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Code Geass Brittania Metaphor


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Who do you think the creator of Code Geass made the Holy Empire of Britannia a metaphor for the most?
United States of America (Current)
25%
 25%  [ 18 ]
Empire of Japan (Pre-1945)
16%
 16%  [ 12 ]
United Kingdom
49%
 49%  [ 35 ]
Other (please give your personal answer if you can)
8%
 8%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 71

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Tempest
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm Reply with quote
Who do you think the creator of Code Geass made the Holy Empire of Britannia a metaphor for the most?

[Requested by kaiser11492]
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damien007



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:28 am Reply with quote
I wasn't even aware that the Brittanian empire featured in Code Geass was a metaphor. I mean the Brittanian empire was the largest empire to ever exist in the history of the world encompassing about 1/3rd of the earths population. I just assumed that the one in Code Geass was just what the real empire would have been if it wasn't disbanded.

I mean during one of the early episodes (I'm not sure which one) The teacher in Lelouch's class says that "The transfer of the capital to the new world" would be one of the topics in the up-coming tests. Doesn't this all but confirm that the empire in the series was indeed the IRL British empire just with the capital moved to America (I assume due to war with the EU).

I mean look at all the English references throughout the series; the knightmare frame "Lancelot", the holy blade "Excalibur", the "knights of the round table". I think it's pretty obvious that the "holy brittanian empire" is just the actual "britannian empire" with holy added to the title and capital moved to the Americas for some reason. The holy brittanian empire is just what the writers thought the british empire might be like if it was never disbanded, why does it have to be a "metaphor" for something?
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egoist
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:50 pm Reply with quote
I actually thought the same thing. It never occurred to me that anything there was more based in the United States than United Kingdom. For one, I'm quite sure the image of Americans over seas is that of those who dislike English behavior... nobility, arrogance, manners, etc., and those are vastly present in Code Geass on the Brittanian empire.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:04 pm Reply with quote
damien007 wrote:
The holy brittanian empire is just what the writers thought the british empire might be like if it was never disbanded, why does it have to be a "metaphor" for something?


I'm not too surprised, to be honest, because a lot of people just love reading political messages into something that actually has none.

Perhaps the setting doesn't help, at least not at first glance, but let's see what the creators have already said about the issue.

Taken from a discussion elsewhere (Galvea is someone who translated a ton of Code Geass materials back in the day):

Celiss Galvea wrote:

The only "official statements" on the politics in Code Geass that I know of are:

1. Takeda Seiji, MBS producer, stating that CG Britannia = RL WWII Japan and CG Japan = RL Korea / Taiwan. He's notorious for interpreting his shows in favour of his own political views, regardless of the director and scriptwriters' intentions. [...]

2. [Director Goro] Taniguchi, in a separate interview printed on the EXACT same page as Takeda Seiji's, stating that Code Geass isn't a political show.

3. Taniguchi, in another magazine interview released between Stage 23 and 24+25, commenting on the "Code Geass is anti-America!" views early on: "Britannia is just like America? Wow, I never knew!".*

*In case anyone's confused, it wasn't a "Well, duh" statement -- it was more along the lines of: "The US is currently led by an Emperor with WTF-curls who believes that all men are not created equal? I had no idea!".

As to why they chose the British Empire -- I don't remember who said it and where, but it's been mentioned in passing that it has more to do with the flashy clothes and lifestyle of the British royalty back then, and the possibilities they provided on-screen, than political views of any sort.
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damien007



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:58 am Reply with quote
egoist wrote:
I actually thought the same thing. It never occurred to me that anything there was more based in the United States than United Kingdom. For one, I'm quite sure the image of Americans over seas is that of those who dislike English behavior... nobility, arrogance, manners, etc., and those are vastly present in Code Geass on the Brittanian empire.


My thoughts exactly, I mean honestly I can't think of one think of a single connecting thing between the US and the Holy Brittanian Empire other than bieng based out of america (which was part of the british empire before it was part of the US anyway). I really don't wanna seem biggoted or racist but, I honestly believe the US is so used to having everything revolve around it, that they just have to turn "the holy Brittanian empire" into a maetaphor for the US when there is little to no basis for doing so. Once again i just want to re-iterate that i have nothing against the US or Americans in anyway and this is just my logical un-biased opinion... so please don't bomb my house lol . Wink
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Richard J.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:15 pm Reply with quote
damien007 wrote:
I really don't wanna seem biggoted or racist but, I honestly believe the US is so used to having everything revolve around it, that they just have to turn "the holy Brittanian empire" into a maetaphor for the US when there is little to no basis for doing so.
Actually, I think it has more to do with there being a rather strong belief by some that the United States is EXACTLY what the empire is in Code Geass: a vast military power that goes around "conquering" everyone. Some people seem to have a strong notion that the fact that McDonalds and Wal-Mart spread to other contries or that there are people in other countries who want to watch shows or wear fashions from her somehow equals imperialism and conquest.

If you actually know anything about history, the British, Spanish and others did a hell of a lot of terrible things too in establishing their empires but somehow the US expansion Westward is viewed as much worse.

Heck the US has never even been a monarchy unless you count pre-Revolution times, which wouldn't make a lot of sense.

So you get people who automatically assume any depiction of an imperial power is supposed to be the US. Any claim to the contrary is ignored. (Look at the poll results so far. The creators are wrong! Britannia is totally the United States! Ignore the fact that Lulu called Japan the United States of Japan!)

I personally think it's an expression of anti-American sentiment more than an expression of American arrogance. I mean, arrogance tends to lead people to associate themselves with good things right?
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Mushi-Man



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:48 pm Reply with quote
Personally I always assumed that it was based on the United Kingdom (Great Britain) during the tip of it's power. At one point the UK was said to have controlled 1/3 of the world and was truely one of the greatest super powers in history. Also there is a constant mention of royalty in Brittania, similar to Britain's royalty.

it may also represent all of the Western nations. Keeping the exact location of Britania a secret throughout the series may point towards this conclusion.
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damien007



Joined: 23 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:28 pm Reply with quote
Mushi-Man wrote:
Personally I always assumed that it was based on the United Kingdom (Great Britain) during the tip of it's power. At one point the UK was said to have controlled 1/3 of the world and was truely one of the greatest super powers in history. Also there is a constant mention of royalty in Brittania, similar to Britain's royalty.

it may also represent all of the Western nations. Keeping the exact location of Britania a secret throughout the series may point towards this conclusion.


I think you confusing some of you terminology here. the word "Brittania" is just the long form of the word "Britain" so saying there is royalty in brittania is the same thing as saying royalty in britain, similalarly calling somone brittanian is the same thing as calling them british. One of the most famous nationalistic songs in england from around the period of the british empire was called "Rule Brittania" after all.
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Nagisa
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:38 pm Reply with quote
I never really took it to be a metaphor for any modern political power, just an "alternate history." What if the British Empire never waned in global power, never lost the American colonies or India or Hong Kong or any of its other territories, and instead just kept growing up to the present day, and now set its sights on conquering East Asia? I never saw it as necessarily condemning any political worldview or serving as a stand-in for America or anything, just presenting a stylized hypothetical situation and spinning a flamboyant mecha series off of it.
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kaiser11492



Joined: 19 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:24 am Reply with quote
Most likely the United States of America because of the following reasons in my opinion:

1. Same geography and spheres of influence (just look at the Monroe Doctrine)

2. Militaristic

3. Occupied Japan in real life (Britannia and the USA beat Japan in mid-August)

4. Deep history of institutional racial disrimination (Jim crow laws, Japanese internment, etc.)

5. Extremely strong executive figure (Imperial Presidency argument)

6. One of the Code Geass side materials mentioned that Britannian Admiral Perry sent the Black ships to Japan in 1851

7. Aggressive diplomacy (especially from 2001-2009)

8. Creation and use of nuclear weapons (FLEIJA)

Also, most artists and writers tend to not admit that they were influenced by events occurring around them. So even if they deny it doesn't mean it had some influence on their work.
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egoist
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:26 pm Reply with quote
Wow. So much political garbage in your post that even if they were true I'd be forced to turn a blind eye and be ignorant.

No wonder so many hated it if they had this kind of view. Most of the awful decisions taken by the empire are one man decisions. I thought USA was a democratic country even before it became a super power?
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kaiser11492



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:22 am Reply with quote
egoist wrote:
Wow. So much political garbage in your post that even if they were true I'd be forced to turn a blind eye and be ignorant.

No wonder so many hated it if they had this kind of view. Most of the awful decisions taken by the empire are one man decisions. I thought USA was a democratic country even before it became a super power?


its just an observation and a opinion. u don't have to agree with it. besides, these could be the views of people in other countries, like Japan. The polls also show majority think Britannia=USA.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:59 am Reply with quote
kaiser11492 wrote:

The polls also show majority think Britannia=USA.


This isn't an electoral process, you know, and the majority isn't always right about matters of fact and opinion alike.

It's not surprising that many people would go for the most obvious or superficial answer, even if it's not entirely or technically correct. Over half of the elements on your list are so vague and generic that you could apply them to any fictional or historical empire in existence. They aren't truly "American" under any serious definition of the term.

You could even argue Britannia has a lot more in common with the Principality of Zeon from Gundam.

In fact, the only things that would be uniquely "American" are the geography and some of the alternate history background used as part of the setting. Then again, the American Revolution failed in the world of Code Geass and there are other differences that essentially undermine or negate any relevant comparisons during the show itself.

After all, I always find it rather curious that people forget the protagonist himself. Lelouch would be an "American" who is opposing "America" for personal reasons and spends the entire show manipulating the Japanese. What would be the point of such a metaphor? It doesn't even work as a nationalistic pro-Japan message, for that matter.
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egoist
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:57 pm Reply with quote
kaiser11492 wrote:
its just an observation and a opinion. u don't have to agree with it. besides, these could be the views of people in other countries, like Japan.

And I'm questioning this observation and opinion of yours. This is how discussions take place, ya know. Wink

Quote:
The polls also show majority think Britannia=USA.

I usually don't care about borders, but let's face it, ANN is North American. Now, what if the same poll appeared over here, in Europe, on a site where visitors are mostly Europeans, do you really think the results would be the same?

I think it's so obvious that it's based on the British Empire that some people went out of their way by thinking "Oh, it's so obvious it has to be a trap." Prove me wrong. Laughing
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kaiser11492



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:41 pm Reply with quote
egoist wrote:
Now, what if the same poll appeared over here, in Europe, on a site where visitors are mostly Europeans, do you really think the results would be the same?


I think a good portion of Europeans would see the USA as a good candidate for Britannia. And Japan could see a lot of Britannia in the recent USA (The USA is the only country to take over Japan in any form).
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