Given all of his recent adventures, you might imagine that Shu would be happy to return to school and relative normality - except, of course, that given the nature of his arrest by GHQ not so long ago he's very much at the centre of the rumour mill upon his arrival back at his normal class.
However, it seems that Shu isn't alone - putting Inori aside for a moment, he finds himself being defended by student council president Arisa Kuhouin, who succeeds in turning the rumours swirling around in Ouma's favour to make him the talk of the school in a far more positive manner. Not that this is the end of Shu's troubles mind you, as the return of his mother Haruka to the apartment leaves him with some awkward explaining to do regarding Inori's presence, although his mum doesn't exactly seem to mind so much.
Of course, these additional characters haven't been added to the series just for the sake of it - with Funeral Parlour running low on funds and looking for a partner to bolster their financial position, it seems that the Kuhouin Group, to which Arisa is heir, is the perfect fit. However, the group's resistance towards GHQ's way of doing things has marked them out as a potential "enemy" by the powers that be, leading us to a scenario where a party aboard a boat held by the Kuhouin Group brings together Shu and Gai as interlopers while GHQ's plans put Haruka, Arisa and the rest of the ship in danger. Of course, this can mean only one thing - it's time for Shu to get involved in some red hot Void action to save the day!
Held up against the rest of this series so far, this is just another day at the office for Guilty Crown - it still looks pretty, but its plots still feel largely forced, a little contrived and very much unlike your typical noitaminA fare as it serves us up its fan service and slightly bombastic story ideas. That isn't to say that this week's episode is dull or otherwise poor - it's as fun as ever in many respects, which is worthy of some praise, and its nicely paced to boot - but there's really nothing to get your teeth into on a deeper level, leaving us with a slightly vacuous experience overall.