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Black Thunder 6



Joined: 08 Sep 2015
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:05 am Reply with quote
>Lelouch was right
>Suzaku was wrong

Oh boy...not looking good so far.

The whole point of the show is the break down both characters and to show why their ideologies are flawed but ultimately were both the solution. If you thought the show was going all for Lelouch then you missed the point entirely especially since he failed more times than succeeded. Also the Damocles analogy to the special zone makes no sense since the point of the latter was a step by step process not a solution in the second season the reason why it doesn't work is because it loses the support of the Japanese for obvious reasons. Funny thing is that the solution with the Damocles came abut from Schneizel, the person who is described as being exactly like Lelouch before his revelation in R2. Props to Mr. Dempsey for actually pointing out that Suzaku did achieve his end and actually showed that Britannia was susceptible to change but Lelouch fucked it all up.


Last edited by Black Thunder 6 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
Posts: 328
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:19 am Reply with quote
One question regarding the animation:

It was stated in the podcast that the geometry of the knightmares was off during the fights and that the fights themselves were underwhelming

Can anyone provide examples of the off geometry in the fights since I don't remember the animation quality of the show due to watching it so long ago

Edit: if Ms. Chapman is reading this post, what is your opinion on the first op: "Colors" by Flow? I don't recall you talking about it but I personally think it's still catchy and memorable
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lavmintrose



Joined: 13 Apr 2015
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:55 am Reply with quote
I'm 25 minutes in and having so many thoughts I'm actually posting this from my phone on the bus.
First of all, the idea that it's all "just noise" and there's no themes or meaning, just this uncomplex philosophical issue, is a problem. All of those little things do have meaning, and they contribute to the story and its themes. I think the one major theme that you seem to be missing so far is the lies and masks. Which characters say they dislike lies, and why, and what they really want. Who are lies intended to help, and who do they end up hurting? (e.g. Lelouch hiding his identity from his friends and what happens to Shirley).
Which brings me to my major issue with this podcast and really, most criticism of the series. To a lot of people looking for a hardcore military series, the high school friends element might seem incongruous, and it might seem like it doesn't belong. But look at what Lelouch really wants - what his goal really is. He says he wants to destroy Britannia, but why? That's not the real goal - his real goal is to create a peaceful world where no one woukd have to go through what they went through. 
In the academy, he has a smaller version of his peaceful world. The student council symbolizes what he wants for the world. 
-  the festivals aren't a waste of time- they are a distraction and that's tge point. Milly is trying to relieve the tension caused by the political turmoil, even if it's just for the school (s1e6, r2e5).
 - r2e7, the "happiness is like glass" quote and Lelouch's promise to come back and do fireworks with them. His friends are his reason for fighting. That's what gets him out of rock bottom and enables him to fight on. 
- s1e8. And s1e9 when they have the party and dress up as cats. When Suzaku tears up and Lelouch just smiles like that. 
- Milly as a character. S1e9 when she visits Kallen; s1e13 at the funeral, "we'll be in the student council room, same as always,"; the last few episodes when she and Rivalz are watching everything go down from the school, and any festival episodes. She just knows how to help people. It's really great.
Which connects to another point - Lelouch's conflict between isolation and connection. C.C. wants him to isolate himself - she thinks it's necessary, the only way to avoid getting hurt and hurting the ones you love. But that's not who Lelouch wants to be. His role as the Student Council vice president is more the role he thrives in. His keeping secrets from the Black Knights is what causes his downfall from that (However necessary it was to keep secrets, he left a window open for Schneizel to control that dialogue, which is exactly Schneizel's method). What Lelouch needs is like Shirley says in r2e11 - Love is power. Love is his strength. By denying himself love and connection, he only weakens himself. See also s1e16, s1e20, r2e8. 
One major issue with the series, though, is that there's so much character information that's in the audio dramas and picture dramas. Bandai was nice enough to dub the s1 ones and include them with the DVDs, but not the R2 ones. Audio drama stage 0.911 (where Lelouch first meets Milly) and the final picture drama (where the surviving student council members return to the school after the end of the series) are really essential to the student council aspect of the story. The final image of the chronologically last piece of the story is of all of them together, alive and happy. That is the point of the story, that is the goal. 
Also yes, it is like a niche music genre, but it's not prog rock, it's opera.
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Akane the Catgirl



Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 1090
Location: LA, Baby!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:06 pm Reply with quote
OH BOY. My feelings towards this show are...complicated.

On the first hand, I shall get the positives out of the way. I like Lelouch (and not just because he's hot, dammit). I felt he was an interesting character to follow, was sympathetic, even at his most awful stages, and was overall one of the best main leads in modern anime. I could easily recommend the show for Lulu alone. Other than that, the music was great, and the visuals were clean and pretty. Heck, I even liked that they actually tried and partially succeeded in going into grey areas regarding Lelouch and Suzaku.

And...then R2 happened.

Apparently, there were a sh*t ton of issues behind the scenes of Code Geass. Director Goro Taniguchi had gained a reputation for being a perfectionist from his work on Planetes, and Sunrise didn't want to give him a second chance. If what the staff said was true, they didn't even have their own photocopier. Then of course, the show got too popular for its own good, switching its timeslot to a more mainstream one and forcing the writers to start over from scratch. It was a mess, and it shows in the second half.

Allow me to express the following complaints. They are not all my problems with the show, but I'm going to be here for a bit. You with me? Okay.

* The China arc was a waste of time. Xingke was blandly boring in his personality-less perfection, and they only thing notable about him was that his English dub actor went on to voice Gilgamesh and Senketsu. Oh, and while I'm on it, there were a LOT of pointless characters in this show, especially in the second half. Does anyone know what purpose Rakshata served, or even remember who she is? No? Okay!

* C.C.'s backstory was REALLY badly handled. spoiler[Honestly, the idea of not knowing whether the kindness people show you is genuine or just something you brainwashed them into is really interesting. And...they did nothing with this! It just made C.C. look REALLY whiny during the scene where she receives her Code. In my opinion they should have gone further.]

* There is a f**k ton of Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 plagiarism in the second half. Don't believe me? spoiler[The whole Marianne/Anya subplot is a copypaste of both the Lyra and Dante plotlines and Sloth/Trisha's reveal. There is a character who is just Pride/King Bradley minus the charm and likability. Another is an (even more) unlikable and forgettable copy of Kimblee. There is more, but I simply don't have time to address it.]

* They played their trump cards too early with the spoiler[demise of Charles and Marianne. Ragnarok/Instrumentality/whatever should have taken place after the Schneizel/Light Yagami/f**k this arc.]

* The second half of the final episode should have been it's own episode in order to get the fullest impact. I liked the idea that the ending was going for thematically, but it really needed a full episode.

* Not even the first season can escape my criticisms. Nunnally fell into a trap that Cheza from Wolf's Rain and Irisviel from Fate zero avoided. She was essentially a useless and generic moeblob chick who did nothing except be Lelouch's motivation. At least Cheza was willing to turn herself in to save her wolfy friends, and that Iri actually supported Saber on the battlefield. Actually, one of the few things I can say was good in R2 was that Nunners actually did something useful instead of being cute.

It's weird because while I did enjoy Code Geass, I still acknowledge there was a whole ton of problems. In terms of impact, it's kind of like Shrek or Ren and Stimpy; regardless of what it's quality was, I think it is safe to say that it's influence has not been for the better. As far as me and my anime buddies know, this show may have impacted mecha for the worse. Well, those are my thoughts anyway. Later.
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Jackanapes



Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 119
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:23 pm Reply with quote
So wait ANN did an entire podcast just to trash a show that's been trashed many times in the past? I know the sites kind of gone Gawker click bait style of late but what a waste. I miss when this podcast had informative discussions.
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BluExocet



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 62
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Alright, so I'm a little confused about the Pizza Hut thing. I never watched the show as it was airing and only watched the whole thing as a set on dvd waaaaay later. And I know there's an obsession with pizza in the show, but there are zero Pizza Hut logos on the DVD copies.

Was it just a product placement thing?
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Barbobot



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 452
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:52 pm Reply with quote
BluExocet wrote:
Alright, so I'm a little confused about the Pizza Hut thing. I never watched the show as it was airing and only watched the whole thing as a set on dvd waaaaay later. And I know there's an obsession with pizza in the show, but there are zero Pizza Hut logos on the DVD copies.

Was it just a product placement thing?


In the original broadcast of the show, Pizza Hut was a sponsor and their logo was in multiple locations. You'd see it sometimes in in-show advertisements (billboards and such) and of course on every single pizza box. But it was Pizza Hut Japan that was the sponsor. For international releases they had to remove the Pizza Hut logo.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3258
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:53 pm Reply with quote
BluExocet wrote:
Alright, so I'm a little confused about the Pizza Hut thing. I never watched the show as it was airing and only watched the whole thing as a set on dvd waaaaay later. And I know there's an obsession with pizza in the show, but there are zero Pizza Hut logos on the DVD copies.

Was it just a product placement thing?


Yes. Pizza Hut was a sponsor for the show in Japan, but not in other areas, so using the logo would have been possible grounds for a trademark lawsuit. C.C. eating so much pizza was just a way to get that logo in the show on a frequent basis.
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BluExocet



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 62
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Barbobot wrote:


In the original broadcast of the show, Pizza Hut was a sponsor and their logo was in multiple locations. You'd see it sometimes in in-show advertisements (billboards and such) and of course on every single pizza box. But it was Pizza Hut Japan that was the sponsor. For international releases they had to remove the Pizza Hut logo.


Ah, thanks.
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torchic91



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:00 pm Reply with quote
I really enjoyed listening to the podcast! I like Hope's point that the show could have been so much stronger with an Oedipal focus (since the groundwork of it is already there), but also how well directed the show is. This idea finally made me understand why I like the show, as well as a similar show, Black Cat. Each are cliche ridden to all hell, but are directed so well that the visuals (including CLAMP's art style) keep drawing me in. Bombast and spectacle is my thing for popcorn material like this.

One noticeable thing in the show is how Lelouch's plan usually involve surprising people from below. It happens a lot, whether it be breaking a bridge, blowing up bubbles to sink some ships, or destabilizing the entire settlement (which he does multiple times). Which is why its kind of funny (and maybe meta?) when Xingke beats him at his own game, stopping the Black Knights by sinking them within the poorly tended farmlands. Anime hyper

As Zac pointed out, the Philosophy 101 stuff in the show can be incredibly grating. Especially when its supposed to be creating so called character development. I think of Lelouch's reticence, after killing Clovis, to committing more foul deeds. This occurs at various times in the show, and is frustrating when it seems Lelouch should be already over such qualms when he has such a pragmatic mind. But no one is more frustrating as Suzaku, who is mired in contradictions, especially when he thinks his way is the noble and righteous path when he literally does the bidding of evil colonialists.

Any do I dare bring up the discussion of dub vs sub? I prefer the dub myself, if only for Johnny Yong Bosch's evil laugh. Razz
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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 1684
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:25 pm Reply with quote
I thought that Lulu was just fun to watch action hero. He had plenty of genius* plans, ideas and a well-defined goal. All of it works really well in an action oriented series. It allows for plenty of action and the main character to stay in the spotlight.

His genius is questionable, but it doesn’t matter here.
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Black Thunder 6



Joined: 08 Sep 2015
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:27 pm Reply with quote
torchic91 wrote:
But no one is more frustrating as Suzaku, who is mired in contradictions, especially when he thinks his way is the noble and righteous path when he literally does the bidding of evil colonialists.


Nine years later and this fanbase still misses the point. Guess that's wht happens when your fanbase is composed of Light sympathizers. Rolling Eyes



Aylinn wrote:
I thought that Lulu was just fun to watch action hero. He had plenty of genius* plans, ideas and a well-defined goal. All of it works really well in an action oriented series. It allows for plenty of action and the main character to stay in the spotlight.

His genius is questionable, but it doesn’t matter here.


He's in action hero that does not participate in battles nor does anything heroic and he's a genius even though he messes up all the time. Right.
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lavmintrose



Joined: 13 Apr 2015
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:48 pm Reply with quote
"Suzaku is full of contradictions" - Yes, that's the point!
That's called three-dimensional character writing. 
When a character is trying to do ine thing, and then there's a twist! and thier motivation is different from what you thought, or they know something you didn't think they knew omg! - that's not three-dimensional character writing.
Three-dimensional characters have internal conflict. Three-dimensional characters have contradictions, because they think they know what they want, but they really don't, because real people think they know what they want but most of the times, they really don't. 
Lelouch not just ordering everyone to obey him forever isn't a plot hole. That's him having respect for people. He kills people sometimes, and he gets most of the progress he makes by robbing people of their free will, but that doesn't mean he's just heartless and evil. This is not an always/never dichotomy, and a large part of his character is his guilt over having to do those things. He often tries to make himself be more ruthless, because he knows some people expect that of him, but that's not who he is. 
"Why doesn't Lelouch just get over his angst about killing people?"
....
I honestly have nothing to say to that. 

(A few of the episode preview monologues have him explicitly stating that he dislikes having to use his geass that way. I think it's the one after s1e18, where he uses it on Suzaku. And he says it in the end of s1e19, too.)

Actually, the character depth is one of the major strengths of the dub. The Japanese acting plays more to the campy side of the series, the English plays to the depth of it. 
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WitchWatcher



Joined: 20 Apr 2013
Posts: 73
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:53 pm Reply with quote
totally agree with Hope, Shirley was a victim of bad writing.
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Divineking



Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 1232
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:01 pm Reply with quote
Nice podcast. I haven't ever gotten around to rewatching Code Geass but I can agree the greatest advantage it holds over it's successors is that it's a little less gross when it comes to certain tropes and knows how to make fun of itself a bit more (looking at you Guilty Crown). Also thought the point on the whole ideal badass v.s. strawman thing was an interesting point in comparison to some of the show's successors. Particularly in that despite being worse about practically everything else, Valvrave was kind of the most balanced in that respect as far as it's leads went, even though it had a lot less to say. In that same respect though I'd say the worst of the clones in regards to how that dynamic is treated was Aldnoah Zero even though it didn't have any of the Code Geass staff on it as far as I know. It was a similar dynamic, but the show turned Slaine into so much of a strawman in the second half that it had to almost retroactively rewrite his character to make him more of the villain and by extension make Inaho look better. Honestly I kinda wish the imitations would stop and we'd see mecha do something kinda new again, but as was said on the podcast the formula works too well with anime's core teen demographic to ever stop making clones. Eh, maybe someday.

On a side note, since you guys ended up talking about it a lot in the podcast, I think it would be cool to do one of these for Death Note someday. I can imagine that being a little more fun to revisit. Laughing
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