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REVIEW: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection


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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:10 pm Reply with quote
Can we go back to code geass and Lelouch be in the grave now please?
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#884745
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:24 pm Reply with quote
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Undercuts the events of the series despite its best attempts to avoid doing so


I don't think it attempts to at all.

I think that the C.C. at the end of the series - the one sitting on the cart talking to her memories of Lelouch, who is dead - would never do this.

She's let go, and even before that, she was never this... pathetically dependent. This movie reduced her to another D-list light-novel waifu.

And the same level of character degradation happened to everyone else.

Not to mention plot and worldbuilding degradation.

What is Zikhistan? How do you make sense of it politically with all those wars over the past ~10 years of the series.

Why do we have truly flat villains in Geass for the first time? Why, for the first time, do we have absolutely nothing to fall in love with about a new group of characters in this anime (meaning just the original series and Akito)?

Why did Nunnally give up the throne? What happened to the end of Miracle Birthday, where it showed her, Kaguya, Lihua, and another young empress, showing them as the world leaders of that world. What happened to that? Where are they now, and why did the writers feel the need to make that change?

In the very beginning - which they released early as a preview just like they did with Akito - there's a scene in the Zero Cafe (????) where Kaguya - basically a cameo - asks Ohgi why he gave up being prime minister, and he sort of muddles through it, then Tamaki says he's just too weak for it.

In that preview, right after that scene, it cuts to Nunnally addressing a crowd and saying she's no longer empress, and then some Knightmares come at them, and Suzaku just jumps into the robot... and I had a feeling this movie was going to do something like this, but I didn't imagine how drastically it would undercut everything that made the series unique.

And the fact that Lelouch uses "Lelouch Lamperouge" as his name in the movie - he even says "Lelouch Lamperouge commands you" - but the series made it clear that he never thought of himself that way...
He... doesn't do anything. He doesn't react to Nunnally being kidnapped - he attacks, but he doesn't react. It gives this excuse like, "Oh, now he realizes that she's older," but he sees her kidnapped and being held in this container like that, and he doesn't react.

Since when is that the Lelouch that you know?

Basically, this movie is emotionally sterile.

Those freak-out scenes with the contorted faces that were so emotionally raw that they made the internet really uncomfortable? Those were what made Geass special. That willingness to take the characters to places that were complicated, that weren't black-and-white, that were unexpected, that showed a new angle to types you thought you knew... that's what made it stick in people's minds long enough that anyone still cares. That's what made it brilliant.

This movie is the opposite of that.

It's emotionally sterile, and it uses "oh, the loose ends have been tied up and the world is at peace" as an excuse, but that doesn't work. (see Miracle Birthday).

It's emotionally sterile. It emptied out some of the most interestingly developed characters in all of anime - in all of media in general - and filled them with hollow, modern types, and surface displays of "emotion" that are tacked on, to make the characters say and do things that are convenient to the plot, but that don't mean anything, and don't flow naturally out of who these people were in the series.

Everyone's on the same side (except the cardboard new people), so there's no morally grey area. Gino and some of the Black Knights together argue against some committee of "boring", old, brown-haired politicians in brown suits, who are shown as stuffy and uncaring because they... won't... launch... a bunch of military.... to rescue Nunnally... who's an ordinary citizen now? But Rakshata and Geassed-Schneizel string-pull their way around it. Right. This is the peaceful, fair world everyone's fighting for?


I can see how casual fans can accept this, especially if they only watched the series a long time ago, and only once, but not deeply. But all of the people I know who are in-depth fans of this series - of the character development, not of the mecha action - agree that this movie was an OOC wreck.

Anyway, they made a thing years ago - I think it was December 5th 2009, I might have the year wrong, but it was on Lelouch's birthday, and it was the event where they announced Akito, and they showed a picture drama called "Miracle Birthday", and... basically, that does all that this movie claims to do, but right.

So... look up Miracle Birthday and watch that.


Last edited by #884745 on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:46 pm; edited 3 times in total
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wolf10



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:32 pm Reply with quote
I grew past the need for characters to die and stay dead years ago, having seen it done to, well, death, so the idea of a movie (series) that fixes a few of the issues I had with the original, that just so happen to have been the deaths of Shirley and (to a lesser extent) Lelouch, actually appeals to me rather a lot.

And as the review said, it doesn't invalidate the original series at all, just provides an alternate version for the people who wanted more. It may be time for me to stop procrastinating and finally dig into these.
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Can we all just agree that everyone in code geass needs to hug the stupid ball so lord and savior Ladouche can come across as smart please, and that this movie does nothing to change this.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:44 pm Reply with quote
This seems all the more reason to pick-up the Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (movie series).

I haven't seen the Re;surrection movie, so I do not know if they do what you say they did.

I have no problem with C.C. trying to bring back her friend from being 'mostly dead'. Whether or not Lelouch was completely dead at the end of the TV series, has been discussed many times in the past.

If it is okay for spoiler[Shalltear to be resurrected in Overlord], or any other character in any other anime, why is it a problem for C.C. in Code Geass. She is just as human as the rest of us.

"Even if I have this scroll of resurrection, I shall not resurrect you, because that makes me a weak person. So, thou'est will stay in the Valley of Death, whilst I sell this scroll of resurrection on eBay."
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:46 pm Reply with quote
I suspect that this movie will be a mix bag for me, but I will probably buy it because Code Geass is one of my most beloved anime shows. I assume Funimation will give it an English dub.
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#884745
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:53 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:


I have no problem with C.C. trying to bring back her friend from being 'mostly dead'. Whether or not Lelouch was completely dead at the end of the TV series, has been discussed many times in the past.

If it is okay for spoiler[Shalltear to be resurrected in Overlord], or any other character in any other anime, why is it a problem for C.C. in Code Geass. She is just as human as the rest of us.


Except she's not.

The major thing about her character in the series is that she knows what it feels like to want to die.

She didn't understand him at first, she just parroted the nihilistic viewpoints from the echo chamber she'd been in with spoiler[his parents], until late in R2 when she realizes that's not the only valid way. Then, she comes to understand him, and to understand why he feels that he must die.

I mean... this hinges on the idea that "respect" means something other than "letting/helping you do whatever you feel like at the moment," so I don't know how well I can get this across but like...

The series had a world more complex than "dying = bad, not dying = good".

Symbols, and things like that. (It's 3am here).

Also like... spoiler["Oh, the world's all set now, let me wander off into the woods"]? Lelouch would never do that. He'd overhear some bit of news a few years in, and be back in the parliament floors of the world with a new mask on in a second. Meanwhile, rumors would spread about his not-real-death...

The whole thing is far more complicated than this movie would have it, fanfic writers have been exploring the complexities of the concept for over ten years, and they got past this level pretty much in the first year.

(spoiler[Give them a few months. Their series personalities will return and they'll be back in some royal palace having fine tea and Pizza Hut, and snarking with the others over their lapse in judgment, and the others would just laugh and hug them, ...and then really settle all those loose ends.] Except, to accept that alternate ending would be to accept all the worldbuilding faults of the movie, which... yeah, best to just disregard the movie.

They gave that note before part 3 of the recap came out, and like... that should have been the warning sign. That should have told us all we needed to know about how much of a mess this would be.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:05 pm Reply with quote
We are all human and we can change our minds. Perhaps Nunnally's tears at the end, changed Lelouch too. Who knows. Perhaps you are right, and in the end it is all bad writing. Probably going to pick up the recap movie trilogy, and then watch the Re;surrection movie.

But perhaps the biggest question we need to ask, is why there is a semi colon in Re;surrection. Is this a plot by the Steins;Gate crew? Enquiring minds want to know.
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UltimateEye



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:29 pm Reply with quote
Wow, an alternate ending film after the fashion of End of Evangelion... I would have seen this movie regardless, but the review has my interest piqued. I have yet to see confirmation that the movie trilogy recap of the Code Geass series will be dubbed, though, which will be a strike against Re;surrection. Most of the characters are supposed to be speaking English, which is part of makes a good dub even better.
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jroa



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:34 pm Reply with quote
#884745 wrote:

I don't think it attempts to at all.

I think that the C.C. at the end of the series - the one sitting on the cart talking to her memories of Lelouch, who is dead - would never do this.

...

And the same level of character degradation happened to everyone else.


It seems the reviewer saw things differently. As have a fair amount of Japanese viewers, going by the relative success of the movie. Thus I believe there's plenty of room for interpretations and reactions to vary from person to person, don't you think? Both for the original TV series as a whole as well as for this particular film.

I am going to be honest, even back during my original viewing the TV series in 2008...on some level, I was never fully convinced that C.C. was fine with Lelouch's plan and all of its implications. Especially since the last few episodes of R2 make clear she was starting to reignite her emotional side (see the fight with Kallen). Was Zero Requiem really enough for her? To put it lightly, I think the show didn't address that loose end tightly enough. I mean, I didn't necessarily need to see a follow-up to that angle, because the ending as a whole was both satisfactory and conclusive enough, but it doesn't strike me as an unnatural choice. Not at all.

Quote:
What is Zikhistan? How do you make sense of it politically with all those wars over the past ~10 years of the series.


That doesn't seem like such a big problem to me. In fact, I...kind of like adding such an element to the world-building of the universe. Mercenaries usually try to remain outside of the obvious political limelight, so to speak, thus we can argue they were simply operating in the background. Evidently, they didn't even exist as a faction during the original broadcast, but you can explain their retroactive introduction. There were several areas of the world that didn't explicitly side with the Black Knights or with Britannia, even late into R2. One of those could have included this new nation.

Quote:
Why do we have truly flat villains in Geass for the first time? Why, for the first time, do we have absolutely nothing to fall in love with about a new group of characters in this anime (meaning just the original series and Akito)?


Considering both the length of the movie and all the ground the film needed to cover...I suppose it might be asking for too much to expect them to end up as fleshed out or developed as almost literally anyone who is coming over from the TV show.

That said, after reading a lot of spoilers and multiple kinds of impressions, I am getting a sense that the few scenes involving these characters are still getting less attention than they might ostensibly deserve. Which is to be expected, since they're new and we all care much more about the familiar folks. In other words, I feel these guys may have slightly more nuance or symbolism to their characters than you're giving them credit for, even if they are still going to be structurally constrained in a narrative sense.

Quote:

Why did Nunnally give up the throne?


It never seemed entirely clear to me that Nunnally had assumed the throne after all. It was simply implied (mostly because Schneizel did introduce the idea like four episodes previously), but never confirmed on screen, so I had a far more ambiguous impression about this. Same with that particular still image from MB you're also referencing here. For all we know, it could have been any kind of diplomatic meeting. Or they've just retconned it.

Quote:

In the very beginning - which they released early as a preview just like they did with Akito - there's a scene in the Zero Cafe (????) where Kaguya - basically a cameo - asks Ohgi why he gave up being prime minister, and he sort of muddles through it, then Tamaki says he's just too weak for it.


This doesn't surprise me. He's really not the type of character who would stick around for too long in a position of power, other than purely as a figurehead at best. Back when some people were mad at the epilogue for putting Ohgi in that role, I looked up Japanese history and...it turned out they have a lot of prime ministers that didn't last a long time at the job. Therefore, I think the movie simply chose a logical outcome for him.

Quote:

And the fact that Lelouch uses "Lelouch Lamperouge" as his name in the movie - he even says "Lelouch Lamperouge commands you" - but the series made it clear that he never thought of himself that way...


I can think of a few reasons for that. "Lelouch vi Britannia" is dead and buried, as an identity, so going back to temporarily using his fake student name doesn't feel out of place. If anything, it would tie into what the review describes about his change as a person.

As for the emotional reaction part...you've made that same comment in another thread on the movie and I am still not too convinced I'll feel the same about it, even after revisiting and considering your argument. Upon reading the spoilers, I can think of multiple ways to connect the characters as described (including Lelouch) with a possible trajectory they could have followed after the end of the original story. And yes, from what I can tell, so did the reviewer. It's possible the movie failed to make the specifics of that path sufficiently clear, but even this doesn't mean the entire audience will reach the same conclusion about the subject. Some might be fine with this, others might not.

Quote:

I can see how casual fans can accept this, especially if they only watched the series a long time ago, and only once, but not deeply. But all of the people I know who are in-depth fans of this series - of the character development, not of the mecha action - agree that this movie was an OOC wreck.


That seems to be a rather self-serving generalization, don't you think? I've been talking and thinking about this show for years, both here and elsewhere. Sometimes making valid points with a passion, sometimes probably making a fool out of myself. In a few words, it's been both fun and exhausting as a process.

Based on that alone, you can argue that I like the show roughly about as much as you do, subjectively speaking, but with the large caveat that even I don't think it's nearly as deep all across the board. There are interesting themes and characters, yes, but there is also more than one way of thinking about them (and that goes even for Lelouch as well as C.C. in this case). Nor do I believe this one movie had any obligation to reflect exactly the same amount of depth as the TV show within such a limited container. For me, not too much about the movie seems impossible to reconcile as a possibility for an alternate outcome, at least based on my own personal and intellectual views on these matters.

Quote:

So... look up Miracle Birthday and watch that.


Oh, I like Miracle Birthday myself. It's fun. Still, I don't think it was meant to fulfill the same functions, both in and out of universe, as this movie. So I'll hopefully enjoy both.

#884745 wrote:

The whole thing is far more complicated than this movie would have it, fanfic writers have been exploring the complexities of the concept for over ten years, and they got past this level pretty much in the first year.


With the important distinction that fanfic writers literally have an infinite amount of time and space to portray whatever they want. Which means a potentially endless amount of complexity and detail can be added as layers upon the existing story framework. There are some excellent fanfics for this and other shows, by all means, but I don't judge any of their original works by the same standard.

Importantly enough, the movie leaves the door open to further continuations. Whether those will resolve any particular person's issues with the film's portrayals or not, at least that should allow for addressing some of the pending topics, provided the staff (whether new or old) happens to share the same concerns, interpretations and preferences in this regard. They might have radically different thoughts on these matters. One way or another, nobody can absolutely guarantee what will be the case.


Last edited by jroa on Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:06 pm; edited 5 times in total
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jroa



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Also, here's an amusing bug (or mistake?) for the ANN website people:

Why am I seeing an Akito the Exiled image of Julius Kingsley? That's not from this movie.

I mean, maybe you meant it to represent Code Geass as a whole, but... Laughing
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Ambrose7



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:58 pm Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
I suspect that this movie will be a mix bag for me, but I will probably buy it because Code Geass is one of my most beloved anime shows. I assume Funimation will give it an English dub.

The dub has already been confirmed. Smile
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:02 pm Reply with quote
jroa wrote:
Also, here's an amusing bug (or mistake?) for the ANN website people:

Why am I seeing an Akito the Exiled image of Julius Kingsley? That's not from this movie.

I mean, maybe you meant it to represent Code Geass as a whole, but... Laughing


Ah, I had a sneaking suspicion it might not be from the new movie, but it was labeled as such multiple times in image search, so I just rolled the dice. Anyway, found a better image now.
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Ashabel



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:17 pm Reply with quote
jroa wrote:
It seems the reviewer saw things differently.


Considering that the reviewer thinks that "While still showing his enemies no mercy, he no longer sees his allies as pawns to be sacrificed for his own goal; now losing even one is the same to him as a complete failure." is somehow a new development even though Lelouch explicitly states early in the first season that he operates under the idea that every single comrade death is a fail state and plans all his strategies accordingly (hell, it's even a major plot point in R2 that Schneizel recognizes Zero as Lelouch because of his zero sacrifice chess playstyle), I think we can safely say that the reviewer generally didn't pay very much attention during the original series.

Mind you, it's not the exactly a secret that most of the Code Geass fandom didn't pay much if any attention. A lot of them came onboard only during R2 because of all the hype and memes, and many of them simply used the show as an excuse to bolster their standing in the anime fandom.

( I, um, may or may not have ruined the reputation of a prolific yaoi fanfiction writer by asking a couple questions that exposed she had never seen a single episode of the first season and only wrote Lelouch/Suzaku because the pairing got her more page clicks. )
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jroa



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Ashabel wrote:

Considering that the reviewer thinks that "While still showing his enemies no mercy, he no longer sees his allies as pawns to be sacrificed for his own goal; now losing even one is the same to him as a complete failure." is somehow a new development even though Lelouch explicitly states early in the first season that he operates under the idea that every single comrade death is a fail state and plans all his strategies accordingly (hell, it's even a major plot point in R2 that Schneizel recognizes Zero as Lelouch because of his zero sacrifice chess playstyle), I think we can safely say that the reviewer generally didn't pay very much attention during the original series.


I might be taking this the wrong way, perhaps, but let me confirm one thing...is the implication here that, if every viewer were to pay the same amount of attention, then everyone would necessarily end up seeing things exactly the same way?

Because I think that's...not exactly true and a denial of our inherent human subjectivity. Even when the same basic set of facts are being analyzed and discussed, it's possible for two or more equally rational beings to disagree. We all have preferences, tastes and background factors that color our respective lens as media consumers.

If that's what you meant to imply, then I'd beg to differ. I think a reviewer making a mistake or not agreeing with me or with any given person about a particular issue, character or story beat doesn't suddenly invalidate the rest of their remarks in other respects. I've nitpicked or criticized reviews here before, for the record, but that doesn't mean those writers were thus automatically wrong about every single thing.

Frankly, I'd say that specific point you've highlighted as an issue can still be argued in both directions. Lelouch didn't want to think of certain people as pawns, so as a matter of principle you would be correct, but in practice this particularly applied to the major named characters. When it came to those, plus a few side characters from time to time, he was trying to seek victory without wanting to sacrifice anyone.

Nevertheless, that wasn't always the case. At various points in the storyline, Lelouch was quite willing to sacrifice some in favor of others (see the Black Rebellion's fallout at the end of S1, where Lelouch didn't care about Ohgi being shot or the fact his absence from the battlefield would lead everyone else to risk their lives, including that one Inoue girl from Naoto's group who ended up being killed). In other words, our protagonist didn't always live up to his initial propaganda as Zero, the knight/ally of justice. Even during R2, Lelouch treated Rolo as an entirely disposable pawn via emotional manipulation until literally moments before his fake brother's final fate. There's also the related angle of whether or not he should have withheld information from the rest of the group for so long and avoided the troubles arising from that decision, etc.

Therefore, think the reviewer's statement could use some extra nuance in phrasing for the sake of better reflecting Lelouch's character, but it isn't fundamentally wrong or impossible to see why he had that opinion of him. The show did portray a number of situations that support such a judgment and it's entirely possible the film, in contrast, had a different way of emphasizing it (or at least gave some folks the feeling of doing so).

Quote:

Mind you, it's not the exactly a secret that most of the Code Geass fandom didn't pay much if any attention. A lot of them came onboard only during R2 because of all the hype and memes, and many of them simply used the show as an excuse to bolster their standing in the anime fandom.


Which is inevitable, given that frequently happens with any sufficiently popular media property these days, but that doesn't mean only a small sub-set of the fans may qualify as "paying attention". It's not like we have an objective standard to measure such a thing.

Nor does that mean, in turn, those who "paid attention" are always agreeing with each other. Besides, we are not robots with a photographic memory. Each and every person is likely going to have a slightly or moderately different recollection of various details and events, because our brains simply choose to prioritize remembering other pieces of data.
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