24 CommentsCode Geass / By Scamp /

Code Geass R2 episodes 17-20 – Neo Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E

nottu disu shitu agenNotto dis shittu agen.

My vague memory of Code Geass R2 is that the show mostly stayed on course until around about episode 18 and a certain thing with Rolo happened and then the whole show went off the rails. Not that Rolo was the glue holding the thing together. I don’t think I’ve written a single thing about the guy in these Code Geass posts, which goes to show how much of an impact that guy left on me. Rather that Code Geass started trying to juggle too many stories at once, leaving it a bit confused and garbled as it came to a conclusion. At least that’s what I thought back when I was young and stupid. Coming back to it now, if anything R2 has improved. The writing at the start was a bit stodgy while it tried to recapture the feel of the first season by basically copying it exactly. Then the China arc started which I’ve tried to forget about. Since then though it definitely feels like it found its focus again and the dialogue is back to being snappy.

And, by the ultimate measure of Geass quality, I burst out laughing on multiple occasions from something ridiculous that happened.

loyalty my assThe fight above Tokyo is pretty great in a very shounen battle sort of way. Not that people stand back and explain their moves rather than doing any fighting. The good type of shounen battle where one side starts to get the upper hand, only for some new character to jump into the losing side and turn the tide. Then some other character on the baddy side jumps in with some new weapon and things look bad again. Multiple little missions are taking place, turning the battle at every little step. Kallen suddenly jumps out of her cage she’s been held in for the past several episodes and jumps into her new and improved Guren. Orange flails around yelling about loyalty for some reason.

No Orange, I’m sorry, but your loyalty is a load of bollocks. You were never about loyalty. You were a disgraced Britannian noble who was hell bent on revenge because you wanted to return to your old social standing. It was about not wanting to be amongst the common soldiers, not because you were loyal to Britannia. Some of that Sakuradite obviously got into your brain and made you think you were something you never were (can we take a step back for a second and appreciate the magical compound that drives all this future tech is named after sakura leaves and you find it in Mount Fuji). You want to know something about loyalty? How about you have a brief chat with this guy.

guilfordGuilford is his name, for those of you just reading these posts and not following along watching Code Geass with me. In which case shame on you, both for not rewatching Code Geass with me and also for forgetting his name. As I’ve rewatched the show, a bunch of characters I once considered to be pretty great are instead forgettable and others have shown themselves to be far more interesting than I once believed. Orange is an obvious example of someone I now don’t really care for. I also can’t say I’ve been as interested in C.C this time around. On the more positive side, our boy Lloyd has been a constant source of enjoyment right throughout the series. His latest trick is to stand there and look horrified as how SOMEHOW the modified Guren he made ended up back in Kallen’s hands, as if that wasn’t the most predictable thing ever. He also had a couple of choice words to say about the use of Fleiya, which rattled Nina, and anything that rattles that awful mass murdering racist is a good thing.

The character who has raised the most in my estimations though was Cornelia. She’s got the bombast and the great lines down which are what really make a great Code Geass character. Lelouch, Emperor Fluffy, even Lloyd have this down which makes them endlessly entertaining to watch. Having Cornelia stride into a situation usually means everything is about to get a whole lot more entertaining. And where she goes, her loyal knights followed. The first fellow died last season in the very last battle, but I remember liking him a lot. Mostly because he was the one Britannian who stood up for Suzaku when all the others were being awful racists because he had fought with Suzaku and knew his valour. He was the second character to applaud him after he got accepted as Euphie’s knight, after Lloyd of course. Then there was Guilford, the lone light of loyalty, staying true to his princess long after she disappeared. He died trying to save her, even if he was saving Lelouch because he was Geass’d. That’s true motherfucking loyalty, none of this Orange bullshit.

nyurrThis loser continues to entertain me. There’s a particularly wonderful scene with him and Schneizel. The Black Knights are about to engage in a very important diplomatic discussion with the head of the Britannian forces, and this guy walks into the discussion room. Diethard tells him to buzz off but Schneizel tells him to stay because he knows exactly how he will react to his news. The Britannian intelligence corps hadn’t been sitting on their arses wondering how this Zero guy keeps getting away. They had all this info on every key member of the Black Knights. Schneizel knew this guy would react badly to being told that Zero was tricking them all along with his Geass power. Schneizel knew he represented the grunt forces and turning him would represent turning what your average Japanese person would think. It was a very clever little scene that showed some quick thinking on the part of Schneizel, demonstrating his intelligence by showing rather than simply telling you he’s really smart.

gino

What is Gino’s point in this story anyway? Nearly every other character I understand. From Diethard to Nina to Rivalz, they all have a purpose. Gino though, for all his screentime, doesn’t appear to have any reason to be here. It’s a bit of a problem with R2’s new characters. Rolo makes sense. He’s the imposter for the one thing that truly matters to Lelouch, symbolising what was taken away from him and what he’s trying to protect. Xing Ke represents the other territories joining up with the Black Knights as this war spreads beyond the borders of Japan. Anya…has something to do with Lelouch’s mum? This is the part of the story where R2 lost the plot a little for me, but let’s leave that whole silly part to one side. But Gino has done fucking nothing the whole time. I prefer the random cute mecha pilots who we see for just one second saying “oh no, my *insert name of mech here*” before they blow up.

lelouch you crazyOf all the dumb things Lelouch does in Code Geass, this might be my favourite. He’s just Geass’d a bunch of people to follow him, which firstly is cheating. You can’t geass a person then tell them they have to do everything you say. That’s the point of geass in the first place. That’s like getting one wish and asking for unlimited wishes. You’d think someone as smart as Lelouch would have figured out that loophole ages ago. But anyway, he’s geass’d these random mech pilots and got them to form an arch for himself to walk under in the middle of the forest. There’s nobody else around. Just a bunch of brainwashed grunts. But he’s putting on a show and gosh darn he’s not going to let a lack of proper audience stop him.

The next Code Geass post will be the last, at least for the main series. It will probably be 5,000 words long, and that’s before I even start to get into The Cart Driver himself. I will get all sappy and sentimental then. For now, here’s a bunch of penguins being controlled by the geass.

penguins

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24 Comments

  1. quantumrei
    Posted June 30, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I had the same kind of shift toward most of the same characters the more I re-watched the show. Cornelia has always been great for me, god I love her.

  2. Madonis
    Posted July 1, 2015 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Folks tend to get angry, at least the first time around, when the Black Knights turn against Lelouch too easily. It’s not exactly their brightest move, but the man had left him too vulnerable in that area for too long.

    You may or may not feel compelled to rewatch one of these episodes yet again after a couple of events happen. Some stuff will seem BS, but other stuff may not. Just saying.

    To be absolutely fair, Lelouch is cheating with the use of his Geass because at this point the man is not exactly in the best state of mind. He gives less of a damn about morality than before, which is already saying something considering we are talking about Lelouch, who was far from a saint to begin with.

    Incidentally, Akito 3 is out now!

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted July 1, 2015 at 1:48 am | Permalink

      What’s amazing is that the Geass DOES work like that too. One would expect it to fail, just like the Death Note did when Light tried to use it to make people do something TOO outrageous. If you can Geass people into obeying your every order, well, why not just using that all the time? The whole “works only once” limit becomes absolutely trivial.

      • phantomrenegade
        Posted July 1, 2015 at 3:54 am | Permalink

        The Geass totally should work like this, and we’ve seen it work like this, sure maybe you can’t tell people that they have to follow all of your orders like they do when you Geass them but you can tell them to worship you like a god, in which case they would follow all your orders out of their own volition.

        The problem with the Geass is that we’ve seen it overcome whatever “outrageousness” limiter it might have, to Euphie killing all the 11’s was unthinkable but she still did it so finding a command that will make people want to follow your orders all the time isn’t really that farfetched.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted July 1, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, it’s more like, you’d expect the Geass NOT to work in that sense not because of the willpower of the person but because it’s a loophole in the rules. It has rules so you’d imagine these could also arbitrarily restrain orders that are too broken. Knowing Lelouch could always have geassed everyone into just obeying him forever makes his previous antics a bit less impressive (unless we assume he withheld doing that out of ethical concerns, as he thought that’d be taking it too far, while now he has no such restraints any more).

      • Scamp
        Posted July 1, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Yeah Death Note had that scene where Light explains how he had said a Japanese man would die in front of the Eiffel tower in the next 4 hours. Since it was impossible to do, he just dropped dead of a heart attack. This just seems like an oversight on the writers part.

        The Black Knights mistrusting Zero has been brewing for a long time now anyway. See their whole bit with him killing all the unarmed researchers.

  3. DarkEnergy
    Posted July 1, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you Scamp! These have been great posts and I’ve loved every single one of them. I’m glad you’re having so much fun re-watching a great show.

    If you could Geass your wife, what would you make her do?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t Geass her because, as these whole episodes say, it’s a breach of trust. You can’t trust someone who might Geass you.

      I might geass her into eating more vegetables maybe…

      • Leo
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:40 am | Permalink

        But if you Geass her once you can never do it again, so you could just order her to do something small and harmless just to get that out of the way. Yeah, harmless, like, I don’t know, kill all the japanese.

  4. Anon
    Posted July 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Ye know, all those geassed penguins eventually gained sentience, developed forward facing tails and formed the Penguin Empire, the main antagonists in Daimidaler.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Code Geass is responsible for Daimidaler? I suddenly don’t like Code Geass so much anymore.

      • Posted July 1, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Code Geass was also responsible for Valvrave, Aldnoah, and Guilty Crown.

      • Madonis
        Posted July 1, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        Aldnoah is more Gundam than Geass and Guilty Crown was more Evangelion. Share the blame!

  5. Zephex
    Posted July 1, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could geass’d Scamp into making more of these rewatch posts.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure what anime I would do after Geass though. Death Note maybe?

      • DarkEnergy
        Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Yes! Death Note re-watch blogging would be great! Just the first 25 episodes please…

  6. Shinmaru
    Posted July 1, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    The penguins huddled around the geass symbol might be my favorite image in the series so far.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      My favourite is Lelouch geassing the random mech pilots to form an arch for him to walk under.

  7. Day
    Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    nah, bro, I’m pretty sure rolo exists to encourage even more investment by the fujoshi/fudanshi contingent in code geass discs and merchandise

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      I would agree, but Rolo never once took his clothes off during the show’s run. That costs some major points if you want to appeal to fangirls.

  8. Nagisa33
    Posted July 3, 2015 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    After staring at the emperor’s hair I was wondering how long it takes for him to get ready in the morning and to maintain it? There’s a lot of volume there to manage. It could be a wig but I’d say he’s too fabulous for that.

    As for the new characters in R2, most of them faded into oblivion. Rolo, Anna, Gino, the rest of the Knights of the Round, the Chinese ruling body, Xingke and his buddies. All snorefest inducing. Schniezel, who took the reigns in R2 was pretty good. I wish they kept it focused with the established cast who were more interesting. They did a good job on making some of them more ridiculous though.

  9. TheVoid
    Posted July 5, 2015 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    These geass posts reminded me of Akito and I recall the latest OVA got subbed finally. As if it already wasn’t obvious who Kingsley was.

    The Black Knights actually are really dumb to trust a guy who they know is not trustworthy just like Zero. It’s a shame they never get backstabbed by him like he always plans on doing to them because the plot never allows him to.

    Also Geass and its rules vary from person to person. Even the boring shonen manga Renya (which is a canon backstory to Geass with Lelouch and Suzaku lookalikes) has humans given superhuman abilities thanks to Lelouch lookalike mutation caused by geass. In other words Geass is too OP pls nerf.

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