Time To Come Up With Better Excuses To Bash Folks (Turns Out The Code Geass Script Is In Fact Done)

Translation By Koshimizu: Progress report by the story originator and main writer, Ichirō Ōkouchi.  I’ve finished the script for Code Geass! Finished!  It’s not “to be continued”, nor “end of this season”. It’s over, finished, the end.  Starting from the planning of this anime, it’s been 5 full years. Although I’ve been having plenty of jobs, this has been the longest one for me.  My computer fell silent when I was writing the last episode. I had to try to recover it while making the final check on the last episode. It’s quite a handfull.
But the work in studio isn’t done yet. And my job isn’t completely finished either.  Laughter or tears, the ending is only 4 months away. As for the production staff, who will see the ending in a few weeks, I wish for them to join me in the joy of seeing the end of Code Geass soon.

So what’s this all about exactly.  Well this is my “love letter” to all those people claiming that Code Geass is being made up episode by episode as they go along.  A claim so commonplace and so oft repeated (and if it weren’t so much then we wouldn’t really have a problem) by scrupless bloggers and forum goers that many people just assume out of hand that it’s true.  Well guess what….it’s nothing personal but…..hahahahahaha….YOU ARE WRONG!  Yeah, there is such a thing as wrong on the internet.  Go figure!  Nope, crying opinion isn’t going to save you from the truth, not in this case. 

Now another thing people seem to misunderstand me when I do my little speechs about the bashers of this series.  They seem to think I’m defending the series first, foremost and only, but actually that’s probably about 5th and last on the list of reasons why I get so annoyed at times.  The primary reason which is far more general in nature is simply this…..if you are going to do a critique, and I mean just really have at a series for whatever reason, make it a good one that is defendable.  This is a belief so strong and so hammered in to me from 4 years of learning the in’s and out’s of making a good case when critiquing at university that it kicks in all instances of life.  And it’s not going away, “Butthurt”, “SRSS BSSNS” “Insert Annoying Meme Here” or not.

Really it’s not even about the series in question, it’s a trait that calls me to responsd in some manner to terrible arguments.  See, if an argument or scathing critique of an anime or any type of media is well written (the real well written, not the “you’re catering to my needs so I’m going to call you well written” version that seems popular today) then there’s no real problem other then the always possible instances of genre bias.  The thing is, I’m all for harsh sweeping zero-sum winner take all skewerings of franchises, but I’m even more for finding factual and hard evidence for doing so….lest I fall silent and hold my tongue.  Making stuff up to complain about when you haven’t got a damn clue what you are talking about only embarasses yourself and not the target of the criticism…..that is if you are the type who feels shame.  Lately I’m starting to wonder if shame is more of a 90’s concept or something, but that’s not my point and is part of another story altogether that may never get told.  My point is that it’s time to come up with better excuses to bash folks….preferrably for reasons that actually….you know… exist….okay….Okay?  And that counts for everything, not just Code Geass. 🙂

Now on a less jerky note (because god knows I don’t actually enjoy being like I was above so much as I believe it’s a necessary evil to me in trying to get the point across to the more stubborn among us) in case any people interested in this article are wondering, the magazine came out just before episode 14 aired and if you account for the time it took them to put the whole thing together, Okuchi probably finished his script quite a few episodes before even that.  And if I recall Gurren Lagann was still being written as it started as well too so that seems pretty normal.  Either way the guys always been about 13 episodes ahead at the very least, which is a very comfortable buffer (as opposed to Gundam Seed Destiny where Morosawa actually was just barely and sometimes beyond the deadline for having things ready) so if some people want to claim that’s making things up as they go then I think they are full of it personally.


6 Responses to “Time To Come Up With Better Excuses To Bash Folks (Turns Out The Code Geass Script Is In Fact Done)”

  1. 1 Anonymous July 30, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Yeah I know. I read this article ages ago on 4chan (despite what you may think, sometimes the material is good when the same idiot isn’t flooding threads).

    For bashers of Geass, the fact they took 5 years to produce this is just more fuel to burn. I’m a little surprised it took them so long to produce it considering how farfetched a fair amount of the plot twists seem (let’s not bloody get into this again – I think the ideas are conceptually good but the execution falls a bit short). I would have thought that they plot twists could be handled better but I digress…

  2. 2 The Animanachronism July 30, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Whether or not something’s written on the fly is never really a conclusive criticism. Improvisation is probably a bad sign, but some writers are good enough to knock out a good story nevertheless: Vanity Fair, like lots of novels of its time, was published in serial form, of the twenty parts being like an episode of a television show, and Thackeray came up with the novel as he went along. (Which is why one of the main characters, Dobbin, has such a funny name: Thackeray didn’t know Dobbin was going to turn out to be so important when he came up with him.)

    If Okouchi was a bad writer, he could have written Geass‘s story out beforehand and it would’ve been rubbish. But he’s not a bad writer (I’d guess, from looking at what he’s worked on before), and Geass‘s story is not bad. Not to everyone’s taste, with its use of coincidence, but then no story is to everyone’s taste. I think the coincidences are perfectly defensible, personally.

  3. 3 Camario July 30, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    @Anonymous: “5 years” including the planning stage, mind you, a lot of which was probably general brainstorming early on.

    From what other sources tell us (including some translated excerpts from old interviews and the like), the concept, cast of characters and format of the show went through quite a few changes when it was merely a future project under discussion.

    I’d imagine that period alone would have taken a couple years, at least, before Code Geass as we know it was approved for production and the real work could begin.

  4. 4 Kaioshin Sama July 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    @Anon: See that’s the thing, to me all anime is pretty farfetched. It’s fiction and in Code Geass case it’s strongly fantasy based which is about as open-ended as genres come. The other thing is ask a Geass fan and the plot twists are fine and they love it, but ask someone who’s not a fan or someone who’s just showed up to lol and they are ridiculous and “they have a hard time taking this show seriously”. Well in this case I say it’s almost definitely up to the viewer like I’ve been saying all along and not really the writer.

    In my case though I think some parts of the series have fallen a bit short too, mostly as a result of a bloated cast. There are some characters I just think we could do without in order to shrink the cast. They include Sayoko first and foremost (whoever came up with the idea for that character deserves some flak, that much I agree with), Gino (hasn’t really been of any consequence), all of Li’s generals, Carline & Guinevere (so far), Ms. Romeyer and Tamaki. All of them we could easily do without and have their screentime go to other more important characters.

    In either case it’s a new reason to bash so even if people want to go at it from the 5 year angle without knowing just how they spent those five years it will take a while to get old.

    @The Animanachronism: Uhhhh…yeah what you said in the second paragraph for sure, but about improv. While it theoretically can be done on the fly with shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway?, with animation there is still deadlines. And while there are shows like South Park where they are able to create episodes as quickly as two weeks ahead of the air date to keep up with current events, (which is just amazing considering that I usually love each and every episode) that show has an ultra simplistic artstyle, while Geass does not. And one has to account for getting Seiyuu in to record their lines (as opposed to Parker and Stone who do all the voices themselves without regard for acting quality), giving the animators time to draw the episodes and the audio department time to mix their music…..and then the dreaded editing phase. So that’s why one definitely wants a buffer and why even if the improv writer is talented, it probably won’t turn out well anyway.

    @Camario: 5 years ago the series probably didn’t even have a name or a project designation for that matter. I believe they came up with a vague idea for it sometime before Gundam Seed Destiny (god forbid) came out, but at that point it was probably just them dreaming up something big.

    Anyway, there’s some other good news folks. I’ve lucked into a rare extra day off and completed Metroid Prime 2 last night so those who do like my Code Geass spots can probably look forward to seeing one later tonight. My status has officially been upgraded to semi-vacation now 😀

  5. 5 Kurogane July 31, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Interesting. I may never exactly share Ōkouchi’s sentiments as this show is literally (and literary) his baby, but I do feel a little tear in my eye upon the thought of seeing Code Geass end. It’s been fun. And this is what anime is supposed to be: FUN. I think people sometimes forget that. I mean, it’s like last time, when I was watching Heroes and my dad was like, “What is this nonsense? People flying? Girls breaking their necks and twisting it back? Is this supposed to be real?” and I am like, “No dad, it’s just television. JUST TELEVISION.” What happened to those days when anime was pure escapism? I mean, I too succumb to certain histrionic fan-boy moments (you are dead if you make me miss an episode of Heroes), but that sort of hysteria can go both ways: a good example is groundless anime bashing.

    I agree with Anonymous in that Code Geass has a lot of plot twists, but as someone said before, they aren’t for everyone. I am all for plot twists but I also like linear, a bit more predictable stories. It’s really a matter of both taste and open-mindedness.

    By the way, have fun on your vacation, Kaioshin Sama. I still have a good two months of academic negligence ahead of myself before its back to plunging your head into Biology. Ah, the sorry existence of a student.

  6. 6 Nidhogg August 27, 2008 at 1:48 am

    The problem is director Taniguchi had to change the script Okouchi wrote.
    In conclusion, the writer writes a story but it’s up to the Director to tell the story.

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