All Those Theatrics And He Has To Do It Again? My God Lelouch Is A Perfectionist
Actually, the high school portions only fill a small part of the episode and aren’t really as mind numbing as I would have expected. (Well actually, seeing as how Code Geass’ writers and Sunrise in general have this Jerry Bruckheimer like ability to turn that which would normally be mundane into something almost always approaching exciting or interesting, I can’t say I expected anything to stray to far into the area of mindless high school harem comedy) Also as I suggested the episode remained completely unchanged despite the leak as would have been the obvious outcome. The lesson here is never listen to 2ch trolls. Now with that out of the way, let’s get cracking.
You See, The Thing With CLAMP Character Designs Is That Even Normal Gym Shorts Suddenly Become Hot Pants When The Character Puts Them On. Also Zettai Ryouiki Becomes Something Of An Impossibility By Normal Standards
You Know, I Have To Give Guilford Credit. When You Have This Much Firepower Trained On One Building It’s Really Hard To Resist Just Opening Fire And Levelling The Place. It Takes One Twitchy Finger And You’ve Got An International Incident
As per usual, we get the brief recap of the Black Rebellion and the ressurection of Zero before heading into the opening. (I give it six more episodes before it’s used for pre-episode teasers. Also believe it or not I’ve watched the opening every single episode so far and it’s my second favourite opening of the season. See if you can guess which one is my favourite. Hint: It’s not Triangler) Afterwards the tense cliffhanger with Rolo preparing to dispatch Zero is resolved Gundam X style when he gets a quick phonecall from…..Lelouch! Lelouch is now back at the academy and Rolo is startled to ponder that Lelouch and Zero apparently aren’t the same person and starts to inquire as to where his. This gets answered by Viletta who takes the cellphone from Lelouch and tells him he’s back at the academy and to hurry back for remedial classes. (Really what I think she means is that they are in cahoots and to hurry back for debriefing) Li is amused by this little discussion between brothers, but their banter can’t halt the tension that those viewing the standoff outside the embassy feel while watching the broadcast.
C.C: Who Were You Expecting? Amber?
Is There Any Hope For Friendship Between Karen and C.C?
Among those watching is Karen, finally back in her regular outfit (which is not really that much less fanservicey then her bunny one, but hey it’s Karen) who exults at their success to “Lelouch”. The voice that responds isn’t Lelouch’s however and C.C pulls off the helmet (letting her hair out and shaking it in the process as if she were guest starring in a Pantene Pro-V commerical. Or rather just givining the fans what they want, a glimpse at C.C’s long flowing hair put on show) to gloat at the OoTBK’s success in getting the Chinese Federation to declare war on Britannia. (The musical piece playing here is Stray Cat by the way, and it’s one of if not the first musical pieces from the first season to make a return amid the newer pieces. It won’t be the last one either. Yeah I saw the leak….) Karen is unimpressed and asks when they switched places. C.C says it was just before the speech and Karen continues to be unimpressed and says that she doesn’t like this kind of information being withheld from the group. C.C calls Karen on what is truly bothering her with a smirk and we catch a glimpse of Karen backing down.
Shirley Tries Her New Technique, The “Spaz Buster” Out On Millay
It’s back to Ashford though now as Millay is barking orders to Lelouch for ingredients in a meal he is cooking up. In fact, Shirley and Rivalz are there too and Lelouch is getting irritable that he’s the only one really doing anything. Millay says it’s because Rivalz has no sense of taste and Shirley proves she’s no help when she spazs out and spills her part of the meal all over herself. Not really caring, Lelouch asks Millay about the party and Millay confirms that it’s to commerate his and Rolo’s survival of the terrorist incident and also to calm Shirley’s nerves a bit since she was in “panic mode”during the whole ordeal. Not wanting to let that bit slip out, Shirley starts making some bizzare seagull noises as she rushes over to shut Millay up. Lelouch notes that the others seem to have truly forgotten all about Nunally and her identity as his sibling has been switched with the imposter Rolo. In other words, not only have they toyed with his memories, but those of the academies student body as well.
You’ll Note That The Locket That Rolo Carries Around Is The Same One We See In The Opening When Nunally Flies By Crying. I Assume That The Locket Symbolizes Nunally’s Sibling Tie To Lelouch And That By Carry Rolo Carrying It With Him It More Or Less Means He’s Carrying The Legacy Of Nunally Sibling Tie With Lelouch. It Could Also Be There As An Object Of Recogniton To Use When Lelouch Is Around To Further Stimulate And Ease In The False Feelings Implanted In Lelouch That Rolo Is His Brother
All of Lelouch’s suspicions seem to pale to the actual reality of the situation as we soon see Rolo heading down an elevator shaft below Ashford Academy and into a large spy complex set up beneath. The extent of the watch on Lelouch and his kin is no less then 47 watchmen in disguise and an array of security cameras set up everywhere around the premises. All for the purposes of keeping tabs on Lelouch. Viletta is also there pondering along with her crew why Lelouch came back and that now he and Zero seem to be different people, which contradicts the facts of their briefing. Furthermore she ponders where C.C is and believes that if she didn’t make contact with Lelouch, then there’s little chance she’s inside the embassy. (Amazingly neither she or Rolo clue in on the fact that they were right on the money and just haven’t given the alternatives much thought)
Lelouch Get’s +10 Manly Points For Being In The Equestrian Club. Nothing Says Gentlemanly Like A Person Who Rides Nobley Atop A Noble Animal
Lelouch Master Of The Evil Look And The Pointlessly Handsome Visage At The Same Time
In class Lelouch has come to the deduction that the likelihood that Charles is holding Nunally is likely and that if he finds out that he’s regained his identity then she could be in danger. (Somehow I don’t think so. More on this in the thoughts second later) When Viletta approaches him telling him to come to class tomorrow he plays the good student, but recalls in his own mind about how he’s used her in the past to his own end….but unfortunately never again. Thus the other option, to use Rolo to find the answers he needs.
Why Have 12 Knights When One Is Capable Of Winning An Entire Battle Singlehandedly?
I’m Pretty Sure Schneizel Is Being Tongue In Cheek
You Are Being Tongue In Cheek Right Schneizel
Lesson, Beating Around The Bush Doesn’t Seem To Work With Rolo
Elsewhere a battle is going on between Britannia and the European Union and one that the EU is confident they are going to win. Thus, as always the master of spoiling “assured victories” shows up in the form of Lancelot and proceeds to win the battle single handidly against an entire regiment (nothing unusual here. :< Also apparently Suzaku is still of the belief that he should ask people to surrender before opening fire, but there is little of the hesitation to wreck havoc when the enemy makes up it’s mind that he used to have. Baby steps for Suzaku) On a battleship surveying the scene some officers are asking Schneizel if it’s okay to allow Suzaku to take independent action, and Schneizel says that Suzaku is a Knight of Rounds and under the Emperor’s command, which technically overides his. He says they should be glad for his success. The scene transitions back to the academy as Schneizel expresses his “sentiment” that Suzaku is a moral compass for the people and Lelouch takes over by noting that Nina is no longer a student at the academy and that Arthur was taken by Suzaku when he left. Suddenly Rolo comes in behind him and while Lelouch tries to play the fool, Rolo slowly turns the conversation towards Lelouch’s miraculous escape from the Babel Tower. Lelouch makes up a story about using an emergency escape to get away from the terrorists and it seems to work. Spying the locket Lelouch muses that that was the locket he gave to Rolo on his birthday…..except that that day, October 25th was actually Nunally’s birthday. He tries to take it back from Rolo, but Rolo freaks out saying that it’s his. (Hmmm…there might be something else to this locket then meets the eye. Or Rolo now buys into Lelouch’s farce and doesn’t want to risk him “recovering” any of his memories should he get a real chance to examine the locket)
Note that When Rolo Uses His Geass, All The Water is Still Flowing In The Room. In Fact I Believe The Water Was Deliberately In The Room On The Part Of The Directors/Animators To Allow For A Moving Object So That The Nature Of The Geass’ Power Would Be More Apparent. Thus My Assumption Is It Works Like Other Geass’ By Affecting The Brain. In This Case, A Temporary Halting Of All Mental Activities
Rolo, Master Of The Knife Kill
Time Goes On…..
People Get Restless….
Girls Take Showers….
And They Fight With Each Other, One Always Managing To Come Out The Sharper Of The Wits
When Rolo goes to report his findings to Viletta, one of the watchmen accidentally walks in on their conversation an this provkes Rolo to use his Geass power to paralyze and kill him despite Viletta’s protests that he’s a part of the team. The reason being that they were discussing the Geass and it’s supposed to be top secret within the Tokyo section. Elsewhere Karen is pondering the standoff and how she doesn’t know how long they can hold out in this United States of Japan. Plus, apparently the Chinese Embassy is thinking of moving it’s location, which would leave them without a territory. She wonders why Lelouch hasn’t relayed any orders for their next steps. Meanwhile C.C is having a meeting with Gaohai who sees he has allowed them at least one more week before he will be forced to hand them over to Britannia. Not realizing that C.C is in a meeting, Karen comes in still in her towel stating that C.C should have been the bunny girl during the mission. She becomes embarassed once she realizes what she walked in on and hides behind a nearby screen as Gaohai exclaims that he didn’t know Zero was a girl. C.C decides to tease by pretending she is and the tension is deflated further by Li who greets her politely as Karen Kozuki, the pilot of the Guren Nishiki and a person he’s interested in among along with the rest of the OoTBK.
No More Mister Nice Guy I See
Shirley: “Ehehehe You See I’m Kind Of Dense, Ehehehe…..he” (Remind Me Was Shirley Always This Slow)
Well If There Is A Slight Harem Theme To The Ashford Academy Scenes Then Rivalz Is Filling The Best Friends Main Dude Role Quite Adequetely, Right Down To The Ear For Gossip And Failing To Grasp The Concept Of Privacy. Still I’ll Take Him Over Sunohara Youhei Anyday Of The Week
Suddenly though another person burts in announcing that Ougi is involved in something. That something is that Guilford is about to execute him along with Toudou and many other members of the Order if Zero doesn’t greet his challenge to a fight. Lelouch watching on TV acknowledges his worthy adversary in Guilford and Shirley walks in on him saying that she’s skipping gym class to try and find a birthday present for Viletta, but that she’s not very good at picking out gifts. Lelouch offers to tag along, and outside Rivalz is seen spying on them. (Guess, what, there goes the eyecatch like 3 quarters of the way through the episode. That’s Sunrise refusing to respect even the most elementary aspects of convention such as when to take a commerical break. Either that or this is Acperience 3. Also there’s the intrusive advertisements after commerical time is up so I’ll be taking that 0.5 off the final score thank very much )
I Didn’t Know Biglobe and Bandai Visual Were Getting Into The Optometry Scene Now
Lelouch’s Permenant Geass Is Causing Him To See Text In His Reflection That Shouldn’t Be There.
Yeah This Is Pretty Much The Kind Of Stuff That Happens To Me A Lot. Somehow I Always End Up Popular With Some Girl In Whatever Crowd I Hang Out With And They Always Want Me To Come Along With Them On Some Adventure. The Glomping Only Occurs About 10% Of The Time Though…..
Better Make Up Your Mind Shirl As This Episode Ends In Less Than 5 Minutes
After the break we learn that Lelouch has been covering up his permenant Geass with special contacts that C.C gave him that also supress their effect as well….for the time being at least. She warns him as his flashback ends (the hand off took place shortly after they met in the Babel Tower) that if his Geass continues to grow in power that they may cease to function, but Lelouch says he will end things before that happens. As he goes to accompany Shirley he fails to sneak past Rolo and ends up telling him honestly what he’s up to. (Even if the shopping thing is a cover it’s still not a good idea to be that straightforward. Why no decoy within a decoy? Come on Lelouch!) Unfortunately, Millay comes by and grabbing ahold of Rolo says he’s coming along with them to pick out a gift as well. At the shopping center Shirley is trying to figure out if she and Lelouch are on a date and eventually she comes to the conclusion that they are. (As nonchalantly as I just put that it’s actually apparently a far more serious decision to make for Shirley) Lelouch has his mind set elsewhere though as apparently he planned all along for Millay to drag Rolo out on this adventure, which means he is again using Shirley as a pawn. Lelouch is of course being followed by Viletta’s spies to try and determine whether he shows any signs of being in contact with the Order and of course Lelouch is on to this as well.
There’s Actually Two Sponsor Ads In This Scene, See If You Can Spot Them
There Are Better Ways. For Example If You’re Ever At A World Cup Soccer Event, Where The Opposing Teams Jersey For The Section You Are Sitting In And See What Happens At The End Of The Game If Your Team Wins. With Any Luck It Should Create A Situation That Within Minutes Will Make Lelouch’s “Panic” Look Like A Case Of The Jitters
His plan seems to involve using a male employee to his advantage and as Masquerade (the other first season song) starts to play we enter the part during the spoiler. If you’ve already seen it and don’t want to read any further, feel free to skip to my thoughts, otherwise stick around and there’s a 50/50 chance I might say something clever at some point. As Lelouch comes back he surprises Shirley and when he asks what she was looking at she lies about the kissing couple she was staring at and says she was looking a ta cable car ad and that she’s always wanted to take a ride on one. This get’s Lelouch thinking about the incident with Mao and how he was forced to erase Shirley’s memories of him. Coupled with what happened with Millay and Rivalz memories, he vows that this kind of thing can’t go on forever. Once he walks into a clothing store, Lelouch diverts Shirley’s attention by saying he’s going to sneak off and surprise Millay. This fools her and Lelouch then deciding everything’s in place, heads into a change room and proceeds to call in a bomb threat. As the mall staff is all distracted by a terrorism alert coming in over the P.A system (it’s actually a code disguised as a simple page for a person named Maximillian from Hakodate Settlement that would appear to shoppers as nothing of importance, but to the staff as a warning) Lelouch sneaks out of the store.
A Little Slow On The Reaction Time There As Always Lelouch
Li’s Quick Alliance And Subsequent Betrayal Beats The Record Set By Your Average Episode Of Survivor By About 5 Minutes
One of the watchmen is on him immediately as per Viletta’s orders to watch for him making contact with C.C, but this is where the staff member he Geassed comes into play. As the watchman closes in on Lelouch, the staff member triggers the alarm causing everybody to go into a panic and stampede through the mall. The watchmen ends up losing sight of Lelouch and this allows Lelouch to sneak out and evade Rolo as well. Meanwhile Viletta and everyone else heads out to look for C.C and when Rolo comes back to the school looking for information, Lelouch is standing behind him with a gun. Rolo is startled that Lelouch really has awakened, and Lelouch says that he plans to use the academy for his nest of operations and Rolo is now to become his pawn in his search for Nunally. He tries to use his Geass on Rolo, only for Rolo to beat him too and turn the tables on him. Now Rolo has the gun and things look bad for Lelouch. Meanwhile back at the embassy it seems the Chinese Federation has turned on the Order and Li attacks one of the Black Knights saying that the Order will be destroyed here.
I think I know where to start. I felt the school antics scenes were handled a lot better than in most anime I’ve seen. Sure they were a bit cheesy, but some plot points also came out of them such as Shirley continuing to fret about Lelouch and the fact that everybody really has forgotten about Nunally and accepts Rolo as Lelouch’s definitive sibling. Likewise later on Lelouch shows that he has some feelings of regret for what happened with Shirley in the first season and it’s a nice touch of humanity to an otherwise cold and methodical figure. Anyway, had there possibly been some goofy music to go along with the scene I probably would have been a lot less welcoming to scene, but the silence other than the dialogue better managed to illicit better what the scene was about, bonding and mutual support between friends in trying times. Other series take note, you don’t need silly music or erratic camera angles to go along with these kinds of scenes to “enhance” the mood as if a scene is meant to come across in a certain way then it should speak for itself. By not trying too hard, the school antics scenes succeeded where many have failed for me in trying to portray some good laid back goofy fun. And to answer the question before it comes up, yes it felt natural. The atmosphere was meant to be that of celebration and appreciation of each others continuing company as Millay said and that’s how it came across.
There’s also the manner of Lelouch’s little play acting that deflects Rolo and Viletta’s attention from the fact that he has met up with C.C and that she is in the embassy. His return to the academy also seems to have cast doubt in their minds on the fact that he is Zero again. That they weren’t given evidence beyond a reasonable doubt as to the connection between Zero and Lelouch (with the exception of Rolo it seems) leads me to believe that somebody (possibly the emperor) wants to allow for doubt to be cast. I think that he is likely anticipating a rematch with Lelouch and allowing him the chance to play his cards for a second shot at him. After all, most of his disappointment and anger with Lelouch didn’t seem to be a result of him rebelling against him, but for the fact that he failed to topple him. That was a result of his own weakness and thus he was punished by being sent back several steps from his ultimate goal. Though that goal was not removed from his reach obviously, and I think it’s the emperor is deliberating keeping him alive, and has possibly been grooming him to be his successor from the day that he cast him out of Britannia and instilled in him the desire to overthrow him. In a sense Lelouch is playing the emperors game of survival of the fittest every time he takes action against him and proving his theory. What for though? Is it to fight these “gods” that Charles seems to be building a weapon to fight? Could Charles be like Lord Genome and the real enemy someone or something else that he is trying to keep at bay or prepare people for with all his harsh policies that seem to be grooming the human race to face a greater challenge? I’m starting to wonder if Charles is actually the final boss and if it’s not V.V and/or the group of “witches” that C.C was a part of that we’ve seen in several visions so far. I’m curious to find out.
Other plot developments include Lelouch wearing a contact lense to disguise the fact that he’s stuck with a perma geass now. It also give him a better excuse to use all of those hand gestures in a manner that isn’t just for show. There is also the little feud that seems to have started up between C.C and Karen that results in much embarassment for Karen. You have to figure that when the person you are up against has had several hundred years to train up her wit and that even Lelouch hasn’t really managed to best her in a battle of them, that it’s best to cut your losses and just go along with things. However, Karen’s hot blooded tendencies lead to her embarassing herself in front of Li Xingke, who seems like a potential love interest for her at this time. Maybe now she’ll start to calm down a little and maybe even one day she’ll come to except that C.C is a valuable part of the Order and that Lelouch needs them both to work together as his two most valuable lieutenants (that he has with him at the moment since Todou and Ougi are about to get X’ed) if they are going to bring down Britannia. Of course it could also get worse and prove a problem at a later date.
All that said, this episode was definitely slower and more of a setup for the next little bit, which should feature the rescue of Ougi and Todou and the full reunification of the OotBK before the search for Nunally begins. (Although that last part seems far off given what happened in this episode) Before long the Knights of The Rounds might be sent in to try and restore order and we should start touching off the main part of the series. Though for a build up to open hostilities, these three episodes have been some of the most entertaining openers I’ve seen since Gurren Lagann. Really this episode was more about Lelouch trying to gather information about what might have happened to Nunally and to try and evade his shadows and capture Rolo. Of course despite all of his scheming Rolo apparently manages to slip through his grasp and apparently things are getting even worse for him as not only has he failed to find out any relevant information on Nunally’s whereabouts, but it seems he’s also about to lose his only foothold in the embassy as Li Xingke apparently turns on the Black Knights despite saying he looked forward to working with Karen. What could have happened I wonder, and when Lelouch does manage to escape from Rolo, will he be so bold as to even try and get close to someone so dangerous, or seek another avenue to Nunally? If you think all of the questions I’ve brought will be revealed next week, don’t count on it though, or for the next week, or the week after or…….
Rating: Eight Out Of Ten