for her last week, and the reward was being thrust into a world he probably hadn’t even known about. It’s a world where government-sanctioned genocide in the name of eradicating disease is commonplace, and where the weak have to be protected from jack-booted thugs.
It’s only a matter of time before Shu and that little germophobic bastard Yan square off. There’s a lot to like here: you have your etherially beautiful songstress/muse, you’ve got old-fashioned and newfangled mecha (called “endlaves” here), your diverse crew of freedom fighters who have a very serious mission, but trying to keep it nice and casual between one another (contrast that with the cold military style of the Anti Bodies), and the concrete jungle of Tokyo to play in (the vistas continue to impress). Ouma Shu may still be a little on the dull side, but so far he hasn’t shied away from his duty when called upon.
Shiro calls Ganta weak and a jerk. Truer words were never spoken. At least he admits he’s pathetic, but I have to say I was pretty disappointed with his reaction to Shiro saving his life by tossing the datachip bomb. Neither he nor the rest of Scar Chain could connect the dots until a totally tweaked-out Rokuro showed up at their hideout to spell it out to them. Of course, the damage is already done; Ganta has already slapped Shiro and told her he never wants to see her again. Treating Wretched Egg like that will have consequences.
So Rokuro arrives to take the remnants of the resistance hostage until Nagi/Owl defects to the Undertakers. The Priest pumps him full of drugs to speed things along. Beneath his earlier calm demeanor, Owl does seem to be barely-contained utter chaos personified. Rokuro comes with undertakers (both silly-looking freaks of nature) who seem ready to kill Ganta when Crow arrives in the nick of time with an awesome supersonic blood blade. He then refuses to help Scar Chain, basically contradicting what he just did (help a weakling) by saying only the strong should survive. Ganta may have potential to be strong, but he isn’t strong now. He seems helpless.
And losing Shiro, even temporarily, didn’t help. Now she’s making friends with Mockingbird, whose motives we can only guess. What we do know is that s(he) is androgynous and voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, and gained some of Shiro’s trust by warning her about the datachip Ganta carried. Ganta needs to get his shit together. Weeks past, he was able to defeat both Crow and Hummingbird. Where the heck did that strength go? Finally, we get a brief glimpse at Makina’s personal crusade to expose Tamaki, but it seems the defence ministry is already well-aware and complacent with his methods and plans. I’m holding out hope Makina will have a role to play in Wonderland’s demise – if it occurs. Rating: 3.5