No This Isn’t A Citizen Kane Scenario But Rumours Of Zero’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
So found myself in a bit of a pickle a couple nights ago but luckily everything is resolved now and my computer is running smooth again. It was all just in time for Code Geass R2 as well and I even got to chuckle at all the people who tried out that Keyhole service and got nothing but lag and choppy pictures for their efforts. That’s what you get when a whole bunch of fans are chomping at the bit for the chance to be the first (but not in reality) ones to see the latest episode of the hottest anime series on the planet right now. You guy’s scare me….almost as much as Haruhiist’s you crazy lovable Geass fans. I mean first place on ANN’s broken ranking list already? Well I am a Geass fan too and I decided to wait until the first subtitled episode came out (which was like less than 12 hours after the premier so it’s barely even a matter of patience as much as calm down so threads don’t have to be locked) and here I am ready to go. So then let’s.
Summary: First things first with a recap as narrated by C.C of the story of Zero’s rebellion and how he tried but failed with his Black Knights to bring down the Britannian Empire and to liberate Japan. As history has written it (Britannia’s of course) Zero is dead and so goes the propaganda that the Holy Brittanian Empire is invincible more or less.
Not The Most Ideal Britannian Tourist Attraction Anymore
After this the inaugaral (and somewhat gaudy) title card for the series comes up and we are treated to a fly by over the Britannian Settlement as a familiar voice going by the codename 2D4 says she is approaching Tokyo Settlement Airspace. A voice comes in over the intercom asking her to confirm her purpose is public advertising (Pizza Hut?) and she says it is and is thus granted access to the upper airspace of the settlement.
No Pizza Hut?
C.C: So This Is How You Fool Them? Kaioshin: Yes C.C That Is How You Fool Them
Gentleman, To Victory
A Code Geass Fan On Sunday Morning….(Just Kidding)
The voice of course belongs to none other than C.C and in the back of the zeppelin she’s in are the remainder of the Order of The Black Knights who have taken upon them Zero’s legacy. The leader of the speech tells them not to despair and that good thing will follow if they succeed in their Operation Flying Swallow No.4 plan. The leader tells them he’s sorry and as they all take a drink from a small bowl they proceed to smash the bowls with the cry “Nippon Banzai!” as if to announce the beginning of the mission.
Yeah It’s Pink, So What?
How Come Ougi Never Made It That Far?
Your Kindred Spirit In Lost Memories (A Somewhat Tongue In Cheek PS2 Code Geass Dating Sim Game)
As their voices echo the scene shifts and warps over to Ashford Academy where Lelouch Lamperouge is seen walking down a hallway. It seems he’s running away from Viletta (who is now a teacher at the academy) to avoid gym class and the student body is cheering him on as he enters a storage room. Viletta thinks she has caught him, but he tips a beaker of purple liquid into another dish full of red liquid, creating a screen of coloured smoke to help him slip by her. As he heads down a stairwell Millay Ashford is there and throws him his lunch much to the chagrin of Viletta who chastises her for not acting the part of the student council president. It almost looks like Lelouch has failed when Villeta jumps out of a window and lands on him, but it’s actually Rivalz in a wig taking the fall (literally) for his buddy. This gives Lelouch the chance to escape on Rivalz’ moped and so we are introduced to the new opening
O2 By Orange Range
OH MY GOD IT’S HORRIBLE I CAN BARELY LISTEN TO IT GRAAAAAAH! It’s not as strong as Colours, Kaido Funou or Hitomi No Tsubasa (Well it has better visual then the last one), but it’s certainly better than 90% of anime openings these days (hell it beats Triangler that’s for sure) and a catchy song in it’s own right. As always let’s run through the opening. As the music starts we see a light come across the Jupiter planetoid seen frequently in the series imagery and the camera follows the light over to reveal C.C who holds out her arms, brings them towards her and pivots around a little in the light before we see a flash of Lelouch (Geass active) and the light flutters away from him. (almost as if to symbolize the severed connection between the two at the end of the first season) As if to further symbolize their severed ties he holds out his hand over his eye and when it away the Geass is gone and he holds his hand up towards a now visible sky as an image of an enraged looking Suzaku a smug looking V.V and then the Emperor with a Geass in his eyes flash by. (They seem to be gloating at his loss) We then cut to a seen at the academy with Lelouch sitting beside Rolo and Viletta, Rivalz, Millay and Shirley standing nearby. (his new false life) We then see an image of a pendant and then a crying Nunally in a regal looking wheelchair flying away while holding out her hand as Lelouch comes into view trying to catch her and failing. (Symbolizing his loss of contact from her and his seemingly forgetting her existence) We then see Lelouch standing at the front of the gates of Ashford Academy (I think) and he looks up into the starry sky as the title card unfolds. After that we then see Lancelot and Suzaku flying out of a ship with it’s flight pack and a large overhang cannon that fires a large shot. (Reminding me of L-Gaim and it’s Buster Launcher for some reason) Cut then to the Tristan und Isolde transforming from it’s flight mode into a Knightmare Frame and a shot of Gino who has his arm wrapped around Suzuku in a buddy buddy gesture. We then cut to Anya looking at her cellphone and then looking up surprised before making a loli face (The loli face is essentially her looking somewhere between pleasure and agony that lolis seems to make before doing something very destructive) the Mordred comes up and fires it’s Hadron Cannons. (I’ll give people that this is very invocative of the Gundam Virtue’s GN Cannon) As if from nowhere the Guren Nishiki now comes up (flying no less) and counterattacks it and we zoom into the cockpit to see Karen looking determined. We then see a Knightmare Frame and what looks like Toudou’s KF locking swords in a cityscape before an semi-opaque barrier comes up that is revealed to be Li Xingke’s Knightmare frame with two spinning swords attached to the arms. He is also accompanied by his posse which includes a woman in a dress similar to Jam Kurodoberi’s, a loli in a loli like pose (I bet she’s got some uber broken talent judging by how innocent she looks) and Dong Zhuo from Dynasty Warriors. His KF then opens it’s Wing Zero like chest area (The guys voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa as well as if the Wing Zero like parralel didn’t work for you) to fire a beam of energy that cuts away to Jerimiah wandering in a desert like setting with an aggressive stride. (It seem to invoke an image of a wild beast who could pop up at any moment and is driven by range and more dangerous than ever. Not to mention the music get’s really screamy here to further drive home the feeling of all-encompassing rage) We then see another shot of the emperor smirking and cut to Lelouch riding his horse through a surrealistic setting (looks CG-ish) before arriving on a cliff overlooking a city with approaching enemies on and approaching the beachhead. (The general on his horse about to attempt a rout) A shot of Rolo follows with a good looking KF flying by in the sky and then rapid shots of the Britannian flag, Ougi standing back to back with Villeta (hinting they might meet up again but aren’t looking eye to eye yet) the Geass Symbol (seems to be the new flag of the OoTBK) and then a zoom out through the geass field of all the characters in the series. At least we see a shot of Prince Schneizel and a determined looking Lelouch as C.C comes down beside him. They hold out there hands as if to greet each other but don’t touch as Lelouch instead draws back his hand at the last second and holds it to his face in the classic gesture. (Seems to indicate they will either be parting ways or he will learn to stand on his own without her help) The camera then zoom at as he dons the Zero mask and an enormous army of Black Knights appears behind him and a black chess piece is tossed into the air. (Symbolizing that Lelouchs fate is up in the air)
Why Do I Get A Devil Gundam Vibe Looking At This Screen?
Why Do I Have This Feeling We Have A Potential Meme In The Making And This Series Has Just The Type Of Fans That Are More Than Willing To Oblige
Nice View Of Area 11 There
So I don’t know that opening didn’t take long at all to grow on me and I really quite like it. I don’t see the problem, but let’s not dwell on that and instead move on with the episode proper. As we start up again Rolo is driving Lelouch along and Lelouch ponders why Viletta is always getting upset with him as he sits in the sidecar. (his voice is also more light-hearted at the moment) Rolo admonishes Lelouch for always skipping class saying it’s no wonder, but Lelouch doesn’t mind and offers him some of the bread that Millay gave to them. He ponders to himself about how it’s been almost a year since Zero caused the Black Rebellion (obviously he doesn’t remember his own identity) and how things have quited down in Japan since then. He claims that when things started to get bad that he and his brother had been planning to return to the homeland (False memories much?) and then they continue to talk about their plans for the future and how Lelouch feels there is no upward social mobility in the adult world. (Social commentary that strikes me as pinpoint accurate of right now)
Reality TV Get’s More And More Disturbing By The Year
Hmmmm….Maybe He’s Got That Fear Of The Seemingly Innocent Lolis That I Do In When He Think About These Destitute Folk
Area Elevens Most Wanted
From here they look up at a TV of a live execution of Japanese citizens and the new Governor-General Carares that replaced Cornelia saying that this isn’t discrimination against elevens, but differentiation against a militant group for being deceived by Zero and trying to take back their names as Japanese. He claims that Brittania must provide the appropriate “education” and Lelouch ponders how the elevens lost because they were strong enough as an image of the members of the Black Knights who have been arrested (Toudou for one) and those who are still at large (Diethard and Laksharta) come by on the screen. TThere is also an image that claims Zero has been executed and Lelouch thinks of him as a fool.
Ah The Number One Export Of The Developed World, The Sweatshop Mentality
Incidentally Ultimate Fighting Is About The Gayest Thing On North American Television By A Long Shot. It’s Like At Least 1.5 Times Gayer Than V.V In The Ending Theme
The Picture Speaks For Itself….HOORAY FOR ULTIMATE MATING
Elsewhere Carares is getting ready to meet with envoys from the Chinese Federation (Guilford seems to be among his security force) and is complaining about the emperor barging in on his territory with plans to capture the remnants of the OoTBK. We then see said detachment from the homeland spying on Lelouch as he approaches a building. A soldier wonders if “she” will appear this time and their leader says she better as they are taking a huge risk by going to the outer parts of the settlement. (the music here sounds really ominous by the way….well as ominous as you can convey with a piano) After Lelouch and Rolo find a place in a parking lot and ride an elevator they end up in a Casino where Lelouch says he is looking for a tough opponent. Among the usual card games and slot machines there’s also a forced Ultimate Fight going between two Japanese brothers with betting on the sidelines by the Britannians (Ah classicly sadistic rich people in anime with all their too much money) and this seems to make Rolo uneasy as he urges Lelouch to leave with him. Lelouch insists that laughing and having fun is for Britiannians though and that all the things that are happening to the elevens won’t change if you don’t see it. (Basically he’s not only lost his memories but his original personality as well)
A Familiar Face Chest
And The Other Goods
I Think They Got The Concept Of The Hunt Mixed Up Here. (Okay, Obviously It’s A Sick Game Of Forced Prostitution Based On The Easter Bunny’s Hunt And The Classic Predator Hunting A Helpless Rabbit Played Up For Lelouch And King’s Back And Forth On The Predator Vs. The Prey….WITH FANSERVICE!)
Don’t Do It Man!
He turns away saying that the elevens have lost and should except their place and bumps right into Karen who is dressed in a bunny costume. She apologizes for spilling a drink all over him and seems to be playing a ruse while reciting the whole class system notion. When Lelouch bends down to try and help her she then goes into something more akin to her true beliefs while trying to pass him a tracking device of some sort. This is cut short when a large black man comes up asking her to show him her face and wants to throw her in with another group of bunny girls for something called the “Bunny Hunt”. Karen protests that she’s not for sale but the man says that losers have no rights. He citest the emperors decree of survival of the fittest as evidence of this and Lelouch seems unimpressed, calling him arrogant and to prove his worth in a game of chess to see who the predator is. (So some aspects of his character are still intact) King accepts and seems to mock Lelouch for challenging him, but Lelouch says he’s aware of King’s status as a top chess player around the area and is ready for a good game.
There It Is Again. Incidentally Kadokawa Has A Stake In Code Geass So I Wonder If It Was Their Idea To Orchestrate This Partnership. Wouldn’t Put It Past Them Since They Are Easily The Biggest Promotional Group In All Of Otakudom
A NEW RECORD!
A Better Surprise Matchup For The Ultimate Fighting Match Would Have Been Karen Versus One Of The Japanese Guys
Which Side Are You Rooting For Crusader?
Elsewhere in a prison are Ougi and the rest of the OoTBK who have been captured and they are debating why Zero left them to be captured. Ougi seems to believe he had his reasons, but a female member says he’s a traitor and not to talk of him. Toudou tells them to stop arguing and that Zero died in battle. This shocks Ougi as we head back to the Babel Tower to see that King has already lost his game with Lelouch. King claims that Lelouch has cheated him but Karen and Rolo both say that cheating at chess is impossible. (Actually this is completely true. Chess is one of the few games where as long as everyone has their eyes on the game at all times and knows the rules it is impossible to cheat without getting caught) King orders his men to restrain Lelouch and that it’s time to create some evidence. Lelouch is outraged and King pulls a gun on him as the building suddenly starts to shake. Karen uses the distraction to punch and kick King to the ground and the Brittanian Farm blimp now opens fire from above the Babel tower as Karen continues to take out more of the bodyguards. The back door of the blimp opens up now and several KF’s drop out. Meanwhile, Karen grabs Lelouch and tries to guide him somewhere through the chaos as he wonders what is going on.
Is It Just Me Or Does Li (Among Other Male Characters) Sport A Serious Jean Chretien Lip This Season
Sword Always Beats Gun In Anime
After the eyecatch we see that Li and one of the Eunichs is meeting with Carares at his compound. (For some reason there’s also an advertisement that flashes by for Kadokawa during this. Did I mention I really hate them for their bloody nigh on constant advertising with everything they are involved in) Carares says it’s probably a little early for the Chinese to understand Brittania and when two of his guards approach Li to ask him to hand over his antique weapon he quickly draws his sword and cuts their guns belts off in a flash. The Eunich (who sounds like one for sure) says that Li is being rude and Li apologizes saying that it’s a bit to early for Carares to understand the Chinese Federation. (Now that was a witty comeback. Britannia has a rival for sure) Carares is visibly incensed by this but everyones detention is quickly drawn to the background where we can see the attack on the Babel Tower underway. Back in the tower there’s a quick flash of Nunally’s locket and suddenly Karen finds herself dazed and on the ground and Rolo is running off with Lelouch. (Did Karen get Geassed by Rolo somehow?)
The Smoke Is Purple Yes, It’s Camo Smoke
So Why Exactly Are People Reminded Of Knightmare Frames When They See The Earth Federation’s Next Line Of GN-X’s. I Saw A Shot Lancer, Not A Tow Cable
You Are Zero….Search Your Feelings, You Know It To Be True. Zero: “NAAAAAAAAAAAAAOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! okay fine…”
The Cavalry Of The Future
Sunday Afternoon Timeslot Matters Not To Code Geass
I Bet This Is The First Thing The Manatees Complain About. After All Every Series Is Allowed To Have Goofy Fun Fanservice Except Those By Sunrise And Gonzo. Also Being Biased Is Apparently Cool Now….Yeah It Must Just Be Eating At The Manatees That People Are Sitting Around…You Know Enjoying A Fun Series By Sunrise And I Expect Extra Amounts Of Whining And Incoherency From Them Before Long
Probably A Good Thing The Order’s KF Start Up Screen Is Written In Kanji
And Thus Why Karen Keeps The Start Up Key Close By….But Not Why She Keeps It In Plain Sight
The team leader asks Karen if she lost contact with the target and the rest of the Order back on the blimp says they’ll join in to. The blimp lets off some smoke to disguise their deployment and they managed to take out several Britannian helicopters with their tow cables. Meanwhile the leader of the Britannian deployment from the homeland commences his own operation and tells everyone to ignore what Carares is saying since the order from the Emperor overules it. Meanwhile Lelouch and Rolo are running through a promenade when a KF crashes through the ceiling and holds out it’s hand as if to invite Lelouch, but just as he’s considering things the Britannian KF’s crash through the windows and open fire on it. It doesn’t hold up long and is forced to retreat behind a pillar. Meanwhile, Karen has reconvened with the Order (I’m assuming she never worked at the tower in the first place) and apologizing for losing Lelouch she learns that Urabe (the point man for the Order) has gone to look for him. She then removes the thing that looked like a cigarette lighter from between her breasts (fanservice) and the back of the Order’s truck opens up to reveal the Gurren Nishiki in pristine condition.
Another Severed Tie?
Better Channel Your Inner Heero Yuy There. If It Were Li He’d Probably Just Pop It Back Into Place Afterward
You Know I Never Felt Shirley Was All That Bright And These Moments Seem To Confirm That Notion
Elsewhere (or not) Lelouch and Rolo have snuck into a warehouse while trying to escape and Lelouch assures him everything is going to be okay, but suddenly he sees something and knocks Rolo out of the way of a gunman getting shot in the shoulder in the mean time. and falls off a ledge into seeming oblivion as Rolo holds out his hand to try and catch him. We flash back briefly to the academy where Shirley is fretting about Lelouch constantly dragging Rolo around on his escapades and when we come back to Lelouch we see he has landed safely on a canopy below.
See Sunrise Can Get Away With This On Sunday Afternoon. And People Were Worried About Censorship And A Lighter Storyline
The Return Of The White Witch
But Not For Long
Massacre, What Masscare?
Is This The End Of Lovable Lelouch?
He begins to climb back out of the basement and into the Babel Tower only to see everybody in the building lying dead on the floor including King, the bunny girls and the wrestlers. He seems to believe it was the terrorists that did it and that they even killed their own people. He spots one of the bunny girls holding and image of Zero and scoffs at the ideal only to look up to see an Order KF. The pilot ejects and it is indeed C.C who says she’s come to pick him up. She tells him to remember his true enemy in Britannia and that they are allies. This time he moves to accept her outstretched hand but she is once again shot and appears to die in his arms. The Britannian Army is behind it and they begin burning the remaining bodies to conceal the evidence of the massacre. The army man who shot her then taunts Lelouch saying he’s been spying on him to get to C.C and now they can both die together.
If Your Looking For The Recipe To Create Fake Memories I Wouldn’t Recommend Cheesing
She Doesn’t Have One
A Well Disciplined Suicide Machine
Your Voice Changed Too
The Return Of The Black King
Yeah Yeah, Nobody Is Interested In You Suzaku, They’re All Looking At The Person To Your Right
He wishes he had the power to escape and C.C grabs him and makes contact by kissing him. He is brought into the same Jupiter like spot that he’s been too whenever their minds connected and she tells him that he has had the power in him all this time and just forgot about it. He then remembers everything that happened up until the point that Suzaku shot him. He then orders the soldiers to kill themselves with his Geass which is now active again and they oblige. He now realizes why nothing quite felt right and where his true place is. He says the world is at fault and not him as the Gurren Nishiki and Urabe’s KF drops down in a gesture of bowing towards him. Meanwhile elsewhere the Emperor approaches Suzaku, Anya and Gino and Suzuku claims to a pleased looking Emperor that he will be the one to kill Zero and won’t give the honor to anyone else.
Well I honestly thought we were in for at least a few episodes of high school hijinks before getting back to the main storyline, but thankfully all we got was a light hearted scene at the beginning and a few shots of Shirley worrying about Lelouch. It seems pretty evident to me the goal of this episode and that was to bring the fans of the first series back into the Code Geass atmosphere as well as to not leave new fans completely confused. By starting things off in a state of confusion they carried over the confusion started by the cliffhanger from last season, but by having a storyline similar to the first episode of the first scene they allowed the opportunity to rebuild some of the tension to it’s peak over the course of the episode and any new fans the courtesy of being eased into the series as things are unveiled as we go along. It could just as easily be a second season or a new series depending on where you stand when watching this. In my opinion it’s as good a directoral choice as any I could have come up with for the first episode.
Of course 1 year has passed and now Lelouch seems to have been given (and I mean to emphasize that) a brother that everyone at the academy recognizes as his sister. He starts the episode off as a light hearted slacker type with only a few of the traits the classic Lelouch was known for such as strong opinions on social casting and a love for gambling. His voice is even different and leads one to believe that his memories have been supressed and altered following the events of last season and that the Ashford Academy student bodies have too. A geass has just such the power to do that kind of mass brainwashing and we’ll just have to find out who the cause of it all was with some retroactive storytelling that I expect soon enough. I’m not entirely sure it was Rolo though as his concern for Lelouch seems genuine. If he were a plant then he would have been trying harder to guide Lelouch towards C.C for the Baron sent to get rid of them, but he didn’t and was even trying to lead him away from the tower. One has to wonder at just who he is and what his goals are if any.
Of course the main plot of this episode is C.C trying to recover Lelouch and Britannian trying to capture her and both seemed to be aware of each others plans and were playing off each other. Of course the Baron seems to have been deliberately withheld details by the Emperor as he has no idea of C.C’s immortality nor that Lelouch has a sealed Geass. For this he pays the price and the Order now has their leader back.
Among other things Li Xingke is formally introduced and seems like a neat wild card character with tons of potential. He’s a skilled fighter who also has a quick wit and seems noble and loyal to his Eunuch. I have a feeling I’m going to like this character a lot and whichever side he ends up allying with would benifit greatly from his strength. Of course he could remain neutral throughout and be a sort of Uesugi Kenshin type figure who appears to help out the weakest side in battle. Who knows.
So a lot happened for not much of anything happening and if there’s one complaint I have about the episode it’s that the animation didn’t seem up to par for Sunrise during some segements. The character art seemed off at times and the quick skirmish between C.C’s KF and the Britannian’s just looked weird. It seemed almost sped up in how she was firing and then got hit and the KF’s arm just seemed to pop off rather than take damage as she retreated super quick behind a pillar. Very bizarre to look at. Hopefully things are better in the second episode and we reach 00 levels.
By the way I should mention for those who don’t know, the story of the Tower of Babel is a moralistic bible associated story of men who tried to build a tower to heaven and were struck down by god for their hubris and belief that they were as great as God. Their punishment was that they all be unable to understand one another and thus live out their lives in confusion and isolation, much like the viewer is probably feeling right now. This has a lot to do with what is going on in this episode such as Lelouch’s confusion as to who he is and his isolation from everybody else for a large part of it during the chaos. It also has to do with how Lelouch tried to climb to the top of the power chain and was struck down and punished by being isolated from the one thing that is more important to him than life itself in Nunally. It could also have some hints of foreshadowing of the fall of Britannia from grace as the tower is all but destroyed in this episode and the true Black King has remerged.
As a final word, the music was obviously different this season and it looks like we have a new soundtrack on the way. Hopefully some old classics return, although I’m kind of liking the piano driven pieces we got this episode as well. Never a dull moment music wise in a Sunrise mecha series. So until next time, which all odds point to being a really plot heavy and thrill filled episode, keep the discussion going.
Rating: Eight And A Half Out Of Ten