Sunday, May 17, 2009

Double-Shot Anime Review: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 19 & 20

Ep. 19 - "Betrayal"

Man just when you think you know were the creative team behind Code Geass is going to take this series they throw us this curve ball of an episode. R2 continues to be an interesting second season for this show. As this season continues to move closer to the end I am starting to finding a lot of things to like and hate about each of these past few episodes.

The best thing about the second season continues to be how the second war between the Black Knights and Britannia has slowly been taken away everything from Lelouch. I this episode, like many episodes in this season, we see Lelouch break down and act out of character. With the death of Nunally it is understandable the mental breakdown Lelouch had at the beginning of the episode as without her the reason he was doing everything was thrown out. If the death of Nunally wasn't enough Scheizel was able to convince the Black Knights to betray Lelouch as he reveal's Zero's true identity to them. And then you add the death of Rolo, Lelouch is basically all alone in the world. It will be interesting to see how Lelouch will be able to work alone as he has had an army working for him for a while. Also I will be interested to see if Kallen will abandon the Black Knights and look for Lelouch with what he said before Rolo rescued him.

Speaking of Rolo's death I was very surprised that the creative team behind Code Geass was able to sort of redeem the Rolo character by giving him such a heroic death. After the death of Shirley it did seem that Rolo would get some sort of horrible death in the middle of this season but I got to hand it to the creative team for giving fans a moment heroism to Rolo as it may be questionable if he should have gotten the kind of death he did. It was a cool bit of action and a sad ending to Rolo who did everything for the only family he ever knew.

Now the problem with this episode is that like the past few episodes it is feeling like the creative team is starting to rush to the end. I found that the reasoning the Black Knights used was actually kind of stupid. From the beginning almost every member of the Black Knights especially the Oghi, Todoh, and Diethard have all know and reinterated that they were all pawns in Zero's army. And for them to feel betrayed just because they found out something that they've known all along just made all of the Black Knights look very stupid. This is a freaking war what did they think they were a bunch of buddies having a good time. It was a very rash and stupid decision that only makes it look like the creative team needed Lelouch to get on his own and needed to do it quick as they were running out of episodes to do it.

Also I thought that we should have seen more of the aftermath of the FLEIJA bomb detonation as we only see a small bit of reaction from Suzaku, Nina, and other supporting characters. These characters should have given them more time to show their reactions but again it is only an example of rushing through things that we don't get those moments. Also I found Suzaku's maniacal laugh at the end to weird and come out of nowhere as we get no internal monologue from him.

Overall this was a good episode that had the bad parts of the episode actually weigh it down from being better.

Episode Rating - 8/10

Ep. 20 - "Emperor Dethroned"

In the aftermath of the last episode we get another episode that was a mix of good and bad. And with how close we are getting to the end it seems that this is going to be how these last 5 or 6 episode will be like as the creative team behind Code Geass are rushing through the plot of this series.

Now I got to had it to the creative team as Lelouch has become a much bigger badass now that he is alone. Just from how he acted in this episode I would even say that the Black Knights were the ones weighing Lelouch down from defeating the Emperor and Britannia. Lelouch actual accomplished more on his own to take down Britannia on his own than when he was the leader of the Black Knights. I loved how Lelouch used his Geass to make Britannia have a little Civil War in order to cause enough of a distraction to reach his father. And the moment that Lelouch appeared on Kamine Island was one the best moments in the series and the background music and the Knightmare frames bowing down to him was perfect as it gave Lelouch's march a hail to the emperor feel to it. I am really looking forward to his second confrontation with his father and what he has up his sleeve to take down his immortal father.

Also it was a big surprise to me that Marianne, Lelouch and Nanally's mother, has been inside of Anya's mind this whole time. While I knew something was off with Anya since she could not remember her past and have moments in battle were she would freak out for no reason but I was not expecting it to be because Marianne resided in her mind. Though know with her being alive, in a sense, and her and CC, who got her memory back, headed towards were Lelouch and the Emperor are having their confrontation I wonder what kind of role they will play.

Now just like in the last episode I continue to have a problem with how stupid the Black Knights are look like little whining babies in this episode. There really is no other way to put it other than that they are acting like babies that got their toy taken away and I guess it is only right the biggest baby in the group, Ohgi, is leading them. I hope that Ohgi really isn't the leader of the Black Knights as he showed in this episode that he isn't a very confident leader and that Kaguya or Todoh are much more fit to lead the Black Knights now that Lelouch is gone.

Also this bring me to my next point in that I kind of wonder how much time will actually be devoted to the Black Knights and Scheizel's plan in the next episode as the next episode will probably be mostly about the confrontation between Lelouch and the Emperor. And if that is how the next episode is framed up than there will be less than half a dozen episodes left before the finale. And right now we still have yet to know what Scheizel has planned in order to become the new Emperor. The Scheizel plotline has been one of the plots in Code Geass that has really lacked development and I hope they don't rush through things and we get more of a sense of what Scheizel has planned.

My last complaint with the episode is that I am really starting to dislike Suzaku as a character. At the beginning of the series Suzaku was one of my favorite characters but his constant flip flopping with his loyalties from being loyal to the Emperor, to forming an alliance with Lelouch, and now being loyal to Scheizel. I am kind of hoping Kallen or Bismark (the Knight of One) takes him done just to show him that he needs to stop being so annoying and actually pick a side.

Overall this was another mixed bag episode and I am hoping the creative doesn't start rushing things though that is what will probably happen as R2 is running out of episodes. Still I am hopeful that we can get a great episode(s) next week.

Episode Rating - 8/10