Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anime Review: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 13

"Assassin from the Past"


Well damn. Though Code Geass has always done a fantastic job with each episode this was the first time in this series that the ending completely overshadowed everything that came before it.

In my review for the last episode I said that now with Shirley getting all of her memories back their were numerous ways the writers on this show could take her character. Throughout the episode I really did not now were they were going to take her character. And that unpredictability made the ending that more shocking. In my head as the episode went along I was thinking that Shirley would join Lelouch's cause by helping convince people that Lelouch and Zero were two different people like Suzaku and Anya who seem to be getting close to figuring out they are one and the same.

But right when Shirley meets Rolo at train station asking him were Lelouch is as well as telling him that she knows the truth it is a moment that gives the viewer an uneasy feeling. We already knew that Rolo had an unstable brother-complex with Lelouch and right when Shirley mentions Nunally it you can see that unstable part of Rolo come out as soon as he activates his Geass. Since the scene cuts to Lelouch and Jerimiah the next time we see Shirley is when Lelouch finds her in a pool of her own blood. The animators, as well as the voice actors for Lelouch and Shirley, did a fantastic job portraying the immense sadness that overcame Lelouch as he held Shirley in his arms. It was a emotional scene only made more emotinal as we see a desperate Lelouch trying to use his Geass to order Shirley to live. The whole scene cements that even though Lelouch may be playing a role as a student in Ashford he really cared for Shirley and that the relationship between the two could have been romantic if Shirley did not die.

With already having "lost" Nunally and Kallen to Britannia as well as having his best friend on the side of his enemy the loss of Shirley looks like it could drive Lelouch over the edge as he becomes even more driven to defeat his father and destroy Britannia's whole empire. It will be interesting to see that with Shirley's death how much more proactive Lelouch will be in trying to protect all his friends in Ashford in order to insure they don't meet a similar fate to Shirley.

It will also be interesting to see is how Lelouch will react when he finds out that it was Rolo who killed one the people he cared most for. Knowing Lelouch it wont be pretty. If anything this episode makes Rolo into a much less sympathetic character.

As I said earlier the ending overshadowed what happened in the episode. Before the death of Shirley there was some great moments in the episode as we saw Lelouch and Suzaku have a moment of true friendship along with Shirley as well as seeing Jerimiah hunting down Lelouch. The Jerimiah subplot added even more suspense into the episode and it was great Sayoko in Super Maid form take on the now cyborg Jerimiah. In the end it was surprising to see Jerimiah end up joining Lelouch because of him being an admirer of Lelouch's mom and former bodyguard. I don't think this aspect of Jerimiah's character was mentioned before and was a cool twist that gives Lelouch a little extra power in order to make for losing Kallen a few episodes ago.
Also of note I continue to wonder were the whole plot with VV is going. From the looks of it even though he is working with the Emperor VV has own plans in mind. And with Cornelia now involve it will be interesting to see what she finds out from VV and if we figure out more of VV or the Emperor's plan in the upcoming episodes.

While the whole episode was very good it was the ending that made this episode go from another good R2 episode to being one of the top episodes of the series. The ending really sets up various characters, especially Lelouch, into an interesting positions. It will be interesting to see how the aftermath of Shirley's death will go down once the other main and supporting characters learn of her death.

Episode Rating - 9.7/10


Daryll B said...

Can't agree with you more...Shirley's death was shocking and also makes me think there isn't going to be a happy ending here at all...

Kevin said...

@Daryll B: Things just continue to get worse as it seems that all of the closest people in his life are being taken away from him. I can picture Lelouch going Tony Montana on some of the Britannian military. It will be interesting to see what Lelouch does to Rolo when he finds out it was Rolo who killed Shirley