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Guilty Crown - "prey (Predation)" - Episode 9 Recap

After a vacation last week, Shu returns to school to find himself going
on a small shopping date with Hare. Unfortunately for Hare this date is
interrupted by the return of Yahiro, who had been caring for his ill younger brother Jun. Now he’s on the run from GHQ, so he desperately turns to Shu for help. Despite being betrayed by Yahiro before, Shu manages to
find sympathy for Jun and contacts Funeral Parlor. However the three were being tracked by Segai, and Shu again finds himself battling Daryl.

This episode was a nice change
of pace, if only because it was a spur-of-the-moment plot. There was no
planning from Gai or anything like that, so Shu had to act on his own
and make decisions. It appeared at first that it would be a rather silly
episode though, with Hare and Shu being forced into going on a shopping trip
with one another. Yahiro suddenly entering the scene was a pleasant
surprise. I like it when shows recall a lingering plotline and bring it
to a close. We also got to briefly explore the thoughts and actions of a
virus victim. Until now I was under the impression that the victims
with crystal encasing their bodies could not move or function, but here we learn that Jun can still move and think. The virus
also apparently allows an individual to see voids, just like Gai. This
is an interesting development that calls Gai’s health into question. We have seen him use a machine from time to time, so perhaps he is
actually a victim of the virus. Though Guilty Crown’s main story has
been inconsistent in quality, I have to say I like that the writers
have taken the time to establish smaller plots that become increasingly important as each episode goes by.

The Yahiro/Jun
situation is yet another reminder of how cruel GHQ is. They can decide
to end an individual’s life at any moment. After Yahiro outlasted his usefulness,
they no longer had a reason to keep his brother around. Yahiro had good
reasons to betray Shu before, but that still didn’t sit well with me. Evidently
Shu feels the same way, saying he is only helping Yahiro because Jun has
done nothing wrong. This episode said a lot about Shu’s strength of character; this is not the same pushover we met in episode one. He
calls GHQ and requests for them to meet him at a certain point, not
waiting for a yes or no, he just simply commands them to do what he is
saying. As Shu and Yahiro make their move they are caught up in a fight
with GHQ, so he quickly discerns the situation and they alter their plans. Shu’s confidence and competency in this situation
was a breath of fresh air. In past episodes Shu has been uncertain and
wavered in his decisions, whereas this time he knows he wants to save this kid.

The ending was pretty trippy. Daryl’s new weapon is suddenly
attracted to Jun’s crystals and Jun is attacked. The crystals and Jun’s
consciousness suddenly merges with the machine and he goes out of control,
taking down two other machines before attacking his brother. Shu
proceeds to stop him by stabbing the Endlave with Yahiro’s void, at which point we get an out of body experience where Shu witnesses a memory of Jun and Yahiro being together in happier times before the “Lost Christmas” happened.  Jun goes on to reveal that Yahiro’s void has the power to cut
through life, and that he wants Shu to end his. He says he has seen the
unkind side to his brother and several “kind” people. The sadness of
seeing this has become too much, so he wishes for his life to end. In
order to save Yahiro from being crushed, Shu goes along with Jun’s wish and
ends his life.

Ending Jun’s life is a big development for Shu,
who previously had never killed someone. When he tells Yahiro that Jun died at the end, you can see the sheer horror and guilt on Shu’s face.
This hits home when he whispers that he was the one who killed him. I
imagine this will eat Shu up and we will go through a phase of
depression with him. It isn’t a phase that is particularly enjoyable to
watch most of the time, but it makes for good character development. How
Yahiro takes this news remains to be seen. Another interesting inclusion
was Hare, who had been following the two from a distance. How much she
saw is unclear, but she definitely hears Shu admit that he killed
someone. So far she has been a pointless secondary
love interest, so perhaps this will give her involvement some purpose.
We also got some more eccentricity from Dan and Segai humorously playing
along with Dan’s enthusiasm.

Though one door on the Yahiro
plot has just closed, another has opened. His involvement always seems
to herald character development for Shu, so I expect him to be kept around for awhile. The first time Shu learned just how
naïve he was, and this time he has experienced the pain of ending a
life. Knowing Guilty Crown, Shu will probably just go cry to Inori and
she will make everything better. Hopefully this isn’t the case and Shu
continues to think for himself.

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