*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?"