After faffing about with those bollocks-less Chinese last arc, it’s great to see the return of a genuinely great villain again. One who when you threaten him calls you out. One who when you shoot him in the chest, he just stands there and laughs at you. There’s that brilliant moment where Zero stands with half the world at his back, broadcasting to everyone on how they plan to take Japan back from Britannia. Only for right at the moment he’s made his big speech, Emperor Fluffy hijacks the stream and in a move that outdoes any piece of grandstanding Zero ever pulled off, stares at Zero and yells “COME AT ME BRO”.
Actually he says “have at me” but that’s basically the aristocrat version of come at me.
These latest episodes were such a stark, dramatic improvement over the past couple of R2 episodes. It was as though the staff washed their hands of the whole rubbish Chinese arc and said “right, let’s bring back what made this show good again”. There’s the ridiculous reveals and schemes, such as the one above where Lelouch convinces V.V that he’s sitting at home in Japan when he’s actually sitting in a fake room in the middle of a desert. What, did they bring all his furniture to the desert with him? Where did they find the time to construct this elaborate set piece? Did he get the Black Knights to do this? Who cares, it was a wonderful dumb moment and long may Geass continue doing dumb shit like that.
The biggest change though that marked Geass returning to its best was the massive writing quality increase. I’m not sure what quite happened to the writers for the first half of R2, but it was riddled with cliches. Lines like “no you are the one who will be sorry” and random unintelligible technobabble dominated proceedings. It was a touch depressing to see the dialogue drop in quality so much. Maybe it was the new OP that changed everything? I never mentioned it before, but the first OP for R2 was awful so it’s wonderful to have this new one inject a bit of energy back into the show, and apparently bring better writers too. Lelouch’s words carry more meaning. The angry retorts from the villains have more attitude and bombast. Every line that comes out of Emperor Fluffy’s mouth is gold.
Some of the shots used are pretty great too. Part of this comes naturally when the show gets all weird at metaphorical spaces with the world of C and Geass lore rather than mecha gun battles, but they frame it really well. Emperor Fluffy wouldn’t be as imposing as he is if they didn’t keep framing him correctly. Orange’s rather ridiculous return wouldn’t have worked if they didn’t shoot it so dramatically. It even managed to make me temporarily forget how contrived his return is. But only temporarily. Good lord Orange, the whole piece about you being a follower of Lelouch’s mother was so clearly pulled out of your collective asses at the last minute. When was Orange ever so obsessed with loyalty anyway? I seem to remember he was desperate to prove himself and get his rank back because he was a pompous nobleman who couldn’t handle the idea that he was being considered of lower status than he believed he deserved. It had jack shit to do with loyalty. But OK, if that’s what it takes to bring back this surprising fan favourite character than so be it.
To be honest, there are way better side characters than Orange. I’ve mentioned how great Lloyd is plenty of times. Cornelia continues to shoot up in my estimations too. I loved that within 5 second of meeting V.V she hurls a throwing knife into his forehead. I’ve also developed a soft spot for Tamaki, the Magikarp of Black Knights. Except he doesn’t evolve ever, so a Magikarp that has an Everstone instead of a kidney. I love that he’s the sort of brainless thug that gets involved with terrorist groups like this but just so happened to stumble across Zero at the exact right time. In the first season he was the first to call Zero a big fat phoney, but then in R2 he’s the biggest supporter of all and refers to himself and Zero as buddies. When they were capturing the school at the end of S1, he was waving his dick about and threatening to shoot the students because he was drunk on that power. He is the reality of what most small terrorist organisations or organised crime groups consist of, but because he’s been around from the start and somehow still survives, he remains in the group.
I suppose I should touch on some of this Geass stuff since it will all become very relevant when we start to try deal with that monster that is The Cart Driver Himself. So the geass power is held by people like C.C which makes them immortal. They give part of that power to random people such as Lelouch, Rolo, Mao. Emperor Fluffy and so on with a request that they must fulfill a promise of theirs. The promise, for the most part, appears to be being allowed to die. The curse of immortality and all that. So they transfer that power over fully, they die and in return that new person becomes immortal.
To someone like Emperor Fluffy, immortality sounds pretty wonderful so of course he’s going to take that from V.V. Hence why I guess V.V looked like he was about to die, unless I misinterpreted that scene. He was no longer immortal. Emperor Fluffy is, but Lelouch did some mind bongly woogly doodly that doesn’t make any real sense, convinces C.C that all she really wants is a friend and that effectively completes her contract. Which is why C.C returns to her past self. Lelouch now holds the power of the Geass all by himself. I think. I don’t know, I got rather confused by the whole thing. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to discuss all of this when the final episode comes around anyway.
Oh yeah, and Shirley died. That was a thing that happened.
…who cares, here’s Kallen giving Suzaku an uppercut.