The setting is a Japan that has had its sovereignty crushed in the name of combating a lethal virus, fittingly known as the Apocalypse Virus, and is run by GHQ, a paramilitary organization. GHQ and its soldiers, nicknamed Antibodies, can arbitrarily declare someone a threat and eliminate them on the spot as part of securing authoritarian rule under the guise of infection control. A wide variety of resistance groups have sprung up to combat them. One of the groups carries the ominous name Funeral Parlor, a name they say is a tribute to the generation of people lost under the brutal control of GHQ. Shu Ouma is a reluctant member of Funeral Parlor and his nation’s best hope from freedom.
Now: If you could manifest your soul into an object, what would it be? What would your soul represent? Would it be for war or peace? And what would it say about you? The world in which Guilty Crown is set, the manifestation of your soul is quite possible. Your soul or Void, as they are called, can be pulled from your body and made tangible by one who possesses “the hand of the king.” The person who has this amazing power is Shu Ouma, a high school boy who ends up with the weight of a country on his shoulders and the fate of the world in his hands. We now count down the top 10 most powerful Voids Shu has at his command in Guilty Crown.
10. Kenji Kido
Kenji Kido is a terrorist. He has very few redeemable qualities. He pretty much a psychopath who doesn’t care who he kills. His lack of regard for life makes him a very different kind of person than most of the other people labeled terrorists in Guilty Crown. He is young, under 17 years old, and in the custody of Funeral Parlor, because even homicidal maniacs have their uses.
A Void is supposed to in some way represent your soul; his is a gun that disables gravity over a vast area. When you first look at it, a gravity gun doesn’t seem to be nearly sinister enough for someone who kills for the joy of killing. The connection we can draw is the gun affects wide areas, meaning friend and foe alike are caught up in its effects. Gravity affects all things equally much like he sees all people and things as equally without value. That makes an indiscriminate gun appropriate for him and not very helpful if it really doesn’t give any one side a clear advantage.
9. Argo Tsukishima
Argo is a member of Funeral Parlor and a loyal supporter of Gai, the leader of the group. He is quick to defend his leader if anyone questions Gai’s authority. We don’t know a lot about Argo’s backstory. Argo does demonstrate on several occasions that he is a good soldier, relaying battle plans and carrying out operations that put his life at greater risk in order to see the mission achieve its objective.
Argo’s Void is a black stick that absorbs all the light in the vicinity. We watch Shu use Argo’s Void in a mock battle and it clearly gave him an advantage. The Void may represent that Argo is in a state of depression and has a gloomy personality. The advantage is that darkness can be used to confuse, infiltrate and gain the upper hand. Ninjas, Batman, and the armed forces use the cover of darkness all the time making Argo’s Void very useful indeed.
8. Daryl Yan
“Daryl the Butcher” is a 17-year-old lieutenant in the GHQ and is the pilot of a robotic exoframe called and Endlave. He earned the nickname because of his vicious ways. Daryl has no problems putting down men, women and children, often citing the excuse that they are infected. He is a skilled pilot and attacks with reckless abandon, but often lets his bloodlust interfere with staying on mission.
Daryl’s Void is the Kaleidoscope; a weapon that can reflect any direct attack even if it comes from multiple angles. His ability to deflect could come from his inability to express his own feelings and constant excuses to keep anyone reaching out to him. He seems to have a deep-seated need for his father’s approval. His father is the commander of GHQ. The weapon itself is very helpful. The ability to deflect your enemies’ attacks, even from artillery, is a clear and powerful advantage in a military operation.
7. Souta Tamadate
Shu doesn’t exactly have a large social circle in the beginning of the series. Souta is one of his few close friends. The two of them are opposite in personality, Souta the extrovert and Shu the introvert. They get on each other’s nerves, but have formed a very solid friendship; it’s a friendship pushed to its limits, but a close relationship indeed. Souta is a very kind person who cares deeply for others and at many times is Shu’s moral compass.
Souta’s Void is a camera, a fitting manifestation as a member of the film club. The camera doesn’t take pictures, it opens doors, windows, anything it is pointed at. Souta is one of those people you can’t help but like, even if you’re quiet and he’s not. People tend to open up to Souta, telling them their stories and worries. A key that opens any door is a powerful device because secret truths often lie locked behind doors.
6. Gai Tsutsugami
Every revolution needs a leader and Gai Tsutsugami is the main man organizing and resisting GHQ as the leader of Funeral Parlor. He is charismatic and calculating, a very dangerous combination in a military leader, especially one who believes in acceptable losses. We learn later that Gai is also one of the first three people exposed to the Apocalypse Virus and, though Shu doesn’t remember, a childhood friend of Shu and his older sister Mana. In many ways he is Shu’s rival when it comes to the direction Funeral Parlor will take in combatting GHQ.
We really don’t see a lot of the physical manifestation of his Void. We do however know that because of his early exposure to the virus he has the ability to tell what kind of Void people have inside them though he can’t draw it out. The reason Gai is such an excellent tactician is that he has the ability to plan detailed operations and predict people’s actions. It is like he can see into your soul and tell what you will do in a given scenario. The ability to look into the soul of your opponent on the battlefield is a powerful tool to leverage for victory.
5. Yahiro Samukawa
He’s a good-looking guy, decent student, member of the film club and a friend of Shu, which all make you want to like Yahiro at the beginning of the story. We see him as a sociable young man, but that is an act. He constantly wears a mask to hide his motives, anger and discontent. We quickly find out that he is a drug dealer with the street name of Sugar. We also see his loyalty to his friends only goes so far.
Yahiro’s Void resembles an overly complicated pair of shears with the ability to cut through almost anything. The form of his soul comes from the secret hidden in his heart about his younger brother, Jun. Jun is hospitalized with the virus, forcing Yahiro to constantly make sacrifices, including selling drugs to make money to cover the bills. Yahiro goes on several times about how much he loves his brother and every despicable thing he does is for him. We find deep down he sees his sick brother as an obstacle, a burden he simply wishes he could cut ties with and allow to die. A weapon formed with the ability to cut anything, including family bonds, is truly a formidable one.
4. Ayase Shinomiya
The word pride can be used to describe Ayse. She is a strong-willed person with a bit of a tsundere attitude, especially toward Shu. As a member of Funeral Parlor, she is a talented Endlave pilot able to take on multiple opponents with the mecha unit. The first thing you probably notice about this beautiful young woman is that she is confined to a wheelchair. She doesn’t like being pitied and never asks for help if knocked from her chair. She also doesn’t want anyone to see her climb back up in the chair, deeming it unladylike.
Ayse’s Void is a pair of legs. It is also one of the few Voids we see after being drawn out being almost exclusively used by its owner. The legs make sense as a Void, giving her amazing speed, jumping ability, and most of all the pride of standing tall on her own two feet. We see her use those legs to outwit a band of marauders trying to sack the school in the lawlessness created by a quarantine. We all need to be humble and respect our limits, but it is pride that enables us to push ourselves beyond those limits and can be is a very powerful emotion.
3. Arisa Kuhouin
Arisa is the very model of a student council president in a time of peace. She is kind, virtuous, and will stand up for her fellow students. She is the granddaughter of a rich industrialist who also runs a terrorist organization like Funeral Parlor called the Undertakers. Arisa isn’t the cunning person her grandfather is, either. She was completely capable of running a student council, but when the world begins to fall apart and the students become refugees in their own school they look to her for answers and she is indecisive, causing chaos.
Arisa’s Void is a beautiful glowing shield that looks like an upturned flower. The strength of the shield is immeasurable, at one point preventing a cruise missile attack on a ship at sea. We look at the shield as a representation of Arisa’s inability to stand up for herself and being a tool of her grandfather’s organization, and even the school, since as a student council president she just went with the flow and didn’t act proactively on anything. She simply stands behind it in a completely defensive position, though as we see Shu use it a good defense can make a great offense.
2. Hare Menjou
Hare is the representation of kindness in this violent world. She is the sweet girl next door character who loves Shu. Hare feels his pain and anguish, understands his awkwardness and tries to be a calming influence on him as the pressure of the situation comes crashing down. She is the type of person who gives you their bottle of water on a hot day regardless of whether they have more left for themselves.
Hare’s Void represents a string of bandages that have the power to heal not only people but inanimate objects as well. When Shu draws it out for the first time he describes it as “warm” and feels it fitting for an object that represents the kindest person he knows. You can have shields and weapons but without someone to fix those devices or heal your wounds, battle can be very dangerous. Her healing kindness is one of the most powerful Voids.
1. Inori Yuzuriha
She is a mystery. She is a dream. She is a songstress. She is sexy. She is a terrorist. Inori is the lead singer of the band Egoist and a member of Funeral Parlor. She follows Gai’s orders and seems to have an instinctual need to please him. She seems to be cold, distant and unemotional in the personality department, but that is an unfair assessment based on her quiet voice and her calm demeanor. Inori has a lot of emotions just under the surface, some of them even she can’t describe or understand as a result of her being grown in a test tube. You see in her sweet actions toward her friends and the way it looks like killing puts a sour taste in her mouth even though she is very good at it.
Inori’s Void is a sword, the most powerful of all the Voids. The clear destructive power of the 11-foot blade slicing through metal and concrete as if it were paper and deflecting flame and artillery as if swatting so many flies is made evident early on. We wonder, though, why a sword? A sword is a simple tool, much like Inori, created for a purpose. But a tool can also be beautiful, depending on who it serves. Inori is different when serving Gai as a cold emotionless killing machine, versus when she serves and falls in love with Shu and expresses her feelings more. She even smiles. Inori is the most memorable character of Guilty Crown and absolutely possesses the most powerful Void.
We know that people will quickly look at this list and ask where Shu fits among the most powerful Voids. If you look carefully you’ll see Shu everywhere. He is the one who has the power to draw out the representation of your innermost truth. His Void, like Gai’s, isn’t a thing, it’s an ability, something you can’t hold or touch. Shu’s truth is that he can’t accomplish anything without the help of others. When you wholly commit yourself to something you are risking a lot by putting yourself out there. The members of Funeral Parlor as well as Shu’s friends who find themselves a part of the resistance at times truly commit themselves heart and literally soul to their cause. Shu’s power also comes with great risk, the risk of losing your soul. If your Void is broken you die. Yet we see the complete trust his comrades have in him as they put their souls in his hands. We are left with wondering who in our lives we would trust with our souls.