While Yahiro's point which closed off last week's episode of Guilty Crown regarding the ranking of all Void users to segregate the most and least useful to ensure their survival had a sound logical basis, it's morals that drive Shu's decision to ignore his advice as we come in to this week's instalment.
Given that decision to treat everyone as equals, everything seems to be going reasonably well amidst this ragtag high school resistance, but with the walls of Loop 7 drawing every closer and supplies running low, all of a sudden prioritisation of who receives much-needed drugs and the like becomes a pressing concern again, leading Yahiro to peddle his idea of a Void ranking system once more.
Although Shu continues to be opposed to the idea, that doesn't stop some of the lower ranked individuals on Yahiro's chart from learning about the scheme, and so they hoodwink Shu into extracting their Voids so that they might practice - or rather, so that they might raid a nearby hospital for drugs to prove their usefulness. Unfortunately for them, the Anti-Bodies are waiting, and their attack is as effective as it is brutal. In the midst of what follows, Shu risks his life to save Hare, only for the tables to be turned as Hare herself has to make the most painful of decisions to save the boy she loves - an event which ultimately changes everything for Shu as his entire outlook on the current situation makes a marked shift.
While Guilty Crown has too often made itself an easy target in terms of a series you can make fun out of or question the sensibilities of, I have to confess that Hare's actions in this episode, and Shu's subsequent reactions, really moved me - sure, it was effectively a take on the simplistic (but sadly all too often true) idea that "nice guys always come last", but it's probably that very concept that grabbed my attention. While this isn't the first time that Shu has had a difficult obstacle thrown into his path by this series, it's surely the most marked, and this is perhaps a point that will mark the eventual analysis of Guilty Crown to a large degree. What Shu will we see on our screens next week? Perhaps more importantly, what effect will his actions bring? All of a sudden, I'm decidedly more interested in what this show is trying to save and do - its animation might have suffered over the past couple of weeks, but for all of its misfiring and ill-judged ideas it does get the important things right from time to time.