One year has passed since the Black Rebellion, a failed uprising against the Holy Britannian Empire led by the masked vigilante Zero, who is now missing. At a loss without their revolutionary leader, Area 11's resistance group—the Black Knights—find themselves too powerless to combat the brutality inflicted upon the Elevens by Britannia, which has increased significantly in order to crush any hope of a future revolt.
Lelouch Lamperouge, having lost all memory of his double life, is living peacefully alongside his friends as a high school student at Ashford Academy. His former partner C.C., unable to accept this turn of events, takes it upon herself to remind him of his past purpose, hoping that the mastermind Zero will rise once again to finish what he started, in this thrilling conclusion to the series.
As this is a review of a sequel, I believe that the reader is already familiar/has watched the first season of Code Geass.
Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch R2 is both more of the same and yet a departure for the series in several ways. On one hand, it’s often even more ridiculous and over the top than its predecessor, and on the other surprisingly dramatic, with an emotional resonance not found in the first season. This results in the show feeling more like a reboot/reimagining of the series rather than a simple continuation of the storyline. Now to be sure, many of the classic Geass moments of the first season are present, however, this time around things feel very different in ways that are superior to the original even if R2 itself can't quite top the overall impact of its predecessor. Some will feel that R2 wasn't as good as the first season but it does live up to the Code Geass franchise.
Story: Code Geass R2 continues the story of Lelouch Lamperouge and the Black Knights as they continue their fight against the Holy Britannian Empire. We are introduced to more characters including new allies, enemies, and Nightmare Frames. As the series progresses new factions are introduced and new alliances formed, with plot twists abound. The plot twists in R2 are even more abundant, and at times even more implausible and unexpected than the first season, with every episode essentially ending in a cliffhanger. However, the characters this time around are far more likable, even if they are so numerous that many of them, unfortunately, end up being underdeveloped. And while the show starts off slow, the plot eventually moves forward very fast and while stumbles somewhat near the climax, manages to pull off a remarkably well-crafted resolution at the end. Fans who were disappointed by the way the first season ended will undoubtedly be satisfied with the bizarre ending of R2.
Characters: Here's a series that has real emotional depth and dramatic resonance. Now to be clear, by no means is this a primary focus of R2, however, the actions and motivations of the characters and the events themselves seem to have greater meaning and purpose. The range of emotions felt by the characters is better conveyed: we feel their desperation and determination, their sadness and joy, their anger and regret. Characters that seemed so empty or clichéd in the first season are given greater depth and expression, with exceptions of course. Lelouch, in particular, is a far more interesting character this time around, and his inner conflict and desire for self-resolution. He'll do things that you wouldn't expect him to do. Also, his changing relationships with his comrades and enemies alike act as a drive that propels the show from a mere continuation into a rejuvenation of the series. Lelouch fans will definitely find him more interesting and amazing as well as the other characters. Especially Kallen.
Art & Animation: SUNRISE and CLAMPE have definitely outdone itself. The visuals of R2 are not just better than the original, but are also some/one of the best I've seen (though somewhat expected considering them using an extraordinary amount of budget.) R2 is definitely more flashier and colorful than ever before, the high quality of the visuals consistently impresses from one episode to the next. The characters and backgrounds are incredibly detailed and the large-scale action sequences are spectacular to watch. The only gripe I have is that the animation itself often lacks fluidity, especially during some of the more hectic action sequences. This didn't really take much away from the actual quality of the visuals but it is rather noticeable nevertheless. Actually, with the action and everything going on, you won't even notice the lack of fluidity. And while SUNRISE doesn't quite stand at the absolute top-tier level in terms of overall animation quality, R2 represents their best work since their old age of shows like Cowboy Bebop. In terms of the animation, Code Geass R2 sure have one of the best this year.
Sound: The audio is just as impressive as the visuals, with great sound effects and the solid voice acting (Jun Fukuyama, Ami Koshimizu, Yukana, etc) you've come to expect from the first season. The music, on the other hand, is more of a mixed bag. The soundtrack itself is solid, a score that is well suited for the mixture of tones that a series like Geass goes through. The theme songs, conversely, are merely mediocre and all but one remains memorable. The pop theme surely is one of my favorite having listen to the songs many times.
Enjoyment: While watching, you'll be hooked onto the episodes and you might even finish the whole series in less than two days. This show will leave you wanting more and more till you have completed it. You might even want to re-watch the series.
Overall: Code Geass R2 is a series that almost every Code Geass fan will be happy to watch - for newer fans watching the first season is recommended. While its approach is often divergent from the first, it shares enough absurdities and overindulgence that those who didn't like the first series will most likely detest this one. Yet for all its flashiness, its superficiality and its dangerously complex back-story, this is still a far more entertaining series than most of the other shows out there. Again, Code Geass R2 proves that entertainment doesn't always have to be meaningful, just enjoyable. If you didn't enjoy the first season, then you most likely will not enjoy R2.read more
Put on your seatbelts and brace yourself, for you will be taken on a rabidly-paced and concluding journey, slaloming through plot twists and character development at a tempo that will leave you longing for a new episode at the end of each one. Save a lot of time, for this is obnoxiously addictive. This is... Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch... R2!
Did it jump the shark? Was it flawlessly executed? Could it have been improved on? Was it outright horrible? That I will not answer; such a question is for you to answer yourself. To me, it was great. It was awesome. While reluctant at first, I always ended up thinking that each change the series brought about, every little plot twist, every character development; it made the series even greater than it was. Every step that it took made it better; that is the undeniable truth for me. However, its pacing made it take too many steps in too short an amount of time, and it nearly stumbled at times. Details could be overlooked, minor events skipped, that wasn't too much of a problem. But it spent too little time on some of the major events, and in the end I'm not satisfied at all by that.
The previous season took care of the introduction of most of the main cast, which left an opportunity to extensively develop the cast during the second season. This was an opportunity that the creators took, used and drained to its full potential. With its 25 episodes, it does of course not have time to develop the entirety of Code Geass' cast, which is extremely large for its length - close to 80 named primary, secondary and tertiary characters. However, they developed the main cast extensively, did a great job with the supporting characters, and the new ones that were introduced were really cool too. Some may classify Lelouch's development as jumping the shark, but personally I felt that they did a great job, and that he is a great character; one whom I could believe in when it came to his development and actions, all the way to - and especially during - the very end.
Another aspect that Code Geass brings into perspective is love. There's a lot of loving going on between various characters, and this allowed for both drama and comedy to be played out, and it was done so in a very good fashion too. Several characters’ love stories revolve around Lelouch, most notably those of Shirley and Kallen; both who obviously like Lelouch quite a lot. This is given both comedic and dramatic effects, and eventually plays an important part in the plot.
The animation superseded the previous season's, improving on nearly all points. By now you are probably used to the CLAMP-styled character designs, and who knows, you might've even grown to like them, in spite of their lankiness. Backgrounds and sceneries are done with good detail, and were enjoyable to behold, and the same can be said about the Knightmare battles. Animated in a perfect juxtapose of fluidity and chaos, mixed with great special- and ligthing effects, the battles were enjoyable aesthetically in addition to everything else they provided the viewer with.
The soundtrack was perfect for the series, this season as well. Keeping some old ones, introducing new ones, the soundtrack was refreshed, yet it kept the same tone it had during the previous season. The background music, while nothing especially noteworthy, provided an amplifying effect to the atmosphere; be it battle, thought, love, comedy or something else. The opening and ending themes were good this season too, with the second opening theme standing out as the best one. The final episode ended nicely with an insert song that made the scenes that unfolded before my eyes make me cry - I'm a sensitive person. They did one mistake however, and that was by not ending it after that insert song; of all things they had to fire in the Ali Project ending, which completely ruined the poignancy that had been built up.
Code Geass R2 provides an highly entertaining sequel that has fallen into the hit-or-miss pit-trap, with hating on one side and loving on the other. How you will react to it, only the gods know that, so all that I can say is: watch it to the very end and see for yourself. The constant plot twists may sway your opinion up and down multifarious times. It did with me, but in the end, everything fell to place and all went well.
Code Geass is the dumbest show to ever take itself seriously. It is essentially a hackneyed amalgamation of clichés and overused plot devices that clumsily attempts to disguise itself as something greater. Hell, it stole Death Note’s whole shtick, and ruined it completely, before the anime version even finished airing. It blatantly stole from Evangelion, the most popular mecha anime and deconstruction there is, to make one of the weakest and most cliché mecha series ever. Both of the series Code Geass stole from were dark and had at least some depth; Code Geass, on the other hand, juxtaposes pseudo-dark scenes with light school-life harem romcom. Plot develops with a marked carelessness; people die and are inexplicably brought back to life, even though they were either shown dying or there was clearly no way they could have possibly lived. Plot armor at its finest. Oh, did you want an epic and dense war story? Too bad, instead you’re going to get aimless filler, centered on a bunch of people who probably shouldn’t even be in high school, including an episode dedicated to catching a cat. This anime is most notable for having one of the highest concentrations of plot holes and loose ends that I have ever seen.
First of all, the supernatural aspect of the story is just ridiculous and, by extension, the story is as well. This “Geass” ability is completely inconsistent. Sometimes it can be deterred with mere willpower, or even the power of kisses (no joke,) but most of the time it appears to be pretty much undefeatable. There is a Geass canceller that is developed, but it is inexplicably given to only one dude who just pops up whenever he feels like it, with a different personality every time. A weakness, where the ability becomes uncontrollable, introduces itself at one point, but this plot point is quickly dealt with and forgotten. Every Geass user has one single ability granted by their Geass, except for one guy that inexplicably has several, but I won’t even get into that. The biggest issue is that the conflict is all entirely pointless, as Lelouch’s ability allows him to give anybody a command that they must obey. Hell, it can apparently even work on God. This command only works once, but the show makes it entirely clear that he could simply give a command along the lines of “you will be my slave and do whatever I say, until I do x.” So why doesn’t he do that from the very beginning? Because the story must be milked for two seasons, I guess. The whole anime could have ended in episode 1 had Lelouch, the supposed genius, made better use of his ability. Despite this, everything that was built up in the first season is destroyed in the most anticlimactic ending I have ever seen, the show returns to square one, and we have to go through the same style of drawn-out story arc in season two.
Characterization is probably the biggest flaw in Code Geass. The characters are irritating, flat, inconsistent, contrived, and they alone destroy any possibility of this being even a decent anime. The main character, Lelouch, is good at chess and inexplicably predicts a lot of minor events a bit before they happen. This is how we know he’s a genius. He makes a lot of dumb decisions, he wastes troops and resources, he kills potential allies, he spares enemies, he gets caught in needless battles, he makes emotional decisions in battle, he accidentally orders massacres, he never makes a proper back-up plan to deal with things he knows are like to happen, and we never get any indication that he knows the first thing about proper tactics, but he somehow wins battles and he’s somehow a genius. Go figure. Luckily, all “tactics” were just replaced with boring beam spamming in the end, but I don’t know if that’s really much better. Any development in Lelouch’s character is completely contrived and comes out of nowhere. Additionally, he has the inexplicable ability to teleport; at least, that would be the only explanation for how he travels such huge distances so quickly. Suzaku, the kind-of antagonist kind-of not, is probably the dumbest anime character ever created. He is Lelouch’s friend, and if he was a Jew during the holocaust he would do his very best to argue that Hitler is actually an okay guy after all. He believes that the corrupt government should be changed from the inside. So does he get into politics to accomplish this? No, I don’t think he’s really allowed to; instead, he (inexplicably) becomes a mecha pilot for the military that is slaughtering and oppressing his people. He fails to see how this is not helping them. He also moves like a ninja, and dodges bullets, despite being quite clearly anorexic. I’m not even going to talk about their goddawful character designs, just look at some screen shots for that one. All I’ll say on that topic is this: if you’re going to act like a character is hot, then don’t make them an extraordinarily and inhumanly ugly emo anorexic with a ridiculously pointy chin. As for the other characters, there’s some annoying racist yandere lesbian who sexually assaults a table at one point. Seriously. There’s also some immortal chick with green hair who likes pizza; not much else to say about her. There’s an irritating crippled chick, with a completely inconsistent personality, who mostly serves to be useless and need constant protection. Really, for about 90% of the plot, her character just exists to get kidnapped. There’s also some redhead with big tits who loves the main character and has big tits, has a drug addict mother who we forget about for most of the series, and can inexplicably pilot mechas with her big tits and has big tits plus a pair of large breasts. She has a nice ass as well, and you should expect it or her bosom to be the main focus whenever she is in the shot. The "bad guys" are horrible characters as well; one of the main antagonists is eventually revealed to be “a good guy after all, yaaaaay” and the audience is expected to ignore all the horrific atrocities he oversaw. Do these characters sound compelling? Well, if not, then it is because they are not characters at all; they are merely inconsistent and cliché plot devices. Especially the women, who are all objectified to pretty much just get protected, cry, and provide fanservice.
Watch Code Geass if you have a weird Deus ex Machina fetish, but otherwise stay away. It does nothing new and it does nothing well. It doesn’t even fail in an interesting or original way, destroying any chance for campy "so-bad-it's-good" appeal. As a result, I can't think of a single positive thing to say about it, and I have no choice but to give it a 1.
1. This review covers both seasons. It would be pointless and unnecessary to write a separate review for each. Some manga series have over 40 volumes and we just write a review for them as a whole. I also fail to see why separate reviews should be written for each season when I'm just going to give each one the same score. The second season would be the inferior one due to even more plot holes, worse characters, more fanservice, and inconsistencies, but it also is more entertaining because there’s less aimless filler, just in case you were wondering. The two are both 1s though.
2. I didn’t mention Shirley or Rolo when I discussed the other characters. Why? Because I’m trying to forget those fuckers exist.
3. Among my most used words for this review were “inexplicably/inexplicable” and “inconsistency/inconsistent.” Yeah, there’s a very good reason for that.read more
*A great sequel to Code Geass, but not quite a masterpiece.*
"Jaw dropping plot twists. Wonderful animation and soundtracks. Skillfully woven storyline with the first season. Cleverly executed ending."
Code Geass - Hangyaku no Lelouch R2 is the long awaited sequel to the masterpiece Code Geass - Hangyaku no Lelouch. Although it was generally perceived as a piece of trainwreck, especially during the latter half of the show, there is absolutely no doubt that it has made its mark in the anime industry. To be honest, I was pretty depressed after reading some of the interviews with director Taniguchi. He acknowledge the fact that Code Geass R2 is a series of "not-as-planned" for him and his production crew due to demands from higher up contrasting with the original plot. However, from a business perspective, Taniguchi pointed out that R2 is very successful (with the Blu Ray/DVD sales and other miscellaneous merchandises).
In brief, Code Geass R2 turned out to be FAR from what the director envisioned it to be. For instance, Rolo was a new character added not because Taniguchi wanted to, but rather it was due to pressure from the Sunrise executives to "ease new viewers". Also, Suzaku’s relation to the Geass which was suppose to be a lot deeper, Kallen’s father (who was mentioned in the first season), and Cecile’s relationship with Suzaku (there was evidently some sort of affection between them in season one).There are many many other things that can be added to the list, but you get the drift. Despite all these train wrecks, R2 is still considered extremely successful (just like Gundam SEED Destiny) in the world of business. The main reason is simply that the companies can milk money out of our pockets due to the FABULOUS models, DVD (and re-mastered Blu Ray DVD), and other accessories. However with all that being said, who is to say that we will actually like the "original" Code Geass R2 more?
Personally, I feel the story started out quite nicely following the events at the end of the first season. However, as the story progresses I get the feeling things are proceeding too rapidly (maybe due to time constrain?). This in turn leads to confusion for many viewers, especially those of us who rely on fansubs. Some viewers even claim that the anime is going overboard with the immense plot twists each episode. However, despite all these negative comments by some people, most fans still enjoy the "epic-ness" of R2 with its jaw-dropping episodes. Another way of saying it is the plot twists help drives the show!
I assume most viewers of R2 have seen the first season and must have, to a certain degree, be familiar with the character designs by now (and hopefully have come to accept them as well, else it can be very painful to watch). Other aspects of the animation are also very amazing even when compared to the prequel. Great CG effects tie in with detailed character design, detailed environments, plus smooth fluid animation in HD all makes R2 an outstanding piece of art. *edit* Okay...ignore the animation for 20 episode, that episode deserves like 6/10...
Blame ALI PROJECT for not getting a 10/10. Honestly, if they take them out, I would gladly give them perfect rating. The other OP and ED are all great and does not hurt your ears listening to them. Soundtrack-wise, they are all well done as with the first season. Sadly most of the amazing insert songs are near the end of the series though. Overall, if you liked the sound track from first season, you should not be disappointed with this.
Thanks to season one there weren't too many new characters that need to be introduced in great detail. Hence we get to see more character developments that was a bit lacking from the first season. It is always nice to see more "colour" added to each distinctive unique characters.
Just because the story was completely re-rewritten for R2 doesn't mean it is horrible. In fact, I love the plot twists very much (though sometimes it does give me some overboard feel...like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann). Now let us all "play this game of democracy, shall we?"read more