In all seriousness, what do you really think about Code Geass R2?

I just have to ask something, since I don’t know whether this is just a personal and esoteric perception of Code Geass R2: do you recognize R2 to be bad in the critical sense but still love it? Or do you recognize R2 to be a well-written and well-executed story that just has to be understood as one of the best series of all time? Reading /a/, other blogs and other reviews, I’ve understood that most people seem to be permutations if not representations of the former position.

I’m more of the first position myself. I don’t want to laugh at R2, but at times it’s just too ostentatious and over-the-top for its own good. I am sincerely entertained from it, and this is why I keep watching. But my entertainment does not, in any way, follow up to reflection or cogitation. I can’t say anything more other than it’s just really, really, really fun to watch. I would like to hear your opinions: what do you sincerely think of R2?

Again, in a nutshell, mine is that I love it, but I simply cannot recognize that it is good (from a critical analysis). Its plot has too many bumps, and while some people (you know who you are) point out that the plot is fluid, I believe it has some plot holes that have not been addressed yet. How about you?

P.S. I actually want to write about something else, but this has been troubling me especially because I really don’t know whether most of the people around are just trolling or are totally serious. I am totally serious in this post; at least, I was not trolling when I wrote this. Do not worry: after my downloads of Legendary Gambler Tetsuya and Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight are finished, I (think I) will proceed with writing posts about them.

Tags: , ,

35 Responses to “In all seriousness, what do you really think about Code Geass R2?”

  1. Salahuddin Says:

    Honestly, I think it’s a great series, but at a certain point, all the the surprises and plot twists made me fatigued. That being said, it’s the series that keeps me in the most suspense until the next week rolls around.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    TL;DR.
    It’s shittily written and shittily executed story that just has to be understood as one of the most popular series of all time, and I love it.
    Don’t thank me for stating the obvious.

  3. TheHolyDuck Says:

    I always felt geass was a comedy show with nice action elements. sure the plot is ridiculous, and the characters at times seem to have been thought up by some guys with no understanding of humans.
    not to mention the fact that it cant go more than a couple of episodes without a good deus ex machina or some other random thing happening.

    i still love it though. because it makes me laugh. i mean how can you NOT laugh, when the most improbable things happens all the time. inane dialogs, random plot twists and generally just pure insanity just keeps happening over and over again.

    in a way it reminds me of sousei no aquarion.
    even if aquarion is horribly bad, i still couldn’t help myself from laughing at the gattai orgasm and other strange things
    and the same goes for geass. its not quality, but its good for alot of laughs

  4. Kurogane Says:

    It’s a FABULOUSLY entertaining show. ’nuff said.

  5. saimaisama Says:

    I think is the most ridiculous, outrageous, crazy, entertaining, crappy written but still awesome TV show to be aired ever. I agree with Anonymous. It’s just so horrible if you look at it with a critical eye and yet, personally, you can’t help but love it and be entertained by it. And I think at this point, no one can say that R2 is “well-written” … did you see episode 21 (and hell the episodes before it?) … after that, you CANNOT say that R2 is well-written. I honestly have fun trying to guess what other crazy insane crap can happen in R2 … and so far, I’ve been failing because what ends up happening is more ridiculous than what I could possibly imagine.

    Code Geass is crappy and insane but it’s still entertaining. And really, that’s the point. =/

  6. RyanA Says:

    I read an article at AniPages Daily [here], and it struck me for a reason I do not love R2; realism. I find it lacks realism in characterization, strictly, the logic of their actions, which lead to a heavily dramatic plot line.

    A humanities professor once lectured us on the drive of humans, which boiled down to truth and beauty. I do not see truth in what Geass says, nor do I see beauty. I find it quite ugly, and often distasteful, so from a human perspective, it isn’t valuable.

    This is part of the bewilderment of Geass, because though it carries itself in such a way, the series is highly addictive; via attracting elements. These elements would be: production, character design, fan-service, and extreme drama. Of these, I believe the last is the reason why many would praise it, of course, I see this attribute closer to that of a reality tele series, and do not hold it with such importance.

  7. Camario Says:

    No, I do not think it is one of the best series of all time. I certainly don’t feel represented by that statement.

    I recognize R2 to be entertaining overall, first and foremost, and I tend to laugh at ridiculous things just as much as the next guy…but I don’t do so all the time and can actually appreciate parts of it in non-ironic fashion too. That can’t be done all the time either, but it’s not that hard.

    That said, there is no way around it: the plot is becoming noticeably sloppy and it does have some holes, though they are of variable importance and size.

    R2 is trying to cram too much into too few episodes, while still being just as over the top or actually more than the original, which leaves certain things without enough explanations, none at all, or just ones which don’t exactly satisfy everyone in the audience.

    I have a feeling that without the time slot change or with a more capable staff, whatever you prefer, things could have been better without making Code Geass into something that much different.

    I would assume most of the replies will continue to agree with you, regardless of what that actually means in terms of demographics or not…but it’s nice to have some variety, wouldn’t you think?

  8. Kaioshin Sama Says:

    I think it’s a reasonably well done series that just happens to garner way to much attention (and not always from the good sort) and people just copy pasta the same 3 simple judgements of it over and over again. Poorly written, ridiculous, epic. That’s all I get to hear about the show anymore. That and just plain to much trolling interest got involved in discussion of the series. In a word I don’t buy any bit of what anyone is saying anymore because I can’t tell if they are trolling or not. I can’t take peoples word in anything so simple as an opinion anymore because I don’t know if it’s sincere or not. positive or negative.

    The discussion of it on the internet has just kind of devolved into this chaotic mess of absolute nonsense and I’m sorry but I will not acknowledge it as some sort of bad horribly written show just because a bunch of people are chiming in because they need to get some attention for themselves. Negativity draws attention, it’s in our nature, but I don’t know, I guess I just like to be different and to make the most of everything when I can. I don’t get much enjoyment out of anime these days nor do I find the storylines of many shows interesting. There are too many predictable shows that do nothing to ease the dull monotony of everyday life. Code Geass breaks this trend, it’s fun to watch, it’s characters are interesting and it’s not predictable right down to the absolute last minute of each episode. I recognize that it plays fast and loose with it’s story, but it doesn’t bother me. I know what the show is and where it draws it’s lines in realism and I approach it from that context when doing my weekly writeups and thoughts on the episodes and I enjoy it. I believe a show can be unrealistic and full of fantasy elements yet still be well written, good and enjoyable at the end of the day. Code Geass is this to me.

    And since it’s common place to do this now. tl;dr:

    Code Geass is a fun and enjoyable show to me with an interesting plot and characters and keeps me coming back each week to see what we will learn about them and the world around them. Most of the claims of horrible writing and crappy developments I find to be exaggerated in the same way the internet always does, whenever people start really hammering an idea, eventually other people join in, then the trolls come for the lulz and then it becomes the dominant belief, whether it’s actually true or not.

  9. Dummy00001 Says:

    In all sincerity answer me a question: Did you expected something different from Bandai/Sunrise animation? Didn’t years of Gundam teach you that they can’t make really good animation with some decent plot?

    I stopped watching CG already during first season: for there were too many Gundam patterns and cliches.

  10. Ez Says:

    I kinda stopped taking it seriously after a while. xD

  11. Kaze Says:

    “do you recognize R2 to be bad in the critical sense but still love it?”

    Pretty much sums it up. I loved the first season blindly, in retrospect I see some of the flaws critically, but R2 does kind of take the biscuit. I still enjoy it weekly though.

  12. Garr Says:

    tl;dr.

  13. Camario Says:

    @Kaioshin Sama: I agree with finding the plot and characters interesting, though not all across the board, and I think you do have a point in that there’s certainly a lot of internet-based exaggeration.

    This being an already over the top show, sometimes I feel that some observers are trying to out do it in that regard, with mixed success from my point of view. Some jokes are genuinely funny, others are just overkill by now.

    In the end, everyone’s entitled to their own opinions and, frankly, several developments -or at least their execution more often than not, as opposed to the ideas per se- in R2 do deserve to be targeted by criticism or, if preferred, mocked because not everything is going smoothly to say the least, and what has happened behind the scenes can’t exactly be ignored even if it’s also the subject of much exaggeration.

    But personally, once again, I still try to have enjoy the show without reducing everything to that, so in that sense I’m probably closer to your views than others, though not entirely so.

  14. Dubbya Says:

    There is a reason why the series is often dubbed “Code Trainwreck” and it’s because it’s resembling one. It’s awful but you can’t avert your eyes from it.

  15. Kaioshin Sama Says:

    “This being an already over the top show, sometimes I feel that some observers are trying to out do it in that regard, with mixed success from my point of view. Some jokes are genuinely funny, others are just overkill by now.”

    @That makes a lot of sense actually. That would certainly explain the comments I see that are nothing but people laughing or saying “all hail lelouch” in response to episode 21. I mean it’s not like I don’t recognize that the series has it’s faults, but people are acting like it’s the most horribly show ever written and that’s just not true. It’s like it becomes the default option somehow once we’ve exhausted the possibility of perfection (which people now like to describe R1 as being), which never should have been on the table in the first place. Really I think when people claim that’s it’s such a horribly written show it’s because it’s just plain too popular. It’s like they have to counter it’s in your face and exagerrated popularity with equal in your face and exaggerated criticisms in order to justify it’s existence. It’s so exaggerated in fact that it looks like classic trolling, even if it’s not intentional.

  16. LifeSavers Says:

    R2 makes R1 look like a joke. Poorly executed and it gets sloppier and sloppier towards the end. They’re trying to play on the “emotions” rather than on the “logic” of a storyline. It’s fucking ridiculous but I can’t look away because I like noodle people.

  17. LifeSavers Says:

    Kaioshin Sama:

    I think people would agree on something if it was marginally TRUE. I’ve had to go back a couple of times and rewatch R1 and compared to R2, there are A LOT of plot changes/twists that do not make any sense what so ever. I think you need to look at R2 more critically which is what the majority of us have done so far.

    R2 has many many mistakes and it does not close up loose endings, i.e. Why is Suzaku affected so much by the Geass? (Where the producer stated that he meant to elaborate on this point but he was unable to) etc.

    In fact, doesn’t it seem slightly off that Sayoko is now a “super-ninja” when in R1, she did not even have the slightest role similar to that?

    There just seems to be a lot of plot leaps that you’re gonna notice after the fabulosity of R2 wears off.

  18. biankita Says:

    once you stop taking it seriously – which is something i do with most anime i watch anyway – geass is one of the funniest show i’ve seen in a long time.

  19. Baka-Raptor Says:

    Get thee to a Nunnally.

  20. Michael Says:

    biankita:

    You’re from the Philippines!?

    That’s something new … so, where do you reside in this place?

  21. Camario Says:

    @LifeSavers:

    “There just seems to be a lot of plot leaps that you’re gonna notice after the fabulosity of R2 wears off.”

    Some of which are genuine problems but others…can be debated if they’re even that much of a leap in the first place. Not in terms of realism, no, but in terms of the show’s own universe.

    Which is were people who, shockingly, have the nerve to think differently come in. And not foaming at the mouth, I might add, but maybe I should go look in the mirror just to make sure.

    You see, I think even superficially ridiculous stuff sometimes has a certain amount of logic behind it, convincing or otherwise, not just randomness and LOL-potential, as much of it as there clearly remains. It doesn’t change the fact that there are problems and things that haven’t been well executed, but critical thinking cuts both ways, to use your own term.

  22. Ivy Says:

    Any show that evokes emotion (trainwreck or not) is a winner in my opinion.

    *SPOILER*

    Both Euphie and Shirley have managed to garner sympathy from this viewer, I don’t care how over the top the show is (as long as its entertaining, ya?) emotions are emotions and Geass delivered them in Spades. If you manage to care for the characters then the show has done a good job of grabbing you and pulling you in. Admit it!

    Fin

  23. LifeSavers Says:

    @Camario

    In truth, episode 21 does tie up some of the “loose ends” that I mentioned there are. However, the explanations for some of it are slightly unbelievable. It seems like a “let’s pull this out of our asses cause it’ll explain it and then we can move on” kind of thing.

    Again, this is my opinion and it has certainly made everything a lot interesting. But I was still disappointed with the explanation of the grand scheme and the tying up of the plot ends.

    I believe that R2 wasn’t as planned out as spectacularly as R1 was. But that’s the thing with sequels. Perhaps we have been blinded by the greatness of R1 that R2 seems like a letdown. Regardless, R2 does not seem to have a seamless “story.”

  24. Crusader Says:

    In all seriousness I just want to see the whole series keep twisting until it can be twist no more since the characters that I care about are pretty much non-factors and the main protagonist is too emo and hateful for me to sympathize with. R1 was at least different enough from Gundam. However the series for me pretty much jumped shark for me once float packs started showing up along with beam cannons for every one. At that point it essentially be came a Cosmic Era Gundam with more blatant BL and harem elements via Ashford eps.

    I am being entertained but mostly because I just want to see 95% of the cast suffer. Now that Sunrise has found the new formula to make mecha more mainstream through CG and CE Gundams I can’t say I am too happy that emo, BL, and Harem might well become the future of Mecha. Even if these new Sunrise mecha series will dive more deeply into this new hateful trend of BL, Harem, and emo, at least I still can hope, probably in vain, that Gundam will go back to the way it was before the CE franchises since the BL, Harem, and emo can all be channeled into the cash cow that is CG. Just my 2 cents.

  25. lbrevis Says:

    I don’t think Geass is a good show but it IS good at what it does. Which is entertaining the hell out of us and keeping people talking about Geass.

    Although they may not plan everything out I bet in the grand scheme of things Sunrise knows exactly what they are doing (I can’t decide if this more or less frightening than if they have no clue). They’re probably well aware of just how ridiculous their show is but they also know that if they outdo everyone else in terms of shock value that people will keep coming back… and buying their merchandise and going to Pizza Hut.

    Code Geass is such a mess because it’s trying to appeal to everyone all at once. So you get a bizarre combination of mecha, drama, school hijinks, fanservice, BL, harem, and politics all topped off with a large dose of drama. It’s for this reason that I can never view Geass in the same light as a show that can actually tell a good story without resorting to cheap tricks but I can’t deny that the Geass formula works. After all, I’m still watching and so are a ton of other people.

  26. Aya Says:

    I’m of the second opinion and glad that this question was finally asked so that I can give my two cents. As someone who would like to publish their own stories someday, I’m always trying to analyze what other series do well or wrong, to take it into account or avoid making the same mistakes. Code Geass is an example of a script which I find so wonderful that I can only admire, not even daring to try to imitate its execution.

    Every week, I’m amazed to see how the plot is able to advance so quickly, keep being always so interesting and at the same time, manage to give development for the characters. Ignoring, perhaps, episode 7 in R2, which is the only example I can think of where the action stops to focus on the feelings of some character, there are always many many things going on. Every line is chosen brilliantly so that while we are not presented a scene where characters are psychoanalyzed directly, it’s possible for the viewers to read into their words and discover a complex work of characterization. It’s like the writers stop to enter the character and take into account “How would he/she react now, considering his/her past, his/her relation with what is taking place right now and what he/she wants to achieve?” before deciding his or her next response. The respectful character development alone should prove R2 isn’t just an anime that makes no sense, but anyway. If it’s allowed for me to do so, I’ll say I’d recommend reading the analysis of Nina’s character Kaioshin Sama wrote, which proves very clearly how much care the series puts into respecting each personality, and how the subconscious of each character can be seen in the things they say. Even minor characters like Milly have a strong personality: she could just be an extroverted girl with a love for parties but instead, you can see she’s really mature behind her crazy attitude, how she actually has feelings for Lelouch but hides them for Shirley’s sake, the way she cares about others and is able to tell if something is worrying them…. And the show manages to tell this while a ton of other things are happening (well, even though the Sound Episodes help as well).

    As another example, I love the scene at the end of episode 18, when Lelouch asks Rolo to let him talk to Nunnally after FLEIA has been launched. The fact that Rolo feels hurt by Lulu’s angry words should not really matter to the viewers who have just seen Nunnally “die” and can only empathize with Lelouch’s shocked state, yet they do show Rolo’s eyes trembling and worry about telling us how he feels. For a character who many consider to have been simply “introduced to die”, that’s a lot of emphasis on his point of view. They could have made it much more simple and let Rolo turn to Lulu’s side and leave it at that, but they gave him a realistic development which shows how love is always accompanied by selfishness and in his case, of a child who had never felt loved before, the fear of getting discarded leads him to do horrible things. It’s easy to just hate him for what he did to Shirley, but there’s also a way to try to understand him if you think about what he’s gone through (I mean, even before his “heroic death” and without the help of Hitomi’s beautiful sad music), and that’s what I’m talking about when I say the character development is so good, because almost everyone is on the “gray” side and the writers let the characters make mistakes and do wrong things as well, because that is what makes them so real.

    Speaking of episode 19 (well, more or less), I like how the Black Knights betray Lelouch just when he’s feeling the worst after Nunnally’s “death” (yeah, I have to put it in inverted commas). Each character has their own lives and if that’s when they’re feeling angry at Zero, they won’t wait until his problems are solved to turn against him. It’s like in real life, you consider your own problems and your point of view first, and it’s not so easy to realise how the other person must be feeling. If many bad things have to happen to Lelouch all together, they just do.

    So to sum it up, I REALLY admire how the script of Geass is written so that the story is constantly advancing yet the characters are incredibly deep (and many will laugh at the usage of the word because apparently only NGE can be called “deep”). I know I’ve never seen an anime which can do this better to my opinion, and my MAL is at 71.22 days right now, so I doubt it’s because I have little to compare it to. Sure, it might have its plot-holes, but what the hell, it’s complicated enough that a few flaws can be forgiven.

    (Many Phoenix Wright cases are filled with plot-holes as well and nobody trolls it. Everyone recognizes its ability to keep players at the edge of their seats from start to end as amazing and is aware that that isn’t something easy to mantain. Is Code Geass critisized only because it’s so popular, then?)

  27. mellow_bunny Says:

    I don’t care for the show. I haven’t watched any of it and cannot be bothered starting. It just fails to draw my attention :/

  28. korosora Says:

    I love how many people wrote an entire essay to respond.
    Really? Do you think of CG R2 that much? Haha.

    I don’t “think” about CG R2. It’s there. I watch when I feel like it.
    Enjoyable when bored, but still mindless as a minx.

  29. miasmacloud Says:

    When I order pizzas, I usually like 1-2 toppings max. I think it gets a little extreme after that. Then one day, I was shown those Japanese pizza’s. Those have like… damn, everything on them. I’m curious, what the fuck do those taste like? I can’t imagine being able to eat one of them without feeling a little odd ’cause some of the ingredients look like taste bud clash. But the eyes are attracted, the arrangement on some of them is very nice.

    That’s pretty much how I feel about Geass too.

  30. jp_zer0 Says:

    Most episodes keep me complaining but sometimes Code Geass genuinely impresses me. In that sense, I believe Code Geass is good but inconsistent.

    I really liked episode 21, I went all philosophical on it while I was usually dismissive: http://www.j-isle.com/blog/2008/08/code-geass-r2-21-episode-season

  31. Jonas Says:

    Hey,

    I just made a new Code Geass fansite! Check it out!
    http://www.codegeasstv.com

    Thanks!

  32. Baka-Raptor Says:

    Code Geass is a trainwreck. Trainwrecks kick ass.

  33. FF Says:

    I think it’s a potentially good show that’s quite poorly written, to be honest.

    Good writers have a firm grip on their creation. The number of characters, the number of scenarios, the number of plot twists are just right for the tale they want to weave. They are in control most of the time, and even when characters happen to do things that the writer did not expect, it can be incorporated into the solid framework on which the story is built without losing its sense of direction.

    I don’t get that feeling with Code Geass. It feels like it stumbles and lurches from one part of the story to the next. It has unnecessary characters and unnecessary plot twists that seem like they’re put there for the sake of having them there rather than to serve a purpose. I can’t help but feel that this would have been a much better show if it was simplified and shortened, say to 2 seasons instead of 4.

    That, or get a great writer like Kawakami Minoru to write the whole thing out before production starts. Because I think that in his hands, Code Geass would have been magic.

  34. lelangir Says:

    Geass is deep.

  35. Owen S Says:

    I agree with Lelangir

Leave a Reply