Code Geass VS Guilty Crown

November 3, 2012

A versus between two epic sci-fi animes, Code Geass and Guilty Crown. I might not be a fan of animes with mecha elements but I guess the plot and interesting characters were fascinating enough to keep me attracted. Both series are original anime productions, meaning that they are not based nor adapted from any manga. Maybe that’s why it was so epic seeing that there weren’t any previous print media to tell its tale and it also keeps the suspense and excitement altogether so fans and viewers don’t really know what’s coming.

The main hero
Code Geass: Lelouch Lamperouge, born Lelouch vi Britannia – a castaway prince of the Britannia throne.
Guilty Crown: Shu Ouma – a normal high school kid.

His sidekick heroine
Code Geass: C.C. (pronounced shi-tsu) – an immortal “witch”.
Guilty Crown: Inori Yuzuriha – lead singer of Egoist and a member of a secret resistance group.

His Power of Kings
Code Geass: Lelouch’s Geass bends his prey into absolute obedience and will carry out the task unquestioned but limited to his/her abilities.
Guilty Crown: Shu’s ability to draw out and use Voids, items or weapons within people’s heart via his right hand.

How he got this power
Code Geass: Bestowed upon by C.C.
Guilty Crown: While trying to protect the Void Genome he is carrying, in an attempt to save Inori, the cylinder accidentally got injected into him.

How to use this power
Code Geass: Lelouch needs to directly look into the eyes of the person he is going to use his Geass on.
Guilty Crown: Shu needs to reach his hand into the chest of the person he is to draw his/her Void from while making that person think he/she is looking into his eyes.

Other users with such power
Code Geass: Mao – Geass ability to hear thoughts of others within 500 metre radius. Charles – to rewrite memories. Rolo – freezes time temporarily.
Guilty Crown: Later in the series when revived Gai and Yuu are able to use the Power of Kings.

Losing the power
Code Geass: Lelouch’s Geass went out of control in the sense that it will always be activated. This unfortunate event caused Euphemia to go on a massacre spree and as reluctant as he is, has no choice but to use this ill-fated event to his advantage.
Guilty Crown: When Gai returns, he cuts off Shu’s arm!

Japan’s setting
Code Geass: The world is currently divided into 3 super powers and Japan is now under the rule of the Holy Britannia Empire and renamed Area 11.
Guilty Crown: An unknown virus called Apocalypse Virus rages throughout Japan and plunges the country into chaos.

Who rules Japan
Japan somehow can’t rule itself…
Code Geass: Holy Britannia Empire.
Guilty Crown: GHQ.

Japan’s leader
Code Geass: Initially Charles zi Britannia. After his death, Lelouch takes over.
Guilty Crown: Initially Major General Yan. After his assassination, Shuichirou Keido becomes the newly inaugurated president of Japan.

Resistance force
You need a group to free Japan from the clutches of ruthless authority, right?
Code Geass: Black Knights.
Guilty Crown: Funeral Parlours.

Leader of the resistance force
Code Geass: Zero – Lelouch’s alter ego underneath a cool helmet and cape.
Guilty Crown: Gai Tsutsugami – the handsome long hair blonde.

Resistance force members (selected)
Code Geass: Kallen Stadtfield, Kaname Ougi, Kyoushirou Todou, Shinichirou Tamaki, Nagisa Chiba, Shougo Asahina, Kosetsu Urabe, Ryoga Senba, Rakshata Chawla and Diethard Reid.
Guilty Crown: Shibungi, Ayase Shinomiya, Tsugumi, Argo Tsukishima, Oogumo and Kenji Kido.

Ruthless antagonist
Code Geass: Schneizel el Britannia.
Guilty Crown: Makoto Waltz Segai.

First death
For a minor supporting character, that is.
Code Geass: Clovis la Britannia in episode 3. C.C.’s death in the first episode didn’t count since she was resurrected later.
Guilty Crown: Major Guin in episode 2.

School
The school our heroes go to.
Code Geass: Ashford Academy.
Guilty Crown: Tennozu High School.

Friends
School mates or classmates.
Code Geass: Suzaku Kururugi, Rivalz Cardemonde, Milly Ashford and Shirley Fenette.
Guilty Crown: Yahiro Samukawa, Souta Tamadate, Arisa Kuhouin, Hare Menjou and Kanon Kusama.

School cultural festival
Code Geass: In episode 21, Ashford holds their annual school festival.
Guilty Crown: In episode 13, Souta suggests to hold one to lift the gloom.

Dead friend
Why do cute girls have to die? Despite being minor characters and harbour a secret crush on our hero…
Code Geass: Shirley.
Guilty Crown: Hare.

Girl turned ‘bad’
Code Geass: Nina Einstein.
Guilty Crown: Arisa.

Wheelchair girl
Code Geass: Nunnally.
Guilty Crown: Ayase.

Back from the dead
Code Geass: Jeremiah Gottwald.
Guilty Crown: Gai.

Dead brother
Code Geass: Rolo – an assassin posing as Lelouch’s fake brother. Died when he uses his Geass (that overtaxes his heart each time he uses) to allow Lelouch to escape.
Guilty Crown: Jun – Yahiro’s little brother who has been affected by Stage IV of the Apocalypse Virus. Died when Shu severs his life line to save him from being consumed by hatred to kill his brother.

Hero’s sister
Code Geass: Nunnally.
Guilty Crown: Mana.

Hero’s parents
Code Geass: Charles and Marianne.
Guilty Crown: Kurosu and Haruka (Saeko Shijou is Shu’s biological mother).

Turncoat
Code Geass: Diethard.
Guilty Crown: Yahiro.

Coup d’etat
Code Geass: The political marriage between Tianzi and Odysseus was interrupted when Li Xingke and Black Knights staged a rebellion to place her back in control of the Federation.
Guilty Crown: Keido initiates coup d’etat to overthrow Yan by unleashing another outbreak of Apocalypse Virus all over Tokyo. Later, Arisa starts a coup d’etat with other students to overthrow Shu’s tyranny.

Mysterious kid
Code Geass: V.V. (pronounced bui-tsu).
Guilty Crown: Yuu AKA Daath Gravekeeper.

Kidnapped
Code Geass: Nunnally was kidnapped by V.V. to Kaminejima. When Lelouch becomes Emperor, he kidnaps Tianzi and other UFN delegates as political hostages in his war against Schneizel.
Guilty Crown: Inori was kidnapped by Gai and Yuu while protecting Shu.

The blind
Code Geass: Nunnally is blinded due to a trauma after witnessing her mother’s assassination.
Guilty Crown: When Shu absorbs everyone’s Void to save the day, Inori sacrifices herself to save him but the results meant Shu is blinded.

No memories
Code Geass: When Lelouch was captured by Suzaku and brought to Charles, he removes his knowledge that has anything to do with his alter-ego, sister and royal heritage. Viletta Nu was left for dead but saved by Ougi. Though she survived, she lost her memories as a subordinate of Jeremiah till much later subsequently in the series she regains them.
Guilty Crown: Whenever Shu draws out one’s Void, that person will lose memories of the time surrounding the event.

Basic mecha models
Code Geass: Knightmare Frames.
Guilty Crown: Endlaves.

Featured mecha
Code Geass: Lancelot and Shinkirou (note that there are many other Knightmare Frame models).
Guilty Crown: Steiner and Gespenst.

Cute mascot?
Code Geass: Arthur the white stray cat found by Euphemia which eventually become an adopted pet at Ashford’s student council room.
Guilty Crown: Funell the little ‘rice cooker’ robot and guardian of Inori.

Scientist
Code Geass: Rakshata, Lloyd Asplund and Cecile Croomy.
Guilty Crown: Haruka and Keidou.

Freaking powerful firepower
Code Geass: FLEIJA cannon.
Guilty Crown: Leukocyte, an orbital satellite laser.

Chinese connection
Code Geass: The other super power, Chinese Federation. Li Xingke the military officer, Tianzi the Empress of the Federation and the High Eunuchs that holds the true power.
Guilty Crown: The Ming Hua Group is a conglomerate from Shanghai. Its leader is in love with Arisa.

Being cruel to be kind
Code Geass: When Lelouch ascends the throne as Emperor, though he made great reforms, he also became a tyrant and ruled with an iron fist for his Zero Requiem plan requires everyone to concentrate their hatred on him to make past tyrannies forgotten.
Guilty Crown: After a death of a friend, Shu realizes that being kind is wrong and needs to separate the good from the bad. He becomes a tyrant, playing king among his little school community, ranking them based on their Void’s level to keep the order.

Tokyo decimated
The city is meant to be destroyed…
Code Geass: First the rebellion against Britannia Empire with Zero collapsing Tokyo and in the second season, the Black Knights launch their assault after cutting out power.
Guilty Crown: After the second Lost Christmas incident, Tokyo is reduced to a pile of rubble and the area sealed off.

In the end
Code Geass: Lelouch dies, C.C. lives.
Guilty Crown: Inori dies, Shu lives.

Product placement
Code Geass: Pizza Hut – the entire series is filled with this brand and is C.C.’s favourite food.
Guilty Crown: Dr Ginger – parody of the Dr Pepper drink but the brand is not obvious throughout the series.

Number of episodes
Code Geass: 25 episodes for the first episode and an additional 25 episodes for the second season. There are numerous OVAs released later and the latest ones being Nunnally In Wonderland and Akito In Exiled.
Guilty Crown: 22 episodes.

Year of Production
Code Geass: 2006 (first season) and 2008 (second season).
Guilty Crown: 2011.

Production Studio
Code Geass: Sunrise.
Guilty Crown: Production I.G.

Conclusion
Maybe (definitely!) I’m missing out a lot of other things so it’s a tough one to call which is better. Since I have seen Guilty Crown more recently, my memories of the show is still fresher as compared to Code Geass. However the ending of the former was quite unsatisfactory as compared to the latter albeit both series are of a tragedy theme. Because Code Geass has more episodes, more characters and more popular, I guess it has more flexibility and time in churning out the character development, twists and turns in making the storyline more interesting as compared to Guilty Crown. Both the main heroes with the powers they have (despite having differing personalities) tried to change the world for the better while pursuing the same dream. It isn’t smooth sailing as they have to endure heartbreaks, pain, suffering and deal with tragic consequences through trial and error. So you see, how mankind could turn the world upside down with chaos and while nobody is right or wrong in a war, it is the ordinary folks that suffer the most when nations clash. Dealing with the gruesome reality of war, both series also throw to us death of certain characters, whether we expected it or not. A grim reminder that no one is practically safe. As the saying goes, there will be no progress or achievement without struggle or sacrifice. Peace had better be worth it after all those bloodshed.

 

Guilty Crown

August 26, 2012

Oh. It’s another show dealing with pandemic. Well, at least in its aftermath. If humans don’t destroy themselves with warheads, I’m sure those tiny deadly virus will do an equally if not a much effective job. So in Guilty Crown, we have an epidemic that could have brought mankind closer to Apocalypse and extinction. However it’s not the entire world but a country that has closely experienced this. Guess which country? Yeah. Seems Japan is the perfect place for such happenings. Whether it is viral attacks, alien invasions or large scale wars, this is the place to start if you want your story, legend, fable, chronicle, anecdote and whatever that is you want to tell others. How and why the virus ‘chose’ Japan to start this devastating trail of destruction is perhaps anyone’s guess.

Set in the near future of 2029, the aptly named Apocalypse Virus has brought the citizens of Japan down to its knees. Without the help of the good of the rest of the world, Japanese would have been extinct by now and animes, mangas and games will no longer feed otakus with their fervour obsession. Oops. Got side-tracked there. As usual, there will be atrocities and conspiracies going on as people try to eke out a living getting back on their own feet. As usual, there will be the seemingly oppressive government that is made to look like the bad guy and the resistance force that is seemingly made to look like the cool heroes that will save everybody. As usual the vital piece will have to be a normal high school kid who doesn’t want to have to do anything with it all and is happy with his plain boring life but gets involved in it anyway after gaining abnormal powers. Yeah, it’s that destiny thingy. He becomes the hero, the villain. He saves, he sacrifices. He is perfect yet imperfect. Non-human yet so human. Well, if you’re looking for some sci-fi action, check this one out. If only I can grasp those damn sci-fi jargons and explanations, I would need a couple of Panadols to stop my headache and hope I don’t catch a serious virus along the way.

Episode 1
Inori Yuzuriha is running away from the pursuing authorities. She is injured as she puts a little cylinder into her mini robot, Funell and wants it to deliver it to Gai Tsutsugami. Despite getting help from her comrades, the blast was great enough to throw her off the bridge. Shu Ouma takes a train to school as he notes the increased presence of the military due to last night’s terrorist’s attack at Odaiba, now known as Ward 24. In class, his friend Souta Tamadate asks about his video clip for the presentation. He has not done it yet but promise will complete it. Hare Menjou thinks he’s dense. Shu narrates he may be so as he doesn’t know what to say to others so he hides his nervousness and go along with what they say. Ten years ago when the Apocalypse Virus pandemic wreaked havoc in Japan, the country relied on many countries to contain and rebuild the nation. Japan still relies on them till today. Shu goes to his workshop to finish his project but to his surprise sees Inori, the vocalist for the group Egoist right in the middle singing a song on her own. She gets startled when she hears him and Funell intercepts him. She accidentally activates the video of his project which is an incomplete clip of his hometown. She finds it beautiful. Inori doesn’t respond to his questions and is in a world of her own. Except that she says she must get this cylinder to Gai. Showing him a cat’s cradle, she wonders if he’s a coward. Shu looks into it and sees horrifying visions. The authorities storm in and apprehend Inori violently. Major Guin claims she is a terrorist of Funeral Parlour and if Shu continues to defend her, he’ll be purged as her accomplice. Immediately Shu backs off and goes down on his knees. After they leave, Shu felt somewhat relieved he is out of harm’s way but a pathetic fool for unable to do anything. He wanted to take that cat’s cradle and touch her hand. Funell, who has been malfunctioned, activates to show him the place he’s supposed to deliver the cylinder. As a last chance not to hate himself, he goes to deliver it. Meanwhile the GHQ people are discussing about the stolen Void Genome.

Inori is blindfolded as Guin interrogates her where she hid the disease they’ve been authorized to dispose without warning. But nothing comes out from her mouth. He’ll make her regret it and orders his men to purge every single resident in this neighbourhood. Shu enters the supposed area but a group of thugs confront him. They want him to hand over his ‘rice cooker’. Despite being a wuss and getting beaten up, he holds tightly to it insisting Funell doesn’t belong to him. Probably Gai saw his courage and moves in to show us his cool combat moves on the thugs and send them running with tails between their legs. As Tsugumi takes Funell away from him, Gai asks what happened to Inori and if he had abandoned her. Shu is overwhelmed with guilt and couldn’t answer. An explosion rocks the nearby area and it’s the GHQ Whitecoats invading. They’re shooting live rounds at everyone in sight. Gai wants Shu to protect the cylinder for real. Shu makes a run and sees Inori climbing out from the truck she was held captive. She is confronted with a couple of mechas. I guess Shu wanted to play the hero this time and rushes to protect Inori regardless of his own life. The mecha fires and breaks the cylinder. Shu feels weird in this alternate dimension as Inori asks him to use her. To take this power of Guilty Crown that gives shape through the bond between hearts. After seeing more visions, Shu places his hand into Inori’s heart and grabs out an iron sword. You know this sword is badass cool because it creates a light of storm through the clouds. You know this sword can kickass because it slices through the mecha like a hot knife through butter.

Episode 2
Shu just follows his instincts in fighting back despite still in shock in the moves he can pull off. Not as shocked as the Antibodies who have never seen such power. Shu goes to unconscious Inori’s side as Funell picks them up. Meanwhile Ayase Shinomiya engages in a brutal mecha fight with Daryl Yan. Tsugumi knows Ayase cannot win and bails her out before she gets killed by that maniac. Guin is not amused to learn what is happening as he meets Daryl, the son of the famous Major General Yan. He is here on his own initiative and bringing a new Endlave model to the operations centre. Guin is glad he could help out but when he extends a handshake, Daryl becomes angry, cocky and spiteful. He tells him he is here to do what he wants or else he’ll tell on him to his father. Shu is brought back to Gai who is glad Ayase is alright despite her lost. However he is disappointed with Inori’s failure. She may have got badly injured and worked hard but she has failed them at the crucial moment. She has let Shu used the Void Genome in that cylinder when it was meant for Gai. The cylinder was one of the only 3 enhanced genomes that Sephirah Genomics successfully cultivated. The power it bestows its user is King’s Power. That is, it analyses a human’s genome, draws out the hidden power within by converting them into Voids. Voids are ideas that have acquired form and the sword he used is one of them. Different Voids can be extracted from different people and that sword was Inori’s Void. Shu is now given the power to change things and no longer be a spectator. He will have Shu fight with them but he still has doubts of wanting to get involved so Gai tells him he has only 2 options: Sit quietly and be selected out of this world or adapt and change. Gai’s comrades inform him things have turned for the worse. Not only one of their men is captured, Antibodies have taken 100 innocent hostages and worst, that cold blooded psychopath Daryl is here. Gai regroups with his Funeral Parlour team as Shibungi mentions the difference in power is not worth taking the risk for this rescue mission. But Gai can’t pass this up since they’ll be exterminating Antibodies and rescue the residents. From this point on, all Funeral Parlour operations won’t be covert and they’ll make their existence known to the world.

As Shu follows Inori to their station point as all other Funeral Parlours are with theirs, he remembers Gai’s further explanation about the Special Virus Disaster Response Bureau AKA Antibodies who have been granted authority to dispose anybody based on their judgement whom they think has symptoms of the disease. The cornerstone of GHQ’s public security operation is their cruellest and sharpest fang. The enemy that they are facing now. Shu sees the Antibodies ready to execute a bunch of men. A wife of one of the men pleads that her husband is not sick. But when she starts touching Daryl, he becomes violent and beats her up. It ends with him and the firing squad killing them all. That is a cue for Gai to launch his operation. Part of the plan is to draw a diversion and draw the enemy Endlaves from the camp and some of their men infiltrate and take certain points under their control. Daryl is about to go wild when he receives orders to cease attack. There are too many missile targets for Antibodies main camp to intercept. Gai makes an announcement to Guin to surrender to release the hostages but Guin will not negotiate with terrorists and has an ace up his sleeves. In fact, he tells the leader to come out or release the gas planted underground. Gai shows up as Guin wonders the name of his group. Gai says the world operates on the survival of the fittest law so they continue to offer songs of mourning to the ones selected out. Hence their name as it signifies they are always on the singing side, that they are the survivors. Guin gives him to the count of 10 to return the stolen genetic weapon or else. Shu is amazed that everything is going according to plan and Inori believes he can do it. Shu sneaks up and takes out some of the Antibodies and extracts Daryl’s Void, Kaleidoscope from his chest in his surprise attack. When time is up, Guin fires all the beams but Shu uses the Kaleidoscope to create mirrors and lock in Antibodies main camp. The lasers ricochet within the barrier and fry everything inside. Gai praises Shu for overcoming his limits today and wants him to join them in their fight. Will he take his hand? Guess not. Why would he be sitting in his classroom imagining the cool adventures he’d be on if he had taken the offer? I suppose the normal life suits best for him. But that’s not the end yet as his class gets a new transfer student: Inori. And no, she’s the real deal. Not a fake.

Episode 3
As Funeral Parlour announce its existence around the world, Shu’s classmates are hounding Inori since they realize she’s that singer. Souta is a big fan of hers and even asks if she’s part of Funeral Parlour since her songs are so Funeral Parlour-ish. Shu’s other friends, Yahiro Samukawa calms everybody down and to make it easy for Inori. Shu gets more surprise when Inori waltzes into his apartment like it’s her own. Heck, it’s like she’s moved in! Shuuichirou Keido responds to the GHQ higher ups about the recent events and he will be putting Major Makoto Waltz Segai in charge for all Funeral Parlour related matters. Then they talk about the currently trendy genetic drug called Norma Gene (I hope they didn’t name it after Marilyn Monroe) that was accidentally developed during the Apocalypse Virus vaccination. Inori has did some background research on Shu and knows his family well. She is sent to live with him to protect him. Yahiro knocks on his door and gives him a horror movie to cheer him up since he noticed he isn’t being himself lately. But how do you explain Inori coming out from his apartment? I’m sure there’s a good explanation for this. As a good friend, Yahiro didn’t bug him and if he feels like it, he can talk to him any time. Inori receives a call by Gai and wants Shu to follow. Meeting Gai, he says that it seems someone has spotted them during yesterday’s battle. If it was a local resident then he could’ve taken care of it but he notes it was someone from his school. Seems that person who went under the alias of Sugar was making a deal for Norma Gene and there’s a good chance he may have seen them. He wants them to search every student of his school. That’s like finding a needle in a haystack, right? Shu realizes Gai can tell what people’s Void are. If not, he wouldn’t have made that plan if he hadn’t known. He further admits during that battle, he sensed the presence of the witness and his Void. Under the current Temporary Disaster Law, terrorists have no human right so if the witness identifies him, he won’t escape justice. Gai has informed Inori of the Void’s shape and if Shu values his normal life (is there going to be one anymore?), he must protect it at all costs.

Shu remembers the few rules of Voids. They can only be drawn from people who are 17 years old or younger and during the time the Void is drawn, that person loses memories of the time surrounding the event. First he tries to sink his hands into his class rep, Kanon Kusama but it seems he touched her breasts! Molester! And just like that, his reputation has turned from normal to bad. And that pic of him molesting Kanon went viral. So much about keeping a low profile. How the heck did he screw up? Inori mentions he forgot another rule – He must look in the eyes of the person. Or at least make that person think he is doing so (since Shu is the nervous kind and can’t look straight into a person’s eyes). Taking this from the top, Shu pulls out lots of weird Void shapes from the students. Vase? Pliers? Even a refrigerator?! Why is Souta’s one a hand blaster?! Anyway they’re all not what Inori is seeking for. Shu wants to know why Voids come in different forms and her reply it reflects things like a person’s fear or complex. Something like the shape of their heart. Yahiro helps Shu escape before Kanon can catch him. While taking a breather, Shu notices something odd with Yahiro’s words. “If you joined the Funeral Parlour, they would have put you through worse”. Shu realizes Yahiro is Sugar and says aloud that alias. Yahiro instantly turns from a nice guy to one who is ready to beat up somebody without a second thought. Shu pulls out Yahiro’s Void, which is a scissors and the Void that Inori is looking for. Inori is going to eliminate Yahiro but Shu wants her to stop. You know that friendship thing, bla, bla, bla. Inori obliges since he said so. Once Yahiro wakes up, the guys have a guy to guy talk and promise they won’t rat each other’s secret. Shu felt it was the first time he bonded with Yahiro. Shu and Inori take the train and the latter expresses her desire to get to know others. Suddenly the train comes to a crashing halt at the next station. Outside GHQ soldiers are waiting. Yahiro pushes Shu out of the carriage before the train continues his journey. Looks like he has been betrayed. Left stranded, Segai says Shu is under arrest.

Episode 4
Shu is taken in for interrogation but he isn’t revealing anything. Segai reports to Keido about the mystery Shu is. He seems like no ordinary member but displays none of Funeral Parlour’s ideology. Keido then shows Segai a video from Gai whose team are going to raid GHQ’s isolation facility and save their comrade. Segai has an idea. Shu is freed though he has to follow Segai who is going to tell him everything. While bringing him to the ward, he says Yahiro trades Norma Gene not because he is an addict but for money. He needs to save his little brother Jun who is being affected by the Stage IV Apocalypse Virus. He along with many other patients are lying unconscious treated in the ward. With GHQ, they manage to find vaccine for the virus and regain a measure or order. That’s why he hates Gai and his Funeral Parlour for trying to disrupt the order they’re trying to protect. He doesn’t understand why Shu would trample on their goodwill. But Shu mentions about his soldiers killing people so he replies those people refused regular inoculations and that some of their soldiers also died. Soldiers with families and hometowns who died in a foreign soil. Shu gets confused because Gai told him he was going to save those people. If so, why is he trying to rescue a mass murderer? Revealing the Sky Tree bomber, Kenji Kido, he is being locked up securely in their isolation ward and part of the Funeral Parlour. He is the comrade Gai wants to break out and not Shu. Segai passes him a transmitter in which he can push some buttons and punishment will come swiftly to those terrorists. Still unsure? Mentioning if Inori is under Gai’s deception, if Shu refuses to help, he is afraid he may have to ask her.

Shu’s lawyer comes to see him but it’s Gai in disguise. After Tsugumi puts on fake video and recording to the security room, Gai reveals his plan to retrieve Kenji. His team is making preparations for the invasion as they speak and once Kenji is freed, he wants Shu to draw out his Void. But Shu doesn’t want him he’ll obey his orders and that he never tells him anything. Gai realizes GHQ must have said something to him when the lights go out. Due to external hacking, the system is rebooting. Gai signals to initiate operation and Funeral Parlour launches on a massive attack on the building. Time is running out and Gai wants him to make his decision quick. Stay or move on. But they have another problem. Inori is ignoring Gai’s orders to go break out Shu whom she believes is still in his cell. This is jeopardizing Gai’s plan. Gai will secure Kenji on his own so he wants Ayase to back up Shu and Inori. Shu nearly got owned by a mecha if not for Ayase coming into the picture. She is upset that he must have said something to Inori because she has never disobeyed Gai’s orders. If anything happens to Gai, she won’t forgive him. Kenji is being moved so Gai fires his bazooka and this throws Kenji off. Shu sees Kenji and reaches to draw out his Void, a gun. But this is no ordinary gun as it manipulates gravity. Shu fires at all the mecha to levitate them but there’s just too many of them. Inori jumps into the picture so Shu fires a great deal of the gun to turn the area into a mini gravity-free space. I guess he feels it is alright to believe in Inori and reaches in to draw out her Void. A sniper is about to take out Shu but he was killed by Segai who doesn’t want any interruptions. To his amazement he sees Shu’s transformation as he goes on a slashing spree. Wow. The entire place is annihilated. Gai confronts Shu about his decision to come with them or go back. If he can’t decide, then believe in him. Trust everything in him but obey his orders. I guess he has got nothing to lose so Shu agrees to go with him. But he keeps the transmitter just in case. Once bitten, twice shy.

Episode 5
Shu is taken to Funeral Parlour’s main base as Gai announces Shu as one of them and will be part of their core operation. Then he talks about the next operation to take Leukocyte and wants the members to memorize all 145 diverging patterns of the proposed plans in 3 days. Otherwise, don’t bother in participating. Gai wants Ayase to train Shu because in his current state he’ll only be in their way. Shu tries to be nice to wheelchair ridden Ayase but she knocks him over and tells him not to take pity just because she has a wheelchair. It is what makes her unique. During that, Shu drops the transmitter and knocks out. He has a little dream of his past before waking up for some training that Ayase reluctant wants to do. Shu realizes his transmitter is in her hands and she’s not going to give him back until he passes the test to see if he’s got what it takes to be part of Funeral Parlour. So we see how much a wuss Shu is when he takes on Argo Tsukishima in a knife battle, Tsugumi monitoring his unfit heart rate (he doesn’t get much exercise I guess), the heavy weapons from Oogumo and lighter hand gun training from Inori. Ayase sees them shy-shy and labels Shu a pervert. Kyou is happy she gets to on a mission with Gai tomorrow but is sad she’ll miss Shu’s mock battle. Shu probably is just saying what’s on his mind. That everybody follows the confident one and if he did it himself, he won’t have any followers. He wonders if selfish people get ahead in this world. Argo says Gai is not like that and at this rate he won’t see anything and wants him to apologize since that was an insult to all of them. Shu joins Inori singing alone and asks why she joined Funeral Parlour but she asks him back in return. Well, I’m sure she is the main reason why, right? Yeah, he was happy she came for him then. He asks just what if they both leave Funeral Parlour together. She gets defensive and didn’t let him touch her hand. She says Gai gave her a name, a world. So she can’t go. What about all that I’ll-stay-with-you-forever thingy? Well, Gai told her to say that. The shock must be too much to bear as Inori warns him not to get too close to her. Even more shocking, he sees Inori entering a room with Gai.

Shu feels so humiliated that he didn’t see where he is running that he crashes into Ayase. She says the duo spend the night together like this 2 or 3 times a month and everybody knows it though they just pretend not to see. Ayase knows Shu likes Inori and it’s too bad for him but Shu also knows Ayase likes Gai. She gets rough with him and denies it is love but respect. Yeah, right. Shu laments why girls always pick a handsome cocky guy (would they have preferred a wuss like him?). Ayase says he can find out by winning tomorrow’s mock battle. He wanted to help her up but she says it’s her policy not to receive help from others. However since it looks pathetic crawling up, she hopes he could not see and leave. Gai, who is taking blood transfusion from Inori to prevent the crystallization of his Apocalypse Virus (they do it secretly, thus the misinterpretation by others that they’re a couple) notes how Inori looks more and more like ‘her’ every day. Next day, Gai and Kyou arrive at the airbase and just like he planned, there is only one squadron coming with disciplined people on board the plane with the OAU and Leaving Nations. Meanwhile Ayase briefs Shu on his mock battle that is modelled after a scenario to take Leukocyte. His goal is to evade the mecha she’s piloting, Steiner and take shelter in the truck behind her. The battle starts and everyone is shaking their heads that Shu will lose this one since he’s running away from Ayase’s attacks. Shu bumps into Argo and in that moment, he stumbled upon an idea and pulls out his Void, which is a rod that creates a dark sphere. It engulfs Steiner and Shu makes his way to the goal. Though Shu apologizes he cheated but Ayase that’s okay since he used a part that makes him unique. Everyone cheers for Shu and welcomes him to the team. Ayase returns his transmitter as Kenji wakes up from his slumber to meet them. However Tsugumi says they’ve got trouble. From the footage, they see the place where Gai was supposed to be, totally wrecked. Must be one heck of firepower because at only 3% output, the target destruction rate was 110% Awesome!!! That’s one freaking huge burning crater it left.

Episode 6
Leukocyte is a constellation of quasi-zenith satellites and when completed will have full 24-hour coverage over Japan. What for? To exterminate Japanese. Yeah, they’ve corrupted the world with their lolicons, galges, eroges, etc. Haha! Gai is still alive but has some bruises. Kyou and the other reinforcements were not so lucky. Though the supplies are lost and reinforcements wiped out, there is not enough time and Gai wants the operation to continue as planned. This time their target is the Leukocyte control facility at the base of the Tsukigase Dam. They’re going to sneak in and stop the control cores. From what I understand from the mumbo-jumbo, they can’t touch the core and they have to manipulate it without touching. This is where Shu’s Void Genome and Kenji’s anti-gravity gun comes in. But when Shu hears casualty will rise to 35%, he is not happy that 1 in 3 people will die and opts out since he doesn’t want anybody dying for nothing if he screws up. Either way, Gai says the operation will be carried out. Inori talks to Shu and she doesn’t like how he always talks apologetically to her. Gai heals and talks to himself that he’s just putting up a leader act. Kyou was barely alive after the Leukocyte attack but seeing how much she was suffering in pain (she was still speaking grateful words of him), Gai pulls the trigger to put her out of her misery. Gai is in a dilemma if he can repay their sacrifices. Shouldn’t he be better than this and that he is a much smaller man than everyone else believed. Shu heard everything so Gai says this is the real him. Whenever he loses confidence, he gets mad and lets other people spoils him. Including Inori. This upsets Shu and they both start throwing punches. Shu is surprised Gai allows him to land him one. He tells the kid he shoulders everyone’s lives and feels its weight. He doesn’t want to be indifferent. He wants to be worthy of everyone’s feelings. I guess those words were enough for Shu to offer his help.

Funeral Parlour attacks the control facility as planned. Daryl who has been discharged relishes in getting bloody. He fights Ayase and is not too happy she is occupying his Steiner. Gai, Inori, Shu and Kenji make their way to the bottom as Inori shows she’s not a chick to mess with. Hot babe with pistols in each hand. Feel lucky to die by her hands? Inside the core room, Shu has to concentrate but Daryl barges in and goes trigger happy, disregarding the fact he must not damage the core. Gai uses a couple of cool moves to cease his Endlave’s movements. However the core is damaged and knocks out some of the communications in Tokyo. Furthermore, Leukocyte 1 is falling since its altitude control has malfunctioned. It will fall into Tokyo. Gai wants Shu to give him that transmitter. Segai pops up and meets Gai for the first time. He felt it was a shame Shu didn’t use the transmitter but is now grateful he didn’t. Gai wants to make a deal with Segai. He’ll use this transmitter to do something about the satellite in exchange to erase all data on Shu that he has gathered from these incidents. The signal from the transmitter is connected to the Leukocyte and it is programmed to fire at it when he pushed the buttons. So Gai plans to line up the falling satellite exactly in the path of this transmitter and use Leukocyte to destroy it. However somebody needs to make himself the target. Gai will be it. Shu can’t stand by and watch again and since Inori asks if he wants to save everybody, a different Void weapon protrudes out of her chest. Gai is a second from pushing the button when Shu uses the cool new Void weapon to fire at Leukocyte 1. Communications restored and nobody died. Okay, maybe all those minor guards. Gai wonders why he did that since one sinner taken out would be enough. Shu said that he would help out and now he is his accomplice. I guess this means he’s joining Funeral Parlour for good, eh?

Episode 7
Shu and Inori return to school but he is having it tough since he has got this reputation of being taken in by GHQ. The popular student council president and heir to the Kuhouin Group, Arisa Kuhouin slaps them for shooting their mouth. She was kind enough to help dispel the rumours about Shu and that he was taken in to cooperate with the government. Now with everyone eased up, they start asking Shu lots of questions during his time there. Including “Is the military full of gay?”. Shu notices Yahiro not in class and was being told ever since the day Shu got arrested he stopped coming in. Shu didn’t expect his mom Haruka to come back so early (mommy loves wearing lingerie around the house because it must be boring wearing her lab coat at Sephirah Genomics day and night). He tries to hide Inori but trips and fall on top of her. He tries to reason his way out but Haruka was too hungry to understand all his ranting. Shibungi notes to Gai that because of the last few fights, they are short on equipment. They have the money but don’t have the means to transport them. Gai says they need a partner. Arisa is in a dilemma. Her grandpa, Okina who is the head of the group wants her to come to a party tomorrow and also left some back room jobs in her hands. She feels she’s not up to task but accepts it anyway since results are everything. Meanwhile Segai and Daryl meet Colonel Dan Eagleman at the harbour. He is excited on using his surface-to-air missiles called Dragoons. Wait a minute. How can such missiles fire at a ship when it’s supposed to go up in the air and not horizontally? Just turn it sideways! Seems he is going to fire it at a ship that is hostile to GHQ. Where did he get that information? An upright citizen reported it. That ship is a private party hosted by Okina and he is rallying his guests that Japan needs to stand back on their own 2 feet.

Meanwhile Gai and Shu also infiltrate the ship in this sudden mission since Gai has somebody he wants to talk to since he doesn’t appear in public often so they’re forcing themselves on him at his party. Shu is surprised to see Haruka and Arisa on board. So much so when the going gets tough, he passes the baton to Gai and lets him do his smooth talking. Or rather he’s insulting Arisa that she reminds him of his pet armadillo. How rude. But how true since he notes she curls up into a tight little ball to protect herself when she tries to slap him. Tsugumi contacts Shu that a Dragoon has been fired at the ship. He doesn’t want just them to abandon ship and wants to save the other passengers too. But time is not on their side. Hurry. Shu informs Gai about this when he just passed a phone to Okina in hopes he would purchase Japan’s future. Gai takes Arisa to the deck and is going to put a spell that will let her become her true self. Making her close her eyes and then opening them at the count of 3, Arisa suddenly sees Shu extracting her Void weapon, which is a ball. Not just any ball. A ball that opens up into a shield and turns the Dragoon into beautiful fireworks upon contact! Dan is bewildered that the missile just disappeared off the radar and orders to fire all the Dragoons. Can Shu protect it all? So while we hear Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers in the background, we get to see splendid fireworks being lit up all over the ship. Gai notes Arisa’s Void weapon as the Coward’s Shield that armours the weak self inside. Okina has been watching the spectacle and is convinced with this live demonstration Funeral Parlour has what it takes to defend against a second-order Leukocyte as he speaks to Shibungi. This means the Kuhouin Group will be aiding Funeral Parlour with their domestic transport routes. Tsugumi wonders how GHQ knew about the party at sea and it seems the so called upright citizen who reported was Gai himself. Arisa wakes up in her room safe but with Gai by her side. She tries to act tough and all but he pats her head and notes how she sucks in letting people spoil her. Is she starting to like him? I bet she is. Shu talks to Inori that he is glad he could use Voids. Haruka looks at an old family photo and reminisces that they have to protect Shu’s future.

Episode 8
Shu is leaving for his club’s summer camp and Haruka isn’t happy since he’ll be ‘abandoning’ her for a few days. Since he is going to Oshima, she hopes he would pay a visit to his father’s grave. But there is more to it to this trip. Seems Gai wanted Shu to bring Souta along to Oshima as the latter’s Void is needed for this mission to break through a security in GHQ’s facility there. I guess the mansion that his friends believed to be of Shu’s family villa is supposedly arranged by Kuhouin Group. Since Shu can’t take his eyes of Inori in her swimsuit, Hare doesn’t want to lose out and brings Shu along. Later Shu visits the grave of his father, Kurosu. Gai is also there and knows he was a professor at the old Tennozu College and a leading expert on the Apocalypse Virus. Shu doesn’t know much about him since he died 10 years ago due to the Lost Christmas incident. Gai isn’t really here to visit any graves. He takes Shu to a nearby shrine which is actually a hidden facility of GHQ. He wants the jewel that started it all and it’s situated within it. That’s where Souta’s Void comes in and he wants Shu to bait him by using Inori since he is an Egoist fan. Shu is not happy to use Inori but what choice does he have since Gai won’t hear any more of his excuses. That night, Souta asks Shu if there is nothing between him and Inori. For the umpteenth time, nothing. If that’s the case, he’ll go all out on her. Though Shu may not like it, he says he’ll help him out. Meanwhile Shibungi talks to Gai about Shu using his friend for this mission. Something that doesn’t fit Shu. On the contrary, Gai says that is what friends are for and life would be boring without adventures. Sounds so like him, right? Souta is pretty excited he is hooked up with Inori and is talking about his love and passion for Egoist that moved his heart, bla, bla, bla. Shu has been watching them and he thinks he is no different than him trying to attract her like playing her music video. Well, same thing, same result. Inori is fascinated. Or maybe she just gets fascinated by a lot of things. I guess Shu won’t allow Souta to confess and before he completes his sentence, Shu jumps out of hiding and pulls out his Void. I initially thought it was a hand blaster but it’s actually a sophisticated camera. To add to Shu’s embarrassment, the other Funeral Parlour members pop out from their hiding. It means they’ve been watching him! Oh dear. That embarrassing line… “Inori is my…”. She’s your what? :)

At the facility, Gai tells Shu to point the Camera at the door and it suddenly opens. Shu realizes Souta’s Void is for opening things. Man, this will come in handy opening any damn locked things. Meanwhile Keido who was visiting Kurosu’s grave earlier also heads into the facility. But he enters not as himself but using Kurosu’s pass card. Because of that, the alarm is triggered so Gai and co make haste. Shu uses the Camera to easily open the complex blocks hiding the room that contains the jewel. Wow. So easy. Just like putting forth a cheat code. But to Gai’s dismay, the jewel is already gone and he knows Keido beat him to it. When Souta comes to, Shu says he can’t help him anymore with Inori. He realizes he has feelings for Inori and blows his top that he should have told him earlier. But Shu gets mad about his tactless and pushy behaviour which gives him a hard time to handle. Shu accepts he is going to be hated by another friend but surprisingly Souta does the opposite. He is glad he was honest because he too had a hard time dealing with him as he was always distant. Souta says this means he has opened his heart up to him. On the journey home, Shu asks about the meaning of Void since he doesn’t truly understand but needs to use them. After all, his right hand is always touching people’s hearts. Inori explains Gai told her that her Voids change along with the states of people’s hearts so Shu deduces if he forms a bond with someone, his power will change too.

Episode 9
Yahiro and Jun are hiding at a church but Segai and his Antibodies are hot on their tails. Segai may have threatened the nun to tell their whereabouts but by the time they barge in, the duo have made their escape. Hare worries about Shu like he is a different person. Maybe something happened at Oshima? Speaking about the lucky item of a striped kettle, one drops in and in turns out to be from Shu who borrowed that item for Souta’s filming. Kanon uses this chance to let Hare and Shu be together. Meanwhile Major General Yan questions Keido about someone entering the facility at Oshima using Kurosu’s card. Can’t be a ghost, right? Since Keido was a close colleague to Kurosu, he thought he might not. Of course he feigns he hasn’t the slightest clue. Shu accompanies Hare shopping and some moments that made Hare close to the guy she loves. She’s about to confess and as always the good timing of somebody interrupting them. Someone rolled into the train escaping from the thugs and that someone turns out to be Yahiro. So with him back in the picture, Shu needs to talk to him as he still can’t forget his incident. Hare, you’ll have to go shopping by yourself. Walking along, Yahiro says when he heard that GHQ were putting Jun down, he used the confusion during Funeral Parlour’s attack do sneak him out. He brings Shu back to his place and lets him see Shu covered with crystals of the virus. Pitiful, no? Segai has been keeping a close watch on them and will be making his move soon. Yahiro hopes Shu can lend him some money since they need food. Shu calls Funeral Parlour’s base but Gai is out as Ayase takes the call. He wants to shelter an Apocalypse victim and there’s no two ways about it. He expects them to be at a certain location to be picked up. Shu says he’s not doing it for Yahiro. He can’t forgive his betrayal but Jun hasn’t done anything wrong. As Shu and Yahiro move along, Segai is waiting for them and orders his Antibodies to fire warning shots. Knowing they are walking into a trap, Shu wants to use Yahiro’s Void. However he is not going to let that hypocrite do it but Shu calls him a traitor and that he will not betray people like he does. All he has to do is shut up and let him use him. He pulls out the Scissors and Jun is shocked to see what’s happening.

Daryl is going to apprehend Shu in his Endlave so Shu runs away to draw him away from the brothers. However Jun’s crystals start reacting and giving out the same signal and reading as the Scissors so the Endlave automatically shifts its target and pins Jun to the ceiling. Suddenly the crystals migrate to the Endlave and takes over it. It goes berserk and slices its comrades. Segai who has been watching this from a distance decides to abort the operation for now. Daryl’s Endlave now being controlled by Jun walks up to unconscious Yahiro and takes him in its hands. Shu stabs the Scissors into the Endlave and finds himself in Jun’s vision. He sees the calm peace, moments before the events of Lost Christmas. Jun and Yahiro were also there playing happily at the park. Jun tells Shu he wants to take this one happy memory with him before he goes. He wants Shu to use the Scissors and kill him because that Void is the Void that severs life. The crystals stole his freedom but in return gave him the ability to see Voids. He also saw his brother’s dark side despite Yahiro putting up a gentle front. He saw Yahiro wanting to kill him for being a nuisance in his life. He isn’t the only one with a dark side. Friends, family and other people too. He feels living any longer, there’ll be sadness for him and wants to go out as one who loves his brother. Lost Christmas occurs and Jun wants him to hurry or else he’ll start hating and kill Yahiro at this rate. Shu cuts his life and this brings him back to reality whereby the possessed Endlave stops attacking. When Yahiro wakes up, he worries about Jun but Shu tells him straight he died. Didn’t hear that clearly? Jun died and Shu admits he was the one who killed him. Hare who has been tailing them all day also saw everything.

Episode 10
Funeral Parlour is in a critical mission. Shu is supposed to pull out Inori’s Void but due to the trauma of killing Jun, he can’t. He further goes berserk and the mission has no choice but to be aborted. Thankfully that was just a dream but the trauma is real for Shu. He also dreams of his sister and the Lost Christmas incident. Hare takes care of him and though she doesn’t understand what’s going on, she doesn’t force an answer out of him. Meanwhile Gai visits Okina and the latter knows Gai is the son of that person. He asks his reason for fighting and Gai says it is for a special woman he loves. So saving Japan is just secondary? Well, Arisa can’t be that woman. Haha. Okina says he has received word that the jewel is being flown out of Japan. Seems Yan is trying to transport it overseas and must stop him at all cost as he believes this rock belongs to the Japanese people. Yan is relishing in the turn of events that this rock is in his possession. Confiding with his colleague-cum-flame Emily, he says this will take him closer to the White House. But he is puzzled why Keido stole it and instead of running, waltzed right back here. Speaking of which, Keido is being imprisoned and isolated within the facility. Shu’s trauma gets worse as he starts visioning other students with the virus. Shu wants to quit Funeral Parlour so Ayase gives him her two cents worth about him wallowing in self pity. He thought he could change and be like Gai. Seems impossible, eh? Why the heck did he want to be like him? Shouldn’t he be himself? Ah, maybe for a certain girl… Gai points the gun at Shu’s head and says they’ve known the location of the stolen rock. Because Shu continues to be whiny that he doesn’t want such powers to begin with, Gai says it is possible to remove the Void Genome if its possessor dies. Then blam! Though it was just a warning shot, Gai says he’s dead and will have Inori pull out too. Ayase felt disappointed in him because she trusted him as a comrade. Oh lookey. Isn’t that Hare eavesdropping on it all? Shu goes home and thought he could say his final words to Inori. She wants him to listen to her new song but his trauma starts kicking up. He accidentally destroys her music. Oh dear. I guess that’s it. Goodbye smile. Goodbye tears. Goodbye Shu. Hello normal life. Yeah, like that will happen.

Dan is excited to see off Yan since the Major General will be bringing back some important materials. Daryl caught his papa kissing Emily in the elevator and he’s not too happy about it. Gai wonders if he is at his limits as Inori asks if she’s a monster (as she heard it from Shu’s mouth). He thinks she may like Shu but she is unsure if this feeling in her heart is love. Should be. He tells her to survive first. Haruka confronts Keido about stealing Kurosu’s ID to steal that rock and then handing it over to Yan. But he says he saw Shu at Oshima and he’s already inherited the King’s Power. And does she really think Inori came to live by his side is mere coincidence? Funeral Parlour is ready to hijack the transport plane as Yan meets Dan and gets ready to go. Segai broadcasts to every channel in the city that’s under GHQ control to view Funeral Parlour making their move. Then he orders the Antibodies to take Vaccine D now. Gai and co successfully make their way into the plane but something feels odd. It’s too quiet and easy. In the cockpit, they realize the plane is unmanned. And a message on the screen to Gai that congratulates he will be in heaven. Crazy Segai starts activating something that makes the rock glow. Shu may be turning into a delinquent. Because skipping class is the first step. He even calls Hare to come comfort him. Yes, he is taking advantage of the fact she likes him. However she slaps him! She doesn’t want him to see her as Inori’s substitute. Did he obtain so big a power that he can’t even see himself anymore? She saw him draw Scissors from Yahiro and cut down an Endlave and feels bad for him. She wanted to cheer him up so much but that Shu he just showed her wasn’t the real Shu that she loves. I guess when you make a girl cry this bad, you start apologizing but this might be put off a little later as suddenly the city is filled with a song. A weird song. As Shibungi notes, a genetic resonance that has something to do with the activated stone. Some of the people start having crystals formed all over them. Seems this is all part of Keido’s plan of coup d’etat as he is freed by Segai’s men, Andrei Rowan. He is going to finish what they started on that day. The day Christmas was lost and for humanity’s sake. Crystals are forming all over Gai as the plane crashes into a building. The city descends into chaos and Inori feels uneasy. This is not her song and wants it to stop or else ‘she’ will awaken.

Episode 11
Yan thought a terrorist had hijacked an Endlave and starts attacking him. However it turned out to be his son and he is not happy seeing his father and girlfriend together and fires at them and wipe out his entire staff too. With Yan assassinated, Keido assumes control of the top post and that means all military related matters fall under his command. He uses this confusion to blame the terrorists for launching this large scale viral attack. Segai forces Haruka to cooperate but Dan punches him and enough time for Haruka to escape. Segai subsequently shoots him. Shu knows this can’t be Funeral Parlour’s doing as they will never resort to bioterrorism. Tsugumi agrees (she’s telling him via damaged Funell) and that it’s all his fault because he refused to use Voids. The members of Funeral Parlour are in disarray since they have lost contact with Gai who is on the run with Inori. Shu makes an announcement throughout his school and wants his friends to report to the club room. Not only Hare, Kanon, Souta and Arisa are here but Yahiro makes his return too. Shu needs their favour to rescue his friends. But I guess he has lots to explain. Especially about Void and using them as tools. At first he’s thinking what Gai would do in this situation. But he decides to screw that and just do things his way. He demonstrates using Hare and her Void resembles bandages in which he uses to completely heal Funell. He apologizes to his friends for peeking in their hearts as he has used their Voids before. But Yahiro wants him to admit that the friends he is going to save is Funeral Parlour. Why does he want to save people like that when he can’t even save Jun? It’s because they believed he could do something. If it wasn’t for them, he’d still be someone who didn’t matter. And now they’re in trouble and there’s something he can do. His friends agree to help out. It’s what they can do too, right?

Gai and Inori come into Haruka. She is surprised to see Inori but asks about Shu. Gai assures he has been left behind at school but Inori is confident he will come. Gai is holding out as long as he can as Haruka tries to complete some practical test. A test that will allow Inori to sing her new song all over the city. Hey, isn’t that the ending theme? Anyway her song brings calm that the rock deactivates and dispels the crystals enveloping the people. With Funell at the wheels of the Humvee (I know Tsugumi is piloting that ‘rice cooker’ but seriously, how can it drive?), Shu and his friends make his way to the airport where Funeral Parlour is being hold up. He uses all his friends Voids to barge his way through like Arisa’s Coward Shield to deflect incoming missiles, Hare’s Bandage to fix the broken bridge, Souta’s Camera to open heavily closed gates and I’m not sure what Kanon’s is but it is like some visor that pinpoints the location of Inori. Finally he uses Yahiro’s Scissors to cut Daryl’s Endlave. Wow. Now he’s like a hero. Just when he thought he could reunite with Inori, some kid, Yuu AKA Daath Gravekeeper appears out from a wormhole behind Inori. Calling Shu a big disappointment, he draws out her Void. He uses that weapon to get rid of Shu but Gai takes the strike in his place instead. Man, he’s bleeding massively. With Inori’s song stopped, the rock reactivates and the chaos resumes. Wow. It’s really like the end of the world although it may just be the end of Japan.

Episode 12
As Keido explains, the city is becoming a big Void and Roppongi Fort is an illusion formed by a single girl’s heart: Mana Ouma, Shu’s sister. Keido gives Segai the Void information as promised for helping out but this is as far as he gets and they part. Shu realizes and remembers he may have met Gai before. Took him this long, eh? Gai wants Shu to stop Yuu because he and Keido are cooperating to sacrifice Inori to awaken Mana. Shu chases after him but it seems Yuu will have him remember his forgotten memories first. Flashback time. Ten years ago, Mana showed Shu her secret place by the beach. They also see an injured and unconscious boy on the shore. Mana boldly did the mouth to mouth resuscitation and CPR to revive him. This kid whom Mana named as Triton (because he seemed to have come from the sea) is Gai. Gai becomes part of their family and they spend the best summer together which will be their last and became Shu’s best friend. So how the hell did Shu forget his best friend and gentle sister? Returning back to reality, Shu is stuck in some odd place. He sees Inori at the altar as Keido explains Inori was a host body created to use as an interface for communication with Mana, the first person who touched the rock that started it all and the first person infected with the Apocalypse Virus. Thus she is known as Eve. With her soul being poured into the new body, her resurrection will herald the second coming of Lost Christmas. Shu has no choice but to watch Keido propose to Inori, supposedly her chosen partner will become the originator model of the next generation and new human race. He is going to control Eve via this rock. Further flashback reveals Mana did ask Shu about his feelings if she gets married. Say, Gai. He protests but she assures it was just a joke and asserts she loves him and wants him to promise that he’ll marry her. Seems the night before Gai confronted her as he has spotted those crystal symptoms on her. She did go berserk for a while and tied Gai up, reminding him that she saved him and therefore he belongs to her and can do whatever she wants with him. She says she will marry Shu and nobody is going to stop her.

Shu may be free of his captivity but creepy eyeballs with Mana’s voice are going to punish him for forgetting. Ayase and Gai bust into the building before Shu could lose an eye. Gai is alright because the crystals were protecting his vital organs. Then why was he bleeding so massively like it was so serious then? So while Segai shows Haruka what’s happening (because the ‘loser’ got booted out of the ‘arena’), Gai makes Shu remember more. On Christmas Eve Gai wanted to talk to Shu about the Mana he didn’t know. But it was Mana who turned up at the church instead. She gives him a hand gun and wants him to fire at the Christmas tree. But the gun backfired and hurt him. Then Shu came in and saw what’s happening. He saw crystals forming on Mana and told this monster to stay away. The shock of hearing that was too much to bear that her powers start to awaken. It burns down the church and started the incident of Lost Christmas. In the end Mana ended up destroying herself with her own out-of-control power. Mana looked to them for help that day and they couldn’t deliver. In the aftermath, Gai’s last words were that he is going to be stronger and just parted. To protect himself, Shu sealed away the memories of it all. Now that Shu understands what’s going on, they need to get Mana’s heart back since she has been awakened against her will and put her back to sleep again. Gai wants him to use the Void’s power to consign her evil desires to oblivion and that is to draw out his Void, which is a gun. I’m not sure why Gai is still conscious after his Void is drawn out. Maybe Shu didn’t let go of his hand as instructed. Gai shoots his gun at Inori and draws out her Void and interrupt the ceremony. Keido cannot believe that his Void forces other Voids to manifest. Shu takes her Void and cuts Keido away from Inori. Gai makes his way to Mana at the top and though Keido wanted to stop him, Yuu notes he has failed and knocks him out. Gai is enveloped by crystals and wants Shu to stab Mana through him. Can he? Well, after some heroic words like how he always looked up to him when he was a kid and now has become just like him then, the rest is up to Shu. He slashes him as Gai disappears with Mana into oblivion. She regains conscious for a short while and sees Gai hugging her. While the tower crumbles, I don’t know how Shu and Inori got whisked away out safely in a bubble. Inori notes she could hear Gai thank Shu and that he is happy. But when a cool hero is gone, you can’t help but shed a few tears for him, right?

Episode 13
It has been 2 weeks since that incident and GHQ has quarantined a section of Tokyo known as Loop 7 that has been affected by the second Lost Christmas. Nobody goes in, nobody gets out. All forms of communications are also cut within this area and people inside are living in evacuation homes. A couple of guys think they can harass Ayase but she doesn’t give in. It wasn’t Shu who kicked them away but Tsugumi. Missile Kick! Ayase still refuses help from her friends so they leave. Seems Ayase and Tsugumi are blending well in school and the other Funeral Parlour members’ whereabouts are unknown ever since Gai’s demise. To lift the gloom, Souta decides to do a cultural festival, something their school usually holds at this time. Arisa agrees as this will take the restless people’s mind off for a while. Yahiro holds his own Void in his hands. This is now possible as Shu mentions he thinks his power has changed during the last fight. Shu wonders why he is suddenly interested in Voids as he thinks he won’t be using this power again. On the contrary, Yahiro feels he will have to use it soon. As Inori will be performing a concert, we also see Daryl bumming around in the school grounds and been forced to help out by Tsugumi. Though the rest don’t realize his true identity, he is actually sent by Segai to just keep watch on things. Due to the current situation now, they can’t make any direct moves. During the cultural festival, a mini group of ruffians known as Philanthropists didn’t like how the kids are having fun in tough times. Their leader has returned with an Endlave and Humvee seeing he has got them from a wealthy guy who agreed with their cause. That sketchy guy turned out to be Segai. These blokes are going to teach those kids the harsh world this is.

Ayase talks to Tsugumi on why she cut her connection to her Endlave that day. Otherwise, she could have saved Gai and prevented his death but Tsugumi notes it was to save her. Ayase couldn’t care less about her own life now which is pretty meaningless without Gai around. Even as Shu tries to be friendly with her, she starts feeling guilty that she was the one who let Gai die. I’m sure Shu wanted to take the blame and responsibility for his death too. Suddenly Philanthropists barge in and cause their brand of mayhem at the school grounds. Shu wheels Ayase away from the scene but she gets mad that he wants to cut her connection and turn her into a slacker. She adds Gai gave her legs that could run and jump but can’t let it end this way. She wants Shu to let her stand on her own. Shu pulls out her Void. While Arisa evacuates the people to safety, Hare is on the verge of being rammed over by the Humvee when suddenly she is whisked away to safety by Ayase. Her Void turns out to be robotic legs and this allows her to fly and run faster than The Flash. Together with Shu (wielding Inori’s sword), they put the ruffians out of commission and the crowd applauds to their heroic efforts. Felt good, eh? During Inori’s concert, Ayase tells Shu that though she can’t accept what happened to Gai, she wants to think things through step by step. Finally Tsugumi manages to establish connections to the TV and puts it up on the monitor for everyone to see. Seems Keido is now the newly inaugurated president of Japan as he announces they haven’t been able to find any survivors in Loop 7 who aren’t highly cancerous. Thus his provisional government and GHQ have decided to completely seal off this area for the next 10 years and devote their efforts to eradicate the Apocalypse Virus to dispel the concerns of the international community. He believes it is his duty to bring about rebirth via purification. That’s a nice way of calling it genocide, right? In simple lay man’s terms, he’s going to freaking kill everybody in this area!!!!! Shu, can you believe what you’re hearing? So who was it that was so confident that the quarantine will be lifted soon?

Episode 14
The students are getting restless as Arisa tries to calm them and believe that help will arrive. However a small group of guys led by Hirohide Nanba and Takaomi Sudou isn’t exactly helping things out and is more like trying to persecute Arisa for her inaction. He files for a no-confidence resolution against her. Though they do not have internet to the outside world yet, they are still connected locally within the school’s boardroom and there are many nasty remarks heckling Arisa. Nanba and his boys are going to use the situation to their advantage and gather as much information on what’s outside and along with those who want to leave. He has a handgun as his trump card just in case. Tsugumi hands Shu a Genomic Resonance Gauge that she found during the ruffians attack yesterday. What is does is gauge the level of one’s Void. The higher the number, the more powerful. Let’s say Shu and Inori’s are off the scale. Since they realize they have never seen Tsugumi’s Void before, the girls tie her down to let Shu do the honours. Don’t worry. It only hurts the first time. So it hurts?! Keido initiates the next phase of his plan and that is to shrink the quarantine area. Wow. Those walls could really move. The Great Wall of Tokyo if I should say. Those found within the red line will be automatically shot! Here’s your first massacre since he took presidency. Ironically being once a cold blooded killer, Daryl didn’t like how this is done. Actually he is more concern about the new Ghost mechas that seem to not have any personnel controlling them. Rather, their location is secret. Segai is going to cause his brand of mischief again as he awaits the reaction of those who has been cut of communications for a long time. Yup, he is sending some little false rumour into the quarantine zone. Meanwhile Oogumo and Argo are still alive and are grateful Okina took them in. Bu the old guy says ever since Keido took office, his transport and communication lines have been shut down. Nanba calls Arisa to show her about rumours of the massacre and uses this to attack her inaction. There is going to be a vote for a new student council president today when rumours (from Segai) about handing over a member of Funeral Parlour will guarantee their release. The desperate students start a witch hunt whom they think belongs to the terrorist group as they should have a tattoo on their back (which is of course not true). Shu is worried Inori might be targeted but she looks fine. Actually she already dispatched those who harassed her. It was bloody…

Ayase is also targeted and her tough girl stance makes her even more a target by Nanba and Sudou. Tsugumi tries to help out but they got caught. In the hall, Arisa tries to dispel the rumour but nobody believes her. Nanba shows the crowd Ayase and Tsugumi whom he believes to be Funeral Parlour members since no one knows who they are before the quarantine. The crowd becomes unruly and call for their heads. Arisa totally lost control of the room. Shu steps in as the hero this time. He admits he is a Funeral Parlour member but wants everybody to let him handle this one. Sudou arrives at the border to hand in Tsugumi and Shu and negotiate their release but as soon as they step over the red line, they got indiscriminately shot! Actually those were just clones as Tsugumi’s Void, Hand Scanner is able to create clones of others and even remotely control them just like the real thing. Everyone witnessed the replay that the rumour was indeed fake. Shu tells them they’re afraid because there was so much they didn’t understand. Nanba didn’t like the direction this is going and pulls out his handgun but Shu swiftly pulls out his Sudou’s Void and knock it off his hands. Shu wants everybody to calm down and choose a leader who can save them all. Yahiro isn’t going to make Shu exit yet as he rallies everyone to support Shu as their leader. Needless to say, he got the instant approval. He might not expect this but I guess he accepts it since he’s in for the ride. Later Yahiro shows him a list of students and is going to rank them on a scale of A to F based on their genomic resonance values via the Gauge. From now on, Shu will lead them based on these values called Void Ranking System and that their value as a person is determined by the value of their Void.

Episode 15
Of course Shu rejects that suggestion and continues to treat everyone equally as they keep it going. He thinks imposing the system would be discrimination but Yahiro points out it is rather distinction. Inori says not to think of what others want but what he really wants. Souta confronts Shu about the system and didn’t like it. But when he learns he’s not going to implement it, he apologizes and they become good friends once more. At least he doesn’t keep grudges long. There is a crisis at hand. There won’t be not enough vaccine soon for everyone. Yahiro thinks Shu should be given priority because if he is out, who else will protect them? The distribution of the rest should be based on the usefulness of their Voids. Yahiro hands him a list of the rankings as Shu sees Souta at the bottom of F Rank. Naturally Souta and the F Rank students confront him and though Shu says he won’t implement the system (albeit he said it sheepishly), Souta wants him to draw out their Voids so that they can practice using it and be of use. Daryl has been ordered by Segai to wait for the students who will come for the vaccine since it’s running low. He has to do it since he was at the scene when the clone Shu and friends were shot down when they came to turn themselves in and thus part of the blackmail to keep those rumours from spreading. Segai is playing chess with Shibungi. No, he hasn’t joined the other side but if he wins, Segai will have to allow him to see someone. Shu is in a depression. He thinks he screw up. He agrees with Yahiro and Souta when they confronted him. Like he has no backbone. Hare hugs him and believes in the good characteristics he has. I guess this is her indirect way of confessing to him.

He gets message that Souta and his F Rank comrades just left the school building. Shu and Hare catch up with them and learns they are going to steal vaccine to prove their worth. So did they lie about practising? Hey, Shu lied too so they’re even. Daryl and his Antibodies spot them and attack. He is going to do nothing but slaughter everyone. While Shu distracts them, Souta wants Hare to fix the car so they could use as a getaway but Daryl fires into them. Shu shields Hare from the blast but is badly burnt. Hare uses her Bandages to heal Shu at her own expense. She notes Shu is like the kind king. So kind of giving everything to its people that they ended up with nothing and the people started hating him. However she likes him because he loses out because of his kindness and feels he will make a great king. The Antibodies’ helicopter fire at her and though the bullets miss her, they sever her Bandages. Shu is healed as crystals start forming over Hare. When Shu wakes up, he is horrified to see Hare dead next to him. The next thing he knows, she disintegrates into thin air in his arms. F*ck! HARE!!! NOOOOO!!!!! Shu is so angry, so mad, so pissed off that he forcefully draws out Inori’s Void and destroys all the Endlaves!!! No emotions. No feelings. No mercy. No forgiveness. DIE EVERYONE!!! Once the friends learn about Hare’s death, Souta apologizes and blames himself. Shu agrees it’s his fault and takes it out on him. Shu is broken. But he sheds tears for the last time. He realizes kindness is wrong and needs to separate the good from the trash. He is going to be king. Oh sh*t. I don’t like that look on his face.

Episode 16
Argo is going to dive down into Loop 7 and rescue Arisa as ordered by Okina. Seems the leader of Shanghai’s largest conglomerate, Ming Hua Group is in love with Arisa and if they pull off this mission, he’ll negotiate with the Association of Asian Nations on his behalf. More like a marriage of convenience, don’t you think? First thing Argo sees that shocks him isn’t the devastation but how the students are somewhat stealing vaccines from each other. Nanba and his Secret Police are apprehending a group of those little thieves. He wants this girl to swear allegiance to President Shu if she wants to live. Argo pops up to tell Nanba a thing or two about bullying but the rest sees his Funeral Parlour logo. Miyabi Herikawa and Ritsu Takarada are part of the Secret Police as they bring Argo to see Shu, who is running his little school kingdom like a tyrant. He sees Shu drawing out the apprehended girl’s Void and noticing her Void’s usefulness, he changes her grade to A Rank. Argo learns this elaborated setup is necessary because the government is making a new genomic weapon and a student fell victim to it days ago (Hare). Argo asks about Arisa and the need to take her out from this place so they bring her to an abandoned army transport ship. It was deserted during the confusion when Tokyo was sealed and inside they are scavenging vaccines. Argo is appalled those diving for the vaccines are showing symptoms of the virus. But as they say if they do their work, they’ll get the vaccine before they hit Stage II. Souta is one of the divers and his oxygen pump is having problems. However Shu doesn’t want the rest to help out because Souta must figure himself out the emergency tank in the suit. If he fails, so be it since they can’t waste resources on Rank F. Obviously the rest aren’t happy but they can’t raise their hand against the king. If he gets the symptoms, then it’s all over. Argo couldn’t care less and fixes the pump instead. Shu puts a Scythe Void at his neck and tells him that they’re currently planning to escape from Tokyo. That’s why everyone is working towards that goal. This isn’t discrimination but distinguishing and they can’t afford to be democratic in these trying times. He won’t hand over Arisa since her Void is valuable and makes Argo swear his allegiance to him. He is restrained and thrown into jail. Argo asks if Inori has switched to doing what Shu wants so she replies it was her choice.

In prison, Argo meets up with Tsugumi. At least she’s talking via Funell. She tells him how there were rampant violence and looting. Fear of the steadily closing in red line was making everyone jumpy. When Shu became king, all that stopped. So this school is like a kingdom by Voids and for Voids. Segai talks to Keido about many youths joining forces with Shu’s school now and knows he is collecting Voids. Haruka is working by Keido’s side and asserts she is just carrying out Kurosu’s wishes. Kanon wonders if Hare really die of a new weapon because she feels it was something else due to some rumours. Yahiro tells her to zip it and report to him anyone spreading those rumours. Kanon feels sad that everyone has changed. Shu confides in Inori and he needs to put up this tyrannical king act so that he’ll get everyone out or else Hare’s death will be in vain. Suddenly he gets word Argo has busted out from his cell. Orders are made to capture him. Shu confronts him at the gym so Argo tells him to fight him one on one now and if he loses, he must drop this king act. He notes he is not even close to Gai and is just a fake. Naturally Argo easily overwhelms Shu and with a neck at his throat, he wonders where that wuss had gone. Everyone loved him when he was a pale faced weakling struggling with all his might. I guess that’s another way of saying they love bullying him when he’s weaker, eh? Shu tells him if he thinks there is another way to keep everyone safe, then be his guest. Yahiro isn’t as soft as Shu and warns to surrender. Argo obediently gives up. Suddenly the iron structure from the roof breaks. Though Shu manages to save that newbie Rank A girl, the structure destroys her Void. Then she starts crystallizing all over and dies the same way Hare did. Shu realizes Yahiro had lied to him but Yahiro knows he will hesitate to use Voids if he had known. They can’t back out now and need to hide in from everyone till they begin their operation. Argo tells Shu to open his eyes and stop using Voids. But Shu draws out Argo’s Void and he has that evil look on his face that if he breaks his Void now, this pest will die. Arisa saw everything is about to warn the others but was attacked by Inori. Okina receives word from the Ming Hua Group’s leader that their deal is void now (no pun intended). As an old friend, he warns Okina to leave Japan as soon as possible because a huge naval fleet is building up in the Pacific heading towards Japan. And what’s this? Keido and Haruka revive Gai!!!!!! For real?!

Episode 17
Because a couple of guys were just not concentrating, Shu sends them to the disciplinary room. They resist so Shu pulls out their Void and threatens to obey him if they want to live. Shu doesn’t sleep a wink since he is planning their Exodus but Yahiro says that his tyranny is going too far and that there is resentment building among the students. Shu reminds Yahiro that it was him who gave him the idea the need for oppression. Inori seems guilty when Shu thought it was the people who resented them attacked Arisa. Speaking of which, she is cowering in fear in her room wanting somebody to save her. She was badly affected by Inori’s attack (she used the crystallized virus as her weapon). Nanba caught her talking to someone on her handphone (Gai as I found out). I guess it’s her turn to break so she seduces him. After that great ‘advance payment’, Nanba and his pals spread the rumour to everyone that Shu has been hiding the fact that if their Void breaks, you’ll die. Naturally everybody starts hating their king now. Yahiro confronts Arisa thinking she’s the culprit who spread the rumours but she reveals the true perpetrator. Shu confides in Inori, wondering if he’ll pay for this someday for trampling on people’s hearts. You don’t have to look far. I can see it’s coming. Inori admits she was the one who attacked Arisa and because of that, she feels afraid of herself. Yahiro sees Shu about Inori and says they can’t give her special treatment or else they’ll lose control of the students. But Shu fires back that he kept lots of secrets for him (his reason was to keep everyone alive). Shu draws Inori’s Void and threatens Yahiro. He thinks he is using him and waiting for a time to sell him out. Yahiro disagrees because he thought about it after Jun’s death that people make lots of mistakes and correcting them requires power. That’s why he wanted to work with him. Shu doesn’t believe him and probably Yahiro realizes this is the consequence of his previous actions. Yahiro has been demoted and sent to F Rank camp. After Nanba gets another ‘advance payment’ from Arisa, she gives him the details containing the date and time of the Exodus as well as information on the students’ Voids. Nanba wants to know why she needs them and she replies it’s for a coup d’etat.

The students begin their trudge to Tokyo Tower where their plan to escape will take place. Shu asks Nanba’s opinion about the students’ view of him. They’ll be grateful to a leader who will free them. Doesn’t sound too convincing. Shu explains his plan to the rest. Inside Tokyo Tower lies the machine controlling the Ghost units. He will use a Void to short circuit them and render those units powerless. Their job is to make a way for him to the tower. So the operation begins but it seems like a slaughter house to me as those in front gets killed. Shu can’t be breaking down and reflecting now so he pulls out Inori’s Void and charges ahead till he manages to destroy the machine and send Tokyo Tower come crumbling down. In the aftermath, everyone makes their way out as Shu invites Inori to come along. However Shu’s Secret Police point the gun at him. Not only them but the other students as well. The ringleader Arisa reveals herself. Inori wanted to rush to Shu’s side but Argo holds her back (so that dude still lives). Souta pushes Shu into the crater as everyone calls for him to drop dead. When Inori manages to free herself and run to Shu, a Void stabs through her. Oh hey look! It’s Gai! He’s back! Long time no see (just 5 episodes only lah). But he’s not going to give Shu a big hug. He cuts off Shu’s right arm!!! OH SH*T!!! So Gai now has his King’s Power? Shu is in total shock that he lost his King’s Power but Gai laughs it off and says he was just an usurper and the real king has always been him. Meanwhile the UN has voted a crushing majority to destroy Japan. What a way not to shoulder your responsibilities and wipe out a nation, eh? RM warheads are already on the way. I think they’ve wanted to do this all along.

Episode 18
Daryl receives orders that they’re supposed to protect Gai. What?! A stealth bomber starts dropping warheads over them so Gai draws out Nanba and his friends’ Void and combine it into a missile. Not only it deflects all the warheads, it also destroys the bomber. So what happens when the Void is destroyed? Too bad Nanba. You’re dead meat either way. So all those students who wanted to go against Gai better think twice because all he needs to do is easily crush your Void and it’s Hasta La Vista Baby. Tsugumi, Ayase and Argo are surprise to see Gai alive but more shocking is his change of character. He tells them he isn’t the same person before but they will obey him nonetheless. Daryl didn’t like the way things are going and attacks but his Endlave got destroyed. This distraction allows the others to escape. Arisa protects Gai from other attacks and hopes to be useful to him. Remember the fleet that was sent to destroy Japan? Yeah, they got destroyed instead. Even before they can warm up the seat. BOOM! They didn’t even know what hit them. Ironically they were sent to help Japan 10 years ago, now they’re going to destroy it in the name of virus cleansing. Doesn’t look like it’s happening now. Gai broadcasts to those UN bastards and the world, threatening them that 256 Leukocytes are pointing at them and that the military is at his command. He doesn’t want anyone approaching within 300km radius of central Tokyo and his demand is only one: Don’t interfere. Three days later, the world continues to watch with silence outside Tokyo. Okina learns about the situation, Shu and Arisa. He lets his secretary, Kurachi to handle negotiations with OAU as he has something to do himself.

Arisa is now working for Gai as her team are out looking for Inori. Daryl is in ICU while Shibungi finally beats Segai in chess. Could it be he lost on purpose so that he could let him see Gai? After all, they both have lots of questions they want to ask. Shu and Inori are taking refuge in the building when Team Arisa spots them. As they are to intercept, they’re being attacked. Both sides exchange fire but Arisa knows who this familiar ‘enemy’ is. After both sides cease fire, Okina comes out. He didn’t think Arisa was this foolish as Gai is a person who only aims for his goals and she will not be rewarded in the end. He can’t let them do this anymore and will clear his name with his own hands as he starts slashing everyone with his sword. He is ready to kill Arisa too but her self-defence has her shoot back at him. Another one bites the dust. Inori has heard she has become their target but is confronted by a group of thugs. Suddenly she changes character and the next thing she knows, she is covered in blood and the thugs writhing in pain. At least they’re still alive. Inori rushes back to Shu’s side all panicky of what is becoming to herself. While eating alone, she knows she cannot keep this up or she’ll kill Shu at this rate. Then her inner voice (sounds and looks like Mana) says on the contrary she will instead. It’s because she’s a monster and her heart is fake. Shu is attracted to Inori’s singing. She goes up to him and wants him not to hate and blame himself anymore. Even if everyone hates him or brands him a liar, she will always be by his side. Inori will be the decoy to let Shu escape. Knowing he will not allow her, she knocks him out and kisses him goodbye. Inori confronts Team Arisa’s Endlaves and turns into a monster by slashing them down. She is fine being a monster with fake emotions but will always protect Shu because she is who she is. Gai uses Yuu’s Void (a bow and arrow) to fire and bind Inori. Gai couldn’t understand why she would stay by a human’s side when she has always been on his. And when Shu wakes up not seeing Inori anywhere…

Episode 19
Segai sees Gai drawing out a Void but feels something isn’t quite right. Haruka tries to sneak in and kill Mana but she isn’t anywhere in her usual place. Or so she thought. Keido notes how she is like Kurosu in her ideals. Haruka reveals that Keido, her brother was the one who killed Kurosu and thought they were best friends. Well, he never thought of that. He pulls out a gun and fires at her. Shu sneaks up on Arisa and wants her to tell him Inori’s location when an alert is announced that Haruka has committed high treason and is on the run. There are orders for her arrest. Segai sees a video Haruka stealing a briefcase that Sephirah used to transport top secret stuff. He realizes what is going on and wants to be the one who will hunt her down. Arisa agrees to drive Shu to where Inori is in exchange he’ll let her speak to Haruka because she wants to know more about Gai (she thinks Haruka knows what his plans are). Haruka arrives outside Okina’s mansion but only sees Kurachi. Since the old guy’s dead and the mansion doesn’t belong to them anymore, they meet up with the others in an abandoned office. We learn Haruka isn’t Shu’s real mom (it explains why the kid calls mommy by her first name) and that she remarried to Kurosu but he died shortly. Even so, Haruka continued to raise him like her own. She thought they lost something and were licking each other’s wounds. A group of people comes seeking for vaccine. Among them is Segai. Thinking there is no threat, they let them in to convince them they do not have vaccine. That’s when Segai orders his Antibodies to fire, killing almost everyone. Oogumo takes in all the bullets meant for Haruka. He fights Segai to let Haruka and Kurachi escape but was easily killed by Segai. Kurachi sees the Void Genome in the briefcase Haruka had stolen. She says this is their last and worst hope. Argo picks them up and returns to where Ayase, Tsugumi, Yahiro and friends are hiding. Ayase and Tsugumi are devastated to hear that Oogumo is dead. Shibungi has his audience with Gai and is disappointed how far he has fallen. Gai points out his goal has always been the same. It is them who chose to build their dreams on it and get disappointed. Shibungi has always thought of him as a friend but Gai replies a king has no friends. Only subordinates and pawns. In that case, Shibungi as a pawn has a new goal: To kill him.

Ayase talks to Haruka about the Void Genome she has. She thought of using it on herself to fight Gai but Haruka warns her entire body may reject it. She doesn’t want Shu to use it too since it will kill him. Segai and his Endlaves start the fireworks. Let every bullet you have fly! Shu dives out from Arisa’s Humvee and makes his way there on foot. How can this be faster? The gang are out of options so Ayase wants Haruka to use the Void Genome on her. She was about to but Segai shoots it away. He reveals he was searching for the last remaining Void Genome and never expected it was with her all along. He wants it to behold that mystical and sublime light. Ayase and Segai race to retrieve the cylinder. Man, even a girl with no legs is still a worthy opponent. The cylinder falls at the feet of Shu. Haruka doesn’t want him to use it a second time as it may kill him. But Shu feels he should bear the burden of this sin and thanks mommy (he called her that for the first time) even if they aren’t blood related. Stabbing it into his heart, Shu recovers his King’s Power and Segai is in awe that this is the light he has been searching for. Shu pulls out his own Void to create an artificial right arm. Then he borrows Ayase’s Void Legs for high speed and destroys those Endlaves with his other friends’ Void (with their permission of course). Crazy Segai is going to ram his truck into Ayase so Shu sticks Scissors into him and severs his life. I’m sure Shu isn’t stupid enough to crash and die with him. But he looks cool walking out from those flames. Yeah, a hero cometh. The king has return. But they see crystals forming over him. Souta notes he has absorbed his virus. Then they realize his Void gathers everything and assumes its weight. Shu says if the Apocalypse Virus turns misery into bad will, he will assume that bad will and let it sink into his body. Watch out! Next stop, Inori.

Episode 20
Gai makes another broadcast to the world. Telling those stubborn people that there has been 34 invasion attempts and 42,000 hacking attempts (?!), he concludes they want to die. He is going to end the world on Christmas and create a new one. Kurachi announces Okina has left orders for her to use all his assets and connections to fight Gai and that they will join forces with a Private Military Company (PMC). She wants Shu to join them. Argo wants to know what Gai is planning so with Shibungi’s return, he explains Gai wants to cause Lost Christmas on a worldwide scale. Gai even gave him Kurosu’s diary because since they’re going to die, they the right to know. Flashback time. Keido was a student graduate at Tennozu College and people were nothing but annoyances to him. Till he met Kurosu. Somehow they clicked because of their ideas and researched Genomic Resonance together. One day Keido wanted to show Kurosu’s article that come out in the journal but caught him having affair with Saeko Shijou, an accomplished woman from the college’s medical school who was bearing Kurosu’s child by then. They got married and moved to Oshima. One day a meteor crashed into the island and it has readings of Genomic Resonance. Kurosu had to thank Mana because she was the one who found it (albeit she got a little cut on her finger. Oh dear). So as Kurosu and Keido research more about it, what I understand from that mumbo-jumbo is that though it may not be generally infectious, it is still dangerous when inserted as it will start replicating itself and is a trumpet for Apocalypse. Then they meet Yuu who told them about the meteorite that has sown seeds of Apocalypse across the nation. Very soon every Japanese will be its seedbed. When Mana matures as Eve, Earth will witness its fourth Apocalypse, which is the invisible hand of God at work. Saeko is already showing symptoms of the virus but is told not to abandon her child because Eve was bent on making him her Adam. So Shu was born but at the cost of Saeko’s life. Kurosu became devastated and since he turned Yuu down, the Daath kid turns to Keido.

So this is where Gai came into the picture. He along with the other bunch of kids were kidnapped or something and are placed in a facility specialized rearing male children to create Adam. After seeing so many deaths, it’s natural Gai got scared and ran away. He fell off the cliff and was washed ashore. That’s when he met Mana. Ironically he wanted to get away from fate but ended up trapped in a bigger one. A few years later as Kurosu left his kids behind at Oshima to continue research on the virus, that’s when he met Haruka as one of the student researches. She got curious with him and started taking care of him since he was so engrossed in his research that he forgets to eat and sleep. Then she told Keido she is going to marry him since he’s a really lonely person. He didn’t exactly give his blessings but just told her to do as she wished. That year, she became his wife and as she gathers the kids to have their first Christmas together, that’s when the Apocalypse Virus happened. On Christmas Eve when Mana and Haruka are waiting for Kurosu to turn up at the church, Mana wanted Haruka to go get papa, thinking he has forgotten. Keido sneaks into Kurosu’s lab and reads his diary. Seems he has found a genetic code that will interfere with the virus and he calls it the Void Genome. He concluded Apocalypse isn’t divine providence so humans can control it with intelligence. Kurosu stumbles upon Keido and the latter is surprised he has solved the mysteries of evolution and natural selection by himself. Keido suggests working as a team since Yuu is getting impatient and that he’ll be silenced if he doesn’t do something. But Kurosu refuses. Not because he is arrogant or jealous of Keido but rather he doesn’t want him to get into this mess. Keido doesn’t believe and has lost his marbles. He tells Keido he has made a big mistake: He is no friend of his. He pulls out his gun and shoots him. By the time Haruka arrives, to her horror she sees Kurosu’s bloodied body. Then Mana went crazy and the rest is history.

Haruka does some test on Shu and concludes he can isolate and absorb the cancer cells. This means Souta is cured. She cautions it might be too late to get Inori back since the transplanting of Mana’s consciousness into Inori is almost complete. But to make her whole, the gathering of all her pieces scattered during Lost Christmas had to be collected. Those shards of hers that got mixed with the people’s Voids. That was what Shu had been forced to do for the past few months. This is all the more the reason Shu must go. Before Shu leaves on a helicopter with the others, he says goodbye to his school friends and decides to give everyone’s Void back since it will be bad if he dies while using them. But they disagree because he can’t expect to fight Gai with only a gun, right? But Shu says he is using his powers to save Inori and everyone, not to defeat Gai. Ayase still wants him to keep her Void because if he fails, their lives are forfeited anyway. Shu wants to make up with Souta but the latter is reluctant to shake his hand. Eventually he loosens up and gets emotional, hoping Shu will always stay as his friend. Haruka narrates Kurosu was the kind of person who could do anything by himself and because of this he was always alone. But the truth is he was really lonely and wanted to be with everyone else. That’s why he gave the name Shu to his son which means “group”.

Episode 21
Gai remembers Yuu telling him Mana will be reborn in Cocytus shortly and that he will be king soon. Nobody, and I mean nobody, not even Yuu or Mana can stop it. The resistance fighters have entered the area as Kurachi realizes the threat of Leukocytes was a bluff and they were dumbasses to fall for it. It’s like Gai was trying to buy time. But Shu is glad they’ve arrive to save Inori and stop Gai. If they secure Inori, Gai’s goal will go up in smoke and they might be able to eradicate Apocalypse Virus all over the world, not just Japan. Shu sees Ayase trying to get into her Steiner and she requests his help to get her in. Out of the blue, Shu says how pretty she is. Not that he is hitting on her. What he meant is that it’s his job to get dirty so it’s hers to stay pure and pretty. As the fleet of UN military arrives, Gai uses the Void of Yuu, Arisa and Kenji to rain powerful crystals over the fleet. 87% damage!!! Freaking useless UN buggers. Keido orders his Endlave and Ghost units to clean up. Daryl wonders what Rowan is still doing here since he didn’t sound like he’s on this side. He also poses that question back to Daryl who has volunteered to be a guinea pig for the Gespenst mecha. He’s getting rather tired of the Endlaves being defeated by the Voids. Plus, he wants to choose how he dies. Shu and co infiltrate the base though Rowan orders to attack on them, it was just distraction and clones of Hand Scanner. This also allows Tsugumi to hack into their system and shut down their mecha units. Gai is about to erase Inori’s memories to awaken Mana. He wants her to hate him. If he had not awoken her back then, all this would never have started On the contrary, she is grateful instead. She gave her life. She met Shu who showed the beauty and ugliness of this world. He suffered, doubted, made mistakes and was ashamed of his ugly side but the reason she loves him is because he is heartbreakingly a human. That’s why although she’s a vessel, she still get to fall in love with him. Shu not only saves a soldier from a berserk Endlave but takes in his cancer crystals too. I wonder how much more he can take since each time he absorbs, it just grows.

Inori begins to forget as she starts singing her song which Shu can only hear. Because the communications have been restored, Tsugumi has been cut off from the rest so Shu is their only lead to where Inori is. In a room, they are confronted by Yuu who needs to have a private talk with Shu and separates him from the rest who will be facing Daryl and his freaking huge Gespenst. Yuu says he is the symbol of unity of Daath, the organization which derives from the will of the human race. When Shu brilliantly recovered his stolen powers, he was forced to re-examine the question who would be king: Shu or Gai. So he asks would he obliterate mankind in order for them to progress to the next stage and live with Mana for eternity. Obviously the answer is no. Yuu says Gai answered yes without hesitation. Thus Yuu will be stripping his right to succession. Shu and Yuu fight using their Voids as Yuu draws Voids from the group of standby followers. But he is using them indiscriminately and doesn’t care if their Voids get destroyed. You die, too bad. Yuu starts blabbing about Shu ignoring the inevitable destinies of selection and evolution, bla, bla, bla. He mocks him even though Mana chose him, he refused her, squandered everything and chose a fake like Inori. Shu tells him off he doesn’t know anything about Inori. Neither does anybody. When he was hurt making the same mistakes, she was the only one by his side the entire time. This time, he will be by her side. I don’t know if Shu made some powerful blast or not because Yuu’s last words were to challenge him to resist the despair. Did he escape and vanish or disintegrate and die for good? I hope it’s the latter. Now Shu faces off with Gai who mentions he just missed Inori. He says Mana, their lost Eve will be reborn by devouring Inori. With Mana breaking out from the crystals, is Apocalypse coming sooner than expected?

Episode 22
Tsugumi can’t seem to regain control of the system as Shibungi realize there is someone on par with her: Kenji. He wants her to hold out till he gives the signal. Mana revives and is happy thinking Shu came for her. However she starts badmouthing Inori of getting in her way till she manages to destroy her and regain this body. Shu tells her off Inori is not a monster and a human because she cried for him. Mana felt sad that Shu is going to reject her again even though she loves him very much. Gai tells her to let him be and leave the rest up to him. He draws out her Void weapon and a world map appears on the ground. Mana is not going to forgive Shu for hurting her. She initiates the Lost Christmas phenomenon by dancing around the world map. Ballet dance? What’s with that tenor voice too? No laughing matter because everyone around the world got turned into crystals! As Gai puts it, this is the fourth Apocalypse. Leave your feeble body and preserve yourself in crystals forever. The Void was just a sign announcing the new world, a new world where the heart takes from. Communications to our heroes’ Endlaves got cut. Argo fights hard to defend Ayase who is out to take manual control of her Endlave. Rowan is worried for Daryl who is pushing this Void Genome emulator which is still under trial but that kid isn’t going to stop. Not after he kills everybody. Gai and Shu fight and Shu couldn’t understand why he wanted to save Mana by asking him to stab him then at Roppongi. I guess that was the reason. He didn’t understand. Gai is furious he was chosen and yet he gave it up. In the past, he would’ve accepted Shu as Adam to be Mana’s Eve. But now he thinks he isn’t worthy of that. Keido thinks he is winning against Kurosu because Mana, the daughter he tried to save is going to end the world. Haruka manages to get up close to him and wonders if that is the reason why he did this to Shu and the world. She isn’t going to hesitate to shoot him.

Shu laments he might lose when he sees a crystallized little tree and hears Inori’s voice encouraging him. He absorbs that tree as Inori allows everyone to use her. Seems Shu is absorbing everyone’s Void and with renewed faith of those people who believed in him, Shu is going to get Inori back. Shibungi confronts Kenji and shoots him before he gets any chance to fight back. In this instant, Shibungi gives Tsugumi the signal to connect Ayase to her Endlave and fight off Daryl. Shu unleashes one final devastating strike on Gai. As he is falling, he couldn’t believe his eyes of seeing Shu and Inori together. Keido commits suicide with some injection and starts crystallizing. He notes neither he nor Kurosu won in the end. Shu catches Gai who tells Shu that it’s alright to be himself. Shu is transported to a different world. A world after the Apocalypse. Everything is crystallized and Daath’s ideal of Earth. Everything of this world is going to be a memory inside the crystals. Gai notes this would have happened to him either way. He was afraid of the selection process and struggled to put an end to Eve and Mana. After being stabbed by Shu at Roppongi then, he thought he’d be able to free Mana but Daath won’t accept Mana’s death as she is the will of the natural selection. Even if she dies, she’ll be resurrected. So there is only one way to release her: She had to complete her story. That’s why Gai decided to become a demon king himself to further spread this Apocalypse Virus and wait for Shu to come. Gai knows his end is near as he hugs Mana and they both start crystallizing. He tells Shu all that’s left is to save Inori. Shu sees Inori heavily covered with crystals trudging closer to him. She doesn’t want Shu to blame himself and thanks him for everything. She hopes he can stay by her side forever. They hug as Shu absorbs everyone’s Void and their crystals. I guess you could say he’s trying to be a hero, a saviour. Due to the Genome phenomenon, the building starts collapsing. Everyone scrambles their way out. Rowan sacrifices himself to throw Daryl to safety and parts with an advice that he should be kind to others if he wants another chance at life. He believes he used to be a nice person. Shu is being swathed with crystals as he feels everyone’s hearts and feelings of love and hate flowing through him. Inori lets Shu take her cat’s cradle and from what I understand, Inori absorbs all the crystals Shu has taken and it’s sayonara for them. Everyone gets out from the collapsing building. But did Shu make it in time? A few years down the road, Yahiro, Souta, Kanon, Tsugumi and Ayase gather to celebrate Shu’s birthday. Well, he is still alive albeit he needs a walking stick (he’s blind?!). Shu alone on the bench listens to Inori’s music and feels like he is embracing her in his arms while thinking back the fond memories with her.

“You Have To Be Cruel To Be Kind!”
NOOOOO!!! What the hell is this unsatisfying ending?! Just as I have feared, everything was going great guns, the plot, the action and everything but the way things ended spoiled my fun for this entire series. It could have easily been one of the best animes of the season and probably of the year. But the rushed and abrupt ending seems to have taken out the major points. It’s like as thought it was making a winning dash to the finish line but stumbled just a few centimetres from crossing it in style and victory. Even before watching this show, I knew there were reviews and comments from many viewers that they did not like how the ending was. Now I understand why. There were quite a few things that were left to be desired. Firstly, you might be asking what happened to this certain character. For instance, Daryl. So he was saved from dying in the battlefield. So what became of him? Argo and Shibungi? I doubt Funeral Parlour is still around seeing Gai is gone (for good) and no need for anymore resistance bodies. So yeah. What happened to them anyway? Arisa? What about that girl? You thought she had died in the final episode while she took in bullets protecting her beloved guy. But it was just a scratch and she’s still breathing. Another minus point for the ending is that the main guy didn’t get the girl in the end. Haha. Sounds like a joke? No doubt the world is saved from Apocalypse. That’s a good end. However I doubt the world won’t even know what saved them. So to me the rest of the world didn’t really matter. I guess this is the price Shu had to pay for saving the world and be king, eh? Now he is a lonely blind guy by himself. Inori gone. Hare was gone a long time ago. Ayase and Tsugumi don’t seem the kind who would make a great pair. Arisa is a wreck. What’s left? Oh no more Voids too. The world is void of Voids. Hah. I just wanted to say that. No more Apocalypse, no more anything. Plain boring peaceful world, isn’t it?

I managed to get a glimpse of this OVA called Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas. From what I understand, this 15 minute OVA is supposed to be a promotion for the game of the same name released back at the end of July 2012. Well, I’m not really impressed with it either. As I see it, the storyline takes place 10 years ago around the Lost Christmas incident and I suppose you have to play the game to understand what really happened. Thus the OVA does not have any relation to the plot, storyline and characters we see in the TV series. Except for Makoto. He may not look like a joker but a bishonen. However he is still ruthless and cold. Seems his army is set out to capture an experimental subject that has escaped from a facility: Scrooge (looks like Shu). This hooded guy is on the run with another girl, Carol (looks like Inori) and a cute little stray dog. Seems they are trying to find Daath. Well, his army has no qualms in shooting in public and even dropping an Endlave on somebody’s house! WTF?! Just to pursue this guy?! Even though they lost him, Scrooge traces the Endlave who chased him back to Makoto’s base. Though Makoto is already prepared and has his firing squad target him. He wants to know Scrooge’s objective before he dies. Carol notes they don’t know about Daath and suggests he take out her Void, which is a cross between a sword and a chainsaw. Makoto is awed at the light and power he sees. Then some strange monster with Apocalypse Virus crystals drops in. One of the crystal debris hit and blinded Makoto’s left eye (that explains his robotic eye) and this nullifies Carol’s Void. When the monster attacks, Scrooge pulls out a Void from the dog. Some kind of tri-blade thingy. The monster crumbles but the poor doggie died. Some lady (the one controlling the monster and perhaps pursuing them), Present (looks like Gai) watches them from afar and notes how Scrooge has the ability of a King. Scrooge and Carol leave. Makoto is still alive but now he’s a mad man because his laugh is eerie and crazy enough to make him one.

Despite the many terms and some of the confusing plots (at least to me), I find the story and the twists to be quite interesting and intriguing. It started out with a devastating virus and the people trying to get back on their feet with the tyrannical rule of the authorities. So you’re not only living in fear of the virus but the government as well. After Shu gets his King’s Power, the pace picks up as we see him and the resistance fighters take on missions to fight those in power. The plot then turns when Mana is on the verge of being revived. Then it turns again when Shu becomes king of his own little kingdom before the final fight against the ex-leader of the resistance group. I won’t go so far to say that the action is totally awesome but even if you are an adrenaline action junkie, the fights will still be enough to satiate your action needs. Cool enough to make me glued to the screen. I may not be a mecha fan but I guess the mecha fights were also okay. I just find it odd that people pilot those Endlaves from another cockpit and not directly inside the mecha themselves. I know this is to prevent deaths as when the robot is destroyed, the pilot also dies (unless there is an eject button in which you pushed it fast enough). However the pilot’s sensations are also linked to the Endlaves so any damage taken, they will also feel the pain. So if it gets too much, the pilot will also die if he/she is not aborted in time. So really, what’s the use of remote controlling Endlaves in this sense? Maybe they can easily switch places since Endlaves are placed at almost everywhere they are positioned to be despatched.

The designs of the Voids are quite cool as they are a mix between futuristic items and everyday equipment. Well, provided if your Void is cool enough to be ‘useful’. I wonder what kind of Void I would have… It’s also cool to see Shu pull out and use the different kinds of Voids he needs when the situation calls for it but since each of the Voids have only one purpose, sometimes it gets a little bland to see them being used for the same purpose over and over again. I mean, Arisa’s Coward’s Shield is just to protect and shield herself while Souta’s Camera just opens up things. It would have been nice to see a person’s Void to have more than one function but I guess that defeats the purpose of making every person having a different and unique Void. That’s why like I said it’s nice to see Shu putting use the different combos of the Voids during battle. But it seems Gai can fuse them and change them into something else and while this is interesting, probability it won’t be so feasible since you are messing with the Voids of others and there is a big probability you’ll break it in the end. Then that’s the end for that Void owner. On a trivial note in terms on design, the symbol for Guilty Crown seems fitting for a corporation’s logo. I don’t know. I just feel it’s like that. The mid-intermission whereby they display this GC logo, I thought the format reminded me a little of Bleach because we see different interesting and creative designs around the GC logo. But not every episode will be similar as I noticed there are some repeats of the same style in other episodes.

On to the characters. Obviously Shu as the main protagonist, it’s hard not to feel any pity on him. It’s also hard not to hate him at certain times. It’s like to us he makes us feel a baggage of mixed emotions. After being given powers, as a normal kid he definitely wanted to stay out of it all as much as possible. He doesn’t want to get involved in anything to do about saving the world or ridding it of the deadly virus. You can’t blame him for not joining Funeral Parlour or having his doubts of the group because all he wants is a peaceful and quiet life in which he won’t stand out. But when your past comes catching up and destiny persistently knocking on your door like an annoying salesman that won’t go away, what choice does he have? Whether he likes it or not, Shu holds the power to change destiny, to change things. To make things better or for worse. And to prove that he is just a normal kid and not some superhero, he makes mistakes. He makes them the hard way. The way it will make him regret and doubt his own abilities. He gets confused on what to do. It’s easy to point your finger at him but do you understand the responsibilities he is shouldering? He wants everything to turn out for the best and learns the hard way. So when Shu became a dictator among his school friends, he easily turned from hero to zero by the way he treats everyone. However without this iron fist ruling, chaos and disorder would have continued. It is funny that people seem to work better when there is a clear hierarchical order. It keeps them in line. It makes them know where they stand. And so the age old law of the survival of the fittest and that the strong shall govern the weak still stands even in today’s modern society. Then of course people start to tire his tyranny and because they have the numbers and someone who will take the lead in overthrowing him, Shu bears the brunt of it all. Call them ungrateful but generally that’s what humans are. So Shu has one last chance to redeem himself and fix things right and he pulls it off. Just too bad he didn’t get the girl in the end ;p. In some ways, Shu’s character and role reminds me of a couple of other anime characters. Shu is like Code Geass’ Lelouch because he is trying to use his powers to change but not without effects and consequences (albeit their personalities were on opposite polar). Also, Geass lost cutie Shirley in a similar fashion how Shu lost Hare. Why do cute girls like them have to die halfway?! Shu is also like Linebarrel of Iron’s Kouichi because he started out like a wuss and when he gets a taste of a new power, he imposes his brand of justice upon others (at least for the tyranny part).

Well, at least sweet Inori stayed by his side through thick and thin. At the beginning she was void of a lot of emotions. She was like a tool. But once she spends time with Shu and finds that he is imperfect, she somewhat changes and feels more emotions. She even fell in love with him. Albeit she doesn’t show it in her actions and just through her words, the impact of that she fell in love isn’t really being felt (at least to me). So can you say that love indirectly saved the day? Love is also about sacrifice, right? Too bad Shu may just end up like his dad being a real lonely guy. Gai as the resourceful and charismatic character, when he became the antagonist towards the end, I thought there was something wrong. Has he been putting up such a good act to deceive his comrades all along? So when it turns out that he was just playing the part of the villain to pave way for Shu to do the necessary, well at least it makes sense. In order to deceive your enemies, you have to deceive your allies first. Gai isn’t the perfect person that some may idolize him to be. He has his shortcomings too but he doesn’t show it to others. He’s got a reputation to keep. That’s why he is the leader of the resistance group. It is not clear if Ayase ‘respects’ Gai anymore after his return from the ‘dead’. But at least this paraplegic who once refused help from others has learnt to open up herself that sometimes people want to help not because they want something in return. They just want to help, that’s all. It makes things and life easier. Something amusing about the perky Tsugumi is that when she’s doing her hacking, she’s sorta like dancing and prancing around. Sometimes in a naughty way. It’s as though she’s showing to us that this hacking thing is fun. Well, if you’re a genius at her level.

For Arisa, I felt that she has fallen from grace. Ever since the move to vote her off as student council president and losing her leadership to Shu in the process, I’m not sure if she turning to the dark side would be the right way to describe her situation. She seems blinded by love for Gai that she is willing to do anything for him. Well, was it all worth it since Gai is gone, has never returned her love. Now what is she? Don’t know. Yahiro on the other hand was trying to work his way back up again. Initially he would sell his soul to do anything to free Jun but was that what he really wanted? So after Jun’s death, probably it opened his eyes and how he had been blinded like a slave to Jun. Then he realized he can’t lose any more precious people in his life but I guess it’s too late by the time Shu became king of his own country. He reaps what he sews and bore the consequences for his initial betrayal. Even so, Yahiro didn’t resort to betray Shu as bad as before when Arisa led the uprising against Shu. Because of Souta’s open character, it’s easy to read his emotions. You can tell when he’s happy and you can tell when he’s not. All he wants was to be Shu’s friend. How hard can that be? Well, if your buddy got super cool powers, it’s real hard then. How many ordinary people openly admit they’re friends of Superman? Hare is probably the only other character aside Inori that stayed by Shu’s side all the way. Too bad she had to die so early. Sad to say, her death indeed opened his eyes. If she hadn’t, Shu would have continued to hesitate on what policies to follow and more people would have ended up dead.

Keido as the main antagonist, I still do not understand the implications of him and Kurosu and what they’re trying to achieve by bringing another Lost Christmas incident. Sure it’s about creating a new world. Keido wants to be the one who shapes the next evolution in mankind. But isn’t that playing God? Plus, what makes him think he is so suitable and the one who will be man’s next model? The same reason why every megalomaniac wants to take over the world or destroy it perhaps. So if his initial proposal to Mana failed, but it’s not over yet because he returns again and this time my guess to destroy the world for real. From what I understand, he was so jealous of Kurosu’s brilliance, the kind he could never attain, his plan in the second half of the series was to destroy mankind for good as opposed to Kurosu’s goal to save it. Still keeping those grudges after a full decade, huh? So I guess when he said neither of them won was because well, Earth continues to spin and mankind is as rotten as it is before. Any hope of saving them despite the virus is gone? It’s a lose-lose situation for them. More perplexing is Yuu and his Daath organization. So again I don’t know why Yuu struck deals, first with Keido then with Gai just to bring fourth Apocalypse to the world. Oh, maybe it’s that destroy Earth thingy. Segai as the other antagonist is a crazier one. He may look like a jester but he’s a dangerous guy you shouldn’t be messing with. He is sharp, manipulative, sadistic and has the knack to obtain what he wants. Merciless and cruel, he will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Daryl is another cold hearted and crazy bastard in the beginning. However as the series progresses, it feels that he loosens up a lot. It’s as though he has lost his bite ever since he killed his father. He is not as crazy as before. I’m sure it could be demoralizing each time he gets his Endlave butt kicked by Voids. But yeah, he doesn’t seem that wild anymore. And from the way I see things, he might have a thing for Tsugumi ever since he bumped into her at the cultural festival. Nothing concrete about that.

Because the series is peppered with lots of other minor characters, some come and go, it left me wondering some of their roles. Like Kenji. He’s got this seemingly ferocious reputation as a Sky Tree Bomber and is first seen tied down to a chair in a strait jacket like a dangerous mad man. So what is this Sky Tree Bomber incident thingy, we’ll never know. So after busting him out of the facility and using his Void for the Leukocyte mission, he seems pretty forgettable after Gai’s first death. You won’t even know if he even exists if they had not shown him being allied to Gai in the second half. What about Funeral Parlour’s second in command Shibungi? Was his role just to kill Kenji? What about his new goal to kill him? Heck, Shu did that job for him. Speaking of deaths, I thought at the rate things are going, maybe that most of the casts will be wiped out in the end. If Apocalypse didn’t come again, maybe something else would kill them. After all, how could they kill off a cute girl like Hare in the middle of the show (okay so I admit, I may have a soft spot for her cuteness). Minor characters like Guin and Kyou making only a couple of episode appearance (even that was just a handful of scenes) got killed, Jun couldn’t be saved anyhow, that “guts” Dan guy got killed, bug guy Oogumo died an honourable death, Yan was murdered by his own son, the old Okina geezer also got killed, pain in the ass Nanba also got sent to his maker, Segai saw a different kind of light before he went to the other world, Gai and Mana get to die a second time, Keido puts an end to the speculation that he’ll still be breathing if there ever is a sequel by killing himself. Even ordinary people die. And when Inori sacrificed herself, I just thought everybody else should just go with her. Oops. Even Yuu it seems vanished to thin air. So I was expecting people like Daryl to bite the dust but instead that Rowan guy did it in his place. I thought Argo would also face the similar fate since he got injured by Daryl’s Gespenst but it seems he is tougher than he looks. I thought Shibungi will also die after having an audience with Gai since the new king won’t allow those against him to live. I suppose his job was to spread the flashback and let others know about their past. But still, I thought he would die like Kenji due to lacking screen time presence. I thought Kurachi would die since she’s leading the military into the final battle. As earlier said, I thought Arisa would die because she took in some bullets and would gladly follow Gai. I thought Yahiro, Souta, Kanon and the rest of the world will be killed thinking Shu would somehow screw up and break all their Voids he is carrying. Didn’t happen. Can’t make a third mistake at this important point of the show, can’t he?

There are many more other stuffs that I do not understand as you have already read from my previous paragraphs. I’m going to add them more here. For instance, Inori’s case. If she was the lead singer of Egoist, how come GHQ never really took action against her as a terrorist? I mean, she has got to be popular seeing people like Souta are fans of her weird songs. If Gai actually broke her free from her captivity in the facility, then how in the world did she become a singer? Maybe it’s underground music? Even so, GHQ should be looking for her for a long time since she is somehow who escaped from the facility and they need to retrieve her since she is important, right? Another bugging question is, why and how did Haruka and Keido revived Gai? So it’s for Keido’s plan to destroy the world and Gai to put his lover Mana to rest once and for all because if he leaves it hanging like did and got killed for it, this cycle will repeat again and again courtesy of that mysterious Daath kid. So to say Haruka and Keido actually found Gai’s body? Didn’t his body disintegrate into oblivion then? I couldn’t say his body was crystallized like it did the second time he died so maybe there’s a chance they found pieces here and there and put back the pieces. Just kidding. And remember the Shu met Gai in the first episode? If Gai was supposed to have the cylinder which contains the Void Genome, why was he telling Shu to protect it? Then it broke and Shu obtained the King’s Power. Then Shu saved Inori. Then Gai reprimanded Inori for her failure because she failed to deliver the cylinder that was meant for him. Shouldn’t have Gai just took it then? Or maybe it was just an act? One very big act from the start. Gai may have remembered Shu and wanted him to take it so that he could rope him into his organization and use his power for his ultimate goal. And what does Inori’s cat’s cradle signify? What does it mean? Her other personality as a monster, is it Mana herself? After all those mysterious scenes in which Inori beats up those who antagonize her close to death, so her monster self was just someone with lots of sharp crystals and running wild? Well, Gai easily captured her. What about the Voids? What about them being reflective of one’s heart and soul? If that person changes, shouldn’t his/her Void change too? If that’s the case, then you could say nobody changed because their Void remained the same. I remember Inori having another different Void. Is it from her other monster self or is it part of Shu’s evolving power that he pulled out a gun instead of a sword?

The drawing and art is your typical standard Japanese anime with good looking people like Gai, generic heroic high school kid with slight spikey hair, cute pretty looking girls like Hare and sexy girls in sexy outfits like Inori and tight body hugging ones like Tsugumi and Ayase. I like some of the design of the equipment such as the portable mini screen. The physical handle might just be an L shape object but once activated, you get your hologram-like screen. Cool. Quite futuristic if I should say. Of course when Tokyo has been plagued with the second Apocalypse Virus, the city is painted as a dark, depressing, gloomy and desecrated city. A good picture of what the city will look like if Apocalypse comes.

With the extensive cast line-up, I guess everyone played their role that fits their character but none of that really stands out. Maybe for just Ai Kayano as Inori as she is quite soft-spoken and void of any emotions. Even so, ironically it makes her sound fragile and frail, which fits the kind of character Inori is. She also doubles as the voice of Mana. She was the voice as Menma in Ano Hana, Hibino in Kamisama Dolls and Shiraume in Ben-To. The rest includes Yuuki Kaji as Shu (Haruaki in Cube x Cursed x Curious), Yuuichi Nakamura as Gai (Tomoya in Clannad), Kana Hanazawa as Ayase (Kobato in Kobato), Ayane Taketatsu as Tsugumi (Azusa in K-ON!), Aya Endou as Arisa (Miyuki in Lucky Star), Kazuhiko Inoue as Keido (Kakashi in Naruto), Nobutoshi Canna as Segai (Lancer in Fate/Stay Night), Yuka Nishigaki as Yuu (Kazemaru in Inazuma Eleven), Kouki Uchiyama as Daryl (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Anri Katsu as Argo (Tsuchimikado in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Kenji (Niizuma in Bakuman), Chika Fujimura as Haruka (Sora in Oh Edo Rocket), Takahito Koyasu as Shibungi (Ilpalazzo in Excel Saga), Takahiro Mizushima as Yahiro (Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome), Daisuke Sakaguchi as Souta (Shinpachi in Gintama), Minako Kotobuki as Kanon (Yuuko in A Channel), Yu Shimamura as Hare (Kurumi in Needless), Katsuhisa Houki as Okina (Jinbei in One Piece), Miyuki Kawasho as Kurachi (Tsuyuha in Manyuu Hikenchou) and Toshihiko Seki as Kurosu (Mousse in Ranma 1/2). The first opening by Supercell is My Dearest and is a fitting rock outfit that suits the action pace of this anime as with the second opening them The Everlasting Guilty Crown by Egoist. Though it is a fictional band in the series, the vocals are provided by Chelly. At first I thought how different it was Inori’s voice when she’s singing. Then I got to know it was by Chelly who substitutes her voice whenever she’s singing. The second ending theme, Kokuhaku by Supercell is also a rock outfit. But the first ending theme, Departures ~Anata Ni Okuru Ai No Uta~ by Egoist is a slow ballad. It may seem out of place but seeing the direction of this anime, sometimes when an episode ends, you just can’t feel sad or heart-warming. There are a bunch of insert songs used in this anime. Euterpe by Egoist must be the most frequently used one as this is the first song we hear from Inori. Despite being a slow and calming piece has a melancholic and depressing feel to it. The rest of the other songs by a bunch of other groups have this upbeat feel which are often used during battle sequences. It makes you want to cheer on the heroes. Otherwise, some of the slower pieces are used for dark and gloomy scenes.

I’m sure there are lots of underlying themes in this series. Firstly about being cruel to be kind. As seen with in Gai and Shu’s actions, in order for them to what is best for everyone in the end, they have to get down and dirty. For Shu, he is the only one who can draw out other people’s Void so he has to use this ability and keep others in line otherwise there would be more meaningless sacrifice. For Gai, he had to show who is in command and playing the antagonist isn’t easy as well. You really thought he had changed when he used other people’s Void without considering what would happen to them, eh? Well, some deaths are perhaps necessary for the better good. Then about the law of the survival of the fittest. This is necessary in basic evolution to ensure that the strongest will survive in the long run. So was it right for Shu who wants to save everyone, strong and weak disregarding this natural law? It’s good he doesn’t discriminate but if you’re talking about wanting to fend off future attacks that become stronger and stronger, say a virus, then I guess you’ll have to re-evaluate your philosophy thingy. Death is also another topic and with the numerous deaths seen here, it tells us that death strikes anyone indiscriminately and you can avoid it. Everybody dies one day. It’s not like you want to be Adam and Eve and live forever, right? Or do you? And yes, the over-used “When great powers come great responsibilities”. I guess you are responsible for your own actions. Sure you can blame others but ultimately it is you who did it. As far as this anime is concern, being king here isn’t fun because you’ll have to shoulder lots of heavy responsibilities and burden. You’ll have to take in the sins of everyone. Thus my theory of why this show is called Guilty Crown. Or maybe… It’s the reverse for the initials of Code Geass…

Even if viruses seem like the major baddies of epidemic shows, it’s usually the human factor that makes us the real villains. I’ve been infected with this obsession with anime for many years and it doesn’t seem it will get any better. Ironically the ‘cure’ to it is to watch more! Hey, that’s not really a cure. Fortunately it’s not infectious because my friends and family didn’t catch them :). The next time a real big epidemic virus is sweeping and spreading fast across the globe, if you ask me, I think I prefer to kick the bucket fast instead of waiting for researchers to come up with vaccine that would probably just be temporarily relief. It saves all the hassle and suffering. And how long would that take for a hero or saviour to show up?   Sometimes it isn’t the amount of effort put into the research of making the vaccine and cure. Sometimes it’s not the size and might of your army. Sometimes all it takes is just one right person and the right attitude to fix it all.