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View Poll Results: Code Geass R2 Series Rating
Perfect 10 365 44.95%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 199 24.51%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 92 11.33%
7 out of 10 : Good 76 9.36%
6 out of 10 : Average 31 3.82%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 20 2.46%
4 out of 10 : Poor 9 1.11%
3 out of 10 : Bad 4 0.49%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 2 0.25%
1 out of 10 : Painful 14 1.72%
Voters: 812. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2011-10-21, 11:51   Link #1681
Yamiken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
I've sort of been over it before, but logically he really did the Zero Requiem as an excuse to commit suicide after Nunnally's apparent demise and the Black Knights' betrayal. He caused more damage than he did through the rebellion, and this time he didn't even have the excuse of necessity. What was also frustrating was that Ohgi and Villetta, who were chiefly responsible for the latter happening via incompetence/misinformation, got the happiest ending. It's enough to make one wish they died at the bottom of that waterfall.
The death-seeking angle did come into it, sure, but as I've just spent a good several minutes typing out on the Shirley thread, I believe that the Zero Requiem does still stand up on other grounds.

Ohgi and Villetta are a bit frustrating, yeah. Neither of them really deserved what they got. Still, maybe they did that to further the Lelouch/Jesus comparison that they seemed to be invoking at the end - maybe he died for their sins. Alternatively, accepting karma was his and Suzaku's privilege, and they're the better people for it. Still, I fully understand your annoyance. Such blatant evasion of karma is always a bit grating, especially when the ending's trying to be a positive one.
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Old 2011-10-21, 11:55   Link #1682
azul120
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It was even worse when you consider people like Cornelia though.

That, and that Lelouch and Suzaku were doing worse things than they had been done beforehand. One does not atone by doing something worse when there are other options, and the outcome isn't foolproof to begin with.
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Old 2011-10-21, 12:10   Link #1683
Yamiken
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Eh... Cornelia I don't consider so bad, since she'd already lost Euphie at the end of season 1, and she doesn't really do much bad in R2. Plus she's not explicitly shown to have received anything in particular at the end, save the company of Guilford. Probably still less than she deserves, but not as egregious to my eyes as Ohgi and Villetta.

And see now, I really have yet to be convinced that there were other options to the Zero Requiem that were significantly less bloody. There were other options, yes, but ones that entailed fewer lives being shed? Most of the lives lost in the Zero Requiem were from the conflict with Schneizel, which would've happened anyway in all likelihood, even if Lelouch and Schneizel's respective lists of allies/minions were a bit different. Outside of that... yes there was bloodshed. It was immensely regrettable. More blood shed than any other route? I've yet to be convinced. By all means show me a plausible scenario where it wouldn't have happened, but I can't think of one myself.

Besides that, I've explained on the other thread why I like the idea of the Zero Requiem, so I won't waste time (or rather, perhaps, any more time) repeating myself.
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Old 2011-10-21, 12:32   Link #1684
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Originally Posted by Yamiken View Post
Eh... Cornelia I don't consider so bad, since she'd already lost Euphie at the end of season 1, and she doesn't really do much bad in R2. Plus she's not explicitly shown to have received anything in particular at the end, save the company of Guilford. Probably still less than she deserves, but not as egregious to my eyes as Ohgi and Villetta.
Remember her introductory episodes, where she conquers and establishes Area 18, and massacres Saitama Ghetto, on top of already having the nickname Witch of Britannia? Pretty sure she's committed plenty of atrocities to last a lifetime or two. And losing Euphie or not doing anything evil during R2 doesn't go anywhere near making up for it, nor does she atone or repent for it.

Quote:
And see now, I really have yet to be convinced that there were other options to the Zero Requiem that were significantly less bloody. There were other options, yes, but ones that entailed fewer lives being shed? Most of the lives lost in the Zero Requiem were from the conflict with Schneizel, which would've happened anyway in all likelihood, even if Lelouch and Schneizel's respective lists of allies/minions were a bit different. Outside of that... yes there was bloodshed. It was immensely regrettable. More blood shed than any other route? I've yet to be convinced. By all means show me a plausible scenario where it wouldn't have happened, but I can't think of one myself.
I stated in the other thread that Lelouch would have had plenty more allies on his side of Rounds level or higher (Kallen, Xing-ke) in addition to an overall more capable force in the Black Knights. You may remember his side was getting jobbed so badly he had to detonate Mt. Fuji. It was everything else on top of that that can be inferred from his inevitable reputation as Demon Emperor that would seal it.
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Old 2011-10-21, 13:09   Link #1685
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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Remember her introductory episodes, where she conquers and establishes Area 18, and massacres Saitama Ghetto, on top of already having the nickname Witch of Britannia? Pretty sure she's committed plenty of atrocities to last a lifetime or two. And losing Euphie or not doing anything evil during R2 doesn't go anywhere near making up for it, nor does she atone or repent for it.
"Witch of Britannia" could just as easily refer to her martial and strategic prowess as a propensity for atrocity. I don't take the conquering of Area 18 as particularly bad; alright, it's furthering Britannia's imperialist agenda, which is evil, but there's no evidence she, say, committed any particular war crimes during it; the only people we see her killing are enemy combatants. As for the loss of Euphemia, that's pretty much a fate worse than death for someone like her.

All that said, I'm not saying she got her just desserts, I'm just saying I don't see her as as much of a Karma Houdini as Ohgi and Villetta. Still, maybe I should; I'm the one arguing that the Zero Requiem wasn't the epitome of evils, after all, and particularly if you put it all down to Lelouch's grief and desperation, Ohgi and Villetta are as responsible for that as anyone else.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
I stated in the other thread that Lelouch would have had plenty more allies on his side of Rounds level or higher (Kallen, Xing-ke) in addition to an overall more capable force in the Black Knights. You may remember his side was getting jobbed so badly he had to detonate Mt. Fuji. It was everything else on top of that that can be inferred from his inevitable reputation as Demon Emperor that would seal it.
His reputation as the Demon Emperor was not, I thought, entirely based on sheer wanton cruelty (though undeniably a lot of blood was shed), but also on the hugely oppressive nature of his regime in that he severely curtailed the freedoms of his citizens. This would've been arguably worse in the long term, of course, and thus garnered him the reputation it did, but given that it was only for two or three months, it seems a bearable price to pay for world peace (even if the peace doesn't last forever).

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Lelouch was still abiding within the structure of the Empire when he called out his father. It was after the invasion of Japan that he pretty much discarded the idea of changing Brittania from within for good.

Suzaku was the opposite, a rebellious child who freaked out after his big stunt, killing his father to stop his nation from fighting to the death, ended with Japan's occupation, and his lack of punishment. It was because of that that he tried working within the system in hopes of peaceful change, though with a secret death wish.
He was, yes, but my point was that it was demonstrative of his evolving character. As I said, his subsequent experiences in Japan are what truly hardened him. Lelouch, that is. I don't disagree with you on Suzaku, though I also don't see how it's hugely relevant to this debate.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
He could make a miraculous return as Zero himself as agent and figurehead of justice instead of leaving it for Suzaku, who is ill-equipped for the job. Besides, we never got to see what he might be capable of in peacetime, solely because he got his start via the battlefield.
We never got to see him during peace time, no, but that cuts against you as much as against me. My point is that his character is ill-suited to peace time, so I think the most likely case would be that he made a comparatively lousy leader.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Again, Suzaku is wrong for the job of Zero. And Schneizel could theoretically break free of Lelouch's geass by some loophole.
Suzaku would be wrong for the job of Zero during war time. Peace time is another matter. Zero's purpose after the Zero Requiem is to be a symbol of hope, and to help control any conflicts that might, despite everything, arise - something that Suzaku, as a soldier, IS suited to. And someone who abides unfailingly by process (well, Suzaku developed a little beyond that by the end, but still) is of far more worth when the processes in place are pretty good, and when it's most important to be setting a good example.

As for Schneizel breaking free of the Geass, now you're just grasping at straws. Lelouch's Geass is absolute; the series has made that quite plain. I suppose if you go by my theory that Code-bearers can negate Geass then Schneizel might, theoretically, be able to break free... but you've made it pretty plain you disagree with me on that. So I don't see how Schneizel could break free. And who knows, even if he did, would he necessarily cause trouble? I guess it depends on whether you see him as a well-intentioned extremist or as something unalike, such as a megalomaniac or a bored genius, but I don't honestly believe he'd jeopardise the peace his half-brother created and his other remaining half-siblings (well, Nunnally at the very least) are maintaining, just of the evulz. But, I guess if you think he would, and you think that Code-bearers can negate Geass, then that is a flaw in the plan. However, as far as the two of us are concerned, that goes against your assumptions about the universe.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Consider this for a moment: Lelouch had made himself to be the worst person in the world in that short time. Worse than Emperor Charles, for instance, who was known for being a darwinist. What we do know is that Lelouch brainwashed his troops and made them wear full face masks into combat, uses them as meat shields, assassinated people for dissenting against him (CC lampshades this in a picture drama), and blows up Mt. Fuji, likely causing a ton of damage over Japan. And by that time, if you'll remember, the Black Knights rivaled if not exceeded Britannia. Lelouch actually made it harder on himself by opposing everyone else unilaterally, if you'll remember, which should be enough to put a wrench in the theory of it being less bloody. He could have faced Schneizel WITH the assistance of everyone else instead of just Suzaku, Jeremiah and a brigade of mooks. Worse, he waited a whole month and allowed Schneizel to come out of hiding with Damocles instead of at least trying to find him beforehand.
Yes, he assassinated people who disagreed with him. That created a state of fear. It's not the same as massacring entire populations, which I've yet to see evidence that he did. As I began to say above, I believe that a lot of the Demon Emperor Lelouch's image was just that - image, that and a state of fear that over a lifetime would be heinous, but over a few months can be justified given the outcome. Yes, he committed some atrocities. But over the greater period of time, I am not convinced that these atrocities spilled more blood than would have otherwise been spilt by himself and others had he taken any other route. Again: if you think there is a route he could've taken for which that statement is wrong, then state it. But not the 'Lelouch rules the world' route, because I've already said why I don't believe that was a viable option... particularly not when he was as grief-stricken as he was. Do you really want someone suicidal ruling the world? Alright, he may have gotten over that desire, but still. I don't think it would've made for good governance. If Zero Requiem was really as horrible as you claim, then it doesn't speak well for Lelouch's continuing good judgement that he judged it the least blood-stained path. So either Zero Requiem wasn't as bad as you're making out, or Lelouch is an idiot who shouldn't be ruling the world, or even just the portion of it controlled by Britannia.

As for how he persecuted the war against Schneizel: if he'd retained the Black Knights, they would have had to go down with him. Indeed, that's his essential reason for driving all of them away: he knows that anyone who sides with him will be ruined by it. Admittedly, Lloyd, Cécile and Nina were able to get away with it by claiming they'd been coerced, but they're squishy scientists; how could someone like Kallen have claimed the same thing (for that matter, on her part, would she even have wanted to)? How could an entire organisation have claimed it? As it is, the people who went down with Lelouch were: Suzaku (by dying to the world and becoming Zero), who was also accepting punishment, C.C., who's used to being a ghost anyway, Jeremiah, whose only purpose in life was to serve Lelouch loyally and was honoured to play that part through to the end no matter what the consequences, and all those who died in the conflict (regrettable but necessary sacrifices). Even the surviving soldiers of the Britannian army have the excuse that he brainwashed them (exactly how this would be handled is a little uncertain, particularly with regards as to whether the truth of the Geass would be revealed or not, but when every single surviving soldier in the Britannian army starts complaining about a massive blank during the entire war, it'd be a little hard to put down to some elaborate ruse that all of them have spontaneously concocted. Doubtless Lloyd and co., the brainy scientists, would come out with some excuse for the world). That's it.

With regards to waiting for Schneizel to come out of the woodwork, what do you propose he have done instead? Wasted resources fruitlessly pursuing him? For fruitless it would've been; Schneizel's clever enough to not be found when he doesn't want to be. No, Lelouch knew Schneizel would have to come after him eventually, so he waited. That's just strategy.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Perhaps, but it's perfectly justifiable to point out the failings of one's chosen strategy, regardless of the reasons behind them. The problem here is that the process and outcome are overly glorified in the narrative in spite of various outstanding issues.
Well, I've given my reasons for disagreeing with you on that latter part... there's no more I can state here. As for the former, yes, I agree. But there's also nothing wrong with pointing out the failings of the reasoning behind the judgement of those failings in strategy.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
It was an ass pull, unfortunately. Especially considering the leading conditions, and the happy endings undeservedly given to some of the other characters instead.
I don't believe it was an arse-pull, certainly not to the degree you do. But let's just say it was somewhat unlikely that everything did turn out as neatly as it did, which I might be prepared to grant you even if I don't believe that the overall strategy was as flawed as you're making out. Does that discredit it as an ending? No, because it's message is one of hope. Hope is always a little unrealistic; that's in its definition. So in this case, a hopeful ending is going to paint things a little brighter than they perhaps are, or are most likely to be. But for me? That's fine. I like it all the same. Now, maybe you'd prefer a more cynical ending. That's also fine; that's your preference, your taste, and I'd be a hypocrite if I tried to change that. But I believe that a hopeful ending is more in suiting with Code Geass' bright, fabulous tone, for reasons I think I've explained. So that's why I like the ending whatever the case.

Last edited by Yamiken; 2011-10-21 at 19:03.
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Old 2012-01-19, 18:18   Link #1686
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Everything about this show is a 10 great character development the story line was great and the ending was 2nd to none by far the best anime series of all time
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Old 2012-01-20, 17:52   Link #1687
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Originally Posted by Yamiken View Post
"Witch of Britannia" could just as easily refer to her martial and strategic prowess as a propensity for atrocity. I don't take the conquering of Area 18 as particularly bad; alright, it's furthering Britannia's imperialist agenda, which is evil, but there's no evidence she, say, committed any particular war crimes during it; the only people we see her killing are enemy combatants. As for the loss of Euphemia, that's pretty much a fate worse than death for someone like her.

All that said, I'm not saying she got her just desserts, I'm just saying I don't see her as as much of a Karma Houdini as Ohgi and Villetta. Still, maybe I should; I'm the one arguing that the Zero Requiem wasn't the epitome of evils, after all, and particularly if you put it all down to Lelouch's grief and desperation, Ohgi and Villetta are as responsible for that as anyone else.
You're overlooking the other things she did on-screen (killing unarmed civilians) as possibilities to those ends. And Cornelia wasn't the only one to lose loved ones. She was evidently able to find enough reason for happiness at the end, in that she had Guilford, for one.

Quote:
His reputation as the Demon Emperor was not, I thought, entirely based on sheer wanton cruelty (though undeniably a lot of blood was shed), but also on the hugely oppressive nature of his regime in that he severely curtailed the freedoms of his citizens. This would've been arguably worse in the long term, of course, and thus garnered him the reputation it did, but given that it was only for two or three months, it seems a bearable price to pay for world peace (even if the peace doesn't last forever).
But consider that it made him worse than Charles; it would have had to be THAT bad.

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We never got to see him during peace time, no, but that cuts against you as much as against me. My point is that his character is ill-suited to peace time, so I think the most likely case would be that he made a comparatively lousy leader.
He helped frame the UFN, a legitimate world organization. That takes political leadership talent, something that can be used in peacetime decisions.

Quote:
Suzaku would be wrong for the job of Zero during war time. Peace time is another matter. Zero's purpose after the Zero Requiem is to be a symbol of hope, and to help control any conflicts that might, despite everything, arise - something that Suzaku, as a soldier, IS suited to. And someone who abides unfailingly by process (well, Suzaku developed a little beyond that by the end, but still) is of far more worth when the processes in place are pretty good, and when it's most important to be setting a good example.
Zero is more than just a symbol. Lelouch basically WAS Zero; a cunning political and charismatic mind. Suzaku possesses none of his oratorical or intellectual skills.

Quote:
As for Schneizel breaking free of the Geass, now you're just grasping at straws. Lelouch's Geass is absolute; the series has made that quite plain. I suppose if you go by my theory that Code-bearers can negate Geass then Schneizel might, theoretically, be able to break free... but you've made it pretty plain you disagree with me on that. So I don't see how Schneizel could break free. And who knows, even if he did, would he necessarily cause trouble? I guess it depends on whether you see him as a well-intentioned extremist or as something unalike, such as a megalomaniac or a bored genius, but I don't honestly believe he'd jeopardise the peace his half-brother created and his other remaining half-siblings (well, Nunnally at the very least) are maintaining, just of the evulz. But, I guess if you think he would, and you think that Code-bearers can negate Geass, then that is a flaw in the plan. However, as far as the two of us are concerned, that goes against your assumptions about the universe.
No, I don't think Code bearers can negate geass commands. (Or else Lelouch could have requested that C. C. cancel the one placed on Euphie.) What I mean is that Schneizel wouldn't have to be entirely under Zero's command every single moment. It would only depend on the commands placed by him, which could be vague enough to leave Schneizel to his own thoughts at least every once in a while. Moreover, Geass can be overcome, given enough willpower and motivation. (Ironic in Schneizel's case, I know.) Given the right circumstances, Schneizel could work his way out if it.

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Yes, he assassinated people who disagreed with him. That created a state of fear. It's not the same as massacring entire populations, which I've yet to see evidence that he did. As I began to say above, I believe that a lot of the Demon Emperor Lelouch's image was just that - image, that and a state of fear that over a lifetime would be heinous, but over a few months can be justified given the outcome. Yes, he committed some atrocities. But over the greater period of time, I am not convinced that these atrocities spilled more blood than would have otherwise been spilt by himself and others had he taken any other route. Again: if you think there is a route he could've taken for which that statement is wrong, then state it. But not the 'Lelouch rules the world' route, because I've already said why I don't believe that was a viable option... particularly not when he was as grief-stricken as he was. Do you really want someone suicidal ruling the world? Alright, he may have gotten over that desire, but still. I don't think it would've made for good governance. If Zero Requiem was really as horrible as you claim, then it doesn't speak well for Lelouch's continuing good judgement that he judged it the least blood-stained path. So either Zero Requiem wasn't as bad as you're making out, or Lelouch is an idiot who shouldn't be ruling the world, or even just the portion of it controlled by Britannia.
I disagree with it being the least blood-stained path. He ended up killing more people than he did during his rebellion. Nowhere does it state, on the contrary, that he did it via propaganda. C. C. even lampshades how the people he had assassinated had the right to protest their lost privileges.

Quote:
As for how he persecuted the war against Schneizel: if he'd retained the Black Knights, they would have had to go down with him. Indeed, that's his essential reason for driving all of them away: he knows that anyone who sides with him will be ruined by it. Admittedly, Lloyd, Cécile and Nina were able to get away with it by claiming they'd been coerced, but they're squishy scientists; how could someone like Kallen have claimed the same thing (for that matter, on her part, would she even have wanted to)? How could an entire organisation have claimed it? As it is, the people who went down with Lelouch were: Suzaku (by dying to the world and becoming Zero), who was also accepting punishment, C.C., who's used to being a ghost anyway, Jeremiah, whose only purpose in life was to serve Lelouch loyally and was honoured to play that part through to the end no matter what the consequences, and all those who died in the conflict (regrettable but necessary sacrifices). Even the surviving soldiers of the Britannian army have the excuse that he brainwashed them (exactly how this would be handled is a little uncertain, particularly with regards as to whether the truth of the Geass would be revealed or not, but when every single surviving soldier in the Britannian army starts complaining about a massive blank during the entire war, it'd be a little hard to put down to some elaborate ruse that all of them have spontaneously concocted. Doubtless Lloyd and co., the brainy scientists, would come out with some excuse for the world). That's it.
You're going down the wrong tangent. I KNOW that the Zero Requiem meant driving everyone else away; that was part of the problem. And you're overlooking the gravity of him making brainwashed faceless meat shield mooks of his soldiers, and detonating Mt. Fuji over them, as well as Japan. Casualties aside, he made it a Luck Based Mission. What I meant was that if he went the Good Leader path, he would realign himself with his former comrades against Schneizel, and have much less of a conflict.

Ultimately, and I say this knowing full well of what he went through, suicide is a selfish solution, especially with what went down as a consequence, and with that in mind, his real method of penance would have been to actually be a good leader, and fulfill his contract with C. C., taking her immortality. That would have been a much better Pyrrhic Victory for Lelouch.

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With regards to waiting for Schneizel to come out of the woodwork, what do you propose he have done instead? Wasted resources fruitlessly pursuing him? For fruitless it would've been; Schneizel's clever enough to not be found when he doesn't want to be. No, Lelouch knew Schneizel would have to come after him eventually, so he waited. That's just strategy.
Only to an extent. Lelouch could have somehow predicted Schneizel's moves and possibly tracked him, given the latter's nature. Waiting for him to come out with more nukes was just naive.

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I don't believe it was an arse-pull, certainly not to the degree you do. But let's just say it was somewhat unlikely that everything did turn out as neatly as it did, which I might be prepared to grant you even if I don't believe that the overall strategy was as flawed as you're making out. Does that discredit it as an ending? No, because it's message is one of hope. Hope is always a little unrealistic; that's in its definition. So in this case, a hopeful ending is going to paint things a little brighter than they perhaps are, or are most likely to be. But for me? That's fine. I like it all the same. Now, maybe you'd prefer a more cynical ending. That's also fine; that's your preference, your taste, and I'd be a hypocrite if I tried to change that. But I believe that a hopeful ending is more in suiting with Code Geass' bright, fabulous tone, for reasons I think I've explained. So that's why I like the ending whatever the case.
I don't mind a hopeful ending. What I don't like is one that rings disingenuous.
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Old 2012-01-22, 22:49   Link #1688
Yamiken
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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
You're overlooking the other things she did on-screen (killing unarmed civilians) as possibilities to those ends. And Cornelia wasn't the only one to lose loved ones. She was evidently able to find enough reason for happiness at the end, in that she had Guilford, for one.
I'm not saying Cornelia was guiltless. I'm saying she received more punishment than Ohgi and Villetta (much more, considering they got nil and she got the death and character assassination of her treasured younger sister; as for compensations to outweigh that, yes she has Guilford, but they have each other, and a cosy prime ministerial job for Ohgi) for equal or even slightly less guilt (for the sake of avoiding more argument, let's just call it quits at equal for the time being). Or, in short: she was in need of more punishment, but not to the same extent as Ohgi and Villetta were. In my opinion, anyway. Does that satisfy?

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But consider that it made him worse than Charles; it would have had to be THAT bad.
Not quite. To be exact, he would have to be seen as worse than Charles' memory. Those are two rather crucial distinctions: between image and actuality, and between memory and present experience. As I've already discussed, certain acts, such as running a police state, are seen as just as bad as others, such as mass murder, because in the long run they are; and since for all the world knew the Demon Emperor was there to stay, quite possibly for many decades, they would indeed be seen as such. However, given that in actuality they only lasted for a few months, whereas violent atrocities like mass murder are instantaneous, they are, in their actuality, not as bad.

In addition, what is present and immediate is, by the nature of human psychology, 'worth more', so to speak, than both memory of past experience and anticipation of future ones. So, the target Lelouch has to reach is further reduced. From both these points, I argue that, in lieu of any concrete evidence to the contrary, Lelouch was not, when the cold, stark facts are considered, as bad as his father.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
He helped frame the UFN, a legitimate world organization. That takes political leadership talent, something that can be used in peacetime decisions.
A necessary but not sufficient quality. At any rate, my basic objection to the idea that Lelouch would likely have made a good peacetime leader is this: Lelouch works best when he has a concrete goal to work towards. In wartime, he had that: the destruction of the Holy Britannian Empire and all that it represented (whilst keeping Nunnally safe, obviously). In peacetime, things are different; the closest you can come is 'maintaining world peace'. But that's a lot less concrete; lacking any sort of end point, you can't produce a specific road map to achieve it, but rather you have to create and adhere to a set of procedures and principles.

Or, to put it in TV Tropes terms (and I believe you are a fellow troper?): war requires The Unfettered; peace, The Fettered. Lelouch is the former (or at any rate a lot closer to it), and it is my belief that he'd have difficulty transforming himself into the latter.

Again: I'm not saying that Lelouch definitely would have made a bad peacetime leader. I'm just saying that he probably would have made a less than brilliant one.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Zero is more than just a symbol. Lelouch basically WAS Zero; a cunning political and charismatic mind. Suzaku possesses none of his oratorical or intellectual skills.
Sure, that's what Zero really was, but I don't think that part would have been necessary in peacetime. The symbol, on the other hand, would have been more necessary than ever. Suzaku's not charismatic, nor is he a genius, no. But charisma is less important when a) you're already well-respected, nay hero-worshipped and b) you're not attempting to rally people in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and difficulties. As for genius, that's Schneizel's purpose, to act as the new brains of Zero. That was why he got Geass'd rather than killed.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
No, I don't think Code bearers can negate geass commands. (Or else Lelouch could have requested that C. C. cancel the one placed on Euphie.)
This is getting a little tangential now, but whatever, I'll answer it: when? When would he have done that? Lelouch only made it out after Euphie in time to witness her fire the first shot. By that point, it was too late. There are other factors too: C.C. herself was somewhat incapacitated at the time due to Lelouch's Geass evolving and her contact with Suzaku during that; furthermore, as I've said before, you seem to assume that Lelouch would know about all of C.C.'s abilities. He wouldn't. C.C., at least at that stage, was never fully open with Lelouch; holding back a detail like that would be entirely in character for her. Nevertheless, the point about lack of opportunity is the main one here. The rest is mainly academic.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
What I mean is that Schneizel wouldn't have to be entirely under Zero's command every single moment. It would only depend on the commands placed by him, which could be vague enough to leave Schneizel to his own thoughts at least every once in a while. Moreover, Geass can be overcome, given enough willpower and motivation. (Ironic in Schneizel's case, I know.) Given the right circumstances, Schneizel could work his way out if it.
The only example we have of a Geass being successfully overcome is Nunnally's regaining of her sight. This, however, is a poor example, being unexplained in its mechanics, or even as to whether the symptom overcome was a primary effect of the Geass in the first place (it does seem to be indicated that Charles' Geass can seal off physical senses as well as other Geasses, but it's not made explicit, and until then the standard explanation was that Nunnally's blindness was psychosomatic, a hypothesis not invalidated by the revelation of Charles' Geass). Plus, it involves Charles' Geass, not Lelouch's, making it an even poorer example. There's no instance of Lelouch's Geass ever being overcome successfully in the series; the most anyone is ever able to do is delay its onset. Euphie and Nunnally both clearly tried very hard to defy it, but Euphie was only able to sort of manage it when she was on the brink of death and her brain was already in the process of shutdown, thus eroding the sway of the Geass, which by all indications is a purely mental thing. Barring some sort of freak occurrence like brain cancer, I think Schneizel's pretty safely under wraps.

Moreover, I reiterate: where's the case that he would cause trouble even if he were to attain some limited freedom from the Geass? I myself always got the impression that Schneizel believed that what he was doing was right for the sake of brining peace to the world. Shown another path, would he necessarily destroy it for the sake of his ideology? Due to my reasoning in the previous paragraph, I consider this point mostly academic, but I feel it worth saying anyway.

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I disagree with it being the least blood-stained path. He ended up killing more people than he did during his rebellion. Nowhere does it state, on the contrary, that he did it via propaganda. C. C. even lampshades how the people he had assassinated had the right to protest their lost privileges.
Assassination. Not genocide. Bumping off a few, or even a lot of, recalcitrant nobles or dogmatic zealots, or even some well-meaning revolutionaries, isn't pleasant, but it's not the same as the horror and widespread destruction of war. There was, of course, war under Lelouch's watch, but I remain adamant that it was shorter and, overall, less bloody than any other war or collection of wars that would have inevitably occurred had he taken a different path following the final confrontation with his father.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
You're going down the wrong tangent. I KNOW that the Zero Requiem meant driving everyone else away; that was part of the problem. And you're overlooking the gravity of him making brainwashed faceless meat shield mooks of his soldiers, and detonating Mt. Fuji over them, as well as Japan. Casualties aside, he made it a Luck Based Mission. What I meant was that if he went the Good Leader path, he would realign himself with his former comrades against Schneizel, and have much less of a conflict.
I'm not saying there was no gravity to brainwashing his army. It was one of the things that would have cemented his reputation as a horrible person afterwards. But I am saying that it did have the flipside of absolving his army of any responsibility for following him. That surely has to count for something. In addition, they're soldiers; they ran a high risk of dying whatever happened whilst war was still a fact of life in the world.

And I disagree that there would have been less conflict of the Good Leader route. You forget that the point of the Zero Requiem wasn't just defeating Schneizel; if that had been the case, then yes, you are in fact right, attempting to regain his former allies would have been more productive for that. The point was to remove everything and everyone that might cause future conflicts for the world, to as great a degree as is possible. Therefore, he gave the entire world something to hate equally, and in his short stint as world dictator would, I imagine, have done his best to reorganise things such that other potential incentives for war would be removed (decimating the Britannian aristocracy, for instance). For that reason, I disagree that the Good Leader path, even assuming he could have managed it competently, would have led to less conflict.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Ultimately, and I say this knowing full well of what he went through, suicide is a selfish solution, especially with what went down as a consequence, and with that in mind, his real method of penance would have been to actually be a good leader, and fulfill his contract with C. C., taking her immortality. That would have been a much better Pyrrhic Victory for Lelouch.
Yes, suicide as a motive is, in itself, selfish. But just because one has a selfish motive for something doesn't mean one can't have an altruistic motive as well. Indeed, most would say it's impossible for human beings to have purely altruistic motives for anything, for the simple reason that altruism, for the vast majority of us, feels good, which therefore gives us a selfish motive to be altruistic. Ethical theory aside, if suicide had been Lelouch's only motive, he'd have just remained in the world of C or let Suzaku kill him. That wasn't all he was doing. He was trying to make the world a better place at the same time. Whether or not you agree that he was successful (or, perhaps phrased better, should have been successful under realistic expectations), you have to concede at least that much, surely.

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Only to an extent. Lelouch could have somehow predicted Schneizel's moves and possibly tracked him, given the latter's nature. Waiting for him to come out with more nukes was just naive.
No, it was a sensible appraisal of his opponent. Lelouch thought he could beat Schneizel; that didn't mean he thought he could curb stomp him. He was exercising due caution. Going after Schneizel directly but, for the most part, blindly, could very well have left him fatally open. So he waited, and dealt with some other opponents (such as Bismarck et al.) in the mean time.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
I don't mind a hopeful ending. What I don't like is one that rings disingenuous.
And that's fair enough. I'm just saying, to me it doesn't ring disingenuous at all. Well, that and that other people, not necessarily you, do seem too cynical to ever like any ending more positive than more-bitter-than-sweet. But since that isn't you, it needn't occupy any great space in this debate.
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Old 2012-01-23, 14:18   Link #1689
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I'm not saying Cornelia was guiltless. I'm saying she received more punishment than Ohgi and Villetta (much more, considering they got nil and she got the death and character assassination of her treasured younger sister; as for compensations to outweigh that, yes she has Guilford, but they have each other, and a cosy prime ministerial job for Ohgi) for equal or even slightly less guilt (for the sake of avoiding more argument, let's just call it quits at equal for the time being). Or, in short: she was in need of more punishment, but not to the same extent as Ohgi and Villetta were. In my opinion, anyway. Does that satisfy?
Fair enough. It was just that you inferred she wasn't guilty of any non-combatant atrocities.

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Not quite. To be exact, he would have to be seen as worse than Charles' memory. Those are two rather crucial distinctions: between image and actuality, and between memory and present experience. As I've already discussed, certain acts, such as running a police state, are seen as just as bad as others, such as mass murder, because in the long run they are; and since for all the world knew the Demon Emperor was there to stay, quite possibly for many decades, they would indeed be seen as such. However, given that in actuality they only lasted for a few months, whereas violent atrocities like mass murder are instantaneous, they are, in their actuality, not as bad.

In addition, what is present and immediate is, by the nature of human psychology, 'worth more', so to speak, than both memory of past experience and anticipation of future ones. So, the target Lelouch has to reach is further reduced. From both these points, I argue that, in lieu of any concrete evidence to the contrary, Lelouch was not, when the cold, stark facts are considered, as bad as his father.
A police state pretty much equals anyone protesting getting killed or locked up indefinitely.

Regardless of the net result between him and Charles, Lelouch could have instead pegged Charles, or Schneizel, as the target of hatred.

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A necessary but not sufficient quality. At any rate, my basic objection to the idea that Lelouch would likely have made a good peacetime leader is this: Lelouch works best when he has a concrete goal to work towards. In wartime, he had that: the destruction of the Holy Britannian Empire and all that it represented (whilst keeping Nunnally safe, obviously). In peacetime, things are different; the closest you can come is 'maintaining world peace'. But that's a lot less concrete; lacking any sort of end point, you can't produce a specific road map to achieve it, but rather you have to create and adhere to a set of procedures and principles.

Or, to put it in TV Tropes terms (and I believe you are a fellow troper?): war requires The Unfettered; peace, The Fettered. Lelouch is the former (or at any rate a lot closer to it), and it is my belief that he'd have difficulty transforming himself into the latter.

Again: I'm not saying that Lelouch definitely would have made a bad peacetime leader. I'm just saying that he probably would have made a less than brilliant one.
Perhaps, but as Zero, he could have reconfigured himself into a protector of justice, as per his original image.

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Sure, that's what Zero really was, but I don't think that part would have been necessary in peacetime. The symbol, on the other hand, would have been more necessary than ever. Suzaku's not charismatic, nor is he a genius, no. But charisma is less important when a) you're already well-respected, nay hero-worshipped and b) you're not attempting to rally people in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and difficulties. As for genius, that's Schneizel's purpose, to act as the new brains of Zero. That was why he got Geass'd rather than killed.
True. But that depends on Suzaku keeping a handle on Schneizel.

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This is getting a little tangential now, but whatever, I'll answer it: when? When would he have done that? Lelouch only made it out after Euphie in time to witness her fire the first shot. By that point, it was too late. There are other factors too: C.C. herself was somewhat incapacitated at the time due to Lelouch's Geass evolving and her contact with Suzaku during that; furthermore, as I've said before, you seem to assume that Lelouch would know about all of C.C.'s abilities. He wouldn't. C.C., at least at that stage, was never fully open with Lelouch; holding back a detail like that would be entirely in character for her. Nevertheless, the point about lack of opportunity is the main one here. The rest is mainly academic.
I do understand that C. C. wasn't fully open. Though I do have reason to believe she would throw him a bone in such a crisis. In such a case, even if Lelouch couldn't stop the killing spree, he could have C. C. undo the geass command after Euphie was disarmed.

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The only example we have of a Geass being successfully overcome is Nunnally's regaining of her sight. This, however, is a poor example, being unexplained in its mechanics, or even as to whether the symptom overcome was a primary effect of the Geass in the first place (it does seem to be indicated that Charles' Geass can seal off physical senses as well as other Geasses, but it's not made explicit, and until then the standard explanation was that Nunnally's blindness was psychosomatic, a hypothesis not invalidated by the revelation of Charles' Geass). Plus, it involves Charles' Geass, not Lelouch's, making it an even poorer example. There's no instance of Lelouch's Geass ever being overcome successfully in the series; the most anyone is ever able to do is delay its onset. Euphie and Nunnally both clearly tried very hard to defy it, but Euphie was only able to sort of manage it when she was on the brink of death and her brain was already in the process of shutdown, thus eroding the sway of the Geass, which by all indications is a purely mental thing. Barring some sort of freak occurrence like brain cancer, I think Schneizel's pretty safely under wraps.

Moreover, I reiterate: where's the case that he would cause trouble even if he were to attain some limited freedom from the Geass? I myself always got the impression that Schneizel believed that what he was doing was right for the sake of brining peace to the world. Shown another path, would he necessarily destroy it for the sake of his ideology? Due to my reasoning in the previous paragraph, I consider this point mostly academic, but I feel it worth saying anyway.
It is possible, but not a sure thing. At the same time, he could still see too much discord with the new path, and try to worm his way out somehow, possibly via unknown Geass holders/Geass cult remnants cancelling the geass.

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Assassination. Not genocide. Bumping off a few, or even a lot of, recalcitrant nobles or dogmatic zealots, or even some well-meaning revolutionaries, isn't pleasant, but it's not the same as the horror and widespread destruction of war. There was, of course, war under Lelouch's watch, but I remain adamant that it was shorter and, overall, less bloody than any other war or collection of wars that would have inevitably occurred had he taken a different path following the final confrontation with his father.
Why then does C. C. say to him that they had a right to protest? I mean, she friggin' chastised him for his meltdown after Shirley's father died in the Narita landslide. On top of this, the Zero Requiem is constructed from a lie. What happens if someone finds out the truth, and doesn't like what they see? Moreover, what happens if and when the fighting starts up again anyways?

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I'm not saying there was no gravity to brainwashing his army. It was one of the things that would have cemented his reputation as a horrible person afterwards. But I am saying that it did have the flipside of absolving his army of any responsibility for following him. That surely has to count for something. In addition, they're soldiers; they ran a high risk of dying whatever happened whilst war was still a fact of life in the world.

And I disagree that there would have been less conflict of the Good Leader route. You forget that the point of the Zero Requiem wasn't just defeating Schneizel; if that had been the case, then yes, you are in fact right, attempting to regain his former allies would have been more productive for that. The point was to remove everything and everyone that might cause future conflicts for the world, to as great a degree as is possible. Therefore, he gave the entire world something to hate equally, and in his short stint as world dictator would, I imagine, have done his best to reorganise things such that other potential incentives for war would be removed (decimating the Britannian aristocracy, for instance). For that reason, I disagree that the Good Leader path, even assuming he could have managed it competently, would have led to less conflict.
He could have targeted someone else to be the symbol of hatred, namely Schneizel. Instead of commanding him to obey Zero, order him to announce what his plans were all along, exposing himself to the world, and order his execution.

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Yes, suicide as a motive is, in itself, selfish. But just because one has a selfish motive for something doesn't mean one can't have an altruistic motive as well. Indeed, most would say it's impossible for human beings to have purely altruistic motives for anything, for the simple reason that altruism, for the vast majority of us, feels good, which therefore gives us a selfish motive to be altruistic. Ethical theory aside, if suicide had been Lelouch's only motive, he'd have just remained in the world of C or let Suzaku kill him. That wasn't all he was doing. He was trying to make the world a better place at the same time. Whether or not you agree that he was successful (or, perhaps phrased better, should have been successful under realistic expectations), you have to concede at least that much, surely.
I will concede that much, but at the same time, infer that if not for his suicidalness, he wouldn't have went down this road. Of course, for that, I place the blame on Ohgi and Villetta for inciting the betrayal.

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No, it was a sensible appraisal of his opponent. Lelouch thought he could beat Schneizel; that didn't mean he thought he could curb stomp him. He was exercising due caution. Going after Schneizel directly but, for the most part, blindly, could very well have left him fatally open. So he waited, and dealt with some other opponents (such as Bismarck et al.) in the mean time.
Waiting meant Schneizel had a chance to gear up.
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Old 2012-01-23, 22:36   Link #1690
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Not to butt in, but your both forgetting the Jerimiah Gottwald had the Geass Canceler thanks to the General who over saw CC during S1, and could theoretically be found by Schnizel or one of his aids and either coerced or for Ed into removing the Geass put upon him by Lelouch.
Remember he freed Shirley from her Geass spell?
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Old 2012-01-23, 22:39   Link #1691
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Not to butt in, but your both forgetting the Jerimiah Gottwald had the Geass Canceler thanks to the General who over saw CC during S1, and could theoretically be found by Schnizel or one of his aids and either coerced or for Ed into removing the Geass put upon him by Lelouch.
Remember he freed Shirley from her Geass spell?
I guess that's one reason why Jeremiah is now living in apparent isolation with Anya, in order to make himself harder to find in the first place. Then again, if you're going to argue that, then it's also possible for us to imagine that Lelouch and Suzaku arranged preparations for such an eventuality. The debate then turns into a trap where unproven assumptions and speculations create an endless circle.

Which goes hand in hand with the main thrust of the ongoing discussion, if you're cynical enough about it, considering there's little or no new information being exchanged. Those who want to be pessimistic about the ending can do so, but it's also entirely possible to have a different interpretation of the same.
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Old 2012-01-23, 23:38   Link #1692
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Actually I was just pointing out that Jeremiah was still around and had the Geass Canceler and that's all. How revelent it is too the story has yet to be seen.
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Old 2012-01-28, 20:36   Link #1693
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I was referring to OTHER possible beings with Geass and codes, and by extension, the means to cancel them out.
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Old 2012-02-02, 20:27   Link #1694
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
I guess that's one reason why Jeremiah is now living in apparent isolation with Anya, in order to make himself harder to find in the first place. Then again, if you're going to argue that, then it's also possible for us to imagine that Lelouch and Suzaku arranged preparations for such an eventuality. The debate then turns into a trap where unproven assumptions and speculations create an endless circle.

Which goes hand in hand with the main thrust of the ongoing discussion, if you're cynical enough about it, considering there's little or no new information being exchanged. Those who want to be pessimistic about the ending can do so, but it's also entirely possible to have a different interpretation of the same.
Actually, I think that Jeremiah and Anya went away in order to live in peace. I think it has more to do with them pulling themselves away from the thick of society than anything to do with people finding him for his Geass Canceller. I doubt very many people knew about Jeremiah's Anti-Geass in the first place.

I was waiting for someone to finally mention Jeremiah. I didn't want to get involved in the debate so I just didn't post anything. But there's no way Code Bearers can undo Geass effects. They are simply immune to them. I don't claim to know anything about or even begin to understand the World of C, but never in the show did they suggest that Code Bearers had any control over others' powers once they bestowed them.
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Old 2012-02-04, 02:41   Link #1695
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What I meant was given that the tech to cancel out Geass was there...
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Old 2012-02-13, 14:27   Link #1696
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Before I do some more rebuttal, let me just make this comment: Code Geass is a very interesting show for a number of reasons, one of them being the way in which it deals with what tropers call the First Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics, which states that as more plot elements, such as major characters, are added to a story, the telling of that story must either slow in pace or reduce the focus on each individual element of its plot. Most stories deal with this either by regulating the number of major plot elements they deal with or letting their pace slow. Code Geass, on the other hand, introduces a whole load of plot elements but, rather than pacing, sacrifices focus.

What this means is that there is a lot of conservation of detail in Code Geass. What this in turn means is that, for a show that's not really trying to be deep or meaningful, there is a still a lot that is open to interpretation. But now, the pertinent point: what I'm trying to do here is not convert people to my interpretation of the series. That would be against my principles. What I'm trying to do is defend my interpretation of the series as consistent and reasonably probable. I'm not asking people to subscribe to it. I would, however, like it to be seen as plausible. (Well, that said, it's less that I care about what you all think, and more that I just enjoy the intellectual stimulation of a good debate. :P ) Please keep that in mind for what I say. I'm not saying any of this is the only way of reading the show. What I'm saying is that it's my way and that I think it makes sense.

Now, with that out of the way, back into the fray.

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A police state pretty much equals anyone protesting getting killed or locked up indefinitely.

Regardless of the net result between him and Charles, Lelouch could have instead pegged Charles, or Schneizel, as the target of hatred.
That wouldn't have worked the same way. The thing about Charles and Schneizel, or anyone and anything with any real power in the old order, was that despite the fact that most of the world was suffering from what they stood for, there were still enough people who stood to benefit from their way of doing things, or at the very least thought they did. In Charles' and Schneizel's cases, this was the ethnic Britannians, and more specifically the aristocracy. The whole point of Emperor Lelouch was that everyone, barring a close few like Suzaku and Jeremiah, suffered under him. There was no significant group of people who would harken back to his reign and miss it, and thereby resent the new order which followed it.

Now, at this point, you may make the argument that, by the end, Schneizel probably could have fulfilled that role. I'm not actually entirely ready to disagree with that. But the counter-point I'd raise is this: the Zero Requiem was a plan formulated in the World of C, before Schneizel's true plan and intentions became apparent. However much Lelouch did know his brother's character, I think the full extent of his means and ambitions caught even him by some surprise. At any rate, there was no certainty. Lelouch couldn't afford to rely on Schneizel becoming enough of a demon to demonise in the way he needed to; the only person he could rely on to do that was himself. By the time it became evident that Schneizel could possibly fulfil that role, Lelouch was too committed; there would have been no point in trying to back out then. He had too much blood on his hands already. Better to finish the job himself; nothing to be gained from trying to foist it off onto Schneizel, who could anyway have yet pulled something clever and unexpected out of his sleeves to scupper everything.

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Perhaps, but as Zero, he could have reconfigured himself into a protector of justice, as per his original image.
If it were just his image that would have needed changing, then I'd agree. But that's not what I was arguing. I was arguing that Lelouch's core, innate personality was incompatible with being a peacetime ruler. Changing one's image is easily enough done, at least for someone clever and resourceful like Lelouch; changing one's temperament, less so, particularly when one of one's most prominent characteristics is the zeal with which one holds to one's ways.

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True. But that depends on Suzaku keeping a handle on Schneizel.
Easily enough done with the Geass. Suzaku isn't a total idiot, at least not by the end of the series.

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I do understand that C. C. wasn't fully open. Though I do have reason to believe she would throw him a bone in such a crisis. In such a case, even if Lelouch couldn't stop the killing spree, he could have C. C. undo the geass command after Euphie was disarmed.
Could have. But what would the point have been? I reiterate: Lelouch viewed it as a mercy for Euphie to simply die after the massacre had begun. He didn't want to put her through the horror of having to live with being responsible, even to the extent that she was, for such a slaughter. Of course, quite possibly his motives weren't entirely compassionate; if Euphie's dead, he doesn't have to face her and his own responsibility in such a way. But either way, I don't think Lelouch would have had the Geass cancelled even if he'd known he could.

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It is possible, but not a sure thing. At the same time, he could still see too much discord with the new path, and try to worm his way out somehow, possibly via unknown Geass holders/Geass cult remnants cancelling the geass.
That still seems pretty implausible to me. Possible, maybe, but I think my interpretation is the more likely. Of course, you're welcome to believe what you will.

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Why then does C. C. say to him that they had a right to protest? I mean, she friggin' chastised him for his meltdown after Shirley's father died in the Narita landslide. On top of this, the Zero Requiem is constructed from a lie. What happens if someone finds out the truth, and doesn't like what they see? Moreover, what happens if and when the fighting starts up again anyways?
Of course they had a right to protest. I've never tried to say Lelouch didn't do some pretty nasty things as the Demon Emperor. I'm saying that those things were viewed as as horrible as they were because of how terrible they'd have been over a lifetime, which as far as anyone not in the know knew they would have had Lelouch survived. Over a few months, they were still awful, but not as terrible as the alternative.

To put it a slightly different way: what Lelouch managed was to surpass the rate at which his father committed atrocities, not the sum total; also, he spared no one, unlike his father who whatever else he did made life fairly sweet for the ethnic Britannians, and the aristocracy above all. Anyone in-universe (and not in on the plan) evaluating the characters of the two men would conclude that Emperor Lelouch is the worse, even if he didn't have nearly as long to do evil. But what you were trying to do was say that the sum total of what Lelouch did was worse than the sum total of what his father ever managed. I'm saying that that's mistaken. Or at least, in all likelihood mistaken.

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He could have targeted someone else to be the symbol of hatred, namely Schneizel. Instead of commanding him to obey Zero, order him to announce what his plans were all along, exposing himself to the world, and order his execution.
I refer you to one of my above paragraphs. By the time Lelouch was Geassing Schneizel, he was far too committed. Turning round and saying, "Just kidding everyone, I am a good guy after all. Now look how horrible this bastard is!" wouldn't have rung true enough to get the entire world behind it.

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I will concede that much, but at the same time, infer that if not for his suicidalness, he wouldn't have went down this road. Of course, for that, I place the blame on Ohgi and Villetta for inciting the betrayal.
Maybe not, maybe not. Certainly, Ohgi and Villetta are to blame for backing him into a corner. At any rate, there may well have been another way, particularly if I hadn't had his named smeared with the Black Knights. I'm just not convinced it would have been any less bloody, in the long run, than the Zero Requiem.

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Waiting meant Schneizel had a chance to gear up.
As did Lelouch.

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Actually, I think that Jeremiah and Anya went away in order to live in peace. I think it has more to do with them pulling themselves away from the thick of society than anything to do with people finding him for his Geass Canceller. I doubt very many people knew about Jeremiah's Anti-Geass in the first place.
This I agree with.

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Originally Posted by Spectacular_Insanity View Post
I was waiting for someone to finally mention Jeremiah. I didn't want to get involved in the debate so I just didn't post anything. But there's no way Code Bearers can undo Geass effects. They are simply immune to them. I don't claim to know anything about or even begin to understand the World of C, but never in the show did they suggest that Code Bearers had any control over others' powers once they bestowed them.
This I do not. This in particular hearkens back to the point I made at the beginning of my post. I'm not saying that Code bearers definitely have the ability to cancel out Geass effects. But nothing you've said there demonstrates that they absolutely can't have it. Ultimately, I'm not saying you have to buy my interpretation; just don't bash it as an invalid product. Besides, there is one thing which suggests it: C.C. restoring Lelouch's memories and Geass at the beginning of R2. An explanation is needed for that. Mine isn't the only one, but it is a possible one, and I happen to find it the most convincing.
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Old 2012-02-16, 21:08   Link #1697
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Originally Posted by Yamiken View Post
Before I do some more rebuttal, let me just make this comment: Code Geass is a very interesting show for a number of reasons, one of them being the way in which it deals with what tropers call the First Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics, which states that as more plot elements, such as major characters, are added to a story, the telling of that story must either slow in pace or reduce the focus on each individual element of its plot. Most stories deal with this either by regulating the number of major plot elements they deal with or letting their pace slow. Code Geass, on the other hand, introduces a whole load of plot elements but, rather than pacing, sacrifices focus.

What this means is that there is a lot of conservation of detail in Code Geass. What this in turn means is that, for a show that's not really trying to be deep or meaningful, there is a still a lot that is open to interpretation. But now, the pertinent point: what I'm trying to do here is not convert people to my interpretation of the series. That would be against my principles. What I'm trying to do is defend my interpretation of the series as consistent and reasonably probable. I'm not asking people to subscribe to it. I would, however, like it to be seen as plausible. (Well, that said, it's less that I care about what you all think, and more that I just enjoy the intellectual stimulation of a good debate. :P ) Please keep that in mind for what I say. I'm not saying any of this is the only way of reading the show. What I'm saying is that it's my way and that I think it makes sense.

Now, with that out of the way, back into the fray.



That wouldn't have worked the same way. The thing about Charles and Schneizel, or anyone and anything with any real power in the old order, was that despite the fact that most of the world was suffering from what they stood for, there were still enough people who stood to benefit from their way of doing things, or at the very least thought they did. In Charles' and Schneizel's cases, this was the ethnic Britannians, and more specifically the aristocracy. The whole point of Emperor Lelouch was that everyone, barring a close few like Suzaku and Jeremiah, suffered under him. There was no significant group of people who would harken back to his reign and miss it, and thereby resent the new order which followed it.

Now, at this point, you may make the argument that, by the end, Schneizel probably could have fulfilled that role. I'm not actually entirely ready to disagree with that. But the counter-point I'd raise is this: the Zero Requiem was a plan formulated in the World of C, before Schneizel's true plan and intentions became apparent. However much Lelouch did know his brother's character, I think the full extent of his means and ambitions caught even him by some surprise. At any rate, there was no certainty. Lelouch couldn't afford to rely on Schneizel becoming enough of a demon to demonise in the way he needed to; the only person he could rely on to do that was himself. By the time it became evident that Schneizel could possibly fulfil that role, Lelouch was too committed; there would have been no point in trying to back out then. He had too much blood on his hands already. Better to finish the job himself; nothing to be gained from trying to foist it off onto Schneizel, who could anyway have yet pulled something clever and unexpected out of his sleeves to scupper everything.
At the very least, he had to have known he had more FLEIJAs stockpiled and could do what he wanted.

Besides, betting on humanity focusing their hatred on one thing or person is a sucker's bet. People are too fickle.

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If it were just his image that would have needed changing, then I'd agree. But that's not what I was arguing. I was arguing that Lelouch's core, innate personality was incompatible with being a peacetime ruler. Changing one's image is easily enough done, at least for someone clever and resourceful like Lelouch; changing one's temperament, less so, particularly when one of one's most prominent characteristics is the zeal with which one holds to one's ways.
Unless you take into account that it was the hostility of the environment that did it in the first place. Take away said hostility, and he's more likely than not to ease out. He was rather happy and content at Ashford.

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Easily enough done with the Geass. Suzaku isn't a total idiot, at least not by the end of the series.
He still is a bit of a fool. Heck, so is Lelouch himself. One of the rules of conflict is that there needs to be some room for something to go wrong, and the Geassverse is just full of 'em.

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Could have. But what would the point have been? I reiterate: Lelouch viewed it as a mercy for Euphie to simply die after the massacre had begun. He didn't want to put her through the horror of having to live with being responsible, even to the extent that she was, for such a slaughter. Of course, quite possibly his motives weren't entirely compassionate; if Euphie's dead, he doesn't have to face her and his own responsibility in such a way. But either way, I don't think Lelouch would have had the Geass cancelled even if he'd known he could.
How do we know this? All we know is that there was NO way for the command to be cancelled.

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That still seems pretty implausible to me. Possible, maybe, but I think my interpretation is the more likely. Of course, you're welcome to believe what you will.
You're sounding a little patronizing here.

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Of course they had a right to protest. I've never tried to say Lelouch didn't do some pretty nasty things as the Demon Emperor. I'm saying that those things were viewed as as horrible as they were because of how terrible they'd have been over a lifetime, which as far as anyone not in the know knew they would have had Lelouch survived. Over a few months, they were still awful, but not as terrible as the alternative.

To put it a slightly different way: what Lelouch managed was to surpass the rate at which his father committed atrocities, not the sum total; also, he spared no one, unlike his father who whatever else he did made life fairly sweet for the ethnic Britannians, and the aristocracy above all. Anyone in-universe (and not in on the plan) evaluating the characters of the two men would conclude that Emperor Lelouch is the worse, even if he didn't have nearly as long to do evil. But what you were trying to do was say that the sum total of what Lelouch did was worse than the sum total of what his father ever managed. I'm saying that that's mistaken. Or at least, in all likelihood mistaken.
Whether or not it was sum total or just the rate was left out of the details. Not only that, so was the matter of it being a better solution than the alternative. Lelouch said NOTHING to that effect. What is pretty safe to say is that it exceeded both the sum total and rate of collateral damage of his rebellion, much of which was unavoidable by contrast. Besides, him leaving behind the reconstruction in the hands of many of the people who had been fooled by Schneizel? Some brain trust.

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I refer you to one of my above paragraphs. By the time Lelouch was Geassing Schneizel, he was far too committed. Turning round and saying, "Just kidding everyone, I am a good guy after all. Now look how horrible this bastard is!" wouldn't have rung true enough to get the entire world behind it.
Apparently you haven't been following well enough. I would have preferred him to NEVER go with his plan of alienation to begin with. Not only would he be able to call out Schneizel, he wouldn't have to go up against the BKs all at the same time.

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Maybe not, maybe not. Certainly, Ohgi and Villetta are to blame for backing him into a corner. At any rate, there may well have been another way, particularly if I hadn't had his named smeared with the Black Knights. I'm just not convinced it would have been any less bloody, in the long run, than the Zero Requiem.
Here's the thing: how long will the peace last? When it's gone, it's gone, and all the destruction from the ZR will be for naught.

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As did Lelouch.
Schneizel was waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy more loaded though. You cannot equate both cases.

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This I do not. This in particular hearkens back to the point I made at the beginning of my post. I'm not saying that Code bearers definitely have the ability to cancel out Geass effects. But nothing you've said there demonstrates that they absolutely can't have it. Ultimately, I'm not saying you have to buy my interpretation; just don't bash it as an invalid product. Besides, there is one thing which suggests it: C.C. restoring Lelouch's memories and Geass at the beginning of R2. An explanation is needed for that. Mine isn't the only one, but it is a possible one, and I happen to find it the most convincing.
Remember the kiss C. C. gave Lelouch during the Black Rebellion? She created a memory imprint to be stored inside C's World.
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Old 2012-02-22, 18:50   Link #1698
Yamiken
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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
At the very least, he had to have known he had more FLEIJAs stockpiled and could do what he wanted.
I'll come to this later on. Something else you said in this post gives me a better lead-in for my counter-point.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Besides, betting on humanity focusing their hatred on one thing or person is a sucker's bet. People are too fickle.
Bah, away with you, ye cynic! Still, if you feel the way the show presents it is too idealistic, then here's a different way of looking at the same facts: by and large, people - that is, the populus - dislike war, at least here in the modern day, which Code Geass is at least close to. They dislike their resources being spent on it, they dislike their young men dying for it, they may well even dislike the other side being killed during it. They'll put up with it, even willingly support it, in some situations, but only those where they perceive a legitimate causus belli. If it's just a bunch of greedy elites trying to secure more money, fame or power for themselves, they're not going to just sit by and let it happen if they've any option. That's not to say that all wars fought by democratic nations are just; the people can still be misled and manipulated in cases. But it's a lot less likely. The point of Zero Requiem, or rather of the way in which it was carried out, was threefold. Firstly, the world's power structures were reorganised such that, when Lelouch was taken out, it would be very easy to put in place democratically and internationally accountable governments in all the most significant political blocs in the world: the EU was already democratic, the Chinese Federation had its revolution and the Holy Britannian Empire was reorganised by Lelouch; meanwhile, all three were signed up to the United Nations Federation.

Secondly, a lot of the vested interests that had previously motivated war were destroyed. The noble class of Britannia was decimated; the eunuchs of China had already been exterminated; other reforms, such as a more equitable distribution of sakuradite, were presumably implemented. More democracy and international collaboration meant greater barriers to war; this meant fewer incentives for it.

And finally, there would have been a massive political impetus to create a lasting peace. Think the peace talks at Versailles after the First World War, except without a defeated nation for everyone to take kicks at and sow the seeds of the next war. "Never again" would have been the watchwords after the Zero Requiem, as they were there - and, I think, the factors which sabotaged the real-world postwar peace would not be present here - after all, the enemy is not a nation but a single person. Between all this, and the fact that people Lelouch knew and trusted (or had Geassed) to work towards his (actual) goals were now basically in charge of the world, I contend that the Zero Requiem, with admittedly a little luck (but when isn't luck present in fiction or outside it?), could well have worked.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Unless you take into account that it was the hostility of the environment that did it in the first place. Take away said hostility, and he's more likely than not to ease out. He was rather happy and content at Ashford.
So? I'm not saying his problem is that he's miserable or rage-filled, I'm saying his problem is that he's just not the sort of personality to do well at peacetime governance, at least nowhere near as well as at wartime leadership. Think Winston Churchill if that helps - great wartime prime minister, got voted out when peace arrived, possibly because voters remembered him ruining the economy in the 1920s.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
He still is a bit of a fool. Heck, so is Lelouch himself. One of the rules of conflict is that there needs to be some room for something to go wrong, and the Geassverse is just full of 'em.
You're going to need to give me more than a bland assertion of Suzaku's foolishness and a general platitude. Again, I'm not saying Suzaku's a genius. I'm saying he's not a total idiot by the end of the series, and he's got a Geassed Schneizel for when serious thinking needs to be done.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
How do we know this? All we know is that there was NO way for the command to be cancelled.
We don't know it. I'm saying it's possible, and that I personally find it both likely and aesthetically pleasing as an interpretation of the Geass cosmos. And no, we don't "know" that there is no way for a command to be cancelled (although, if we did, where does that leave your argument with Schneizel from earlier?). Actually, we "know" that there is at least one: Jeremiah's Geass canceller. But that's beside the point. Canon gives no clear indication as to what the full list of immortals' abilities is, or whether this particular one happens to be on it. So whilst I won't slam you for disagreeing with me, I like to think that it is.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
You're sounding a little patronizing here.
I apologise. That was absolutely not my intent. All I was trying to say was that I'm not looking to convert you to my way of thinking here, just to get you to accept the possibility of what I was saying. Well, that and to have a stimulating discussion, of course.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Whether or not it was sum total or just the rate was left out of the details. Not only that, so was the matter of it being a better solution than the alternative. Lelouch said NOTHING to that effect. What is pretty safe to say is that it exceeded both the sum total and rate of collateral damage of his rebellion, much of which was unavoidable by contrast. Besides, him leaving behind the reconstruction in the hands of many of the people who had been fooled by Schneizel? Some brain trust.
If Lelouch not saying out loud that the Zero Requiem was the least blood-stained path is cause enough for you to doubt that he believed it was given that it was the path he did indeed take, then why are you so insistent that he'd make a good leader? The sort of Lelouch who initiates a plan like the Zero Requiem believing there to be a less bloody option sounds more than a little evil, if you ask me.

And no, I don't think it pretty safe to say that the destruction of the Zero Requiem exceeded the total destruction caused by his rebellion, not if the rebellion had been seen through to its end - which is what the Zero Requiem must be compared with, as simply saying, "The Zero Requiem killed more people than Lelouch did during his liberation of Japan and overthrow of the ancien régime in China" is fairly meaningless, as in the latter case there would still have been the long, hard slog of actually destroying Britannia to come. I've said why I don't think this is the case.

As for your comment about everyone being fooled by Schneizel, I'm reminded of an exchange between Szilard Quates and his homunculus Ennis in Baccano!:

"Ever since that incident with that young pup aboard the Advena Avis, I have made a point of never trusting anyone younger than myself."
"But sir, from where you sit now... isn't everyone alive younger than you?"

Schneizel's a clever bastard. Being fooled by him isn't very difficult, and is thus a poor benchmark for stupidity. Admittedly, I'll agree that Ohgi at least was rather too easily fooled, so that would be a flaw in the ending, but generally, I think they're a capable bunch. And they do now have Schneizel himself working with/for them. I wouldn't be too pessimistic if I were you.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Apparently you haven't been following well enough. I would have preferred him to NEVER go with his plan of alienation to begin with. Not only would he be able to call out Schneizel, he wouldn't have to go up against the BKs all at the same time.
With all due respect, you seem to be the one who hasn't been following well enough. I answered this point earlier in the same post: when Lelouch and Suzaku conceived of the Zero Requiem, there was no way for them to rely on Schneizel conveniently presenting himself as the ultimate evil for them to set up as their focus of hatred. By the time it became apparent that he could indeed fill this role, they were already too committed. Back-pedalling to try and make Schneizel the fall guy would have been pointless; they would have had to go down anyway, and relying on Schneizel to do what they needed would have been too dangerous; plus it would have meant he too would be gone after the Requiem's completion, and thus his talents wouldn't have been around to be used in the reconstruction afterwards. That's why it had to be Lelouch who went down as the demon.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Here's the thing: how long will the peace last? When it's gone, it's gone, and all the destruction from the ZR will be for naught.
My answer is this: how deeply shocking would it be for war to break out between the large nations of Europe in this day and age? Unthinkable? And yet a mere sixty-five years ago, Europe had only just emerged from the largest but in a sense merely the latest of a long, seemingly never-ending string of bloody wars. Peace can work. It just needs to be given room to breathe.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Schneizel was waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy more loaded though. You cannot equate both cases.
Oh can I not? Well, now, here's what I admit that it's been a while since I've watched Code Geass R2, but still, you tell me: what substantial preparations did Schneizel make in the time between Lelouch's ascension to the throne and the outbreak of hostilities between Britannia and the Schneizel-led Black Knights? He already had his FLEIJAs; most of his military forces came from the Black Knights, who did little by way of active military build-up during that time; for the most part, all he was waiting for was the optimum moment to strike at Lelouch. By contrast, what did Lelouch gain during that time? I can think of two big things right off the bat:

- He was able to deal with other threats to his regime. Principally, this meant the Britannian aristocracy, and in particular Bismarck's loyalists. Having to fight them at the same time as fighting Schenizel's forces would have made things more difficult for him, undoubtedly.
- He was able to find Nina and develop the anti-FLEIJA weapon. This, may I remind you, was indispensable to his eventual victory.

Whatever else might be the case, saying that Lelouch accomplished nothing of importance whilst waiting for Schneizel to show himself is wrong.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Remember the kiss C. C. gave Lelouch during the Black Rebellion? She created a memory imprint to be stored inside C's World.
I've raised issues with this before. In short: if all C.C. did was restore Lelouch's memories, why did that also restore his Geass?

Nevertheless, the more important point is this: that is one possible interpretation of what happened. It is not something that is definitively set down in the source material. You're welcome to hold to that view if it's more pleasing to you, but I have a different one which I believe is just as valid.
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Old 2012-02-24, 00:14   Link #1699
azul120
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Originally Posted by Yamiken View Post
I'll come to this later on. Something else you said in this post gives me a better lead-in for my counter-point.



Bah, away with you, ye cynic! Still, if you feel the way the show presents it is too idealistic, then here's a different way of looking at the same facts: by and large, people - that is, the populus - dislike war, at least here in the modern day, which Code Geass is at least close to. They dislike their resources being spent on it, they dislike their young men dying for it, they may well even dislike the other side being killed during it. They'll put up with it, even willingly support it, in some situations, but only those where they perceive a legitimate causus belli. If it's just a bunch of greedy elites trying to secure more money, fame or power for themselves, they're not going to just sit by and let it happen if they've any option. That's not to say that all wars fought by democratic nations are just; the people can still be misled and manipulated in cases. But it's a lot less likely. The point of Zero Requiem, or rather of the way in which it was carried out, was threefold. Firstly, the world's power structures were reorganised such that, when Lelouch was taken out, it would be very easy to put in place democratically and internationally accountable governments in all the most significant political blocs in the world: the EU was already democratic, the Chinese Federation had its revolution and the Holy Britannian Empire was reorganised by Lelouch; meanwhile, all three were signed up to the United Nations Federation.

Secondly, a lot of the vested interests that had previously motivated war were destroyed. The noble class of Britannia was decimated; the eunuchs of China had already been exterminated; other reforms, such as a more equitable distribution of sakuradite, were presumably implemented. More democracy and international collaboration meant greater barriers to war; this meant fewer incentives for it.

And finally, there would have been a massive political impetus to create a lasting peace. Think the peace talks at Versailles after the First World War, except without a defeated nation for everyone to take kicks at and sow the seeds of the next war. "Never again" would have been the watchwords after the Zero Requiem, as they were there - and, I think, the factors which sabotaged the real-world postwar peace would not be present here - after all, the enemy is not a nation but a single person. Between all this, and the fact that people Lelouch knew and trusted (or had Geassed) to work towards his (actual) goals were now basically in charge of the world, I contend that the Zero Requiem, with admittedly a little luck (but when isn't luck present in fiction or outside it?), could well have worked.
But again, we've had DIFFERENT sorts of problems in the real world. Even with the proliferation of democracy, the underlying root causes, such as greed, still exist. And the world of Code Geass pretty much epitomized Murphy's Law.

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So? I'm not saying his problem is that he's miserable or rage-filled, I'm saying his problem is that he's just not the sort of personality to do well at peacetime governance, at least nowhere near as well as at wartime leadership. Think Winston Churchill if that helps - great wartime prime minister, got voted out when peace arrived, possibly because voters remembered him ruining the economy in the 1920s.
Flawed comparison. There was no peacetime government for Lelouch to preside over at any time, so we don't know. And Churchill didn't disappear from office via assisted suicide following a Genghis-style tenure.

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You're going to need to give me more than a bland assertion of Suzaku's foolishness and a general platitude. Again, I'm not saying Suzaku's a genius. I'm saying he's not a total idiot by the end of the series, and he's got a Geassed Schneizel for when serious thinking needs to be done.
The commands were too general: "Serve Zero." All it takes is for Suzaku to slip up at the wrong time(s) and allow Schneizel to worm himself towards some sort of autonomy.

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If Lelouch not saying out loud that the Zero Requiem was the least blood-stained path is cause enough for you to doubt that he believed it was given that it was the path he did indeed take, then why are you so insistent that he'd make a good leader? The sort of Lelouch who initiates a plan like the Zero Requiem believing there to be a less bloody option sounds more than a little evil, if you ask me.
Which is my point. He had a death wish he wanted to fulfill.

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And no, I don't think it pretty safe to say that the destruction of the Zero Requiem exceeded the total destruction caused by his rebellion, not if the rebellion had been seen through to its end - which is what the Zero Requiem must be compared with, as simply saying, "The Zero Requiem killed more people than Lelouch did during his liberation of Japan and overthrow of the ancien régime in China" is fairly meaningless, as in the latter case there would still have been the long, hard slog of actually destroying Britannia to come. I've said why I don't think this is the case.
As the number nations would have been freed, there would be LESS destruction needed to checkmate Britannia. Remember how powerful the BKs were by the end?

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As for your comment about everyone being fooled by Schneizel, I'm reminded of an exchange between Szilard Quates and his homunculus Ennis in Baccano!:

"Ever since that incident with that young pup aboard the Advena Avis, I have made a point of never trusting anyone younger than myself."
"But sir, from where you sit now... isn't everyone alive younger than you?"

Schneizel's a clever bastard. Being fooled by him isn't very difficult, and is thus a poor benchmark for stupidity. Admittedly, I'll agree that Ohgi at least was rather too easily fooled, so that would be a flaw in the ending, but generally, I think they're a capable bunch. And they do now have Schneizel himself working with/for them. I wouldn't be too pessimistic if I were you.
They fell for him for the worst possible reasons, and in Nunnally's case, when there was no excuse (she could detect lies). It just doesn't speak well of their competence compared to Lelouch, who they're supposed to replace. Even if they can get by, it's still a downgrade. (Not to mention in Ohgi's case, a reward in spite or due to screwing someone else over a la Jay Leno, and incompetence a la a certain recent president.)

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With all due respect, you seem to be the one who hasn't been following well enough. I answered this point earlier in the same post: when Lelouch and Suzaku conceived of the Zero Requiem, there was no way for them to rely on Schneizel conveniently presenting himself as the ultimate evil for them to set up as their focus of hatred. By the time it became apparent that he could indeed fill this role, they were already too committed. Back-pedalling to try and make Schneizel the fall guy would have been pointless; they would have had to go down anyway, and relying on Schneizel to do what they needed would have been too dangerous; plus it would have meant he too would be gone after the Requiem's completion, and thus his talents wouldn't have been around to be used in the reconstruction afterwards. That's why it had to be Lelouch who went down as the demon.
There is nothing to the inference about them choosing it because Schneizel was somehow an x-factor. He already had a stockpile of FLEIJA, for one. Or even that they needed a "target of hate". Charles was gone. They had carte blanche for the time being, barring Schneizel perhaps. Besides, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the idea of humans coming together after the fall of a tyrant is fictitious.

And what I mean by you not following me is that again, I already KNOW he couldn't back-pedal, which is why he shouldn't have done what he did in the first place. Again, let me spell that out for you: had he not gone through with the Zero Requiem, he wouldn't have had any of that to keep him from backing up.

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My answer is this: how deeply shocking would it be for war to break out between the large nations of Europe in this day and age? Unthinkable? And yet a mere sixty-five years ago, Europe had only just emerged from the largest but in a sense merely the latest of a long, seemingly never-ending string of bloody wars. Peace can work. It just needs to be given room to breathe.
Europe is but one nation on the world map. What about say, Africa and the Middle East?

Point is, there will almost always be conflicts somewhere. Some greater than others, and some smaller.

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Oh can I not? Well, now, here's what I admit that it's been a while since I've watched Code Geass R2, but still, you tell me: what substantial preparations did Schneizel make in the time between Lelouch's ascension to the throne and the outbreak of hostilities between Britannia and the Schneizel-led Black Knights? He already had his FLEIJAs; most of his military forces came from the Black Knights, who did little by way of active military build-up during that time; for the most part, all he was waiting for was the optimum moment to strike at Lelouch. By contrast, what did Lelouch gain during that time? I can think of two big things right off the bat:

- He was able to deal with other threats to his regime. Principally, this meant the Britannian aristocracy, and in particular Bismarck's loyalists. Having to fight them at the same time as fighting Schenizel's forces would have made things more difficult for him, undoubtedly.
- He was able to find Nina and develop the anti-FLEIJA weapon. This, may I remind you, was indispensable to his eventual victory.
Whatever else might be the case, saying that Lelouch accomplished nothing of importance whilst waiting for Schneizel to show himself is wrong.[/QUOTE]

Nina was found AFTER Lelouch was already declared Emperor, and was speed-developing the anti-FLEIJA while Damocles was nuke spamming from the sky.

The point is, it was too little too late, and its success was largely reliant on luck.

There's nothing to suggest he even had to wait for Schneizel to make his big entrance.

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I've raised issues with this before. In short: if all C.C. did was restore Lelouch's memories, why did that also restore his Geass?

Nevertheless, the more important point is this: that is one possible interpretation of what happened. It is not something that is definitively set down in the source material. You're welcome to hold to that view if it's more pleasing to you, but I have a different one which I believe is just as valid.
I'd say logical rather than pleasing.
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Old 2012-02-24, 15:25   Link #1700
Yamiken
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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
But again, we've had DIFFERENT sorts of problems in the real world. Even with the proliferation of democracy, the underlying root causes, such as greed, still exist. And the world of Code Geass pretty much epitomized Murphy's Law.
Whilst a lot of what happened in Code Geass did have Murphy's Law at work, you can't therefore argue that it's some sort of law of nature in that universe. Bad luck happens, but if it's happening constantly, it's no longer bad luck.

Anyway, I'm not saying that after the Zero Requiem, everything was unicorns and rainbows. No one is, so far as I know; even Kallen's ending narration admits there are still big problems to sort out. What is being argued is that the Zero Requiem accomplished its stated goal of stopping the previously never-ending conflicts between superpowers which had marred the world. My comparison with Europe is perfectly valid; indeed, the world of Code Geass seems in many ways to resemble a scaled-up version of 19th-century/early-20th-century Europe. That too used to be a febrile bed of great powers constantly competing for resources and glory; now, a great war between any of them would be unthinkable. There is no reason why what worked for Europe could not work for the world in some form, either our world or the world of Code Geass.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Flawed comparison. There was no peacetime government for Lelouch to preside over at any time, so we don't know. And Churchill didn't disappear from office via assisted suicide following a Genghis-style tenure.
Correct, we don't know. You don't seem to realise, though, that this hurts your argument as much as it hurts mine. When you don't know something, that means you don't know it, not that one point of view can be assumed true by default. My reasoning is thus: since we never see Lelouch managing a peacetime government, we don't know how well he'd do at it. Therefore, we can either simply say nothing on the matter, or, if we wish, make an educated guess (which must naturally have the caveat that it is not a certainty). The former may well be the wiser option, honestly, but since we've come this far down the latter road we may as well continue (yay sunken costs fallacy). To make an educated guess, we must extrapolate based on the traits of his character that we are shown. That is what I am attempting to do here.

My observations are thus:
- Peacetime governance requires a drastically different set of skills and personality traits to wartime governance.
- Many individuals undeniably skilled at the latter prove to be a lot less stellar at the former (this was the point of my Churchill comparison; it was one of personality archetypes, not of circumstances).
- Lelouch, in my view, is likely to be in this category, for reasons I've waxed lyrical on already (in particular, to put it in terms of tropes, he's a shining example of The Unfettered, which I contend is a personality archetype ill-suited to the tasks required of successful peacetime governance).

It doesn't matter how Churchill left office. I brought him up to demonstrate how a successful wartime leader can be a lot less brilliant during peacetime. Churchill was a wonderful leader during World War II, but his peacetime ministry some years later was at best less impressive, at worst plain mediocre. And that's only considering times when he held the top job itself; if one counts his disastrous tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer during the 1920s (when, might I note, he was a lot closer in age to Lelouch), his peacetime record becomes a good deal more grim.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
The commands were too general: "Serve Zero." All it takes is for Suzaku to slip up at the wrong time(s) and allow Schneizel to worm himself towards some sort of autonomy.
Worming implies some sort of autonomy already. You seem to be viewing the Geass as a shackle against which the victim can actively strain. All evidence is to the contrary; once the Geass actually fully sets in, the victim has in all cases complied fully and without restraint, even happily. They don't attempt to get around the commands; they just carry them out, to the best of their ability. Schneizel might be able to cause trouble if he attempted to lawyer the Geass, true; but the point is, he wouldn't, because no one does. The bottom line is, whilst it might be possible even then for Schneizel to one day somehow decide that serving Zero can be best done through means other than what Lelouch and Suzaku intended, it's highly, highly unlikely.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Which is my point. He had a death wish he wanted to fulfill.
So why do you keep saying he'd make a good leader?

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
As the number nations would have been freed, there would be LESS destruction needed to checkmate Britannia. Remember how powerful the BKs were by the end?
I also remember how powerful Britannia was for the entire series. The Black Knights had to work very hard just to liberate Japan; destroying the entire Britannian Empire was never going to be easy, or even relatively painless. I remain thoroughly unconvinced that the Zero Requiem entailed significantly more destruction, as a sum total, than the other routes open to Lelouch. Particularly when one considers that he would've had to face all of Schneizel's FLEIJAs whatever the case.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
They fell for him for the worst possible reasons, and in Nunnally's case, when there was no excuse (she could detect lies). It just doesn't speak well of their competence compared to Lelouch, who they're supposed to replace. Even if they can get by, it's still a downgrade. (Not to mention in Ohgi's case, a reward in spite or due to screwing someone else over a la Jay Leno, and incompetence a la a certain recent president.)
But Nunnally was never fooled! She knew what Schneizel was and what he was doing. She just judged that she could turn it into something positive, and believed that Lelouch was as terrible as he was making himself out to be (and before you say anything, she never had a chance to user her 'lie detector' on Lelouch at that stage).

Anyway, I'll concede that as far as the Black Knights go (or rather, Ohgi, Tohdoh and Tamaki), they held the idiot ball at least somewhat with regards to Schneizel's revelations. Nevertheless, it's called the idiot ball because it's an instance of people behaving uncharacteristically stupidly. The whole reason the entire affair was so egregious in the first place was because we expected better of all of them. The point is, therefore, that usually, they're not idiots. They're at least competent, even if they're no geniuses. And that's enough. Lelouch left things to them because he trusted their hearts to be in the right place, not because he thought they were the most brilliant administrators on the planet. Again, they have Schneizel for the canny politicking. All they need to do is not fuck up. I do believe that that is within their capability.

I will concede on Ohgi, though. I have no idea how he wound up Prime Minister after the war. Still, in the defence of Lelouch and the plan, I don't think that was something he was specifically gunning for.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
There is nothing to the inference about them choosing it because Schneizel was somehow an x-factor. He already had a stockpile of FLEIJA, for one.
Yes, because everyone with a stockpile of nukes is automatically seen as the epitome of evil, even by their own people. That's why the Cold War was just one long revolution against the governments of the USA and the Soviet Union.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Or even that they needed a "target of hate". Charles was gone. They had carte blanche for the time being, barring Schneizel perhaps.
"Barring Schneizel" is a pretty huge caveat. And carte blanche to do what exactly? Reform the world? I don't think the vested interests in Britannia would have gone along quietly with that just because Charles happened to be dead.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Besides, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the idea of humans coming together after the fall of a tyrant is fictitious.
And I've explained why it's not just some 'power of love' ending. There are tangible reasons for it to have worked as well as an intangible feeling of goodwill.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
And what I mean by you not following me is that again, I already KNOW he couldn't back-pedal, which is why he shouldn't have done what he did in the first place. Again, let me spell that out for you: had he not gone through with the Zero Requiem, he wouldn't have had any of that to keep him from backing up.
I know he wouldn't have. I'm saying I'm not convinced that he had better options than the Zero Requiem in front of him.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Europe is but one nation on the world map. What about say, Africa and the Middle East?

Point is, there will almost always be conflicts somewhere. Some greater than others, and some smaller.
Would that Europe were a single nation. We Europhiles can be dream... snark over exact wording aside, though, I repeat: there is no reason why what worked for Europe cannot work for the world as a whole, given time, effort and a little flexibility. Africa and the Middle East are still seething pits of conflict and/or poverty because no one has, yet, invested the appropriate amounts of resources and know-how into improving the situation there (and I don't just mean outsiders, I mean, probably more importantly, people on the inside as well). I see no good reason why, some day, they couldn't adopt similar models to the European Union. Not identical, certainly, but similar? It could work.

Besides, this is a fictional world. It doesn't have to adhere to quite the same standards as the real world to be credible. Or, rather, so that it doesn't seem like I'm trying to move the goalposts: what standards the real world does adhere to are the subject of much philosophical debate and controversy. A fictional world, by contrast, adheres to a comparatively explicit set of standards, and these standards are allowed to be towards the optimistic end of the possible rang of standards applicable to the real world whilst still being 'realistic'. Of course, how far that acceptable range extends is a subjective matter, so there's only so far we can argue over it.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Nina was found AFTER Lelouch was already declared Emperor, and was speed-developing the anti-FLEIJA while Damocles was nuke spamming from the sky.

The point is, it was too little too late, and its success was largely reliant on luck.

There's nothing to suggest he even had to wait for Schneizel to make his big entrance.
The anti-FLEIJA device was crucial to Lelouch's ultimate success, luck or no luck. Without it, he would've been defeated, no matter how much luck he had. More importantly, Lelouch needed as much time as he ultimately got not just for her to develop it but to find her as well. If he'd precipitated the conflict sooner, he probably wouldn't have found her in time at all. In which case, he'd have lost.

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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
I'd say logical rather than pleasing.
Sure, but when various explanations are all logically valid, it comes down to aesthetics to choose between them.

Last edited by Yamiken; 2012-02-24 at 15:36. Reason: Correction of a couple of typos, clarification of one point.
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