Posted by psgels on 28 March 2007 with categories: Random Posts

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I assume that most of you have already seen the infamous episode 22 by now. I’ve already shortly expressed my opinion about the episode in the shoutbox, but I figured to dedicate a post about it, since it confirmed something that’s been irking me about Code Geass for quite a while now. I adore series full of plot twists, which would naturally mean that I’d enjoy Code Geass as well, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. Now I finally know why.

Not just in this episode, but throughout the entire anime did Code Geass have the nasty tendency to feature a bit too perfect of a timing. Events are so arranged that they create the biggest sensation. The plot twists don’t rely on the characters or the plot, but they rely on coincidences, just like your standard soap-opera. Just think of when Lelouch found out about Suzaku’s identity because his mecha was cut just in the right way to reveal his face and not kill the guy or stop him from moving. Or in episode 21, when Lelouch, C.C., Shirley, Suzaku, Kallen, Ougi and Villetta all somehow end up in the same warehouse at the same time. Or Suzaku just catching Kallen when she’s bathing, and I could go on for this for a while longer.

Sure, one coincidence in a series never hurts, and neither do two or three of them. But when a series practically lives off the stuff, something has to be wrong. I’d much rather see a cleverly thought-out plot-twist than the result of what happens when two characters “accidentally” bump into each other. It just feels cheap.

I’m quite surprised that this series is so enormously popular, as it’s not really that good. Because of this series, the cleverly-written anime like Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi get nearly no attention at all. Overall, it’s sad to see that Clamp’s talent got wasted on this one. Ah well, at least the character-designs look nice.

(on a side-note: my favourite part of episode 22 has to be Lelouch’s father laughing at everything that’s happening. I wish he’d get more screen-time, the anime would turn a lot more interesting with this.)

23 Responses

  1. Xander says:

    Well..I really don’t think that CG, as relatively mediocre as it sometimes is (I too would prefer something with a more consistent plot advancement, but I still find the current product fun enough, if nothing else), is to blame for reducing the ratings of those series.

    Personally, I’m not following those series just because I have too much of a backlog. I really can’t say anything else, as it would be unfair. Whether Geass ended today or tomorrow wouldn’t really change much on that front, most likely.

  2. Kite says:

    I’d have to say as far as “coincidences” go Death Note also has many of those. But Death Note plays its cards better with them I guess. But Code Geass is one of My favorite anime at the moment. Thank you for telling me that there is a second season!

  3. tj han says:

    I’m disgusted by the lack of attention Ayakashi Ayashi got and its subsequent cancellation. But I don’t really think it’s related to CG. The target demographic is different and Bones should never have placed AA in the golden slots. AA appeals more to the intellectual viewers while CG is totally soap opera for the masses. There’s no comparison in popularity.

    As for CG’s use of coincidences, it pretty much started after the writers sort of ran out of the Deathnote mimicking ideas. Well, I suppose it’s cool now that shocking plot twists are everywhere. There’s a rather thin line between entertainment and junk.

  4. Nighty says:

    You see, the use of coincidences plays on the irony of Lelouch/Zero. Had it been a regular smart-ass protagonist, it seems lame, but the recurring theme of CG is how fate plays it’s hand on the 2 faces of Zero and Lelouch. Because despite what Zero is aiming after, it often clashes with Lelouch inside, and the coincidences played by CG is an ironic testament to that. Granted, there’s some weakness to that, but it works better than other coincidence played shows because it’s Code Geass. With Tokusatsu-wannabe hero Zero + Indecisive, want-to-be-evil, but don’t want to be Lelouch.

    And CLAMP HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CODE GEASS OTHER THAN DESIGNS. Absolutely nothing. What you’re seeing out of CG is pure Taniguchi+Okouchi+Sunrise, nothing less. And Ayakashi comparisons is bad other than the fact they had both vyed for the timeslots once.

    See, GUNDAM SEED DESTINY is easily one of the biggest best-sellers of 2006, despite everyone saying it sucks. And Code Geass is selling damn well as well. Fan favouritism is often subjective.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Okay, perhaps the comparison with Ayakashi Ayashi was a bit rash, but I never recall having said that Clamp was majorly involved in this one. With “their talents are wasted on this one”, I simply meant that they could have used their character-designs for much more interesting anime as well.

    And true, the coincidences may illustrate the irony of this series, but I can’t help but feel cheated when Lelouch, Suzaku or Cornellia barely escapes from death for the umpth time. I’d rather see him suffering due to the tactical insight of his opponents, rather than coincidences.

  6. Nighty says:

    Sorry then. Whenever people say CLAMP talent, I often think of their writing talent, since personally, I loathe their noodle monkey designs. Those long limbs look really really unappealing. Each to their own, but I’d rather not see a better anime (( one with solid depth, etc )) gets wasted with CLAMP designs.

    Well, that’s just the thing about Code Geass. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it does to A LOT, (( especially the Japanese )) and that’s all that matters. I haven’t seen an anime where everybody loves unconditionally.

  7. BlueCheese says:

    Wow glad to see someone saying something like this. I too love plot twists but really don’t like Code Geass. Also glad to see you blogged Red Garden. Why is it that average series get so much attention?

  8. Hann says:

    I know what you mean CG is kind of lame because of its coincidences but considering there is a massive use of this kind of writing in it it’s possible that the lameness is intended to be obvious, especially considering some of c.c’s comments in the introductions of some episodes about Lelouch’s plans and destiny.

    But to be honset i dont think CG is all that, i mean i can watch it and its pretty entertaining but i just dont think it manages to pull off the generic robot fighting, war waging, good vs evil, moral genre thats been overused so many times very well

  9. Max says:

    Yeah..it’s true the genre is overdone. However you have to realise anime isn’t really about excessive thinking- it’s something that entertains you when you’ve got some time in your hands

  10. psgels psgels says:

    Max: true, that’s the reason I kept watching it. But I just can’t imagine why this show is getting so much praise when it doesn’t deserve it.

  11. Imbroco says:

    I think it’s an interesting series, because it takes an interesting stance on the typical mecha show.. Lelouch, who would typically be the villain, and Suzaku, who would typically be the hero, aren’t really either, though Lelouch is followed as the protagonist.

    I’ve loved parts of the series, though my friends couldn’t get into it.

    Ep. 22, though..

    To me, was almost like a Shakespeare tragedy set-up..

    I don’t know if I will follow it, now. It just makes me sad, that what happened, happened.

    Like you said with the timing.. too.. not perfect.. just.. too much.

  12. CTNb says:

    ok first off i love the show, but that doesnt mean i think its for every one, i have many friends who love it and many who dont, the thing that i like about this show is the fact that yes there are mech’s but the show isnt focused only on that, like looking at other shows like gundam seed, its all about the mech but this show just use’s them on the side and its the first show i have seen to do that so i like it but thats just wut i think

  13. passingthrough says:

    Don’t despise coincidence. If Oedipus hadn’t met Laius coincidentally, Sophocles would have been a bit stuck (there’s another series with patricide as a running theme).

    Soap operas feature coincidences because *they work*.

  14. psgels psgels says:

    Passingthrough: it’s like I said above, a few coincidences indeed don’t really matter. I agree with that. But Code Geass practically lives off the stuff, where it features coincidence after coincidence after coincidence. At one point, the credibility ends.

  15. E says:

    ok, i only watched two episodes so im not gonna write some 10-page review. however, this show is at least unique in the protaganist design. someone that i won’t really be friend with in real life but fun to watch on an anime

    as for CTNB’s comments, eureka seven, EVA, or rahxephon are all mecha shows that doens’t really focus on mecha, and for their qualities, well what can we really say about E7 except amazing, honton amazing.

  16. Panther says:

    I dont like too many coincidences but i like code geass overall in spite of this, because the coincidences aren’t one sided as in their not always in zeros favour and the emphasise how vulnerable and imperfect zero is yet capable and lucky. I h8 the skinny charecters, and though i like the animation i think there is too much fan service, even in the character designs which only cheapen the anime i feel, i also have to say some costumes & character designs are atrocious but i like the overall content and i want zero to win. I think its a very character driven anime you watch it either to see zeros demise or what he achieves.

  17. Eonir says:

    IMO Code Geass has some huge similarities with other popular anime.

    The lonely boy fighting to change the world, calling himself “Justice”, with the ability to control one’s actions, even able to kill whoever he faces – DEATH NOTE. Not to mention that C.C., the one that is the source of the mysterious power seems to be not quite visible, just like Ryuk.

    Ah, and the mighty left eye reminds me of Kakashi’s sharingan.

  18. PhantomS says:

    “I’m quite surprised that this series is so enormously popular, as it’s not really that good. Because of this series, the cleverly-written anime like Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi get nearly no attention at all. Overall, it’s sad to see that Clamp’s talent got wasted on this one. Ah well, at least the character-designs look nice.”

    I agree with you. Too many coincidences, interruptions and needless sacrifices. Someone needs to take Lelouch down a few notches, before he becomes the plot contrivance man of the century. He’s too lucky, too smart and not very human. If there is any justice his sister will die in Season 2 and give him nothing to live for.

    Plot contrivance = instant down rating from me.

  19. Windy says:

    Well, personally I completely desagree with your opinion on Code Geass maybe because it’s my favorite series and everything is there to lift my interrest. The design and characters are just too perfect, the storyplot is better than ever( for me at least, I was quite reluctant to watch it but I never expected such a good series in every point, I don’t know why you don’t seem to like it much)!
    Well there’s just one thing I don’t like much : the silly games organized by Milly Ashford, that’s quite all we could reproach them for. And my two favorite are definitely Euphy and Cornelia . What about yours?

  20. psgels psgels says:

    Windy: I guess my problem with the series is that it wants a little too much, and loses sight of the small things a bit. It wants so much sensation that the plot twists are getting rather hard to swallow and too much like a soap opera, with the best example in the second season the Rolo who kills Shirley. It came from nowhere and felt way too forced. And indeed, the silly games by Milly don’t help much either. I see it just as a series for a bit of entertainment, nothing more, nothing less.

    As for my favourite characters, it first was Orange-kun, before he switched sides in such a strange way, but right now I’d have to say Lelouch’s father. He’s your typical evil overlord, but I like the way how he gets on the nerves of Lelouch.

  21. Windy says:

    Well, as for me ,I actually just hate Lelouch’s father ( Charles) , he doesn’t care what happens to his children, I think ( at least they didn’t show it)Clovis’s and Euphy’s death were little concern to him, all the people around him including his children are just pawns to him, that’s all and he wouldn’t sacrifice his victory or his empire for them repeating endlessly ” All hail Britania!”as some kind of hymn( like Lelouch said in the 16th ep of the R2: hostages won’t work on him even if it’s his own daughter, I wonder if he even loved any of his children , I had supposed he cared for Cornelia in the first season but now I see his true nature !!!),well at least Lelouch really cares for his friends of Ashford and he really cared for Euphie and Shirley , and didn’t won’t the geass to affect other precious people around him, his father never lets his emotions rule over him ( I suppose he ‘s just a cold- hearted king overwhelmed by his powers of geass which , to crown it all, now procure him immortality ). Lelouch may end like him as well. I particularly like the siblings’ relationships like the one Lelouch shares with Nanaly, the sister for whom he decided to change the world and the one shared by Euphie and Cornelia( to avenge her sister and to clear her name, Cornelia dropped her status and the army which seemed to be all her life right from the start). I wonder what’s going to happen in the next episode now that a two-sided war has been waged, with Nanaly still sitting as the governor of the 11th zone of Japan ( I hope she won’t be accidentally killed by Lelouch), and Karen and Cornelia still prisoners ( when will they take part in the war!?). I ‘m really fond of those relationships between characters ( soap-opera you say), the plot is beyong my expectations ( because I expect much from an anime too, that’s why I was surprised to find an exceptionnally well done like this one.)Well it’s also hard to picture all the children growing up together and now fighting each other to death even if they were close once but what I really can’t understand is the father – children relationship and the fact all the children were well-raised, sounds quite impossible having Charles for their father and why Euphy’s , Shneizel and all’s mother has never been showed? Well, I just love this series and I know, I can’t be too objective about it. What I like here the most: the story-plot, the characters’ design and the action parts, the relationships between characters and the effects produced cause I have great sensations when I look each episode.

  22. Windy says:

    About Rolo, it was so dumb of him to use his geass to kill Shirley off after her saying to him she liked Lelouch! So, now I don’t like this character , he seems too stupid , often acting like a killing machine.

  23. Windy says:

    to PhantomS: Maybe you don’t like it but it’s one of the best shows and I think it’s natural for it to take so much attention , I do agree that many series don’t deserve so much attention ( like GUNDAM series) but this one does really deserve it ( maybe the only one that does of all those famous worldwide series) . Besides, not only Clamp’s talent doesn’t get wasted but it’s used for one of the best shows and personnaly I don’t think that Tsubasa reservoir chronicle and xxxholic are better than this one, its talent is much more wasted on these ones. For me they’re the ones that don’t deserve such attention and waiting. Precisely, what are the things you don’t like about Code Geass?

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  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 27. 2015 11:24 PM)
    Holy crap I got a Majora’s mask in my hands and it looks just like it does in the game and hot damn it’s awesome!
    …I need to hang this up on my wall.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Feb 27. 2015 11:14 PM)
    @Swa: I felt for completions and being a huge fan of macross in general’s sake I should do so, but after the first episode , the most I can say is this hasn’t aged well and if I continue its going to be at best a guilty pleasure.
  • swa
    (Friday, Feb 27. 2015 08:19 PM)
    Macross 7… poor you, I suppose you already watched it by now. Not my favorite Macross for sure.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.

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