09
Oct
08

Code Geass: Final Thoughts Part 1 (Season 1) [Orange Farm Archive]

Since it is one of my favorite animes and this chance will not come again, I will post my final thoughts on the series.  It was a hell of a ride.

The first hook was from the end of the first episode.  I was a little skeptical when I began watching the series.  A friend had been badgering me to start it for a while, and I’ve always been the type to stay away from what’s popular.  The series started off capitalizing on the all to common thoughts about “Terrorism” in today’s world, and of course Japan was being dominated against it’s will so it’s gets that rating boost that comes from national spirit.  Lelouch’s entry was fitting for his character, looking back, but it made for a boring first view.  We all know he’s going to win the chess match from his opening prologue.  We open up into the first episode seeing our “poison” being C.C, and not all that amazed being otaku’s that it’s a beautiful girl.  The action with the truck was a little dull.  But, I kept watching.  The episode picked up a little.  I’m not a master of anything, so I don’t know if rollerskating robots has been done before, but it was my first time hearing/seeing a unique entry such as that to robot combat.  Kallen was feisty and I liked that.  Seeing Lelouch crack knowing his life is about to come to an end was a little entertaining, and I began to wonder if we going to have an Gantz-styled opening.  Even as the contract was being signed, I was slightly interested, but I knew that it was just a magical plot device deep down, and we all knew C.C. was going to be alive because it was sunrise, and she was in the Op.  But then I saw it…


Geass

The concept of Geass absolutely amazed me.  The fact that it was not (for any real intent or purpose) completely resisted throughout the entire series was a good move by Sunrise.  And while I honor and live by the code of Orange, it couldn’t have been given to a more amazing person.  Clamp portrays Lelouch in an amazing light the entire series and comes up with scenarios to make him appear more and more awesome.  He basically goes, well, this is who I am – this is where I come from, and this is my plot device!  Lets get started! While we all know deep down it is an anime, and he’s only awesome because the world is built around him – the thought doesn’t surface once.  That’s genuine entertainment at it’s best.  If you want to get technical the series was pretty bad, from an animation point of view – or at the least, overrated.  But did that matter as you saw Lelouch going plan to plan by the skin of his teeth, with utmost charisma and ability?  No.  We know his true royal identity as he strikes back against everything Brittania throws at him as Zero.  We see plan after plan ravel out through his will and tactical intelligence while he lives the life of a student.  We get Harem, we get mecha, we get plot, action, comedy, Orange, and when you think it can’t get better…

You get The Order of the Black Knights.

Suddenly, you have a group which has waged war against an entire nation, and brought the anime to the global scale.  It can officially be considered the original definition of the word “Epic”.  The group grows throughout the series and Lelouch tops every single one of his plans to date.  The plot then slows down a bit for the Mao arc, to attack LeLouch as a person – to see if he can really handle going at the rate he has been.

And he does, by even geassing himself.  The Mao arc allowed us to learn a lot about C.C., the power of geass, and also opened the gates for other people to have Geass.  The series got a lot of flak for being slowed down around this time, but I really liked it.  We got to see more of Lelouch as a person, as he managed to keep to his identity without fail(Minus some skepticism on Shirley’s part).  Between himself and C.C., he manages to get amazing supporting characters like Toudou and Diethard to his side, and The Order becomes an amazing force.  And as the series draws to an end, we see the formation of the Specially Administrated Japan began to take place, LeLouch finally loses.  To his beloved sister, who has nothing but a pure heart and an understanding of the way people live, thanks to a few dates with Suzaku.  The series begins to draw to an end, Lelouch throws in the towel, makes his witty comment, and…

BAM BITCH!!!

The most amazing plot twist I’ve ever seen in a series takes place.  This is what really secured my love for Geass.  Suddenly the predictions from the first episode begin to surface.  “The power of the king will isolate you.”  It grows C.C’s and Lelouch’s relationship and pushes his will to the limit.  By this point it has become one of my favorite series, and I only started watching shortly after this episode aired.  I downloaded three different subs of episode twenty-two, and it began to stimulate my criticism of different subs.  Ending the episode with him ordering to kill his sister, with that powerful soundeffect on his voice (if anyone knows how to replicate it in audacity or Adobe Premier Pro I would love to know how), I begin to seriously want to learn Japanese.

Simply one of the most powerful endings to an episode I’ve ever seen.  We all lol pretty hard at the formation of the “United States of Japan” but the series really goes all the way with it.  Finally, we get to see the biggest battle begin to start.  The take over of Japan.  LeLouch recieves a call from Suzaku, affirming their both going to put their goals ahead of their friendship, and Lelouch unmasses his grand-scale plan of the season.  We’re treated to Jun Fukuyama’s maniacal laugh and he wins an award for the role he played in this episode.

Looks like this city is bulimic.

And then comes the waiting game.  We’re treated to the cliffhanger of the final battle in an eight month wait until episodes 24 and 25 air.  What a pain.  But you know what?  It didn’t slow down the series fanbase.  People went to cons, the code geass threads stayed alive in /a/, they let Death Note finish up, and Sunrise put alot of their financial issues to rest before finishing the season.  No fan of the series liked the wait, but it was needed, as it stimulated the community.

As a small aside, let me say that I am against marathoning anime.  It’s best to watch it as it comes out.  Think about the last 2-3 years for those of you who were here for Geass.  Wasn’t it a rollercoaster?  The week-week guessing.  The memes that cropped up every episode?  The blogging posts about each episode?  I can hypocritical of this belief at times, we all marathon anime – especially if it’s already been aired.   But there is something very special about the anime community.  Saying such a thing is a little soft for me (as you will soon find out), but I really hold something against those guys who wait for a series to finish, then marathon it.  Why?  Because the otaku culture that has been blended through blogs, IRC channels, comics, and forums is an amazing thing to take part of.  It’s difficult to put into words…but it’s a certain flare or rush you can really miss from not being there as a series airs.

Anyway, back to epic.  The eight month wait was finally over.  We were all understanding in what Sunrise had to do, we see the epic return of Orange-kun in full force as people cheer for his GAR as we’re all forced to watch YOUR-MOM’s fansub because they were the only ones with enough balls to sub it because it was licensed during the downtime.  The episode draws to an end as we see all of the Black Knights being destroyed, and confidence builds up that the series is drawing to an end as Suzaku points his gun at Lelouch.  If you can, go back and watch this scene while Suzaku is talking down to Lelouch.  The anger on his face as suzaku says “You’re an error in this world!”  and Lelouch actually TWITCHES when Suzaku says Nunally will be his.  Suzaku’s and Lelouch’s tension reaches a max point (it hurt to write that) and then…

The cliffhangar sets in.  Along with the pure RAGE.  We wait eight months to see the end of this series, and we’re given a cliffhangar here?  Forced to wait another year to see what happens?!?

As a writer, the only thing I can do to replicate what was felt during that time is allow you to wait for my season two post about the series.

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