Sunday, May 31, 2009

Double Shot Anime Review: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 23 & 24

Ep. 23 - "Schneizel's Mask"

With Nunally shown to be alive in the last episode it was no surprise that Super Maid survived. Still it was nice to see her return and continue to be loyal to Lelouch to the end.

As for Nunally, while her reappearance was surprising and was effective in shaking Lelouch's confidence it kind of feels like they brought her back to late in the game and I thought her death like Euphy's death affected Suzaku in the first season Nunally's death served as the final motivation Lelouch needed to strike out on his own and continue to make the world better. But now that she is back I feel bad for the kid as she has always been used against Lelouch to shake his confidence. It kind of feels like her character just has not grown since the beginning and it is to bad because I did like her character, and still do, but since she has not really had much character growth like Lelouch, Suzaku, Kallen, and C.C it seems like she is only steps back instead of forward compared to the others.

Still I did like Lelouch and Nunally's confrontation as it helps to show that Lelouch is not a villain as he has shown to the whole world but that, like with what he said to Kallen in the last episode, he needed everyone close to him to not be by him as he is going to a place that he will not be able to return from. And with how vulnerable he was shown to be in front of Suzaku and C.C. and then later alone with C.C I continue to wonder what exactly the Zero Requiem plan and if it means that he will get the happy ending that he deserves with his sister.

Also while the quick montage in the beginning of the episode served as a nice calm before the storm it is the kind of scene(s) that show the creators are rushing to the end. Instead of showing us what these characters are saying to one another and giving them so much needed moments to show there motivation they aren't and only Lelouch, Suzaku, C.C and Schneizel are the only one's getting there moments to shine. Also I got to say that the "death" of Cornelia at the hands of Schneizel doesn't help to make him a bigger villain than his father was and I kind of see it as a pointless death.

Speaking of this rush am I the only one finding myself hating the Black Knights, especially Ohgi, more and more with each episode since they betrayed Lelouch. They continue to look like a bunch of little kids that had their toys taken away with the lame excuse that they are not puppets to be manipulated when that is exactly what they are as they allow Schneizel to control them. And it seems that the writers are scared to piss of any fans by killing off any of the major characters as the battle by Mt. Fuji would have served as a perfect time to kill some of the characters that could have help motivate some of the other characters during the war

But I will say I did like the chess match between Lelouch and Schneizel but this time instead of chess pieces they are using actual Knightmare Frames. It is this type of strategy battle that shows the difference between Code Geass and your typical mecha animes (cough*Gundam*cough). The little strategy made the battle even more dramatic when it came to all of the Knightmare Frames to finally starting to fight and I loved seeing that Lelouch never stopped thinking and was prepared for anything as he set up Mt. Fuji to erupt. It was a cool move that sets up the final battlefield for the last two episodes.

Episode Rating - 8.3/10

Ep. 24 - "Sky of Damocles"

After the last episode I started thinking why is it that I have not been enjoying these past few episodes of R2. The thing I keep going back to is that each episode feels rush but now with this episode I finally figured out why I have not liked the previous episode as much as season 1: fan-service. I am not talking about naked anime chicks but that this series is trying to make fans of each character happy by not killing them off. In one episode we think one character is dead but then in the following episode they turn out to be alive and well, except for Euphy and the Emperor (so far), which is what happens here as we find out Cornelia and Gilford are alive. Then you add the massive amount of characters there is on this series it only makes it harder to juggle all these characters which is what the creative team are trying to do which makes R2 rush to the end. I will probably mention it again in the last episode next week.

Outside of the annoy thing of the creative not having grown a pair and actual kill off characters the other complaint I have is that after everything the writers did a very bad job with convincing me that Schneizel was a good end boss for Lelouch to face. After everything I would have much rather prefered Lelouch's father to have been the end boss as he was build up for that and Schneizel wasn't until these past few episodes. If anything Schneizel only seemed to prove a minor annoyance as Lelouch was quickly able to defeat his big brother. But now I guess that Schneizel is taken care of I guess Nunally will serve as the end boss for Lelouch as she holds the key to the FLEIJA bombs.

Still the one thing I found odd is that Lelouch did not tell Schneizel to obey him like he has done to everyone else he has putting under his control but instead he told him to obey Zero which even though Schneizel knows he was Zero Lelouch isn't that character anymore. Odd and I wonder how that will play into what will happen in the end.

I got to say that I did like how Lelouch treated Diethard in his last moments. It was great to see a character that was never looking out for anything but creating a story of a God. Diethard was probably that I never really like and it was great to see Lelouch pay the ultimate disrespect to him by saying that he was not even worth using his Geass on. That was the ultimate burn.

I did like the battle between Lelouch's two "girlfriends." While it was clear that Kallen would easily beat C.C. it was a nice show of how far both characters have come from how they portrayed themselves at the beginning of the series. Both Kallen and C.C. were harsh characters, C.C. moreso, with hard exteriors but now both characters have become much more emotional due to their relationship with Lelouch. It was interesting seeing how C.C. actually said she actually cared about winning and then saying that Kallen wins. It probably will be taken in many ways for those pairing fans and I guess the fight was more for them than anything else.

Also it was cool seeing Lelouch and Suzaku teaming up together to destroy the FLEIJA bomb before it exploded. It was a great moment and showed that even though these two were enemies for the whole series when they work together they make an excellent team. The best part of the team-up was seeing how Lelouch was able to make all of the calculations needed to make the plan work in such a short time. It continues to show how smart he is and that in the end with how he beat both his dad and Schneizel that he is probably the smartess person in the series.

And it was interesting that Lelouch told Lloyd, Cecile, and Sayoko to free the UFN leaders and to tell the Black Knights he forced them to work for them. It is clear that this was all part of that Zero Requiem plan he came up with and it will be interesting to learn what the Zero Requiem actually is as we still have no clue other than it involving Lelouch pushing everyone closest to him away for the plan to succeed.

Overall this was a good episode, though just not as good as the previous episode, that builds the final confrontations between Lelouch and Nunally and the final battle between Suzaku and Kallen. If anything else the final episode of R2 should be one hell of an end that will either piss me off or think this was a great series and ending.

Episode Rating - 7.7/10

Also I just wanted to add that for the final episode I think I will try and catch it during the first showing and Twitter throughout the episode so if you watch this series and have a Twitter be sure to log on to twitter about the episode.