Yeah so it sure seems like Lelouch is really into this whole remaking Britannia thing. I think this is where the “is this an attempt to regenerate Britannia?” quote comes in. Well…..is it? Well maybe not in the usual way. Let’s have a look as usual. Thoughts only again this week since I’m feeling kind of under the weather. Okay like really under the weather…..let’s just do this.
Summary & Thoughts:
So Lelouch starts his new dynasty off very quickly complete with a new style of wardrobe for the Emperor (I like the outfit, I don’t care what anyone says) and giving people the position they deserve in his new Britannia. That means people like First Prince Oddyseus who have no leadership capabilities get standard infantrymen positons and people like Guinevere and Carline who do nothing but sitting around the castle making a mess of things within and without get to clean it for their new emperor. All seems pretty fair…..except Lelouch appears to be taking away their will to resist his commands with mass geassing and control of the media to make him look like the ideal Emperor. What’s really going on is a purge of the old Britannian social structure with nobles being stripped of their privileges, statues of Charles Di Britannia being torn down (classic revolution stuff) and a total reorganization of the governing body. I wonder if Lelouch has just appointed himself the God Emperor of Britannia and plans to watch over the flock (and the world by the end of it all) until such time comes as his changes are sufficient and ingrained enough in society to implement them.
Either way this doesn’t make him much better then Charles was in his plan to do similar things with the Sword of Akasha. Does he ever intend to give people back their ability to think for themselves even or will he become corrupt with power if allowed to rule indefinitely? The question here is now that he has power, what are his long term plans as far as using it. And will it be for the benefit of all like he apparently wants in the end. Again I like the idea of purging the old system of priviledge based on entitlement and returning the areas to their rightful governments, but I don’t like the idea of him wanting to then rule the roost through the UFN. Suzaku gets his wish by being with him and you know I guess that’s what matters to him in the end, though I think their loyalty reaches deeper than that….back to their roots as childhood friends once again. All in all it’s a better start then Charles ever had, but unlike Suzaku I think the means are just as important as the result. Change doesn’t come this quickly without struggle, it never happens. Change must come over time as a result of society being ready for it. Anyway, enough political theory for the moment.
Anyway, I got a bit of a Reinhard/Siegfried vibe from Lelouch and Suzaku’s dialogue during their talk after a horse ride, mostly because of the music though. For a pair not even 20 they sure seem weary of everything that has happened, like they’d prefer to forget. They want the old memories to disappear and to start over. It strikes me as a bit emo, but again if they can make something better of the world through whatever they are doing then I guess the path of self-sacrifice and all the suffering might be worth it. I don’t think it’s revenge or anything like that or destruction, but just Lelouch trying to stay the course. I still think he’s trying to spread Nunally’s policies throughout the world, but feels that in order to do that he must have absolute control and a measure of fear instilled as part of his image to get people to cooperate. Is it just me or does he sound like a Bolshevek? Anyway I guess all that stands in his way of doing this is a little something called Schneizel who has his own scheme in mind for getting into power.
Oh, but of course there’s the first step of getting rid of all remains of the former order…..seriously, Reds driving out the Whites? No…..well anyway, I’m referring to the Knight of Rounds who are a relic of the Britannian Dynasty. One thing that amused me about this final purge by Suzaku in the Lancelot Albion is how offended people seem to be by Dorothea Ernest getting offed so quickly. This is seriously from the book of who cares here folks. Do we really need to learn about a character who is pretty much doomed from the moment she enters the fighting area. Suicide mission or not, when a character who is there for fodder gets killed off why should I feel offended, even if she has a name?
Anyway, the battle wasn’t very exciting in the beginning, I’ll admit that much, though the result was expected. Lancelot Albion has the Energy Wing like the Guren Seiten-Hachi and moves just as fast, which makes me wonder 2 things a) Should we consider it an 9th generation Knightmare Frame like Monica claims it is (this would make the 7th Generation like the shortest in the KF’s history and the 8th apparently non-existant….unless that refers to the Vincent, Lancelot Conquista and Gareth) and b) How the fucking hell are you supposed to beat this thing? Anyway, if it really is supposed to be considered a 9th gen frame then no wonder it is so dominant. Nothing out there could possibly match it’s level of speed, power and capabilities other then the only other 9th gen in existance….the Guren Seiten-Hachi.
The way I see it, the Knightmare Frame is kind of dead or will be dead by the end of this series if things continue on the current path of Lelouch’s history making. They are slowly becoming relics, making way for the likes of Freya with it’s overwhelming destructive power and the monsters that are Lancelot Albion and Guren Seiten-Hachi that can barely be called Knight’s of any kind, which was the ideal behind the Knightmare Frame in the first place. They don’t face their enemy head on in a fair duel like Gino (funny he tells Suzaku he can turn back….back into being a Knight with some honour? I don’t think he knew Suzaku as well as he thought he did), they just blow right through them from a distance. This is the end of chivalry in Code Geass as we know it folks. I also refuse to believe that Suzaku is anything like Kira, he’s to stubborn, to self-assured and knows what he is doing isn’t heroic. Suzaku has also never been portrayed as totally in the right and the fact that he is now embracing his darker ambitions sets him apart from the more one note character he was in R1.
Well anyway Bismarck puts up a good fight at least, but even in the end the new ways win out over the old…..and not just in technology, but in terms of ideals. Bismarck calls Suzaku prideless and seems to hint he has no honour, which when you think about it is true. Bismarck still fights face to face with a sword albeit with the advantage of a little foresight with his future telling Geass (think standard Newtype capabilities….one of the less game-breaking Geass in the show actually) as an evening factor in the battle, whereas Suzaku uses all of Lancelot Albion’s projectile weapons and overwhelming speed to slinker around in the battle. This part of the combat I will admit was fairly neat as it actually felt slightly fair…that is until Suzaku’s live Geass kicked in again and Bismarck stopped being able to predict his moves since I suppose there were now multiple possibilties in Suzaku’s actions as a result of what he would do and what the Geass would have him do. How many times has that live Geass save Suzaku’s ass now? Too many. Anyway, Suzaku cuts the Galahad clear in half. Tell me that this part was not at least somewhat cool and made up for the poor showing of Monica and Dorothea. End of the old world, no doubt….shame really.
I liked that Lelouch chose Ashford Academy of all places to start negotiating a unified world…one where he plans to make the first gesture of peace by joining the UFN….or so he claims. I’d swear it was Taniguchi/Okuchi giving the finger to all those people that want to get away from the school at all costs. Hey though, it’s arguably the most important place to a lot of characters that end up being present at this meeting so I think it’s fairly fitting for neutral ground. Many probably see Lelouch ignoring Rivalz and pretending he doesn’t know Karen, during the ceremony as kind of a douchy thing to do, but you sort of have to look at things from Lelouch’s perspective. If he starts worrying about his old ties as he tries to carry out this Zero Requiem (aka Communist Revolution) then the plan will falter. More on that later, but for now I do not think that Karen feels he has forsaken her or anything like that, but that she realizes that Lelouch can’t have her being a part of what he is about to do. She still trusts him and I know he still cares about her, and that’s why she can’t come along on his journey and can’t be a part of Emperor Lelouch’s great scheme. Karen is made of better stuff then Lelouch feels he and Suzaku are. Thus she gets to make up her own mind and follow her own path. Lelouch is stalwart in communicating this. Farewell….Karen indeed…..or is it?
Anyway the whole ceremony has a lot of political stuff that probably pisses people off, but I love it since it’s not the kind of thing you get often in anime. Basically Britannia is such a large country that if allowed to join the UFN it would have more votes then the rest of the member nations combined since it grants votes in proportion to population. So if Britannia joins the UFN then it will have majority voting power, essentially killing any notion of democratic process in it’s legislative sessions. Britannia would rule the world. So Kaguya, Li and the like make the rather reasonable request of asking Lelouch to either subdivide the nation into seperate voting blocs or to lower his vote count to a proportion equal to 20% of Britannia’s population. That would still give it some significant sway, but not utter dominance. And Lelouch says…..I will burninate you all.
Well not quite but you get the picture. It seems a very strange move to make, but knowing Lelouch he has a reason for doing it, just that right now we aren’t privy to it because they never want to reveal what could happen next in this show. I also like how he seems to know something about Schneizel’s plans that we don’t. Thanks for the heads up there guys….you know sometimes I do feel that they give legitimate reason to bitch a little, just not the endless bitching that dominates the scene when it comes to the case of The Internet v. Code Geass And Sunrise. Well anyway I believe this factors into whatever Zero Requiem is. Still if Schneizel is destroying places like Pendragon and riding around in Damocles (I never thought they would get so literal. Like how much more literal can you get then an actual Sword of Damocles hanging over the emperor’s seat of power ready to come down on him metaphorically speaking) and Lelouch is against him and hasn’t done anything specifially evil other then a whole lot of talk then I can’t help but imagine that he’s got something sinister, but not necessarily destructive and super-villainish in mind with his gambit to force himself into the UFN and still have the power to make changes. I still think he wants Nunally’s world, but feels (key word) he needs to be in a position of absolute power to make the changes happen around the world. Not having majority vote in the UFN doesn’t cut it for him, especially since he apparently needs to (and failed to) act fast to counter Schneizel…..and Nunally, who Schneizel seems to have plans for. Namely making her Empress of Britannia. There’s your cliffhanger and I told people she was still alive at the end of episode 18, but they chose to believe the homepage which is such a great source of accurate information on predicting the course of the series (sarcasm).
Anyway, people can go ahead and believe she was ressurected from the dead or whatever. I don’t care because I called the decoy plan and from the looks of the preview Sayoko is okay too….which makes sense because she was in the ship with Nunally. Yeah….a character gone missing and assumed dead by the characters for the past 4 episodes sure makes them zombified.
Well anyway, on the issue of side characters, you’ve gotta love Lloyd sometimes. I don’t think the Geass works that way Lloyd that you can analyze it and come up with practical applications from scratch in the time you’ve got. I’m pretty sure the Geass cult experiments and related research were destroyed along with it’s HQ in China so there aren’t likely to be any more Jeremiah’s. Speaking of Jeremiah, he’s still loyal to Lelouch so I guess he never found out the story about what happened to Marianne. I wonder if he would still have any respect for her if he were to learn her true nature. My guess is probably seeing as he’s sworn to Lelouch through just about every faction Lelouch has ever headed and Lelouch isn’t exactly the picture of morality. None of it seems to bother him as long as he gets to be the loyal servant of the Lamperouge dynasty. Lloyd and Cecile on the other hand seems to be apprehensive towards Lelouch, and with good reason as his plans aren’t quite clear yet and seem Ingsoc like on the surface. Well they sort of are clear to me if I have him figured out already…..please let me be right again. *Crosses Fingers*
Then there’s Nina. Since the time skip she seems to have run away from it all and is apparently trying to rediscover herself at Ashford. That and apparently other countries are very interested in her….ahem…”talents” as a scientist following the Freya incident. Or rather they all want her to make them a bomb of their own. It’s nice to see her talking with Millay like a normal human being instead of barking at her like during the China arc since Millay was always good to her. I honestly never felt that Nina was evil at heart, but that ambitious and scrupless people like Schneizel and Kanon were manipulating her insecurities and weaknesses in order to get her to do evil things….such as inventing Freya. Now that she’s left them (thank god) she seems to be on the path not so much to redemption, but to acquiring the self-confidence she needs to stand up for herself instead of cowering before the will of others and letting them take advantage of her and turn her into monsters like them. I think she might still have something she can contribute before the end of this story and it seems she started by defending Rivalz from police brutality at the Ashford ceremony. The old Nina never would have had the strength to do that and would have just started bawling so I think this is a sign that she’s growing up a little. A lot of the characters from Ashford have grown up throughout this series and it’s kind of sad to see some of them parting ways right now as a result of current circumstances. Still, her Rivals and Millay hanging out together at Ashford now all but create the opposite of the picture that Lelouch wanted to fill in with his old friends. The one taken during the fireworks ceremony I mean. I guess that’s something positive.
And that’s a wrap I suppose. This episode was pretty straightforward compared to recent ones and easy to follow other then the Zero Reqiuem and Schneizel’s plans that is. Actually it all felt pretty laid back right up until the end though for a time of such turmoil and change in the world of Code Geass. What remains to be seen are Lelouch’s last plan (unless that’s been thrown into chaos now with Nunally declaring him an enemy) and what Schneizel has in store for him with Nunally. I refuse to believe Lelouch really just wants to kill everyone and the same goes for Schneizel. I just think at this point that both consider themselves the best leader for Britannia after the passing of Charles and the old dynasty and right now I think both of them have sufficient qualities (but also failings) that make them an even tie for person most fit to govern. Although I don’t like at all how Schneizel seems to be circumventing things by trying to place Nunally on the throne as a puppet. I also think he’s been spinning the content of Lelouch’s character a little by only feeding her one side of his story. Not that Lelouch hasn’t done many things that would turn her against him in digust and shame (as if she has to right his wrongs somehow) but he’s basically pulling the same thing he did with the Black Knights with her it would seem. You know what…..somebody drop this guy before the series is over. Schneizel El Britannia……I’ve had about enough of you. See you all next week.
Rating: Seven Out Of Ten