Code Geass R2 Episode 23 (Legend Of The Galactic Geass)

Okay, first of all, remember how I said I was losing the will to care about blogging?  This is still sort of true, so this week we get the bullet point thoughts summary instead of the usual wall of text.  People seem to have issues with reading too much I’ve found and been told and this is especially true with Code Geass and anime topics.  It causes them to get into lol fits so I’m using the KISS method for the rest of the series.  Okay?  Okay…….

Il Buono:

Tamaki: “Raw Raw Fight The Powaa!”

-I like that they took the time to show all of the major characters personal convictions and feelings before going into this final battle. There’s still a lot to be done, but that was a good start.

Schneizel: “Kierchies…I Mean Ummm…Kanon…Switch To Attack Formation Delta…No Sigma…I Mean….Yeah Sigma!”

-We also have the long overdue return of army to army combat after all the duels we’ve seen recently. The sides all feel reasonably balanced to. Lelouch’s large numbers are balanced out against Schneizel’s one shot one kill Fleia for now, and Lancelot Albion and Jeremiah is balanced against Guren Seiten Hachi and the Black Knights. Everyone who has a custom Knightmare Frame also gets some decent screentime and gets to contribute to the battle a little, which was good to see. I hope the next episode continues this trend and doesn’t get to bogged down in a Guren/Lancelot duel.

Sayoko:  “There Was This Confusion….Something About A Disinformation Campaign By Schneizel To Convince People She Was Teleported Away By Fleia.  He Planted This Message In It’s Results Readout….I Don’t Know About This Guy But I Saw It….Rohmeyer Was Missing…..And I’ve Finally Found My Place In This Story….Cough….”

-My decoy ship theory was as I suspected 100% correct.  Swapping the Knightmare Frame Honour Guard to Rohmeyer’s ship while risky seems to have done the trick and drawn attention away from Nunally’s vessel in the heat of the search.  All part of Schneizel’s plan to hide her from Lelouch so that he would continue on his destructive path and use her and his actions against him at this point.  Schneizel truly seems to know his brother better than anyone.

Il Brutto:


– Cornelia’s death was tragic and not in vain like I suspected, but it’s kind of a shame that we the viewers are the only ones that get to see it. In the end she chose old-fashioned justice and chivalry over Schneizel’s brand of absolute justice and her death and last words serve as a bit of a reminder to consider whether there is a limit to how far one can go in ignoring the means.  It kind of enhances my feeling from last episode that the age of Knight(mare frame)s is coming to an end in the face of souless weapons like Fleia and Schneizel’s automated turrets.

Viletta:  “Wait….Am I…Regnant?!”

– We sort of gloss over certain things like Villeta’s pregnancy and the fate of Sayoko after the decoy ship deal. She looks pretty roughed up so I assume she fought her way out of captivity so she could find Lelouch/Jeremiah and she was the one who Schneizel claimed had disagreed with their plans and left last episode.  It’s a shame, but I agree that some details continue to be sacrificed for the sake of giving certain side stories quick closure and focusing on the immediate storyline.

Il Cattivo:

Lelouch: “This Hand Of My Trembles With An Awesome Power!  It’s Uncomfortable Feel Cries Out For Me To Lie To You!”

-Lelouch still seems very broken up about Nunally and I like that they showed his hands shaking and trembling as he was putting on the bad guy mask for her. It took a lot of improvising on the spot, but if he could do it for Rolo out of necessity (see the Shirley incident) then he absolutely must do it for her and at this point he has to for the Zero No Reqiuem it seems. At least the two have broken away from each other and are still following their own ideals.  It’s a shame that they have to be on opposite sides at the moment because of bloody Mr. Perfect Schneizel who seems to be stealing everything from Lelouch over the last 4 episodes.  Nunally, you will kindly hand your Mary Sue title over….give it…hey come on…there we go…Schneizel El Britannia, I hereby declare you this shows Gary Stu.

Nunally: “I’ll Trade You My Mary Sue Title…..*Chirp*”

-Nunally doesn’t strike me as evil so much as misinformed. Schneizel has her convinced that she is doing the right thing and is painting Lelouch as a monster, while hiding his own sins to make him look like a Gary Stu saint. If she thinks she’s doing it out of a duty to right the wrongs of her brother then I think she’s game. She’s shown a lot of growth in strength and it’s a shame that she feels she has to become a monster to stop a monster without realizing that the person standing right next to her is the one true evil….sort of.  Also she has no knowledge of the limiter being removed from the bomb and cannot survey the damage, nor does she even likely know how powerful it is to begin with.  For all we know Schneizel told her it was a small area of effect that would take care of Lelouch and end the fight.

Schneizel: “There’s This Book You Should Read Cornelia.  It’s Called The Prince By Niccolò Machiavelli And Oh The Things I Have Learned From It.  It Was My Favourite Book While Growing Up….” 

-Schneizel doesn’t strike me as being as generically evil as I would have thought from hearing about his actions. He’s just another person like Lelouch and Suzaku, one who cares only about the results and not the means in getting there. Thus if he thinks he can achieve everlasting piece for the world by becoming what is essentially Dancougar Nova (terminating agressive military actions with overwhelming force) then he will.

Xingke:  “Confound That Human Deceny I Can’t Seem To Get Rid Of….How Much Longer Do I Have To Deal With This Schneizel Anyway?” 

– The Black Knights, or rather the UFN does not support Schneizel’s use of Fleia against innocents, but rather they support Schneizel’s initiative to get rid of Lelouch whom they see as a threat to world peace. They know nothing of Schneizel’s true plans or I think they would have turned on him just like Cornelia did. Now that Schneizel broke his word and used Fleia anyway out of desperation, I’m thinking there’s a chance they could break away into a third faction next episode. Wouldn’t it be weird if that side then came out on top and that was what Zero’s Requiem is?  Also I realize now that they really just don’t know about Schneizel’s orbital nuke platform plan.  That’s another reason they haven’t broken away from him.  If they do know about Pendragon’s fate then I also doubt they have much sympathy for the capital.  How many of their citizen’s have died at the hands of Britannian’s in pure cold blood.  Yeah, they probably see it as justice that if Japan got nuked by Fleia then so should Pendragon.

Il Risultato:

So everyone now has their place and role in this final battle and although I never would have called who was going to end up on who’s side by the end, but it works in how they got there. Nobody is really evil in all of this I think. Everyone seems to want the same thing in peace, it’s just that everyone has a different ideal on the way it should be attained. I can’t really predict where it will go from here, but I have full faith that it will be a satisfying and memorable conclusion to this series.

Overall a great setup episode and a well earned 9/10 from me.  Two more episodes and I’m freed from the obligation of finishing up my writing of this series and can pursue other less stressful interests.  Trainwreck my fucking ass….

Rating: Nine Out Of Ten

102 Responses to “Code Geass R2 Episode 23 (Legend Of The Galactic Geass)”

  1. 1 Iznogoud September 15, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Please don’t give up.

    You’re the only sane blogger left.

  2. 2 Myssa Rei September 15, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    I think people are confusing trainwreck with rollercoaster, because, frankly, that’s what Code Geass is. Unfortunately, it’s a very UNBALANCED rollercoaster, and the sheer amount of plot twists crammed into the last four episodes and, well, the surprises/revelations lost their luster, so to speak. And that’s very telling Kaioh.

  3. 3 Myssa Rei September 15, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Oh, and by the way, the Newsletter quote is already out. Time to do the ‘Who said that line’ for episode 25.

  4. 4 Kaioshin Sama September 15, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    @Myssa Rei: That’s because the surprises aren’t really surprises anymore so much as revelations. The show has finally gotten around to answering the majority of it’s hanging plot threads over the course of episode 19-23. In fact, all that’s really left is Zero’s Requiem.

    I think I can enjoy this because I am capable of accepting most of these revelations without having a conflict between what I expected and what I got that results in me going haywire on a mostly invisble writing staff. And believe me there is a massive conflict there that if I really cared or believe so strongly in my vision of how R2 was going to progress I could make a huge deal out of it and insta-hate the series. I’d rather not because I’m not the writer and it is not my decision to make how the series should and shouldn’t progress. I recognize this, and that I am just a viewer.

    So in the end I don’t make a huge deal out of everything that happens in the show. I never joined a cause or a strict belief system on how to watch Code Geass R2 or what absolutely must and must not happen in order for the story to be labelled good versus a “trainwreck”. I knew if I did then I would just end up missing everything enjoyable or well-executed about this series (which dwarfs the weaker aspects in my opinion) and I would become an even more miserable SOB then I already am in trying to reason with the unreasonable this past summer.

    I am pretty much just for old-fashioned the casual viewing and heavy debate method. AKA the “fanboy” method as it is now known, since actually enjoying an anime for it’s story and characters at face value is apparently more of a retro 90’s thing now. Gotta love todays anime community.

    More simply then anything I said above though, like all anime, Code Geass is not a do or die passtime for me, it’s a guilty pleasure. Something I like to debate over rather intensely as I do almost everything in life, but a guilty pleasure just the same. That is the primary reason I don’t go ballistic over every minor shortcoming the series presents me. I’m frankly more worried right now about whether John McCain is going to keep pulling ahead of Barack Obama or fall back into place and whether the Conservatives are going to get an unthinkable majority government here in Canada, then if Cornelia Li Britannia got a fair death or not. Bigger picture for me, always the case and always on every conceivable level of life.

    Just one question though Myssa…..if the favourites system is in SRWZ, which series are you going to be picking? :p

    Also, I am not Michiru Kaioh. You know that though…..right?

  5. 5 Myssa Rei September 15, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    I will be picking, hrmm, assuming we get something like the Favorite system in the GBA games instead of the one in MX… I’d get Banpresto Originals (extra upgrade slots = GOOD), then give the other two to the new series that debut. King Gainer and Aquarion are just BEGGING to be favorited. Mugen PUUUUUUUUNCH!

  6. 6 Myssa Rei September 15, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Or Gravion. What’s not to love from the love child of Gatekeepers, GaoGaiGar, and Dancougar? And yes, it’s ALSO the prequel to Dancougar Nova…

  7. 7 Gideon September 15, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Finally! I have been waiting for this for quite some time! Excellent! Katy made into the latest Gundam 00 trailer! W00t!

    As for Code Geass. I was expecting some brilliant unexpected move from Lelouch, but the exploding mountain kinda suprised me. It was probably the scale of it all. What suprised me even more though was that no one in-universe expected it. The Black Knights should have plenty of experience in witnessing Zero’s dirty tricks. Ah well, can’t see them all coming I suppose. Oh and I see why Schneizel wanted to kill Cornelia (because he is evil. got it), but he could have pulled a gun or something. The wallturret…meh. That is all I got and cared about.

    I really just want to know how this show ends though. This episode made me realize I don’t care any more what actually happens. My current state of mind with regards to Code Geass is probably due to the fact I can forget about a happy Anya x Suzaku ending. Sigh. I never get the ending I want. This is Gundam Seed Destiny all over again. I hated that show from episode 28 onwards. They killed of Auel and they didn’t give Dearka enough screentime. Bastards. All of them! This is the fanboy typing of course.

    Now it is the writer’s turn: I really want to know the ending of this show. I don’t think it will give me any satisfaction, but I am curious which choices the show’s writers are going to make. I am just going to hang back on this one and see if I can find some little gems……

    Like a possible Suzaku x Anya ending! It would be brilliant! Suzaku, the boy who burdened himself throughout his young life and Anya, the girl who was forcefully burdened by circumstances in her youth. Their relationship would be a hell of a lot more interesting than Ougie and Violetta (if that are their correct names) who have little between them except a bad case of memory loss (plot-device).

    I guess that is the kind of thing which bothers me the most about Code Geass, both as a fanboy and writer. They keep doing things differently then I would have done. And of course I always think the things I come up with are the best solutions. Guilty.

    Disclaimer: It might read as if I am rather passionate about all of this, but I’m really not. If I don’t get my desired Anya x Suzaku ending, I’ll only be going “ah well”. Furthermore I respect the choices the CG writingstaff makes. Their product, their freedom. Plus they have managed to write a widely succesful anime series and I haven’t….or haven’t I? No..No,I haven’t. Or…

    On to next episode, which will undoubtedly entertain me for another 24 minutes.

  8. 8 Catharsis September 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Good read as always.

    Though on the subject of the decoy theory, regardless of how it ultimately worked out, it is still fairly counter intuitive to send out the real shuttle before the decoy. A decoy is meant to remove attention from the actual ship, and thus is usually sent out first or at the same time. To deploy the actual ship 8 minutes beforehand makes the decoy itself somewhat obsolete as attention has already been given to that lone shuttle. And if it avoided detection, then what ever the decoy does would be a moot point.

  9. 9 Êlysion September 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Suzaku was absolutely brilliant.Playing the evil knight was his true calling.And unfortunately Shneizel seems rather generic, the good thing is that since we don’t know what zero requiem is, we can’t really know for sure if is the worse of the two evil.

  10. 10 Kaioshin Sama September 15, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    @Myssa: Big O, Eureka Seven and Overman King Gainer for me.

    @Gideon: Actually Schneizel wanted to kill Cornelia because she had a sword levelled and was charging directly at him. You’d do something too. As for the turret, well it’s just another example of him never wanting to get his hands dirty directly. He even has Nunally pushing the button to fire the Fleia rather then be the one to directly break the rules of engagment he made with Li Xingke.

    As for endings…well I’ve never received the ending I’ve wanted or expected for any show I’ve ever watched. It just simply does not happen in shows like this. The only time it really does happen is in shows so cliche that you can see the end coming by the midpoint. Sky Girls is a recent example of this.

    In any case, I hope they keep doing things differently then I would want. Otherwise I would feel somewhat cheated and like I was being pandered or catered too. To me that feeling would be the biggest insult of all, not this so called “trainwreck” as a result of the series taking an unexpected direction that everyone else seems to be on about. That’s why I hated Gundam Seed Destiny, it was predictable and boring the whole way through with characters as one note and single-minded as any other series. In this show peoples motivations change with the situation. I know a lot of people have a problem with that, but I’d rather see a character react to a drastic power shift, even if it’s in haste and go through some changes then to see them always blindly follow their motivations from the beginning of the series right through to the end.

  11. 11 Yuki no Kurogane September 15, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    @ Kaioshin-sama: Totally agree with you. The anime community nowadays seems to consist of too many spoiled, world-weary brats. Though the comparison between the significance of Cornelia’s death and the American elections didn’t seem fair, lol. Of course people would find Cornelia’s death more important (joking)! Escapism gone awry…..

    I think saying that Code Geass R2 is as bad as Gundam Seed Destiny is pretty shallow and myopically-opinionated. The only similarities I can find are a) they are both sequels, b)both mecha shows and the most important one, it seems, c) both are Sunrise shows. Hey, Code Geass is actually well animated (for the most part)! Gundam Seed Destiny was full of recycled footage (even Macross Frontier has some, unfortunately….I thought they had a big budget). Code Geass is really just a rollercoaster ride, and definitely not for the faint of heart. I guess those who can’t handle it are bound to feel a little nauseous….

    @ Gideon: You are a writer? I mean not to sound like a moron, but every time someone says that I don’t know whether to assume that they write articles, stories, novels or perhaps even the script for a television show. Well, I am honoured to meet you (on the internet). I am a writer too (I write stories as a pastime; I always was a bookworm) and Code Geass does make me think about that fine balance between a reader’s expectations (plot-wise) and the writer’s delivery. It’s a very, very delicate balance that can easily be disrupted. That is also why I appreciate CG for playing with that balance and as I said before, in some way, it’s just a very interesting experiment. A successful one, I might add, and the reactions on the blogosphere certainly don’t reflect on the reactions in Japan (the audience this show was mainly intended for, maybe even the western television community who have to put up with the dubs, and don’t have enough time to churn out longwinded diatribes of how bad a certain show is; when they like a show, they’ll watch it, when they don’t, they don’t).

  12. 12 anonomyousussous September 16, 2008 at 12:19 am

    what? no more wall of text?
    but I leiked ur wall of text, it made me actually think about things I prolly wouldn’t have thought of and I leik reading ur opinions on things.

  13. 13 Haesslich September 16, 2008 at 12:54 am

    I’d call Mai Otome more of a rollercoaster than this, as far as switching ‘Za Drama’ with ‘Za Comedy’ went… and I did enjoy that, even if it was a ‘trainwreck’. Here? Well, on the one hand killing Cornelia could be seen as Schneitzei being smart enough to get rid of anyone who would (un)misinform Nunnally about his actions, but on the other hand felt a bit like it was done for ‘shock value’. And given the way characters have been getting reaped the past few episodes, having yet ANOTHER person who was important die feels a little anticlimatic, when her death should have been (in my opinion) purposed more for the sake of drama than it was here. As Myssa Rei notes, the surprises and the twists have ‘lost their luster’ and I’m less entertained than wondering ‘so, what happens next, Mr. Light Yagami?’

    And we also see that Nunnally.. I don’t know what to think of her. On the one hand, she could pick out Ms. Lohrmeyer’s lies well enough from her voice that she gestured for the stiff-backed Britannian to come over for a personal lie detector test… but here she either doesn’t care about the casualties (which puts lie to Lulu’s image of her as an angel, as as he remembered his mother – which was incorrect), or else she’s just very gullible since the way people were talking about FLEIJA in this episode would suggest that the information about the casualties in Pendragon – which include almost all of her (till then) surviving relatives – would be common enough knowledge. It’s the difference between a ‘black’ operation and dropping a bomb on Hiroshima; everyone would be talking about it, even on her side – and I don’t see how Schneitzei could’ve kept that information from leaking out among his own people given that anyone with an eyeball would’ve been able to see the utter annihilation of the Imperial capitol afterwards.

    But it does illustrate that Schneitzei’s the only really formidable opponent for Lulu, which was hinted at during the China Arc and the chess match the two had.

  14. 14 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 1:36 am

    I think they do indeed have some ‘splaining to do regarding Nunally’s motivations. Like how willing she is in all of this or what she does and does not know.

    Though I will say that Schneizel’s mask seems stronger then Rohmeyer’s and he doesn’t bely his true intentions quite as easily as she did. If she did try that lie detector thing on him I doubt he would even flinch. He could probably fake his way right through it.

    Also I’ve learned yet another new term today folks. “Fanwank”. From what I understand it’s anytime somebody tries to interpret a sequence of events from a form of media that isn’t directly explained or defined. I never knew it was a bad thing now to think and rationalize about what we were watching, but apparently I’ve been mistaken for the past little while.

    And I always thought it was governments trying to dumb down the people, not the people dumbing down the people.

  15. 15 EvilDevil September 16, 2008 at 2:01 am

    sanity is a liability…

  16. 16 Proudleaf September 16, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Great read as always. I really appreciate reading a blog that isn’t obsessed with making vituperative attacks against the series. I’m also downright sick of all the conceited claims that the second season is nothing but bad writing. As a writer myself who will hopefully minor in literature studies, I can’t help but laugh at such claims.

    This episode gets a 9/10 from me as well.

  17. 17 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 2:48 am

    @anonomyousussous: My desire to write fluctuates depending on the level of bullshit I’ve endured in a day. I have a really low level of tolerance for bullshit, but then I have to wonder who doesn’t when they do what I do.

    @EvilDevil: Only slightly.

    @Proudleaf: Nice. I only took an English Lit. course in High School and a Religious Themes in Modern Literature course in Post-Secondary so I’m a little jealous. My favourite writing centred course though was a compulsary one. Critical Thinking. It’s part of the reason I am the way I am when it comes to blogging.

    Actually one other course did require me to right a 6000 word screenplay (a challenge if ever there was one, not because of having to right so much as people might think, but having such a restriction on the maximum word count) for a scene involving Hercules labour of slaying the Hydra. It was not easy. There’s a lot of detail that has to go into every single part of setting up the scene and making it flow well.

    I guess that the reason I don’t like to rag on the writing staff at all and consider them mostly off limits and out of the picture is because I’ve been through it myself. They already have enough pressure coming from the executives, directors, artists and family that they don’t need any more whiny ass fans hassling them even indirectly.

  18. 18 Haesslich September 16, 2008 at 4:29 am

    I’ll be honest – I didn’t like how Gundam 00 went from the political conflict aspect to a straight ‘Gundam on GundamGN Arms’ fight towards the end, but I think I liked it better than I like the last half of Code Geass R2. It was rushed, but the pacing of the drama and the ups and downs felt more steady than it did with this. Even Mai Otome, which was in its day similarly lambasted as a trainwreck, was better for me than Geass R2 has been in terms of how they shifted from comedy to drama, then inserted some lighter-hearted moments even in the midst of the drama… and in terms of showing character motivations.

    You KNEW why Tomoe went over to join the Valkyries, and knew why Erstin was looking so conflicted in the earlier episodes when she was being knocked down the Coral ranks – they either showed what led up to it, or else made sure you got a hint as to the reason why. Here, people shift sides often at a whim, and of all the shifts to date I think Jeremiah’s was the best set-up of the lot even if it felt a bit abrupt when it happened. They did have a Picture Drama to show it, and they had V.V. go ballistic when Marianne was mentioned.. and Orange himself did sort of refer to those events. So, when he went over to the Lulu faction, you knew what he was doing and couldn’t cry that it was completely impossible.

    And being honest, the ‘sudden tech upgrades’ felt more like a deus ex machina as the series went on. You had… two or so major upgrades in the first season, IIRC; here we went a year after the first series ended, and then we suddenly had an arms race that had everything seemingly pulled out all at once, which made me feel like they were using technology to justify the latest plot twist when it had previously been unprecedented. The visual elements reminiscent of some Gundam series (Guren’s wings, ditto Lancelot Albion’s) probably helped the cry of ‘trainwreck’ spread further. Plus, they had so many new characters introduced that they sidelined Kallen for a bunch of episodes despire her supposedly being very important to the Black Knights (and thus a target for a rscue), got rid of Nunnally for a bunch of episodes only to have her turn up on the other side swearing to be Lulu’s enemy, and other events which – as you yourself have stated – end up having to justify the motivations in the two or three remaining episodes, so very late in the game after Nunnally appeared and then disappeared.

    Myssa Rei pointed out that it’s feeling rushed and thus there can be a feeling of whiplash because of how things move back and forth so quickly, since they’ve so little time left to finish tying everything together. Events that should have been shocking (Cornelia’s cold-blooded murder being the latest) aren’t as shocking or impacting as they could be, due to the way things are rushed… which, I must mention, includes deaths. The loss of a whole bunch of Knights of the Round just one episode previously kinda takes a lot of the drama away from Cornelia’s own demise. It’s really feeling a lot less satisfying to me, because of this unseeming haste with which they’re proceeding.

  19. 19 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 5:04 am


    See all of this is fair and well stated enough that I can’t really disagree with any of it, and the fact is I feel the same way a little, only to a much lesser degree. I just hate poorly worded or nonsensical arguments and 100% positive or negative reflections on anything in life is all, which most of the so-called critiques of the series have ultimately been. They don’t do justice either to the show or the reviewer themselves.

    I also find it hard to acknowledge a lot of the critiques because I know a substantial portion are born out of a trend to bash the production studio. That sort of makes this whole situation ring kind of hollow to me because I knew it was coming regardless of how good or bad the show actually ended up being. It happened with Seed Destiny (the only time I really felt it was justified), it happened with Zegapain, it happened with Code Geass, it happened with Xenoglossia, it happened with Gundam 00, it happened with Code Geass R2 and it’ll happen again with Gundam 00 Season 2.

    When it happens everytime no matter what it’s hard not to see the criticism as a trend rather then a specific condemnation of a certain series. The same thing happens with Gonzo. As I recall Blassreiter wasn’t even given a chance when the first episode broke. People went all insta-ridicule on it and immediately rejected it right away. Then once it was over they actually had the gall to come back and go “Yeah it was actually okay”. Well it’s kind of too late for that isn’t it?

    Same happened with Gundam 00, Code Geass R1, Xenoglossia and Zegapain actually. All were “trainwrecks” while they aired and the criticism seemed endless because of the bashing trend, and then once they went off the air they suddenly became hits with everyone. That’s one of the reasons I call bullshit on most “critiques” of R2 unless I am given the impression that they are actually directed out of a genuine reaction to the show itself and not part of a legacy ideal.

    You know the question has to be asked, if they hate this studios shows so much why do they watch. And no I’m not saying this as a fanboy of any kind and to the people who think I am (you know who you are), please get your head out of your ass amd get a clue. I’m just speaking in terms of common sense. It seems like either masochism or a desire to troll popular shows.

    Anyway, to make it simply it’s kind of a Boy who Cried Wolf situation for me now. It’s a cry of “trainwreck” that happens with such a degree of certainty only to get retracted by the time the show is over for a few months that I’ve just stopped lending an ear to it at all.

  20. 20 Camario September 16, 2008 at 5:39 am

    @Haesslich: I think the pacing problems in R2 -partially due to the time slot change and all that jazz- are pretty clear by this point. While it doesn’t permanently cripple my enjoyment of the show, I’m certain that a better pace would have increase it.

    It’s true that the technological upgrades ended up being rather quick. But flight technology and beam cannons, say, had already been introduced back in season one in some form or another. It was logical for them to extrapolate and expand from there. Obviously, a transparent interest in selling model toys lies behind all this, yes, but I can see we were going to get there anyways.

    It’s not that I wouldn’t have preferred to see a more gradual curve of technological development and use. I would and that’s one of the reasons other shows may appeal to me a lot more in terms of mecha and technological stability alone. But I do not mind the purely visual elements either.

    Too many new characters without having enough screen time to properly balance them and the existing cast is also something I can see and certainly regret. But even then, I find it hard to complain much about very minor deaths, like the Valkyrie girls and even the two female Rounds. What happened to Cornelia, if she is in fact dead, is an entirely different matter, of course (though I care more about how she was rather underused during the season than about how she seemingly died).

    I’d definitely agree that R2 hasn’t done a good job of elaborating on many character motivations at length nor has it dedicated enough time to build-up certain events. That does make the show lose points in my book. But I think the main reasons for how we’ve ended up with the current factions are still there and relatively clear, despite the rush.

    It doesn’t usually make me scratch my head, to be honest. I see lots of people lamenting “why is Nunnally with Schneizel” or “why is Kallen fighting Lelouch”, and while I admit there’s a lot of theatricality and character irrationality to this…I don’t find it that hard to buy. Basically, most shifts in alignments or at least the circumstances surrounding them, even if the show didn’t do the best job of showing the process convincingly, aren’t entirely senseless.

  21. 21 Myssa Rei September 16, 2008 at 6:12 am

    Kaioshin: Aaaaaaaaaaactually, I was under the impression that Zegapain flew right under many bloggers’ radars when it aired because, well, everyone WAS expecting the same cliches. And the cliches were there, oh boy were they. The moderate-to-bad CGI of the time didn’t help things any, as well as the quantum-existence of the people living in the various city-servers.

    In the end, folk like me stuck through it because of the characters. And it would be a really cold-hearted SOB to not like Ryoko.

    Back to the topic though, those espousing the trainwreck argument are flawed, in that the plot, as it were, hasn’t careened off the track and flown across the ether to crash into an unceremonious heap — the only way THAT could happen if a development so out there is thrown into the last two episodes. A prime example of such a left-field twist would be, oh, an armada of Imperial Battleships appearing in orbit, to bring the rebellious world back into ‘Compliance’ with the Imperium of Mankind, amidst a rain of drop-pods raining down, plus Space Marine Terminators teleport-deepstriking into the command center of both the Damocles AND Lelouch’s flagship to dispose of the leaders (the gist is, unless you’re packing man-portable plasma weaponry, you’re toast; Space Marines in TDA are known to have survived being stepped on by TITANS, which are 40-meter plus tall walking warmachines).

    What we DO have though with Code Geass is plot moving at literally a breakneck pace, with little in way of slowing down to let the viewers digest the information being presented to them. Of course you’ll get cries of outrage at Nunnally suddenly being willing to nuke countless people, where only a few episodes before she was a nice and innocent little thing incapable of harming an Eleven, or at Cornelia being just offed at the snap of a finger. Or Viletta suddenly being knocked up by Ougi. Or Xing-ke acting on impulse and emotion instead of showing the traits that made him at least an equal to Zero/Lelouch.

  22. 22 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 6:36 am

    @Myssa: She’s not willing to nuke countless people though, she’s willing to take down an army of geassed soldiers led by her brother in what looks like a bid for world domination and general chaos. Even then she hesitated to push the button, but to her she’s doing the right thing. Viletta and Ougi has always been a who cares subplot to me. Don’t know why it was added and don’t really care how it ends. Xing-Ke is actually acting like the most rational of the Black Knight characters now I think. He seems to want to keep this battle as low key as possible and just about taking down Lelouch. He’s showing strong leadership bids in trying to tell Schneizel that there need to be rules for him agreeing to lend him the Black Knights army and setting out rules of engagement that are supposed to forbid the use of Fleia. Also Tianzi is in danger at the moment so I can’t really blame the guy if he gets a little emotional.

    Personally I also think Cornelia did her part for this series. She was out of the loop as far as having any leadership goes and decided to throw in with Schneizel after getting her revenge on the Geass cult. Once he showed his true colours though she showed her worth by rising up against her own brother for her principles. Her last act solidified her as more then just another Britannia and someone who’s belief in chivalry and honour supercedes her devotion to family.

    Though I should mention that the Geass Corellative site still lists her as alive. Then again the same site has also played tricks like with the Fleia incident so I don’t think it has much credibility as a source.

  23. 23 Myssa Rei September 16, 2008 at 6:52 am

    The same site also lists Odysseus, of all people, as alive too. I take it with a grain of salt, yes I do.

    And no thoughts to my idea of a situation I’d throw in to turn Geass into a trainwreck for it being so out there (pulling a development out of thin air and using it as a means to a resolution I mean)? I have to admit, I’m tickled silly by the thought of two squads of TDA-clad Space Marines teleporting into the opposing sides’ command centers, then opening up with a hail of stormbolter (remember, Space Marine standard-issue ranged weaponry are essentially semiautomatic armor-piercing micro rocket launchers) and assault-cannon fire.

  24. 24 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 7:43 am

    @Myssa Rei: Yeah…..I’ll have to get back to you on that one. :/

    Well actually no, I’ll just say one thing. Having an ACTUAL Deus Ex Machina happen in the series a la a modernized Greek tragedy would certainly learn people who overuse the word a thing or two.

  25. 25 Myssa Rei September 16, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I have a fair amount of experience in amateur theatre, and I tell you, it just wouldn’t fit to have a god-surrogate lowered via wire and winches to get the dramatis out of hot water or resolve an irreconcilable situation (Gekka!). ;P

    Symbolically speaking, of course, there’s just no equivalent in the series at this point, and we’ve already seen the concept of ‘God’ in Geass anyway, and it’s not a proactive entity, that’s for sure. Shoving a game-breaking Deus Ex Machina into the plot NOW would cause an uproar, especially since all the players are on stage, and most of the major plot points have fallen into place. It would be like, I dunno, to pull another out-there idea, Diethard shooting both Schniezel AND Kanon in the back of their heads while they were busy gloating, THEN disabling Damocles’ systems by conveniently-placed explosives.

  26. 26 John September 16, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Stop posting as Iznogoud, Kaioshit.

  27. 27 Dio September 16, 2008 at 7:59 am

    oh my god kaoishin, you write so much about so little.

    never change.

  28. 28 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 8:03 am

    @John: The hell are you talking about, I only post under one name. Also I’m going to assume that was a typo. After that I should warn you, I don’t put up with any bullshit or off topic spam here unless it’s in good natured fun so make your choice now.

    @Dio: See above. Thanks.

  29. 29 Anonymous September 16, 2008 at 8:15 am

    The problem with both Zegapain and Blassreiter was that both looked like rubbish and looked like nothing special. Really, CGI done badly looks terrible and even the best (Macross Zero/Frontier/Ghost in the Shell) looks a bit strange.

    I know I’m not going to watch something for 6 episodes to make sure I’m not missing out on anything, if it sounds like and looks like crap.

    Anyhow, nothing in Geass is a deus ex machina yet, but I do admit the transition does befuddle me a little. But you’re certainly right that people who use that term on most Anime Internet forums seem to have forgotten that the orignal meaning of ‘deus ex machina’.

    I wonder what they’re reaction to Shakespeare is.

  30. 30 Anonymous September 16, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Bah, I keep forgetting that this blog doesn’t have an edit function.

  31. 31 Haesslich September 16, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Camario: Hadron cannons are one thing, ditto gatling hadron guns. But then going to FLEIJA, super-FLEIJA, orbiting death-stations (which is what Damocles is looking more and more like) when there’s been no signs they had any ability to move that much mass into the air prior to now, going to those higher-generation Knightmare Frames, Wings of Light, and so forth are rather… well, jarring. It’s like Gundam 00 going from Flag Fighters to everyone in Gundams in two episodes without showing that cache of solar reactors being discovered; you have to wonder how that fundamental leap in technology was made, and why they escalated so far so fast. You went from Sutherlands to Lancelot Albion in less than a year with two people working on it… which is akin to going from P-47 Thunderbolts dropping 500lb bombs to F-15E strike fighters delivering B61 nuclear warheads in the course of a year in terms of the technological leap shown. That’s why I decry the technological arms race shown in R2 as being a mechanism for the writers to bring out deus ex machinae – it seems like a lazy way to resolve issues.

    Kaioshin: If you see me or a few other people using ‘trainwreck’, it’s because it’s short and to the point. Code Geass R2 at times feels like a locomotive that’s suddenly run off the tracks because it tried to make too hard a turn at too high a speed, resulting in a messy pileup. Gundam 00 at least eased into things, or gave the non-Celestial Being forces a good reason to suddenly upgrade – they got the reactors that made the Gundams so powerful, and a second faction brought out the Thrones which gave Setsuna and company real resistance… and pilots like Graham Acre proved that even the superior machine could be inconvenienced if not brought down completely by a pilot who was smart and skilled. That was realistic, far more so than seeing Shinn suddenly taking down Strike Freedom so Kira could get his upgrade mecha just in time to prompt new model sales.

    Code Geass R2 seems to be leaning more towards SEED Destiny than Gundam 00 in terms of how the writers and director are handling ‘tricky’ issues as well as plot development, using outs that feel ridiculous on the surface in order to move things along. This is a bit of a contrast to the first season as well as the first third of R2, where Lulu’s plotting or hints dropped in previous episodes made the resolutions that came around feel more natural – like having Lulu Geass people to free the Black Knights by manipulating the surroundings, and so forth. Now you see Suzaku using Lancelot Albion to single-handedly kill the best Knightmare Frame pilots in the world, even as they gang up on him or use Geasses to try to make the fight work in their favor. A few episodes previously, Kallen did the same thing to Suzaku and the Britannian forces… and Suzaku’s ‘out’ was to use an even more deadlier weapon despite being one of Britannia’s best pilots.

    Of course, the greatest (and most definitive) use of a Deus Ex Machina was how the Emperor and Marianne were dealt with. It was very much a literally ‘god in the machine’ solution… which again is probably why you saw cries of trainwreck when that happened. On the one hand, you can almost admire the writers for having the gall to basically have Lulu Geass ‘God’; but on the other hand, it was far too quick an out for what was a major part of the series for Lulu, without the attendant aftermath being shown. Instead, we just jump ahead a month past any response Lulu might have to killing his own parents to shwo him smiling smugly with Suzaku showing a similar grin. Two seasons… to no real payoff, just another buildup of forces. Other incidents involved using Ninja Meido, a character who had been shown doing very little during the first season and whose skills were only hinted at in ONE picture drama, or bringing out a game-breaker like the Geass Cancellor only to never apparently use it again. Surely Jeremiah could’ve been employed to better effect than just to talk to meido and to sift through ruins after the action’s done.

    The way they’re rushing through events leaves no time to appreciate what has happened, and things seem to flow together, which negates any emotional or dramatic impact we’re supposed to take away from events. At this stage, I really -am- enjoying this less than other previously-dubbed trainwreck shows like Mai-Otome and Gundam 00, although at least it hasn’t descended to the Gary Stu-like depths of infamy that Gundam SEED Destiny has. I’m sorry, but at this stage I’m just looking at the show and wondering whose bright idea it was to waste a few episodes in the beginning on school comedy if the end result was going to be five episodes of rushed plot.

  32. 32 DreX September 16, 2008 at 10:07 am

    in relation to the episode

    it’s funny how suzaku considered himself as lelouch’s sword and C.C being the shield? … so given this image

    ^ taken from a random curiosity blog…

    then suzaku is ….. O.o

  33. 33 Gideon September 16, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Well, I was planning on another nice and long comment on the Code Geass story, but I fear it will appear as a mere copy of Haesslich arguments.

    So to summarize my own hypothetical 800 word comment; “What He/She said”.

  34. 34 Myssa Rei September 16, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Bravo Haess; doesn’t this mean that you and I aren’t so broken after all?

  35. 35 Haesslich September 16, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Myssa Rei: no, you’re still broken. It’s just that I can put together coherent arguements. And I don’t have to spam the post in the process. ;). Besides, there’s no Kyonko in this show, so there’s no way for you to break too bad as long as we stay on topic.

  36. 36 WMD September 16, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    @Haesslich: We also got to see a prototype for what eventually became FLEIJA back in season one, if you recall, as well as a minor mention or two of Cambodia and the institute there, which leads me to believe that Damocles or some other type of doomsday weapon for Schneizel may have been in the works. That last one is a leap, yes, but not impossible if you consider Schneizel was clearly supposed to play the major antagonist role at some point.

    Again, I’ve already acknowledged that the pace of technological progress in R2 was definitely increased, to blatantly unrealistic levels even. Though if you want to nitpick, Sutherlands were already a bit older than that, from what I remember, and the introduction of Lancelot, the Guren and Gawain were already considerable signs of progress after what was supposed to be an entire generation of KMF development stagnation (the 6th). It isn’t unnatural to expect those breakthroughs to be followed in a shorter span of time by a few more. What we saw throughout R2 came an entire year (R1 to R2) and a number of months later. Still too little time for the real world, especially considering how short R2 is as a series, but even if it’s not the best possible scenario, I can handle it.

    As for the Emperor and Marianne, it’s clear that they were done away with too quickly, especially Lelouch’s mother in particular, but there were a few hints throughout R2 (and one mention in R1) about what Charles was planning at least, even if they were too vague to make much of them until Turn 21. Again, it bothered me that such things were rushed, but what actually happened didn’t.

    The one month time skip…from a storytelling perspective I do find it flawed to just jump right ahead without properly giving the events of Turn 21 some time to sink in. Once again, I can agree with that. Still, it looks like the gist of what Lelouch and Suzaku concluded will be explained retroactively, since it’s tied to whatever the Zero Requiem is. I suppose any “real payoff” will not come until the end of 24 and especially 25. Perhaps too little too late, considering all the ground the series has covered, but there it is.

    “I’m sorry, but at this stage I’m just looking at the show and wondering whose bright idea it was to waste a few episodes in the beginning on school comedy if the end result was going to be five episodes of rushed plot.”

    If you want to go to the structural roots of the problem, whoever decided to move the time slot and thus prompt a partial re-boot.

    Though it could always have been handled better by the staff, no doubt, especially if they had trimmed their own ambitions instead of trying to rush and include as much as possible in too few episodes. But you know what, I’m willing to see how this ends before evaluating whether it was worth it or not.

  37. 37 Camario September 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    That “WMD” above was me, for the record. Someone forgot to clear the browser cache here.

  38. 38 Yuki no Kurogane September 16, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    The rushing is definitely a problem in CG R2, but I have also learned not to focus too much on the negative aspects of a show and appreciate the positive things instead. That’s how I managed to go through Mai Otome, Tower of Druaga, Zegapain (those flaws happened to be the mechas and actions) Gundam Seed Destiny, even Darker than Black (which was great, but a lot of potential seemed lost). In the end, CG has its flaws like any anime show. What I don’t understand is why these flaws get so blown out of proportion while its many good qualities get overshadowed…..not even Dragonaut had this much negative publicity. And yet people keep watching, people keep anticipating the next episode. Does that say something about the hypocritical nature of today’s viewership?

    Again, I’d get exhausted of typing up chunks of text about how bad a show is. I don’t know how anyone can expect to enjoy CG with “this is a trainwreck” virtually inscribed into their brains by some sunrise-hating idiot.

  39. 39 Haesslich September 16, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    WMD: we went from fission experiments to mass displacement weapons. If it was just a nuke, I could accept it, as the tech was being worked on by Nina in the first season. But she jumped past fission and fusion and antimatter to miracle-bomb which does a space-time dislocation thing… or in other words she discovered how to teleport things. With that tech, they’ve opened up space travel and instant point-to-point movement. Yet we don’t see the technologies that should be related to discovering those principles. Ditto antigravity, or whatever let’s the castle float – tech leaps like that usually require the science behind them to be understood by the best in the field and awareness of it’s existence by others. Yet Lloyd and company don’t seem to be using similar tech to make Lancelot Albion or Guren fly. Nor do we see shields in use in government buildings or military bases despite it being portable enough to put in Knightmare frames. You would think a tech that mature would have older versions installed in fixed installations, but we don’t see them using it.

    But at this point, I call many of the tech solutions in R2 to be the work of lazy writers, especially in comparison to some of the nicely twisted solutions provided in earlier episodes. There are too many things that they threw in there without thought to the consequences, or which we never see again despite it’s obvious utility. You’d think that Guren would have shields of some sort, given it was made by Laksharta who built Lulu’s ride, or their carrier would have them, or that there’d be more antigravity devices if ones powerful enough to float a stone castle exist.

  40. 40 Haesslich September 16, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    its obvious utility, even. Stupid incosistent AutoCorrect in browser.

  41. 41 Camario September 16, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    @Haesslich: There’s only so much purely scientific logic you can expect from a show like this in the first place, and even then the writers need not reach all the same conclusions you have. Yes, season one was more consistent, definitely, but even then you could have asked why the Guren’s radiation wave arm wasn’t standard equipment some time after its introduction.

    It may well be summed up as laziness, but honestly…they wanted to get away with a pseudo-nuke without having it actually be a nuke, for obvious reasons, and just twisted science and physics around in order to accomplish that, not worrying too much about how the entire “tech tree” would look like as a result.

    For now, even if it’s not realistic, you could assume the float system Damocles is using just happens to be an advanced version of already existing devices, only taken to a certain extreme, branching off the same concept. The energy wings would be a similar case.

    Also, since so much of the latest tech in the show appears to be either unique or experimental, considering who the show is focusing on…expecting it to be fully implemented all across the board is a bit too much, and in any case it’s not like we are even meant to see every logical application or related drawbacks.

    If you really want something resembling an official in-universe explanation, perhaps some relevant fluff for it will show up in a DVD booklet or two. I would have appreciated more consistency and thought too, but if it’s not there, it’s just a minor issue for me at this point.

  42. 42 Epi September 16, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I remember leaving a comment a bunch of episodes a go on this blog about CG R2 to the effect of, how is this show going to finish off all of the plot threads well? My argument was that it wasn’t going to be done well, and most likely people would just be randomly killed off…

    Well if the last few episodes have been any indication that is EXACTLY what’s going to happen. From Marianne and Charles, to most of the Knights of Round, to the Order of the Black Knights, and to poor Cornellia, it seems like all the great (and not so great) characters that have been so hastily introduced in this show will get their one final second and then POOF… dead. What a crummy way to end off a series.

    As for the whole ‘Legend of the Galactic Geass’ thing, I too was quite excited when there was that giant army battle. Not since early first season has there been any actual strategy used in any of the battles (aside from deus ex machina and super-mecha) and for CG to imitate LOGH was a bit of a homage. It was pretty amazing to see how LOGH would have looked like if they could have animated the battles using a more fluid computer graphics system instead of those animated triangles they liked to use. But then they screwed it up completely. Nothing like pretending to use all this strategy, but then have Todo and Kallen rip through Lelouch’s army as if it were nothing and take out the entire force with little effort.

    The entire concept of strategy is completely irrelevent in the age of super-uber-mega-mecha and that’s a real shame.

    Overall, I find myself less and less interested in this show as time goes by… For the first time ever in Code Geass, I actually found myself FORCING myself to watch the last two episodes because I just wasn’t excited anymore, but I figure I should watch it to the end.

  43. 43 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    @Haesslich: Fleia does not teleport things. That’s just an engrishy results readout. As for the development of Knightmare Frames, if you consider that the 7th generation came out over a 2 year ago with Lancelot and that Cecile was probably working on her Energy Wing for a while even before that then the Lancelot Albion’s existence can be reasonably explained. Lelouch also did not Geass god, he made a wish to the collective unconciousness of the world and had it granted. The people did not want to lose their masks. That scenario in episode 21 also raises the interesting prospect that it’s Lelouch who has the support of the people and not Schneizel as he thinks.

    ” I really -am- enjoying this less than other previously-dubbed trainwreck shows like Mai-Otome and Gundam 00, although at least it hasn’t descended to the Gary Stu-like depths of infamy that Gundam SEED Destiny has.”

    Again what does that really tell you about the whole trainwreck thing. To me it’s still trendy and entirely subjective.

    Anyway, I’d like to keep this blog lazy writer discussion free if possible. I don’t really want this turning into every other blog on the show. If you want to do that here then I’m not going to stop you or anything, it’s just something I really don’t want to discuss.

    @Epi: I don’t remember Karen and Todou ripping through all of Lelouch’s army at all. I remember the Ikaruga firing it’s main cannon while they were all bottleknecked and taking out a chunk of them. Karen and Todou maybe took out all of a couple KF’s that I saw.

    Though I would mention something about the battle I really didn’t understand or felt fit in, but I don’t want everyone leaping all over it like scraps….not here. Maybe after the next episode airs

  44. 44 Haesslich September 17, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Camario: That’s the problem – if they’re offshoots of existing devices, where are they? We don’t see those existing devices if it’s already-established technology, nor do we see the expected precursor technologies or related sciences if they’re NOT already established. We know Nina was working on fission-related experiments as of the first season; to go from that to FLEIJA working alone, or apparently alone, is a huge leap. A team working together, I can see making that much progress over a year if the theory exists somewhere, rather than having a single ‘mad scientist’ type working on it alone for a while. Yes, individual minds can make great breakthroughs, but we went beyond just conceptulatization and theory into engineering. Even ‘unique or experimental’ technology tends to be based off existing concepts, but repurposed to new uses through either new technology or a new way of using existing items. True technological leaps which are fundamentally different from what exists, versus a refinement of the principles of something that is already there, are very rare – maybe once a century do we see anything like that.

    Granted, this is fiction, but still… it feels like we’re venturing into Lensman territory here, where they went through whole decades or centuries, then suddenly had a burst of technological change towards the end that was driven by a whole caste of mentally-superior humans who were bred for that, to fight ‘the big boss’.

    Kaioshin: that was teleportation, or at least mass-displacement. If you remember the aftermath of FLEIJA, we had buildings at Ashford with neat ice-cream scoop-like chunks taken out of them. That was not the result of a nuke of any sort – it would have either been knocked down due to the shockwave, burnt and seared from the thermal pulse, and the people on campus would be dead due to the neutron pulse that would’ve preceeded the thermal pulse and shockwave. Those buildings (and the basements) were literally sliced through with surgical precision, not torn or rent or pounded. If it was a gravitational effect, we should’ve seen more structural damage (if FLEIJA was a small black hole or something like that), and if it was a nuke the buildings shouldn’t have been left standing – a nuclear bomb is basically a regular bomb with regards to how it does damage (if on a very large scale), with the additional blast of hard radiation.

    With regards to Frame technology, we should still be seeing more progress than has been made apparent if the 7th Generation frames are that old – especially since Laksharta has been working ‘for-hire’ for places like the Federation of China prior to now, which suggests that the technology she created or employed in previous Frames she designed is not exactly uncommon. Plus, with things like Damocles around or that beehive barrier shield, we should’ve seen precursor technology… and we haven’t, despite the fact that Damocles is flying, which indicates either that it has the biggest Sakuradite (or similar) reactor ever which has an unprecedented power-to-mass ratio or else those antigrav engines or whatever lets the castle fly are inhumanly efficient, which in turn means that they could be putting those in their battleships and Frames to extend the latter’s range without the use of jets or ‘energy wings’, which seem to take a horrendous amount of energy and thus reduce operational time on their Frames.

    Even Schneitzei’s gone from primarily using tactics and politics to wielding a huge hammer in his super-FLEIJA platform. We’re missing so much because things have been rushed towards the end, and that’s sucking most of the possible enjoyment out of the series for me. Would it have been too much to ask for a few lines and thirty seconds of watching Lulu deal with the aftermath of killing his folks (and thus taking care of one major, overriding goal he’s had up to this point)? Instead we have the timejump to the ‘I’m Your Fucking Emperor’ speech and grin. Yes, they talk about the ‘Zero Requiem’ a few episodes later, but it feels like too little, too late. My suspension of belief’s running on empty at the moment, and I’m not as entertained by the ‘ah ha!’ moments as I was expecting to be. As I pointed out earlier, Mai-Otome has been accused of having similar issues, but at least the pacing there didn’t make the whole ending feel rushed. Yes, things happened at a quick pace but we saw the setup well before those final 6 or so episodes, which meant that when the ‘ah ha’ moments appeared, you didn’t get distracted by niggling questions about ‘why the fuck did this happen now?’, instead having the ‘oh, so that’s where it went’ reaction.

    Epi: I was hoping for more strategy at the end of Geass, or Chessmaster-on-Chessmaster action (like how Lulu had to deal with Mao), rather than something which reminds me more of Gundam SEED Destiny with its ‘Oh, you’ve got a Gundam? Well I’ve got a Gundam with WINGS’ type of ‘trump’ and the breakneck escalation of technology at the end.

  45. 45 Phazys September 17, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I get the feeling that Lelouch is going to appear separately as Zero–maybe to ‘reverse’ what was thought before. Only Kallen so far knows for certain that Lelouch is Zero right? the others just got evidence from Schneizel…

    unless i’m missing something. Schneizel said at the end of the episode, “those who do not know how to use their masks will lose”… so there must be something….

  46. 46 Kaioshin Sama September 17, 2008 at 3:46 am

    @Haesslich: Meh, the only thing that’s sucking the enjoyment out of the series for me is the behaviour of some of the other people watching it. It’s a total buzzkill.

    And I don’t think this is Civ 4 so I’m not too worried about suspension of disbelief in technology. Considering all the fantasy elements like immortals, the Geass and the unconcious mind I’m pretty comfortable with the tech increases we’ve seen. Barring an invasion from outer space like Myssa joked about I’m not going to be losing that suspension of disbelief anytime soon.

  47. 47 AmuroNT1 September 17, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Kaioshin: Don’t count Cornelia out just yet. I’m willing to bet she survived those gunshots. And it’s funny you mention Machiavelli’s “The Prince”; according to a magazine interview ages ago, it’s one of Lelouch’s favorite books, along with “Hamlet” and “Ring of the Nibelung”.

  48. 48 fuka September 17, 2008 at 6:00 am

    Haesslich: Where in the show did it tell you that Nina is working ALONE on the Fleija? Schneizel is supporting her so I would assume Schneizel assign a research team to Nina (just like I don’t think Lyold/Cecile develop Lancelot all by themselves n a cave)

    There are always things you could pick out if you are out to discredit the show: If Nina is shown working with somebody (with names and dialogues), then other will complain that those “somebody” do not have background stories/ development…etc (Think the knight of rounds).

    Fleija is a fictional weapon, and I think it is kinda pointless to try to explain how it destroys stuff. It is the same as bi-pedal robots (like gundam) are actually useless in real life, yet it is fun to see them on anime.

    Also regarding technologies, if you compare our technologies 1000 years ago, 500 years ago and technologies nowadays, you could see technologies advance in a astronomical scale. So if you go back in time 1000 years ago and write a story about our modern world, your story would not make any sense and thus are “bad writing”

    Finally, regarding how the war goes, do you think that it makes sense at all if you disregard technology and numbers, simply relying on the wits of the commander? It makes sense in a small scale war (like guerrilla warfares) but not in a large scale war. Sure it makes great drama (like LoGH) but if you think deeply it didn’t make sense at all.
    (I would love to see the commander-in-chief of united states (Bush) to go to the front line and have a duel with all those axis of evil, but does it make any sense at all?)

  49. 49 Haesslich September 17, 2008 at 8:03 am

    fuka: Given that Nina’s being hunted for her work on FLEIJA, it seems almost a given that all Kanon and Schneitzei were supplying were funds, equipment, and testing facilities. If it was a group effort, or based on data that was commonly available, why would they be hunting Nina Einstein? We saw her working alone on her fission experiments in the first series, and then working by herself again, alone in a dark lab for the second. With nobody else around her – no lackeys, no banks of computers, no assistants to hold her coffee. Just Kanon checking in to see how she’s doing. That’s it.

    The Allies (and specifically the United States and Russia) were hunting for Werner von Braun’s V2 team because of his advances in rocket design, and got them – but they didn’t bother to take the whole Axis scientific apparatus with them to the United States, because they weren’t the ones with the important knowledge and data. Therefore, given what Nina has mentioned up to this point and the fact she was THE mad scientist throughout the last two seasons, it appears that it was pretty much a one-woman effort… just as all these miraculous upgrades in KMF technology seem to be one or two-person shows (Laksharta, Lloyd and Cecile). All they’ve gotten from Britannia are facilities and equipment (very important for going beyond the theory stage) as well as access to manufacturing resources and materials like Sakuradite.

    And you’ve missed the point – those technological advances in the real world weren’t the result of one person, or even a few people… but rather a whole bunch of people over years or decades, building on previous scientists’ or engineers’ work. Rutherford’s theory of nuclear fission and his early experiments – along with the detailed data he left behind on his theories – were what Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and others worked on along with hundreds of others over the course of almost a decade to go from first proving that fission was a reality, then going onto turning that into the first nuclear weapon. It took literally thousands of man-hours of work from the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century to create the first atomic weapon as they weren’t even sure if the theory bore out. Contrast this to the work of Lloyd and Cecile, or Laksharta, who are basically omniscient scientist-engineers who understand all aspects of Knightmare Frame design and operation and who can move the technologies in them ahead to be decades beyond other designs. In one year. We’ve seen them go from a power-hungry float system to the energy wing, and now we have a huge castle in the sky floating around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, not worrying about power expenditures. Guren itself went from having to worry about power drain (which was why Kallen got captured in the first place) to having power to spare for her flight pack, radiation gun, and speed enough to literally fly rings around Lancelot Custom. In less than ten episodes.

    Even now, the most advanced weapons currently employed by the Russian Federation and the United States have their basis in design work done by Nazi Germany over fifty years ago in jet engines, metallurgical researches that have been performed since the thirties and forties to create the lighter materials required for current state-of-the-art engines capable of supercruise, and the F-22 itself was in the design phase since the 1980’s, was first prototyped in 1990, then approved in 1997… but didn’t show up until 2003. The design itself is now ten years old and is state of the art; contrast this to Lancelot, which was designed a year or two before Code Geass itself started. Also consider that the Knightmare Frame as a weapon of war is fairly new – Marianne was piloting a third-generation KMF at least sixteen years ago, and the Sutherlands weren’t deployed until after the Japanese conquest in 2010 which makes the Fifth Generation about 7 years old at the start of Code Geass. They went to the Seventh Generation by then, then the Eighth and Ninth Generations are all deployed by 2018… which include refinements of the technologies in the Seventh Generation (Float System, improved Sakuradite reactors) plus previously unprecedented systems (like the beam-spamming Energy Wing, which was supposedly something akin to the Float System, which sucks up a crapload of energy). Yes, there has been a low-level war going on, but we’re talking jumps which resemble something more like going from prop-based planes to scramjet engines over the course of a year. And with two or one-man teams providing the bulk of the advancements.

    Plus, if you want to drag the real world ‘accelerating technological curve’ argument back in, may I point out that most of the current advances that we’ve seen in the past century are refinements of existing technologies or improved engineering and chemistry? We went from muscle-powered vehicles to steam-powered rather slowly because steam-powered engines were heavy and hard to manufacture compared to studding horses; we went to horseless carriages because they took the technology of pistons and the ability to refine heavy crude into lighter kerosines and gasoline along with diesel and combined it with the external combution engine technology that steam engines had to create ICE tech. And THAT was small enough to put in a vehicle that didn’t have to stick on tracks due to its weight, because the materials themselves were lighter (we could engineer smaller engines, we could forge stronger metal for the pistons, we had better manufacturing techniques to create camshafts and poppet valves, and the fuel had a better energy storage relative to its mass and volume). They were all based on earlier data, earlier technologies, just refined and revised.

    Practical nuclear fission differs from the above, although nuclear-powered subs use the same steam-powered principles that trains used in the previous century. Fission required a conceptual leap from all we knew about chemistry and physics at the time, although at least Rutherford didn’t have to go it alone – he could draw from the research of Henri Becquerel and Marie Curie, and electromagnetism was known to exist at that point. Now contrast this with the energy shields Gawain possessed – at no other point in the series do we see energy shielding except on prototype Frames or on frames like Galahad. Ditto the Float System which was new as of the first season. We can see the Energy Wings developing from this (vaguely) because they operate on similar principles; what is harder to explain is the quantum leap required to make it so energy efficient, or so powerful, to levitate a stone castle such as Damocles, if it uses the Float System’s principles and not something new and revolutionary to provide it with the ability to fly. Nowhere else do we see anything quite like it, especially since it doesn’t show the same Energy Wing profile that we KNOW is both fast and relatively efficient compared to the early Float Systems that Lancelot used at the start of the series. These are technologies which fundamentally alter the way Knightmare Frames operate, and yet we don’t see any precursors for the most part… or worse yet, existing technologies are set aside and apparently forgotten once they’ve served the plot-of-the-week.

    Technology and numbers are useful, but given that Britannia was fighting a low-intensity war in Area Eleven for YEARS now, you’d think that the show would be using more strategy and less of the ‘larger hammer’ variety of war. Especially when those larger hammers tend to wipe out whole cities or countries, which you generally try to avoid for the fact that ruling a pile of rubble with all the resources and people obliterated is not the best way to run an empire since that means you’ve blown all those valuable items that most people go to war for to nothing. Remember why Japan got invaded in the first place – the Emperor was after Sakuradite, as well as certain resources for his plan. It does Schneitzei no good to have an Earth beneath him which is devoid of life and resources to support the society he proposes to build on the bones of the old, especially not if he needs those resources to support his existing technological base.

    There’s a reason America didn’t nuke Iraq out of existence in the first and second Gulf Wars, and it wasn’t just because they were afraid of offending the Arab world.

  50. 50 Haesslich September 17, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Kaio: Given that they had all that weird imagery about Jupiter the first time, I wouldn’t rule ‘alien invasion’ out yet either. 😉

  51. 51 Kaioshin Sama September 17, 2008 at 8:52 am

    @Haesslich: You’re comparing real world technological advances to a science fiction anime. Think about this for a second. I really don’t think they mean any harm by all of this.

    Still, just because we don’t see any other science workers besides Nina in Schneizel’s labs doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

  52. 52 Haesslich September 17, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Kaioshin: They were fairly ‘real world’ for a time there, until a third of the way through R2. And again, if there were more… they’d have been hunted for the FLEIJA tech as well. Unless they’re THAT scared of Schneitzei, which they wouldn’t likely have been, until he showed up and started FLEIJA-ing the hell out of cities.

    I still say that it feels cheap to replace planning and plotting with ‘big nuke/gun/Gundam makes everything go boom’, or so it feels. Between that and the massive cast cutdowns through death in the last few episodes, it just feels too compressed and like they needed to tie everything together because they knew there wouldn’t be any hope of stretching things out with a third series to properly resolve some of the dangling threads. Between that and the tech that they show and then promptly set aside… I’m just getting rubbed the wrong way. About the only thing about the continuing usage of FLEIJA that I don’t mind is that the superweapon hasn’t been forgotten about, unlike Jeremiah’s Geass-cancellers or the technological basis behind the Geflon Disturbers. If they do that much disruption to older-generation KMF’s and city power grids, then surely they could’ve advanced the technlogy a tad to do similar to Lulu’s armies.

  53. 53 Myssa Rei September 17, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Kaioh: Now you know why I don’t goad Haesslich into anything heavier than a bit of fun with Seitenkan — when he focuses on an argument, he doesn’t leave much in way of counter-referencing. I’m well-read, but not well-rounded in my background reading material.

  54. 54 Kaioshin Sama September 17, 2008 at 9:57 am

    @Myssa Rei: And I thought I was a chatty bastard who could turn the simplest topic into a 3,000 word essay. That’s alright, we need more people like me…..I think.

  55. 55 Haesslich September 18, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Kaioshin: I think the resemblances to later Gundam series (which went from the Gundam being a TOOL of war, per the first series and then 08 MS Team) is what’s driving the Trainwreck argument so far. The whole point of Gundam when it was first aired was not that it involved mecha, but rather the mecha weren’t a character of their own or the star of the show – the RX-78 Gundam was a powerful tool of war, but it was the pilot who made the big difference in how the war was waged by being a Newtype, and even then it couldn’t beat whole fleets by itself like the Super Robots that were the most common type of mecha series prior to Gundam, Armored Trooper VOTOMS, and the Macross series which showed up around this period. It was one of the first shows to introduce the Real Robot concept to the anime audience of the time, and its marketability with the model kits helped establish it as a franchise as integral to anime as Star Trek is to science fiction in North America.

    At first, Code Geass was very much a ‘real robot’ show – yes, Lancelot was very advanced for its time, but it wasn’t invulnerable as the Black Knights would show. It was a prop for Suzaku to use, and the plot and storylines focused more on Lulu’s obsession with doing things for Nunnally by destroying the old order (and his daddy the Emperor) along with Suzaku’s focus on atoning for his sins. Even when other KMF’s got more and more advanced towards the end of the first series and we saw Schneitzei’s development programs introduce new concepts like Gawain, the KMF’s were still mostly the tools with which the characters did things and their impact on the plot was on that level. The technology didn’t drive the plot so much as the characters, being an enabler or the MacGuffin (such as stealing Gawain, or equipping Lancelot with the Float System, etc). The relationships were what drove the show, and probably why it became so popular – it had that element of soap opera in the drama with the way they jumped from highs to lows and back, and a tension which culminated in Suzaku and Lulu’s faceoff at the end of season 1.

    Now, Season 2 starts out well, and regains some of that tension once Lulu discovers what his father the Emperor did to him and how he was backstabbed by Suzaku and then saddled with Rollo. But somewhere along the way in the last 10 or so episodes the technology has become the main driving force of the show, moving the plot along since Shirley’s death and the subsequent Geass Cult Massacre. It’s one thing to have Xing-ke show up with Shenhu; he uses it as a tool to defeat Kallen, which furthers the plot. It’s another when people who previously depended on their brains suddenly use technology as the Universal Solution to all their problems – Lulu’s trick with the forced confession of the Eunuchs was cute as was his manipulating one person to free the Black Knights outside the Chinese Federation Embassy by manipulating the pillars ourside, but it’s another to suddenly have Guren Mk II zoom around, killing everything, and then you ‘trump’ it by bringing out another new super-Frame, and then to stop that you have to bring out yet ANOTHER new and yet more ridiculously overpowered Frame or start dropping nukesFLEIJA’s all over the place, while marginalizing the previous be-all/end-all solution (the Geass Canceller) or forgetting it existed.

    And that’s what’s bothering me – on the one hand, they introduce this miracle tech but then they forget to use it or decide that they have to top the previous thing in order to create more drama. The show’s moved into Super Robot territory, which leaves little room for those thoughtful little twists which made people wonder at the anti-hero’s cleverness or Schneitzei’s strategic mind which could outmaneuver even Lulu. The star of the show’s now the FLEIJA bomb, with everyone else in the ‘guest starring’ or ‘also starring’ category, just as they were playing supporting character to the previous stars: Guren Mark II and Lancelot Custom. It’s moved from being about the characters (and jumping a month after the Emperor’s demise without showing Lulu’s response to his own combined patricide/matricide or even if Suzaku empathizes with or despises Lulu for it given his own history) to being about the bombs and the Frames and the tactical screens showing Frames being wiped out. LoGH’s success was not that it focused on large-scale battles involving huge navies and fleets, but rather because it balanced that with the character development and exploration of the changes warfare on such a scale caused to both the people who fought as well as the societies involved. They managed to encapsulate both the macrocosm of political and societal turmoil with the personal drama between people like Reinhard and Yang who embody the best and worst of the cultures that created them. Granted, they don’t have time to delve into everyone’s backstory, but it wasn’t about the machines or the fleet so much as the people who built, manned, and fought using them and the reasons they battled one another.

    I personally say it was a mistake to decide to cut things off in the second season – I suspect a lot of the trainwreck arguments could’ve been deflated had they slowed things down a tad, or at least not dropped the previous Deus Ex Machina in favor of the new one quite so quickly. The Geass Canceller and the Gefion Disturbers were Very Big Deals when they were introduced, since they enabled certain key events to happen… but now it’s like they’ve forgotten Jeremiah exists, or that a lot of the Knightmare Frames in Lulu’s army should still be vulnerable to Gefion Disturbers, or Laksharta didn’t bother to equip anyone else’s ships or Frames with the shields that Gawain had… or Schneitzei, after dismissing Gawain’s loss as inconsequential as it was merely the testbed for new technologies, hasn’t employed any of Gawain’s systems in mass-production units, only in special Knights of the Rounds Frames which were severely outclassed by the Next Big Technology employed in Lancelot Albion.

  56. 56 Haesslich September 18, 2008 at 3:41 am

    “went from being a tool of war to being the star of the shole show” even. BAH.

  57. 57 fuka September 18, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Haesslich: Code geass is never a tartical show, it is a show of Lelouch personal battle. So all the tartical stuff you like to watch is just like the side dishes and in R2 they change the side dishes from tartical battles to super robot shows. The main dish is still about Lelouch choices. Also not everyone like the tartical battles like you, I have heard comments saying the tartical battles between Lelouch and Schneizel is “laughable/ boring…etc”

    About the technology the staff forget, this is just my assumption, but is the code geass canceller of orange-kun actually already broken after he is broken by the Gefion Disturbers when he confront Lelouch face to face? I see some brown liquid coming out from his geass eye……looks like mechanical oil to me.
    About Gefion Disturbers, since it is basically Lelouch idea to use Gefion Disturbers, do you really think it is a good idea to use against him.

    All these assumptions aside, the “forgotten” technologies in code geass is no different then the light speed ice weapon use in LoGH. LoGH never uses the ice weapon anymore after Yang Wenli uses it to prove the author’s point (automatic defence structure is useless against human beings). I could at least think of multiple ways to use the ice weapon later on in the show but the author conveniently “forget” about this miracle weapon.

  58. 58 Haesslich September 18, 2008 at 5:42 am

    fuka: Code Geass is a drama which heavily featured Lulu’s scheming mind to get around the overwhelming technological and military advantage that Britannia had for most of the first two seasons. At this stage of the game, Lulu’s choices aren’t about ‘how do I get around this problem’ but more ‘okay, which button do I push?’ It’s gone from being a show which featured the “Just as planned” moments to “huge fucking Gundam SEED Destiny super-mecha pwns all your guys’ battles.

    As for the Geass Canceller being ‘broke’, even if it’s broken with Jeremiah (which I doubt, given that if it had been damaged by the Disturbers, he himself should’ve broken down as well), the technology STILL EXISTS SOMEWHERE – after all, Britannia rebuilt Orange-kun, and I doubt they did it all in a coffee-binge session which lasted a few hours and which didn’t leave behind any notes, plans, or anything. There’s a whole bunch of technology lying around that’s been forgotten since they brought out “The Next Big Thing” like it was an episode of Gundam SEED or SEED Destiny (whose fans are probably the ones who got bored of Lulu thinking through solutions). Given that the Britannian Army aren’t all piloting Vincents (something we saw during the battle just before Lulu met his father), employing the disturbers wouldn’t have hurt Schneitzei and company at all – their frames were mostly advanced versions, and he had FLEIJA as well, whereas any Fifth, Sixth, or lower-generation Frames would’ve been disabled. It’s not like Lulu knows how to build those things – that was Laksharta’s work, IIRC.

    As for the ice weapon, it had VERY limited utility compared to the Gefion Disturbers – and they weren’t trying to blow away whole planets in LoGH either, which is about the only other reason you’d want relativistic weapons. Geass Cancellers, Gefion Disturbers, energy shields are far more relevant to the current situation in Code Geass by way of contrast – especially the shields, which we’ve yet to see on ANYTHING else, despite the fact that they would have utility beyond defense; the ability to create forcefields and to control energy to that extent could be refined to provide uses other than to defend against energy weapons. Add to this the mass-deaths which have taken away the impact from having important (or even semi-important) characters dying, and it’s really become something of a chore to watch. The things that made Geass relatively unique (drama between characters, Lulu outthinking people, mecha battles which weren’t simply ‘one Frame beating the shit out of whole fleets’) are slipping away, and the moving of the show to a Super Robot-style free-for-all makes it feel more generic than it ought to be for an original series.

  59. 59 Haesslich September 18, 2008 at 5:44 am

    Or to put it another way, everything that was good about Gundam 00 and Code Geass season 1’s been almost completely absent from the last ten or so episodes of Code Geass R2. And the mecha battles were more entertaining in 00, since the outcome wasn’t ‘instant-win’ for the Gundams. They even had to try things that they weren’t sure WOULD win the battle.

  60. 60 Anonymous September 18, 2008 at 6:07 am

    About the ice from Legend of the Galactic Heroes, I imagine that Yang couldn’t continuously use that tactic due to logistical reasons. When he used that tactic in Episode 24, I think you could see ice being harvested from some sort of frozen moon or planet.

    And the fleet was pretty damn close to that planet – you could see clearly the ‘regiments’ of Battleships when the camera zoomed out.

  61. 61 Anonymous September 18, 2008 at 6:17 am

    Also: Geass was never a tactical show, true. But when you present Lulu as some sort of ‘genius’ (unbeatable at chess, constantly making a fool out of the Britannia military in Season 1, etc), I’d prefer to see some proof besides the fact he enjoys reading political discourses written by Machiavelli. Bu I digress – making Geass more tacticool doesn’t really change the end result.

  62. 62 fuka September 18, 2008 at 6:24 am

    I finally see where we differ. I do not agree the major theme of code geass is Lelouch using wits defying odds. I believe the main theme is Lelouch growth in situations and if the audience would make the same choices as Lelouch if given the chances. For example, if you obtain geass ability, would you use to take revenge against the empire? or you could simply use your ability and live nice and quiet with nanally. (Lelouch is worried that the Britainnians would find them one day and use them as pawns again, with geass ability he don’t need to worry about that anymore. He could simply geass the pursuers). Would you have erase Shirley’s memory if you are in Lelouch’s shoes? and of course, will you leave the battlefield to go to Nanally’s side at turn 25? and on and on. To me, the tactical battles are similar to the super robot battles, they are fun to watch, but not essential to me to enjoy the story.

    Geass canceller is not built by Britainnia, but by the geass cult. And everyone in the geass cult is killed by the black knight, thus all the geass canceller related technology is lost.

    The disturbers are only useful when used in a certain strategic point: When Lelouch uses it at the second Tokyo battle, he hoped that by disabling the majority of enemies forces, he could take Tokyo and nanally in a blitz attack and defend Schneizel after taking Tokyo. However, Schnneizel see through Lelouch’s plan and come earlier than expected. If Schneizel uses it at ep 23, Suzaku can simply destroy it in a heartbeat and thus it is totally useless.

    I could at least think of a couple ways I would use the ice weapon in LoGH. If I were the earth cult terrorist, I would use it to do all destruction work. After all, the author of LoGH says that the ice weapon won’t be used in conventional wars because “war is about occupation, not total destruction” but terrorism is exactly all about destruction.

    Which energy shields are you talking about? the one use by Lancelot Albion? The one use by Shinkirou? I think both of them are probably prototype kind of technology that is too expensive to mass produced.
    Think the original Gundam, although the show is called gundam and the main character used gundam, the majority force of the EF are GM and the zeon forces still using zaku at the end of the OYW despite all those prototype mecha we see on the show.

  63. 63 Kaioshin Sama September 18, 2008 at 7:01 am

    @Haesslich: Well what does Jeremiah have to use his Geass Canceller on at the moment besides perhaps Nunally? As for the Gefion Disturbers, the only ones that I know of besides the one Lelouch put in use all around Tokyo (which took some time setting up, but were fairly easy to knock down just the same) are the ones on the Guren, which only seem capable of targetting a single frame and are in limited supply. They aren’t really useful at this stage.

    And it’s still about the characters, I think people just go bonkers any time a powerful mecha shows up in a show. It’s an excuse to start shrieking “GUNDAM SEED DESTINY OMG!” because people have probably been looking for a reason to do so for a while. Suzaku is no longer fair comparison to Kira since he’s so different in personality and belief that any such comparsion would be laughable. So it’s Lancelot Albion.

    Still we’ve been seeing a lot more character recently then mecha. I don’t know how you could reasonbly claim that it’s all about the mecha now. Episode 23 was pretty much the first major mecha battle since 18 (and before that it was 14) and even then we’ve always been focusing more on what the characters are doing (Episode 23 for example was about showcasing Schneizel’s true goals, Lelouch struggling with keeping up his current path despite Nunally’s words stabbing him right through the heart, Nina working on a countermeasure to put an end to the monster she created out of blind hatred and the Black Knights seemingly having second thoughts about Schneizel), what their motivations are and what their plans are. It’s more a case of what I believe to be a quirk people have wherein any powerful mecha is one to many or something. Everybody wants every show to be like Votoms as far as I can tell. Either that or Full Metal Panic which seems to be like the golden standard by which every mecha series is now measured. Can’t say I can see why, but meh.

    By the way, the Avalon is equipped with energy shields as was the Mordred if I recall. Lancelot, Siegfried and Guren also have shields if I’m not mistaken.

    And no, nothing would have deflated the trainwreck arguments. Considering people believe either forcibly or mistakenly in the idea of a universal Sunrise Trainwreck phenomena that is present in all of their shows, people were pretty much going to be looking for anything and everything with which to they could feel satisfied in the idea that it was a trainwreck. We’ve had people screaming about it ever since R1 and I don’t know, but I don’t believe people ever really gave R2 a fair chance.

    In all honesty the Sunrise Trainwreck thing will always be nothing short of a self-fulfilled prophecy to me. Trolling, pre-meditated negative bias towards the series out of belief in a consistency of trainwrecks and trends in general ruined Code Geass R2 for people before anything the company did. Even if they did indeed make some mistakes along the way, don’t try and tell me that if this were any other show by any other company that these flaws wouldn’t be overlooked, played down a bit more or laughed off entirely with a shrug and general acceptance. Considering how minor or otherwise explainable with 5 seconds of thinking outside the box most of these “faux pas” were in terms of how an anime absolutely must be done according to people on the internet. In short, even when it’s weak, it’s not nearly as bad as people make it out to be when they go as overboard and negative as humanly possible on the latest episode. Seriously, most criticisms of the show I see look more like two year old temper tantrums then serious critiques.

    And yet watch, I give it a 50/50 shot that once the show is all over, not even a few months later, Code Geass R2 will have a decent if not solid reputation in the anime community. Considering everyones eyes will then be on Gundam 00 Second Season and how it’s now the trainwreck I mean, and yes I know it’s coming just because I know the internet anime community. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that the there is apparently one and only one Sunrise Trainwreck label at any given time and once people are done burying the current show they have going they’ll just exhume it, take the label off and put it on the next one when it starts up.

    I don’t know, maybe if we can go one of Sunrise’s mecha Series without everybody on the internet picking it to the bone (and I literally mean just one) then I will join in on a critique fest for the next one should it fall short. Until then it looks like a trend, and my basic policy for trends is to stay the hell away and comment from afar. I don’t want to lose myself in any sort of frenzy and then feel ashamed afterwards is all. Not that I feel any urge to join in on the Geass bashing trend that’s going right on now.

    And that’s really all I have to say about that.

  64. 64 Anonymous September 18, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Armored Trooper VOTOMS: Pailsen Files didn’t get picked to the bone. Though no one knows about it, has watched it, or even cares a damn about it.

    I found that nostalgia does a lot to long time Gundam fans. Literally all of the old-school mecha fans hail Zeta Gundam as the shining star of the franchise, which is something I will never understand. I found the pacing as erratic, some scenes completely irrational and confusing (only Tomino will ever understand them), and the whole story lacking urgency as a whole. Doesn’t mean I’m against Gundam because I loved the original, G Gundam, and After War X.

    Always expect fanatics bashing or defending long-time franchises. Problem being? People refuse to take off their rose-tinted glasses and nostalgia goggles and attempt to be reasonable. Gundam, Macross, literally any Go Nagai work, any JRPG game, any game made by Bethesda…it’s all the same. This is probably why VOTOMS doesn’t become a target because it has always had a fantastic reputation among the Anime community that do know it.

    I don’t think it’s a meme or anything. Just more people know the address for Animesuki/Anime News Network/whatever anime forum to yell non-sequitur shit.

    That actually felt good. I can see why you do this often.

  65. 65 Gideon September 18, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I’m not buying it.

    I don’t believe people ‘hate’ CG R2 just because it is made by Sunrise. It might not show on forums and blogs, but most people don’t feel like typing a 500 word entry on why they don’t like Code Geass. They might have good reasons for disliking the show, even if they can’t or won’t explain why. If some 13 year old doesn’t like the show because of the story, I don’t expect him or her to write an essay on plotlines and character development clarifying his opinion.

    Personally I think your devalueing the opinions of those you don’t agree with. Code Geass R2 does have major shortcomings and I think people are perfectly capable of really disliking Code Geass for those. They don’t need it to be made by Sunrise for that.

    Plus it is the internet, you have to take everything you read with a grain of salt.

    As for the Destiny experience: I know the show don’t compare based on plot and characters, but when I saw Schneizel’s floating fortress it reminded me immediatly of Durandal’s Messiah. I am not saying people should make the comparison based on plot etc., but some choices of the productionstaff do invite a general comparison. So I don’t fault people when they do so.

    All of the above is a defense of the average forum-entry-poster by the way. I do expect a bit more from people who blog about the R2 of course. If you dedicate a site to your opinion, you have to provide sound arguments. Especially if you dislike a show other people seem to be enjoying. However most anime-bloggers who dislike the series, seem to be explaining themselves with arguments I can accept.

    I’m also curious how Code Geass R2 will be remembered. Certainly not as a great series. It mainly has a far better first season to thank for that. It will be probably something along the lines of “Good show, good entertainment, but with flaws with regard to story and characters. Not as good as it could have been and certainly not as good as season 1.”

  66. 66 Camario September 18, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I actually ended up liking 00, despite some concerns about the cast of characters, but I didn’t really expect Code Geass R2 to reflect anything from it. I imagine the creative teams working on both shows are fairly different, some animators and the like aside. I expected R2 to follow Code Geass season one, and to a certain extent it obviously did, even if with restrictions, changes and mixed results.

    As for the Gefjun disturbers, they would presumably still be used off-screen, but it is a little harder to showcase them when the current battles are not ground-based and when only so much screen time is left.

    Lots of things happen off-screen in this show, for better and for worse. Back in season one, I don’t think Lloyd and Cecile were the only people behind the Lancelot, even if they were the key players. Same with the Guren and Rakshata, who does have something of a team though they were only rarely (if that) represented. I assume that still applies to R2, even if I can understand why the whole “super-scientist” angle comes up, given the technological progression already discussed.

    “Good show, good entertainment, but with flaws with regard to story and characters. Not as good as it could have been and certainly not as good as season 1.”

    I would even agree with that general judgment, personally.

    Doesn’t mean that the entire story and that all characters are flawed, mind you, but I can definitely see reasons to criticize, and have stated my own POVs about them here or elsewhere. At the same time, I enjoy the show without having to invoke the “trainwreck” clause every so often.

  67. 67 Kaioshin Sama September 18, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    @Anon: Precisely. Regarding both Votoms being an unknown and thus slipping by and Zeta. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Zeta, but I also know that it has even more of that character disappearance problem then Code Geass or Gundam 00. Bask Ohm vanished for like 25+ episodes at one point only to come back and act as a sub boss. Paptimus Scirroco was also an unknown for much of the series who kept disappearing only to play the final boss much like Schneizel. Then there was Jerid Mesa, the original guy who just wouldn’t die. One episode he’s in outer space in the Gabthley getting all of it’s limbs cut off until he’s dead in the water with nobody around to save him, and then a few episodes later without explanation he’s back on Earth in Kilimanjaro in crutches alive and well. It has most of the same problems as Code Geass R2, but I’m willing to bet a lot of people don’t call it a trainwreck because:

    a) They actually haven’t seen it as they claim
    b) It’s not hip to do so right now
    c) It actually isn’t (my choice)

    And you know, Zeta is still one of my favourite series of all time and I never let those minor inconsistencies and flaws ruin it for me. I know they are there though, just like I know R2’s are there, just like I know every single anime ever made’s flaws are there.

    @Gideon: I’m thinking that it will probably be remembered as you saw once all of the broohaha calms dawn. Though if there’s one major reason I think it’s a trend the same thing that’s happening with R2 happened with every one of their shows since Gundam Seed Destiny. I know the term boy who cried wolf doesn’t really apply to this, but certain parts of the tale apply to the situation in my opinon. Maybe it’s time for a new story. The story of the “boy who cried trainwreck” as told by me. Hmmm….

    Anyway, thinking about the whole situation, Macross Frontier has a lot of the same issues that people keep bringing up for Code Geass R2. We’ve got gimmicky characters like Klein Klan, out of the blue plot twists like Grace, under-explained/screwy character motivations like with Ranka and Alto, false death flags that lead nowhere like with Ozma, massive inconsistancy in animation and time wasted on cheesy school episodes early on. Now it takes it’s share of flack, but people seem to be giving it more of a chance to tell it’s story and are generally more accepting of what it throws at them. They’re fair. Not so with Code Geass R2 which can barely air it’s episode now before people start screaming about how much it “sucks”.

    To me Macross Frontier has the right amount of criticism and praise, it feels fair, while R2 goes way overboard on the criticism to the point where it’s almost 100% negative and I have to wonder why people are still watching it if they hate it that much. The overboard criticism is also why I still strongly believe it is part of a trend for the majority of critics as it just has that feel.

    Hmmmm….maybe if R2 had Sheryl, who is apparently the greatest character Evar despite being wildly inconsistant in her personality and motivations…….

    Anyway, on a different topic, if people think that Schneizel is a lame villain then they need to check out some of the villains in old school Super Robot anime. Schneizel at least has a motivation on the level of believing people desire a demi-god in him, believing that peace must come at a price, and believing in his cause over Charles, or Lelouch’s. Old school Super Robot villains motivation was that they were villains. Nothing more, nothing less. And I still have yet to see real robot villains that are as undercharacterized and frankly uninspiring as Ralph Werec, Gauron and Gates in a good long while. Not that I am claiming Scheizel should be comparable to those three, but that those are my personal measures for when you hit lame villain land in real robot anime. If your sole character trait is that you are a crazy loud mofo who likes to blow up everything in sight for no other reason then that you do, and your sole purpose in a story seems to be to spur on conflict for the purposes of developing the main characters and giving them someone to fight, then you are pretty lame villain. Anyway, that’s just regarding Gauron and Gates, ask me about Ralph Werec some other time as he’s arguably even worse in a way that requires to much explanation for the moment.

    Anyway, Schneizel has done a heck of a lot more then that throughout the story, so I can at least not characterize him as a lame villain as others have with episode 23. So until we see the resolution of his character, I say let’s hear him out and then categorize him on the great list of villains.

    Though I will say with certainty that he’s not making The Joker anytime soon.

  68. 68 wingdarkness September 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I’m sorry but I have to bring a little devils advocating to this discussion…Sunrise F’d up hard with Gundam Seed Destiny…That show nearly got thrown off the airwaves 3 TIMES…That was the first time in Sunrise history that production not only stalled but the entire project nearly got TOTALLY shafted multiple times during the actual airing (This is gonna create a stigma)…Now I know it’s hard to hear some random troll, or anti-company poster go-off on every Sunrise show as if it’s a $hit-on-them competition but intellectual watchers and even supporters of most Sunrise shows (like myself) have been rightly//wrongly influenced by the work they’ve done and the reputation they have acquired over the last few years (If not arguably longer)…Whether it be with the Mai-Hime// Mai-Otome series, GSD, or now CG (R2), Sunrise has shown a pattern with rushed series and production illegitimacy…Seeing Code Geass turn from a very structured first season into a random rushed plot gumbo only reasserts those fears in people…

    You can’t cast off every troll or casual viewer who sees this pattern yet respect every person with an intellectual take on the subject…The trolls can see what intellectuals can see aswell…And while there disappointment and baiting may be much harder to take, many of them are smart enuff to just see the simpliest of points…This story (which for the most part I have still enjoyed) is OBVIOUSLY a rushed project! Whether or not the statements pertaining to the director’s disappointment or depression is true, most saw this anyway…Now I’ve asked whether or not those statements are totally true and I definitely read them with a grain of salt, but even the most light-weight intellectual can see there is a semblance of believability in-terms of how the story has ultimately been structured (Based on the translations)…I’m not the paranoid type so I’m not gonna let a crowd of bridge-dwellers dictate to me my own opinion and analysis (or spoil my personal fun), but at that same token I’m not gonna throw pedestrians under the bridge because they’re walking and I’m driving…Which means to say just because I’m articulate enuff to express multi-layered points of view and analytical prowess that someone much less capable than me doesn’t STILL understand something that’s quite easy to see…

    I still enjoy Geass and will definitely give the last 2 eps a chance before I jump the gun in-terms of whether or not most of this was letdown or not, but I will not throw daggers at every Tom, Dick, and Harry, who express what I think is quite easy to see…And if Sunrise gets a little more flack in the process, quite frankly they have exhibited enuff production illegitimacy to warrant a bare minimum of WTF’s based on their performance in recent years…And I love Sunrise shows, but I can’t be so blind as to give them a pass on what seems to be a definite pattern here…

  69. 69 Kaioshin Sama September 19, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Considering the complaining en masse only started after that interview broke (and it’s still only the Celiss Galvea interpretation and speculation versio that ever get’s quoted and it’s always quoted like her theory is somehow the god given truth), I would almost attribute the current course of discussion on it directly to the interview. There were those that had issues with the show before that of course, but only after the interview broke did the trolling, baiting and general overwhelming negativity and bashing really catch on. And over a misunderstood interview at that.

    Currently I remain in the let a show end before judging it in it’s entirety camp though. I still don’t think the plot is nearly as rushed as people seem to think though. There’s nothing I have really seen in R2 that other shows haven’t been guilty of and yet have escaped a total bitchfest. Personally though, I’d lend much more credibility to the more negative opinions of R2 if people went at the show instead of the company and writers (nobody even seems to know Okuchi’s name by the way), which seems to be the popular thing to do. If it was criticized in the same way Macross Frontier was for example and there was some praise in their then I would be into the discussion. With R2 though it just looks like a vendetta and little more for the most part. A “let’s $hit on the company competition” as you put it.

    Oh well…we’ll just see if my aftershow theory pans out. That’ll be amusing to see if suddenly people start taking it all back like they did with Gundam 00, Zegapain and Xenoglossia again. Just 2 more weeks. Still I bet it all calms down after the final episode airs. I think a lot of people are just worried about how it’s going to end. They’re letting their fears of the ghost of GSD get the best of them and that we’ll have a boring cliched ending like that show. I’m not though. I think we’ll get some closure for our characters. It may not be everything I dreamed of, but I think it will at least be satisfying.

  70. 70 Anonymous September 19, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Kaioshin, you can’t keep comparing Geass, or anything, with other completely unrelated shows. Other people are guilty of doing it, but the school-yard mentality is really depressing when it comes from you.

    Most super robot shows were simply terrible. Golion, Mazinger Z, and Space Musketeer Bismarck are all pretty terrible only made somewhat better with nostalgia. It’s the stuff we watched when we were 10, and I have a feeling it’s created for people of that age group.

    Anyhow, I’m with Gideon. Geass is one of those shows that attempts to do so much yet never perfects anything. Get every single genre you can pretty much think of, throw it into a blender and you’ve got Geass.

    Hence you appealing to everyone yet you’re also repelling everyone at the same time. You’ve got school antics which many people love and yet by doing that you’re repelling the people who came for the ‘deep’ discussion. Hence everyone’s got something to bitch about.

    If we look at Macross Frontier, the people came and stayed for the Love Triangle, Music, and possibly the VFs. And it does exactly all that. People who dislike this stuff have already left the boat because they know nothing is going to change.

    Anyhow I don’t know where you get the Geass = Gundam SEED Destiny from. I’ve only seen it in a roll-playing thread between Kira Yamato and Suzaku on /m/.

  71. 71 Kaioshin Sama September 19, 2008 at 4:48 am

    @Anon: See…’re using real world logic to try and explain illogical people, which is commendable, but also a bit naive as I’ve come to learn. I used to think there must be a reason for why everyone appears to think a certain way on the internet, but now I don’t. Some people do still have valid reasons for disliking the course of the series and they state their points with clarity and reason and don’t try to act like their reaction and opinion is the general reaction and god given truth (something I loathe). Such as the people here are doing. However, many more appear to be jumping on the bandwagon and couldn’t give a reason if they tried….which they clearly don’t. I’ve stated this over and over, but that’s pretty much the reason why I’m not paying them much mind and/or mocking them a bit.

    Simply put the series just got too popular, so popular that it attracted people who weren’t even fans to begin with and are just looking for their daily lulz. That’s where you get the trolls and that’s where you get the core critic who calls it a trainwreck. At least that’s how it seems to be as far as I can tell since most of the critcism I see lacks any sense of reason or measure and is just criticism for the sake of criticsm. These types of comments are not the kind you see from a fan who thinks a show has soured over time, these are from the kind of people that came to troll and bait.

    Anyway, once it all calms down and the shows over and the trolls and loltards as I call them (You know the type. The ones who do nothing but post lol all the time preceded or followed by a comment or meme that isn’t even funny or applicable to the situation in the slighest) move on to something else I think we’ll finally get to see just how much of the reaction is negative, how much of it is genuine and warranted and how much people really enjoyed or didn’t enjoy R2. Until then I’m going to chalk it up to the heat of the moment (awesome song by the way) as currently the discussion on R2 is a bigger unruly mess then people claim the show is.

    However, I do fully agree with the attract one crowd and repel another by the episode thing. I’ve always felt that way, but then I’ve learned to suck it up whenever the show rolls around to something that doesn’t really interest me. I don’t care in the slighest about all the shipping arguments or who is going to end up with who and I find the Lelouch x Karen x C.C dynamic to be among the most boring aspects of the show. You also couldn’t pay me to play Code Geass: Lost Colours. However, I don’t dwell on and just sort of ignore it whenever it comes up since I know that in short order the show will be back to the stuff I am interested in. If I let it get to me that much then I would have dropped the show after episode 12 aired. Instead I recognize that I have to share the show with people interested in that sort of thing, and I don’t try to take possesion of it like it’s mine to dictate the course of and to decide what is and isn’t acceptable as far as the writing goes. However, as far as I can tell a lot of people do.

    They want the show to be for them alone in terms of their interests, possibly even by them since right now everyone seems to be into talking about how Okuchi should be writing the show as if they were his boss or a friend critiquing his script, all the time. Then they accuse the writers of selling out to 2ch…..well wouldn’t it be the same kind of selling out if they just gave Joe Blow internet commentator in North America whatever he/she wanted all the time in terms of the procession of events in the show? That’s another reason I don’t bitch about the writing, not only because it deconstructs so many mecha anime tropes on a regular basis, which is pretty nifty writing in my book, but because I don’t think it’s catering to anyone specifically.

    And you’d better believe I’d grow bored with it if it just started following the exact plot progression I had in mind for it or predicted. There’s a word for a show that does something like that, it’s called cliche.

  72. 72 Anonymous September 19, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I think you misunderstand the ‘selling out’ part.

    Lets say you’re with a bunch of friends, throwing random ideas for Geass. Then suddenly, due to Sunrise’s history, you say Jupiter is going to get Geassed through it’s red eye. Everyone laughs and says it’s outrageous and will never happen.

    5 episode later: exact thing occurs. We feel like the cool kids on the block that the producers are like listening to us and attempt to keep this fact to ourselves, like the Breakfast Club would. Naturally, some idiot has to ruin the fun by plastering it all over their blog…

    I’m not naive enough to visit anime boards which are filled to the brim with shit, however. Yes, /a/ and /m/ are not much better, but at times they can provide some fantastic recommendations in terms of Animu and sometimes even discussion.

    There isn’t anything wrong with cliche. Many shows should have stayed cliche instead of attempting something new. Same goes for video games. Many times Capcom attempts something new, it turns into shit, unfortunately.

  73. 73 wingdarkness September 19, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    K-sama said:”Considering the complaining en masse only started after that interview broke (and it’s still only the Celiss Galvea interpretation and speculation versio that ever get’s quoted and it’s always quoted like her theory is somehow the god given truth), I would almost attribute the current course of discussion on it directly to the interview. There were those that had issues with the show before that of course, but only after the interview broke did the trolling, baiting and general overwhelming negativity and bashing really catch on. And over a misunderstood interview at that.”

    Now c’mon that might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for you, but every blog I’ve ever read from you you point out some random blogger somewhere else who’s dissing the show…Sometimes I’d have no clue who you wer referring to, and I get around…Listen I respect your passion and if you remember I was totally with you on the criticism of Gundam 00 which were more bias I thought, but people were dissing the progression of CG R2’s season way before this translation came out…It was merely more fuel…

    K-sama said:”Currently I remain in the let a show end before judging it in it’s entirety camp though. I still don’t think the plot is nearly as rushed as people seem to think though. There’s nothing I have really seen in R2 that other shows haven’t been guilty of and yet have escaped a total bitchfest.”

    This is because Code Geass is an extremely popular show and if I’m not mistaken it even won Japanese anime of the year in it’s first season. The more successful a show or franchise is the more eyes are gonna be on it and the more scrutiny it’s gonna have on it…

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September 2008



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