Sunday, 10 August 2008

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 - Episode 18

Episode eighteen of Code Geass R2 was always going to be a big hitter, considering its focus on the second battle of Tokyo as Lelouch tries to wrestle Nunnally from Britannia's control while also defeating a large part of Area 11's forces as part of their attempt to liberate Japan.

I always try not to swear on this 'Blog for the simple reason that it's rarely necessary to make a point, but on this occasion I think it is necessary, because holy shit, this episode was fucking fantastic. I've never been too excitable when it comes to the mecha side of Code Geass, with its ever more insane Knightmare upgrade cycle and the ever faster and harder battles, but even I was blown away at the way this particular episode and its action-centric battle in the skies was handled. It was fast, it was vicious, it was chaotic, and I actually found myself shouting and punching the air as Kallen returned to the fray in spectacular style, so high were my emotions running.

There was so much going on here, and so much of it (more importantly) that I don't want to spoil for those who haven't watched the episode that I won't talk about the actual plot too much, but with so many different elements coming into play it was a real tour de force in numerous ways, even though Lelouch was given little chance to showcase his tactical nous.

When an episode (and indeed my reaction to it) is so adrenaline fuelled, it's hard to adequately express it in words, and there certainly aren't enough superlatives to go around on this particular occasion, but all I can say is that it's been a long time since I've been drawn so utterly into an anime episode of this kind. It was so intense (complete with a horrific ending to the point of being unbelievable) that I almost feel like I need to take a break to recover and regain my senses after twenty-five minutes that has dragged me from the edge of my seat to jumping on my feet to gritting my teeth to watching mouth agape.

I'm almost tempted to make some ridiculous proclamation here, so before I get too carried away allow me to rein myself in and say instead - This was the best episode of Code Geass (accounting for both series so far) ever. Yes, that is me being conservative too.


Anonymous said...

I'm really beginning to think I'm the only one who didn't care for this episode.

To me, it was basically just 20 minutes of generic mecha action with a bunch of inconsequential fodder characters dropping like flies. If they wanted to clinch the shock factor, they could've at least thrown in an important character or two (why is Rolo still alive!?). I gotta admit though, the return of Kallen was a big plus, even if the moment she burst onto the scene was eye-rollingly predictable.

The twist at the end didn't convince me one bit, and given Sunrise's track record, I'm sure Nunnally miraculously makes it outta there alive thanks to a new unseen plot device. If she remains dead, then maybe I'll look back at this in a more positive light. So far, it just feels like a bunch of cheap attempts to generate some shock value.

Also, I can't help but be baffled with Lelouch's decision making. Not only has he not killed off Rolo, but he decides to give him the most important duty of all. I mean, he knows Rolo has a disturbing infatuation with him to the point he's madly jealous of anyone else close to Lelouch, AND that he already killed Shirley. So Lelouch then decides it's a swell idea to send him off to Nunnally's side? That wouldn't be my first choice, that's for sure.

Hanners said...

I can certainly see your points across the board there - I've never been too enamoured of this series 'generic mecha action' factor, yet somehow this time around it worked for me for its sheer scale and overall importance.

I am baffled as to why Lelouch picked Rolo to go after Nunnally given his obviously unstable emotions, but then again I suppose you could argue that to Lelouch's cold, logical side that deployment made perfect sense given Rolo's Geass capabilities.

I do wonder what they'll do with regard to Nunnally - If she really is dead, then Lelouch has no reason to continue fighting, which does suggest some kind of deus ex machine to keep her in the frame.

Given all those big question marks, I think it's fair to say that I just got caught up in the moment and carried along with it in this episode, hence my glowing praise for it - As escapism goes, that's pretty much a kind of Holy Grail for any medium.