12 CommentsCode Geass / By Scamp /

Code Geass R2 episodes 5-8 – That camera angle


It’s like in between seasons the Code Geass animators suddenly discovered the wonders of alternative camera angles.

There was a particular episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex where we see an internet chatroom (a futuristic internet chatroom where people go into this cool conference hall and have intelligent conversation rather than repeat memes and bad spelling repeatedly) discuss the possibilities behind who is the Laughing Man and what their aims could be. For the whole episode. And it was fantastic. Admittedly this is not really Code Geass’s style since nothing ridiculous happened in those 20 minutes but there was a tiny bit of dialogue in these latest episodes that I thought was super clever. Suzaku had shown up at school and his friends, knowing he was the person who caught Zero, tried asking him who Zero really was. Is it a girl, is it a prince from another land, is it Prince Clovis.

That last one in particular got to me because of how much sense that theory made, and how far from the truth it isn’t really. How many other crazy yet believable theories exist out there. They hint at them every now and then with magazine covers, but Geass is more concerned with piling on the plot twists. Shame, but it would probably bog the pacing down. Stand Alone Complex and Code Geass are pretty different anime in many ways after all.

zeroThe whole ‘who is Zero’ thing is a reoccuring theme throughout the show. It has gotten particularly noticeable recently with the second season being largely about whether this new guy is the same Zero or whether that matters or anything of that sort. Obviously this is a theme they continue with right throughout the show up until the ending itself (I’m acting under the assumption that a few people reading these posts have not seen Code Geass before so I’m avoiding talking explicitly about future plot twists, but just remember HE’S NOT THE CART DRIVER). The lack of trust in Zero because he wouldn’t show his face in the first season wasn’t touched on too thoroughly. They did often cover the idea that Lelouch didn’t want to reveal anything because if it got out that a forgotten Britannia prince was Zero, it would instantly destroy his credibility since it would be construed that he was just using the Japanese to become king. But this season it has been far more about the very concept of what is Zero as a pure symbol.

still amazingWhich is why this scene is so goddamn perfect. The build up to it reiterated the points about what does it matter who is Zero and what Zero by himself is supposed to represent. They were laying the foundation for you to understand what this scene meant. It’s the perfect plot twist in that regard, to the point that you could see it coming even if you couldn’t foresee exactly how it would pan out. Never mind the fact that the twist makes no logistical sense since I’m pretty sure somebody would notice that they were making 1 million Zero costumes. I mean did they all go to Halloween outfit stores, and in which case why are they not all dressed in ‘Sexy Terrorist Leader’ outfits. But to consider the logical underpinnings behind Code Geass plot points is to miss the point. If you hadn’t already got that by episode 2 where Lelouch somehow got his hands on an entire platoon of Knightmare frames. The twist is brilliant. Even the dog is wearing a Zero mask. Perfect.

she still has the pipeShe still has the pipe! God I love you sometimes Code Geass. On other occasions though…

serious anime

Shall we start counting the number of things wrong with this picture? There is something small but noticeably different about the fanservice from S1 to R2. For example, in S1 C.C had a fine arse. She also wore a figure hugging outfit. Sometimes when she bent her body we would catch a glimpse of that finest of backsides. Obviously the creators made a conscious decision to give her that wonderful bum and catsuit. But it never felt like we were perving on her. She was in control and just so happened to have a wonderful rear end. Similarly we saw Kallen’s boobs, but it felt more like incidental than us perving on her. Again sure, they made the decision to have her naked, but it didn’t feel like we were looking through a spy camera.

This season though it feels way more like perving. The camera angle mentioned earlier has been used multiple times and it just looks silly and depraved. Kallen has a bum, and we can check it out and appreciate it, but when they shove it in your face like that it feels like we are taking advantage of the character. Pantyshots also make an appearance where they didn’t before, the most bog standard of perv view cameras. It reeks of desperation, which it shouldn’t considering this is season 2. Surely you’re supposed to put in these desperate pandering attempts because you’re trying to get more people on board because your attempts at storytelling have failed. But Geass has already been proven a giant success. You don’t need to resort to these sorts of…I suppose you would call it ‘male gaze’. It makes you think the creators wanted to put this shite in, which is why it depresses me more so than if it was a sequel trying desperately to get pervy viewers since normal folks didn’t want to watch it for the story.

camera angleIt sounds weird, but bunny suit Kallen was actually less obtrusive than the mecha camera angle choice. Bunny Suit hinted at some really dirty shit that was going on for Elevens in new Japan with forced prostitution by royals. Yeah maybe the directors chose the bunny suit on their fiery redhead to also appeal to the trouser fiddlers, but it still works in context so it didn’t bug me. Even Kallen storing her mecha key in her breasts is fine since when you don’t have pockets you gotta make do with whatever is on hand, or on chest as you would have it. But the behind the arse camera angle, like you are preparing for some sort of medical procedure up there, just makes me think of Cross Ange. Heck I think some of the staff on R2 went to work on Cross Ange so hey, now we know that fantastic lineage.

lloyd is back wooohOh well. At least Lloyd is back! Now when do we get our butt-cam for him?

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  1. Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    >having intelligent conversation rather than repeat memes and bad spelling repeatedly
    Why would you ever go to a chatroom to NOT post maymays and insults? Why even live? The future looks grim.

    I also have a growing feeling that you somehow feel bad for watching fanservice. It might be that I just don’t understand, and writing doesn’t carry the tone, gestures and shit, but you seem like you feel guilty for “perving” on attractive characters in lingerie. It’s not the first time I notice it, as well. Does it have anything to do with the Catholic upbringing, since Ireland is supposedly Catholic? I assume because Poland is both very Catholic and very sex-negative, in close relation, so I kno that feel. It took me years to accept that I can enjoy those fine bodies of people and not cover it up with the pretense of “art admiration”.
    Alternatively, you could also just feel morally superior to those who fap to Kallen, which would make you a douche, or not liking when tits are derailing the plot, when things focus on them, which would be fully understandable.

    Also, disregard that, I suck cocks.

  2. Claire
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I like how you noticed the relevance of Zero as a symbol in this specific set of episodes. That’s certainly the most important underlying idea the show wants to convey at this point in the story, even in the midst of its typically over-the-top antics.

    Sure, there are people who lose their patience with the one million outfits being such a huge logistical impossibility, but I was amused enough and didn’t think it was a problem. Realism has never been a priority in Code Geass and the creators seemed to take this situation in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner.

    On another note, seeing Suzaku trap Lelouch with the phone call was an amusing and interesting move. That is something S1 Suzaku would have never dared to attempt befoe Euphemia’s death, but it comes rather easily for a man who is already partially broken yet still desperately clings to his own figurative mask of being the “good guy” despite this sort of questionable move (and his own past as a murderer) making him hypocritical. Frankly, I never hated Suzaku myself. He is one of the characters that is absolutely necessary to tell the story.

    By the way, I also enjoyed the battle scene in episode six. I am not a fan of some of the new robot designs for the Britannians, but I always liked the new Guren’s debut. It was rather Super Robotic in nature.

    Now, to address the final issue: most of the fanservice comes from character designer and animation director Takahiro Kimura. The man likes to draw sexy girls in various states of undress that go all the way from simple fanservice to softcore and beyond.

    It’s not something he is remotely ashamed of doing either. This has been a thing for him long before Code Geass ever existed. For example, take a look at Godannar (2003) and you will notice all of the same sort of camera angles and costume designs at work.

    Of course, someone else had to authorize him to go this far and there was admittedly a shift in emphasis concerning how fanservice was portrayed between S1 and R2.

    Which I suppose was part of the attempt to widen the viewership, not so much among normal people but to get the attention of even more anime fans. We should keep in mind that the series needed to get higher ratings in the new time slot, since the change meant the sponsors paid more money for the programming block not being restricted to the late night audience.

    Did the show itself really need that? I would think not, but I wasn’t too annoyed by it either. I have always accepted fanservice as a part of Japanese anime.

    “Heck I think some of the staff on R2 went to work on Cross Ange”

    Only a few of the bottom-tier grunts, as in key animators and in-between animators. But they were both produced by completely different internal studios within Sunrise and do not share any of the main creative or production staff.

  3. Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Listening to the audio commentaries is worth it if only to hear Jun Fukuyama (and many of the others) discuss the hypnotic effect of Tetsu “Lloyd” Shiratori’s ass as the guy too a very… physical approach to voicing the role.

    And if you’re talking of the first season’s Ep 2, there’s a totally rational explanation for how Lelouch got those knightmares. Hijacking Villeta’s gave him access to the operation’s logistics, which tipped him off to this one isolated transport bringing in spare mecha units as reinforcements. Very convenient indeed for our “hero”, but at least it’s an explanation.

  4. GanHOPE326
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    So I must wonder… when V for Vendetta pulled THAT SAME EXACT SHIT with the thousands of V costumes, did they lift that from CG? Because that sure wasn’t in the original comic book.

  5. Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU FOR NO SPOILERS becuase I haven’t seen this before, and I’m loving the spoiler-free experience.
    Once again Lloyd proves why he’s secretly the best character- calling the Britannian Emperor “Charlie”, having a midair arms race with Rakshata, and crying in pain as Lancelot loses to the Guren. If he gets a butt angle I just may end up ragequitting.

  6. T1g
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I forget, are you watching it dubbed or subbed?

  7. Leo
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    You ask where the Sexy Terrorist Leader outfits are, yet post a picture of Zero with a smoking pipe.

    Also, which one was Clovis?

    • Outcast
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      The douche prince in the first episode, who Lelouch shot and killed in episode 2 or 3.

  8. Nagisa33
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Cross Ange was one of the most ridiculous and entertaining anime of last year. :)

    • Madonis
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 4:35 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, it was a lot less interesting and a lot more offensive in the process. Which is why I don’t recommend it.

      • Nagisa33
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        The show is “EXTREME!!!” with babies in cages, kids getting eaten by dragons, and genocide while at the same time there’s girls defending the base in bikinis, singing dragons, a goofy mascot character, and a Prince of Tennis sports / battle episode. It’s shamelessly absurd and it’s not something to be taken seriously. Cross Ange embraces its ridiculousness and for that it’s entertaining to watch. For those looking for something comically trashy this might be a winner.

  9. joshherb33
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    they could have made the one million of zero outfits themselves..

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