Posts tagged ‘code geass’

July 31, 2008

Code Geass: Spinzaku

For any Code Geass fan, the term Spinzaku should be as familiar as “ALL HAIL BRITTANNIA!!11one1!”. For those who have been living under a rock though, never fear, Neolistic Journal offers the following “Code Geass for Busy People” entry:

Suzaku’s single habit of wtfpwning anything within the 1st minute of his appearance on the battlefield and his signature spin kick move has earned him the title “Spinzaku”. It has been shown that Suzaku does an average of 0.7 Spinzakus per episode, destroying Lelouch in about 50% of those spinz; they also say that 40.7% of all statistics are made on the spot. Lately there’s been a more literal take on the spin part of Spinzaku…

First the appetizer.

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July 27, 2008

Code Geass: Marianne & C.C.

C.C. and Marianne: The Background Mystery

1 of the biggest mysteries surrounding Code Geass is the relationship between C.C. and Marianne, aka Lelouch’s mother. In season 1, C.C. appears to have conversations with spiritual entities. During the duration of the season, it is hinted that the entity she is conversing with is the Queen Marianne, Lelouch’s mother. This revelation has caused much discussion by fans. Is C.C. able to reach through time? Is C.C. a ghost whisperer? Or is C.C. just plain loony?

Code Geass R2, Episode 15

With episode 15, some blanks have been filled in. It is shown that Marianne and C.C. do know each other and have a relationship, though the nature of the relationship is not defined. It is also shown that the vi Brittannia twins, Charles and V.V., also know C.C. and also her history as the Geass cult leader. This accounts for Charles’ research into Geass ruins and reveals the connection between V.V, C.C. and Charles. In a way, it also reveals the inner workings of Geass and the true nature of the Geass contract. The Geass contract fulfills 1 innermost desire, but the manner of fulfillment is twisted. For Charles, it is the power of truth. He thus gains the power to manipulate memory, i.e. he changes the truth as people understand it. For Mao, he wished to understand other humans, thus gaining the power to read minds. That power eventually drove him mad. For Lelouch, it is power that he sought and control freak that he is, he gained a power over people: The power to compel any order, no matter how disagreeable it is. It is not shown within the show what Rolo’s wish was, though some speculations can be made. This manner of wish fulfillment is similar to the old parable of how the Devil(or djinn in ancient times) can fulfill any wish, but in exchange he drives a bargain for the wisher’s soul. The story then goes on to describe how the devil then twists the wisher’s dream about till it becomes a living nightmare. The parallels drawn between the 2 tales are interesting both in the nature of comparison, but also in their implications for the characters involved.

Queen Marianne: Pivotal figure in History

In many ways, Queen Marianne is the central character of the series. Considering she had zero screentime beyond flashbacks (she was killed before the chronology of the show started), she had a profound impact on the parallel world of Code Geass. If one were to plot the chain of events backwards in time, most of them will have their beginnings at Marianne’s death. Queen Marianne’s death was the impetus for the chain of events that led to the present circumstances, and the driving force behind many characters’ actions. Milly’s family went intro disgrace following Marianne’s death, which led them to Nippon and the creation of the Ashford Academy. It is the source of Jeremiah’s fanaticism and loyalty. For Lelouch, it is the pivotal factor for his raison d’etre, besides safeguarding Nunally’s future.

Queen Marianne: The previous Contractor?

It can be seen that everyone involved in C.C.’s past was either a contractor, or another entity involved in Geass. Mao, Charles, V.V, Lelouch, Rolo, Bartley. The only “exception” is Marianne. Or is it? It can be speculated that Marianne is in fact 1 of C.C.’s contractors. It would explain her prodigious rise to power from a mere commoner. Marianne the Flash takes on new meaning once you consider that Rolo’s Geass ability does indeed, make him appear to move in a “flash”.

Marianne’s “role” as Geass contractor would also cast new light on her death/murder. In any story with a tight script, it is often necessary to have a character play multiple roles because introducing a character loosens the focus of the storytelling which makes the narrative appear very unbelievable. It is for this reason that whodunnits are written around a small cast of “suspect” characters who just coincidentally are gathered together during the murder. If a perfect stranger were to be introduced as the murderer at the end, the story fails as a compelling piece of narrative. Similarly in Code Geass, a character that previously had no motive to kill Marianne, now does. And because of his position/power, he also has the means by which to murder Marianne.

Conclusions.

There is little proof that Marianne is a contractor. That is because we just know too little about anything related to both C.C. and Marianne. Even though episode 15 answers some questions, it also raises many more questions than it answers. But 1 thing is for certain; episodes 21-26 will delve into the history of Geass and C.C. and will answer, once and for all, the truth behind Marianne’s murder on that fateful day.

July 14, 2008

Code Geass: Orange Country

No, it’s not the sequel to Code Geass: Lost Colors.

Over the past week, there’s been much debate over Orange-kun’s defection. To put it another way, is he “faking it”? I can go on with the sexual innuendo, but that would be digressing, not to mention I have this irrational fear that a couple of guys in tight jumpers will jump me if I push on. Anyway…

Brittannia: Diaspora of (personality) cults

Before we can dissect Orange-kun’s sudden defection we should get better acquainted with Brittannia’s culture, particularly its cults of personalities. A personality cult is defined as an environment in which a person becomes the focus of veneration, as compared to an ideal , e.g. Lady Liberty of the French Revolution, or a concept, e.g. nationhood. In Brittannia’s case, Emperor Charles is the physical embodiment of the Empire, which automatically makes him a living symbol of all that is good with the Empire. However it is not just him; his family also enjoys this association with the state. This is a culture in which each royal holds his own personal court containing personal retainers, personal advisors and even personal military units focused on their personal knight. It is also a world in which certain traditions of chivalry are still maintained, in particular noblesse oblige and courtly love. To contrast the differences with our universe, chivalry as a concept declined in the early 15th century, particularly after the battle of Agincourt (1415).

French prisoners killed after English victory at Battle of Agincourt, 1415.

The Orange Quandary: Jeremiah Gottwald the Rat?

We can now examine the issue of Orange-kun’s loyalty. Jeremiah Gottwald, aka Agent la Orange, was a personal bodyguard of Marianne. As a personal retainer, he was extremely loyal, and in fact appears to adore Marianne beyond the limits of duty as a paragon of virtue. He is also unusual among her retainers in that he was the guard captain on that fateful day, which adds guilt on top of loyalty. In such a situation he should have moved on to protect Marianne’s children, but they were exiled to Nippon soon after Marianne’s death and supposedly died during the Brittannian invasion. Unable to discharge his duties in a satisfactory matter probably has been ever on his mind, and with the realization that Zero=Lelouch Lamperouge=Lelouch vi Brittannia must have been a shock to him. Now he has a focus for that He transfers his loyalty to Lelouch who is the successor to Marianne, the woman who he loved.

“Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.”

The quote, by Winston Churchill as he crossed the floor to rejoin the Conservatives, pretty much sums up the thesis: Jeremiah isn’t clever enough to cross Lelouch.

June 15, 2008

What’s so great about Code Geass?

If you watch anime, you probably will not just know Code Geass, you will love or hate it to the core of your being.

I fall into the “L-O-V-E” camp. Here’s a brief recap of the first season (also known as R1).

———–==SPOILERS==———–

The story begins at the end of the Brittannian conquest of Japan. 2 young boys, childhood friends, are each harboring deep thoughts. Suzaku, the son of the last Japanese prime minster, and Lelouch, an abandoned Brittannian prince, are contemplating their future within the new world order. it is at this point that Lelouch declares:

“I will destroy Brittannia!”

Fast forward to the present.

Lelouch Lamperouge is the charismatic, proud genius, a man so great he is a giant among men. On top of that, in a twist of fate he obtains the power to compel any person who he makes eye contact with to follow 1 order, regardless of the victim’s original intent. With those 2 powers, he gathers an army to oppose the powerful Brittannian Empire. It is ironic, for the Emperor is none other than Lelouch’s father. After scoring several victories over the occupational forces, each time removing rivals as well as consolidating his own influence, Lelouch is on track to achieve his goal of a Japan independent of Brittannia’s, and his father’s, influence so that Nunnally can enjoy a peaceful life outside of Brittannian intrigue.

Then along came the greatest irregularity into his plans, the Princess Euphmeria. Her idealism and association with Suzaku, who has signed on with the Brittannian army, has led her to declare the formation of an autonomous region within Japan, a state for the japanese. This declaration has not only fueled pro-Brittannian sentiment, but also robbed Lelouch’s rebellion of much of his impetus. It appears that a rosy ending is in sight for both Japanese and Brittannian alike.

But in the most ironic of twists, Lelouch’s power became his curse in the final hour, when he accidentally twisted Princess Euphmeria’s will, creating the 1 incident that drove the biggest wedge between both peoples, and nailing the final nail on the coffin of peace…

———–==END SPOILERS==———–

Code Geass is great not just due to mecha action, nor is it great because of the loads of sexual innuendos and fanservice (hell there’s enough material to make a Parody Harem trailer. Sure, it’s all those things, but It is truly great because it is a powerful tragedy. Lelouch is not a stereotypical shallow character. His genius, drive and power are highly alluring, and he presents a very human face on the struggle for independence. His cruelty and strive to reach his ends by any means necessary, repel and attract both at the same time. It is a joy to see how he struggles on his bramble-strewn path towards his ideals, yet you can’t help but sadistically wonder what capricious twist of fate will befall him.

The anime’s greatness lies in its duality, either in character designs (Suzaku vs Lelouch), persona (Lelouch Lamperouge vs Zero), or morality (fight for independence vs pure terrorism), the list goes on. The biggest duality is also its biggest irony: the means that brought Lelouch up from a nobody to a famed/infamous leader of an independence movement and a position of power for him to achieve his greatest desire can also see him through a logical progression of steps to arrive at the madly logical betrayal of that self-same greatest desire… the destruction of the peace he so desperately strove for.