Guilty Crown Episode 2

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Gai watches from the distance as Shu mops up the remaining GHQ Endlave mechs, neutralizing the threat before rescuing Inori. As he rushes to her aid, Gai warns him to leave the area within fifteen seconds. Elsewhere, Undertaker Shinomiya Ayase (Hanazawa Kana) sets course for her next target when a new-model GHQ Endlave appears out of nowhere, pursuing Ayase’s already-battered craft with deadly speed. In the pilot’s seat is Lieutenant Daryl “Kill-‘Em-all Daryl (皆殺しのダリル)” Yan, a mercurial, impulsive young officer with a demon’s taste for carnage. Outgunned and at a serious tactical disadvantage, Aya is nearly killed before Tsugumi (Taketatsu Ayana) performs an emergency ejection, leaving the bloodlust lieutenant supremely disappointed to have impaled nothing more than the husk of a lifeless cockpit.

As Daryl returns from his reckless sortie, he introduces himself to Major Guin, third squadron commander of GHQ’s Antibodies division (and the man who apprehended Inori in the previous episode), from whom we learn that Daryl is the son of a GHQ Major General. Cocksure and contemptuous of authority, Daryl declares he will do as he pleases, much to the consternation of Guin.

Gai voices his frustration at Inori’s failed mission and though Shu pleads on her behalf, Gai reminds him that in the end, results are what matter. One of only three of its kind developed by Sephirah Genomics, the vial containing the Void Genome Inori was supposed to have secured was intended for Gai’s use; but because Shu intercepted it, he has acquired the “Power of Kings.” The Void Genome harnesses the hidden power with the human genome and converts into Voids, which manifest as weapons and differ from person to person, the user can then extract at will. Gai solemnly warns Shu he can no longer remain a passive observer in the face of the circumstances around him and the responsibility to use the Power of Kings for good now falls squarely on his shoulders.

Gai receives a communications transmission from a subordinate, who informs him the Anti-bodies have stormed an underground safehouse and, along with the notorious Lieutenant Daryl Yan, are preparing to liquidate the hundred odd people caught there. Although Shibungi (Koyasu Takehito) advises Undertaker withdraw from the potential conflict in light of weaker numbers and overall firepower, Gai proposes a daring, overt combat operation to eliminate the
Antibodies forces and rescue the captives.

Gai explains the Antibodies are a special task force given carte blanche to declare people symptomatic and eliminate potential threats at their own discretion. (Although not entirely clear at the time of this writing, the Antibodies seem to function as both a paramilitary organization within GHQ as well as its primary means of enforcement, possessing characteristics of both the SS and the Gestapo of Nazi Germany.) GHQ’s brutality may be best personified in the person of Lieutenant Daryl, who in a fit of sadistic brutality beats a pleading female civilian to a bloody pulp before finishing her off execution-style. At Major Guin’s orders, the first group of citizens are put down and Gai issues the command to commence the operation.

Undertaker operatives begin by launching a salvo of long-range ground-to-ground missiles at the Antibodies forces, which they promptly intercept. Already thrilling to the prospects of direct combat, Daryl runs off to mount his Endlave and the rest of Undertaker’s Bravo and Charlie Teams begin their operation objectives, culminating in targeting the Antibodies field command center with numerous missile threats too numerous to intercept. Shibungi transmits a live communications feed direct to Major Guin’s command bridge, advising complete surrender and release of all hostages. Guin dismisses the offer with a counterthreat, demanding the leader of Undertaker to show himself.

Striding out into the open, Gai addresses Guin face-to-face with the latter issuing the ultimatum of divulging the location of the missing Void Genome by the count of ten. As Guin begins his count, Shu seizes the initiative; he locates Daryl’s cockpit and extracts his Void, a Kaleidoscope weapon that deflects Guin’s beam attack in a vast field of reflectors, shielding Gai from the onslaught and obliterating the Antibodies command center and detached Endlave forces below. Ostensibly, Daryl survives, pulled from the wreckage by a few remaining stormtroopers.

Gai walks over to the still speechless Shu, commending his efforts and inviting him to officially join Undertaker’s ranks. At school, Shu listlessly stares out the classroom window, wondering how his life would have changed had he accepted Gai’s offer. Content to slip back into his old routines, Shu prepares to continue his life as a normal high-school student. However, the introduction of a familiar face leaves him cold: Inori has transferred to his school and is now among his homeroom classmates.

What, Shu-kun: you thought you could just appropriate, albeit accidentally, the product of untold millions-of-dollars worth of top-secret genetics research; become initiated into the clandestine operations of an underground guerrilla movement; take part in rebelling against government authority with widespread damage to public property in collateral, and just walk away? Tsk tsk. You can’t stop now, you’re the protagonist. Notable in this episode: Lieutenant Daryl Yan is a narcissistic sadist after Knight of Ten Luciano Bradley’s own heart, with perhaps a touch of dandy-ism. I highly doubt Production I.G. would kill off a character with such dramatic impact potential on the plot, especially after just one episode, so I imagine we will be hearing a good deal more from “Kill-‘Em-All” Daryl as the series progresses. Gimme thrills; gimme chills; gimme spills; gimme kills.

Also, it’s fun to see some Hanazawa Kana + Taketatsu Ayana onscreen chemistry again.

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