Code Geass sucks
I made you click, didn’t I? This post is not a hate-filled invective, however.
I have actually written three drafts of this post, but I still couldn’t properly organize it. For that, I’m sorry. I’ll try my best (this is my fourth attempt) to cohere the post into something fluid. Here goes.
Code Geass R2 is quite the polarizing series. A lot of people have disliked the series because of its purported ‘plothax,’ or the presence of quite a number of plot holes. People who could suspend their disbelief, however, have more or less a favorable opinion as regards the series. Anyway, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Reposting, but it is one of the best films I have ever seen
I love R2. It took me a long time to admit it, but I do. Daniel noted, however (and I’m just reiterating this), that ‘I love it’ and ‘it is good’ are two different ideas. I am endeared to R2 because it has excellently evoked emotions from me. In fact, it is one of the few anime that has made me cry. It is also just very entertaining.
I love heist films. Ever since I saw Ocean’s Eleven (the newer rendition), I’ve been fond of watching people attempt to steal well-guarded valuables and pulling off the theft successfully only to crumble from internal deceit. While Ocean’s Eleven has a team that trusted its members, other heist films like The Killing and Rififi have a crew pull off a very difficult theft successfully only to be disbanded and ultimately defeated by their own beguilement with one another. I particularly loved The Killing because it featured a brilliant director’s (it was directed by Stanley Kubrick) entry into the heist genre. And what a movie it was: it was an avant-garde film in the sense that it was one of the first forays into non-chronological narration; it also had one of the most taut and well-written scripts I’ve seen applied in film: the movie only runs for an hour and 20 minutes.
I love watching the ingenious doublecrosses and the wily twists in plot in those movies. I see those in R2, but there is something fundamentally different between those examples and R2: R2 uses them in excess. While a very enjoyable sight, R2 is a failure from a critical perspective, because to be successful in cinema, or in any medium, there must be moderation. Artistic license may be given to some virtuosos (such as Joyce and Faulkner for literature), but for the most part moderation is a virtue that must be practiced. That was what made The Killing a wonderful film: it wasted little. This can be contrasted to the eclat of Geass: there is debauchery from Lelouch’s hand gestures to the abundance of bathos.
A cute picture, just because
I cried at the death of Rolo. I think of my tears that time, however, as inferior compared to my tears after the sixth episode of Honey and Clover. Rolo’s death, I believe, was simply to tug at my heartstrings; it was another instrument of excess in contrast to the sincere emotion (that only made me more melancholic) with regard to the futility of Yamada’s confession to Mayama. It felt for me as if the circumstance in that episode of R2 was made only to create pity for Rolo; this was in contrast to a culmination of an unrequited love that was established earlier in H&C.
It is pathos most people desire. It is pathos which creates classics in any medium: simply because a series evinces strong emotions from the viewer does not make that anime series excellent in any way. This is a non sequitur. This was the difference between the bombastic passing of Rolo and Yamada’s subtle, punchdrunk and inebriated confession. Yet Yamada’s confession was infinitely more haunting: in those moments one could recognize the beauty and sadness of unrequited love. In addition to that, Mayama’s reply made the scene all the more beautiful: his unsaid ‘no,’ yet his recognition of her feelings for him was a beautiful, perfect reply. It is better to be enlightened to the painful truth than it is to wallow in limbo just being unsure. The ability of H&C to subtilize and evoke emotions truthfully and unaffectedly is what makes it tower above the rest of the series I have seen. R2 must learn to follow its example, but I guess it’s too late.