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.