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.
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.
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.
*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?"
On the surface, this looked great - promising setting, themes, characters, world. Unfortunately, all things that were clever about Season 1 were scrapped in favor of... well, I don't know, really. Shocking the audience? Misplaced fanservice?
The most glaring and obvious problem is that the cool antihero protagonist that was so refreshing in the first season got derailed into a wangsty Canon Sue. No clever tricks, determination, character growth or development, nothing but the endless loop of Oh Noes Nunnally over and over. And yet for some reason the camera refuses to leave his immediate proximity, so while the other characters and settings might have interesting
potential, all that is ignored in favor of more Lelouch-angst. And yet despite the fact that the only thing consistent about the character is his self-centered wangst and hypocrisy, every major character magically finds him loveable and sympathetic even when he's unrepentantly destroyed their lives. It's like reading through some particularly bad piece of fanfiction.
What the narration then ignores are things like character development and narrative causality. The clever tactical ploys of the first season were pretty much nonexistent, relying instead on beam-spamming Super Mecha duels (y'know, the very thing that people complain about with Gundam?) and liberal application of plot-induced stupidity to the opposition, or just reiterating the exact same plans used in Season 1. Deus Ex Machina doesn't even begin to cover this. The Geass mystery that seemed so important was given no resolution and pretty much written off as a footnote.
Characterization was about as consistent as Swiss cheese, with characters seemingly completely forgetting what they'd said or done just one episode ago and doing 180 turns with little to no exposition. Surely they could have spent some of that time wasted on fanservicy hijinks or the Endless Angst Loop fleshing out the supporting cast? Forget actual development - the more screentime a character got the less consistent their actions were, and the only characters who didn't act like they had multiple personalities were the ones too insignificant to matter. If you're going to have characters acting in ways utterly opposed to everything we've seen about them up to this point, you need to spend some time explaining to us why. Part of this can be blamed on the introduction of a whole batch of new characters while refusing to leave any of the old ones, resulting in neither old nor new characters getting enough screentime. Old characters who had outlived their story role hung out in the background but were not given any new purpose, while new characters that looked promising in concept never got enough exposition to actually live up to that promise.
The only really positive things I can say about R2 is that it's got pretty animation (mecha combat falls short of Macross Frontier, but it's not like Code Geass focuses much on that) and the background music, particularly the vocal pieces by Hitomi, is gorgeous. It generally manages to surprise the audience in its unpredictability, but unlike Season 1, often crosses the line into unbelievability instead. "That was unpredicted but it makes sense" is different from "that was unpredicted and killed narrative causality".
Overall, the ideas, characters, and setting were interesting, but the script appears to have been written by a particularly indecisive committee of retarded monkeys. It's not a fault of the premise itself - the spinoffs such as games and novels manage to take those same settings and characters and actually make them interesting, or at least make sense, so I'm not sure why the supposedly high-budget anime fails so badly at doing so. It is not, of course, universally bad - there are moments of cleverness and good writing, but those moments are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the bad writing.
R2 is fine to watch for the lolz if you turn off your brain and try not to think too hard about it, but those expecting the cleverness of Season 1 should probably stay away. If you're really into the series, read the novels/manga or write your own fanfiction, I guarantee you it'd make more sense than this drivel.
Code Geass R2 is, in essence, the most resounding travesty in the history of Japanese animation, and proof that anime fans will watch anything if it panders to them enough. It is to anime what Heroes is to US television, except that when Heroes became terrible midway through the viewers abandoned the series. This monstrosity only got more popular in the same situation. It's truly baffling.
To start, the story picks up right from R1(and by "pick up", I mean reset the whole plot), but manages to go absolutely nowhere for at least 10 episodes. The titular "rebellion" is cast aside into the domain of minor
sub plots, like Ougi's relationship with that brown woman in the first season. Instead we get the genius Lelouch running around in meaningless fanservice episodes and battling characters with sorcerer's eyes. Remember how in season 1, the story revolved around interesting characters in a semi-realistic war in an alternate timeline of Earth? Ha. That much time into this season and the most important and game-changing thing you'll see is a C.C. upskirt. Then halfway through it meanders around some outlandish garbage in a plot entirely about two characters that for all intents and purposes died in the first season. Hell, the middle section of the show is so tacked on and meaningless I honestly can't comprehend why it was ever there to begin with. Finally, for the last half of the series the story turns at a 90 degree angle by the end of each and every episode. Lots of completely pointless and boring battles happen near the end, but it doesn't matter since the circumstances don't make much sense, no sane viewer has any emotion invested in the characters fighting, and the battle tactics that were once the high point of the series are now something you'd find Zapp Brannigan doing. This amazing torrent of plot holes, bad pacing and meaningless events reaches its climax in a contrived copout that probably wouldn't have even been that bad if the rest of the story were consistent. Or tolerable. Or comprehensible.
Another horrific aspect of the series is its characters. Actually, this is probably the worst part of the whole thing. The entire cast of CGR2, save for roughly four characters, is so badly written that the people on the screen can't even stick to the single sentence that defines their whole persona. Or their character is moronic. Or their main purpose is to pander to a certain sect of otaku. Or they're just boring. Or they serve no established purpose in the series at all. If someone can comment on my profile and explain why Gino, Xing Ke and Jeremiah were in this show(Crispin Freeman shouting LOYALTY is not a valid excuse for Jeremiah. Even Crispin himself doesn't know why that guy exists or is popular), that would be dandy.
Oh yeah, and no one dies in this show except for the obvious. Everyone else, be they exploded or hurled off a cliff, inexplicably lives for no reason other than to annoy the viewer.
But let's discuss the good characters in this show: Lelouch, Suzaku, Rolo. Yes, that's correct. Out of CGR2's enormous cast of about 40 recurring characters, only three are anywhere near being decent. You'd think C.C. would be on this brief listing, but she doesn't exist for half of the series and as soon as she shows up her character is completely rewritten after her only story-relevant sequence.
Code Geass R2 is Lelouch's story, first and foremost. He is the only consistent part that holds all of this garbage together. That might've been intentional, but I'm not entirely buying it. Even so, Lelouch's character is boring, his motivations change constantly and all of his "intelligence" from the first season has been relegated into performing "miracles"(cheap/contrived/ridiculous plot twists) and sending in waves of dudes to clog the enemies' cannons. His master plan and endgame strategy seemed genius enough to thousands of idiots across the internet to give him incredible praise, but it really was just as much of a joke as the rest of his iceberg summoning and floor collapsing antics. Think Watchmen, if it were written by a 12 year old.
Next we have Suzaku. The Ryuho to Lelouch's Kazuma. He doesn't exist in this story until a little ways in, and doesn't do much until halfway through. He spends a lot of his time angry over what happened at the end of last season and struggling over his tool-ish idealism. In fact, all this guy does is angst about Lelouch for a majority of the time he's around. This one time he was told to protect someone, but she wandered off and died. So Suzy blamed Lelouch, because that's how he rolls. He's basically Kira Yamato with a bipolar personality and even more immortality. Suzaku's actually a rather unlikable character and his personality swings around like a pendulum, but that's about as good as it gets in this series.
Except for Rolo. Rolo is the best thing to come out of this trainwreck. His character, despite being introduced solely as yaoi fanservice in Suzaku's absence, is the most consistent and well written in the series by a good distance. He develops, never contradicts his purpose, and was a key point in one of the most memorable and non-idiotic scenes. Ultimately Rolo was totally unimportant, almost as if the writers set him on a shelf next to the series so he didn't get covered in the sticky, smelly substance it was leaking all over the place. So sad.
The final aspect of this tripe I'm going to talk about in detail is the focus. Code Geass has none. What is Code Geass about, in the end? What is its genre? Who is it marketed to? Respectively, those answers are: Nothing, All of them, and Everyone. The only unifying thing in Code Geass is Lelouch's character, but he isn't a good character. He's not as interesting as Light Yagami in terms of personality or his goals and he's not as well written as someone like Kenzou Tenma. So really, all you have is an entire story centered around this barely-above-shounen-writing guy with no prominent driving themes, commentary or anything like that.
Code Geass also attempts, and apparently succeeded, in appealing to every kind of anime fan. The series was fairly consistent and balanced during its first season, but the follow-up did nothing but shine spotlights all over its cliches and pandering features. The character designs become more fanservicey and CLAMP-y, drawing in boys and girls. The robots suddenly evolve from bipedal tanks to laser-spamming, transforming, energy shield-bearing monstrosities. The genre fluctuates between melodrama, politics, comedy, fantasy, romance, science fiction, psychological thriller, school stories and what have you depending on the episode. It just doesn't work. Taniguchi and the writers had no interest in being original or telling a cohesive story here and instead set their eyes on making tons of cash for Sunrise.
But yeah, the animation on the DVD versions are pretty good and the soundtrack is by one of the better guys in the business. At face value, Code Geass isn't a bad series. It's mindlessly entertaining, but the issue here is that so, so many morons think it's anything more than that, which does a disservice to people who watch good, original and well crafted Japanese animation and to the industry as a whole.
Firstly I would like to say that this review is for the entire series as a whole, NOT just for season 2. Now then....
I am not a fan of mecha. There, I said it. This was the main reason why I ignored all of the suggestions and decided to put off this show for so long. However, this decision of mine to put off this show was just plain stupid and I now realize why everyone likes this show. Code Geass has become one of my favorite shows of all time and has joined Clannad and Steins;Gate on the
list of shows that I believe are truly on a different level from the rest.
Politics. The primary focus of the plot is politics. This is true with most shows in the mecha genre. However, Code Geass does not limit itself to just this focus. Code Geass dives into the morals of humans and the true nature of people. This is primarily seen with the main character Lelouch who is granted the ability to control other people that he makes eye contact with. With this power (and Lelouch's extremely high intelligence), Lelouch forms a rebel group known as the Black Knights to fight against the tyranny of Britannia. To add on to this, there are school life, and other non-war related plotlines that are well placed throughout the show to give you a break from the action. Now, before I watched this show I had already read about this, I thought I knew what the story was going to be like. I was wrong. The story isn't your typical rag tag group of kids trying to fight against an empire story. The story is about Lelouch. It's about Lelouch and his successes, struggles, mistakes, and changes. Although he basically IS the storyline, I will refrain from diving in further and go into more detail in the character section later. The story is one that is packed with plot twists and unexpected events (some admittedly can feel forced or leave plotholes, especially towards the end of season 2). This is more so in the first season, where the second season changes it up a bit and focuses more on the emotional aspect than the suspenseful one. Although the dynamic of the show changes between seasons, this change was necessary and really makes this show multidimensional. The writers tend to use the "because I said so" and "oh it all happened in the past and we just never told you guys" plot devices to explain a lot of events but for me this wasn't a big deal. However, I know that others absolutely hate this kind of writing so it does have to go into account in my review, dropping the story from a 10 to a 9. For all you fans of closure, the first season provides none, but the second season provides one of the greatest endings I have seen in a long time that is a lot more complex than one might first assume. The story was nothing short of brilliant, and the show's ending only justifies this, however the plot holes and poor explaining that went with some events prevent this story from being a perfect 10.
Another reason why I hesitated in watching this show was the art. I just didn't like the way all the characters looked. After watching it however, I have changed my mind. The art direction was very good, providing a wide array of characters, settings, and action. At times the action could suffer from the animation, but this was uncommon and for the most part the art was very good.
Lelouch's voice actor was nothing short of brilliant. Without him, I'm not sure if Lelouch would have been as interesting of a character as he was. The rest of the voice acting was solid for the most part as well. The music for the most part did nothing to stand out in any particular way. It wasn't bad. But it wasn't anything special. It served its purpose effectively and that's all that matters. The exceptions were the vocal tracks in this anime such as "Stories" "Continued Story" and "Innocent Days" as well as "Madder Sky" due to it being used during a crucial part of the last episode. Overall the sound was very good due to the voice acting however the soundtrack was hit or miss, at times it was average or not good, while a few other tracks were actually fantastic. The inconsistency prevented the sound from getting a 9 but it was great none the less.
Everybody seems to want to compare Lelouch to Light from Death Note. I can see where they're coming from (extremely smart, granted amazing power, seemingly very selfish at times). However, Lelouch has a trait that Light seems to completely lack, Lelouch actually has morals. Sometimes it is hard to see, but Lelouch fully intends to make the world a better place. He makes countless mistakes that harm others throughout his journey, and when these kind of things happen, you can clearly see Lelouch being effected by these mistakes. He may put on a face as if it is all fine, but by paying attention to his initial reactions, and the final decisions that he makes towards the end, you can tell that he fully accepts his mistakes as sins that will most likely never be forgiven. But moving on from Lelouch there are plenty of other characters. Most notably there is Suzaku. Suzaku was a character that I had strong opinions towards. What was weird however was that the writers somehow made me like him one minute, hate his ass the next, sympathize with him another, and then love him again. This of course was intentional and very well done. Suzaku is similar to Lelouch in that he has good intentions but goes about the wrong way of trying to achieve them. It's hard talking about these two without any spoilers, but realize that they are without a doubt the two most important characters, and following them both was definitely a treat. Other important characters were C.C. (aka little miss plot hole maker) and Kallen (aka fanservice). Beyond these four characters the others weren't too developed due to the sheer fact that there were so many of them. However, none of the characters were really "bad" besides maybe Nina. Ok yeah, Nina was awful. The fact that Lelouch was so brilliant and that, for the most part, his supporting cast was relatively strong, I really can't give the character section anything less than a 9.
This may be because practically every episode ended in a cliffhanger, but I could not stop watching this show. From the first episode to the last I could not stop myself from watching. I wanted to know what happened next. I wanted to know the consequences of Lelouch's actions, and how he would respond. I wanted to see in what unique way he would tactically take down all of his opponents the next time. I wanted to see how Lelouch and Suzaku's friendship would pan out. The show provides you with countless small and large desires that can get fulfilled within minutes, or not be answered until the last episode. This recipe of teasing and rewarding made this show addicting as hell and was beautifully crafted. The intriguing plot, interesting politics, and fantastic characters were melded beautifully by the writers to create a show perfectly executed to entertain the viewer. The two seasons differ in their approach, but the basic tease and deliver equation was still in place throughout it all. The first season contained a stable goal for the characters filled with shocking surprises and twists. The second season was far more inconsistent with its objective, but really delivers massive emotional punches, and eventually steers itself up for the grande finale. Code Geass was filled with practically everything you could ask for in an entertaining anime, and all these tools were utilized perfectly with fantastic execution. If there's one thing Code Geass did right, it was that it kept me entertained.
The plot, pacing, characters, emotions, and most importantly the execution of it all are what pull Code Geass out of the crowd and make it truly something else. The plot can push towards over the top at times and trip over itself, but the overall story and the characters within it make Code Geass one hell of a ride. This show has joined Clannad (10/10) and Steins;Gate (9.5/10) as the three lone anime series that I have given a 9 or higher rating to, and is a must watch for everyone.
More addicting than crack, and without the deadly side effects! Ranging from action packed, to funny, to convoluted, to tear jerking this show is something else. Truly a joy to watch and a must watch for all.
+ Main character is a legend
+ One of the greatest endings ever
+ Extremely addicting
+ Story is fantastic
- Plot holes/Writers' tendency to use the "because i said so" explaination
- There may have been too many different characters, resulting in some unnecessary or just plain weak/annoying characters (Nina)
If you liked Code Geass, watch...
The shows are extremely similar in almost every aspect and both are very entertaining. However, try to keep your brain shut down a bit while watching this show because there are plenty of plotholes.
The most obvious choice mainly because of the Light/Lelouch comparison. They are both extremely intelligent and enjoyable to watch, and the shows are both intense.
Code Geass R2 has provoked conflicting reactions among the fan base, just like the original series did. Viewers still loved or hated it outright, even as many others laughed, and once again it's not hard to see why.
I think R2 was a disappointment but not without redeeming qualities. It is an enjoyable sequel that could have used more foresight and additional planning. Maybe a little less ambition, a smaller cast of characters or better pacing would have been very welcome improvements. In the end, I appreciated Code Geass as a whole in spite of its flaws. Not the best show out there, but then again
it doesn't need to be.
After having to go through strangely familiar territory, Code Geass R2 finally reaches a grander scale. What began as a local rebellion ends up having larger repercussions, both directly and indirectly. And that is just the big picture. The protagonist, Lelouch, continues to keep everything together here. What remains at the core of Code Geass and its themes is his development as a character. But it is, admittedly, the kind of development that tends to take him in a far more destructive than constructive direction and this can be hard to watch, let alone swallow. Nevertheless, I believe the main plot was brought to a rather fitting, if not absolutely satisfying, conclusion as far as those terms are concerned. Unfortunately, this central focus on Lelouch was a little too dominant in the long run, at the expense of other elements.
We are taken through many more twists and turns this time around, which is both good and bad. From the exciting to the absolutely ridiculous, from the dramatic to the cheap, most are at least amusing. Yet there are clear pacing problems, especially towards the second half of R2, and that did affect the overall flow. I never felt really lost, but certain events were dealt with too quickly, including one climatic confrontation in particular. In retrospect, several early episodes were ultimately unnecessary and wasted valuable screen time that later developments could have used. As things stand, the show is rather messy and certain ideas received uneven amounts of attention.
The writing and direction are competent, at heart, but evidently suffer from trying to do too much, too quickly and thus may have shot themselves in the foot more than once. The first half of the series has increased fanservice, which can be occasionally distracting. Some mysteries were resolved but, unfortunately, a few unanswered questions of varying importance were also left behind and this can be annoying if not actually crippling. The show's mecha action is acceptable but lost some of its appeal due to accelerated technological progression. It's still not as much of a factor here as it would be in other series though, from my point of view, since it isn't really meant to be the main focus.
Finally, the last story arc seemed out of place at first and its very existence remains quite controversial in light of other possibilities. The ending itself, on the other hand, benefits from markedly increased attention to detail by the production staff and packs a strong emotional and thematic punch, even if the epilogue that followed it was probably too short. The final episode of Code Geass R2 gives the viewer the ability to make up his or her own mind, which is a double-edged sword. I can say the resolution worked for me, but there are different opinions.
Production values are still well above the average. The animation was generally alright and, in specific places, even great. Some background frames did lack quality, but not to a bothersome extent unless you know where to look. Even then, it must be pointed out that some of the worst sequences were reanimated or redrawn in time for the DVD release. The original character designs by CLAMP continue to be fairly effective and the mechanical side of things was also quite competent overall.
Code Geass R2 had good music and, for the most part, it was used well within the show itself. Some pieces are bombastic, no doubt, as one would probably expect from a tale so intrinsically linked to having a flair for the dramatic. Several tracks from the first season make a comeback here, but there is plenty of new material. The insert songs, in particular, were very nice even if a little more elusive. The opening and ending themes are a little less memorable but certainly not bad. With one exception, maybe, as opinions may easily vary here.
Lelouch is what drives Code Geass and he was still fairly successful in this regard as long as you can tolerate the story's overall direction, but he wouldn't be nearly as interesting without the ongoing dynamic between him and Suzaku, who once again played the most important supporting role. Kallen and C.C. got some attention and closure in their own right when they were given enough screen time, even if certain expectations were not met. Overall, these four characters received some development, though not without problems here and there. I suppose Rolo, Shirley and Nunnally also had their moments too, all things considered, but just barely.
That sounds fine, so what lowered the score then? An old issue which wasn't helped by rushed pacing: the huge cast was often misused and certain plot threads were left unresolved. Too many minor characters were introduced without giving them enough weight to stand on. Many of them didn't require much attention in the first place -I can see that the story works regardless- but others did seem to demand either more screen time or more convincing motivations. The show's antagonists, some more than others, were noticeably lacking. In the end, the picture is definitely mixed here and I can't help but feel that a lot more could have been done with a smaller number of characters.
Code Geass R2 was an entertaining show, in many different ways, and I do not regret watching it. From the serious to the absurd, from cliffhanger to cliffhanger, the series succeeded in making me anticipate almost every upcoming episode. There are specific events which can't be taken seriously, at all, and the staff must surely be aware of this. But there are also some genuinely effective moments in the mix, depending on what the viewer is willing to put up with, and while the series can be rightfully accused of being emotionally manipulative it isn't nearly as senseless as it appears to be on the surface.
In short, R2 benefits from simply being fun to watch, even though it is very true that there were problematic issues along the way. Many of the show's flaws could have been avoided with a tighter narrative, more explanations and a far more reasonable pace. As a sequel, Code Geass R2 feels appropriate yet also disappointing. Not everyone will be happy with the end result and I have my own complaints, but Code Geass, as a whole, was a worthwhile experience.
I'm going to write a review about R2 that may not be well liked among Geass fans, for the low score I give it, but I ask the reader to hear me out and read this in an impartial light.
First off, I would like to say that "R1" was an amazing premise, with massive twists, good characters, good plot, interesting premise and overall good execution. I did honestly like R1. R2 keeps the crisp artwork and sound style of R1, so I give those a high score, but R2 has some deep recurring flaws that pretty much butcher the series in my opinion.
spoilers are appendixed, you can read through without spoilers of this or the first series, but some spoilers will be included to show where I'm coming from at the end of the review (but will be forecast in advance)
These are the two biggest elements of a character-driven story: The character development and the plot progression.
I'll begin with Character development, and quite frankly, there was none. I used my basic litmus test of character development and every single character failed. This test is simple, I ask "would this character have done anything at the end of this series that they weren't willing to do at the beginning?" Note: WILLING, not ABLE. for example, Lelouch may have been willing to do all the things he did, but unable to do them until he gained his Geass. However, his objectives, his desires, did not change at all during the whole show. This applies equally to the whole cast. Not a single one of them changes their opinions about anything, they simply change in the methods they use to achieve their goals (if even that), which is indicative of a plot without development. Now this wouldn't be such an issue to me if development hadn't been the writer's goal. When a certain character dies halfway through the series, (1) there are effectively no ramifications on the characters who should have been deeply influenced by the act. Now what this said to most viewers would have been "this was proof of Lelouch's inner strength, a test of character". However, to me it plays out like such: the character died, which the writer had intended to happen. The death did not have a significant impact on the plot. Thus, the character was only included to be killed off and prove Lelouch's strength. However, this also means that the character who was there was only there to be killed, which means this character was effectively treated like an object to be played with by the plot, and I feel no need to sympathise with an object. When viewed in this light, the fact that Lelouch's inner strength was tested is a moot point, because his character could have been tested in so many other ways that did not involve the writer using a character as if he/she were an object.
This is the biggest problem with R2, the complete lack of character development. They "explain" characters, they "test" characters, sure, but they do not "develop" them. Essentially, the only development that does occur happens about 10 seconds prior to the credits rolling, which is far too late to warrant me giving this series a good mark.
The second major problem is that R2 broke my willing suspension of disbelief. There are three main examples of this: one, where a cliffhanger fell into a cliche and overused trope area (2), which from that point on, trivialised all other cliffhangers and was a major detriment to the series. Two, the fact that a certain character survived halfway through the series despite the fact that they should have died (3), this trivialised death- if one character could survive, then they all should be able to, but they did not, which further proves to me that the writer was only killing off characters to try and induce character development, which again, proves that the writer was objectifying characters, which is the exact opposite of character development. And thirdly, the fact that there was two recurring elements effectively ignored (or "handwaved") as the series concludes (4/5), which shows to me that the writer was putting stuff in to make the series more interesting, not because they were actually useful as plot devices in of themselves, which trivialised the role of almost every nonmajor character and filler event.
The final biggest problem is the plot. In essence, about a dozen or so episodes of R2 are filler. While the series always seems to be doing something, apart from the final arcs, all it really does is tread water. Most of the subplots are irrelevant to the final outcome, as (6) shows. Basically, the plot waves its arms and creates a lot of fuss, but doesn't really *go* anywhere for almost the entirety of R2. And when it finally does pick up, it fails to have any twist at all. Cliffhangers, sure, twists, no.
So overall, R2 took the brilliant effort of R1, but failed to run with it, effectively adding in a whole bunch of filler arcs, characters and subplots that really were irrelevant to the main plot, and failed to really develop any of the charters. As such, R2 was a major letdown for me, as it basically undermined all the efforts of R1 apart from the artwork and soundtrack.
(1)Shirely's death, Lelouch doesn't so much as mourn, which is fine, if it weren't for the fact that they had no need to kill her, so the lack of mourning is effectively a double-negative, they cancel out the contrive death by having a contrived funeral, which breaks my willing suspension of disbelief and still fails to deliver any meaningful development.
(2)When the "double" turned out to be a "latex perfection" (Tvtropes term) ie: a chick wearing a mask. Pretty much a completely trivial and very unbelievable (where did they get it, why doesn't anyone else use them, etc), bending heavily my willing suspension of disbelief.
(3)The maid, she was ON the ship that was destroyed by the "FLEIJA" blast. Sure, Nannuly should have survived, but how the heck did she? She may be ninja, but come on, seriously? This SHATTERED my willing suspension of disbelief. Bandages do NOT solve all problems. She only survived by plot induced invulnerability, which completely trivialises the many deaths in the series.
(4)Li's recurring cough. essentially not mentioned at all by series end. What was the point of even including the thing? Fake drama, that's what. Pretty much sums up this whole series.
(5)The fact that "if Lelouch's geass gets stronger...." Well, he just puts in two contacts lenses. Again, fake drama. That's not interesting, that's disappointing.
(6)He TOLD THE VIEWER THE PLAN in R1. Like, literally. Sure, it wasn't for long, nor was it step-by-step, but he still did it. Pretty much forecasts the ending perfectly to someone who'd been paying attention and knows even the first thing about how martyrs work.
Code Geass Hangyaku no Lelouch is extraordinary intelligent and a master of entertainment.
Season one of Code Geass ended with a cliffhanger, which sets the stage of season two. The story is past-paced and compelling, in no argument it is the best factor of this anime. Code Geass R2 is filled with complex plots and subplots along with its story line that will keep you hook until the very last episode.
The setting is set in a sort of near-future war set on earth. The Holy Britain Empire, a dominate power that holds control
for one third of the world. Even Japan has been taken over by the Britian Empire, the freedom of Japan has been lost, even its name has been replaced with a cold number, "number 11". The Black Knights, which is a rebellion organization lead by the intelligent high school student, Lelouch also known as zero, has set its goal for the freedom of Japan and the downfall of the Britain Empire. Although it is fantasy, most of it reflects on the reality of today and interchanging historical events. It focuses on the negatives of autocracy government, which is the Holy Britain Empire in this case. Also it deals with the corruption of power today, and the manipulations of the media.
No doubt Sunrise has spent a hell lot of money on the animation, the battle scenes are greatly done, all the movements are presented pretty smoothly. The character designs are also pretty detailed and unique. The Mechas, known as the Knightmares, are also well done.
The original character design is illustrated by CLAMP. The characters are then converted into animation character for the series by Sunrise's character designer Takahiro Kimura, but it is done in such a way so that the character still shows much of CLAMP's original art.
The characters have distinctive personalities. There character development from the first series of Code Geass wasn't too detailed, but in R2 it shows much more colors from these characters and especially Lelouch who had to deal with responsibilities and the moral of humanity, his relationships with Nunnally, Rolo, and Suzaku are all very distinctive.
With the story line, the art, and sound put together, I'd still say it's the story that stands out the most. The battle plots are thought out well, it's like rather than killing two birds with one stone, the stone would kill the birds, manipulate the nest, destory the bough, cut the tree in half, and blow up the shit hell out of everything.
The animation and sound are put together greatly. This anime gives greatly enjoyment indeed.
None the less, it is very enjoyable for anyone who is looking for some entertainment. I praise for the revolution.
I know a lot of people are hating on R2 claiming it has veered far away from the original greatness of the first season, but I beg to differ.
There was better action, better drama, better characterisation, better EVERYTHING about this sequel.
The story is intriguing and is nail-bitingly good; so many plot twists hitting you one after the other. It is here we see the revolution come full circle. I know there are a lot of complaints about plot holes, and some extreme plot twists, but I did not see reason to complain. In anything, the impossible can be made
possible, absurdity can be made reality. Code Geass did not rip to shreds what the original series had created: it created its own. That may upset some viewers, but for the sake of storytelling and plot, I couldn't find a flaw with it.
The art was colourful and unique, as before. There are nuanced differences, but they aren't very noticeable. If anything, it just got more colourful and crisper looking. The animation also improved.
The characters were more developed and interesting. We see what really makes every character tick. In the first season, a lot of people were introduced, and they are fleshed out further in the second season. There is a wider cast in the the second, but these new characters are all interesting and unique as well. The entire vi Britannia family is intriguing, and you get a lot of history, development and backstory to this bunch especially.
I've been trying to review this series since it ended, but it's proven difficult because while I want to treat it as impartially as possible, there are a lot of factors that went into the decision-making of the series that make it hard to judge in just one way. I'm sure that that's true for a lot of series, but it's simply that I've been made all too aware about everything that had to do with this one. Being a huge fan of the first season doesn't help either.
This review may contain spoilers for the first season of Code Geass.
STORY - A lot has been
revealed about the executive meddling and general "not as planned"-ness that affected R2. Suffice to say that the producers had to change many things around, not necessarily in ways they wanted, and this second season likely turned out very different from the way it was originally planned. Unfortunately, I can only talk about the final product, regardless of intentions; this has led me to feel as if I'm being unfair in any criticisms I make as far as story and character go. I guess I really have no choice in the end, but I think it's important to keep in mind that some of the more poorly executed points of this series likely resulted from the aforementioned.
Code Geass R2 starts one year after the "ending" of the first season and the first episode is the first of many that invokes feelings of deja vu. Neither Code Geass nor Code Geass R2 present many themes or storylines that haven't been covered before, but the plot does do a lot of evolving and changing between the seasons. The ex-prince that wants to destroy his homeland and discover the truth ends up leading the war to end all wars, a theme especially prominent in various Gundam series. But the series' greatest strength has always been its ability to tell the story in a new and interesting way, regardless of the barebones storyline. To that end, R2 doesn't quite live up to S1's standards -- indeed, it seems to borrow heavily on structuring and story framing that was successful in the first season. Beyond the first episode, several others seem to tie in thematically to their parallels in S1, such as Shirley-centric episode 12-14 and Geass-centric 15. A lot of sequels fall into the trap of trying to repeat previous successes, but for an always-planned sequel like R2, this fixation seemed a bit out of place, even if creators were forced to shift things around some.
Things are still interesting for the most part, but the change of course for the story (Lelouch's change of values and goals) felt somewhat choppy, and the mood changes a lot from episode to episode. S1 had its share of silliness and crack around Ashford Academy, but considering all the things that needed to be resolved in R2, I felt there were a few episodes that could have been better utilized. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, Sunrise seemed to occasionally throw 180's and give us episodes that were way out there in the left field: very WTF-inducing episodes. These episodes are what propel the story along the most, even if they often seemed abrupt in execution and occasionally anticlimactic. Despite this shaky progression, I do think that the story in R2 evolves all right enough. The supernatural elements that were kept in low profile in the first season get a little more attention... not enough to cover all the plotholes, but the final accumulation of events combines both the supernatural and the immediacy of war and revolution in a very interesting way.
The biggest complaint I have about R2's storytelling is that death is treated in an entirely unconvincing manner. Character death almost always felt arbitrary and contrived; Sunrise already has a pretty bad rap for bringing characters back from the dead, but the number of times they did this in series is just ridiculous. Major characters, minor characters -- regardless of whether or not their death would have been significant in the long run, they went crazy with it all over the place. Characters that should have died didn't. Characters that did die don't stay dead. You get pretty jaded after a while.
And yet, I'm actually very pleased with the ending of Code Geass R2. Even if none of the other episodes do, the last episode of R2 matches up to the last episode of S1. The drama is there; the storytelling is there. Everything is beautifully executed, and the ending is perfect in that it's open for interpretation, but it's very easy to draw a steadfast personal conclusion. Everyone can perceive an ending that makes them happy, and there's plenty of evidence both ways. Very clever, Sunrise -- at least you managed to do that part right.
CHARACTER - The character development in R2 is undoubtedly its greatest asset. Lelouch and Suzaku were both already complicated characters, but the situations they're forced through in this second season compound them much, much further. Their foilistic nature is emphasized again and again, and that delicious irony comes into play more than once (oh, I love irony). Idealistic Suzaku gets to play hardball through a seemingly endless string of seemingly cruel and heartless betrayals, and Lelouch the Machiavellist not only declares that "love is power," but takes it upon himself to fulfill the entire world's wishes. Once again, it's very easy to become emotionally involved with these characters. You're invested in them. You hate to love them, and you love to hate them. Their pain is real; their triumph is real. It's the greatest mark of good storytelling and character development when you feel like you can cheer and cry with the characters you're watching.
The sad part of it all is just that a lot of secondary characters in S1 that seemed to have great potential as far as character development get short-changed in R2. Kallen's backstory involving her brother is never explained, and while Ougi still got a fair share of screentime, it never felt like it was enough to explore the depths of his character. It was frustrating because I knew he was an interesting character with a complex train of thought, but I never got to see it. Instead, I was faced with some utterly unnecessary flirtation between Chiba and Toudou; I'm glad we can to explore relationship possibilities beyond the obvious cast, but come on. I hated Rolo's guts because he acted too stereotypically, and I never felt like there was any real thoughtfulness to his character. There could have been a lot more expansion there, not to mention Lelouch's relationships with Kallen and Shirley. Having a noncommittal harem is great for fan debate, but to some extent, I expect some serious content. All too often, it seemed like his feelings for those around him were based solely on the convenience of story. He would care about Shirley if it suited the plot, and he would remember Kallen when they had time to write her back into the script seven episodes later. I know he's a better character than that -- they just don't show it.
It's hard to explain without spoilers, but the irony of all the characters' roles at the end of the series is one of the things I love the most about the characters in this series. Everything is so fitting, so tragically fitting, and it's beautiful. I guess really appreciate the poetic justice of things.
ART & ANIMATION - The art and animation remain consistent in R2 as in S1. The Knightmare designs are great, though I sometimes wish flying units would lose the whole angel wings gig. Damocles didn't feel like a very inspired design either, but at that point in the story, its design was the least of my concerns. CLAMP's boys are their usual noodley selves, but I find their aesthetic pointless to critique or debate at this point. Everyone has their own opinion about them, and for the most part, that isn't going to change. I appreciate CLAMP's consistency anyway, though I always find it curious that they can make characters look so pleasing and elegant while blatantly ignoring every rule of anatomy. I'm sure that real men wouldn't look good all stretched out or with shoulders four times as wide as their hips. Curious indeed.
If there's one thing that's had to dispute though, it's the fact that CLAMP's facial designs allow for incredible expressiveness, especially when the emotion is sad. I absolutely adore just how stricken characters look when bad things happen to them -- sometimes, they look a little strange, outrageous and even sloppy (Lulu's shocked phone face, anyone?), but other times, the emotion is so strong that your heart just breaks for them. That such powerful art should accompany already powerful characters is great.
MUSIC - I didn't really care in one direction or another about R2's first OP/ED set, but I loved, loved, loved its second set. ALI PROJECT is usually a sure winner for me, here especially because I find their usual style very fitting to Code Geass. Edgy violins to capture that "high class" monarchy and shrill voices for the violence, drama, and anticipation. Perfect! I think I was coerced into liking FLOW's "WORLD END" because of gg's snarky captioning of a certain part of the lyrics (everything is fabulous~), but really, it's a great song that's also very fitting for the series, lyric-wise. R2's soundtrack is, naturally, similar to its first season counterpart -- both are mostly average with a few standout tracks, including some of the fight music and Britannian music (I love it when they use trumpets!). Hitomi's insert songs are, once again, very touching, emotional, and thoughtful -- I really like the haunting ambiance, and they're always used at very appropriate times. Geass's soundtrack isn't amazing, but I'd like to say that it's somewhere between good-average and great.
VOICE ACTING - As far as I know, the entire Japanese cast reprised their roles, which was excellent. I still love the insight you can gain by paying attention to how each character refers to himself, and it was interesting to see both Fukuyama and Sakurai handle Lelouch and Suzaku as they continued to develop as characters. The US dub airs this Sunday, but I imagine that most of the cast will remain the same, considering how quickly they've managed to dub it. I really do like how Lelouch and Suzaku's dub voices have turned out, not to mention Lloyd, but I still can't say the same for everyone else. (What the hell's up with Rakshata's voice??) Can't have 'um all, I guess. (Refer to my season one review for more details?)
OVERALL - Code Geass R2 had a lot of issues, enough that many people have gone on to call it a veritable trainwreck. I would disagree -- considering all the obstacles they were up again, I'd say Sunrise managed to pull off a pretty damn decent job. It wasn't a disaster. The story followed through. The characters were consistent. Yes, there are a good fistful of plotholes, but I think the most important stuff (character goals and resolution) pulled through very well in the end. The fact that the ending was beautiful really helped with that, and I'm sure I'm not the only one relieved by the fact that there are no plans to make a third, tag-on season. If you liked Code Geass, I would definitely recommend seeing this series through. It's worth it in the end. If you were skeptical about Code Geass to begin with, then you might not take as kindly to R2, but I'm telling you, that ending was beautiful.
NaNoWriMo is an annual event in which the goal is to write a novel in 30 days. Anyone can do it, but in order to reach your goal, you often sacrifice editing, plotting a narrative, and forgetting certain character developments you meant to make. The reason I say this is because Code Geass R2 is an exact reflection of the NaNoWriMo story down to the last detail.
The first season, having been made famous by it's constant barrage of out-of-left-field cliffhangers, is constantly one-upped in the second half of anti-hero Lelouch's quest to change the world to his ideal. All questions regarding the first season's excruciatingly
ambiguous finale are answered and from then on, it's a rapid-fire succession of changing hands, feints, and aces in the hole. By this means, Geass continuously refreshes audience interest, though with so many twists, it's easy to not care about them after a while.
The constant twists also lead to a blatant awareness that Geass R2 is being written on the fly with no real direction or end in sight, even as the episodes wind down. It's a flaw and a big one, but miraculously, Geass R2 saves itself repeatedly by revealing certain plot elements vital to the show, but only every so often so as to keep a sense of direction. All in all, the chaotic twists tip the balance between thought-out and impulsively written toward the more negative end.
Geass R2's hodgepodge storyline is made no less confusing by its cast, which extends to the multitudes from the word "go", imbuing characters only introduced late in Season 1 and adding even more to the mix as it goes along while pushing other pivotal characters from the first season way, way, way to the side. Combining the plot's chaotic movements along, we never really get a sense of character development from anyone because there simply isn't enough time. Only Lelouch, Suzaku, and C.C. get to shine, and even then it's hardly much at all. Everyone else is designated a rather flat personality, maybe a love interest, and a battle persona, and that's that.
The story is brought to life by some rather impressive production values on Sunrise's part. The animation is crisp, fluid, and always lively. Though CLAMP's character designs can be off-putting some of the time, it works well, and, despite how far it goes, never feels like too much of a good thing. It's not trying to be innovative, but it is excelling within the norm.
The sound is much what you'd expect from the first season; blaring trumpets and forgettable insert songs. Though the opening themes are better than the first season's as songs, they are incredibly inappropriate given the content of the series. The end songs, on the other end of the spectrum, are both forgettable affairs.
Despite all of Code Geass R2's flaws, it is fun, and when it comes right down to it, a series that is essentially Death Note meets Gundam with rollerblading mecha and a girl with a pizza addiction should be fun. Code Geass R2 is always entertaining, even when it gets eye-roll-inducingly bizarre. This isn't so much a show that will be on an objective Top 10 list, but it's a blast start to finish. The anime equivalent of a summer Hollywood blockbuster, so to say.
Well, I'm not going to be very positive about Code Geass R2. Since the first season was actually pretty good, I started to watch CG R2 in the hope that R2 would be just as great.
Oh, how I was dissapointed.
Even though I learned that this season was 'NOT AS PLANNED', it's...bad. It's just a bad continuation on the first season. VERY bad. The start wasn't that bad, but the further the serie progresses, the more stupid it becomes.
Story : 1
Oh come on. EVERY episode there's a dumb plottwist. They have destroyed the entire story the first season built up. Next to that there's a
ton of plotholes. I seriously cannot believe that anyone would believe that this is good stuff. Most of the plottwists are just stupid.
WHERE DO ALL THE KNIGHTMARES COME FROM? It was getting more and more like Dragonball Z thanks to those.
'THIS ISN'T EVEN 10% OF IT'S OUTPUT YET!!11"
Also, dead characters should STAY dead. The story is horrible. HORRIBLE.
No matter how bad the series have become, the art is still pretty good. It's good too look at, nothing too special but it's better than I've seen in some series.
I do not like the second OP en ED. That was the only downpart to season one as well. The OP and ED sucked after a while. I didn't really notice any good BGM.
In season one, the characters were great. In season 2, LOL PLOTTWIST! LOL CHARACTER CHANGING! LOL DIFFERENT GOAL! etc. I'm not going to waste more words on this...
Oh, I forgot, they screwed every character up.
I just watch it now to see what kind of stupid plottwist they give it. Seriously. It's enjoyable somewhere, but that's mostly because it's so stupid.
Season one was much better. This season is full of plotholes. It looks like DBZ and some of the character revelations are just stupid. This show is very overrated. I can see what some people like in it, but they just don't pay enough attention to the story imo.
The ending was actually decent, compared to some episodes, but that doesn't mean a lot.
After a hugely successful season 1, we have the highly anticipated sequel, Code Geass R2.
The story involved a reset but kicked off to a very strong, solid start with Lelouche as cunning as ever in getting his ways. However, around 1/3 into the season it all starts falling apart. We start getting rather outrageous, unplausible plot twists and sequence of events. While this has happened in Season 1, R2 takes "outrageous, unplausible" to an entirely new level which continues right until the end of the series where finally, the ending had a very good twist to it.
The mecha battles have also
suffered from the same problems from Gundam Seed Destiny - a few Nightmares that are just so ridiculously powerful.
If you can stand the stick-thin characters (I knocked a mark off for this), then the art is pretty damn good. The colours are vivid and the costumes varied in design. The animation was also rather smooth as well. Overall, it's good but not exceptional.
Geass has a rather unique soundtrack style and I especially enjoyed the jazzy battle themes and Hitomi's vocal tracks. Hitomi's track which was played in the finale had a very appropriate feel and was awesome.
However, I found many of the choices for the OP/ED rather questionable!
A very large cast which was rather interesting in season 1 but with the butchering of the storyline, also came the butchering of the characters. The large cast prevented the development of key characters and they often made superficial appearances. Kallen, as awesome as she is was totally lacking towards the end of the series.
Despite the negativity, I did rather enjoy watching this series. It was whacky and corny which may be the wrong reason to enjoy a show, but that's how I managed to derive lots of enjoyment from.
Geass R2 shone well in some aspects but was totally lacking in other departments. It had such a huge potential yet I feel it was utterly wasted. R2 wasn't a total disaster but it could have been so much better.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...
I felt that this quote was the best way to sum up this show overall. There were numerous plot twists, most of which significantly alter the story line and circumstances of the main characters. It follows the classic formula of best friends as the best kind of enemies and keeps you guessing. However, one of its strong points is that some of the twists can be predicted if one is observant enough.
It doesn't pull punches either for the sake of the viewer's sensibilities but rather always works towards progressing the story in the most dramatic way possible.
Not the place that makes or breaks this show. The animation is solid and at times displays great detail, especially in the fight sequences.
The music and sound effects were also solid. There may be shows that do a better job of matching the action or plot with the perfect music, but Code Geass uses the right temperament for the various scenes and shines in the truly dramatic moments.
Another big strength of this show. Not only does Code Geass feature compelling protagonists/antagonists throughout, the roles are constantly in motion. The use of anti-heroes and anti-villians as well as the more traditional character models makes for very interesting interactions and strange alliances. Through the characters the show also confronts the viewer with conflicting views of morality, different individuals will see the characters in different lights. Where one person sees an anti-hero another will see an anti-villian or antagonist etc.
I never stopped sitting at the edge of my seat. Its the type of show that you can think about all week while you wait for the new episode. The show is very rewatchable, you will notice new things every time through, I know I have. Finally, surprising you every episode with a twist while still throwing you a bone that you might be able to predict keeps you engaged.
This is one of the best anime shows I have seen so far. Many people will find similarities to Death Note throughout the story but with one major improvement, the ending.
Generally I review only the anime that haven't been reviewed but Code Geass R2 affected me so much I had to write a review. RL Context: Work and other RL obligations had kept me from anime for a while. Coming back to anime and starting with .Hack/Sign wasn't the smartest thing to do. Thank god the next anime I saw was this one, or I would probably have gone on another anime hiatus.
This anime is quite difficult to describe without spoilers since the plot is one of the best I've seen to date and each episode has many talking points - just look at
the sheer number of posts in each episode discussion. Overall, it's complex, full of twists and fast paced. There is a perfect blend of tons of action, cool mecha, comedy, romance, emotion, drama - you want it, it's here in this series.
There is no possibility to get bored with this anime. I was guessing and most of my guesses went wrong! There were many "Whaatt??", "I don't believe it!" and "Nooo!" moments. This anime pulls you in and doesn't let you go till it ends. Every episode leaves you wanting more. I was sad when it ended. Now that's a good story. Kudos to whoever wrote the manga - thank you for this gift.
The amazing thing about this anime is there are no "throw away" characters. Every character is well realized and developed, even the small minor ones. Just when you think you have them figured out something happens that opens your eyes anew! They all provoke a reaction from the watcher, whether negative or positive, or negative turned to positive, or positive to negative, but there is a reaction which mostly changes over time. They engaged me so much I got INVOLVED in this anime. Wow, it's been a long time since I felt so much emotion, anticipation and enjoyment from watching an anime.
Art/Animation and sound
The animation was awesome. There's none of the Super-deformed kawaii/joke mode. Fingers, eyes and hair are particularly well drawn, as is the cleavage of Kallen and Millay in particular (hey, I may be female but I still recognize fan-service). Just look at the ending animation - it's just beautiful. No other word for it.
The ending song wasn't that good or this would have had all perfect 10s. That being said the sound effects were perfect especially when combined with the well realized mecha in all the fight scenes. Overall, those were brilliant.
Code Geass R2 blew me away. This anime reminded me strongly WHY everyone should watch anime. In total, it is a joy to watch. If I have time I will rewatch it. Episode 19 in particular. Genius. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed an anime so much.
This deserves it's place as the #5 ranked anime on this list. I liked season 1 but R2 is even better. Up to the last episode and they're still coming up with twists. There's really nothing I disliked about this outstanding anime. For those who haven't seen it, please watch this (after seasion 1 of course). Part of me wants a season 3 but the other half of me fears it might detract from the satisfying conclusion of R2. Perfection sometimes doesn't require a third act.
Code Geass R2 is one of the most highly anticipated anime sequels and it certainly manages to please the fans of its original Supernatural, Mecha, Drama, Action anime. Nonetheless it is easy to compare it to its more well-thought-out prequel.
The story continues a year after the events of the Black Rebellion and it begins in the same manner as before; setting the scene with 2 intense, action-packed episodes. After that it takes a while for the story to gain some momentum, so you just have to get through the first couple recycled episodes until things get exciting. Lelouch still has the same motivation to put
an end to his father’s Britannian Empire nevertheless, how he will achieve it still remains a mystery, which is what makes the series so exciting to watch. Although part way through the intricate storyline the situation sort of goes haywire, as if the story acquires a mind of its own. Unlike the first season’s in-depth storyline and thought provoking concept, this season tends to dumb things down a level by adding random developments and plot twist after plot twist, just for the writer’s convenience. It also doesn’t help that so much goes unexplained till the end, like the Emperor’s motive and it didn’t resolve things well either.
We have the same awesome cast of characters as before and with Lelouch & Suzaku’s complex rivalry still there to add some spice to the mix. The introduction of many new characters is certainly welcomed here but there are also some that are unwelcomed to the story. In the end, the character aspect that I thought would remain the same throughout was partially ruined when certain characters underwent dramatic changes and others where killed off, once they fulfilled their purpose in the story.
Well Sunrise must have had some spare cash because the production values are through the roof. The animation quality is so amazing and compared to the prequel, you’ll be in for a real treat. Immensely detailed environments, slender CLAMP character designs, seamless CG effects and fluid action sequence are all here. Also the character gestures (especially Lelouch’s) are just as exaggerated as before.
They don’t skimp on the music either as there’s an awesome soundtrack, which works well during both the exciting action and intense drama. On the other hand the music does get pretty messed up during the chaotic battles, as it constantly switches from one fanfare to the next. The OP and ED themes may take some getting used to but they are still pretty good.
Overall this still remains as one of the most exciting mecha anime series of all time but a lot had to be sacrificed to get it there (characters, realism, logic). Just like in most mecha anime you can expect far too much time spent in cockpit-chat yet the battles remain as theatrical as ever before. Still it manages to fail in more areas than the first season such as: the pointless fanservice, over dramatizing scenes and typical Sunrise clichés (characters surviving the impossible). So for those hoping for an even more intense experience than the first season may be somewhat let down, however this is still an amazing series.
Code Geass from top to bottom passed all check marks that make up not just a great anime but a masterpiece.
The goal was simple. Avenge mother and create world peace for the sake of your sister, only it's never that simple. Along the quest for world peace there was a lot of manipulation, deception, twist, and turns that leave you in awe every step of the path.
We have our main protagonist Lelouch Vi Britannia the teenager with the power of geass who plans to overturn Britannia's rule over the Japanese even though Lelouch himself is Britannia. This is what makes the characters so complex, they
all have incredible drive to do what they feel is right no matter the hardship they face. The Black Knights the supposed "bad guy terrorists" will have you rooting for them every step of the way, making you decipher what side of justice you are on and how to obtain it.
The sound just like the visuals were works of art. The soundtracks fit into all of the situations needed;
Fans: "We need a kickass soundtrack for the fighting"
Creator: "Here you go"
Fans: "We need a crazy soundtrack for the epicness "
Creator: "Here you go"
Fans: "We need a soundtrack for the sad moments"
Creator: "Here you go"
Fans:........Damn you're good
As stated previously this anime is a masterpiece of a show not just an anime, and is considered a must watch for any who have not bear witness to it. I'd advise you to get off this site and watch it NOW!!
Code Geass R2 is one of the best examples of how a very theatrical and over-the-top show that doesn't take itself too seriously can succeed by maximizing entertainment value. It is a series that shamelessly and knowingly appeals to the masses yet, surprisingly enough, somehow manages to keep a few thematic strengths beneath the surface to make the results worthwhile.
For you see, Code Geass in general is more than the sum of its parts. It's got flaws, sure, but I would argue they are almost besides the point. Well, at least as long as you're willing to play along with what the staff intended to
accomplish here. Needless to say, that can be much easier said than done.
In essence, both the original Code Geass and R2 are quite emotional and youth-oriented in nature. There is no attempt to maintain plausibility in this show, so those looking for a serious take on alternate history or a down-to-earth war story shouldn't bother watching. That doesn't mean it is not without some internal logic, as twisted as it might be, but you absolutely need to learn to enjoy the craziness without entirely losing your mind or nerves in the process.
Let's start with the setting and world view. It is a rather whimsical fictional universe, no matter how you choose to look at things. What we have in this story is a world that liberally mixes futuristic science fiction with medieval fantasy right from its initial inception.
One the one hand, there are fantastical magical abilities, such as the power of Geass itself and everything related to it, along with powerful robots called Knightmare Frames that come in all sorts of varieties and colors. Some Knightmare models would be right at home in classic Real Robot mecha series such as Mobile Suit Gundam or Armored Trooper Votoms, while others appear to be more inspired by productions with a clear Super Robot touch, like Mobile Fighter G Gundam or Overman King Gainer among others. Code Geass R2 especially shows us a preference for the latter, roughly speaking, although without the quasi-organic look.
On the other hand, we have emperors, princes, princesses and knights who often wear capes, use swords and speak using rather operatic and grandiose expressions or exaggerated hand gestures, along with a larger-than-life plot that combines shades of political intrigue with Japanese high school antics, robot warfare and constant one-upmanship, philosophical introspection and fanservice. A little bit of everything, one way or another, can be found here.
On paper, this sort of contradiction shouldn't work at all. For the more critical viewers, perhaps it never could have and never did. But strangely enough, I find myself in genuine disagreement.
Why? Because the show has just enough mad energy and self-aware bravado to pull it off. There are numerous signs that the production staff knew exactly what they were doing. Code Geass R2 is not attempting to present a series of events worthy of being included as part of a historical documentary. No, it's a work of pure entertainment, where by their own admission the writers loved coming up with crazy scenarios from week to week, as well as poking fun at themselves and their own work. Even at the expense of the poor characters, it must be said, who are trapped in the context of a story where their own relatively serious attitudes are at odds with almost everything that is going on. They are all playthings, at heart, used for the game called entertainment.
Far too often, certain observers will tend to confuse the presence of drama with absolute seriousness, when the reality is that a show like this one is a case of tragicomedy and camp at work, deliberately combining or switching between humor and tragedy, sometimes within the same sequence of a given episode.
Why do all these unrealistic plans work? Why does Suzaku keep doing his spinkicks? Why is Sayoko a Ninja Maid? Why does Orange-kun steal the spotlight at times? Why does Emperor Charles have a ridiculous hair style and later goes flying off like a rocket? Why did a million people suddenly show up wearing the same costume? Because the staff found all of this amusing and, rightfully or wrongfully, thought the audience would derive the same sort of amusement from making such a flashy production. Considering the absurdly large popularity of the show at its height, I would argue that this wasn't an incorrect assumption.
But Code Geass is, one way or another, special because it manages to be more than just that. Which is why I must also touch upon some of the more interesting aspects of the show, regardless of how they weren't necessarily the primary focus point of R2 at all times.
Our protagonist, known as either Lelouch Lamperogue or Lelouch vi Britannia and particularly famous as the fabulous masked vigilante Zero, is a Byronic hero. That's a large part of what makes the series so attractive. Both his personality and the dynamics he develops with other characters, especially Suzaku, are a lot of fun to watch and quite intriguing to analyze. As a mastermind character with exaggerated speech patterns and physicality, Lelouch wears the clothes of a Light Yagami clone in the style of Death Note, but in reality he cannot entirely cope with the role. Which is what makes him more fallible and thus, I would argue, human. Humans -even so-called geniuses- can be perfectly irrational, contradictory and free to make mistakes that an omniscient spectator would consider foolish or worse. Humans are not perfect, not even the smartest ones. Much less those that are unstable teenagers or young adults, like Lelouch and most of the cast.
Among the other characters Suzaku, in particular, is worth mentioning because he is often the most misunderstood. Suzaku, comparable to but unlike Lelouch, also wears a mask that hides his real intentions...yet the trick is it isn't a physical one. He also has his own set of conflicting thoughts and emotions, explaining his behavioral changes between season one and R2, as well as his tortured path through the twists and turns of Code Geass R2 until the ending. Suzaku is a living contradiction who initially follows ideals that he doesn't entirely believe in, deep down, and as they break down the plot itself ultimately has him acknowledge this fact.
Lelouch wants to do good too, or so he tells himself, but cannot escape the direct and indirect consequences of his actions -as well as a lot of gratuitous bad luck- despite his outward attempts to portray himself as a demon or dark prince figure. The emphasis made on this sort of inner conflict is what makes Lelouch less of a product of the modern era and more of a throwback to 18th or 19th Century Romanticism, which is fitting considering the obvious neo-medieval aesthetic of the production. Romanticism appealed to emotion, not reason, and looked back to the Middle Ages, rejecting the Enlightenment's obsession with making everything out to be scientific at its core. As a Romantic character, Lelouch has access to a much wider range of emotions than other masterminds, who might have employed more plausible methods in their planning but tend to be far too aloof and distant in comparison.
The animation quality was standard for a television anime. Not particularly great as a whole, to be honest, but nothing too bad either. You could even call it functional. I was actually rather impressed by the original soundtrack though, and would definitely recommend giving the background music compositions a good listen even outside the context of the show.
Having said that, there is no denying that Code Geass R2 isn't exactly perfect. Oh, far from it. In some ways it is worse than the first series, by a significant degree, as it contains elements that several viewers might find fairly annoying to sit through.
The constant twists can get tiresome towards the final stages and, for all their contributions to increasing the fun factor, the way they risk detracting from the execution of the more interesting elements isn't a good thing. In fact, there were specific developments that suffered from a visible degree of popular backlash, which could have been avoided by slowing the pace and spacing things out to provide more details.
There are some cases of characters switching allegiance far too quickly, and that can be frustrating to witness even when there are valid reasons, some better than others, explaining their behavior in retrospect. In particular, a certain event involving the Black Knights should work fine on paper, when you take a look at the general framework, but needed to be far better scripted and less rushed in practice. Instead, it comes off as a bit too petty.
That's part of why Code Geass R2 tends to challenge the average person's suspension of disbelief so much, especially for those who want to take Code Geass as a completely serious narrative when that's far from being the case. The more one looks into the real intentions of the creators, the more one realizes that respecting or maintaining any semblance of realism or absolute seriousness wasn't their main objective at all.
No matter what, the second half of the tale of Lelouch is an entertaining adventure with a few interesting complexities deserving of appreciation. But in the end, what we have here is a crazy anti-heroic neo-medieval romance, intended to keep the audience amused and having a good time, regardless of whatever else it could have been if it had chosen to follow another path.