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Old 2012-02-22, 22:28   Link #4881
AutarchSeverian
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... come to think of it, I don't really know either. Charles and Marianne's actions are... probably one of the haziest parts of the series (particular in R2). They seemed to be using Lelouch as some sort of bait... except that beyond the Order members in the first episode, they never seemed to make any attempt to nab C.C.. Admittedly, they in theory didn't know that Lelouch had rendezvoused with C.C., but you'd have thought the fact that all the people they'd dispatched to capture C.C. suddenly vanishing, presumed dead, would've clued them in...
In season 1, the way that V.V. acts towards the end of things with Suzaku by having Nunnally kidnapped suggests that he knew that Lelouch was Zero, either because the Thought Elevator grants godlike powers of observation or because Charles talked with Clovis using the Thought Elevator (this is mentioned by Charles early in season 1), though I suppose talking with the dead is still pretty godlike. It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to realize that C.C. and Lelouch's escape from the Shinjuku scene might be connected.
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That does not explain why C.C. went into hiding, why she remained in hiding, and why she chose Lelouch. Was she only biding her time, waiting for Charles to become a stronger Geass-user?
What I don't understand is why they even needed Charles to become a stronger geass-user: why couldn't V.V. and C.C. do the ragnarok connection? Perhaps they wanted Charles to be the one at the top. But my gut feeling is that it would have been impossible for Charles, as a geass user, to kill C.C. and take her code - rather, I think that it takes a geass user who was granted the geass by a given code user to kill that code user (and not another code user).
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Would that really have been kinder, though? If the Geass on Euphie had been lifted after the massacre began, she would've had to live with the consequences of her actions - even though she wasn't responsible for them. The world would have despised her as a maniac, her dream would've been in ruins, it's entirely possible there would've been some sort of political or legal retribution against her... she wouldn't have lost everything, but she'd still have a lost a whole lot. Her life would practically be over.
Considering the relatively cavalier way that Clovis orders the death of the Japanese in the Shinjuku ghetto in episode 1, the way the army covered it up, and the general air of opposition that many Brittanians seem to have had about the equalization of the Japanese with Brittanians in part of the settlement, I am somewhat doubtful that Euphie would've faced practical consequences from her actions. And, while she is a gentle person, I think the high difficulty she would have in overcoming the feeling of guilt would be better than death without the opportunity to go on (though of course, in the world of Code Geass, we live on in some form).
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Well, I believe that C.C lacked emotion for Lelouch in season 1, her primary objective was his survival, she needed someone to kill her, yet during the first Black Rebellion, she started showing signs of feelings for Lelouch, after R2 when Lelouch became emperor, it became clear that she had a lot of feelings for him and began to retrieve her lost humanity again.
I actually think C.C. had emotion for Lelouch as early as episode 7. When she holds him up in his room, he talks about living a life without meaning, and she lets him go, not only because his life will be at risk otherwise, but because she empathized with his situation since it mirrored her own somewhat. Now, I do want to interject here that since Lelouch at other points talks about his plans like Geass only expedited his plans, not brought about their genesis, meaning he might have been putting on an act for C.C., but on the other hand that might have just been him being cocky, with the gunpoint thing being the real deal.
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Old 2012-02-23, 01:25   Link #4882
Yamiken
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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
In season 1, the way that V.V. acts towards the end of things with Suzaku by having Nunnally kidnapped suggests that he knew that Lelouch was Zero, either because the Thought Elevator grants godlike powers of observation or because Charles talked with Clovis using the Thought Elevator (this is mentioned by Charles early in season 1), though I suppose talking with the dead is still pretty godlike. It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to realize that C.C. and Lelouch's escape from the Shinjuku scene might be connected.
What do you mean by that final sentence, exactly? (The rest of the paragraph I don't dispute, although you'll have to forgive me, but I don't see exactly how it connects to the paragraph you quoted...)

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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
What I don't understand is why they even needed Charles to become a stronger geass-user: why couldn't V.V. and C.C. do the ragnarok connection? Perhaps they wanted Charles to be the one at the top. But my gut feeling is that it would have been impossible for Charles, as a geass user, to kill C.C. and take her code - rather, I think that it takes a geass user who was granted the geass by a given code user to kill that code user (and not another code user).
My impression was always that it was the plan for V.V. and C.C. to do it; Charles just had a Geass because it was useful for manipulating people to get what they wanted. He only became the second immortal to be involved once he decided to bump off V.V.. That said, there's still an awful lot about the entire plan that we just don't know; they really don't go into very much detail on it during the series. Quite frustrating.

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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
Considering the relatively cavalier way that Clovis orders the death of the Japanese in the Shinjuku ghetto in episode 1, the way the army covered it up, and the general air of opposition that many Brittanians seem to have had about the equalization of the Japanese with Brittanians in part of the settlement, I am somewhat doubtful that Euphie would've faced practical consequences from her actions. And, while she is a gentle person, I think the high difficulty she would have in overcoming the feeling of guilt would be better than death without the opportunity to go on (though of course, in the world of Code Geass, we live on in some form).
I'm not so sure she would've been so free from practical consequences. Sure, most of the people in the Britannian ruling class might not actually look so harshly upon it, but the very fact that the army wanted to cover up the Shinjuku incident suggests that even in Britannia, not everyone is quite so blasť about acts of genocide, even when its against 'numbers'. And since the Euphinator incident was, not least thanks to Diethard, televised across the entire world, there would've been no chance of covering it up.

Nevertheless, I think the personal consequences would be even worse. I have to disagree with you there - I feel personally that having your dream destroyed in such a horrific way like that and being, seemingly, responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of the people you so desperately wanted to save would be extremely hard to live with. I'm not so sure that I myself wouldn't pick death in that situation. But, more importantly, my personal reading of Lelouch's character is that he's the sort to think along similar lines to those that I just detailed. Hence I believe that even if he could have freed Euphemia from the Geass (and known it), he would have decided to kill her, as a mercy kill.

Although, if that doesn't convince you, there's a rather bleaker way of looking at it: it Euphie survives the Euphinator incident somehow, then his Geass might be discovered by the Britannian authorities, the very people he's trying to fight. Or indeed, perhaps even worse, his identity might surface. Quite apart from the issue of leaving her alive or killing her, I think it fairly hard to dispute that Lelouch reasoned that the best thing he could do for Euphemia at that point was bringing some good, in however twisted a manner, out of the tragedy that had occurred. The only way for him to do that was to use it for Zero's objectives - and if Zero gets sabotaged, bang go his objectives. Euphemia's life, at that point, might well have been a necessary sacrifice even if there were another way of stopping her participation in the slaughter.

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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
I actually think C.C. had emotion for Lelouch as early as episode 7. When she holds him up in his room, he talks about living a life without meaning, and she lets him go, not only because his life will be at risk otherwise, but because she empathized with his situation since it mirrored her own somewhat. Now, I do want to interject here that since Lelouch at other points talks about his plans like Geass only expedited his plans, not brought about their genesis, meaning he might have been putting on an act for C.C., but on the other hand that might have just been him being cocky, with the gunpoint thing being the real deal.
Lelouch's comments about expedition as opposed to genesis are a little confusing, but I've come to favour some form of the 'act for C.C.' hypothesis, accompanied, perhaps, by just a little bit of lying to himself.

As for C.C.'s feelings for Lelouch, I would say that that moment in episode 7 would be the start of a sort of admiration, certainly, but I would say that it was at Narita that they first started showing true affection, however indirect and couched in snark, for one another. I would say that these feelings had blossomed fully, probably on both sides but definitely on C.C.'s, by the time of the Black Rebellion.
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Old 2012-02-23, 13:18   Link #4883
AutarchSeverian
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What do you mean by that final sentence, exactly? (The rest of the paragraph I don't dispute, although you'll have to forgive me, but I don't see exactly how it connects to the paragraph you quoted...)
Sorry, I should have explained better, I think I actually meant to... Charles already uses geass users, or at least one geass user, Rolo, as an assassin. Then he finds out from Clovis that C.C. escaped from Clovis's custody shortly before Clovis's death. Additionally, he knows from reports from the military and from Clovis that Clovis was abandoned in the HQ vehicle before being killed, which is pretty eerie and suggests something funny, possibly Geass, was going on. Since Charles knows from Clovis that Lelouch is Zero (well, not Zero yet, but a terrorist working against Brittania), it doesn't take a lot of imagination to conclude that he used Geass to infiltrate Clovis's lines and kill Clovis.
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Although, if that doesn't convince you, there's a rather bleaker way of looking at it: it Euphie survives the Euphinator incident somehow, then his Geass might be discovered by the Britannian authorities, the very people he's trying to fight. Or indeed, perhaps even worse, his identity might surface. Quite apart from the issue of leaving her alive or killing her, I think it fairly hard to dispute that Lelouch reasoned that the best thing he could do for Euphemia at that point was bringing some good, in however twisted a manner, out of the tragedy that had occurred. The only way for him to do that was to use it for Zero's objectives - and if Zero gets sabotaged, bang go his objectives. Euphemia's life, at that point, might well have been a necessary sacrifice even if there were another way of stopping her participation in the slaughter.
That much I definitely agree with, but because C.C. doesn't always seem as involved with Lelouch's plans as Lelouch himself is, I'm surprised that she didn't propose doing something to cancel the effects of the Geass on Euphy (which I do feel seems to have been a possible power of hers at least at close range).
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Old 2012-02-24, 15:49   Link #4884
Yamiken
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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
Sorry, I should have explained better, I think I actually meant to... Charles already uses geass users, or at least one geass user, Rolo, as an assassin. Then he finds out from Clovis that C.C. escaped from Clovis's custody shortly before Clovis's death. Additionally, he knows from reports from the military and from Clovis that Clovis was abandoned in the HQ vehicle before being killed, which is pretty eerie and suggests something funny, possibly Geass, was going on. Since Charles knows from Clovis that Lelouch is Zero (well, not Zero yet, but a terrorist working against Brittania), it doesn't take a lot of imagination to conclude that he used Geass to infiltrate Clovis's lines and kill Clovis.
I think I see what you're getting at now. It looks like it might be my turn to clarify what I meant: I wasn't talking about Charles and V.V. being aware that Lelouch has Geass (since we were talking about R2 here, where it's quite plain that they do), but rather that you would think they'd figure out, after the first episode of R2, that Lelouch had regained both his memories and Geass, due to the disappearance of the Order members they sent to capture C.C.. Does that clear things up at all?

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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
That much I definitely agree with, but because C.C. doesn't always seem as involved with Lelouch's plans as Lelouch himself is, I'm surprised that she didn't propose doing something to cancel the effects of the Geass on Euphy (which I do feel seems to have been a possible power of hers at least at close range).
I see what you mean. (And I've only ever worked on the assumption that, unlike Jeremiah, C.C. requires contact to use any Geass-lifting ability she might have, just as she requires contact to grant Geass.) A couple of possibilities spring to mind: firstly, she'd already anticipated Lelouch's thinking even if he were aware of the possibility, and decided to spare him the that painful process on top of the anguish he was already experiencing. Secondly, she simply wanted to keep it a secret for the time being. We don't really know exactly how C.C. felt at this point; it's possible she still didn't trust him that far. Indeed, if she were starting to feel things for him beyond the simple bond of accomplices, that might have complicated matters; just because she's generally stoic on the surface doesn't mean that C.C. can't have conflicts beneath it, after all. Still, at the end of the day, I don't know. It is a little anomalous, I agree. But then, C.C.'s the sort of character whose behaviour isn't always free of... contradictions, particularly apparent ones.
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Old 2012-02-24, 15:55   Link #4885
AutarchSeverian
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but rather that you would think they'd figure out, after the first episode of R2, that Lelouch had regained both his memories and Geass, due to the disappearance of the Order members they sent to capture C.C..
Ya, I think so, and I suppose I agree. I guess it's primarily at Rolo and Viletta's assurance that Lelouch was acting normally that they decided things were OK, but it seems almost like an "innocent until proven guilty" approach towards Lelouch, when you'd expect them to be more ready to assume he was guilty of resuming his identity as Zero.

As for the C.C. geass canceller thing, I think my conclusion for now is that it's definitely a possibility, but it's not a certainty.
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Old 2012-02-24, 15:58   Link #4886
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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
Ya, I think so, and I suppose I agree. I guess it's primarily at Rolo and Viletta's assurance that Lelouch was acting normally that they decided things were OK, but it seems almost like an "innocent until proven guilty" approach towards Lelouch, when you'd expect them to be more ready to assume he was guilty of resuming his identity as Zero.
Yeah, that's the only explanation I can see too. Still seems a little strange, as you say. But what the hey, as I've said before, there's only so far one can really go in explaining Charles and co.'s actions in the series without delving into pure speculation...

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Originally Posted by AutarchSeverian View Post
As for the C.C. geass canceller thing, I think my conclusion for now is that it's definitely a possibility, but it's not a certainty.
Oh, it's definitely not a certainty. I've never tried to argue that it is. It's just a possibility that I happen to favour myself.
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Old 2012-04-26, 02:47   Link #4887
darthfury78
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Originally Posted by brolyeuphyfusion View Post
kallen deserves someone better than lelouch
True. Kallen did love him. Too bad that Lelouch decided that he was DEAD since the day he was born. After all, Emperor Charles did say that to him, which destroyed his entire childhood. Thus, he dedicated himself into doing what was right: To give his sister a better world, and to make the world hate him because Lelouch hated himself. One can't have a normal relationship with such thoughts in his mind. Can he? Thus, Lelouch felt the best path to take was DEATH!

Good for him because upon his death, Lelouch's wish was granted:

1. A Better World
2. Nunnally is safe
3. Suzaku is her knight
4. His friends are ok
5. C.C. got her wish

Thus, C.C. wanted Lelouch to make her happy instead of granting her the gift of Death. If we wish to believe that Lelouch is alive, he is the cart driver whose face was hidden at the end of Turn 25. So for all you C.C. x Lelouch fans out there, you have won both the battle and the war. In the last picture drama, C.C.'s name was never mentioned by Kallen or anyone else.
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Old 2012-04-26, 10:23   Link #4888
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by darthfury78 View Post
True. Kallen did love him. Too bad that Lelouch decided that he was DEAD since the day he was born. After all, Emperor Charles did say that to him, which destroyed his entire childhood. Thus, he dedicated himself into doing what was right: To give his sister a better world, and to make the world hate him because Lelouch hated himself. One can't have a normal relationship with such thoughts in his mind. Can he? Thus, Lelouch felt the best path to take was DEATH!

Good for him because upon his death, Lelouch's wish was granted:

1. A Better World
2. Nunnally is safe
3. Suzaku is her knight
4. His friends are ok
5. C.C. got her wish

Thus, C.C. wanted Lelouch to make her happy instead of granting her the gift of Death. If we wish to believe that Lelouch is alive, he is the cart driver whose face was hidden at the end of Turn 25. So for all you C.C. x Lelouch fans out there, you have won both the battle and the war. In the last picture drama, C.C.'s name was never mentioned by Kallen or anyone else.
Unfortunately Okouchi screwed that up when he told Newtype (or was it Continue?) that Lelouch was dead.

If Lelouch died and was thus gone there is no way he could have fulfilled CC's wish to be "truly loved."
We know that was her wish because her wish was based on her Geass.
Her Geass was for everyone around her to love her and she came to hate that.
She didn't want false love created by her Geass, she wanted someone to love her sincerely.
Lelouch tells her "I understand what your Geass was now...and I will give you the smile you never had."
The only way that makes sense is if Lelouch means he actually is in love with her.
Otherwise, it is horrible writing akin to a Roger Corman's grade of movie.

Here's the scene I'm speaking of:



He also clearly states that eternal life is hell.
Therefore, by the end of the series we are either left with gawd-awful contradictions in the story (due to bad writing) or we must assume that Lelouch is alive, but is dead to the world.

Either way, I think the ending (especially CC's part) could have been written better.
Gundam 00, Code Geass was not.
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Old 2012-04-26, 11:19   Link #4889
Xander
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Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Unfortunately Okouchi screwed that up when he told Newtype (or was it Continue?) that Lelouch was dead.
I'm not interested in debating that specific subject, because it is evidently beating a dead horse, but...for the record, I've come to the conclusion that his statement cannot (or, rather, should not) be interpreted without also referring to what Taniguchi and, for that matter, Sunrise representatives have indicated elsewhere. Which makes its literal meaning far from absolutely conclusive.

Nevertheless...I do want to make a couple of comments.

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If Lelouch died and was thus gone there is no way he could have fulfilled CC's wish to be "truly loved."
In spite of the above, which makes the underlying premise not necessarily applicable, I'd say that is up for debate.

To make a long story short, I don't think fulfilling the wish of giving C.C. "true love" requires both parties to be alive forever and ever.

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Therefore, by the end of the series we are either left with gawd-awful contradictions in the story (due to bad writing) or we must assume that Lelouch is alive, but is dead to the world.
I don't think those are the only options. Contradictions like these, and particularly those which can also be considered as rather ironic or outright cynical, are fairly common in stories full of tragedy and death. Not all of them, to be fair, but at least the one under discussion. As for the rest, I'd refer to what I said above.

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Either way, I think the ending (especially CC's part) could have been written better.
Gundam 00, Code Geass was not.
Discussing this at length would be off-topic, of course, but...yes and no. Code Geass could have been written better, which is unfortunate, but the same has also been said of Gundam 00 in the past, though obviously with respect to a very different set of issues and not something like what we are talking about here.

Last edited by Xander; 2012-04-26 at 11:30.
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Old 2012-04-26, 19:49   Link #4890
GundamFan0083
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I'm not interested in debating that specific subject, because it is evidently beating a dead horse, but...for the record, I've come to the conclusion that his statement cannot (or, rather, should not) be interpreted without also referring to what Taniguchi and, for that matter, Sunrise representatives have indicated elsewhere. Which makes its literal meaning far from absolutely conclusive.

Nevertheless...I do want to make a couple of comments.
I agree that this horse has been beaten into a bloodly mass and does not need to be revisited at all.

It is true that both Taniguichi and the Producer (I believe it was Kawaguchi) have made statements that seem to contradict (and/or clarify) what Okouchi was saying.
And in essence stated that the ending was "open."

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In spite of the above, which makes the underlying premise not necessarily applicable, I'd say that is up for debate.

To make a long story short, I don't think fulfilling the wish of giving C.C. "true love" requires both parties to be alive forever and ever.
No but it does require more than "oh hey, I'll give you the smile you never had, but first, I've got to kill myself."

That's the real tragedy of R2, the ending is TOO vague and ambiguous.

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I don't think those are the only options. Contradictions like these, and particularly those which can also be considered as rather ironic or outright cynical, are fairly common in stories full of tragedy and death. Not all of them, to be fair, but at least the one under discussion. As for the rest, I'd refer to what I said above.
Except that such a contradiction in the context of this story makes Lelouch look like a scared, conniving, little bitch that ran away from the world he created.
It reads like "Hey everybody, I made the world hate me (and logically by extension Britannia, but that's an argument for another thread), started an energy crisis, cursed my best friend to a life of solitude/misery, and broke a promise to a girl who not only loved me but also helped me acheive all my goals(CC), now I'm leaving all of you to pick up the pieces of my mess. So long suckers! I'm off to C's world permanently via death. Hope you all don't mind."

That doesn't match the character who made a contract with C.C. so that he could change the world for the better in S1, and the start of R2.
It cheapens both Lelouch and C.C. in that she put everything she had into helping him (even betraying Charles and Marianne), because she loved Lelouch.
It makes it look like Lelouch just used her, and then offed himself to escape.

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Discussing this at length would be off-topic, of course, but...yes and no. Code Geass could have been written better, which is unfortunate, but the same has also been said of Gundam 00 in the past, though obviously with respect to a very different set of issues and not something like what we are talking about here.
Allow me to clarify.
As far as Science-Fiction stories go, Code Geass pales in comparison to Gundam 00, and is a B-flick when compared to the giants of anime such as Mobile Suit Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato, and Macross.
I don't hate CG, I just think that R2 was a Missed Moment of Awesome with an ending that ruined what could have been an amazing new series.
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Old 2012-04-27, 03:44   Link #4891
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I don't hate CG, I just think that R2 was a Missed Moment of Awesome with an ending that ruined what could have been an amazing new series.
In my opinion, Code Geass R2 was essentially a repackaged version of the First Season that's done on a global scale. Aside from Zero Requiem, everything throughout the second season was almost identical to the first season. With the timeslot change nonsense, I felt that the producers should have kept their original plans for Code Geass R2 intact and simply produced an inexpensive 2-part recap episode that would cover the important moments of Season One. The last two episodes leading up to Zero Requiem could have been made into an OVA set. There was no need to rewrite the entire story to accommodate the new audience. We can only guess what the original version of Code Geass R2 might have been.
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Old 2012-04-27, 05:09   Link #4892
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Originally Posted by darthfury78 View Post
True. Kallen did love him. Too bad that Lelouch decided that he was DEAD since the day he was born. After all, Emperor Charles did say that to him, which destroyed his entire childhood. Thus, he dedicated himself into doing what was right: To give his sister a better world, and to make the world hate him because Lelouch hated himself. One can't have a normal relationship with such thoughts in his mind. Can he? Thus, Lelouch felt the best path to take was DEATH!

Good for him because upon his death, Lelouch's wish was granted:

1. A Better World
2. Nunnally is safe
3. Suzaku is her knight
4. His friends are ok
5. C.C. got her wish

Thus, C.C. wanted Lelouch to make her happy instead of granting her the gift of Death. If we wish to believe that Lelouch is alive, he is the cart driver whose face was hidden at the end of Turn 25. So for all you C.C. x Lelouch fans out there, you have won both the battle and the war. In the last picture drama, C.C.'s name was never mentioned by Kallen or anyone else.
I argued against this in the Kallen thread. Lelouch only felt suicidal after both Nunnally's apparent demise and the Black Knights' betrayal.
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Old 2012-04-27, 10:03   Link #4893
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Originally Posted by darthfury78 View Post
True. Kallen did love him. Too bad that Lelouch decided that he was DEAD since the day he was born. After all, Emperor Charles did say that to him, which destroyed his entire childhood. Thus, he dedicated himself into doing what was right: To give his sister a better world, and to make the world hate him because Lelouch hated himself. One can't have a normal relationship with such thoughts in his mind. Can he? Thus, Lelouch felt the best path to take was DEATH!

Good for him because upon his death, Lelouch's wish was granted:

1. A Better World
2. Nunnally is safe
3. Suzaku is her knight
4. His friends are ok
5. C.C. got her wish

Thus, C.C. wanted Lelouch to make her happy instead of granting her the gift of Death. If we wish to believe that Lelouch is alive, he is the cart driver whose face was hidden at the end of Turn 25. So for all you C.C. x Lelouch fans out there, you have won both the battle and the war. In the last picture drama, C.C.'s name was never mentioned by Kallen or anyone else.
what picture drama is this? The last pd that i watch was the tanjoubi is there any other pd's?
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Old 2012-04-27, 10:16   Link #4894
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by darthfury78 View Post
In my opinion, Code Geass R2 was essentially a repackaged version of the First Season that's done on a global scale. Aside from Zero Requiem, everything throughout the second season was almost identical to the first season. With the timeslot change nonsense, I felt that the producers should have kept their original plans for Code Geass R2 intact and simply produced an inexpensive 2-part recap episode that would cover the important moments of Season One. The last two episodes leading up to Zero Requiem could have been made into an OVA set. There was no need to rewrite the entire story to accommodate the new audience. We can only guess what the original version of Code Geass R2 might have been.
I agree with you here completely.
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Old 2012-04-27, 12:53   Link #4895
Xander
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I'm afraid that darthfury78 is using a little too much hyperbole for my taste, in both personal and intellectual terms, but let's see...I've always been of the opinion that Zero Requiem would have worked better as a movie or as a separate work, and R2 was the result of a series of bad production decisions, so I can agree with that part.

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Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Except that such a contradiction in the context of this story makes Lelouch look like a scared, conniving, little bitch that ran away from the world he created.
It reads like "Hey everybody, I made the world hate me (and logically by extension Britannia, but that's an argument for another thread), started an energy crisis, cursed my best friend to a life of solitude/misery, and broke a promise to a girl who not only loved me but also helped me acheive all my goals(CC), now I'm leaving all of you to pick up the pieces of my mess. So long suckers! I'm off to C's world permanently via death. Hope you all don't mind."
Keep in mind that I don't even personally agree with Lelouch's rationale and would have never chosen Zero Requiem as the outcome I originally expected for the series, but in terms of analysis...I respect your opinion, but in the end, all of this relies on employing only one of several perspectives for character interpretation and, more to the point, making subjective moral judgments.

What you may see as Lelouch running away can also be seen as his finally deciding to give up something in exchange for all his various sins and immoral activities, instead of being allowed to simply apologize and escape punishment. Of course, whether or not the idea of suicide qualifies as "running away" rather than being an "honorable way out" is also not an objective matter (although I, quite naturally, don't hold any favorable views towards that subject in real life, at least as a general concept).

You could easily turn any of the above statements around to view the resulting situation from a different lens. For instance, Suzaku was not a blameless party in all this and his own desire for self-punishment predated his last alliance with Lelouch. In any event, he was not a victim who ended up being uniterally abused by his best friend. I do think he's less criminally responsible than Lelouch, comparatively speaking, even with respect to FLEIJA...but that's not exactly saying much.

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No but it does require more than "oh hey, I'll give you the smile you never had, but first, I've got to kill myself."
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That doesn't match the character who made a contract with C.C. so that he could change the world for the better in S1, and the start of R2.
It cheapens both Lelouch and C.C. in that she put everything she had into helping him (even betraying Charles and Marianne), because she loved Lelouch.
It makes it look like Lelouch just used her, and then offed himself to escape.
Ah, but Lelouch wasn't exactly the same person as R2 went on, or was he? Life, bad luck, poor decisions and plot twists sure did their best to break him.

If the viewer were to be cynical enough, for the sake of argument, then even C.C. herself could be judged a lot more harshly than that because she spent nearly the entire series using Lelouch just as much as he used her. In that sense, she cannot be considered as much of a victim either. C.C.'s behavior had its own particularly selfish streak.

Her betrayal of Charles and Marianne was mostly passive and entirely depended on Lelouch's final rejection of their plan. Even her eventual hesitation when Charles tried to take away her Code was based on the fact that Lelouch realized her true wish wasn't death, but what did C.C. do afterwards? Run away into the World of C and let Lelouch suffer from her absence (interacting with her original personality in the meanwhile wasn't the worst possible fate, but for all practical purposes that wasn't really C.C. as Lelouch knew her either).

Prior to that moment, the most she had done was to run away after Marianne's physical death, but still kept in contact with her and was simply looking for another contractor rather than trying to prevent the Ragnarok Connection. In short, C.C. was not actively working against them and kept far too many secrets from Lelouch that could have aided him in his struggle.

In all honesty, I would also argue that the above description is incomplete and, naturally enough, a bit too cynical for my liking...but then we come back to the original point of this entire discussion: what would be necessary in order to fulfill C.C.'s wish and make her smile? To put it simply, the most important requirement would be for Lelouch to understand and actually love her.

Which, quite frankly, it appears he already did by the time Zero Requiem came around. The most evident sign of this is Lelouch's final on-screen conversation with C.C., where he revealed that he didn't hate her for giving him Geass. From a cynical perspective, he would have been more than justified for hating her, after everything that had happened as a result of this, but that wasn't Lelouch's reaction. In fact, they almost hugged/kissed before their unfortunate interruption. If that's not implying Lelouch already understands and loves her, then I don't know what it is.

However, then comes what has been interpreted as a problematic point: C.C. stops Kallen and reminds him to come back to "make her smile"...but, considering both her and his respective teasing-oriented personalities and past interactions along equivalent lines, should we really take that bit of wordplay too literally? I think not. If anything, it can be interpreted as an indirect way for C.C. to tell Lelouch that she also cares about him and clearly doesn't want him to fall in the ongoing battle, as presented through a rather typical expression: "you still have to do this and that, so you better not die out there."

Or, if you want to put it another way, C.C. already knows he will soon die during Zero Requiem but still wants Lelouch to come back and spend more time with her.

And, you know what? He did return. If that is the case, regardless of the specific interpretation involved, it cannot be denied that Lelouch still had the opportunity to "make her smile" during the post-Damocles time skip, even if you believe he wasn't doing that already. I'm not a fan of using too many time skips, but then again...did we really need to see another scene between C.C. and Lelouch in order to confirm this?

I'm split on the issue. My personal opinion is that I'd wish we had, in order to provide full emotional closure and simplify these debates, but I don't think it's a strict requirement. Which brings us to this:

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That's the real tragedy of R2, the ending is TOO vague and ambiguous.
Ironically, I'd say this debate has made me ultimately reach the opposite conclusion, not so much because of R2 itself but in terms of what I can accept from fiction in general. In other words, I've come to understand and appreciate ambiguity more than I did previously, even in a few cases where it has been popularly or critically controversial. Not to the point of total abstraction, I would note, but when there are at least a few hints and indications left. Even R2 had some.

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Allow me to clarify.
As far as Science-Fiction stories go, Code Geass pales in comparison to Gundam 00, and is a B-flick when compared to the giants of anime such as Mobile Suit Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato, and Macross.
I would argue that's because Code Geass was not trying to be much of a "science fiction story" in the first place. The focus of the direction and writing was always on the character(s), not on the surrounding setting or its technology. For example, Gundam 00 had a better written overall story, with a stronger focus on a couple of science fiction-oriented issues at its core, but I didn't find most of the character drama to be that interesting or engaging in comparison, even leaving aside a few outright disappointments. There may be less holes, but in my case there was also less investment.

But then again...while I would never think of directly comparing Code Geass to Mobile Suit Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato or Macross in terms of lasting impact and influence, all of those important works had moments of sloppy or cheesy writing that wouldn't be out of place in a proper B-flick, now that you bring up the term, though this doesn't detract too much from their historical value (at least in my opinion). Even so, for better or for worse, I see nothing wrong with enjoying works that are more flawed yet still more interesting than the average. Like, say, Code Geass.

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I don't hate CG, I just think that R2 was a Missed Moment of Awesome with an ending that ruined what could have been an amazing new series.
Personally, I have far more problems with what came before the ending. If anything, I'd say it ultimately did more to salvage rather than ruin my opinion of the series.

Last edited by Xander; 2012-04-27 at 13:16.
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Old 2012-04-28, 00:30   Link #4896
GundamFan0083
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Just got back from a party, so if this post seems like a Rum-drinking tipsy person (who has had quite a few shooters tonight) wrote it, you know now why.

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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Keep in mind that I don't even personally agree with Lelouch's rationale and would have never chosen Zero Requiem as the outcome I originally expected for the series, but in terms of analysis...I respect your opinion, but in the end, all of this relies on employing only one of several perspectives for character interpretation and, more to the point, making subjective moral judgments.
I also respect your analysis Xander, and your insight into other angles that I often do not see.

However, we have discussed this subject at length on this forum, so as you said, there is no need to beat this horse to death.

I try to view Code Geass from a writer/author's viewpoint and attempt to not make the mistakes I see in R2 in my own writing.
Especially with the handling of main character types such as Lelouch and CC.

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What you may see as Lelouch running away can also be seen as his finally deciding to give up something in exchange for all his various sins and immoral activities, instead of being allowed to simply apologize and escape punishment. Of course, whether or not the idea of suicide qualifies as "running away" rather than being an "honorable way out" is also not an objective matter (although I, quite naturally, don't hold any favorable views towards that subject in real life, at least as a general concept).
I base my opinion on how the character is introduced, and develops through a story.
If a character changes abruptly and without any real explanation, then I see this as a serious flaw in the writing of the story.
Perhaps Okouchi and Taniguichi meant for Lelouch to act the way he did in the Zero Requiem from the begining of the whole series, but the fact is there was not the character or plot development needed written into R2 to justify the abrupt change in Lelouch's mindset.
Thus his actions in episodes 23-25 seemed forced, and quite frankly wooden/contrived.
We as viewers should have expected Lelouch to conduct Zero Requiem, the finale should have been the logical choice, and it was not under the circumstances.
Lelouch had won all that he needed to, there was no requirement for him to die in the manner he did and thus the story's conclusion becomes unbelievable and vapid.
It's denuoement totally deflated of any redeeming quality.

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You could easily turn any of the above statements around to view the resulting situation from a different lens. For instance, Suzaku was not a blameless party in all this and his own desire for self-punishment predated his last alliance with Lelouch. In any event, he was not a victim who ended up being uniterally abused by his best friend. I do think he's less criminally responsible than Lelouch, comparatively speaking, even with respect to FLEIJA...but that's not exactly saying much.
Here we are in total agreement.

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Ah, but Lelouch wasn't exactly the same person as R2 went on, or was he? Life, bad luck, poor decisions and plot twists sure did their best to break him.
He was broken from the first episode and made this clear in S1 when he tells CC that his only reason for living was to destroy Britannia.
If anything, we see him develop numerous other reasons for choosing a different path than what he started from, especially with regard to C.C..
His promise to her alone should have been enough for him to choose a different path considering how he let both Shirley and Rolo down during R2.

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If the viewer were to be cynical enough, for the sake of argument, then even C.C. herself could be judged a lot more harshly than that because she spent nearly the entire series using Lelouch just as much as he used her. In that sense, she cannot be considered as much of a victim either. C.C.'s behavior had its own particularly selfish streak.
I never considered her a victim from what we are told.
In fact, the story puts forward the idea that Lelouch is in fact redeeming her through his commitment to succeed and his caring for the world and the people in it.
If anything, Lelouch made C.C. care again which is why in ep. 25 she is surprised at herself for even caring whether she wins or looses against Kallen in KMF combat.

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Her betrayal of Charles and Marianne was mostly passive and entirely depended on Lelouch's final rejection of their plan. Even her eventual hesitation when Charles tried to take away her Code was based on the fact that Lelouch realized her true wish wasn't death, but what did C.C. do afterwards? Run away into the World of C and let Lelouch suffer from her absence (interacting with her original personality in the meanwhile wasn't the worst possible fate, but for all practical purposes that wasn't really C.C. as Lelouch knew her either).
Again, I see this situation (C.C. running away) as a really bad decision on the part of the writer and director.
It was clearly meant as a plot device to bring Marianne (via Anya) into the picture and give a reason for her introduction (to revive C.C.'s memory).
It was B-flick grade bad and they really should have thought of anohter way to do this. The situation was a Deus et Machina of the worst sort.

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Prior to that moment, the most she had done was to run away after Marianne's physical death, but still kept in contact with her and was simply looking for another contractor rather than trying to prevent the Ragnarok Connection. In short, C.C. was not actively working against them and kept far too many secrets from Lelouch that could have aided him in his struggle.
Clearly C.C. was manipulating him at first, but it would seem that somewhere along the way in S1 or R2 that she changed her mind towards Lelouch.
We get a hint at this in her conversations with Marianne when she reassures Marianne she "doesn't feel that way about him [Lelouch]."
When clearly C.C. is simply lying to herself about the blossoming love she has for Lelouch.

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In all honesty, I would also argue that the above description is incomplete and, naturally enough, a bit too cynical for my liking...but then we come back to the original point of this entire discussion: what would be necessary in order to fulfill C.C.'s wish and make her smile? To put it simply, the most important requirement would be for Lelouch to understand and actually love her.
Agreed, the only requirement would be the love, however, would Lelouch leave her behind?
I don't think Okouchi and Taniguichi laid enough foundation for that in R2.
Perhaps they were unable to, but I just do not see the foundation for Lelouch's death as say in Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, or even a literary work such as Le Morte D'Arthur.
The idea of Lelouch choosing to kill all kinds of people to erase Euphie's SAZ massacre doesn't ring true, so the whole Zero Requiem falls flat.
Clovis and Cornelia had killed more people in both Saitima and Shinjiku ghettos.
Charles killed far more...period.
Suzaku and Schneizel killed more via FLEIJA, and Nina was responsible for the creation of the weapon that did both.
In comparison, Lelouch really wasn't that bad.
Maybe the writer and director should have thought about this before they had the other characters commit attrocities that made Lelouch's actions look petty in comparison?

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Which, quite frankly, it appears he already did by the time Zero Requiem came around. The most evident sign of this is Lelouch's final on-screen conversation with C.C., where he revealed that he didn't hate her for giving him Geass. From a cynical perspective, he would have been more than justified for hating her, after everything that had happened as a result of this, but that wasn't Lelouch's reaction. In fact, they almost hugged/kissed before their unfortunate interruption. If that's not implying Lelouch already understands and loves her, then I don't know what it is.
Yes, Kallen's cockblocking was another point of irritation.
A real kiss for C.C., with Lelouch would have been nice of Okouchi and Taniguichi.
Or even a kiss goodbye between them.

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However, then comes what has been interpreted as a problematic point: C.C. stops Kallen and reminds him to come back to "make her smile"...but, considering both her and his respective teasing-oriented personalities and past interactions along equivalent lines, should we really take that bit of wordplay too literally? I think not. If anything, it can be interpreted as an indirect way for C.C. to tell Lelouch that she also cares about him and clearly doesn't want him to fall in the ongoing battle, as presented through a rather typical expression: "you still have to do this and that, so you better not die out there."

Or, if you want to put it another way, C.C. already knows he will soon die during Zero Requiem but still wants Lelouch to come back and spend more time with her.
I agree, that is one possibility.
However, the quality of the writing is what I question.
If this was the intention, then it should have been made clear.

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And, you know what? He did return. If that is the case, regardless of the specific interpretation involved, it cannot be denied that Lelouch still had the opportunity to "make her smile" during the post-Damocles time skip, even if you believe he wasn't doing that already. I'm not a fan of using too many time skips, but then again...did we really need to see another scene between C.C. and Lelouch in order to confirm this?
I think everyone agrees with you here Xander.
The time-skips were very badly done, and it begs the question as to what actually happened during them.
We probably will never know, but without the information, we as viewers are left "holding the bag" as it were.

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Ironically, I'd say this debate has made me ultimately reach the opposite conclusion, not so much because of R2 itself but in terms of what I can accept from fiction in general. In other words, I've come to understand and appreciate ambiguity more than I did previously, even in a few cases where it has been popularly or critically controversial. Not to the point of total abstraction, I would note, but when there are at least a few hints and indications left. Even R2 had some.
You are certainly unique in your perspection on ambiguity.
Speaking from experience I will tell you that many people despise it for some reason.
It's the major complaint I get about how vague the info on my alien races are in my own fiction.
I agree with my fans/critics on this point. Unless the writer/author is intending on continuing the story and thus filling in the blanks later, the level of ambiguity must be kept to a minimum least you risk confusing/boring your intended audience.
Code Geass being an anime, it would have been best if they had explained more, and not tried to be so David Lynchian with many aspects of the story.

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I would argue that's because Code Geass was not trying to be much of a "science fiction story" in the first place. The focus of the direction and writing was always on the character(s), not on the surrounding setting or its technology. For example, Gundam 00 had a better written overall story, with a stronger focus on a couple of science fiction-oriented issues at its core, but I didn't find most of the character drama to be that interesting or engaging in comparison, even leaving aside a few outright disappointments. There may be less holes, but in my case there was also less investment.
I suppose this is a probability, however, it was billed as sci-fi originally in Newtype.
Perhaps this was more a deficiency on the part of Newtype magazine then on Sunrise.
Gundam 00 was one hell of a story.
I have disdain for SF that is burdened with too much drama/romance. It should be kept to a minimum, while technical details and/or background data on races, tech, and powers should be fleshed out as much as possible.

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But then again...while I would never think of directly comparing Code Geass to Mobile Suit Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato or Macross in terms of lasting impact and influence, all of those important works had moments of sloppy or cheesy writing that wouldn't be out of place in a proper B-flick, now that you bring up the term, though this doesn't detract too much from their historical value (at least in my opinion). Even so, for better or for worse, I see nothing wrong with enjoying works that are more flawed yet still more interesting than the average. Like, say, Code Geass.
You would be drawn-and-quartered by mouth-frothing Otaku of Gundam, SBY, and Macross if you did.

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Personally, I have far more problems with what came before the ending. If anything, I'd say it ultimately did more to salvage rather than ruin my opinion of the series.
In this we differ, but to each his own.
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Old 2012-04-28, 01:11   Link #4897
azul120
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Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
The idea of Lelouch choosing to kill all kinds of people to erase Euphie's SAZ massacre doesn't ring true, so the whole Zero Requiem falls flat.
Clovis and Cornelia had killed more people in both Saitima and Shinjiku ghettos.
Charles killed far more...period.
Suzaku and Schneizel killed more via FLEIJA, and Nina was responsible for the creation of the weapon that did both.
In comparison, Lelouch really wasn't that bad.
Maybe the writer and director should have thought about this before they had the other characters commit attrocities that made Lelouch's actions look petty in comparison?
Amen. Taniguchi (not to be confused with the Haruhi Suzumiya character, lol) and Okouchi decided that Lelouch had to die at show's end right after they finished the first season. They completely put the cart before the horse, and especially given his positive development during R2, the Zero Requiem and betrayal that led up to it were cases of him being a Designated Evil instead of a Necessary one. Especially given his aforementioned kin who had already shed more senseless blood. Not to mention the other Britannians who ignobly impeded him during his rebellion who still got happy endings.

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Yes, Kallen's cockblocking was another point of irritation.
A real kiss for C.C., with Lelouch would have been nice of Okouchi and Taniguichi.
Or even a kiss goodbye between them.
The BKs cockblock on Lelouch and Kallen was even worse. If not for that, none of that would have happened in the first place.
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Old 2012-04-28, 04:04   Link #4898
Xander
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Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
I also respect your analysis Xander, and your insight into other angles that I often do not see.

However, we have discussed this subject at length on this forum, so as you said, there is no need to beat this horse to death.
I feel the same. As usual, I can agree with that much. Consider what I wrote to be little more than a summary of my previous positions. Given that this is the C.C. thread, after all, I'll remain relatively quiet about the whole topic of what Zero Requiem did or didn't need to accomplish, and whether or not it needed to be the most logical and rational choice. The common complaints.

We've all gone through that same old routine more than a few times, so the only thing I'd add is that I still share some of the same concerns you and azul120 have pointed out, but my opinion remains: there are a few alternative explanations and possible interpretations for many of them. They don't turn R2 into a masterpiece, by any means, but they do elevate it a few meters above failure from both a personal and critical perspective. Which is, of course, only my opinion.

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Especially with the handling of main character types such as Lelouch and CC.
You won't see me arguing that having more of a focus on them and improving their overall treatment isn't a good thing.

I can already tell that, as seen through your continued analysis, the skills necessary for good orthodox storytelling should remain within your grasp.
Spoiler:


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He was broken from the first episode and made this clear in S1 when he tells CC that his only reason for living was to destroy Britannia.
It's true that Lelouch was already broken, in a way, but not nearly to the same extent. At the beginning of the story, it's more like he saw little or no purpose in living if he couldn't do anything to change the world, so to speak, but Lelouch was still calm enough to wait for his chance to start his revenge. Essentially, C.C. and Geass only helped him speed that schedule up.

But that's little compared to his post-Euphemia suffering (which he only superficially recovered from, IMHO) and the various types of traumatic events during R2.

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If anything, we see him develop numerous other reasons for choosing a different path than what he started from, especially with regard to C.C.
His promise to her alone should have been enough for him to choose a different path considering how he let both Shirley and Rolo down during R2.
He tried to believe in those reasons, but then they were taken away. Lelouch generally does not respond to trauma in a constructive fashion, other than to continue on the so-called "path of carnage" regardless. Of course, C.C. herself had the benefit of suffering from amnesia instead of dying, which is an important distinction. His relationship with her radically changed, rather than becoming the source of a mostly negative emotion (although you could, ironically, argue that the idealistic side of Zero Requiem was ultimately influenced by Shirley and Rolo, in addition to the obvious trauma from Nunnally's fake death, but that's been the topic of yet another thread).

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If anything, Lelouch made C.C. care again which is why in ep. 25 she is surprised at herself for even caring whether she wins or looses against Kallen in KMF combat.
This is entirely possible, even when seen in the context of my previous analysis. You could argue C.C. ended up as a better person than what Lelouch was at that point, because she regained more and more of her basic humanity. Then again, sometimes it's a lot easier to solve someone else's problems than your own.

Spoiler:


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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Amen. Taniguchi (not to be confused with the Haruhi Suzumiya character, lol) and Okouchi decided that Lelouch had to die at show's end right after they finished the first season.
I recall the idea was older than that. Taniguchi even stated they experimented with starting the series by having a flashforward of Suzaku trying to kill Lelouch.

Curiously enough, that's more or less what they eventually did...not in the show, but in the Special Edition compilations (Black Rebellion and Zero Requiem).

Speaking of which, it's interesting that they ended the second of those with a new monologue/narration from C.C. and with no epilogue sequence.

Last edited by Xander; 2012-04-28 at 04:14.
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Old 2012-04-28, 16:57   Link #4899
azul120
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At this time, I will only respond that Lelouch wasn't calm so much as he was blase and withdrawn while he waited for his chance to strike back at Britannia. Remember, also, his Ten Minute Retirement in Turn 7 when Rolo momentarily convinced him to abandon his quest.
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Old 2012-04-30, 20:30   Link #4900
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
I feel the same. As usual, I can agree with that much. Consider what I wrote to be little more than a summary of my previous positions. Given that this is the C.C. thread, after all, I'll remain relatively quiet about the whole topic of what Zero Requiem did or didn't need to accomplish, and whether or not it needed to be the most logical and rational choice. The common complaints.

We've all gone through that same old routine more than a few times, so the only thing I'd add is that I still share some of the same concerns you and azul120 have pointed out, but my opinion remains: there are a few alternative explanations and possible interpretations for many of them. They don't turn R2 into a masterpiece, by any means, but they do elevate it a few meters above failure from both a personal and critical perspective. Which is, of course, only my opinion.
Fair enough, we'll leave that for another thread/time.

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And, once again, I firmly believe that none of us can ever completely escape from subjectivity. It's part of what makes us human, among other things. You could program an advanced artificial intelligence that only writes flawless stories, according to the traditional standards of storytelling and screenwriting, but wouldn't that get boring after a while? It's an example full of hyperbole, yes, only meant for illustrating the point. In the end, I simply enjoy the sheer variety of fiction that our inherently flawed nature provides.
In the entertainment world (be it movies, music, fiction writing, or anime) there is no way to ever be completely objective.

I firmly enjoy films that are far from conventional.
Eraser Head, Equilibrium, The 5th Element, The 9th Gate, Old Boy, etc. are among the many films I find amazing.
All of them break the rules of traditional storytelling.
However, it is not so much a matter of following conventional story telling "rules" it is, as I said prior, the breaking of the rules the writer sets in the begining of his/her own story at the end of the story that ruins it.

That is what happened to Code Geass in my opinion.

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It's true that Lelouch was already broken, in a way, but not nearly to the same extent. At the beginning of the story, it's more like he saw little or no purpose in living if he couldn't do anything to change the world, so to speak, but Lelouch was still calm enough to wait for his chance to start his revenge. Essentially, C.C. and Geass only helped him speed that schedule up.
I can agree that C.C. greatly accelerated Lelouch's plan of revenge against Charles/Britannia, and that was the primary emotion driving him forward in S1.
Nunnally was another element, but the loss of his mother and the seeming indifference by Charles was portrayed as the major force in his rebellion.

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But that's little compared to his post-Euphemia suffering (which he only superficially recovered from, IMHO) and the various types of traumatic events during R2.
No doubt that every death of his personal friends and loved ones was one more push towards his desire to escape the world.
However, if we are to believe that Lelouch was the genius that Okouchi attempts to portray him as, then Lelouch should have known that C.C. was the only person that would be safe from the curse of Geass/Code.

Lelouch also says quite clearly in episode 15 of R2 that he views a code as a "hell" and/or "curse."
For him to kill himself off and leave C.C. behind to live in what he considered to be a "hell" alone is not being unconventional or edgy/original, it is being irresponsible as a writer.
You don't fuck over the main characters of your story if you want to keep people reading/watching it.
Therefore, in my opinion, since Lelouch died, he basically backstabbed C.C. by not taking her with him and/or by him leaving her behind to live alone all by herself again for eternity.

Spoiler:


As always Xander, it is a pleasure to have these conversations with you.
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