Changes Abound….Including The Title Card Bridge Theme Itself
I find this episode’s plot logically defective but the character interactions melodramatically delightful, so on the whole the episode is sufficiently entertaining. Hey, it’s like I just described 90% of Sunrise’s works. -Darkmirage
Actually it’s more like you just described 90% of anime there Darky. Nay nay, the book hasn’t been written on this episodes events yet until the arc is over. 😉
But seriously, this episode has got to be like every Japanese otakus wet dream…..perhaps literally. Odysseus is without a doubt the envy of every lolicon otaku out there right now, and his story is just one of the many character plotlines that are featured in this episode as people run into past acquaintances and what should be a “joyous” occassion/reunion ends in a state of turmoil and broken vows for almost everyone involved. Then again things rarely go as planned in Code Geass. Let’s have a look.
First off let me say, that I am starting to wonder at why the anime blogger community always tends to dump the responsibility of being the one to read between the lines of the dialogue, connect the plotlines and character interactions and just generally explain all of the theoretical and symbolic stuff that happens in Code Geass week after week while they go off and simultaneously engage in the usual blogging cliches of “Facepalm.jpg’ing”, “I loled at’s” and “I have a hard time taking this seriously and watch it for the lulz’s”. Oh no guys, don’t you know…go worrying your heads about having to think about this stuff and just shirk the responsbility by pretending there’s nothing to think about in the first place when you…you know don’t get it and stuff, I’ve got you covered as always. *Is somewhat bitter*
In realizing that picking up the slack has basically become my job as a blogger of independent and often alternative analysis, I’ve decided that on this first birthday of Anime History I will be taking a new approach to episodic blogging by forgoing the usual full episode summaries of series I cover and instead trying to go over the things I think the majority have missed while lol’ing themselves silly. Let this be the birth of a new blogging style for me and I hope it works out:
Code Geass R2 Episode 09 In A Snapshot Or 40:
My God, Even Without The Subtitles There’s Far Too Much Text On The Screen. Anyway, The Basic Overview Of The Chinese Federation Is As We Already Pretty Much Know It. The Sovereign Empress While Officially The Power Behind The Government Of The Federation Is Actually A Figurehead Of The Eunuch’s Who Are A Greedy, Self-Indulgent Bunch Of Former Gentleman In Her Court.
And Of Course The Populace As A Result Is Rather Impoverished, Powerless And Rendered In A State Of Hopelessness
Now Something New Has Happened That Heralds Change In The Chinese Federation With The Arrival Of The 1 Million Strong Japanese Who Are Seeking A New Land To Call Their Own.
The Man Made Island Penglai Is That Place.
HOLY SHIT REALLY?! IS THAT WHY THEY CALL THEM EUNUCHS?! Tamaki’s A Genius
New Mechs Abound….That One Has Todou Written All Over It….Actually It Is And It’s Name is Zangetsu
And Our First Glimpse At Zero’s New Personal KF The Shinkiro Or Mirage. Odds Are Darkmirage Tries To Use This KF’s Convenient Colour Scheme And Name To Try And Make Himself Look Cooler By Association. Yami No Shinkiro? I Think Not….
I Know You’re Getting A Little More Comfortable Around Lelouch/Zero Now Karen, But Your Attempts To Become Less Formal Seem To Have Go A Little Overboard
Karen Really Was Worried About Lelouch Back Then. She Seems To Have Him on The Brain So Much That It’s Making Her A Little Ditzy These Days….I Mean If That’s Not An Air Headed Expression What Is?
You Know In Most Anime You’d Have A Situation Where She’d Be Slapping Him Upside The Head. Now When Your Dealing With The Averag Sunrise Series Where The Men Are Rarely A Total Waste Of Neurotic Life And The Women Rarely Defined Solely By Impulsive One Track Mindedness You Get This Situation Where They Just Try To Casually Brush It Of Like It Never Happened And Indulge In The Moment. You Know….Like Normal Level Headed People.
You Ever Wonder What She’d Do If She Didn’t Get Her Way With The Pizza?
Gotta Love The Ultra Melodramaticness Of These Scenes. Yes Tenshi Is Indeed Set To Be Married. The Lolicons Are Going Ballastic. Also The Black Knights Battleship Is Called Ikaruga And One Better Hope It’s Set To Absorb The White Bullets Right Now As Britannia Is On The Scene
First Heir To The Throne And Nobody Cares…Kind Of Like Charlie Windsor There
Hmmm I Wonder If The Mention Of This Plan Might Become Important In The Near Future. I Better Keep That In Mind. *Flashes Peace Sign*
Man He Really Is Dim And Dull Looking Isn’t He?
I Was Kind Of Expecting The Bridge Bunnies To Be Ditzy Fanservice Characters, But Instead They Just Come Across As Concerned And Dutiful, Just Like The Macross Breed
Yes Indeed, The Eunuch’s Plan To Offer Up The Black Knights To Britannia As A Dowry….Who Could Have Organized Such A Dastardly Agreement?
DUH DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! The Fact That The Soundtrack Actually Does Indeed Do The Classic Dramatic Exposition Tone Is What Sells This Scene I Think
A Crying Loli….It’s As If Thousand Nay A Million Daggers Have Been Thrust Right Through My Heart And Pulled In All Directions….And All Oddyseus Can Do Is Grin And Laugh Stupidly (Though The Ballroom Music Adds Some Pomp And Circumstance To The Event)
All The Bigshots, Including Even The Representatives From Japan, Have Shown Up For This Event Ready To Party, But None Have Clued In On The Bigger Picture Here…..Kind Of Reminds Me Of Anime Blogger And Code Geass In General….Hey Suzaku, Do I Need To Go There To Explain The Situation To You Too?!
Once Again The Curious Observer Will Note Lloyd’s Facial Expression And The Angle Of His View
Millay Is Here Too Along With Lloyd And According To Lloyd Their Engagement Is Still On. You’ve Also Gotta Love How Millay Can Play The Classy Proper Lady When In Public. She’s A Lot Smarter Then A Lot Of Viewers Give Her Credit For
Kanon’s Only Been Around For 2 Episodes Now And Already His Gentlemanliness Has Made Him A Favourite Of Mine. He’s Also Apparently An Earl Like Lloyd
But He Can’t Compare To The Suavest Character In The Show. I Love How As They Announce Schneizel’s Arrival “All Hail Britannia” Starts To Play. Also Have To Love How He’s Such A Gentleman As To Assist Nina In Getting Up The Stairs In This Dress of Hers. I’m Just A Total Sucker For This Classy Bourgeoisie Ball Type Stuff….Sometimes I Wish Western Society Could Be A Little More Like This
Of Course The Britannian Elite Give Her A Rather Hard Time For Just Being A Mere Commoner In His Excellencie’s Service. She Sure doesn’t Seem Happy To Be There Either….
The Observant Viewer Will Also note that Nina’s Feather Dress Is Very Similar To The One That Euphie Frequently Wore In Season 1. I Think That In Some Weird Twisted Way Schneizel Is Trying To Turn Nina Into Euphemia As Would Probably Be In Line With What Nina Would Want Anyway, And In Doing That Also Using Her For Something More Sinister. Perhaps She Is Building Him Some Sort Of Super Weapon With Which To Take The Throne?
She Sure Perks Up When Seeing Milly Though, One Of Several Reunions We See In This Episode
Li And His Men Are Now Ready To Stage A Coup De E’tat To Stop The Eunuch’s From Selling Out Their Own Country
Tianzi Decided To Pardon Li For A Crime Warranting Execution And Take Care Of Him In Their Past. Now Li Is Indebted To Her And Has Sworn His Life To Her As Well. What A Lucky Guy To Not Only Witness The Greatness Of A Loli, But To Owe His Very Existence To One. No Man Is As Great As The Loli Who He Swears By – From The Book Of Kaioshin
Mmmmmmmmmm To Loliriffic To Handle, WHY CAN’T I BE LI?! (Also What A Nice Looking Background Don’t Ya Think?)
You Know, I Really Don’t Think This Is The Way That Traditional Retainers Handle There Vows…..Then Again…
If Samurai Warriors Is To Be Believed, Jive Talkin’ And Homey Handshakes Are Indeed A Part Of Bodyguard Culture, So Anything Is Possible
Everything Seems Carefully Arranged….But Someones Here To Crash The Party
Obviously She Doesn’t Mean That Sexually, But I Guarantee Somebody Takes This As Lesbian Talk. Remember, Just Because You’re A Yuri Fiend Doesn’t Mean it Was The Writers Intention
Nina Bears It All To Millay
If He Actually Had Balls To Be Kicked I Wish Tian Zi Would Take A Leaf From Kagami Kuro’s Book
Is It Just Me Or Are The Chinese People REALLY Short! No This Isn’t An Animation Flub As He’s Still Just As Short In A Closeup Compared To Schneizel And Kanon
The Pose, The Point Score Against Suzaku In The Victory, The Innocent Loliness….It Suddenly Feels A Lot Hotter In This Room….Excuse me….
Rather Than Brutish Fighting, The Method Of Settling Things Is Through A Gentlemanly Game Of Chess. The Stakes, Zero Get’s Suzaku To Give To Kaguya So He Can Geass The Room Without Having Suzaku Kick The Shit Out Of Him If He Wins, If Schneizel Wins, Lelouch Removes The Zero Mask. High Stakes Indeed
Illegal Maneuever Or Symbolic Gesture?
Whoever Let Nina Get Her Hands On A Knife Is A Fool
Cue Ultra Gar Speech By Li Xing-Ke!
Should They Be Playing The Imperial March Theme Here? *Looks At Li’s Soldiers*
IT’S A COUP D’ETAT, EVERYONE GET YOU AK 47’s! YEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!
Tian Zi Invokes The Pinky Promise. I Swear Lolis Have The Power To Motivate And Give +100 To All Stats Just By Doing Stuff Like This
What Villainy Is This?!
The Jeremiah’s Return To The Combat. (Play Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Away To The Newtype For The Super Famicom If You Want To Get That Reference)
THIS EPISODE REQUIRES ME TO THINK SO INSTEAD OF DOING THAT I AM GOING TO CLAIM IT’S A MESS OF INCOHERENT SCENES BECAUSE I JUST DON’T GET IT! WHOOOOO KAGUYA-HIME IS MOE! C.C EATZOR TEH PIZA, MOAR LULU x KAREN ACTION! GRRRRR DIE NINA YOU HORRIBLE TABLE HUMPING BITCH! SCHNEIZEL AND YUNIKS IS GAY LOOKING! I FACEPALM AT CHESS MATCH! TIAN ZI IS TEH GREAT LOLI 4 LIFE AND AM FACEPALM AT ORANGE KUN COME BACK FOR THE LULZ!
Alternative Analysis By Kaioshin:
So things did indeed move to the Chinese Federation as I expected last episode and before Zero and the Black Knights can even get settled in they are forced to deal with a crisis that could leave them trapped and in Schneizel’s grasp. Schneizel demonstrates to us this episode what he was talking about when he mentioned winning by not winning last episode. His goal to gain much of the Chinese Federation as a territory by enticing the Eunuch’s with promises of further wealth and luxury and peerage in the Empire are a prime example of attaining power through cooperation. To do this he uses the plan of the good old political marriage with his brother and Empress Tian Zi as unwitting pawns in the scheme he and the Eunuch’s have organized. This is the difference between him and other commanders like Clovis, Cornelia and Carares who have always tried to pacify Japan and other areas through brute force rather than through the consent of the people, which allowed the sparks of rebellion to burst into flames upon the arrival of the charismatic Zero who would unite the isolated dissidents as one new nation and ultimately lead them to this new land.
Essentially while the likes of Cornelia etc. have been all about trying to achieve power through total dominance, and thus never really have true power at all so much as in their ability to force the people to co-operate through whatever military force they can muster to control them, Schneizel has been about trying to obtain true power, by winning the hearts and minds of the people by not utterly dominating, but greeting them as if they are equals who could stand to benefit with citizenship in the Britannian Empire. When you have won the hearts and minds of the people, then you will have more power over them then even the strongest military force in the world can ever grant you, because you face no resistance. It’s this ability of Schneizel’s to sell Britannia’s cause versus his peers that makes him a dangerous Machiavellian type character and Zero’s greatest foe to date as they share the same line in thinking and are thus worthy adversaries.
Of course as of this episode Schneizel still has more experience compared to Lelouch in the mind manipulation game as is evident in their chess game, which also goes to show Schneizel’s talent for manipulating people into a position where he has total and true power over them. First, Lelouch knows he asked to act or face being trapped in a nation that will become formally friendly with his enemy and adopt their interests as well….namely his Order of The Black Knights elimination. He has to act fast and as a result makes hasty actions that are also hindered by his ability to try to make the most of whatever he can salavage from a situation Schneizel is in total control of. In the end of their encounter this episode he comes up with the idea of a chess match to try and settle things quickly. During this match Schneizel makes a move that is technically illegal (one cannot enter into a position that puts their own king in check).
Once again the symbolic point in the bigger picture of the overall story of Code Geass is more important however, and both characters know it. Essentially, by Schneizel inviting Lelouch to declare victory over him by accepting his illegal maneuver as a way to win and avoid a threefold repetition, he has put him in a position of submission as a leader. If Black King’s pawn takes White King (Notice that Lelouch is playing with his colour [black] again and Schneizel with Britannia’s [white], nice touch) then Lelouch will be playing to Schneizel’s tune an be no different then a leader who does anything in their power to win. Essentially it would be a hollow victory, which Lelouch cannot accept. By moving his King back however, he still plays into Schneizel’s hands, by allowing Schneizel to tell him that Charles would have taken the win, and thus call into question Lelouch’s ability as a leader. Essentially this is more of Schneizel winning by not winning and getting people to buy into his idealogy. Really the whole chess game was actually just a symbolic front for a war of ideals between the two half brothers shown in a rather poetic manner, and as such the rules no longer really mattered once the match and tension hit that point and neither side could win anyway. In case nobody guessed, this was my absolute favourite scene in the episode. And people say this series is only about action and lulz that doesn’t invite anything in-depth thought. Pah….they’re just not trying at all is really the case.
Anyway, then we have the scenario at the end with Li’s massacre and Zero’s kidnapping of Tian Zi. I think what’s happened is Lelouch has entered a Plan B mode here. He always wanted to have Tian Zi as a source of power with which to use the Chinese Federation as a power base from the moment he got there, but Schneizel got in the way with his wedding scheme. As a result he had to take some desperate measures near the end, which indeed resulted in the kidnapping of a loli at gunpoint after allowing Li to take care of the dirty work and get rid of the Eunuch’s. I think Lelouch is essentially placing his faith in Kaguya’s friendship with Tian Zi and the chance that she might be willing to trust him because of it, though I think he underestimates her attachment to Li. Either he’s got something else in mind or he plans to fight his way out of the wedding hall and think something up later. In the immortal words of Indiana Jones “He doesn’t know, he’s just making this up as he goes”, but if anyone has the cunning to actually work miracles on the fly it’s Lelouch Vie Britannia.
On the character front we have Nina meeting up with Millay again, which immediately goes sour as she chews her out for not respecting her and such. Euphemia’s death and her time with Schneizel really have clouded her memories as to who her true friends are and I still see her as the victim of tragic circumstances that have warped her mind even further then the idolization of Euphemia that lead her down this path initally. Rather then following Schneizel’s twisted plans to become her, I think what she really needs are good friends like Millay and Karen to help her find some closure and realize what Suzaku did, the need to forgive Zero for her death and continue on with Euphemia’s true ideals, which are most certainly not Schneizel’s. Rather then hate her, I pity her and hope she can find a resolution to her storyline that isn’t tragic.
Tian Zi and Li’s story also has some light shed on it in how he ended up becoming sworn to her and the relationship they share. Both clearly care for each other a lot and would do almost anything for each other. That’s why I think Lelouch will have to carefully consider Li’s standing in Tian Zi’s eyes before he can make any headway in convincing her to be his ally. Helping in the Coup d’etat might be a way to get that ball rolling and then turing her over to Li with apologies could seal the deal, but who knows what he has in mind. Right now the ball is so much in Tian Zi’s court on what’s going to happen next that I think she’s without a doubt a key character for the time being. I think she’ll make the right choice though and trust Zero and Kaguya.
And so I think that’s pretty much the episode in a nutshell. The Chinese Federation is certainly a clusterfuck right now, and this before any mech combat has even taken place. In fact this is the third episode in a row without and Knightmare Frame action, which makes me wonder just how much the “only” focus of Sunrise in this is action and lulz for the sake of selling model kits. Next episode looks to have KF action again though, and perhaps we can even expect Jeremiah back on the scene in his newfound servitude to V.V. I’m sure we’ll get the low down on what happened to him between C.C’s last battle with him in the first season and now soon enough. See ya…….
Rating: Nine Out Of Ten