Guilty Crown Episode 4 – Saved by a Prayer

Episode 4: “Flux”

I was actually going to take a break this weekend from GC and merge this episode with next week’s episode. But, as circumstances would have it, this episode gave such a slamming impact, it needed its own post. It not only gives us the rest of the information we have been waiting for, but it solidifies Shuu’s direction.

Finally, since the first episode, he does something that’s not like him.

Shuu (who actually has that long “u” there, so please don’t get confused since I’m going to type it like that from now on) is taken away by Major-I’ll-hang-you-upside-down-until-you-talk-Segai.  Inori is left helpless on the train, about to pull the emergency alarm in the train when one of Gai’s followers stops her.

As you could probably assume, Shuu is not feeling too great about all this.

Shuu dives into self pity as he reflects on his naive belief in Yahiro's word.

Shuu is taken to a prison/hospital/place with lounge rooms called Isolation Facility Four. It’s a rather versatile building, really.

Meanwhile, Gai keeps everyone busy by sending out a message proclaiming Undertaker will be raiding the facility where Shuu is being kept; only, not to save Shuu, but rather, to break out a mass murderer comrade.

Gai giving the classic terrorist video message. He's an expert at this.

For future reference, here is the mass murderer in question.

To be locked up so tight and not even able to see the world around him, who is this guy, really?

Yet, after interrogating Shuu with little results about Undertaker or the location of Gai, Segai decides to take a different approach and here’s where our knowledge comes to its peak.

Shuu is free of hand cuffs, but still stuck in the pajama like clothing they gave him.

Segai takes Shuu to another part of the facility to the isolation ward and shows him the reason Yahiro sold him out.

Yahiro needs money, basically. And he sells the drug Norma Gene to get that money. That’s where he was when he saw Shuu fight, selling the drug for a specific purpose; and with a large reward offered for turning in Shuu, it was hard to Yahiro to resist.

Who knew? The traitor has a little bro.

Now we finally see the effects of the Apocalyptic Virus.  It looks pretty brutal, and I can’t help but think I’ve seen that crystallization somewhere before.

Turns out, GHQ was responsible for bringing the virus under control and developing a vaccine after “Lost Christmas”, which is why most of Japan is living peacefully now. And they made such isolation wards such as these to take care of those who are still suffering from the virus.

In perspective, Major Segai poses a good question, shockingly.

It was in this conversation between the two where I found myself almost siding with this purple-haired Major. It’s hard to define who are the “good guys” and who are the “bad guys” here. After seeing GHQ mindlessly murder civilians in cold blood in episode 2, we are shown that GHQ is responsible for the peace as it is right now because of their soldiers that died. Can there be any excuse for killing another person, though? Shuu ponders this as he is informed of Gai’s plans by Segai. Before leaving him, Segai offers Shuu a chance by giving him a transmitter. If Shuu activates it, they will be able to find him when he’s with Gai and he will, in essence, become just like Yahiro: a traitor or a savior, depending how you look at it. And to make matters worse, Segai threatens to capture Inori and have her help him if Shuu refuses.

Inori is really becoming a bit of a crutch for Shuu, it seems. His weakness.

The question to ask now is where is Inori in all of this, but there’s no time. Shuu needs to meet with his lawyer.

Glasses don't suit Gai that well.

Once security is hacked, Gai drops the lawyer façade and starts rattling off the plan to Shuu. They plan to free the mass murderer, Kenji, and have Shuu draw out his void.

Something in Shuu clicks, and he makes an outburst in defiance.

Shuu starts questioning Gai’s motives, but the power is cut before much can be said and the operation begins.

Fortunately, Shuu does jump into action (grabbing a communicator that Gai left for him), but not without motivation. Now we finally see Inori’s role in this story.

Inori rushing into the Facility save Shuu.

Against Gai’s orders, she comes to rescue Shuu. Yet, Shuu ends up getting caught in the crossfire of the operation; but as fate would have it, he ends up right where Gai shoots out a bridge to stop the guards from transporting mass murderer Kenji out of the facility. Kenji falls down into a fountain in the courtyard where Shuu is and Shuu jumps into action, pulling out Kenji’s void.

He takes quick action and rushes to grab Kenji's void.
Kenji's void forming in Shuu's hand. Remember this crystalization?
Don't look so confused, Shuu. At least it's not a refrigerator.

With giant robots all around him, Shuu doesn’t have much time to think as he fires his newly gained gun and some unexpected results come from it.

This gun is no ordinary gun, it can manipulate gravity! Oh, the possibilities!

Inori then dives into the action, literally, and Shuu plays with gravity to finish up this battle.

Inori has a belief she can fly if she jumps from high places.
Climbing the newly floating water, Shuu meets Inori in mid-air and pulls out her sword void.
Slicing things up with some fancy moves through the air, all the while holding Inori.

After the fighting, Gai makes the offer again. Well, it’s more like an order.

And Shuu takes it.

But wait, Shuu kept the transmitter that Segai gave him!

Until next time~

Inori, while lacking character depth or much development seems to play the more important role of a plot device. Sure, she’s probably here for fan service, but she also gives a reason and weakness for Shuu to move forward. He tries to avoid her, yet he can’t manage it.

Flashing back to the first episode, there was a small flashback. Did Shuu perhaps know Inori in the past? What is she to him besides a burden and something he has to constantly defend?

Names are very important in Japanese. Unlike in English (in most cases), Japanese names come from actual words from the Japanese language. For example, Shuu’s first name is the kanji for “collection”. But Inori’s name stands out even more; it means “prayer”.

So, what is Inori to Shuu? A burden, an annoyance, or perhaps a prayer.

Goldy

Goldy is an illustrator in training who lives in the depths of the Northwestern desert, where the sagebrush and the rattlesnakes play.She's known for procrastinating in just about everything, except when it comes to drawing and anime.

5 thoughts on “Guilty Crown Episode 4 – Saved by a Prayer

  1. “Inori, while lacking character depth or much development seems to play the more important role of a plot device. Sure, she’s probably here for fan service, but she also gives a reason and weakness for Shuu to move forward.”

    From where I sit, Inori-as-jar is both unoriginal and a failing of an otherwise good series. Sure, I suppose if you consider the story a parable then its actors don’t need any agency. The mechanics of the Void Gene also reinforces this idea by making everyone of Shuu’s age into a potential tool for Gai’s quest.

    At the same time, the story reinforces this idea in this third episode montage, but also offers a much more interesting line of thought. If one’s Void is a representation of their complexes and fears then I personally think there is a rich vein of personal development for Inori worth examining.

    Arguing that her most important role is as a plot-token sells short the potential for her to become more interesting as the story gives her more agency.

    1. I agree about Inori – I think there’s a richness to her character that’s yet to be explored. At least I hope so – of all the characters thus far introduced, she’s the one that I think could really be developed in an interesting and entertaining way. But until, as Goldy wrote, she’s not much more than a plot device.

    2. I will admit, I’ve been pondering over Inori’s role in the story since the first episode. Out of all the characters, she still seems to be lacking a solid reason for being where she is and doing what she does. (is she simply there for a “romance”, or something deeper?)
      But, thank you for your well worded observation. I appreciate your take on it, and makes me think I may have been over-analyzing things. Inori certainly has the potential to be a more developed character rather than a plot device. Before this episode, she seemed to be the only thing that was driving Shuu towards using his power. She hardly has an identity beyond relying on Gai. But, from this episode, we see her breaking away from this. Maybe it’s a sign of good things to come.

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