32 CommentsCode Geass / By Scamp /

Code Geass R2 episodes 21-25 – But what about the cart driver?

cart driverFinally, I can use this picture and have it be relevant.

This blog has existed for just over 5 and a half years now. I myself have been blogging for over 7 years, having started on an older team site before jumping ship. I named this blog after this specific scene. Yet I’ve never actually written about the episode in question. It’s time to end that and end this 3 month journey back into this ridiculous anime. The final episodes of Code Geass…apart from Code Geass Akito the Exiled for which the third episode came out on home video recently which I plan to cover soon…and the other picture dramas and Nunnally in Wonderland spinoff OVA…and all the spinoff manga where Suzaku is a superhero or the story is set in the middle ages…or all the DS games…basically what I’m saying is Code Geass never ends! This trainwreck is not over yet.

emperor rocketmanOf all the images in Code Geass, rocketman Emperor Fluffy is probably the silliest.

There’s a real sense towards the end of R2 that the show is just desperately trying to clear up every plot point as quickly as possible. The show got a bit too ambitious for its own good and the final episodes tried to race through content which makes some of it feel awfully random and underexplained. Most of it still makes sense for Code Geass if we’re talking thematic consistency. Things like Schneizel though showing up as a random final villain for all of 2 episodes makes sense for what the show was building towards, but does end awfully quickly for something that was built up for so long.

The weird End of Evangelion-like world Emperor Fluffy wanted might seem to have come out of nowhere, babbling nonsense about the Sword of Akasha and killing god, but in terms of what Lelouch wanted it sort of made sense. Lelouch is fighting for those who don’t have power so they will have a better tomorrow. But he wants that better tomorrow to have nothing to do with looking back into the past. That’s a topic Code Geass has relentlessly hit throughout its run. The drug refrain that the Elevens take is so they can go back to a time when Japan was great. The soldier revolutionaries he has such contempt for wear old style Japanese military uniforms. A world in which you only live in your memories would then be exactly the kind of thing Lelouch would never want. It also allows us to tie up his whole dead mum thread, as clumsily as was tied up. To move on from the past, he had to move on from that. So having his mum be in on the End of Evangelion plan is about the only way they can tie that loop. Yeah it’s awkward as fuck but it works.

schneizelSchneizel’s plan is similar in that it creates a world Lelouch doesn’t want. It’s the eternal present, where nothing can progress because we all live in eternal fear of the giant dick-shaped fortress in the sky. Nobody can ever move on from that because it will always be there. Unlike Lelouch’s plan, which directs the hate towards something that has been defeated to be replaced by simply a symbol for hope and progress, the hate in Schneizel’s plan is something very tangible. Again the point might be clumsily made, but it makes sense for the themes Code Geass has been building towards. We would still live in the world where the strong have power over the weak. The strong in this case being Schneizel and his dick fortress. You only live by the will of those in power.

On the subject of Schneizel, my god is he the sexiest man imaginable. In particular it’s his laugh. It’s soft but genuine, and his whole body sways as his hair flops in front of his eyes and oh my Schneizel you would turn any man gay. Now if only I could remember how to spell your bloody name.

still a stupid hatOn the other hand, seeing Lelouch wear his stupid emperor hat would make any woman previously in love with the man seriously consider the wonderful world of lesbianism. I think what makes it is the stupid little cheap-ass green crystal dangling from the side of it, like some sort of old toilet flusher. You pull it and water starts spraying out the bottom and all over Lelouch’s stupid face. And to think Kallen kissed the guy while he was wearing it. Oh dear Kallen, I’m not sure I am on board with your taste in men’s clothing. Granted it was the last time you figured you were ever going to see the guy and you had to take your chance while you were there. I imagine it was painful for her for her first time kissing Lelouch to have to be when he’s wearing that abomination. Sorry Kallen, you should just go for Gino instead. He’s clearly into you and it’s not like he’s doing anything else worthwhile. He sure as hell isn’t contributing to the story.

there it is 3It wasn’t quite “kill all the Japanese” but hey, this twist was still pretty cool. Much like Euphemia, I’ve had a bit of a change of heart towards Nunnally. To stand up to the one person that has taken care of her all her life was a big decision for her to make. The person that meant the world to her. Particularly as someone blind and crippled, having someone like that to rely on and then having to turn on them is a tough decision. She’s quite strong-willed in general. Heck, Lelouch couldn’t turn on Nunnally. He was only able to when it was clear she had the same end goals as himself, so he could geass her without soiling his conscious. Not that his conscious was particularly clean to begin with, but that’s part of the point with the ending and why I am personally convinced Lelouch is dead.

stabbyThe best thing Zero ever did. He made Lelouch’s stupid hat fall off.

So now we’re getting to it. The ending. There’s an running thread throughout the show that Lelouch has become a devil. I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s what makes him different from someone like Light from Death Note. Or, to keep it to Code Geass, what makes him different from Schneizel. He isn’t trying to become a god, because a god implies something positive. The idea that you are a force for good in the world. Lelouch never thought that. The change specifically happened during the “kill all the Japanese” part. There’s a neat little piece of dialogue between him and Kagura where he says you don’t want to get close to him because he’s the devil.

Lelouch, in my mind, is dead not necessarily because of plot reasons. Forget all of that nonsense. Lelouch is dead because the story works better thematically from that standpoint. He can’t go on living like the devil. It defeats the purpose of his story. He can’t continue in this world because then he would be like the people he fought against. His redemptive arc ends with him dying. He said before he got the Geass that he was basically living a lie. A fake life anyway and that he only felt alive once he got the Geass. The goal to destroy Britannia was his life. Once he does that, he goes back to not living again.

spice and wolfThen again…

The theory behind why Lelouch could survive in the first place is because he inherited C.C’s code, therefore becoming immortal. In the same way Emperor Fluffy took V.V’s code, Lelouch took C.C’s because he fulfilled her promise. Namely that she isn’t alone anymore. There are more than a couple of problems with that. Nunnally probably would have noticed that her brother wasn’t dead when he fell from the stage when he was executed. I doubt all the people at that parade would have ignored the fallen emperor’s body either, so much so that none of them noticed he got up and left. On the other hand, C.C’s final lines are about how the power of kings means that you are doomed to remain alone for eternity, but that “maybe that’s not right after all, isn’t that right Lelouch”. Soooooo who could she be talking to. It must be Lelouch right!?!?!?!

Except of course it isn’t. It’s just the writers being massive trolls and throwing that one dumb bone out to make people go nuts over creating theories why he could be alive. That’s why it’s so marvelous. It’s the Inception spinning top. It doesn’t really matter whether he’s alive or dead, but since you want that question answered, we will dangle the possibility that the alternative is true in front of you to get that reaction from you. It’s marvelous and I fucking loved it, because of course the inevitable happened. Fandom went fucking nuts over the idea that Lelouch could still be alive. Fandom latched onto a dumb little teaser troll line right at the end and created tons of theories around it. That’s why I named the blog after the line. Because it might be just a silly little closer in the show, but it only becomes fun once you read everyone’s view of that scene.

orange farmI may not have cared much for Orange in my Geass rewatch, but even I must admit that having him run an orange farm at the end is pretty spectacular.

I really, really enjoyed this rewatch. I was afraid Code Geass wouldn’t hold up, but it shockingly did and in areas I didn’t expect it to. The bombast wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective without the script to match and that’s where Code Geass truly shined, albeit more so the first season than the second. I highly recommend watching the English dub as I did this time around. It may sound like blasphemy to watch Geass without the glorious engrish, but the script is so fantastic in the English version that it swung my opinion completely. Some characters I gained newfound appreciation for, such as Euphemia and Cornelia. Twists that were impactful on the original viewing were still fantastic if only for the anticipation in waiting for them to happen. If anything I think I might like Code Geass even more now. Yeah I picked the name of this blog mostly on a whim for an anime I happened to really like at the time, but naming the blog after this dumb cartoon meant it did gain a bit more personal significance for me. It’s hard to distinguish favourites when it comes to anime because it’s all arbitrary at some point, but if someone were to ask me what my favourite anime was, I would probably now say Code Geass.

mysterious gentlemanThank you for reading along with me. If you enjoyed reading along even a fraction as much as I enjoyed writing these, then you had a mighty fine time. I hope those of you who did watch along either enjoyed returning to the show, or even watched it for the first time and were spoiled completely by all the commenters. I particularly would like to hear from those people, if only to hear your reactions when you went “oh shit, so THAT’S who the cart driver is”.

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  1. Zephex
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for these posts Scamp. You have allowed me to appreciate this show even more.

  2. Infinite
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I remember Code Geass being the first series to fill me with a complete sense of loss upon completing it, back when I was in my infancy of anime watching. I was just wanted there to be more, for the adventure not to be over, to not see the characters again.

    I feel to cause that feeling, despite a really good and [mostly] conclusive ending is the biggest sign that you’ve watched an anime you really loved.

    God I miss that feeling.

  3. Madonis
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I will note that many people tend to assume Charles gave the Code to Lelouch, perhaps as a curse or out of spite for ruining his Ragnarok plan, when he grabbed his son’s neck after literally rocketing into the scene. There’s even a brief yet suspicious frame of animation focusing on the Code mark on his hand. I am not too interested in carrying out that debate, mind you. The ending works both ways.

    Frankly, I wasn’t too surprised by how Schneizel became the final obstacle remaining in Lelouch’s way. He had already effectively assumed that role from R2 17 to 20, and there were some suggestions even before those episodes. Without Charles, he was the only other person in a position of power who had caused Lelouch any significant trouble.

    I wasn’t a big fan of the Evangelion-style metaphysics of the Emperor’s plan at the time of broadcast, but in retrospect it’s indeed interesting that we basically ended up with a contest between three supervillains who had their own methods of changing the world to suit their ambitions.

    Thematically speaking, even though Lelouch’s plan is probably the least likely to guarantee long term peace, it is also the one that leaves humanity with the greatest amount of free will. Plus you also have Suzaku assuming the role of superhero, which should help.

    By the way, Charles does casually speak about “killing god” in one of the earliest episodes of the second season, and V.V. brings up that same idea somewhere around the halfway point of R2. Which is also when Chuck messes with Lelouch and C.C.

    Overall, I think Code Geass remains mostly satisfying on rewatch. There were things that could have been handled better, absolutely, but in comparison to various shows like Guilty Crown, Valvrave and even Aldnoah Zero I think it pulled off the most important parts well.

    Trivia: I like how even Goro Taniguchi himself highlights the Orange farming scene on the audio commentary for R2 25, joking that he wanted the episode to just end there. It’s one of the more interesting commentary tracks too.

    An extra piece of trivia: another commentary, this one for R2 21, has the episode director (I believe) talking about the Rocketmoto scene. Apparently the staff were unsure about whether to make it come across as funny or not, but ultimately the comedians (so to speak) won the argument. I guess they were some very silly people after all, though I still kind of like them for that.

  4. Ibri
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Was the argumentation about Lelouch fulfulling C.C. wish. I thought it was more like this (making the argument from vague memories): Charles was immortal, immortals can only killed by geass users whose geass has become strong enough. And in the two other instances an immortal was killed the geass user then became the immortal. I guess maybe the “god” stuff in the conflict with Charles changed the rules. But still in a system where immortals can only get rid of their immortality by getting someone to become the next immortal and killing them the immortality just disappearing seems odd.

  5. DarkEnergy
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink


    Thank you Scamp! I feel a bit more validated now thinking of Code Geass as my favorite anime (as displayed on my profile: http://myanimelist.net/profile/DarkEnergy). It’s probably not the BEST anime (that would be FMA Brotherhood). But for me it was my gateway anime and the one feel most personally connected with.

    I really hope you do more of this retrospective blogging, such as on Death Note, Baccano!, Mushishi, or Cowboy Bebop.

  6. megaroad1
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s been interesting reading your posts on the series. Thanks man.

    Like you, I firmly believe Lelouch did indeed die at the end. If he somehow arranged for his survival after all he did, it would diminish the responsibility he took for all his misdeeds (and boy are there many!).

    • Ibri
      Posted July 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Maybe my opinion is different because I tend to just find sacrifices which aren’t absolutely necessary silly whether they are heroic ones or ones for atonement. Since I don’t consider dying as taking responsibility (if it isn’t the only solution at least) there is nothing to diminish for me by him being alive.

  7. Abonymous
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the hard work on Code Geass, best anime of 2015.
    Zero, the start of possibilities.

  8. anon
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    But but but


    • Ibri
      Posted July 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      CC’s rebound!

  9. GoukaRyuu
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    I have fond memories about this show. I watched it for the first time back in 2011 and enjoyed it immensely.

    Yeah, what everyone above is saying is the right of it. Lelouch got Code from his father (V.V’s Code) and was still able to keep the Geass he had from C.C. He effectively had Code Geass. C.C’s comments in the end, if you follow the theory, is that they can now both be immortal together.

  10. Anon
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Lelouch, in my mind, is dead not necessarily because of plot reasons. Forget all of that nonsense. Lelouch is dead because the story works better thematically from that standpoint. He can’t go on living like the devil. It defeats the purpose of his story. He can’t continue in this world because then he would be like the people he fought against. His redemptive arc ends with him dying. He said before he got the Geass that he was basically living a lie. A fake life anyway and that he only felt alive once he got the Geass. The goal to destroy Britannia was his life. Once he does that, he goes back to not living again.

    And you forget about C.C., 3 years ago, before i found this blog, the theories were already set and the arguments have already died down so that more coherent reasoning were already formed supporting both sides.

    Disregarding the plot, you’re arguing that thematically, lelouch should’ve died because he was basically living a lie and has nothing to live for. Also that if he didn’t die, it would’ve defeated the purpose of the story. Well, what if he found his purpose in C.C.? I remember reading something that cited an episode where LL (lol) was talking to CC about she’s the only one who knows him or something of that sort. It isn’t a stretch to think that somewhere during that journey he found his purpose in staying with CC. And as for the story becoming useless if the devil didn’t die, what if suzaku stabbing the emperor sort of allowed LL to be “reborn”? In the sense that everyone else thought lelouch the devil went away and took all the evils of the world with him, and so being an immortal who “experienced” death once, went on and lived a new life with CC. That reasoning could’ve also worked even without lelouch going through actual physical death.

    Nunnally and suzaku not detecting that lelouch isnt really dead, the stampede not noticing that the emperor’s body was no longer there and walked off, all of these could be explained as the work of lelouch, which was prepared beforehand. We’re talking about the intellect of somebody who almost singlehandedly took down the most powerful country on earth, there are far more unbelievable things that have happened in the series.

    Yes, CC’s final line might have been the staff trolling fans about the possibility of lelouch surviving all that, which basically means lelouch giving a big middle finger to everyone who thought he deserved to die because he’s the worst human on earth, but still, the logical conclusion that he became immortal stemming from the geass immortality subplot cannot be denied. Doing so could unravel the already hastily concluded and shoddy plot of the last few episodes.

    I’ll admit though, i’m more in favor of LL surviving because when i watched the last episode, i was in denial that all those work, schemes of lelouch ended abruptly when he got stabbed. Finding all those theories about him surviving validated what i thought at that time “c’mon lelouch! You survived far worse things than this! I’m sure you can plot your way around an apparently fatal stabbing!”

    I also have a pet theory about the last minute of the series. Lelouch might not have been the cart driver at all. CC was instead telephatically talking to lelouch who was somewhere else, like when she was talking to marianne before. Of course, this might be completely wrong. CC might’ve been talking to herself at that time and lelouch was very dead by then, CC might have also been able to talk to the ghost of people who she gave geass to, and lelouch is still very dead.

    In the end, i think we can all agree that what followed after the shot of the origami crane was a song by ali project, unless they changed that in the english dub.

    • LelouchvB94
      Posted August 25, 2015 at 2:15 am | Permalink

      I love your pet theory about the cart scene, I was rewatching the series recently and the same possibility occurred to me. I personally think that Lelouch is dead and CC is talking to him telepathically. My thoughts on it are here if you’re interested http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=1416369

  11. fbc
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    what blog were you a part of before thecartdriver?

    • Anon
      Posted July 13, 2015 at 3:36 am | Permalink

      Bokutachi no blog. Click the “About” link at the top.

  12. TheVoid
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if Jupiter brought Lelouch back as a geass metaphysical ghost. Why do I bring up such an absurd idea? Because a weird ass scene from Akito’s third episode.

    According to one of the few Sound Dramas was likely canon for R2 it’s mentioned Lelouch made his Emperor, Suzaku’s Knight of Zero, and CC’s outfits. No wonder Suzaku looks like a stripper in his.

    As it was said ages ago when the final episode of R2 was on, Lelouch is obviously in the bag.

    • Madonis
      Posted July 14, 2015 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      I think you’re taking the Akito scene in a direction that is probably not what they’re actually going to do. There’s a much simple alternative that wouldn’t require such a thing.

      • TheVoid
        Posted July 14, 2015 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        Oh I know what they intended with that scene considering the characters name in the credits. Its just that Geass and the things connected to it are just bizarre in general

  13. gedata
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    You’re all ignoring the true question here. How the fuck did Gilford survive after his apparent heroic sacrifice?

    Also Death Note is still better the Code Geass. How could you cross over to the dark side of this pointless debate?

    • TheVoid
      Posted July 13, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      How did Cordelia survive getting filled with bullets, leave a floating fortress with shields protecting it that would have damaged anything that tried to leave it and Lelouchs forces would have taken as a chance to break in but never happened, and yet end up in a hospital where Gilford is waiting on her?

      Britannian Medicine Same way as Gilford I imagine.

      • HA
        Posted July 14, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

        Honestly, the shields are irrelevant since the fortress was under Schneizel’s control and this was all before the battle started.

        Cornelia explicitly says “in the end, my brother didn’t kill me” which implies Schneizel had her taken care of. He just wanted her out of the way and not objecting to his plans.

        As for the rest, Mao’s already a precedent of Britannian medical science saving people from similar situations.

        Which sounds rather unrealistic at face value when other characters aren’t saved so easily…until you dig up that yes, one bullet can often kill but sometimes real people do miraculously survive getting shot multiple times at once. Rather than the total number of bullets, it depends on whether or not vital organs get hit. That’s the gamble.

        For reference:

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted July 13, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      How did Nunnally survive being caught in a FUCKING NUCLEAR EXPLOSION?

      Code Geass. Come for the gaudy theatrical masked terrorists, stay for the indestructible blind paralytic little imoutos.

      • gedata
        Posted July 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Yeah I was going to bring up the Nunally thing (forgot about Cornelia’s great escape until you brought it up), but it seemed pretty obvious to me that that she held would hold too much narrative sway to not come back so it wasn’t really much of a surprise. Gilford though? That was just an extra bit of script trolling for it’s own sake.

    • HA
      Posted July 14, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      Guilford was piloting a Vincent.
      We only saw Guilford’s Vincent losing its legs before the camera cuts away from him.

      Rolo was piloting another Vincent.
      Rolo’s Vincent can eject its legs and still float around.

      Guilford’s Vincent probably did exactly the same, maybe even ejecting, and Schneizel took him under custody for his suspicious behavior as another victim of Lelouch’s Geass.

  14. Canary Paint
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    It was an absolute joy to rewatch this along with this series of blog posts, but I sort of wished I had watched the dub. Oh well…

    I found Code Geass because of this blog and defo had that “So THAT’S the cart driver moment.”

    I go with the idea that LeLouch got Fluffy’s code. We know he would seem dead until he finally wasn’t anymore, so there is no reason for Nunnaly to notice he is still alive. This leaves open the possibility that CC and LL will eventually want “Geass children” together so that in the year 2099 someone can create an anime about all the world domination problems these kids cause.

    Actually, it could be a conflict spanning galaxies at that point, so that it could be a sort of Crest of the Stars meets Code Geass where alien Geass goes up against alien Geass.

    Okay… I am going to stop now

    • Canary Paint
      Posted July 13, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      oops… wanted to say alien geass vs human geass

  15. T1g
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Yeah this was a good trip down memory lane. Thanks Scamp!

  16. Person of good taste
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    So how good are the Akito OVAs? Do they capture the spirit of the original?

    I’ve always thought of Code Geass being an example of what anime should strive to be, pure and absurd fun.

  17. quantumrei
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this re-watch. Thank you for sharing the experience with us!

  18. Nagisa33
    Posted July 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for blogging Code Geass. It’s been a pleasure to read your posts. I’m glad you enjoyed it after such a long time. As for me, I have to say that I was let down with S2 due to how the uninteresting new characters absorbed the show’s attention. Though it made up for it with the increased insanity of it all. The climactic final episodes with all their twists and turns were too good. Plus, that final “chess” battle was one of the hilights of the entire series for me. The whole show holds a special place in my heart as an anime fan. It was one of the first anime my brother and I watched together and it got us hooked. Hahahaha!

    Thank you again! :)

    Are you going to be talking a bit about the newest episode of Akito? I’m loving the smooth animation, and *gasp* the CGI along with the events of course. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

  19. Nazaren
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Glad you enjoyed it! I love it more after every rewatch, despite my expectations to the contrary. I find myself nitpicking it a bit more each time, and though it’s not the best I’ve seen, it’s probably my favorite.

    Death Note, on the other hand, didn’t hold up quite as well for me. Still good, mind you, but not as good I remembered. I’d wager I didn’t like it as much as you to begin with, though.

    Looking forward to the Code Geass Extended Universe coverage, if it happens, as I’ve only seen Akito and nothing else. Godspeed and thank you!

    Also, agreed, Lelouch is dead because themes.

  20. Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow, great blog posts.
    And I completely agree with your analysis of the ending, that’s the exact reason I loved Lelouch so much (moreso than Light or Reinhard). He atones for his actions, lives up to what he fought for, and knows that what he’s done cannot be redeemed, but realizes that the lives he’s spilled were worth something and cannot be overturned.

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