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Guilty Crown - "void-sampling" - Episode 3 Recap

Having turned down Gai’s offer to join the Funeral Parlors (in my first recap
I referred to them as the Undertakers, FUNi is using a different
translation), Shu Ouma thought he had returned to his normal life. As he
sits in class pondering whether or not he made the right decision, his
professor states that they have a new transfer student. This student is
none other than Inori, sent to protect Shu from a student in his school
that accidentally saw his involvement with the terrorist group in the
previous episode. He learns that Gai can see what void a person has and
in order to find the student, he will have to extract voids until he and
Inori find the one that matches the description Inori has been given.

Episode three of Guilty Crown, “void-sampling,” is more or less a
training episode for Shu. He learns that there are
certain void rules that he must abide by and utilize to effectively master
the genom. Apparently informed by Inori, Shu states the rules all at
once and gets to work extracting voids left and right after suffering one mishap (grabbing the class representative’s boob). Shu learns the
rules rather quickly, which just makes everything a bit too easy for
him. He doesn’t find out the capacities of the genom through trial and
error, but rather through a simple explanation from Inori. How Inori and Gai know
these rules is unclear but I suspect they have someone working on the
inside of Sephirah Genomics. All in all the “training” itself wasn’t
bad, as we got to see Shu pull out numerous voids and become surer of
himself. We also received a vague explanation of what a void is. Again,
where Inori got all this information is unclear. I’m hoping that at some
point, this will be explained or at least hinted at. If not then all of
these details will come off as merely convenient, cheapening the appeal
of the show.

The student that witnessed Shu was in the
Roppongi district trying to obtain a popular drug known as the ‘Norma Gene.’
What this drug does is never stated; we just learn that it was accidentally
discovered when the apocalypse vaccine was being created. It seems Guilty Crown included this drug for two reasons: to try spice up the
typical training episode with a bland plot and to introduce a new,
sadistic villain named Major Segai. Unfortunately the plot was just
substandard this week, carrying little substance, as made evident by the fact that a majority of this episode consisted of displaying Inori in
erotic positions. It was also clear who the witness was five
minutes into the episode. The plot served its purpose here, but it was lackluster and a little disappointing after the prior two great
episodes. The one saving point was the killer cliffhanger at the end of
the episode, the one part of the plot that took an unexpected turn and made for an exciting conclusion. It took a stale episode and gave it life, and it’s a twist that definitely has me anticipating next week.

If better utilized, I
think this school setting can offer a nice break from the terrorist group
when Guilty Crown gets further entrenched in its plot. The students’
interaction with Inori was humorous and in general, I’d like to see a few
of the students developed more. The only thing I ask is that the Inori
fanservice be toned down. It consumed her character during this episode
and it isn’t giving her any positive characterization. It’s time for her to
get some development, as the quiet and mysterious girl shtick is
already getting old. I find Shu’s problems to be superficial, but being a
teenage boy I don’t mind it so much. His mother’s involvement with
Sephirah Genomics is an interesting plot point that will make his eventual involvement with Funeral Parlor a source of conflict. There were also a few other matters brought up during this episode
that I look forward to seeing explored later on, such as Gai’s ability to see voids.

Ultimately, “void-sampling” wasn’t the best Guilty Crown has had to offer. It was inevitable a training episode
would come along, but it felt like the creators were more concerned with
how they could angle Inori shots rather than the plot. Fortunately the
ending recalled the greatness of the series up to this point, serving as a genuine surprise during an otherwise predictable episode.

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