Code Geass: Reflections upon the world

I seriously think Code Geass is an anime emanating both wit and wisdom. Am I weird?

* * *

The very first thing about Code Geass that made me want to watch it was its subtle nudity. It wasn’t really an intelligent reason, or even something proper, but I’m glad I did, because more than promiscuous images I discovered what I personally deem to be a great story with great animation, music, and character design.

I stopped watching at about the fourth episode as I had enough of the cliffhanger endings: I thus decided to wait until the series has progressed significantly before doing a marathon of it: I waited until ep16. Oh, how I definitely regret that decision: I should have waited until the series itself was finished, because unlike most recent mecha series (as I’ve mentioned before in an old post), Code Geass isn’t stupid or unbelievable. Gin-iro no Olynsis definitely was, and more than one person will agree with me regarding this. What’s excellent about it is that all people are flawed; there is no one person who is resolutely good or evil: they are only struggling in a somewhat Marxist clash of classes for what they believe will make a better world.

From the anti-hero Lelouch up to the seemingly heroic Suzaku, each and every person has a secret within them that makes them at least partly familiar, if not attuned, to evil. The characters are not so perfectly untouchable or so perfectly despicable: each and every one of them can be sympathized with, and that is what makes this series such a delight for me.

I’d like for those who harbor some thoughts on a LelouchxSuzaku relationship to shut up about their yaoi fantasies, as this was among the few things that put me off from watching Code Geass (but since I was also a criminal … meh). But when one really does watch it with observation and an open mind, one sees a reflection of what the real world is today. Everyone has a Lelouch in them as well as a Shirley or Suzaku. It is, indeed, part of what makes the Mosaic Pieces of the world.

(Oh, and I’m sorry if it was short. I’ll try to write something more extensive when I’ll have the time. Right now, I have to rewatch Geass. 😉 )

22 Responses to “Code Geass: Reflections upon the world”

  1. kacpy Says:

    *Code Geass isn’t stupid or unbelievable*

    SAY WHAT?

    Lulu and Suzaku themselves are the definitions of stupid (paraphrasing Ep16: L: this is not a job for a human; S: Indeed, let me do it!). ANd then we have the unbelievable: Mao surviving the end of ep15. Suzaku’s superspeed in ep16.

    The worst thing is, CG is taking itself incredibly seriously even with all those random C.C. ass/pizza hut shots (in the middle of mass death battle sequences), which are the very reason I can’t take anything in CG seriously.

    I enjoy CG, but as a comedy show (see reasons stated above). If you can take this stuff seriously I think there’s something wrong with either you or me…

  2. meganeshounen Says:

    Touche, kapcy.

    And didn’t I tell you Code Geass was interesting, Mike? ^_^

    Anyway, Suzaku in Episode 16 inherently reminded me of Neo from The Matrix.

    Bullet Dodging, check.
    Wall Walking, check.
    Save-the-world dilemma, check.
    Emo? Yeah…

    And blame BRITANNIAN MEDICINE for Mao’s revival. Then again, even that couldn’t save him from a bullet in the head. Plus, the fact that Mao tied the wheelchair-bound Nanaly up INCLUDING her legs was horrendously wierd. Like another blogger said, at least he didn’t blindfold her to add insult to injury.

    About C.C. … I think she’s been cosplaying for a while now. From meido, to blackhair to etc… All she needs now is a ribbon-only… err, I meant a Bonta-kun suit.

    Kallen, right after getting the keys to the Guren Nishiki (which I can confidently say is l33t) got branded as “Domon Kasshu’s Daughter”, due to her mecha’s ability to spew Radiant Surgesâ„¢ from its arm. Go Sunrise.

    Most of all, Lelouch. He’s great because, he’s almost godlike, yet he still has his human moments. Those being the times when he underestimates his opponents when he seems to be winning with his l33t strategies. He’s still human, yet he treats the battlefield as a gigantic chessboard, with pawns at his disposal and highpowered units to control, which also serves to be his downfall sometimes.

    TL, DR: Code Geass seems a lot fun. Then again, this IS Sunrise. Let’s hope to God that this doesn’t turn out as a trainwreck, and instead be a nice example of how GSD SHOULD have been.

    Cheerio~

  3. Michael Says:

    I’m being raped here for what I didn’t mention. Sorry~

    Yes, I know Geass has its faults, but then again, I marathoned it until five a.m. so I couldn’t care about those things. But … C.C. is just so damn hot, and her cosplay is LEET.

  4. Equivalent_t Says:

    Code Geass is my favourite of the moment. It’s not perfect by any means, nor is it the most well-thought out brainy stuff I’ve ever seen. But it IS more intelligent than many people give it credit for. The director said he wanted to create entertainment, and I think he succeeds. The more thoughtful points are there, buried under the WTH DID SUZAKU JUST DODGED A MACHINE GUN, but first and foremost, he wants us to have fun. We do.

    It doesn’t take itself seriously ALL the time, though. I mean, Zero. Zero’s lines HAVE to be a joke. It does have a serious aftereffect in canon, but you can’t convince me that the scriptwriters didn’t snicker writing those speeches. Too much of a sentai in-joke otherwise. LULU takes himself seriously, but fandom would agree with me that he’s been the butt of so many jokes that nobody but himself (and those on the wrong end of his plans) can take him dead-seriously. It’s one of his charms. It’s why he’s believable despite how incredibly ridiculous he can get.

  5. jizz Says:

    “Code Geass isn’t stupid or unbelievable”

    LOL, I think you just lost your credibility there. I think most people know it’s stupid and unbelievable but tag along with it so they can see the trainwreck.

    “I’d like for those who harbor some thoughts on a LelouchxSuzaku relationship to shut up about their yaoi fantasies,”

    This statement doesn’t jibe with what you’re about to say soon:

    “But when one really does watch it with observation and an open mind”

    Since when being intolerant of others mean ‘watching it with open mind’?

    “Everyone has a Lelouch in them as well as a Shirley or Suzaku.”

    No they don’t. Not everyone has killed their brother or father.

    ” It is, indeed, part of what makes the Mosaic Pieces of the world.”

    LOL….is this an attempt to fit in that ending song?

  6. kuromitsu Says:

    The thing with the LelouchxSuzaku yaoi fantasies is that it’s part of the show. I mean, let’s face it, Code Geass is basically a huge, silly heap of unisex fanservice. That’s part of the fun. It’s why people are watching it. (Well, that and the trainwreck syndrome.)

  7. Michael Says:

    I think I really did there (lose my credibility). But please, do refer to the third comment. There’s no need to rape me! IIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~

    I still think it’s an intelligent show. It’s also a dumb show at the same time, if you get my drift. :)

  8. Hao Says:

    I think Code Geass is one of the better shows at the moment. I don’t find it take itself too seriously, although there are certainly intelligence and real world relevance to it, which is what makes it stood out compare to the other shows.

    I have no idea what’s this “trainwreck” some people here are talking about. Does it has something to do with its animation studio’s previous works? I am confused. Whether you watch the show for its serious side or comical side is a personal preference. But if you are watching it for the sole purpose of seeing it flop, then you got some perverted mentality issue there.

    The believability of a show is always relative and not always a sign of the quality of the show itself. CG has giant robots, girl with strange colored hairs, and students who can pilot robots more proficient than professional soldiers. That is the premise and a quite common one within its genre. If you are fine with such a premise then where do you draw the line between that and minor details like occasional wall running and bullet dodging. Personally, nothing happened in CG so far has yet to violate my personal suspension of disbelief, the plot is where my attention is at and it makes me ignore the silliness of some of the stuff that’s going on.

  9. meganeshounen Says:

    When people mean “trainwreck”, they probably refer to the Gundam Seed series, which many people felt to have flopped. Badly. People seem to have been traumatized badly by it. ^^;

    I, for one, am praying to God that CG doesn’t turn out this way, and change everyone’s opinions about Sunrise shows.

  10. Lupus Says:

    I disagree with the ‘believeable’ and ‘wit and wisdom’ bit, but I agree with the characterisation.

    The major reason I like Geass is because there is no clear ‘good guys’ like in most anime, and that’s cool.

  11. Vicious Says:

    While it’s not that “believable” (the number of “believable” anime series is rather low these days), there are definitely moments of wit and wisdom in it. So what if it’s helping sell pizzas and has plenty of fanservice? Is that a crime these days?

    Of course, it’s not a masterpiece (it isn’t meant to be) but it’s not really a huge trainwreck. Although some moments come close, the show is still definitely above average overall in my book. It may not be, say, Gunbuster or whatnot, but this isn’t Gundam Seed / Destiny either (though it rips off a few horribly obvious elements from it, IMHO it’s using them in a better way).

    Mao’s revival was unbelievable (at least how they set it up), for example, but they swept him back under the rug at once instead of keeping him around like the annoying brat he was. That would have been far worse.

    But even that’s less annoying than what somebody like Gauron does in Full Metal Panic (which plenty of people consider “believable” and full of “wit and wisdom”, and which it deserves most of the time…and yet look at that guy…Mao’s an amateur compared to him). Sheesh.

    I could say something about Suzaku’s MAD SKILLZ too, but let’s just say that the show isn’t done with him yet.

  12. shima Says:

    Sometimes I don’t understand the ‘trainwreck’ comment, and I don’t think it’s because I’m biased. (I like Mai-Hime and will be in the front row of those who claim the series splattered into a cliff) Honestly, will the show get more cred if they chose Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Iroha’s designs over CLAMP? Or is the SEED trauma that strong? It’s mostly a different team working on the two, really.

    I think the show wants to say it’s talking about a serious matter, but it doesn’t take itself so seriously. The Gakuen Comedy part is meant to show us that. And that’s not a crime. How many of us didn’t enjoy the pizza-selling, and since when does that automatically equate ‘stupid’? It simplifies a lot, but there’s definitely thoughtful material there.

    (I would rant more, but that would come off as a tirade and that would be bad for credibility, wouldn’t it?)

  13. Michael Says:

    I’d like you to rant … that’s what I do, but I hope you guys keep it on topic. I’d like to foment intellectual discussion. Just give me some time and I’d try to reply to your rants/ramblings. I’d rather that than my blog quiet. :)

  14. Ronin AnimeLover Says:

    Yes, Code Geass seems to be one of the most intellectually stimulating anime I’ve seen this season. At least there is some added pseudo-realism that makes it believable, somewhat… but to a fault.

  15. Michael Says:

    This season? This season is the season of the LOLI.

    THERE IS NO INTELLIGENCE THIS SEASON. THERE IS LOLI.

    Other than Nodame and Tokyo Majin (and maybe Raideen … ) there aren’t any good shows. At all.

  16. Equivalent_t Says:

    I think we have a little confusion between Fall season shows going over into Winter, and Winter season shows? ^^; But since you said a rant is okay too…(ahaha sorry shima-san hope you don’t mind)

    IMHO one of the points in CG’s favor is that it doesn’t bill itself as a smart, cerebral show, nor does it bill itself as semi-serious fanservice. (If you really want to see the comparison, see also Kyoushiro to Towa no Sora) It’s both. Rebellions are hardly composed of quiet moments, so it can’t simply be thoughtful character drama. You do need a kind of quirky charisma, which canonically is supplied by Zero and for us doing meta, it’s why we’re watching the show. And frankly, I’m sick and tired of the “War Drama. This is Serious Business. You do not get real crack except bland padding fluff” model and am glad the series at least tries to inject liveliness into the plot. There are a number of scenes that stretch the believable threshold a bit, but like Hao said, genre limitations. (I’m preeetty sure bending the laws of physics AND biology is going kinda far, though)

    For the characters, the ambiguity goes deeper than good and evil, IMO, which is part of why it’s fascinating to me. Suzaku and Lelouch are perfect dualities for each other, and I don’t mean the yaoi way. There’s the ends and means debacle, which isn’t all that clear whether working for the guy who commit massacres because you want a changed world at the end is ‘means’, or if inspiring hope in the population is a sin or a blessing. There’s the price of pretending to be who you aren’t, which is totally a theme, dangit. Kallen’s obvious, Lelouch believes and plays the machiavellian game, but he’s still a big great softie at the core. Suzaku’s actually not all that calm or patient. C.C. is not as heartless as she wants to be. It’s convenient for angst, but IMHO it’s also pretty interesting.

    Also, an anime that portrays the morally correct person as a REALISTIC overly self-righteous soul they sometimes are gets points from me. 98% of them are either actually right (in which case the ‘ambiguous person’ is punished by the story) or just pretty words (in which case the ugly noir world pwns him. lol clovis). Rare to see some gray area thrown into it.

    (And this is OT, but I noticed a manga tag for Goth. I’ve only read the novel and must get the manga ASAP so thus must thank for this heads-up. I’d rave more about the awesome that is Otsu Ichi, the story author (he also wrote Hajime, which was manga-ized by the mangaka of DN fame whose name slips me for the moment) but OT should not be long. Might want to read Zoo, collection of equally or more morbid short stories by same author, if you can read Japanese)

  17. Kanki Says:

    Well, the show is far from believable if you’re talking along the lines of mecha’s, Geass, superhuman!Suzaku, magical revivals of people who shouldn’t be alive, etc. There are many stupid moments that make you go WTF?! as well. However, the characters are very real; they are flawed individuals that almost anyone can relate to or find in life–that was my attraction to the series. And the morality within war -that grey area that is always question in this show- makes many people think. People keep saying it’s for the trainwreck, but I have high hopes for this show. And even if it does end up as a trainwreck, I’ll be riding it all the way through.

  18. Kaioshin_Sama Says:

    The Trainwreck thing is complete and utter bullshit of the highest caliber. Sunrise has had so many smash successes its almost unbelievable any company can get things right that often, and yet because of one majoy failure in the companies entire, all of a sudden everybodys like, “Oh, I’m watching it for the trainwreck, I’m so bloody clever”. Nothing annoys me more lately than seeing this myth of the Sunrise Trainwreck spread across the internet as it an outright lie that requires one to assume that Gundam Seed Destiny was the only series Sunrise has ever made. I wish to god people would stop with this already.

  19. Code Geass, and the issue of a "made for success" anime « Cruel Angel Theses ♥ Says:

    […] I got the impression I had to say something about this perceived issue from the comments I read over at anime|otaku’s post here. Michael’s writing was impeccable, but there was something about the comments that made me do a facepalm. I know one or two misinformed opinions don’t an entire audience make, but assuming a sample size that is indicative, you’ve got 1 out of 7 otakus taking Code Geass the wrong way, which is “stupid and unbelievable”. […]

  20. Din Says:

    I think, in this case, believability goes beyond insipid nitpicks and bland “this show is stupid! There’s no way he could do that!” comments. Obviously, if you’re going to look for pointless, miniature instances that defy either the laws of physics or simple reasoning, you could easily find dozens. Along with all the magic with the Geass and what have you, how is it that all the Britannians can speak perfect Japanese? Furthermore, why would they speak it when they’re simply talking amongst themseleves? How does Pizza Hut even exist if the United States never came to be? Why does Orange’s Knightmare take eons longer for Kallen’s Guren to zap than any of the other mechs?

    What gives Code Geass a realistic feel, IMO, are the characters. As was pointed out early by a handful of others, all of them are flawed in one way or another, and this makes them realisitc in a very human sense. If you can go beyond atempting to pinpoint every little thing that’s wrong with the show and actually try and get into the minds of the characters, than you may find it easier to enjoy.

    But really, to each his own. If you like watching Code Geass to scoff an the inacuracies and coutdown the days to ever looming “trainwreck,” then whatever floats your boat.

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