Last week's Guilty Crown felt very much like an end of series affair, with the immediate threat defeated and the possibility of a second Lost Christmas prevented despite the loss of Gai.
However, as we return to this very different looking Tokyo we soon get a glimpse of why there is still much left to do, with the ravages of the virus giving the city an eerie look while all communications are cut off as the entirety of Tokyo is put under lockdown and quarantine by GHQ, leaving people separated from their loved ones and unable to return to their homes. This situation also applies to the attendees of Tennozu First High School, with Shu joined by Tsugumi and Ayase alongside the rest of the school's students as even the Funeral Parlour are split up by the current situation. It's Ayase in particular who is partly our focus, with Gai's death hitting her hard as she harbours feelings of both her own responsibility for his loss while also blaming others for the way things turned out.
With such a grave situation, there's only one thing for - it's time for a culture festival! No, I'm not sure exactly how that works either, but the student council somehow seem to think it's a good idea and so the entire school sets about setting one up, complete with a performance from Egoist, aka Inori. Perhaps understandably in a time of famine, homelessness and general panic, not everyone is entire happy with this idea, and thus the festival is gatecrashed by ruffians who have managed to acquire some military hardware to run roughshod over everything. Cue this week's prescribed action sequence, which sees Ayase make use of her rather impressive Void thanks to Shu's new, improved extraction powers. The day might have been won, but there's only even worse news to come for the resident's of Tokyo's Loop 7.
I know we often laugh about the use of the culture festival as a plot device in anime, but really Guilty Crown? A culture festival in the middle of a mass panic and quarantine after people have been ravaged by some weird cancerous virus? It felt like a lazy way of filling out the episode before its inevitable (and admittedly kind of cool, as always) action scene to round things out. Beyond those closing minutes that gave us our dose of adrenaline and set the scene for the episodes to come, there really wasn't much to talk about here - this episode was "just there" but did little to extend its cause or tell us anything next. Hopefully next week will see us tackle some weightier subjects than what Daryl thinks of toffee apples.