Putting this review up right away to make up for almost two weeks of no reviews.  I will try to have reviews more evenly spaced in the next few weeks (if the Chibi Devi subs ever come out on time).  You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t added a “dropped” to this review title.  That is because Guilty Crown amazingly maintained my interest just enough to escape the chopping block… this time.

Great, just what this series needed; a BEACH EPISODE...

Episode 8 Summary:

Gai forces Shu to bring his friend Souta to Oshima, as one of GHQ’s headquarters is located there and has something Gai wants (requiring Souta’s void).  So Shu brings along his friends under the guise of a “resort trip.”  Of course, there is beach fanservice because it’s like the required thing whenever there is an episode which takes place near a beach.  Apparently, Oshima is where Shu’s late father is buried; and Gai orders Shu to initiate the mission when they meet there.

Sometimes, I have to wonder if Gai just has a cosplay fetish...

Now the only problem is drawing out Souta’s void.  As Souta has a huge crush on Inori (because he’s an Egoist fan), Shu (ordered by Gai) uses Inori as “bait” and sets up a pretend date for Souta to go on.  Halfway through, Shu gets pissed (because he also has feelings for Inori obviously), and just rips his friend’s void straight out of him.  Even though it was a really damn risky move Shu pulled (drawing a void out in the open), Gai and co. go ahead with the plan anyway.  They infiltrate the GHQ base but find that the item Gai wanted—a rock that started the Lost Christmas incident in the first place—has already been taken.  Gai angrily pulls out, and it’s revealed that the person who stole the rock was actually… the chief of the Anti Bodies.

Daryl frowning alone with cake should be a meme. I WILL MAKE IT SO!

Later on, Shu makes up with his friend in the most sappy and stupid way possible, and all is well I guess.  As Shu and friends leave Oshima, Shu asks Inori about the voids, and Inori reveals that voids can change based on the state of the person’s heart.

I forgot to say, but Souta's void is a camera that can open things. This is one of the few nice scenes in this episode.

My Opinion:

This episode was bad.  Not as bad as the travesty that was episode 7, but it was still pretty bad.  It was a very boring episode, with far too much fanservice for my liking.  Also, there was tons of QUALITY FREAKING ANIMATION everywhere!  It was really noticeable in everyone’s faces!  Did the animation for this episode get done by a different production company or something?  Because everyone just looked off model…

There’s not much else for me to say about this episode, because it’s dull and not much happened.  Some attempt at comedy was made, but it just came out really forced more often than not.  Okay, I admit I did laugh at Daryl being all whiny, but I doubt that was intended as comedy…  Anyway, I would have dropped this series already if I had ONLY reviewed this episode, but episode 9 was what “saved” this series.  Moving on…

Out of five for this episode:

  and 1/2

Episode 9 Summary:

And the unlucky childhood friend of this series is...

Continuing on from last episode, the focus shifts back to Shu’s friend Yahiro, who finally gets a reappearance after four or five episodes.  While Shu is out shopping with Hare (who has a huge crush on Shu), he ends up meeting Yahiro, who is running away from GHQ goonies.  While Shu and Yahiro talk, Hare secretly tails them.  Yahiro ends up leading Shu to his hideout, where his brother Jun is resting.  Jun is still heavily infected with the apocalypse virus, and is in a late stage, with crystals covering almost half of his body.  Yahiro tells Shu that GHQ had planned to put Jun down, which is why they are now on the run.

This episode had some pretty heavy aquarium symbolism going on, actually.

Yahiro pleads with Shu for money, so they can continue running.  However, Shu decides to get Funeral Parlor’s help in housing the brothers.  Gai is out for a week, so Shu takes it into his own hands to get the brothers to safety.  As Shu and Yahiro (with Jun in hand) head over to a warehouse to meet with Funeral Parlor, they are attacked by GHQ members lead by Seiga, who had been spying on Shu and Yahiro. (run-on sentence what run-on sentence)  A small battle ensues; with Shu being forced to draw out Yahiro’s void to defend the siblings.

Daryl’s endlave is fitted with a new weapon able to target voids.  However, it ends up targeting Jun and his crystals, causing Daryl’s endlave to become infected, as the crystals migrate from Jun to the endlave.  The endlave seems to take on a mind of its own and goes haywire, taking out all other GHQ forces before setting its sights on Yahiro.  Shu is forced to stab the infected endlave with Yahiro’s void, and ends up seeing into Jun’s mind and memories of the Lost Christmas incident.  Jun reveals to Shu that the apocalypse virus infection allowed him to see peoples’ thoughts and “true self.”  Jun saw that Yahiro saw him as a burden, and even though he loves his brother, Jun was afraid the hate might someday consume him.  And so, Jun asks that Shu kill him with Yahiro’s void, the void that “severs life;” so that he will die while still loving his brother.

.....

Although Shu is heavily reluctant, the infected endlave readies itself to kill Yahiro, so Shu is forced to end Jun’s life.  After the battle ends, Shu then has to reveal to Yahiro (with a heavy heart), that Jun is dead, and he was the one that killed him.  From afar, Hare spies on the two.

...yeah...

My Opinion:

Even as much as I dislike Guilty Crown, I have to admit that this episode was fairly well-written.  It seems the regular animation company was at work here too, as there weren’t all those glaring QUALITY faces apparent this time around.  There are still SOME things I have to criticize, but this was on the whole, a rather good episode.

The first criticism is, if Seiga claims to still be spying on Shu all this time… then wouldn’t he have known about all of Shu’s dealings with Gai and the Funeral Parlor?  If that’s the case, Shu should have been arrested five times over by now; because I would think constantly infiltrating GHQ bases would warrant an arrest.  Of course, it’s highly likely that Seiga just doesn’t give a shit about what happens to GHQ, so long as he gets a good show out of all this.  The second point of criticism is: did Hare follow Shu and Yahiro around through THE ENTIRE THING?  Like… even the battle and stuff?  Because if so… she must either be amazingly stealthy or amazingly brave…

Criticisms aside, the plot concerning Yahiro and Jun was rather heartbreaking and it was written well enough that it sad without being overdramatic.  However, that’s bad for me because well… now I still kind of want to review this series!  It’s episodes in Guilty Crown like these that make me stay no matter how much I’ve raged about the series before.  Which also makes it all the more infuriating because these episodes are so much better than the stinker episodes in-between.   Guilty Crown, make up your mind!  If you were just outright bad, I wouldn’t feel so ambivalent towards you; and if you were good to begin with, I wouldn’t be bitching about you all the time!

So yeah… I guess I’ll stick to reviewing this series for a while longer.  Honestly, though; while Guilty Crown isn’t PAINFUL to review, it’s… it’s getting there.  Knowing that you’ll have a 75% chance of getting a bad episode each week is what makes me sort of dread reviewing GC.  Since there’s going to be 22 episodes of Guilty Crown; unless Guilty Crown manages to amaze me with its next few episodes, I will drop this series once the new anime season begins.  Because once I start university again, I really don’t have time to deal with this crap.

Out of five for this episode:

      and 1/2