Code Geass Final Thoughts


As promised, here is our final review of Code Geass as a whole. Anything goes here comment wise, and I hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of Geass this past 6 months. I know I’ve enjoyed writing about it and engaging in conversations with my readers. I’d like to thank all of you that read my entries (and I was really surprised how many of you there were). I’d especially like to thank those commenters who contributed each week and gave me a lot to think about. Finally, thanks to Crusader for putting his spin on things and serve as a counterweight to my fanboyisms.

Characters

I’m starting with characters first because I think that characters are the primary reason in which I thought this show was great. You know that you really care about the characters in a show when you get gravely pissed off when they get trashed in their development later on.

Lelouch is probably the only character that really had a full character development over the entire series. They pretty much had no choice in that matter because he was the main character, and without him changing over the course of the show it would have been a flop. He slowly transitioned from pure rage (death of his mother), to a careful planner (OotBK), to being held back by his emotions (Shirley/Euphemia/Nunally), to sacrificing his morals for success (Euphemia, OotBK, geass cult), to throwing away his past (his parents, Nunally), to dedication to the end result (taking over Brittania), and finally, to self-sacrifice (death). None of the other characters had anywhere near the same level of development. I hugely enjoyed his various theatrics and over-the-top speeches throughout the series, second only to the awesomeness that was Emperor Wakamoto. Those speeches were just amazing to watch. And who could forget the fabulousness…

The rest of the cast was way over inflated. During the first season it didn’t seem so large, and I fell for Kallen, C.C., and Kaguya, in that order. More than just because I thought they were hot, I found especially C.C. to be a deeply intriguing character to follow. I really found it unfortunate how they destroyed many of the great characters from season one over the course of R2, people like Cornelia, Toudou, and Kallen. The cast is so huge that I really can’t discuss them individually here, you’ll have to look through all my posts to see my views on all of them. But in the end, do you think you will ever forget all of the characters? Think of all the memorable side cast (Shirley, Rivalz, Milly, Nina, Lloyd, Cecile, Ougi, Villetta, Anya, Gino, Orange, Cornelia, etc.), something for everyone and a cast that will stay with me.

Character Ratings: 8/10 due to R2 character destruction (Lelouch 10/10)

Crusader’s Take:

I have made it no secret my utter loathing for poncy effete ivory tower eggheads with a  pretension to military genius, I am very much a follower of advocates of total war when is comes to the philosophy of war and the hard science of conflict. Suffice to say the titular lead of Code Geass deviated and tried unsuccessfully to challenge the legacy of Clausewitz in a rather sloppy manner. Clausewitz was right Goro is wrong. Were it so easy Lulu, were it so easy. Milage varies with regard to lead charcters and suffice to say mine was worse than a H2.

Still other than that the cast was bursting at the seams and since death was only for the most part temporary much of the drama was killed off once the reality of the revolving door for the office of death was discovered. At least in R1 the cast was at least manageable if barely in R2 it just got ridiculous to the point remebering people’s names had become a chore. In the end it seems every one from the first season who survived suffered greatly in the development department to make way for new guys who never amounted to much of anything. Li in particular seemed little better than an expendable Todou clone, and given how he was trumpeted as an equal of Lulu and Suzaku it was sad to see that it was certainly not the case give how Li had very little action to speak of and how the Kallen vs. Suzaku rivalry, and Schniezel vs. Lulu rivalry made Li a secondary actor at best. We don’t get much to work with in regards to the rest of the cast and it just highlights the pitfalls of having such a large cast without enough death to cull off people who no longer have a real purpose. In hindsight R2 could have benefited more from an Ali al Sarshes that could have eliminated some of the fat. As it stands I still feel that the Knight of Rounds were misused since they could have been so much more.

Character Rating: (R1) B+, (R2) C-, (Final Grade) C

Music

I think a lot of people would have ignored this or even put it at the end but not me. The music in geass was absolutely superb, one of the top 5 all-time for sure. Starting with the OPs, “Colors” (aka Jibun Woooooooo) by Flow remains near the top of my playlist even today, a perfect rocking pace to the start of the series. “Kaidoku Funou” by Jinn wasn’t particularly exciting, but it was tolerable, but “Hitomi no Tsubasa” from Access was a rock solid closing song for the first season. As for R2, initially I found that “O2” from Orange Range wasn’t particularly fitting, but it grew on me over the course of the season and once that single came out and has become one of my favorites. Plus, nothing beats how pumped you get when they show Orange-kun while singing “I continue to fight!” They went back to Flow for “World End” to finish off R2, and while I found that it was decent, it wasn’t all that memorable. The various EDs served their purpose quite well, even though I don’t particularly care for Ali Project. They slowed things down a bit at the end of each episode, doing what EDs are supposed to do.

The OST was even better than the collection of OPs end EDs. If you have not listened to all four sets of them, do yourself a favor and get your hands on them. The bgm throughout was top notch, with upbeat action tracks for combat (“In Justice,” “Nightmare,” “All-out Attacks,” and “Guren”), wistful tunes for the various bouts of comedy (“School Festival!” “Stray Cat”), and the lulz for the theatrics (“The Master,” “All Hail Brittania!”). They did a wonderful job with the serious moments as well, with the many inserts by Hitomi creating a believable mood of seriousness and emotion. Highlights of her music include “Stories,” “Masquerade,” and “If I Were A Bird.” It definitely ranks right up there with Kure-nai among recent OSTs I can’t stop listening to.

Music Rating: 10/10

Crusader’s Take:

I can’t say much about the music since I was by and large still recovering from the positively sublime musical overload from Macross Frontier, still Ali-Project did not over awe me in the slightest. In that light I canot give a fair assessment for the music of CG even if I felt that Rolo’s death song was horribly out of place for that ingrate.

Music Rating: No Grade

Mecha

Well this is a mecha show, so I had to say something on Geass’ mecha. The concept behind the original mecha in Geass was excellent. I mean it borrowed a bit from Votoms, but otherwise the concepts they put out were fairly unique. They put in a lot of thought and detail into it, I’ve been reading a good amount of the side materials that came with my R1 DVDs. Ground-based mecha were a refreshingly different type these days, and the weaponry (especially the slash harkens) kept it that way. However, they went away from this in R2 significantly with the advent of floaters and lasers. Eventually they didn’t even need floatpacks, they just had wings =/

The fights were pretty lively first season, which focused on tactics rather than who had the super duper mecha for the most part. However, the second season saw a tech wars explosion, as we went from the 6th generation KMFs (Sutherland) to the 9th (Lancelot Albion) over just what, 2 years? There was always a new mecha that just went around and kicked everyone’s ass, including the Shinkirou, Shen Hu, Guren, etc.

Mecha Rating: 9/10 (R1) and 7/10 (R2) average out to 8/10.

Crusader’s Take:

The mecha combat in R2 was not very fulfilling in my opinion because once the float packs started showing up it became very Gundam and lost it’s R1 charm. To be fair they did kind of bring the old R1 land roller system and harken slashes back into prominence with the last duel, but I had hoped that it would have forgone the float pack entirely and differentiated itself from Gundam as it stands it lies somewhere between VOTOMS and Gundam and not excelling as a result. The mecha designs were not terribly original given how the Tristan/Kyrios and Mordred/Virtue comparison was inevitable given how uninspired they were from the outset.

Even when new Knight of Rounds KMFs were introduced they did not last nearly as long and in some cases many of them were out righted cheated of mecha screen time. Perhaps as a political drama CG succeeds but from a mecha stand point I think that it was fairly mediocre given how the comparisons to Gundam were being openly invited in the case of Lancelot Albion and its glaring similarity to Wing Zero. R1 at least had many grunty suits with minimal custom frames, that ethos was dragged out and shot once they started skipping Knightmare generations to get to Lancelot Albion. Even if they were loaded with Strike Freedom levels of fire power I cannot over look the uninspired designs of the lead mecha. I did like the Vincents and Wards but given how they were rapidly reduced to cannon fodder status it was much less enjoyable when their life expectancies post Rolo were dismally short.

Overall from a mecha stand point Code Geass is passable and offers nothing new to the genre other than to emulate Gundam. It could have done better things had they stayed on the ground and used that land roller system in new ways but in the end it was easier for them to go for a more Gundam feel. When I first saw the Knightmare frames I was excited these things had ejection systems and were purely land based, but in the end the ejection system was little used unless the plot called for it (like giving Asahina gazongas) or if Tamaki needed to get away. It was by no means terrible, but after being a veteran of G Gundam, VOTOMS, and most Tomino Gundams I cannot honestly say that Code Geass does anything new or terribly memorable. The mecha element of R2 was in many ways a quaternary aspect to the series as it could have easily been replaced by Suzaku going Super Saiyan instead. It lacked the homages to justify most of the R2 mecha designs that bore too much of resemblance to other mecha design concepts from Gundam 00, and as a result feels very derivative and safe. It was a lost opportunity in my opinion to bring land combat into the mainstream, and as a result it is just a sign of stagnation in the Sunrise mecha department if they cannot figure out how to better differentiate their mecha series. As it stands with the float pack, the land roller system became superfluous and looked out of place like a telescopic sight on a paintball gun.

While R1 had it’s unique combat R2 sputtered out with a Knightmare obsolescence scheme worthy of Microsoft. It just did not feel right to go from R1 showing some thought going into the battles to “Oh new KMF. stand aside very one, new guy is going to kick every one’s ass until the next new model.”

Mecha Rating: (R1) B+, (R2) C-, (Final Grade) B-

Story

Ah the story, much maligned and much discussed. From a purely artistic standpoint it was pretty pathetic, with huge and gaping plotholes as well as jarring shifts and a massive lack of pacing. The plotholes especially made analysis often difficult, using the current dispute over Lelouch’s survival as an example. I find it hard to make a serious and in-depth analysis over clues they have given because most of it is probably wildly unintentional. There are so many abandoned plotlines and gaps in the story that create problems. As for the pacing, I didn’t have a problem with it in R1 when there were many episodes left, but looking back the Mao arc was fairly useless. In R2 we saw obvious pacing problems as the latter half of the series was extremely rushed at times and lacked proper buildup and explanation. I think the most egregious example was Marianne, who showed up suddenly in episode 20 with a cursory explanation and then was promptly killed off the next episode. The entire series up to that point was so focused on Lelouch finding out what happened to his mother, and they shoved it at us in two episodes.

However, despite the problems above in an artistic sense, the story was entertaining in ways I wouldn’t have thought possible. Some may say it’s a trainwreck, some say it was for the lulz, and others a big trolling by Sunrise. Any way you describe it, those that watched it every week were unquestionably drawn to it if only to watch what crazy shit was going to happen next. Anything from Euphemia killing all the Elevens to Nunally showing up on the phone looking for her onii-sama. While the series often went off and lost focus on an individual episode basis, there was an overriding drive to it that was knocked around by whatever batshit insane plot twist the writers could come up with.

Story Rating: 5/10 (artistically), 10/10 (lulz/entertainment)

Crusader’s Take:

In terms of story CG was all over the place which really made it hard to discern if there really was a consistent narrative to begin with. Maybe it is a more modern anime in plot has been killed for the sake of inter-contextual bullshit. I call it BS because I am not a believer in throwing around big words with a pretension to philosophy as really a constructive exercise. That said maybe there was something very deep about CG but it was covered in a fog of lulz, fabulousness, fanservice, and yaoi bait. Perhaps there was a psychology dissertation buried within some of the more artsy episodes, but if there was my attention was diverted away to Millay’s funny hats and her Ashford antics. The thing that still stands out in my mind about rushed pacing with no build up was Marianne, for someone whose presence was an integral part of Lulu’s motivations, it was disappointing to see her come back and die within a scant few episodes of returning from the dead. Plot twists were to be expected but eventually the narrative became a whole string of plot twists some of which are not very satisfyingly explained and seemed geared towards shocking the viewer. In many ways I would have been able to put up with more of the “fuck with the ground” bullshit tactic they had been using if this was a fantasy setting. Alas it was not so and within a science fiction setting it doesn’t work nearly as well when my years of science class scream out in anguish over the instant swamp from an inch of water, and the bubble bath of doom from a scant amount of methane.

However I have to admit some of the moments like Rocket Emperor Wakamoto were genuinely funny. In that regard I did have a good laugh here and there, despite my greivances with its attempts at coherence. I still very much like how Cornelia was able to build up an artillery unit “from scraps in a cave” along with her glorious knifing of V2.

Story Rating: (Overall pacing/narrative) D+, (Lulz) A+

Overall Satisfaction and Conclusions

The numbers I gave for this rating were completely arbitrary and are totally subject to final modification. In the end when you try to give a series a final number or letter rating, I believe you have to consider everything as a whole. Is this a 10/10 show when you look at it from an artistic perspective? No, but then again I don’t possess a visual arts degree. When I rate shows like this I rate them based on my enjoyment, how much fun I had each week watching it. Now I really enjoyed R1, with all the keikkaku doori, the David against Goliath revolution, the twists, the combat, etc. After I watched it I gave it a definite 10/10. But when I try to rate the series as a whole I look at it a bit differently.

R2 took the emerging level of lulz and fabulousness from the first season and took it into the next gear at every possible moment. Yes there was cast inflation and a rushed plot, but I just couldn’t help each week writing a long blog entry, trolling around on /a/, building my .jpg collection, and going back and forth with all of you commenters. I spent many many hours on this show doing various things, and while it may slow down now that the series is over, I still have my LE R1 DVDs being released as well as all of the official English novel releases. Bandai and Sunrise are guaranteed to collect a couple of hundred dollars of my hard earned money. But you know what, they earned it. At the end of nearly every episode, I could look back and say “hey, that was entertaining.”

Overall Rating: 10/10

Crusader’s Take:

In the end I don’t think that Geass was a critical success mostly because in the end the Ashford antics demolished what credibility it really had as a serious musing on philosophy/psychology or whatever deep thing they were trying to go for. I highly doubt that CG has much re-watch value simply because much of the plot twists seem to lose their impact if you know what is going to happen. More over the huge cast was hard to keep track of and coupled with the revolving door of death it’s hard to care about some of the characters. As I have stated before as a mecha series it did not rock my world so to speak a lot of it has been done before and the introduction of the float pack really cut down my enjoyment of the series along with the post Rolo mistreatment of such great mecha like the Vincent and the Ward.

Nevertheless while my first experience with this franchise leads me to conclude that it is not my kind of mecha series, as it is dominated by other aspects that I am rather indifferent (harem elements) and hostile to (teenage emotional turmoil for the sake of teenage emotional turmoil), that does not mean it is therefore out and out bad. I don’t like much of it but it is very much a mainstream mecha series in that is tries to introduce other demographics into the mecha camp: your yaoi enthusiasts, your harem audience, and to a degree perhaps even your hard core lit majors who just love seeing some intercontextual allusions to famous works (being treated in a very light manner of course) that a science major like me could not give any less of a damn about. I think of CG as gateway series into the mecha genre for a lot of people, and while I probably will never revisit the franchise, unless I have a bottle of Jack, it has in the end made me more appreciative of Gundam 00 for remaining a bit more true to the older standards of mecha. It is my hope that now that Sunrise has in it possession a mecha cash cow that can cater exclusively to the casual mecha fan that likes having yaoi elements, harem elements, and for the younger folks that all of their future bishie pilots and pilots under the voting age can be inducted as Knightmare pilots instead of tossing them into a Gundam.

Maybe now even if the mecha combat between CG and Gundam are more or less the same perhaps what will define one from the other is that Gundam will finally see the return of old husky pilots like Ramaba Ral and Norris Packard. In the end CG has left a fine legacy for /a/ with a veritable tanker load of memes that will be with us for sometime. It should not be forgotten how much CG has contributed to meme culture and hopefully that will be a more lasting and positive legacy than being decried in later years as that blasted series that introduced BL and harem into mecha.

Overall Rating: (Critically) B- (Contribution to Memes and lulz) A+

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30 Comments

  1. Ominae
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Main reason I liked it is with the various Knightmares and the Britannian Armed Forces and how they were getting owned by the Kuro No Kishidan. XP

  2. Posted October 3, 2008 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    I’m going to have to disagree on you in the music department, Calawain. I’m setting myself up to be the music blogger in a few months’ time, but for now, let me say this:

    Code Geass’ music, much like their characters, spawns little interest in its persona. They give one little burst, you get into it…then suddenly dies off. Like Lelouch, it goes for one heck of a roller-coaster ride…only, as you said, Lelouch is the only one with a 10/10 for development.

    The music seems above average in composition but almost bottom-bare on personality and something I like to call “heart and soul”. The emotion is there, the heart isn’t.

    That’s not to say the music isn’t good: it just doesn’t fit the series. As such, I can’t say I agree with the 10/10 rating.

    If I had to grade it, I’d say 73%. If succeeds well in giving the message, but fails in the delivery.

  3. Posted October 3, 2008 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Quoted from thenightsshadow:

    The music seems above average in composition but almost bottom-bare on personality and something I like to call “heart and soul”. The emotion is there, the heart isn’t…

    If[sic] succeeds well in giving the message, but fails in the delivery.

    Actually, the music OSTs are by itself interesting. (Did anyone understood the story behind In the Hall of the Mountain King?) I think the music is but a complement to the story, by itself does offer deep bass and “orchestral,” “epic” sounds, which heightens the sense within. It’s sad, really, when the whole experience [of listening to the 4th OST as I am currently listening to now] reminds you how silly the entire show has become.

    Otherwise, for me, I would ask any American/rich Asian non-Mandarin-speaking bastards to buy this just once, for the lulz, and pass it on to the rest of your fellow friends/otaku. It’s like watching the Holy Roman Emperor drowned in the River Saleph.

  4. Coaxen
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Anyone who had seen Gankutsuou wouldn’t agree with the music rating :/
    Only a few pieces are good enough to call them superb. E.g. the Britannia Anthem, which fits the empire perfectly. Or some of the Hitomi singles.

    From the 4 OST’s I found about 20 pieces(music and mosaic pieces as well XD) that deserve some place in my playlist. That’s roughly one fifth of the whole OST.

    Giving CG’s music a 10/10 is forgetting FLCL, Mushishi, and a whole lot of other series. Let’s keep some standards despite fanboyism, okay? ;)

    BTW. the header images in this post fit perfectly XD

  5. Posted October 3, 2008 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    I have to say, the character of C.C. kinda deflated in the last couple of episodes (maybe after she got her memories back)

    Then again, I still reckon Shirley was the best

  6. Sagittarius
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    R1 was an excellent show, with the characters and story run very well in my opinion. Much of the show was unique in a way that was pleasing to the viewer.

    R2, however was halfway a screw up yet halfway a success. The plot and characters went totally haywire by the second half of R2 while the first half of R2 I would say was of a similar high standard as R1. I was going to come to the conclusion that the show was retarded and should be given up on at episode 24 but the finale provided such a satisfying closure yet open to different interpretations. The ending I would say was one of if not the most satisfying part of the whole Geass series for me. That redeemed the series for me, for whatever the flaws I felt much for Lulu and certain members of the cast. While some major trolling was involved I would rate this as a good series for sure.

  7. SoSo/Karin lover
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Season 1 was good. Season 2 was a Trainwreck. And that’s all i have to say.

  8. XXX
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    “I really found it unfortunate how they destroyed many of the great characters from season one over the course of R2, people like Cornelia, Toudou, and Kallen. ”

    Of those I’d only say Cornelia was “destroyed”. Toudou barely got enough screentime so I’d say he was more or less abandoned along with the rest of the Black Knights, and while the way Kallen was handled towards the end angered many and was somewhat questionable in itself, to this day I continue to disagree and think she wasn’t “destroyed” as a character. Not to mention she got probably one of the few decent closures, even if not in the way people expected.

    Loved the OST and the OPs/EDs were fine overall. Unfortunately, some tracks still haven’t been released.

    The floaters and lasers were already present in R1, if you recall, but I’d agree that the technological progression and introduction of newer mecha did make the result a little generic in R2. Not horrible, but far less unique. Still, the battles started out well, got worse along the way and improved for the final episode or, stretching things a little, the last couple or so.

    The story…I’d say it was a mixed bag, hurt by the pacing and increased plot twists which did significantly increase towards the second half of R2, leaving some unanswered questions and all, but not to the point of being pathetic IMHO. There is a narrative centered around Lelouch himself, who carries a lot of the story and from his perspective it does work quite well, plot twists and all. Some actual plotholes do exist, but others I’d disagree with, as commented at other times. There’s little point in debating any of that again though, and since a lot of distractions prevent people from taking things too seriously, I suppose that’s in part the series’ own fault.

    Finally: Code Geass as a whole gets an B from me, R2 gets a C+ and R1 a A-.

  9. Zentari
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Code Geass was not LOTGH v2 ,not Gundam 00 season 1.5, but it was FUN.
    R2:
    Over the top , ridiculous but at the same time it always kept me on my seat for the coming plot twist (every episode has at LEAST one ).

    R1:Like Crusader , I really liked the rollers and the harkens.It was also coherent and lacked the ‘ZOMG, new Knightmare , PLOTTHAX !!! ‘ thing of R2 .

  10. Chaotic Reaper
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I have this to say code geass was a blast. even with the plotholes and massive amounts of characters, Sunrise gave us a good anime. Which this is one of the few animes that has actually ever left me at the end more then half the time looking at my computer atfter the last scenne in an episode goin “holy**** didnt see that coming” R1 was great and ive watched it through at least twice by now. R2 was was crazy, it had its moments during the season but all in all it was good.
    But you know that no matter how bad an episode pissed you off at times there was always a plot tist that would make you forget about it and just get overly excited for the next one. To be honest im gonna miss wastin 30 minutes of my sunday evening watching it. But alas its on to the next anime i guess.

  11. Posted October 3, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The greatest anime ever!!!!

  12. Posted October 3, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed it till the end!!!! Well, the characters and the storytelling were awesome!!!!! Hope they’ll do smth like an oav or some more episodes in the future even so i know it’s the end! Do you think Lelouch is dead? I’m confused, if someone has more infos about it , please let me know. True his eyes were just like Euphy when she was dying but Orange – kun was rather in a good mood ( like enjoying the show) even though he cared about him, which makes me think that death was an act like everything lelouch did, an act to deceive the world and to bring peace ( well anyway he won’t be seeing Nanaly again). Charles, before his disappearance touched Lelouch and must have passed his Code of imortality to him. I also heard that the final seconds in some dvds portrayed Lelouch ( i mean we could see his face) at the end, he was driving the carriage, someone know if it’s true?!!! Really important!!!Well, thanks!!! And don’t you think it’s the best show ever? Well and the chrter of Cornelia wasn’t destroyed, she’s got the ending I wanted her to. Happy for her and Karen, reunited with her mother!!!!!

  13. Rpgingmaster
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    By the end of R2, the only characters I cared about were Lulz-louch, Orenji, Supameido (why the hell did they not give her any epilouge?!?!?!?!?!), and everybody else I was either entertained by or indifferent to.

    I’ll admit, R2′s over the top BS with every episode really f**ked with my mind more than once, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the most entertaining mindf**kery I’ve ever experienced. Yes, the plot did go kinda BFI towards the end, but looking back, it all, creepily enough, makes enough sense that I’m willing to live with how it all turned out, and even though the ending was open as hell (and the question of whether Lelouch died will probably remain open forever, unlike the fairly settled Char Anzable/Amuro Rei debate of Char’s Counterattack), I must say I like how it resolved itself for the most part.

    Personally, I’m more curious as to how they’ll fit this series into a Super Robot Wars game (especially with it insane plot twists) than whether they’ll slap together an OVA to suture any remaining plot holes, but either way, this series was entertaining, and even if it’s only redeeming factor was it’s Excel Saga like saturation of epic, bats**t crazy lulz, I’m perfectly happy I watched this, and would proudly recommend it to anyone else.

    P.S.- Besides, even if this series goes down as the worst anime ever in most people’s minds, they’ll at least admit it was uniquely bad enough they were willing to stick it out to the end to see how it turned out, so if nothing else, it was entertaining in it’s sheer draw to just plain watch.

  14. Halcyon
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I concur with my braintwin Calawain.

    As much as Code Geass made me rage, I continued tuning every week to see what latest shenanigans Sunrise came up with.

    Overall enjoyable but I wouldn’t want to sit through it a second time.

  15. XXX
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    To that…I can only say I’ve already went through the first season a couple of times (for a total of 3, counting the initial airing) with zero problems (even if you know what’s right around the corner), and I probably will re-watch R2 at some point.

    Not just yet, since I need to move on to other things, but I don’t think I’ll actively avoid it. Unlike…say, Dragonaut, which you’d have to pay me for a re-watch (considering I dropped the whole thing early on and only kept up with blog posts on it).

  16. Narrator 1
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    As for me, I remember clearly all of the compare-and-contrast exercises between Yagami Light and Lelouch vi Britannia. Both of them were manipulators out to create a new world, both of them had ambiguous motives and were likely in it for themselves, etc., etc. The final episode of Geass really drove home the deciding difference between Light and Lulu.

    After defeating L, Light enjoyed his status at the top for seven years and had to be knocked off his pedestal by the new kids on the block. However, Lelouch demonstrated that he truly meant well. It’s still up in the air as to whether or not Lelouch actually died, of course, but the point was that he used the ruler’s mantle only long enough to eliminate the remaining threats to genuine world peace. After those were done, he removed himself from the picture in true fabulous manner, a far cry from the screaming, gibbering, swimming Light. That’s what left the impression with me.

    All in all, I won’t say Code Geass was the most enlightening anime of all time. Far from it. But it was sure a fun, fabulous ride, filled with pizza, white hats, pink swords, ass-hats, and of course Cornelia!

    Addendum: CC >> Ryuk

  17. Myssa Rei
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Calawain: Hey, where’s the promised Sir Jeremiah Gottwald/Orange-kun entry? By the God Empress, where is it?

  18. Raindog
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    im with you guys on the mecha stuff it was awesome with the ground system only
    but the wings float sytem ship and such ruined it

    in my opinion if they kept with the begging float system it would’ve been tolerable not friking jumping around the battle but just adding that extra dimension of fighting(your talking to airforce/naval sub brat here) the varis wasnt really a lazer more of a railgun and that was fine but frikin super shields(shinkiro) and death lazer(mordred, guren gawain) and transformers(obvious) ruined

    also if only the avalon was able to fly and was like super advanced would be fine

    also how couldnt you say something bout orange in the character hes major badass

  19. Raindog
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    all in all r1 was amazing r2 started off with good intentions but like with 16 year old boys and girls ended up with a mistake

    hey what would you guys say was your favorite mech

  20. Tak
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Heh, well this place is a load of fun. You never cease to amaze me, crusader (and big thanks to the Macross IRC crews for introducing me to this site).

    Anyway, Code Geass R2, as some of us would agree, became a total train wreck. R2 completely ruined my love for the franchise, and at the end, I no longer recognize what I was watching.

    But speaking of Lulu as a character, while I appreciate his presence in the show most of the time, as an older audience of anime, I cannot help but to compare him to Reinhard from a 20+ years old franchise, LoGH (Legend of the Galactic Heroes, perhaps the most popular sci-fi novel series in Japan). In fact, I initially wondered if he was made out of the same mold. Then as the series progressed, that impression became more concrete. I was surprised that nobody brought this up, though.

    Consider this:

    Both characters have some sort of sister complex (Annarose & Nunally)

    Both characters did what they did partially for their sisters

    Both characters initially belonged to the lower hierarchy of nobility

    Both characters have red-haired best friend/trusted aide de camp (Siegfried & Kallen)

    Both characters’ best friend later questioned the main characters’ ‘accomplishments’

    Both characters’ best friends operated red-colored machinery (Barbarossa & Guren)

    Both characters wanted to topple the existing dynasty (The Galactic Empire of the Goldenbaum Dynasty & the Holy Brittiania Empire)

    Both characters eventually became emperors of the dynasties they toppled

    Both characters sport talents in tactics & strategy

    Both characters are fairly asexual

    Both characters have a thing for the dramatic

    Both characters have a thing for chess

    Both characters died at the height of their power at a fairly young age

    I admit, I continued watching Geass because I wanted to see how Reinhard Jr. fared in the show. His initial performance until the end of S1 was not bad at all. Unfortunately, by S2, he begin utilizing less brains and more geass spam, eventually ruining the character for me entirely. It is unfortunate that it had to be this way, though.

    On the other hand, the Black Knights are morons.

  21. XXX
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    @Tak: Never thought of that….though I don’t think Lelouch’s character was ruined at all, and Geass spam also happened enough in season one for that to matter much to me. He’s still not really Reinhard by any means, once you go past the similarities.

  22. Tak
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    @XXX

    Oh, don’t get me wrong. I am not hating on Lulu, I just thought he was more entertaining using his intelligence than geass. It is true, that in S1, he did use a lot of geass, but those were acceptable because he had utilized it in a more strategic manner and mostly on singular individual. By S2, he was pretty much geassing nations and armies. The show reached a low point for me in episode 19, when the plot shifted from his genius to geass, where he just zap zap zap zap and zapped some more. It also did not help that the producers had to make morons out of Black Knights, whom I initially had some respect for. Really, besides the difference in having geass, Lulu is a very close resemblance to Reinhard.

    But you are right, Lulu is no Reinhard, he has a long way to go before he can achieve the persona that is the Kaiser of the New Galactic Empire. Regardless, there are so many subtle references to Legend of the Galactic Heroes that one simply cannot ignore. Did I also mention that Annarose from LoGH had sleepy, half-closed eyes most of the time? I mean, to think they’d go so far to produce similarities…

  23. Posted October 8, 2008 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve really enjoyed both bloggings, while Calawin gives a very balenced and unbiased look on it, while Crusader was hilarious and provided the comic relief xD.
    I think you sumed up Code Geass (seasons 1 and 2) perfectly, I think if you watch it for entertainment, you’ll love it. If you come in as someone who wants to see some really in-depth storylines or perfect…ness, you won’t like it. You can’t deny though, Code Geass’s WTF moments make the show.
    The OST’s are amazing, I have a ll 4, my favorites are (in order) “The Master” “Innocent Days” “Continued Story” “Madder Sky” and “Memory of 0″. I want to make a colorguard routine to each piece @_@.
    Kalen’s character was truly ruined ><. I guess it was nessescery for the grand Suzaku*kallen fight, but really? There had to be a better way.
    I like ambiguous endings, it gives me stuff to ponder over. Also, it looks like the dub is trying to fill in plotholes for Code Geass xD. They mentiont he World of C in episode 16.

  24. Posted November 10, 2008 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The ending of R2 was really awesome . :D
    ZeRo ReQuIeM .
    The way he died was really touching.

  25. Posted December 18, 2008 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I would like to protest what still seems to me to be an overly shining review.

    The reference material is flawed from inception, IE America being an imperial Britannia, and adopting all the Arthurian legendium.

    The pretense at a deep Mecha catalog, and history though, is almost as bad, and my main concern. For all these generations of Knightmares we only ever see 3 generations in the entire series. Yes series 2 throws a lot of shiny new generation 7 units at us, that look as overpowered as Clan Mechs do in the Innersphere, but the bigger problem arises from the lack of generation 1, 2, 3, and 6 mecha. This is highlighted best in the first season, when a revolutionary army, who should be sufficiently desperate for any equipment so to be specifically ragtag… isn’t. The lost generation having just been overtaken by Lancelot’s birth there should have been plenty of aborted, and exotic designs, to challenge our intrepid hero’s with in the first season. I like the feel of old Zakus being used by PMCs, and Terrorist in Gundams, and how the Savage has the same position in the FMP universe, but the fourth generation units, manky as they were, didn’t feel mankey enough to fit the history that the writers claimed, but never managed to show, existed.

    God I hated this series.

  26. SDS
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    This is perhaps a double post, but definitely unintended. Apologies.

    Although A LOT of people accuse R2 of not doing the 1st season justice in terms of story, characterization and/or mecha battles, I don’t believe that’s an accurate statement. Whilst the 1st season can be reviewed on its own, R2 cannot. However I admit, on first viewing R2 was definitely incoherent and lost its 1st season charms. Yet R2 offers, I would argue, fittingly extends season 1 to a somewhat fulfilling end.

    Many aspects of R2 depended on audience appreciation of season 1. R2 was a more radical development of season 1 groundwork thus it was impossible for it to remain Japan-centric given the events already occurred, meaning many of its plot holes were borne from the 1st season. To criticize R2 alone is probably an inaccurate attempt to compare a new series (season 1) with one that has been firmly introduced with many plots unsolved (R2). Viewers shouldn’t view R2 separately but a continuation. If you didn’t like R2, its because season 1 initiated plot-points that ultimately founded the ambiguities in R2.

    Story: I agree that it’s a bit convoluted, especially with the (unnecessary?) philosophical meandering. Part of the problem here was too many philosophical themes were hinted (life/death, will, time, peace, means/ends dilemma etc) but given truncated, poor plot tie-in explanations. It comes off as rather pretentious. However I would not have liked to see this series become overly philosophized so I think it was appropriate to tinker with this aspect and not have every character overtly ‘realize’ the consequences. The philosophical undertones are best to be interpreted by each viewer.

    The crux of the story was well constructed and executed barring a notable pitfall – whilst the 1st season was comprehensible after one viewing, most the episodes in R2 (especially towards the later half) required two+ viewings to really grasp aspects of the story and characterization. This was probably due to the Geass revelation which opened a can of worms for the story/plot, and abrupt story-telling.

    Characters: Although many have criticized the seeming ‘sidelining’ of major characters and introduction of too many new characters, this isn’t exactly a flaw of R2 but a a story direction the creators saw fitting for Code Geass. Given the size of the events occurring in R2, it would be odd to have a small cliche of characters. There is emphasis on ‘collectives’ versus ‘human will’ (a underlying tone of misunderstanding versus ramifications versus unification/forgiveness) and that these are themes significant to ALL people and not just those of importance (leaders, royalty) thus the story had to show more characters being affected, their reactions and own interpretations. I think the series competently delivered each character’s outlook and predisposition. A fixation on 1st season characters and their development would take the story on a different angle. The ‘global effect’ of Lelouch’s actions and the story’s undertones in a way necessitated ‘more’ characters. Less focus on individuals may also be a premise to convey the de-individualising effects Charles, Schneizel and Lelouch was causing. But this interpretation is probably non-intentional by CG creators. I could probably give a fitting description for how each ‘major 1st season’ character has developed in R2, but those descriptions are at best extrapolations from the limiting nature of R2′s plot. Another aspect audience may not easily grasp is Lelouch’s complex character. It is highly dubious his initial motivation was ‘just’ to ‘protect’ Nunnally or find out who killed his mother since throughout the series Lelouch hardly reminisced of the ‘happy’ times with Marianne. Inciting a war is perhaps not the most ideal method to ‘protect.’. Its more probable Lelouch had mixed motives; he despised Marianne’s killer for ruining his life, and to an extent Nunnally’s life; and because Lelouch was angered by a system that prizes Darwinism (Britannia endorses survival of the fittest which normally connotes physical prowess) since he lacks those overtly physical qualities. Overall Lelouch is quite complex and the series absolutely did not convey his character to a level of clarity to allow the audience to really understand how he is able to change throughout the series, and where/when his sense of ‘justice/righteousness’ was attained to explain his final sacrifice.

    Mecha: If you seriously watched CG in anticipation of glorified mecha battles against a post-modernist or post-apocalyptic backdrop then say no more. For you have been greatly misled. Frankly, if anything is true about CG, it’s that people have liked it because Lelouch can still hand your ass to you on a plate without piloting a Gundam. Woops, I meant Knightmare. kNightmare? Seriously…

    Personally I have enjoyed Code Geass, even though R2 sensationalized things a little, but that surely should have been expected. The series as a whole worked well despite calls for more dead characters which I don’t understand. True some characters ‘should be dead’ in terms of the realistic improbability of surviving some of the stunts they endure, but the story didn’t require anymore characters to die (exception: Schneizel). Besides since the protagonist ‘dies’ its probably safe to say you want more living minor characters just to help round out the ending. Anymore deaths would be attributed to Lelouch’s deception, created misunderstandings and his eventual plan, thus you would be adding to Lelouch’s sins. The final effect is far better this way so Lelouch is largely the bearer of the pain caused.

    These are my thoughts, and as of this date and from my projections, Code Geass will definitely surpass the mediocre effort that is Gundam 00.

  27. SDS
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    @ everyone who thinks Lelouch’s R2 Geass spam spoiled the series.

    I admit it was definitely much less aesthetic compared to his strategic use of his Geass (e.g. defeating Mao 2nd time; exploiting Suzaku’s Geass; using mirrors, although its effect was no ideal). However it ties in with the development of the story and development of the themes.

    Story: Lelouch can’t conquer the world if he can’t get a mass of subordinates who will kill and pillage by his command. There’s no other strategic way besides nuking every second nation. And just getting the nukes is a problem if he doesn’t Geass every 3rd person. The more Lelouch used his Geass, the faster he progresses to his eventual domination and ‘destruction’ by it, thus its a signifier in a way that Lelouch is heading towards hell’s road and abusing ‘power’ to get what he wants than accept limitations (life/death/destiny).

    Theme: it reflects Lelouch’s increasingly uninhibited and desperate nature to achieve his goals despite subjugating another person’s will. It also ties in with the underlying story themes of individuality and the whole consciousness/understanding/lies crap Charles, Lelouch, V.V. and Co. keep crapping on about towards the end of the series.

    Finally I admit Lelouch’s strategic use of Geass was definitely a highpoint in the series, but I wouldn’t necessarily deduct points off the series just because Lelouch went into ‘broadcasting’ mode with it. R2′s storyline more or less necessitated it.

  28. cerebus23
    Posted April 6, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    ya by the time he got into the emperor’s chair, he suddenly had a whole empire under him, had to gain order and absolute control quickly to solidify his base, meanwhile he is dismanteling the nobels and barons power structure, taking away everyone rights and putting in place a kgb style spy agency that drag people off to prison or kills people for plotting against him.

    without geass spam he would have been killed his 1st weeks on the throne all the draconian changes he was making to britannian culture.

    nevemind he had to do this in what 3 4 episodes so the geass spam was a absolute necessity, or a necessity even it he had a full season to establish his base since most of his career he earned people’s trust and respect but he was also dealing with cells of terrorists and a ever expanding base of support so he had time to do that. and at the end he had an entire empire dumped in his lap, and not much time with schnizel out there getting ready to make his move.

    all kallen wanted was for lelouch to tell him he cared about her, or acknowledge his/her feelings at lest in some way. you ever do that to a woman in real life? nevermind when that woman is one of the best mech pilots in the world and you peeve her off. he did everything to push her away and protect her she was willing to change sides pretty much till the very end if he asked her. i did not think her character was ruined at all.

    she really did not spend all that much time with lelouch and certainly not as part of the inner circle until the start of r2, not that they did not have some intense moments and she was one of the pillars of support for him C2, shirley and kallen giving him the understanding he needed to maintain his soul at times.

    i think it all worked very well, pacing got a little crouded towards the 2nd half of r2 but i think they did a great job with all the characters. and the mech stuff? eh the best mecha stuff is about the characters and the mecha should be secondary. :P

    8/10 overall

  29. Jeremyhac
    Posted April 26, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Overall, I found the show to be quite entertaining. While I may not be looking at it from an artistic point of view, it did keep me on the edge of my toes till the very end. The only critical comment I would have to say is that the ending for the show largely resembled that of many others. (E.g DeathNote, Cowboy Bebop, LoGH, etc.) It would seem that having the main character die whilst having his lover survive is a constant re-occuring theme.

  30. Posted November 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    je voudrais bien qu’il est un R3 se serais pratique est que peus être par le simple des asart que lelouche raparaitrai par je ne sais pas par quel moyen peus être grace a une machine ou une personne d’oter du geass ça pourer çetre bien quand penser vous

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