The sequel to the liveliest performance has arrived. Everyone knew they were getting something crazy, but no one could have expected this…
Something felt off. It felt like that was on purpose however, at least at first, with the eerie repetition of the earliest act of the performance of yore. Nonetheless it felt glorious. Then, the assets started looking cheaper in places and certain behind the scenes dilemmas started surfacing which would dramatically affect this sequel as a whole. This was not the play we, or at least I truly wanted, but it was certainly entertaining for what it’s worth. Code Geass has always been about being lively and theatrical, after all.
The music continues to embody this feel tremendously, even more than before. There are few new tracks that don't add to the sheer bombastic epicness factor of it all, as each track feels like it can underscore literally anything war-related in a way that elevates each scene to new heights. Other tracks are certainly catchy and even capable of giving off a sense of accomplishment or despair, but the main flavor is sheer bombast and glory! “Madder Sky”, “Showdown”, “All-Out Attacks”, “Misconduct”, “Inner Strategy”, “Prodigy”, “Death Work”, “If I Were A Bird”, “Across The Borderline”, and so many more flow wildly in my head when imagining any scene worth such godly music! The opening performances are also phenomenal, especially the final one. That’s because Kotaro Nakagawa is a legendary composer at his best.
The returning cast does a fantastic job at keeping up their act, especially our main duo. Their character arcs almost perfectly progress from where these two characters were in the latter half of R1, and the way their stories concludes is one of the finest moments of this sequel. Unfortunately, the new roles suffer, as they largely feel empty and pointless, tacked on because no one knew what to do. Some do get some scenes of closure in the middle and final acts, but are regardless, uninteresting and without the flavor and madness of the original cast. However, as stated before, said returning cast ups their game, notably our favorite scheming overlord Zero, and JEREMIAH GOTTWALD, THE MEMORABLE MAN OF ORANGE AND LOYALTY!! Additionally, the ending our favorite and/or least favorite shitbag, Suzaku Kururugi gets, is nothing short of the perfect poetic punishment for a pretentious preachy prick such as himself. Too bad the glorious finale makes little actual sense outside of that, as satisfying as it is.
The script fell apart over time like a bad stage set, with the increasingly ridiculous Batman and Xantos gambits and whatnot, as well as the audience-bewildering dumpster fire that was Sword of Akasha. The memery had gone too far, and there was no way to go but diagonally into another series of loop-de-loops before flying off the rollercoaster entirely. And thus, the glorious mess of strategy-warping known as the final 4 episodes were made, as if they finally salvaged what original plans remained at the time. Nonetheless, the audience was stunned by the sheer audacity, flashiness of the designs and antics, and insane improvisation they attempted that many forgave the absurd script and the recycling, as well as the inferior production. Plus, the uproarious running gags came back and the school scenes still don't get the credit they deserve.
So what I’m saying is: Code Geass R2 is the biggest meme in anime history, for better or worse.