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by Richard Eisenbeis,

Code Geass: Rozé of the Recapture Part 2

Anime Film Review

Code Geass: Rozé of the Recapture - Part 2 Anime Film Review
Rozé's war to overthrow the Britannian forces in Hokkaido continues. However, as the battle grows more intense, the situation escalates. Now, the Brittanians are planning to use WMDs on the Japanese civilian population. With limited manpower and material, will Rozé be able to save the Japanese people? Or is this just the start of another era of iron-fisted Britannian rule.

If the first part of Code Geass: Rozé of the Recapture was bringing the story back to its roots, this second part reminds us what sprang from those roots. Lelouch inadvertently and intentionally changed the world, and many things can't be put back into the bottle. The most major of these are the F.L.E.I.J.A. WMDs and the flying fortress/launch platform Damocles—and the forces of Neo Britannia have both.

With their new, even weaker puppet ruler, the Neo Britannia leadership no longer needs to worry about split loyalties among their population. It's clear to all who the true power behind the throne is, and this means the genocide of the Japanese can be kicked up a notch. They decide to send a message by dropping a F.L.E.I.J.A. right on top of the area with the largest amount of impoverished Japanese people—and excuse the action by claiming that resistance cells were hiding out in the area (even though there aren't any).

This leads to a lengthy action climax filled with beautifully animated mecha fights and constant twists and turns. It's quality stuff that shows Rozé to be competent but not infallible amid all the screaming and explosions.

With this second part, the subtext of this anime continues to be an exploration of why Lelouch passed on his geass to Rozé—despite both his and C.C.'s general feelings on the matter. Lelouch's story is of a man who uses everything and everyone at his disposal for revenge—only to fail and make things so much worse. Then, recognizing his sins, he tries to do better the second time, only to realize that some past actions can't be forgiven. So, in the end, he doubles down on his sins and becomes the ultimate scapegoat to give the world a new chance at peace. What he never found, however, was redemption.

So when he found someone like him—a royal with murdered parents who focused on saving someone rather than revenge—he saw who he could have been—who he should have been. On a metatextual level, the anime isn't too subtle about this. After all, it's right in their names: All you have to do is flip the syllables, and "Zero" becomes "Rozé."

Outside of the big battle, the rest of this part of the anime spends time on intrigue rather than action. Rozé knows far less about Ash than previously thought. Add onto that their interactions when Rozé is incognito, and all the emotions get increasingly tangled. The whole situation is primed for a drama-filled explosion—and it feels like soon we'll get the full story behind what happened to Rozé's parents and Ash's involvement in the whole ordeal. On top of that, there is more than a bit of intrigue on the Britannian side of things as well, and you have a great second installment. I can't wait to see the third part next month.

Overall : B+
Story : B+
Animation : B+
Art : B+
Music : C

+ A story centered around the ramifications of the original Code Geass filled with action and intrigue.
While the action looks fantastic, some characters have wonky proportions in wide shots.

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Production Info:
Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Series Composition: Noboru Kimura
Music: Kenji Kawai
Original story:
Ichiro Okouchi
Goro Taniguchi
Original Character Design: CLAMP
Character Design:
Takahiro Kimura
Shuichi Shimamura
Art Director: Kazuhiro Obata
Mechanical design: Satoshi Shigeta
Sound Director: Jin Aketagawa
Cgi Director: Shūji Shinoda
Director of Photography: Hiroyuki Chiba

Full encyclopedia details about
Code Geass: Z of the Recapture (TV)

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