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REVIEW: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Trilogy Blu-ray


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:22 am Reply with quote
It's worth noting that Lelouch surviving in the end was heavily implied, if not confirmed, in the original series. So it's not so much changing the ending as it is removing the intentional ambiguity.

Shame they had to rush the pacing of the first season for the movie, the weakest part of the original run was that about half of season 2 was pointless retreading of the theme/event that were done in S1, so the movie was a good occasion to get rid of most of that. But it doesn't sound like that's what they did.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:34 am Reply with quote
I love Code Geass and was interested in watching these movies, but Funimation's inexplicable decision not to dub it is a deal breaker. I watch most anime subtitled, but I have always watched Code Geass with the English dub. On the plus side it looks like these compilation movies are garbage.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:40 am Reply with quote
Quote:
there isn't an English dub either. Given the changes to the story, it makes sense that the series' dub couldn't be used for these movies, but it's a shame that more effort wasn't make to craft a new English track,
The dub Code Geass contained the cream of the crop of the LA talent pool of the 00s, it's going to very hard to create that when they dub Re;surrection, so avoiding it as long as possible seems like a good idea.
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Zenithe



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:06 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
The dub Code Geass contained the cream of the crop of the LA talent pool of the 00s, it's going to very hard to create that when they dub Re;surrection, so avoiding it as long as possible seems like a good idea.


Re;surrection has already been dubbed for about 4 months now. All major voice actors have reprised their roles and only a secondary character or two has been replaced.
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:37 pm Reply with quote
Zenithe wrote:
Re;surrection has already been dubbed for about 4 months now. All major voice actors have reprised their roles and only a secondary character or two has been replaced.
Yep sorry you are right, and I did even see the first press release on the cast. It's just that I had heard before that a lot of the cast had disappeared or retired and since I had not seen the full cast and had low hopes on VAs like Mary Elizabeth McGlynn returning. Though you would need to find a replacement for Amy Kincaid if you had these films dubbed.
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jroa



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:57 pm Reply with quote
I'd argue the first compilation movie, Initiation, was actually either the best or second best in this trilogy of films, so I can't exactly agree with the ANN reviewer on that account. Truth be told, I felt it was paced reasonably well and all the important points of the original story came across relatively nicely, both narratively and emotionally speaking.

Evidently, it's almost impossible to avoid the use of cuts, edits and time compression when you are creating glorified summaries out of existing footage. Yes, something is still going to be lost, but not the essential content. If anything, it's a given that the secondary or tertiary characters are going to suffer the most in terms of their characterization and sub-plots. You're meant to get only a digest version of the main story, not a full representation of every single little thing that might have happened. Within those restrictions, I believe the first compilation does a good job.

At the same time, there was also some arguably unnecessary or distracting content in the original series in the first place. I didn't have a big issue with that, but other viewers did. In practice, those sequences weren't strictly essential in the first place and could be removed without much harm. In fact, it's actually a potential improvement. In that regard, those who didn't enjoy such parts of the original series might prefer the compilations (for example, there is very little of the school sequences in these films).

Therefore, I think it's really the second film that ended up being the weakest in this set. It had the most new footage as additional connecting tissue between the events of S1 and R2, which is pretty interesting for existing fans, but also has several noticeably rushed moments during the last twenty or thirty minutes.

It's not like one can't make sense out of anything in movie two, because if you really pay attention there are still a few lines of dialogue covering all the relevant bases, but I admit that the information isn't delivered very smoothly at all. Thus new viewers might find it to be the most confusing film out of the three.

Conversely, the third movie was a step up. It only has to cover the events of Code Geass R2 episodes 17 to 25, which isn't a huge amount of material, so the pacing gets better and allows more room for the cast of characters to breathe. Ironically, I think the movies are better in terms of portraying emotions rather than through intellectual analysis. Which is almost the opposite of what the reviewer thought. That's kind of amusing.

For the record, I will say the ending itself wasn't explicitly changed in these compilations. There is a new scene with C.C. during the epilogue, but it's not spelling out what happened.

MarshalBanana wrote:
The dub Code Geass contained the cream of the crop of the LA talent pool of the 00s, it's going to very hard to create that when they dub Re;surrection, so avoiding it as long as possible seems like a good idea.


More than anything else, the original Code Geass dub also had great voice direction thanks to the late Kevin Seymour. He was one of the best in the industry.

They were indeed able to bring back most of the original English voice actors for the recent film but, unfortunately, the new voice director for Resurrection isn't that good in comparison, so there are a couple of rough spots in terms of delivery, despite the solid voice talent. Perhaps they simply didn't assign enough time to do multiple takes on certain lines.

meiam wrote:
Shame they had to rush the pacing of the first season for the movie, the weakest part of the original run was that about half of season 2 was pointless retreading of the theme/event that were done in S1, so the movie was a good occasion to get rid of most of that. But it doesn't sound like that's what they did.


Ironically, I'd argue they did exactly that. About half of R2 doesn't exist in these films.

Either way, if you're already very familiar with the original series...the recaps aren't needed.
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UltimateEye



Joined: 07 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:24 pm Reply with quote
In a certain sense, I feel that the compilation film trilogy of Geass is superior to the TV series, despite its sore loss of an English dub. I have heard several viewers bemoan the loss of focus on the school sequences, but I personally feel that these were largely unnecessary and out of step with the rest of the plot. One person I watched the show with found the comic relief and slice-of-life segments at Ashford to be his least favorite parts of Geass. I mostly have to agree; they detract from the big ideas and political commentary of the main narrative. Sometimes the school days portions even felt ridiculously cliched and childish. Geass is ham and cheese par excellence when it comes to Zero and the Black Knights vs. Britannia or Britannia vs. EU vs. Chinese Federation, but it's a very unwelcome kind of cheese when it involves Ashford Academy. Perhaps all the cat festival garbage and so on is meant to highlight the decadence of Britannian culture, but goes on far too long in the TV series, and reaches an absolute nadir in the second season.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:29 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
It's worth noting that Lelouch surviving in the end was heavily implied, if not confirmed, in the original series. So it's not so much changing the ending as it is removing the intentional ambiguity.


Not really. Lelouch's status at the series' ending was reconfirmed in both a CD Drama where the entire cast reunite in a dream as well as a spinoff manga that where Nunally is able to see a parallel world where Lelouch dies (aka the original series).

Sunrise just revived Lelouch to exploit his popularity similar to how Char Aznable is used to death in Unicorn and Origin.
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jroa



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:09 pm Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:

Not really. Lelouch's status at the series' ending was reconfirmed in both a CD Drama where the entire cast reunite in a dream as well as a spinoff manga that where Nunally is able to see a parallel world where Lelouch dies (aka the original series).

Sunrise just revived Lelouch to exploit his popularity similar to how Char Aznable is used to death in Unicorn and Origin.


At this point we're really starting to beat a dead horse, I am sure. I don't care too much about this issue myself, to be frank, especially since the new compilation movies plus Resurrection are meant to be treated as a separate universe that doesn't directly impact the TV series. They're more or less like the alternate paths of a visual novel.

Yet the original ending was definitely left with a certain amount of ambiguity on purpose at the time of the broadcast. More recently, even the staff has already come out and said that was the case.

Quote:
Why continue the story of Code Geass? How much more of the story is there to tell?

Koujirou Taniguchi: When the TV series ends, we don't know for sure whether the protagonist, Lelouch, is alive or dead. In Japan, the fans more or less came to the conclusion that Lelouch was surely dead... And so now, ten years later, we're "resurrecting" Lelouch.

Gorou Taniguchi: To add, we wanted to make it unclear in the TV series whether Lelouch was alive or dead, to have it be a point of intrigue for our audience. We tried to leave it very vague, but people eventually decided that Lelouch was definitely dead. That wasn't our intention, so we had to come back and clarify.

Source:
https://myanimelist.net/news/57498462

Yeah, I know there are some fans who insist it was 100% crystal-clear that Lelouch was dead. I am on friendly terms with a few of them. I've read all the same interviews and participated in all the same discussions. Certain members of the staff did make statements that seemed to support the idea (or at least the impression) of Lelouch being dead.

Just as well, you can also find some official materials that question whether he remained dead or not, but those can also be explained away as part of the ambiguity. If everything had absolutely indicated one outcome or the other, there would be nothing to debate. It was left unclear by default.

I'd argue that director Goro Taniguchi, in particular, was always the relatively more ambiguous person in his comments about the ending. Not only in 2019, but way back in 2008.

Quote:

Taniguchi: I won't risk saying what the epilogue meant. I would be happy if the viewers would think for themselves.

(...)

Taniguchi: (laugh) It's up to everyone how they want to interpret the ending, I don't mind, but for me, it was a Happy Ending.

Source:
NewType magazine, November 2008

I suppose he had been coy about discussing this before, especially because you still ruin the open-ended nature of the question if you were to literally spell things out, but there were always some suspicious elements about the ending. One way or another, I believe people weren't collectively hallucinating those elements for no reason.

Obviously the commercial angle is inevitably going to be part of any analysis with respect to the decision to continue the Code Geass property. As you've mentioned, not even Gundam can avoid falling under that spell. That's also a factor we have to acknowledge.
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:40 pm Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:
meiam wrote:
It's worth noting that Lelouch surviving in the end was heavily implied, if not confirmed, in the original series. So it's not so much changing the ending as it is removing the intentional ambiguity.


Not really. Lelouch's status at the series' ending was reconfirmed in both a CD Drama where the entire cast reunite in a dream as well as a spinoff manga that where Nunally is able to see a parallel world where Lelouch dies (aka the original series).

Sunrise just revived Lelouch to exploit his popularity similar to how Char Aznable is used to death in Unicorn and Origin.


I remember constantly getting into arguments with people about this. The writer makes it perfectly clear Lelouch is dead because the other option where Lelouch causes massive destruction than leaves Nunnaly and Ohgi to clean up the mess is kind of a massive dick move.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:51 pm Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:
meiam wrote:
It's worth noting that Lelouch surviving in the end was heavily implied, if not confirmed, in the original series. So it's not so much changing the ending as it is removing the intentional ambiguity.


Not really. Lelouch's status at the series' ending was reconfirmed in both a CD Drama where the entire cast reunite in a dream as well as a spinoff manga that where Nunally is able to see a parallel world where Lelouch dies (aka the original series).

Sunrise just revived Lelouch to exploit his popularity similar to how Char Aznable is used to death in Unicorn and Origin.


Neither of these things are the original series.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:12 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
tintor2 wrote:
meiam wrote:
It's worth noting that Lelouch surviving in the end was heavily implied, if not confirmed, in the original series. So it's not so much changing the ending as it is removing the intentional ambiguity.


Not really. Lelouch's status at the series' ending was reconfirmed in both a CD Drama where the entire cast reunite in a dream as well as a spinoff manga that where Nunally is able to see a parallel world where Lelouch dies (aka the original series).

Sunrise just revived Lelouch to exploit his popularity similar to how Char Aznable is used to death in Unicorn and Origin.


Neither of these things are the original series.


Weird argument, Why wouldn't they be? The cd even had the voices of all the known actors. Furthermore, the staff even introduced the idea of the Lelouch clone in Renya of the Darkness which was written by the same staff. Furthermore, all Japanese dvds came out with different shorts that extended the story from different point of views. The final one acts post final episode with Suzaku clarifying he had to kill Lelouch.

This isn't even weird. The same staff retconned a lot of stuff with the Scryed manga and compilation movies to the point Kazuma had a last and a blood relative. Even a certain's character death in the finale was avoided for the final film.
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SilverTalon01



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:00 pm Reply with quote
Whether you think he died or not in the original tv series, there is so much arguing about it on the internet that it should be blatantly obvious that the answer isn't blatantly obvious.
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jroa



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:13 pm Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:

I remember constantly getting into arguments with people about this. The writer makes it perfectly clear Lelouch is dead because the other option where Lelouch causes massive destruction than leaves Nunnaly and Ohgi to clean up the mess is kind of a massive dick move.


I don't entirely agree with your premise, but it's an utterly pointless argument to have in the year 2019, since the new movie still goes with the approach that Lelouch himself fully intended to die.

It wasn't a matter of lacking willpower or trying to cheat anyone on purpose. There's no cart driver in these recent compilation films either. In other words, it's not a case of Lelouch tricking the public and planning to escape. Which avoids that line of criticism.

tintor2 wrote:

This isn't even weird. The same staff retconned a lot of stuff with the Scryed manga and compilation movies to the point Kazuma had a last and a blood relative.


Manga adaptations can have a lot of such differences, but that's not a recton.

Retroactive continuity would be introducing a previously unknown fact into the story.

If you're telling an alternate version of the story from the start, then it's not retroactive.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:42 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Why continue the story of Code Geass? How much more of the story is there to tell?

Koujirou Taniguchi: When the TV series ends, we don't know for sure whether the protagonist, Lelouch, is alive or dead. In Japan, the fans more or less came to the conclusion that Lelouch was surely dead... And so now, ten years later, we're "resurrecting" Lelouch.

Gorou Taniguchi: To add, we wanted to make it unclear in the TV series whether Lelouch was alive or dead, to have it be a point of intrigue for our audience. We tried to leave it very vague, but people eventually decided that Lelouch was definitely dead. That wasn't our intention, so we had to come back and clarify.


Unrelated to the movie discussion, but I find it hilarious that these guys went "we want fans to come to their own conclusion!", and then the fandom more or less did (Lelouch is dead), and then they backpedaled into "No, wait, you got it all wrong, you guys!"
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