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Guilty Crown - "Survival of the Fittest" - Episode 2 Recap

Episode 2 of Guilty Crown, “Survival of the Fittest,” starts off right
where episode one left off. Activating the Void Genom, Shu pulls a giant
sword out of Inori and saves her at the last second from an incoming
Endlave (mecha) enemy. Another enemy approaches, but Shu manages to evade and defend
himself with the Void and then defeats him. With the battle coming to an
end, Shu returns the void he took from Inori and they escape to Gai.
The leader of the Anti Bodies division of GHQ Major Guin, isn’t happy
about the loss of the genom, so he takes all men, women
and children within the area hostage. To make matters worse the son of
the Major General, Second Lieutenant Daryl Yan, shows up in a
specialized Endlave. He is cruel and heartless and can’t stand being
touched by those he deems inferior to himself. Gai decides that now is
the time to make their group known to the public, and with the help of
Shu hatches a plan to save the hostages.

Though I am not
terribly impressed with the mecha designs for the Endlave, I do find the
method for piloting them interesting. Instead of having the pilot right
in the cockpit of the machine, they are remotely controlled by a user
that is hooked up in a pod. When the machine is injured, so is the pilot
and if they don’t “eject” in time they will suffer considerable damage
(or death). On the rebel side, the two pilots we have seen thus far are
Ayase and Tsugumi. Ayase was fine, but Tsugumi unfortunately is a
character that caters to a certain type of fan. She looks young, wears a
skin-tight pilot suit, cat ears and uses her butt to hit a button while
she is piloting. I’m sure you get the picture and can easily assess why
I am weary about such a character. I don’t mind a bit of fanservice
here and there, but only if the character has at least a tiny bit of
substance. As of now, Tsugumi has none. There were a few other moments
with blatant fanservice, like when Shu is crawling behind Inori in an
air vent and her underwear can be seen, but overall it didn’t hinder the
episode. Like I said, small doses are fine; I just hope it doesn’t get
out of control.

I’m guessing Shu has a huge crush on Inori,
because for someone who just met her he goes out of his way to make sure
she is treated well. I find this quality of Shu irksome, but for a male
his age it isn’t completely unreasonable. When Inori and Shu meet-up
with Gai he explains that Inori failed because he was supposed to
receive the void genom, not Shu. Suddenly Shu’s situation becomes sad.
He is just a normal guy who happened to get wrapped up into a
(potential) war that he isn’t sure he can handle or even want to be a
part of.

When Shu pulled the sword out from Inori, it was
thrilling and exciting (not to mention beautifully animated). It did a
good job in making me curious about the powers Shu had obtained, and I
was very pleased that the second episode divulged some information. The
void genom Inori stole is one of only three enhanced genoms developed by
Sephirah Genomics and bestows upon its user the “king’s power.” This
power analyzes the intron sequences in the human genom and uses their
hidden power to create Voids. The sword that Shu pulled from Inori is an
example of a Void, but the form and abilities are different when he
uses the king’s power on a different person. It’s an acceptable explanation
and it of course raises more questions, like whether or not every single
person has a Void. It’s also interesting that there are two more enhanced
genoms, which means somewhere down the line they will show up and cause
our protagonist problems.

The Anti Bodies (Special Virus
Disaster Response Bureau) and Daryl are the scum of the Earth. The Anti
Bodies have been granted permission to eliminate anyone they believe to
show symptoms of the virus, easily giving them the ability to abuse
their power and kill anyone they want. Shu watches in horror as a group
of men are lined up and about to executed. A woman runs up to Daryl and
begs for her husband’s life but is subsequently thrown to the ground and
beaten and then killed by him.

 

When Gai’s plan to save the
hostages finally starts, I found myself wondering why he waited after
the execution. If it was to get Shu invested in their motives, then that
is infuriating. It is possible he wasn’t aware the executions were
happening, but the way it was shot made it seem like he did. The plan
starts and Shu man’s up and is able to successfully execute his portion,
ultimately saving Gai from being filled with bullet holes. Utilizing
Daryl’s immobility while he was linked into his Endlave, Shu accesses
his void and produces a gun called ‘Kaleidoscope.’ Gai’s plan went a
little too well for my liking. He relied too heavily on someone he just
met, and for everything to come together so smoothly felt cheap. When
Gai asks Shu to join their group at the end, I thought Shu’s decision
was understandable and true to the character we have been introduced to.
He isn’t out of the hole yet though, as he finds out the next day that Inori
has transferred to his school.

“Survival of the Fittest” was a
successful follow up to the first episode of Guilty Crown, keeping the
anticipation and enthusiasm high while managing to provide a few
lingering answers. The antagonist has been introduced and the Gai’s
intentions are now public. The story may borrow elements from past
shows, but as long as it can develop them well and intelligently, I have
no problem with it.

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