Friday, 24 February 2012

Guilty Crown - Episode 18

They may have broken out of the physical and psychological Hell that was their high school prison of recent weeks, but now it seems that Shu has outlived his usefulness as the "king", with the return of Gai to intercept the escaping party rendering him 'armless.  Wait, I used that joke last week didn't I?  Sorry.

With Gai stealing Shu's Void extraction power (and his arm with it) for himself, our new-look returning hero also demonstrates his own unique take on that power, combining a number of Void powers together into one giant weapon with no care or concern for the fate of those whose Voids he wields.  With this show of strength putting a rapid halt to the UN's decision to obliterate Japan, there's no doubting who the new king is, and Gai quickly finds himself followed by the likes of Arisa as she even goes against her own grandfather to support him.

With Shu seemingly rendered useless with neither power nor motivation, it's Inori that seems to preoccupy Gai the most - but why does this seemingly uncaring individual want her to return to his side?  After hints in recent episodes and some more blatant pointers this time around, we witness exactly what Inori is hiding behind that quiet, innocent facade - a "monster" with terrifying offensive capabilities, albeit not enough to take on Gai and win it seems.  With another piece of the plan slotting into the puzzle being completed by "new Gai", just what does Japan's future hold now?

Having questioned previous instalments of Guilty Crown for making stuff up as it goes along in recent weeks in particular, this week's episode certainly brought similar questions out in force, with Gai adding yet further extensions to Shu's Void extraction power as perhaps the most blatant example of bending the world's rules to fit the plot rather than vice versa.  While the show also seems to have lost a little of its visual lustre of late, I still haven't completely lost faith in the series - yes, it's dumb and ill-suited to its noitaminA time slot, but as popcorn entertainment its nonsensical twists and turns continue to hook me in to a sufficient degree to keep me watching.

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