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Old 2010-12-12, 02:56   Link #7901
Xander
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That's certainly...different, but then again, it's a bit hard to judge everything without a proper translation of the text.

As long as the manga itself is somehow internally consistent, I don't mind if it goes against the facts or characterizations provided by the original anime. It's still strange to hear about some of these changes, but what might be out-of-character for the show might be in-character for this adaptation (or vice versa).

In other words, I think the manga is just like the light novels: a parallel version of the same story but not a real replacement for watching the series.
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Old 2011-03-22, 00:46   Link #7902
darthfury78
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I guess that the Code Geass Thread is starting to die off. Such a shame.....Until the new side story is released. Can't wait for that day to happen.
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Old 2011-04-20, 10:22   Link #7903
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Falling View Post
If you want to go into hypotheticals and what ifs, then sure, you can claim that there's some out of the blue 'possibility' that Sunrise will come out and say Lelouch is alive after all. That doesn't change the fact that what Sunrise already has said is, in official black and white, that Lelouch is dead. And as far as hypotheticals goes, there is no reason why Sunrise for some godforsaken pointless reason coming out and saying Lelouch is alive is any more likely than them sticking with the official line that has been in place and stayed consistent for, what? 2+ years since the ending now.
It's called marketing, and understanding your product brand.
If Lelouch was not considered a necessity to sell Code Geass as a franchise, then he wouldn't appear on every friggin piece of promotional artwork, and wouldn't have a clone in the new manga.
You keep going at this from a story angle, it ISN'T about storyline or plot, it's about money and profit.

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That quote only says that Okouchi had no plans at the time, not that it was his intention for Code Geass to have no side stories. The existence of a Lelouch clone (as well as a C.C. clone and others) was already known ages before the new manga even started, you can hardly use that as evidence for Sunrise starting to change their line on what Lelouch did with R2's ending. I don't need any 'confidence' over the future so much as to understand what is reality right now, and that reality is that Lelouch's death has been officially confirmed and reinforced/recognized ever since the end of the series, and there has been zero reason to even begin to doubt that things will stay that way.
There's no CC clone in the manga Sol, it IS CC in the Renya manga.
The Gino clone is an ancestor, as is Kaguya's clone.
The Lelouch clone already has the double-eyed Geass and CC knows him.
Taniguichi has pushed the powers of Geass well beyond the anime with the introduction of the Knightmare Mesh and the cursed arm of Renya.
The Renya manga is an offical part of the Code Geass timeline.
With this expansion of the power of Geass a whole slew of new plot devices and thus marketing retcon tools presents themselves to Sunrise.
The abiguity of the ending of Code Geass was there for a reason, and it wasn't because Okouchi wanted it that way.
It's because Sunrise producer Yoshitaka Kawaguchi wanted it that way and he said so in the January 2009 issue of Newtype with the whole "Lelouch may have died?" comment.

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Hell, look at the new Code Geass series. Set before Lelouch's death, and he isn't even a main character! Lelouch's story and part to play are well and truly over, and each of these expansions to the Code Geass universe are all about shedding light on other parts of the story.
Except that we don't know the full gamut of time that this story takes place.
It's set at the end of S1/begining of R2 sometime when either Cornelia went to the Eurozone front or Suzaku (as a Knight of the Round).
According to the official website the new show is a 26 episode series.
Therefore, the possibility of it overlapping the end of R2 is quite possible.
However, no one knows yet.

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Here's a question for you. Sunrise might not need Okouchi for more Code Geass, but don't you think they might need him for more Lelouch as a personality? After all, who else but the author could you really say understands Lelouch as a character. Any attempt to resurrect Lelouch without Okouchi will just end up a badly written fanfic, and that kind of halfassed act of rampant commercialism is something audiences do have the capacity to recognize. If you insist on reading that sort of motivation into any new material added to the Code Geass universe, why don't you just wait and watch for the performance of these current new sidestories then. It is clear that at least in their initial stages neither of them were started up with the intention of 'retconning' Lelouch's death in the main series. If both of them end up crashing in abject financial failure, and you think Sunrise really is serious about turning Code Geass into the sort of gigantic multimedia franchise of the kind that is Gundam, then that is when you can genuinely start hypothesizing about a real possibility for Lelouch's resurrection.
First, no Sunrise doesn't need Okouchi to write Lelouch.
He was only a portion of Lelouch's personality as Okouchi himself told the interviewer in the Continue #42 article.
In fact Okouchi suggested that Lelouch was modeled after Taniguichi's personality to some extent, so no Okouchi isn't needed.
If Sunrise didn't feel this franchise had wide potential there wouldn't be a sidestory or a new manga, or anything else for that matter.
They already know they can sell it and turn a profit, and the manga has given us a glimpse into why.
The manga is showing the "mysterious man" more and more in each issue.
It's slow, but steady.
Okouchi said in the interview portion I quoted that:

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(Interviewer)-----I'll be blunt: Are you thinking of a sequel?

Okouchi: This is a show that's produced great results, so it's certainly true that there have been some suggestions [for a sequel], but for now there are no such plans. As of now (this interview was held September 2008) the final episode still hasn't gone on air yet, so I don't feel like thinking about the future yet. I'd like to think about it once the final episode has aired and I've heard what the fans have to say. I don't intend to deny the commercial side of anime productions, of course, but I'd like to decide only after knowing what the customers think. Which is why for now, I'm eagerly anticipating the airing of the final episode.*
And what do the majority of customers think?
A) most Code Geass fans think Lelouch is the cart driver (I'm not one of them as you know).
B) Most Code Geass fans want Lelouch to return.

Thus, even Okouchi understands the commerical side to this and what the fans want.
There's no escaping it, and if Sunrise chooses to generate an anime which doesn't have Lelouch in it in one way or another it will flop.

They did it to themselves (Sunrise) but creating a story that is so dependent on one character.
It has been said before and I'll say it again, Lelouch IS Code Geass because they (Okouchi and Taniguichi) failed to evenly distribute the lead role over the main characters and built Lelouch up so much as to make the anime reliant on him alone.
Killing him off basically kills the franchise and that's a simple fact of marketing that cannot be ignored.
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Old 2011-04-20, 19:59   Link #7904
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Funny how someone with so much plot focus could also get screwed over by said plot.
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Old 2011-04-20, 20:21   Link #7905
Xander
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Sorry to say, but I think that's something of a false dilemma in this case.

Lelouch was clearly the protagonist for the only animated Code Geass production in existence and almost all of the promotional artwork is related to said animated production directly or indirectly. It would be almost impossible to expect the protagonist to be absent and not prominently featured.

As far as the new projects go, I don't think most Code Geass fans in either side of the world have been terribly interested in the manga. In fact, I doubt Renya of the Darkness will ever become as popular as the anime and it's far more likely the new Gaiden will spark more interest just because it's going to be animated.

For the record, Renya's particular Lelouch clone is quite a passive character. He's done little more than say cryptic things and look mysterious. That behavior and his very irregular appearances make him have more in common with someone like Emperor Charles than with the original Lelouch. Even if Lelouch fans wanted to read the manga for his sake, everything I've seen tells me most people aren't really getting too much of that either.

After reading eight translated chapters out of eleven that have been published in Japan, I'm not particularly impressed nor does it seem like that character's importance will suddenly increase anytime soon when the story is following a traditional shounen formula. In other words, I don't see him becoming a relevant factor until at least halfway through the narrative if not even later.

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The Renya manga is an offical part of the Code Geass timeline.
That's what Taniguchi said, but there's no guarantee it will actually last. Speaking of retcons, Sunrise tends to ignore whatever spin-offs they don't adapt into animation and has even contradicted them when making additional animated series of their own. This includes those that have been written by Tomino himself.

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According to the official website the new show is a 26 episode series.
Actually, I believe that's not strictly true. At least not based on the website as it stands.

This misconception is the result of using an online translator to translate a paragraph which is only talking about R2's broadcast and time slot change, thanking the fans for their support, not about what will be the format for Gaiden.

Those translations should almost never be taken literally or at face value because they can easily destroy logical word or phrase order and produce the opposite result of what's actually being said. Machines can't quite replace human beings in this field.

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The manga is showing the "mysterious man" more and more in each issue.
It's slow, but steady.
Unfortunately, I don't think that's been the case. He cannot be called anything more than an observer and a background figure at this point. I don't feel like we're seeing more of him after his debut but, on the contrary, he's been quite erratic and his continuing absence is hard to ignore.


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And what do the majority of customers think?
A) most Code Geass fans think Lelouch is the cart driver (I'm not one of them as you know).
B) Most Code Geass fans want Lelouch to return.
With all due respect, you know Okouchi wasn't really talking about any specific desires coming from the fans but only about the possibility of making a sequel and expressing his understanding that there is a commercial side to producing anime. Adding anything else to his words is, to say the least, very subjective.

In that interview, there is no discussion of what will happen in said potential sequel and, evidently, Sunrise isn't even making one at the moment. That's not what we're getting in the immediate future and the kind of marketing strategy you're advocating would have suggested making R3 instead of anything resembling Renya or Gaiden.

And yet, some months later, you had Taniguchi daring to say this (which, btw, is also on the official website and online translators get it wrong too):

Quote:
Taniguchi Gorou—Original Work

After the work for R2 had ended, many people, including many fans, wished for a continuation. “How should we answer all these voices?” After I discussed it with Okouchi-san and all the rest of the staff, we decided to not simply “continue” it, but instead to “expand” it. I’m glad that Director Akane’s new Geass will be implemented as the start of this new project this time. For now on, please anticipate it, as well as the rest of the “expansion” that has been announced.
They could have easily decided to continue it, at least on the surface, but he's saying they didn't choose to follow the most simple path for now.

From my personal perspective, it may well be that the creators and Sunrise have been arguing about this same subject from behind the scenes and took too long to make up their minds. Why didn't they make Code Geass R3 in, say, 2010 when that would have seemed as easy as making another Gundam spin-off?

In fact, you could argue that the failure to produce any new Code Geass anime series after almost three (!) years is making them lose potential sales. The critical mass of people who wanted more Code Geass and more Lelouch isn't exactly getting any bigger but, on the contrary, it's probably shrinking as we speak because many fans are surely moving on to different pastures and may not necessarily want to come back. If we don't get anything this year, with or without Lelouch, I think Sunrise will have missed the opportunity to maximize their profits while interest in Code Geass was still high and willing to pay attention to their marketing.

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There's no escaping it, and if Sunrise chooses to generate an anime which doesn't have Lelouch in it in one way or another it will flop.
Well...I'm not a fan of absolute prophecies, period, so let's make this more interesting.

Wanna bet ten U.S. dollars on that? I'd be willing to do so out of sport, if nothing else.

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They did it to themselves (Sunrise) but creating a story that is so dependent on one character.
It has been said before and I'll say it again, Lelouch IS Code Geass because they (Okouchi and Taniguichi) failed to evenly distribute the lead role over the main characters and built Lelouch up so much as to make the anime reliant on him alone.
Killing him off basically kills the franchise and that's a simple fact of marketing that cannot be ignored.
The thing is, you're ignoring that Code Geass literally came out of nowhere. Lelouch began as an absolute nobody and had no inherent marketing value at the start. Your reasoning assumes that it would be impossible to create any other popular character or commercially successful series ever again. I'd beg to differ.

I would also add there are different schools of thought even in marketing, both political and commercial, that wouldn't automatically agree with your conservative and orthodox interpretation of how to make money off a property or character.

Doing more of what works is one common strategy, sure, but you can also take risks and be similarly successful by not doing so. None of us have a crystal ball here and pretending that having Lelouch come back as an active character is the only outcome that won't make Sunrise lose money is...a very narrowminded idea even within the already cynical perspective of wanting the company to make money off the property.

Once again, that's not the only proven method. You can reinvent a brand and make it gravitate around something or someone else. Sometimes it won't work, sure, but sometimes it will. Which is why I'm far from being as certain as you are about procedures that rely on many extra factors we haven't discussed here.

Last edited by Xander; 2011-04-20 at 21:35.
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Old 2011-04-20, 21:05   Link #7906
Lost Cause
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While I fully admit to bring the one who said "they won't kill the sacred cow"(Lelouch) and that a great many things are still up in the air as for as the open ending of R2, I for one am interested in Gaiden and hope it does come out!
Thing is though we were told that Gaiden takes place during 2017, and I fully suspect Zero will make an appearance if for nothing else that to issue orders to Akito if he's even assosiated with the Black Knights.
But like Zander said we have no idea as to what will actually transpire in this series. That said I think there's plenty of story left too Code Geass.
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Old 2011-04-20, 22:42   Link #7907
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Sorry to say, but I think that's something of a false dilemma in this case.

Lelouch was clearly the protagonist for the only animated Code Geass production in existence and almost all of the promotional artwork is related to said animated production directly or indirectly. It would be almost impossible to expect the protagonist to be absent and not prominently featured.

As far as the new projects go, I don't think most Code Geass fans in either side of the world have been terribly interested in the manga. In fact, I doubt Renya of the Darkness will ever become as popular as the anime and it's far more likely the new Gaiden will spark more interest just because it's going to be animated.

For the record, Renya's particular Lelouch clone is quite a passive character. He's done little more than say cryptic things and look mysterious. That behavior and his very irregular appearances make him have more in common with someone like Emperor Charles than with the original Lelouch. Even if Lelouch fans wanted to read the manga for his sake, everything I've seen tells me most people aren't really getting too much of that either.

After reading eight translated chapters out of eleven that have been published in Japan, I'm not particularly impressed nor does it seem like that character's importance will suddenly increase anytime soon when the story is following a traditional shounen formula. In other words, I don't see him becoming a relevant factor until at least halfway through the narrative if not even later.
I agree with most of what you said above, especially with what you posted about Renya of the Dark.
The reason I agree with you is because this is a manga where cloned-Lelouch hasn't had a large part and thus it would seem it suffers from what Suzaku of the Counterattack and NoN suffered from--a lack of Lelouch (even as a clone) in a leading role.
If this clone of Lelouch were similar to the anime version in both character and style, rather than just appearence, then I'm of the opinion it would grab more readers.

Quote:
That's what Taniguchi said, but there's no guarantee it will actually last. Speaking of retcons, Sunrise tends to ignore whatever spin-offs they don't adapt into animation and has even contradicted them when making additional animated series of their own. This includes those that have been written by Tomino himself.
Which is precisely to my point.
Sunrise goes where the money is and the Gundam manga/anime that they've deemed (non-canon) are mostly UC universe manga/anime which were not profitable.
This is why when Tomino tried to branch out with new characters he nearly lost his directorship of Gundam since Sunrise wanted to see more Amuro/Char due to the fans.
Thus we got Zeta, ZZ, and Char's Counterattack which ended the Amuro/Char arc very nicely.
Then Tomino tried F91 and it failed miserably because Amuro and Char weren't in it.
After that came Gundam-Wing, which was a wise move to create an entirely new Gundam universe (great show too ).

Quote:
Actually, I believe that's not strictly true. At least not based on the website.

This misconception is the result of using an online translator to translate a paragraph which is only talking about R2's broadcast and time slot change, thanking the fans for their support, not about what will be format for Gaiden.

Those translations should almost never be taken literally or at face value because they can easily destroy logical word or phrase order and produce the opposite result of what's actually being said.
That's not what I used for the tranlation.
On the official site it mentions Gaiden as a new series.
I suppose that could mean a new OAV series, but they're being cryptic about this whole thing.
Besides, either one can overlap with the R2 ending, so it's a moot point.

Quote:
With all due respect, you know Okouchi wasn't really talking about any specific desires coming from the fans but only about the possibility of making a sequel and expressing his understanding that there is a commercial side to producing anime. Adding anything else to his words is, to say the least, very subjective.
You seem to be confusing what I said about what the fans want verses what Okouchi wanted.
Okouchi was simply telling the interviewer that if the fans demanded it, he would consider a sequel.
Well, they've pretty much demanded it, with our dead-boy Lelouch in it.
And that's all I was saying.
All one has to do is go to the various online polls about whether Lelouch is alive or dead and nearly all of them have him alive (I should note that I haven't come across any poll about Lelouch's status where the majority think he's dead, I'm sure there's one out there someplace, but I haven't found it yet).

Quote:
In that interview, there is no discussion of what will happen in said potential sequel and, evidently, Sunrise isn't even making one at the moment. That's not what we're getting in the immediate future and the kind of marketing strategy you're advocating would have suggested making R3 instead of anything resembling Renya or Gaiden.
I disagree here completely.
The ending in episode 25 would require considerable backstory to make a retcon of Lelouch believable (should they choose to do that).
A direct sequel so soon after the end of R2 would not have done well IMHO.
It would've been too much, too soon, not to mention the possible conflict with Gundam 00 and/or Unicorn.

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And yet, some months later, you had Taniguchi daring to say this:

They could have easily decided to continue it, at least on the surface, but he's saying they didn't choose to follow the most simple path for now.

From my personal perspective, it may well be that the creators and Sunrise have been arguing about this same subject from behind the scenes and took too long to make up their minds. Why didn't they make Code Geass R3 in, say, 2010 when that would have seemed as easy as making another Gundam spin-off?
I'll agree here.
Okouchi has no intention of ever continuing Lelouch's story.
Of that I'm sure, which is why I think if he's retconned it will be due to Sunrise and no other.

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In fact, you could argue that the failure to produce any new Code Geass anime series after almost three (!) years is making them lose potential sales. The critical mass of people who wanted more Code Geass and more Lelouch isn't exactly getting any bigger but, on the contrary, it's probably shrinking as we speak because many fans are surely moving on to different pastures and may not necessarily want to come back. If we don't get anything this year, with or without Lelouch, I think Sunrise will have missed the opportunity to maximize their profits while interest in Code Geass was still high and willing to pay attention to their marketing.
Agreed.


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Well...I'm not a fan of absolute prophecies, period, so let's make this more interesting.

Wanna bet ten U.S. dollars on that? I'd be willing to do so out of sport, if nothing else.
Yes, I'm confident that an entirely new Code Geass series within the cannon universe will fail without Lelouch in it in some fashion or another. It's too soon for them to be throwing a new bunch of characters out.
Now a new alternate universe, that's a different story.
An AU might actually make money in the same manner as Gundam has.
As a side note: Are we allowed to make wagers here?


Quote:
The thing is, you're ignoring that Code Geass literally came out of nowhere. Lelouch began as an absolute nobody and had no inherent marketing value at the start. Your reasoning assumes that it would be impossible to create any other popular character or commercially successful series ever again. I'd beg to differ.
No offense, but that's wrong.
What I'm arguing is that BECAUSE Code Geass came out of nowhere, and Lelouch was the impetus for the series' popularity, an attempt to completely start over with new characters this early in the franchise's life is not adviseable.
Gundam being a perfect example of this.
Yes there are many alternate universes, but they're just that, alternate universes.
Yes, there were side stories (like 8th MS team), and supporting manga, but the main characters of the UC universe ran through not 50 espisodes, but 140, plus Char's Counterattack before Sunrise retired them.
That's over 5 seasons.
And worse for Code Geass, is that Lelouch is not like Amuro or Char, Lelouch is like the Gundam itself, he's the focus of the show.
And there has never been a Gundam without the Gundam.
Although, in an AU they could change this and focus on Geass more heavily and knock Lelouch's importance down a few pegs.
Come to think of it, maybe that IS what Taniguichi is doing in the manga???
As far as anime is concerned, Code Geass is still in the minor leagues.
To be a major player it has got to have at least another season (26-50 ep) or else it will become like Outlaw Star: fizzle out, and die.

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I would also add there are different schools of thought even in marketing, both political and commercial, that wouldn't automatically agree with your conservative and orthodox interpretation of how to make money off a property or character.
In this economic environment the Japanese (especially) are not going to be taking risks with anything.
Money is too tight.
In addition to economic stresses, my opinion is based on observing what Sunrise has already tried with Code Geass vis a vis the manga series.
None of them did well except for the adaptation of the anime.
That's unusual considering how well other anime supported manga do (and Geass isn't that far from a Gundam story).
If Akito does well (and I do think it may since Lelouch will certainly have a cameo or two in it) then Sunrise will have accomplished two objectives with it.
One, introducing more material for sale (manga, models, DVDs, etc.) and maintain interest in the franchise while future projects (if any) are developed.
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Old 2011-04-21, 12:00   Link #7908
Xander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
The reason I agree with you is because this is a manga where cloned-Lelouch hasn't had a large part and thus it would seem it suffers from what Suzaku of the Counterattack and NoN suffered from--a lack of Lelouch (even as a clone) in a leading role.
If this clone of Lelouch were similar to the anime version in both character and style, rather than just appearence, then I'm of the opinion it would grab more readers.
Perhaps, though it should be noted that Taniguchi said Nightmare of Nunnally was succesful and it certainly ran longer than Suzaku of the Counterattack, which was apparently cut short before its time, and I believe that's one reason why even Renya of the Darkness is using the same manga artist too.

At the very least though, NoN wasn't really that similar to RotD. The setting was familiar, despite some crazy events, and took more risks in terms of characterization and focus than in terms of its constituent elements. Even if Lelouch wasn't the central focus and wasn't exactly the same character to begin with, the audience didn't have to make too many leaps in order to understand the setup.

On the other hand, Renya is too much of a radical change in setting, considering it takes place in another historical period, but hasn't exactly given too much thought to explaining the situation and providing enough context to make up for that either. We barely have a sense of who is doing what and why.

It feels like we're missing information the characters already have and, for that matter, the lack of mecha also has a lasting impact. Instead of military action, we have hand-to-hand combat and supernatural powers that mostly have physical as opposed to mental effects. In terms of overall feel, there have been far more changes than just putting a Lelouch clone in the background. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

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Which is precisely to my point.
Sunrise goes where the money is and the Gundam manga/anime that they've deemed (non-canon) are mostly UC universe manga/anime which were not profitable.
This is why when Tomino tried to branch out with new characters (F91, Gundam Savior etc.) he nearly lost his directorship of Gundam since Sunrise wanted to see more Amuro/Char due to the fans.
Thus we got Zeta, ZZ, and Char's Counterattack which ended the Amuro/Char arc very nicely.
Then Tomino tried F91 and it failed miserably because Amuro and Char weren't in it.
After that came Gundam-Wing, which was a wise move to create an entirely new Gundam universe (great show too ).
I believe G-Saviour was a live-action disaster that didn't involve Tomino, as far as we actually know, and G Gundam came before Gundam Wing (and, for all the hate G apparently received because of its radical changes, the model kits and figures still sold).

F-91 mostly suffered from only being a movie instead of a new series. It packs too much story in too little time and the pacing is horrible..

I was mostly talking about things like manga and novels, since this discussion started with Renya of the Darkness after all and the point was that Sunrise isn't obliged to take Taniguchi's current manga story into consideration. They are free to take the animated universe in a completely separate direction.

It's also worth adding that ZZ didn't have Char or Amuro play any particular role. In fact, they were absent. Even Kamille was mostly a passive background element given his condition. More importantly, the ending of Char's Counterattack was also left open to interpretation but Sunrise didn't exactly go out of its way to pick up where that ended and never came up with an excuse to bring Amuro and Char back, even if it's something they could have easily accomplished.

In fact, they could have adapted Gaia Gear into anime and Sunrise would have a Tomino-authored Char clone, in the strictest possible sense, running around.

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I suppose that could mean a new OAV series, but they're being cryptic about this whole thing.
Besides, either one can overlap with the R2 ending, so it's a moot point.
I guess we'll have to see about that, so it's not worth trying to argue any further.

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Okouchi was simply telling the interviewer that if the fans demanded it, he would consider a sequel.
Well, they've pretty much demanded it, with our dead-boy Lelouch in it.
And that's all I was saying.
All one has to do is go to the various online polls about whether Lelouch is alive or dead and nearly all of them have him alive (I should note that I haven't come across any poll about Lelouch's status where the majority think he's dead, I'm sure there's one out there someplace, but I haven't found it yet).
But said sequel, with or without Lelouch, remains visibly absent. On the surface, it would seem fan demand wasn't taken into consideration.

By the way, online polls have little or no scientific value due to sampling bias and because they're the easiest to rig.

If anything, I'd even give those ridiculous character rankings in Japanese magazines a little more weight, if only so much, and even then Lelouch has lost a lot of positions lately. Hell, even Kira from Gundam SEED has had a lot more staying power. Not that this makes me feel very happy or anything but Lelouch's popularity hasn't remained unchanged, much less increased, as time goes on.

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I disagree here completely.
The ending in episode 25 would require considerable backstory to make a retcon of Lelouch believable (should they choose to do that).
A direct sequel so soon after the end of R2 would not have done well IMHO.
It would've been too much, too soon, not to mention the possible conflict with Gundam 00 and/or Unicorn.
Sunrise is divided into multiple studios and can certainly handle working on several projects at the same time. Considering both the Gundam 00 movie and Unicorn have followed a non-standard release schedule because of their format, it wouldn't seem too hard to fit in another OVA and/or TV series. Of course, this is only speculation.

Strictly speaking, I believe all they need to do in order to bring Lelouch back is use any of several possible interpretations of the so-called "Code theory" and thus the retcon shouldn't require much more than a couple of flashbacks to events we never saw in the first place.

Regarding whether or not a sequel to R2 would have done well, we can't really tell but at the very least it's hard to deny that Lelouch's popularity was at its highest right after the ending. Wouldn't it follow that all those fans wishing to see their hero come back would jump at the opportunity to watch Code Geass R3 a year or two after the fact?

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Yes, I'm confident that an entirely new Code Geass series within the cannon universe will fail without Lelouch in it in some fashion or another. It's too soon for them to be throwing a new bunch of characters out.
Now a new alternate universe, that's a different story.
An AU might actually make money in the same manner as Gundam has.
I would argue that it's been long enough to reduce the passion and numbers of Lelouch's most desperate and irrational followers, who I would say are the people most likely to actively refuse to watch anything unrelated to him. Time cures all things, or so they say.

I don't think Code Geass fans and Lelouch fans in general, taken as a whole, are as allergic to other alternatives as you want to suggest. They are, after all, watching lots of different series which do not involve their hero in any way, shape or form.

Considering just how ridiculously popular and profitable both seasons were...even if you only brought back a fraction -say, half or just a third- of those fans, that would still guarantee DVD and BD sales in excess of 10,000 to 20,000 per volume to say the least, which is far more than what the vast majority of anime can ever hope to achieve.

Therefore, I don't agree with your argument that an alternate universe is the only possible way to make money off Code Geass. Yes, Gundam eventually resorted to using such universes, no doubt, but only after making many other spin-offs and even today they have continued to extend and fill up the original timeline. If they weren't making any money at all, they surely wouldn't be doing it. But we'll have to continue this argument a few paragraphs below, as I can already tell.

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As a side note: Are we allowed to make wagers here?
The rules don't make any explicit reference to the topic, as far as I can tell, but I'm not intending to make this a general event.

Just something between you and me. The sum could even be purely symbolic or waived altogether if necessary. Whatever makes you feel better. The intention is to have fun at the expense of the uncertain, not to make a profit. Which is quite ironic in this situation.

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No offense, but that's wrong.
What I'm arguing is that BECAUSE Code Geass came out of nowhere, and Lelouch was the impetus for the series' popularity, an attempt to completely start over with new characters this early in the franchise's life is not adviseable.
No offense taken, but there isn't going to be a clear-cut "right" or "wrong" here until after the fact.

What Sunrise is doing right now wouldn't really be the same thing as "starting over" since it's quite explicitly being called a side story.

A side story, like the name suggests, is meant to add something to an already existing story. That isn't taking anything away from Code Geass or Lelouch as they currently stand. In fact, a side story often uses what has already been done as a base and may include explicit or implicit references to what has come before.

Compared to, say, Renya of the Darkness, Code Geass Gaiden should look, feel and sound a lot more familiar. It'll still have more elements in common with Code Geass than with any other project. It will be using an already established universe and similar production values including character designs (CLAMP, Takahiro Kimura), music (Kotaro Nakagawa and Hitomi) and/or even famous voice actors too. We may even see a few familiar faces, sooner or later, but that's particularly hard to determine at the moment.

We can't assume that the entire existing Code Geass fanbase, without any divisions or nuances at all, will refuse to watch the show only because Lelouch isn't going to the central focus when so many other things will remain similar enough. It's also a bit absurd to assume they will never buy any merchandise or DVDs and BDs. And finally, that says nothing about what new fans may be attracted to the show for multiple reasons, both superficial and otherwise, just like it happens with anything else.

A series with those elements and characteristics, even from just a technical standpoint, isn't exactly likely to be unpopular. It can be less successful than Code Geass originally was but still make a reasonable profit. There is far more room for possible variations here than what you're apparently suggesting, as if we could only expect to see absolute success (with Lelouch) or absolute failure (without him).

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Yes, there were side stories (like 8th MS team), and supporting manga, but the main characters of the UC universe ran through not 50 espisodes, but 140, plus Char's Counterattack before Sunrise retired them.
That's over 5 seasons.
Let's stop to take a careful look at the details here.

First off all, until recently Gundam series have generally been produced in sets of 50 episodes or so,. They weren't divided into seasons in the strictest sense of the term but, as a matter of fact, aired continously until their respective endings came up. Code Geass followed a different schedule and its two seasons, given the long break between them, practically count as two series as opposed to just one. Adding "R2" to the title and the time slot change made this even more blatant.

In addition, let's look at what happened to the most important Gundam characters.

Mobile Suit Gundam had Amuro as the protagonist and Char as the antagonist.

Mobile Suit Z Gundam had Kamille as a new protagonist facing different antagonists. Char, as Quattro, was an important secondary character but his role was to support Kamille instead of taking the spotlight himself. Amuro showed up a couple of times to interact with both of them but he was a guest star instead of a regular cast member.

Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ had Judau as another new protagonist and made Kamille show up...but, rather logically under the circumstances, he did almost nothing. Char and Amuro were only mentioned and didn't take part in these events.

Char Counterattack finally brought Amuro and Char back into their original roles as the respective protagonist and antagonist. Kamille and Judau played no role here.

Therefore, we cannot simply add up the total number of episodes without giving any other thought to the issue.

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And worse for Code Geass, is that Lelouch is not like Amuro or Char, Lelouch is like the Gundam itself, he's the focus of the show.
And there has never been a Gundam without the Gundam.
Not necessarily. Amuro was the focus of the original MSG even if he didn't become the most representative part of the property in the long run.

Unlike Super Robot shows, where the robot is usually more interesting than the pilot, in MSG the Gundam was treated more like a tool for war than anything else. The best and most important machine, technically, but still a machine. Gundam caught on as a signature of the property, no doubt, but that's not what made the show stand out. In fact, it's rarely the true focus of most Gundam series despite its visual prominence.

Amuro's character development as a teenager who found himself in a real war and had to face the fallout from it was a central part of the story. Even Char was important because he was his sympathetic rival, not because he was a faceless opponent of the Gundam. Remove those human elements and you'd just have another Super Robot show.

What's more, there is no doubt Lelouch is the focus of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Code Geass R2: Lelouch of the Rebellion...but does that mean we can't have Code Geass: Someone of the Something? That is the true question. I don't think so.

Lelouch's story is, as it stands, the central focus of Code Geass but this doesn't mean he will remain the signature element for another story, even if an immortal Lelouch were to magically show up as a supporting character in a sequel set in the far future. Which, for that matter, isn't necessarily going to be the case.

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Although, in an AU they could change this and focus on Geass more heavily and knock Lelouch's importance down a few pegs.
Come to think of it, maybe that IS what Taniguichi is doing in the manga???
That may be what Taniguchi is doing with Renya, but I would assume he'd be more successful if he was better at storytelling and developing a new setting instead of leaving the audience in absolute suspense about too many things.

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In addition to economic stresses, my opinion is based on observing what Sunrise has already tried with Code Geass vis a vis the manga series.
None of them did well except for the adaptation of the anime.
Actually, in one of the interviews for Renya that was translated here, Taniguchi mentioned that Nightmare of Nunnally had been successful. I don't know how that compares to the official manga adaptation itself but NoN did run a lot longer than Suzaku of the Counterattack's two volumes, which is saying something.

Once again though, I have to say that expecting an anime original property to be equally successful as a manga is rather counterintuitive and relatively rare. With exceptions, usually the original work remains the most popular...and naturally, this also applies in the opposite direction.

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If Akito does well (and I do think it may since Lelouch will certainly have a cameo or two in it) then Sunrise will have accomplished two objectives with it.
One, introducing more material for sale (manga, models, DVDs, etc.) and maintain interest in the franchise while future projects (if any) are developed.
I can actually agree with this, at least in principle. In terms of personal speculation and deduction though, I'm thinking we will see more of Zero than Lelouch in Akito, at least to begin with, since news of what's going on in Japan should surely reach Europe. The distinction might seem small but it's important enough.

Perhaps we'll actually see more of C.C. too, since we don't really know anything about what she did between the end of R1 and the beginning of R2. You could have her talking about Lelouch and Zero as a way of introducing the subject into the narrative.

Last edited by Xander; 2011-04-21 at 12:14.
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Old 2011-04-21, 23:11   Link #7909
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Perhaps, though it should be noted that Taniguchi said Nightmare of Nunnally ...It feels like we're missing information the characters already have and, for that matter, the lack of mecha also has a lasting impact. Instead of military action, we have hand-to-hand combat and supernatural powers that mostly have physical as opposed to mental effects. In terms of overall feel, there have been far more changes than just putting a Lelouch clone in the background. That's just the tip of the iceberg.
I agree, Taniguichi is expanding the official Code Geass universe in a plethora of ways via this new manga.
Why remains to be seen.

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I believe G-Saviour was a live-action disaster that didn't involve Tomino, as far as we actually know, and G Gundam came before Gundam Wing (and, for all the hate G apparently received because of its radical changes, the model kits and figures still sold).
Actually you're correct.
Tomino voiced his displeasure over G-Saviour at animeexpo 2002.
I was thinking of V Gundam, sorry about that.

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F-91 mostly suffered from only being a movie instead of a new series. It packs too much story in too little time and the pacing is horrible..
Which was unfortunate, because F91, V Gundam, and Crossbone Gundam were an indirectly connected sub-series of the UC universe that I liked quite a bit.

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I was mostly talking about things like manga and novels, since this discussion started with Renya of the Darkness after all and the point was that Sunrise isn't obliged to take Taniguchi's current manga story into consideration. They are free to take the animated universe in a completely separate direction.
Oh, again my apologies I hadn't realized you were only talking about the manga and novels.
In that case I agree that Sunrise absolutely has not only the authority, but as you said, no obligation to consider Renya canon if they chose not to.

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It's also worth adding that ZZ didn't have Char or Amuro play any particular role...Char's Counterattack was also left open to interpretation but Sunrise didn't exactly go out of its way to pick up where that ended and never came up with an excuse to bring Amuro and Char back.."
There was no need for Char or Amuro to play a major role in ZZ, the fans were aware that both were still alive and active in that universe. They were only mentioned a few times in ZZ (if memory serves, been awhile since I've seen it).
ZZ set the stage for Char's counterattack in many ways with the bolstering of Axis' forces into their becoming Neo-Zeon, the various new mecha, and the whole political situation in the post-Titan UC world.

I imagine Akito of the Ruined country will have a similar purpose in explaining what was happening in Europe during the S1/R2 time period.

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In fact, they could have adapted Gaia Gear into anime and Sunrise would have a Tomino-authored Char clone, in the strictest possible sense, running around.
It's a pity they didn't.

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By the way, online polls have little or no scientific value due to sampling bias and because they're the easiest to rig.
Marketing isn't exactly a science when it comes to fictional stories.
There's no formula that does or doesn't work.
It's more of an art and damn difficult at times.
That said, the reason online polls do have value in a limited scope is that they tell a marketing agent if (and how much) interest there is in a particular angle of a story.
Especially when considerable time has elapsed since the last installment of a series (such as Geass).
However, I'd like to say that you've got me thinking that a cunning marketing staff would save a sequel with Lelouch in it for the proverbial "money shot" moment.

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If anything, I'd even give those ridiculous character rankings in Japanese magazines a little more weight, if only so much, and even then Lelouch has lost a lot of positions lately. Hell, even Kira from Gundam SEED has had a lot more staying power. Not that this makes me feel very happy or anything but Lelouch's popularity hasn't remained unchanged, much less increased, as time goes on.
I would agree that a keen marketing agent would also take these into consideration, as well as what is being said about the franchise/product online on the major websites for the merchandice in question.

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Sunrise is divided into multiple studios and can certainly handle working on several projects at the same time...
I was speaking of cross-competition between the Geass and Gundam franchises.
Oversaturation of mecha anime in too close a proximity (especially in the economic turmoil of 2008) may have done more damage than good.
I can see why Sunrise would hold off on an actual LoTR sequel until after Gundam 00, and Unicorn were done.

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Strictly speaking, I believe all they need to do in order to bring Lelouch back is use any of several possible interpretations of the so-called "Code theory" and thus the retcon shouldn't require much more than a couple of flashbacks to events we never saw in the first place.
Considering the goal of any story is to bring out emotion in the reader/viewer, it would behoove Sunrise (should they choose to bring back Lelouch) to savor the "return" moment at the climax of emotional anxiety.
Just having a few informational flashbacks or "Code-theory" explanations is certainly an option for them.
However, the maximum emotional impact of the "money shot" moment is what the director and writer will want to gain the greatest effect on the viewer.
I would think that would require some backstory to properly support, but then again I could be wrong.

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Regarding whether or not a sequel to R2 would have done well, we can't really tell but at the very least it's hard to deny that Lelouch's popularity was at its highest right after the ending. Wouldn't it follow that all those fans wishing to see their hero come back would jump at the opportunity to watch Code Geass R3 a year or two after the fact?
Many factors of the 2008-2009 period were in play.
From Gundam 00 to the economic crisis.
Whether or not Sunrise had plans for a sequel is not known, however, Okouchi did imply that he had been approached about it.
Unfortunately we don't know by who.
If I had to guess I'd say it was Sunrise producer Yoshitaka Kawaguchi, but I'll be the first to admit that I don't know.

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I would argue that it's been long enough to reduce the passion and numbers of Lelouch's most desperate and irrational followers, who I would say are the people most likely to actively refuse to watch anything unrelated to him. Time cures all things, or so they say.
That's possible, but then again so is the opposite.
Lelouch fans are still all over the place online (some just posted here recently), and while his fanbase may have dimished or perhaps moved on, they may simply be waiting for more Geass with Lelouch in it.
There's no scientific way to tell.

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I don't think Code Geass fans and Lelouch fans in general, taken as a whole, are as allergic to other alternatives as you want to suggest. They are, after all, watching lots of different series which do not involve their hero in any way, shape or form.
Allergic...no.
Disappointed, yes.
The enthusiasm and emotional drive to buy/watch Geass will not be there IMHO.
It would be like reading Batman comics without Batman in it.
Some people would certainly buy it and check it out, but overall the numbers would not meet previous sales.

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Considering just how ridiculously popular and profitable both seasons were...even if you only brought back a fraction -say, half or just a third- of those fans, that would still guarantee DVD and BD sales in excess of 10,000 to 20,000 per volume to say the least, which is far more than what the vast majority of anime can ever hope to achieve.
If a new Code Geass anime does not meet or exceed the original series, or even just R2 (which was considerably less than S1), then it's a failure from a business standpoint since the franchise ought to be able to perform equally well.
R2 was telling at how quickly Geass DVD sales went from #1 in August down off the top ten in a matter of only a few weeks (by October).
I HOPE Akito can beat that and it's first volume can at least stay in the top 10 for six months.
Now that I look back on the DVD sales numbers for R2, I'm actually kinda shocked Sunrise is even making this Gaiden.

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Just something between you and me. The sum could even be purely symbolic or waived altogether if necessary. Whatever makes you feel better. The intention is to have fun at the expense of the uncertain, not to make a profit. Which is quite ironic in this situation.
It is ironic.
Tell you what, if you win (and they make a sequel without Lelouch in it that is as popular as R2) I'll send you a signed copy of my novel for free (if you live in the continental USA).
If I win, all you have to do is admit it here in this thread and we'll call it even.
If no sequel is made at all, we'll call it a draw, and get a good laugh out of it.
That way we can't be accused of gambling or any such nonsense.
Deal?

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What Sunrise is doing right now wouldn't really be the same thing as "starting over" since it's quite explicitly being called a side story.

A side story, like the name suggests, is meant to add something to an already existing story. That isn't taking anything away from Code Geass or Lelouch as they currently stand. In fact, a side story often uses what has already been done as a base and may include explicit or implicit references to what has come before.

Compared to, say, Renya of the Darkness, Code Geass Gaiden should look, feel and sound a lot more familiar. It'll still have more elements in common with Code Geass than with any other project. It will be using an already established universe and similar production values including character designs (CLAMP, Takahiro Kimura), music (Kotaro Nakagawa and Hitomi) and/or even famous voice actors too. We may even see a few familiar faces, sooner or later, but that's particularly hard to determine at the moment.
On this we agree, and I am certain Lelouch (most likely as Zero) will make at least one cameo in it.

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We can't assume that the entire existing Code Geass fanbase, without any divisions or nuances at all, will refuse to watch the show only because Lelouch isn't going to the central focus when so many other things will remain similar enough. It's also a bit absurd to assume they will never buy any merchandise or DVDs and BDs. And finally, that says nothing about what new fans may be attracted to the show for multiple reasons, both superficial and otherwise, just like it happens with anything else.
I can agree with that in part.
So long as the story is a side story or secondary story surrounding the events while Lelouch is alive (much like ZZ Gundam) fans might accept it.
I'll amend what I said since you bring up a good point.
Therefore, in amendment, I'll stake the claim that a direct sequel will fail without Lelouch, unless we're talking twenty+ years into the future since that's like a whole new story a la Gundam Unicorn or F91.
Sunrise could attempt that course of action, it would be hit-or-miss in my opinion, but done right, it could be pulled off.

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A series with those elements and characteristics, even from just a technical standpoint, isn't exactly likely to be unpopular. It can be less successful than Code Geass originally was but still make a reasonable profit. There is far more room for possible variations here than what you're apparently suggesting, as if we could only expect to see absolute success (with Lelouch) or absolute failure (without him).
Again, a direct sequel without Lelouch is not going to be received well unless it is totally amazing, and I don't see that happening.

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Let's stop to take a careful look at the details here.

First off all, until recently Gundam series have generally been produced in sets of 50 episodes or so,. They weren't divided into seasons in the strictest sense of the term but, as a matter of fact, aired continously until their respective endings came up. Code Geass followed a different schedule and its two seasons, given the long break between them, practically count as two series as opposed to just one. Adding "R2" to the title and the time slot change made this even more blatant.
26 episodes has been the anime "standard" for a series season since the 1970s.
I was using that as the baseline scale from which to judge.

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In addition, let's look at what happened to the most important Gundam characters...Therefore, we cannot simply add up the total number of episodes without giving any other thought to the issue.
I understand you point, and it is a good one.
However, I was referring to the lifespan of Char and Amuro.
Lelouch is dead in episode 25 of R2, thus no sequel can be made unless he's alive.
Sunrise can make all the side stories they want with Lelouch before S1, during S1 and R2, but not after, unless they retcon him.
That's my point, they killed him too quickly and may have to retcon him because of that.
I mean, Sunrise could really stick it to Okouchi and just say he was "kidding" or "joking" or something like that when he said Lelouch was dead.
It would be lame yes, but they could still do it, and I think that would not go over very well either.

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Not necessarily. Amuro was the focus of the original MSG even if he didn't become the most representative part of the property in the long run...
Every Zeon pilot and his brother's uncle was yelling "THAT'S THE WHITE MOBILE SUIT!" through the whole friggin series.

Amuro was certainly important, but only because he was the pilot of Gundam.
Gundam was the focus.

Whereas in Code Geass every Britannian soldier and one Voluptuous Viceroy were yelling "IT'S ZERO!!" for the whole flippin show.
Who is of course Lelouch and thus the focus of the show.
And there in lies the problem that Sunrise must overcome.
They can do it, no doubt, but how they go about it will determine whether a new series will sink or swim.

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What's more, there is no doubt Lelouch is the focus of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Code Geass R2: Lelouch of the Rebellion...but does that mean we can't have Code Geass: Someone of the Something? That is the true question. I don't think so.
Of course they can make side stories, AUs, prequels, or the like.
They just won't be able to pull off a successful direct sequel IMHO because most of the fans are going to expect Lelouch to be in it, and that's a dilemma for Sunrise.

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Lelouch's story is, as it stands, the central focus of Code Geass but this doesn't mean he will remain the signature element for another story, even if an immortal Lelouch were to magically show up as a supporting character in a sequel set in the far future. Which, for that matter, isn't necessarily going to be the case.
See above.
I hope Sunrise does find a way to knock Lelouch off the high horse Okouchi and Taniguichi put him on.
The basic idea/premise of the franchise could easily make it the next Gundam, but Sunrise has got to be careful.
Perhaps they' won't even bother with a direct sequel at all.
That is a possibility, though I can't see how the cash-carrot of Lelouch dangling in front of them will not tempt them to make a direct sequel.
A far future sequel without any of the old characters could do well IMO, but not a direct sequel.

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That may be what Taniguchi is doing with Renya, but I would assume he'd be more successful if he was better at storytelling and developing a new setting instead of leaving the audience in absolute suspense about too many things.
Yeah, I've noticed that also.
I hope the manga picks up soon.
Aren't there only supposed to be 11 volumes to this one?

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Actually, in one of the interviews for Renya that was translated here, Taniguchi mentioned that Nightmare of Nunnally had been successful. I don't know how that compares to the official manga adaptation itself but NoN did run a lot longer than Suzaku of the Counterattack's two volumes, which is saying something

Once again though, I have to say that expecting an anime original property to be equally successful as a manga is rather counterintuitive and relatively rare. With exceptions, usually the original work remains the most popular...and naturally, this also applies in the opposite direction.
NoN did not rank very well from what I've read on ANN.
Manga sales of an anime are a indication of which trends lend themselves best to the storyline itself.
They are a good way to experiment and thus judge what will sell and what won't.
The manga adaptation of the anime was the best performing manga of all those produced thus far AFAIK.
What that says to me at least is that at the time the mangas were coming out (with the exception of Renya) interest in AUs was not there (probably too soon for that kind of thing??).
Peronally I like NoN a great deal, but I enjoy AUs.

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I can actually agree with this, at least in principle...I'm thinking we will see more of Zero than Lelouch in Akito.
And to the vast majority of the fanbase, Zero is Lelouch.
Thus, if we see Zero in Akito, we are seeing Sunrise use Lelouch to bring in the fans.

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Perhaps we'll actually see more of C.C. too, since we don't really know anything about what she did between the end of R1 and the beginning of R2. You could have her talking about Lelouch and Zero as a way of introducing the subject into the narrative.
That's actually got me very interested.
I wonder if we will see any of the other characters (besides the KoTR).
We may, then again we may not.
Either way I'm anxious for this new series/OAV (or it is OVA?) to come out.
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Old 2011-04-22, 01:42   Link #7910
azul120
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Lelouch getting killed off too early/too young is an understatement, especially under the circumstances involved. They'd have to either do a retcon, or as in your fanfic, some sort of plausible Geass-related resurrection.
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Old 2011-04-22, 02:31   Link #7911
Xander
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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Lelouch getting killed off too early/too young is an understatement, especially under the circumstances involved. They'd have to either do a retcon, or as in your fanfic, some sort of plausible Geass-related resurrection.
The thing is, it's only "too quickly" if we look at it from an outside perspective or otherwise get too distracted by the fact that the pace of events in R2 was too compressed and rushed (because they wasted a lot of time early on, for well known reasons, and then found themselves lacking it later).

Honestly, you don't need to be a genius in order to notice all of the signs, stars and other heavenly phenomena in both seasons were indicating Lelouch was never likely to live past the end of the show, from the perspective of the narrative and its storytelling. Dark and tortured characters like Lelouch who bear some sort of curse (Geass) and are on a cynical quest for revenge are often intentionally created with at least one foot in the grave.

The first episode of R2 even has Suzaku saying he will be the one to kill Lelouch. If that's not blatant foreshadowing, at least thematically speaking, then I don't know what it is. When Okouchi wrote that line and Taniguchi directed that episode, I don't think they were unaware of what their ultimate goal was going to be (though they probably weren't very sure about how to pace the story at that point).

If we go all the way back to season one and its first episode, we have a line like "those who are allowed to shoot are those who are prepared to be shot" and its very obvious fatalistic meaning that, in retrospect, feels a little too knowingly crafted. It wasn't exactly the most natural thing to say.

What both of the creators have said in interviews also confirms they had this type of ending (by which I understand the underlying concept, not the specifics of Zero Requiem or whatever else is involved) in mind from the start. Lelouch wasn't supposed to grow old, get married and die quietly in an off-screen bed somewhere.

Even if R2 had been perfectly planned and executed, it's possible we would be having this same debate...in an alternate reality.

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Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Which was unfortunate, because F91, V Gundam, and Crossbone Gundam were an indirectly connected sub-series of the UC universe that I liked quite a bit.
Not that this is remotely relevant, but I do plan to read Crossbone Gundam one of these days and confirm whether or not it's as good as people say.

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I imagine Akito of the Ruined country will have a similar purpose in explaining what was happening in Europe during the S1/R2 time period.
Yes, I agree that's entirely possible.

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That said, the reason online polls do have value in a limited scope is that they tell a marketing agent if (and how much) interest there is in a particular angle of a story.
Especially when considerable time has elapsed since the last installment of a series (such as Geass).
That may be a valid argument, in theory, but I'm sure Sunrise and other anime companies conduct their own surveys, both online and offline, as opposed to looking at whatever is polling well in fan websites where they can't directly monitor all of the statistics nor hope to accurately control the sample size.

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However, I'd like to say that you've got me thinking that a cunning marketing staff would save a sequel with Lelouch in it for the proverbial "money shot" moment.
It's not a bad idea, but for now we can neither confirm nor deny that ourselves.

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I was speaking of cross-competition between the Geass and Gundam franchises.
Oversaturation of mecha anime in too close a proximity (especially in the economic turmoil of 2008) may have done more damage than good.
I can see why Sunrise would hold off on an actual LoTR sequel until after Gundam 00, and Unicorn were done.
While I was actually speaking about 2009-2010 rather than 2008-2009, I can also accept that the gist of your argument may be part of the explanation.

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Just having a few informational flashbacks or "Code-theory" explanations is certainly an option for them.
However, the maximum emotional impact of the "money shot" moment is what the director and writer will want to gain the greatest effect on the viewer.
I would think that would require some backstory to properly support, but then again I could be wrong.
Well, if you ask fans of the Code theory they'll tell you everything about it is logical and doesn't need any additional explanations.

Personally, I would prefer a different solution to the issue but I'm not hoping for too much either way.

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There's no scientific way to tell.
Of course, but in the meanwhile...we're just throwing out ideas and interpretations and hoping the wind carries them somewhere.

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If a new Code Geass anime does not meet or exceed the original series, or even just R2 (which was considerably less than S1), then it's a failure from a business standpoint since the franchise ought to be able to perform equally well.
R2 was telling at how quickly Geass DVD sales went from #1 in August down off the top ten in a matter of only a few weeks (by October).
I HOPE Akito can beat that and it's first volume can at least stay in the top 10 for six months.
Now that I look back on the DVD sales numbers for R2, I'm actually kinda shocked Sunrise is even making this Gaiden.
Forgive me if I'm reading too much into this, but you seem to be under the impression that Code Geass was once strong in terms of television ratings.

That has never been the case. The first series even aired after midnight (!), which isn't where you're going to find high TV ratings for anime to begin with.

As for R2, a quick look at the ratings threads here in Animesuki and even at past discussions within the Geass sub-forum will tell you that the Sunday prime time slot, nichigo, has generally underperformed compared to doroku, the former Saturday prime time slot which it had replaced and no longer exists.

With the partial exception of true juggernauts like Gundam 00 S2 and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, both of which still had considerably lower numbers than those that were common for high profile shows in the former doroku slot, the average ratings for anime in the nichigo time slot have been disappointing all across the board.

R2, Sengoku Basara Two and Star Driver all had similar ratings but Code Geass actually had the highest average among those three...although not by too much when you consider the figures were 2.67%, 2.38% and 2.31% respectively.

But this is of limited importance, because the strength of the Code Geass property was always DVD and BD sales, not TV ratings.

Those particular sales are what I've been talking about and they certainly speak for themselves. You've posted links to weekly charts but what's important is the total numbers, not how long a series remains in the rankings. In fact, here (and here in Japanese) are some figures for the top post-2000 TV anime in terms of units sold:

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2000-Present TV Anime Series Total Average Sales
[Updated for 4/04/2010 data]

01)  *78,379   2009  Shaft__________ Bakemonogatari
02)  *68,729   2004  Sunrise________ Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
03)  *58,205   2002  Sunrise________ Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
04)  *50,552   2006  Sunrise________ Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch
05)  *44,243   2008  Satelight______ Macross Frontier
06)  *43,094   2009  Kyoto Animation K-ON!
07)  *42,701   2007  Sunrise________ Mobile Suit Gundam 00
08)  *42,690   2008  Sunrise________ Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch R2
09)  *41,038   2006  Kyoto Animation Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu
10)  *38,788   2008  Sunrise________ Mobile Suit Gundam 00 S2
Keep in mind that anything over 10,000 is usually considered a hit. In other words, the idea that anime needs to stay on the top ten for "six months" in order to reach good sales figures isn't really applicable as far as TV anime is concerned and isn't the reason why all these different series achieved commercial success.

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It is ironic.
Tell you what, if you win (and they make a sequel without Lelouch in it that is as popular as R2) I'll send you a signed copy of my novel for free (if you live in the continental USA).
If I win, all you have to do is admit it here in this thread and we'll call it even.
If no sequel is made at all, we'll call it a draw, and get a good laugh out of it.
That way we can't be accused of gambling or any such nonsense.
Deal?
First of all, your offer sounds very generous. That much is worth recognizing.

The only problem I see with your terms, which are quite fair overall, is...I wasn't only talking about producing a sequel without Lelouch, which is one thing, but also including the possibility of his not showing up as a character in other spin-offs like Akito and yet still not making them a commercial failure because of it (even if total sales don't match R2's), which is more to the point. Failure would mean selling an average of less than 10,000 DVDs per volume or being cancelled prematurely.

If you're interested though, I'd still be willing to agree regardless of that fact.

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Therefore, in amendment, I'll stake the claim that a direct sequel will fail without Lelouch, unless we're talking twenty+ years into the future since that's like a whole new story a la Gundam Unicorn or F91.
Sunrise could attempt that course of action, it would be hit-or-miss in my opinion, but done right, it could be pulled off.
That could be the case. I find it difficult to believe Sunrise would ever want to make a true sequel that's not set at least a couple of dozen years or more into the future, since that's about the only way they could justify making up a whole new conflict on a grand scale without involving the old cast too much.

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26 episodes has been the anime "standard" for a series season since the 1970s.
I was using that as the baseline scale from which to judge.
Fair enough, but it is also important to note that Sunrise mecha shows tend to run longer than that without being divided into "seasons" as proven by many examples.

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However, I was referring to the lifespan of Char and Amuro.
If you count their off-screen lifespan, that is...which I suppose is possible but doesn't account for their on-screen absence or reduced importance.

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Every Zeon pilot and his brother's uncle was yelling "THAT'S THE WHITE MOBILE SUIT!" through the whole friggin series.
Yes, but my point is that's not what set Gundam apart from other robot shows. You're describing a very common and procedural part of mecha combat, for lack of a better term. There's nothing unusual or novel about that. It really wasn't something that made MSG stand out from the rest of the pack.

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Amuro was certainly important, but only because he was the pilot of Gundam.
Gundam was the focus.
Becoming the accidental pilot of the Gundam was certainly a key plot device that put Amuro in the spotlight, but Gundam isn't a character and thus had no development. As such, it was only the focus during combat scenes, which is logical enough, yet the overall story wasn't that of the war machine but of the man.

I don't think the vessel can be considered more important than its contents. In fact, the ultimate fate of the RX-78-2 at the end of the series speaks of itself.

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Whereas in Code Geass every Britannian soldier and one Voluptuous Viceroy were yelling "IT'S ZERO!!" for the whole flippin show.
Who is of course Lelouch and thus the focus of the show..
That has more to do with the fact Lelouch was never meant to be a great pilot, unlike most other mecha protagonists, but a showman and a mastermind. That was his unique role. However, even if Sunrise had given him the Lancelot and Suzaku's pilot skills, the story wouldn't be about that no matter how many people screamed the name of a white mecha instead of a masked man. I believe story focus and action focus are two different concepts and we shouldn't confuse the two.

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Yeah, I've noticed that also.
I hope the manga picks up soon.
Aren't there only supposed to be 11 volumes to this one?
I wouldn't know, but then again the Renya of the Darkness manga is currently on hiatus after its 11th chapter.

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NoN did not rank very well from what I've read on ANN.
Are you sure about that? ANN doesn't exactly have such information from what I can tell. By which I'm referring to actual data that would allow us to make comparisons between the different Code Geass manga. They do have regular manga rankings but, once again, that's a completely different ballgame.

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The manga adaptation of the anime was the best performing manga of all those produced thus far AFAIK.
What that says to me at least is that at the time the mangas were coming out (with the exception of Renya) interest in AUs was not there (probably too soon for that kind of thing??).
Peronally I like NoN a great deal, but I enjoy AUs.
Lelouch of the Rebellion ran for 8 volumes, Nightmare of Nunnally for 5 volumes and Suzaku of the Counterattack for 2. It's hard to believe NoN did poorly when, unlike the Suzaku-centered story, it wasn't so ridiculously short and actually lasted long enough to cover events that parallel the end of R2.

We also have this quote from Taniguchi's interview on Renya, which is available elsewhere in the forum:

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Taniguchi: I requested Takuma-san for this new project because “NoNwas the most freely acknowledged in the world as part [of] the manga expansion of Code Geass. And I wanted to rely on his drawing abilities in order to create a particular atmosphere for this story.
Saying that NoN was the most "freely acknowledged in the world" is a weird way to put it, perhaps because of the translation or Taniguchi's specific rhetorical expression (I mean, how do you "acknowledge" a manga other than buying it?), but that's not what you would say about an unsuccessful product. I assume he isn't counting the Lelouch of the Rebellion manga because it's simply an adaptation and not an original story or expansion (the most "original" thing LotR did was trying to tell the same basic story as the anime without any mecha).

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And to the vast majority of the fanbase, Zero is Lelouch.
Thus, if we see Zero in Akito, we are seeing Sunrise use Lelouch to bring in the fans.
To some extent, yes, but if we just saw Zero giving speeches or filmed footage of his past actions including his eventual return at the beginning of R2...I wouldn't think that will be enough to satisfy said fans unless they're really that easy to please. In which case I'd be simultaneously disappointed and content.

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That's actually got me very interested.
I wonder if we will see any of the other characters (besides the KoTR).
We may, then again we may not.
Either way I'm anxious for this new series/OAV (or it is OVA?) to come out.
You can say that again. I'm hoping Newtype magazine publishes something for June/July, if nothing else, considering we have seen no news since January/February.

Last edited by Xander; 2011-04-22 at 02:51.
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Old 2011-04-22, 03:20   Link #7912
azul120
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
The thing is, it's only "too quickly" if we look at it from an outside perspective or otherwise get too distracted by the fact that the pace of events in R2 was too compressed and rushed (because they wasted a lot of time early on, for well known reasons, and then found themselves lacking it later).

Honestly, you don't need to be a genius in order to notice all of the signs, stars and other heavenly phenomena in both seasons were indicating Lelouch was never likely to live past the end of the show, from the perspective of the narrative and its storytelling. Dark and tortured characters like Lelouch who bear some sort of curse (Geass) and are on a cynical quest for revenge are often intentionally created with at least one foot in the grave.

The first episode of R2 even has Suzaku saying he will be the one to kill Lelouch. If that's not blatant foreshadowing, at least thematically speaking, then I don't know what it is. When Okouchi wrote that line and Taniguchi directed that episode, I don't think they were unaware of what their ultimate goal was going to be (though they probably weren't very sure about how to pace the story at that point).

If we go all the way back to season one and its first episode, we have a line like "those who are allowed to shoot are those who are prepared to be shot" and its very obvious fatalistic meaning that, in retrospect, feels a little too knowingly crafted. It wasn't exactly the most natural thing to say.

What both of the creators have said in interviews also confirms they had this type of ending (by which I understand the underlying concept, not the specifics of Zero Requiem or whatever else is involved) in mind from the start. Lelouch wasn't supposed to grow old, get married and die quietly in an off-screen bed somewhere.

Even if R2 had been perfectly planned and executed, it's possible we would be having this same debate...in an alternate reality.
Don't mean to get nitpicky, but a lot of it was either highly incidental or just plain contrived. I mean, the "I will be the one to kill Zero" line spoken by Suzaku? That was because he was against what he was doing at the time.

And while it's true that Lelouch was tortured, just as much of it was due to him getting hit by Diabolus Ex Machina, particularly in the latter half of R2. Heck, the Zero Requiem could have been averted had either of the following two circumstances been reversed: 1) Nunnally apparently getting lost in the FLEIJA blast and hidden from Lelouch until after he was already Emperor and she had been used against him by Schneizel, and 2) the Black Knights turning on Lelouch, the latter of which happened on spurious bases. (Not to mention that the two people responsible for the latter, Ohgi and Villetta, get away with their hypocrisy with the happiest ending.)

And about the "those who should be prepared to be killed..." line, the likes of Cornelia should be dead by all rights.
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Old 2011-04-22, 13:59   Link #7913
Xander
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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
Don't mean to get nitpicky, but a lot of it was either highly incidental or just plain contrived. I mean, the "I will be the one to kill Zero" line spoken by Suzaku? That was because he was against what he was doing at the time.
Then just allow me to return the favor and nitpick you back.

I'm talking about carrying out an analysis in terms of themes and motifs. What does that mean? Looking at the different ideas, symbols and other recurring elements introduced or developed throughout the entire narrative by the creators.

Fictional stories often have two layers. You can take a series of events purely at face value, understanding them by using logic and only being interested in their direct cause-and-effect relationships. But you can also look beyond that first layer and carry out a completely different analysis, taking into account the presence of ideas and symbols that were employed by the creators in order to create a certain mood, develop a certain theme or provide foreshadowing for what would eventually happen.

The relationship between those ideas, themes and symbols isn't inherently limited to logic and causality but, on the contrary, can be far more flexible and may often involve feelings or experiences instead. For instance, a character may see a black bird or black cat long before he or she dies. That's obviously not going to be the direct cause of his or her doom (many other people would have seen that black bird or black cat and they never died) but it is, in terms of storytelling technique, an element with several possible implications and a way to gradually or suddenly make certain suggestions to those who might care for such things among the audience.

If you've seen some of the other shows directed by Goro Taniguchi, though he's certainly far from being the only director who does stuff like this, and apply such an analysis you'll eventually notice that he often introduces certain ideas and themes into his series to set up a given mood or provide foreshadowing, regardless of whatever happens to be their immediate impact or relevance on the surface. In other words, incidental or circumstantial elements in a story can easily play more than one role in retrospect.

But to loosely paraphrase another Taniguchi interview, if you use too many words to explain what a theme is, you're turning it into logic and missing the point. It's a bit like having to explain a joke. In the end, all of this is open to different interpretations and depends on what sensibilities are already present among the audience.

Just as someone can be accused of reading too much into a given show, someone else can easily be accused of reading too little.

Of course, it's better to have a story that works equally well in terms of both themes and cause-and-effect relationships, but that's not always going to be the case. More often than not, most works of fiction tend to focus on one instead of the other. We can, at the very least, partially blame Taniguchi and Okouchi for placing a lot less importance on carefully building up the show's cause-and-effect logic during R2, despite understanding they had to deal with many difficulties and competing interests after the time slot change, but I find myself having to recognize they still continued to work towards many of the same themes even if their execution turned out to be sloppy.

Let's take a look at another example from Code Geass.

The idea that if Lelouch and Suzaku ever worked together they would be able to overcome any obstacles comes up several times during the story and it's even directly stated once or twice. A very incomplete list of relevant elements includes: teaming up to save Nunnally from Mao, defeating the invading Chinese forces, the implicit result of Lelouch accepting Euphemia's plan, Suzaku agreeing to let Zero and a million people escape to China and, for that matter, even Zero Requiem itself.

Is there a logical relationship between the causes and effects of those events? No, not much of one. But the underlying thematic relationship is hard to deny. Instead of thinking that's a mere coincidence, there is enough evidence to argue the opposite and say it was intentional.

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And while it's true that Lelouch was tortured, just as much of it was due to him getting hit by Diabolus Ex Machina, particularly in the latter half of R2. Heck, the Zero Requiem could have been averted had either of the following two circumstances been reversed: 1) Nunnally apparently getting lost in the FLEIJA blast and hidden from Lelouch until after he was already Emperor and she had been used against him by Schneizel, and 2) the Black Knights turning on Lelouch, the latter of which happened on spurious bases. (Not to mention that the two people responsible for the latter, Ohgi and Villetta, get away with their hypocrisy with the happiest ending.)
Before saying anything else, even actual history is full of specific circumstances that could have been easily avoided in order to change the fate of humanity in ways both small and large. Fiction may choose to exaggerate this for dramatic effect, yes, but the basic principle is far from being unknown or impossible. Bad things can happen for little or no reason.

Still...what you have said is more or less true, if you only care about isolating and dissecting the short term logical flaws involved in those two events, but that's not everything we should be taking into consideration here. Both in terms of logic and in terms of themes, I believe it's absolutely possible to step back, look beyond that and follow a more comprehensive approach.

Lelouch had a lot of bad luck since day one of his rebellion. There is no shortage of precedents for it throughout the entire show. Long before the second half of R2, it would be very difficult to argue that he wasn't born under a star of misfortune, which contributed to aggravating the direct and indirect consequences of his own cynical and questionable decisions. Not to mention that Lelouch was also partially responsible for both of those circumstances as opposed to being a passive actor who did nothing wrong.

One, he didn't trust the Black Knights enough, put his personal interests before theirs during key moments and absolutely refused to defend himself from the accusations. The hypocrisy of Ougi and the spurious nature of Schneizel's dialogue doesn't change that, structurally and thematically speaking, the Black Knights weren't a healthy organization and Lelouch was far from being an ideal leader. The details of the betrayal could have been rewritten to feel more convincing but it was already a predictable conclusion.

Two, Lelouch was too obsessed with his own sister. He broke down when it seemed that Mao was going to kill her, he was willing to sacrifice the rebellion when Nunnally was kidnapped by V.V., he refused to consider her true wishes and didn't take the proper measures to protect her. To say that Nunnally was Lelouch's main weakness would be an understatement. In addition, Lelouch also failed to listen to Suzaku's explanations after Schneizel had sprung his trap and he didn't heed the final warning about FLEIJA.

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And about the "those who should be prepared to be killed..." line, the likes of Cornelia should be dead by all rights.
Most certainly, if you intend to apply that as an universal logical principle meant for every single character in the show...but in this case, that isn't necessary at all. The world isn't fair and this fictional story isn't fair either. The line represents part of Lelouch's moral code, not Cornelia's, and it is thematically fitting for the protagonist of a story to die by following his own moral code, even if it is morally incorrect for others like her to survive. Killing her would provide a sense of Solomonic justice, I guess, but it simply doesn't serve the same purpose from a literary perspective.
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Old 2011-04-23, 00:47   Link #7914
azul120
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Then just allow me to return the favor and nitpick you back.

I'm talking about carrying out an analysis in terms of themes and motifs. What does that mean? Looking at the different ideas, symbols and other recurring elements introduced or developed throughout the entire narrative by the creators.

Fictional stories often have two layers. You can take a series of events purely at face value, understanding them by using logic and only being interested in their direct cause-and-effect relationships. But you can also look beyond that first layer and carry out a completely different analysis, taking into account the presence of ideas and symbols that were employed by the creators in order to create a certain mood, develop a certain theme or provide foreshadowing for what would eventually happen.

The relationship between those ideas, themes and symbols isn't inherently limited to logic and causality but, on the contrary, can be far more flexible and may often involve feelings or experiences instead. For instance, a character may see a black bird or black cat long before he or she dies. That's obviously not going to be the direct cause of his or her doom (many other people would have seen that black bird or black cat and they never died) but it is, in terms of storytelling technique, an element with several possible implications and a way to gradually or suddenly make certain suggestions to those who might care for such things among the audience.

If you've seen some of the other shows directed by Goro Taniguchi, though he's certainly far from being the only director who does stuff like this, and apply such an analysis you'll eventually notice that he often introduces certain ideas and themes into his series to set up a given mood or provide foreshadowing, regardless of whatever happens to be their immediate impact or relevance on the surface. In other words, incidental or circumstantial elements in a story can easily play more than one role in retrospect.

But to loosely paraphrase another Taniguchi interview, if you use too many words to explain what a theme is, you're turning it into logic and missing the point. It's a bit like having to explain a joke. In the end, all of this is open to different interpretations and depends on what sensibilities are already present among the audience.

Just as someone can be accused of reading too much into a given show, someone else can easily be accused of reading too little.

Of course, it's better to have a story that works equally well in terms of both themes and cause-and-effect relationships, but that's not always going to be the case. More often than not, most works of fiction tend to focus on one instead of the other. We can, at the very least, partially blame Taniguchi and Okouchi for placing a lot less importance on carefully building up the show's cause-and-effect logic during R2, despite understanding they had to deal with many difficulties and competing interests after the time slot change, but I find myself having to recognize they still continued to work towards many of the same themes even if their execution turned out to be sloppy.

Let's take a look at another example from Code Geass.

The idea that if Lelouch and Suzaku ever worked together they would be able to overcome any obstacles comes up several times during the story and it's even directly stated once or twice. A very incomplete list of relevant elements includes: teaming up to save Nunnally from Mao, defeating the invading Chinese forces, the implicit result of Lelouch accepting Euphemia's plan, Suzaku agreeing to let Zero and a million people escape to China and, for that matter, even Zero Requiem itself.

Is there a logical relationship between the causes and effects of those events? No, not much of one. But the underlying thematic relationship is hard to deny. Instead of thinking that's a mere coincidence, there is enough evidence to argue the opposite and say it was intentional.
I don't disagree about ideas and themes, but plotline justifications, as well as cause and effect are everything. Without them, you have plot holes among other signs of spotty writing.

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Still...what you have said is more or less true, if you only care about isolating and dissecting the short term logical flaws involved in those two events, but that's not everything we should be taking into consideration here. Both in terms of logic and in terms of themes, I believe it's absolutely possible to step back, look beyond that and follow a more comprehensive approach.

Lelouch had a lot of bad luck since day one of his rebellion. There is no shortage of precedents for it throughout the entire show. Long before the second half of R2, it would be very difficult to argue that he wasn't born under a star of misfortune, which contributed to aggravating the direct and indirect consequences of his own cynical and questionable decisions. Not to mention that Lelouch was also partially responsible for both of those circumstances as opposed to being a passive actor who did nothing wrong.
I did kind of state that he had been a Cosmic Plaything from the start. It was just that things had gotten ridiculous in the final half of R2.

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One, he didn't trust the Black Knights enough, put his personal interests before theirs during key moments and absolutely refused to defend himself from the accusations. The hypocrisy of Ougi and the spurious nature of Schneizel's dialogue doesn't change that, structurally and thematically speaking, the Black Knights weren't a healthy organization and Lelouch was far from being an ideal leader. The details of the betrayal could have been rewritten to feel more convincing but it was already a predictable conclusion.

Two, Lelouch was too obsessed with his own sister. He broke down when it seemed that Mao was going to kill her, he was willing to sacrifice the rebellion when Nunnally was kidnapped by V.V., he refused to consider her true wishes and didn't take the proper measures to protect her. To say that Nunnally was Lelouch's main weakness would be an understatement. In addition, Lelouch also failed to listen to Suzaku's explanations after Schneizel had sprung his trap and he didn't heed the final warning about FLEIJA.
What you say about Lelouch's issues with leadership and Nunnally are true, but they have ALOT to do with the fact that he had no real father figure, and that he felt he had to rely on himself because of his personal need to prove his father wrong. Regarding Nunnally, he had put her on the backburner for the past 11 or so episodes. It's not too unexpected though that he would have a breakdown over her apparent death. And the reason why Lelouch didn't heed Suzaku's warning about FLEIJA was because he thought he was lying after their meeting was botched.

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Most certainly, if you intend to apply that as an universal logical principle meant for every single character in the show...but in this case, that isn't necessary at all. The world isn't fair and this fictional story isn't fair either. The line represents part of Lelouch's moral code, not Cornelia's, and it is thematically fitting for the protagonist of a story to die by following his own moral code, even if it is morally incorrect for others like her to survive. Killing her would provide a sense of Solomonic justice, I guess, but it simply doesn't serve the same purpose from a literary perspective.
Well, yes, the world isn't fair, and Jay Leno getting the Tonight Show back at Conan O'Brien's expense, for instance, is proof positive of that. The problem with the ending is that it is presented as a happy if bittersweet ending, in spite of the screwedupness of Cornelia living reasonably happy and standing in the presence of the Japanese in the wedding photo, and Ohgi and Villetta getting the happiest ending. Any karmic dissonance is completely handwaved.

And I forgot to mention that the Zero Requiem caused more damage than anything Lelouch did beforehand, and the resulting peace isn't conflict-proof. That, and Lelouch would be more useful to the world living on as a leader than he is dead.

Though it does all make for a good sequel hook, and a reason for Lelouch to come back to life.
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Old 2011-04-23, 03:26   Link #7915
Xander
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I don't disagree about ideas and themes, but plotline justifications, as well as cause and effect are everything. Without them, you have plot holes among other signs of spotty writing.
Well, I certainly won't claim Code Geass R2 is lacking spotty writing.

But among those spots there are also some strong themes and layers that are worth thinking about in my opinion.

Thus I believe there are aspects of it that can be appreciated...even if they're usually not enough to completely make up for all the real or perceived issues. Instead of calling everything that wasn't perfect senseless or pointless and running away in disappointment or anger, however, I am interested in trying to understand what the creators did and why. There may not be a definitive answer but informed interpretations are valid approximations.

Basically, it seems Taniguchi and Okouchi knew where they were going and at least attempted to take the necessary steps towards that goal...even if they ultimately ended up having to rush, compromise and take ugly shortcuts during the production process. Which, unfortunately, did result in too much of an unwelcome imbalance that will hopefully be avoided in future projects.

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I did kind of state that he had been a Cosmic Plaything from the start. It was just that things had gotten ridiculous in the final half of R2.
Fair enough then, but my point was that even those ridiculous events are thematically consistent despite their greater or lesser logical flaws.

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Well, yes, the world isn't fair, and Jay Leno getting the Tonight Show back at Conan O'Brien's expense, for instance, is proof positive of that. The problem with the ending is that it is presented as a happy if bittersweet ending, in spite of the screwedupness of Cornelia living reasonably happy and standing in the presence of the Japanese in the wedding photo, and Ohgi and Villetta getting the happiest ending. Any karmic dissonance is completely handwaved.
I don't think any of those elements make the ending less bittersweet in the grand scheme of things. I can understand the source of your bitterness but complete karmic harmony is ultimately a matter of personal expectations and not a requirement. The point of showing generally happy scenes was to provide some sort of emotional pick-me-up after the tragedy of Lelouch's death, which had literally concluded the main narrative for all intents and purposes.

Among those scenes, the wedding photo bothered a number of viewers but I think it was just a way to kill two birds with one stone. Doing that saves time for the rest of the epilogue, which was already a bit too short, and basically tells fans the cast was able to resolve their differences off-screen within the new status quo.

Whether or not those characters deserved to be happy is always open to debate because not everyone found them sympathetic. Those who didn't will never agree with those who did. Personally, I think Cornelia is, ironically, less of an issue for most people than Ougi and Villetta. She wasn't really a true antagonist in R2 and Euphemia's death can be considered a form of karmic punishment for her brutal conquests. Ougi's betrayal remaining unpunished is simultaneously more displeasing but also more of a petty matter. The real world is full of individuals who can get away with similar or worse actions.

I definitely wanted to see a more nuanced epilogue myself, with more information about the state of the world or more discrimination in terms of who gets a happy ending and who doesn't, but I've essentially come to terms with what happened because the central thematic core of the ending remains more important for me.

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And I forgot to mention that the Zero Requiem caused more damage than anything Lelouch did beforehand, and the resulting peace isn't conflict-proof. That, and Lelouch would be more useful to the world living on as a leader than he is dead.
Short term damage, that is, for Lelouch still believed the ends justified the means. As for himself, he felt there was no turning back from the path of carnage because of a combination of despair, guilt, pride and his own moral code. Lelouch was content to create a better status quo for the world and believed those who survived will continue to struggle in order to keep the peace as part of an ongoing process. This logic isn't perfect, of course, but it fits the character's mindset.

I think we've already gone through the entire Zero Requiem argument over half a dozen times by now, in all fairness, so forgive me for not elaborating further.

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Though it does all make for a good sequel hook, and a reason for Lelouch to come back to life.
Maybe, maybe not. New conflicts are surely entirely possible but only time will tell if we'll ever see any of them.

Last edited by Xander; 2011-04-23 at 04:11.
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Old 2011-04-23, 12:35   Link #7916
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
The thing is, it's only "too quickly"...the pace of events in R2...rushed...
I agree, however it is for the very reason of rushing R2 that I think Sunrise would wait and tell more of the backstory if they were actually going to do a sequel.
Many anime do this.
Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato, Macross, Ghost in the Shell, etc.
Some do it via OVA (OAVs??? can never get that right), others do it via movies, some by manga, and others within the actual series as side arcs (like Bleach with the Bount Arc).

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Honestly, you don't need to be a genius in order to notice all of the signs, stars and other heavenly phenomena in both seasons were indicating Lelouch was never likely to live past the end of the show, from the perspective of the narrative and its storytelling. Dark and tortured characters like Lelouch who bear some sort of curse (Geass) and are on a cynical quest for revenge are often intentionally created with at least one foot in the grave.
Absolutely.
But remember Xander, Sunrise says that Geass means Hope.


That promo-image was made after the end of R2.
It has Euphie (who was dead at that point), and Lelouch (also dead), with Suzaku as Zero (who the world believes is dead).
That's a teaser if there ever was one--while it means nothing in and of itself--it is relevent to our conversation because it shows a desire to use popular characters to continue to promote the series.
Therefore, Sunrise clearly understands the necessity to tie Lelouch to new installments of Geass in one way or another and if a direct sequel is ever to be done, Lelouch will most certainly have to be in it and Sunrise knows it.

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Not that this is remotely relevant, but I do plan to read Crossbone Gundam one of these days and confirm whether or not it's as good as people say.
I highly recommend it, and if you need a place to read it in English.
PM me and I'll give you a link to where you can read the whole thing.

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That may be a valid argument, in theory, but I'm sure Sunrise and other anime companies conduct their own surveys, both online and offline, as opposed to looking at whatever is polling well in fan websites where they can't directly monitor all of the statistics nor hope to accurately control the sample size.
I agree, I'm sure they do conduct their own demographic studies.
However, I would not be surprised if they also use the free information online to assist in trying to get a feel for what the fanbase wants.

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Well, if you ask fans of the Code theory they'll tell you everything about it is logical and doesn't need any additional explanations.

Personally, I would prefer a different solution to the issue but I'm not hoping for too much either way.
Oh I know.
You should have seen the hate PMs I got at FF.net when I started Dirge of Daedalus.
"He's the cart driver!!!" They bulk of them "educated me" with snarky comments about how stupid I was being.
I tried my best to be professional and polite in kindly explaining to them what Okouchi said and that the only real way Lelouch could come back was either by rewriting the ending to where he didn't die or resurrecting him in some fashion.
I chose the later for my story and it's amazing how many fans (thousands) skip the first twelve chapters right to Chapter thirteen when Lelouch comes back.
Another observation I've made from my fanfiction experiment is that any character which usurps Lelouch in the lead role is hated.
I don't care if it's Rai, or Suzaku (that brings the serious hate), or an original character (like my Enoch), the fans want Lelouch---period.
Therefore, if I can figure that out, I know Sunrise knows this.
Look at the most popular fanfic online, Cal Reflector's Lelouch of Britannia, not only does it do away with R2 entirely, it builds up Lelouch even further by making him a genius general on par with Patton or Rommel.
Code Geass fans are obsessed with Lelouch, and for the life of me I don't know why.
Sunrise SHOULD be able to make a direct sequel without Lelouch, but judging by the fan base's reaction to anything without him in it I am firmly of the opinion Sunrise will have to have Lelouch be apart of any direct sequel to R2.

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Of course, but in the meanwhile...we're just throwing out ideas and interpretations and hoping the wind carries them somewhere.
That's because we're hopeless fanboys!

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Forgive me if I'm reading too much into this, but you seem to be under the impression that Code Geass was once strong in terms of television ratings.

That has never been the case. The first series even aired after midnight (!), which isn't where you're going to find high TV ratings for anime to begin with.

But this is of limited importance, because the strength of the Code Geass property was always DVD and BD sales, not TV ratings.
That was kinda my point even if it didn't come across well.
Code Geass wasn't a great ratings grabber and R2 was treated poorly (especially here in the USA, [as] was really horrible to this anime).

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Those particular sales are what I've been talking about and they certainly speak for themselves. You've posted links to weekly charts but what's important is the total numbers, not how long a series remains in the rankings. In fact, here (and here in Japanese) are some figures for the top post-2000 TV anime in terms of units sold:



Keep in mind that anything over 10,000 is usually considered a hit. In other words, the idea that anime needs to stay on the top ten for "six months" in order to reach good sales figures isn't really applicable as far as TV anime is concerned and isn't the reason why all these different series achieved commercial success.
Actually I went back over the total DVD sales of Code Geass as listed here on animesuki and it was never below 13,000 copies (S1 was 40,000-63,000 per volume).

(Here are the numbers for S1)
Code Geass -Lelouch of the Rebellion (Code Geass Hangyaku no Lelouch) 45,367+*5,185=50,552 (9, not including Fan Discs and recap) (Sunrise/Bandai Entertainment)
2007/01/26 62,527 Vol. 01 (One episode)
2008/08/22 *6,294 Vol. 01
2007/02/23 52,702 Vol. 02 (Three episodes up to Vol. 09)
2008/09/26 *5,303 Vol. 02
2007/03/23 47,710 Vol. 03
2008/10/24 *4,704 Vol. 03
2007/04/25 43,106 Vol. 04
2008/11/21 *4,439 Vol. 04
2007/05/25 41,132 Vol. 05
2007/06/22 40,453 Vol. 06
2007/07/27 39,643 Vol. 07
2007/08/24 38,783 Vol. 08
2007/09/25 42,249 Vol. 09
2007/12/21 14,815 DVD Magazine I (Fan Disc)
2008/01/25 12,890 DVD Magazine II (Fan Disc)
2008/02/22 *8,342 SPECIAL EDITION BLACK REBELLION (recap)
2009/07/24 *2,090 SPECIAL EDITION BLACK REBELLION (recap)

(numbers for R2)
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (Code Geass Hangyakyu no Lelouch R2) 28,330+12,910=41,240 (9, not including recap) (Sunrise/Bandai Entertainment)
2008/08/22 39,907 Vol. 01 (One episode)
2008/08/22 19,134 Vol. 01
2008/09/26 31,587 Vol. 02 (Three episodes up to volume 09)
2008/09/26 16,014 Vol. 02
2008/10/24 28,703 Vol. 03
2008/10/24 14,986 Vol. 03
2008/11/21 26,638 Vol. 04
2008/11/21 13,520 Vol. 04
2008/12/19 26,144 Vol. 05
2008/12/19 13,820 Vol. 05
2009/01/23 25,255 Vol. 06
2009/01/23 13,540 Vol. 06
2009/02/20 25,037 Vol. 07
2009/02/20 13,001 Vol. 07
2009/03/27 24,650 Vol. 08
2009/02/20 12,173 Vol. 08
2009/04/24 27,050 Vol. 09
2009/04/24 13,322 Vol. 09
2009/07/24 *7,883 Special Edition ZERO REQUIEM (recap)
2009/07/24 10,247 Special Edition ZERO REQUIEM (recap)
2009/07/24 *5,301 Special Edition ZERO REQUIEM


Therefore, if a direct sequel to R2 can't sell 15,000+ DVDs per volume (meeting or exceeding most of what R2 did) without Lelouch in it (which both S1 and R2 had) then it will be something of a commercial failure.
People like you and I may like it, but we are the minority I'm afraid.

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First of all, your offer sounds very generous. That much is worth recognizing.

The only problem I see with your terms, which are quite fair overall, is...I wasn't only talking about producing a sequel without Lelouch, which is one thing, but also including the possibility of his not showing up as a character in other spin-offs like Akito and yet still not making them a commercial failure because of it (even if total sales don't match R2's), which is more to the point. Failure would mean selling an average of less than 10,000 DVDs per volume or being cancelled prematurely.

If you're interested though, I'd still be willing to agree regardless of that fact.
Well that's certainly very sportsman-like of you.
My claim stemms from Sol Failing refusing to accept that if Sunrise does a direct sequel to R2, Lelouch will most likely be in it.
Side stories, movies, manga, etc. weren't really the focus of what Sol and I were arguing about.
That's why I snapped at him/her and stated no new CG anime would do well without Lelouch.
I meant a sequel to R2, not Akito necessarily.
Though I'm sure there'll be a reference or two in Akito, Lelouch will not be the focus (I don't think anyway).
Therefore, if you still want to wager on whether a direct sequel to R2/Code Geass can do well (sell more than 15,000+ copies per volume, not including blue-ray) without Lelouch being in it, I don't mind at all.

If you don't want to bother, I'm cool with that also, and will simply consider this matter just a fun discussion.

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That could be the case. I find it difficult to believe Sunrise would ever want to make a true sequel that's not set at least a couple of dozen years or more into the future, since that's about the only way they could justify making up a whole new conflict on a grand scale without involving the old cast too much.
We would hope that would be the case, but I think it depends on how much fuss fans make.
If they demand an "R3" as many fans call it, then Sunrise might succumb to that consumer pressure/profit-carrot and create a direct sequel.

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Yes, but my point is that's not what set Gundam apart from other robot shows. You're describing a very common and procedural part of mecha combat, for lack of a better term. There's nothing unusual or novel about that. It really wasn't something that made MSG stand out from the rest of the pack.
Actually the realistic combat of MSG is what set it apart from its contemporary shows like Grandizer, Gai King, Mazinger Z, or other "divine robot" series.
Gundam treated robots like tools of war rather than superheroes.

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Becoming the accidental pilot of the Gundam was certainly a key plot device that put Amuro in the spotlight, but Gundam isn't a character and thus had no development. As such, it was only the focus during combat scenes, which is logical enough, yet the overall story wasn't that of the war machine but of the man.
Doesn't really matter.
The Gundam was the focus of the show.
Zeon wanted it destroyed, the Federation wanted it returned to them, and Amuro wanted to use it to help white base survive.
You couldn't have Gundam without the Gundam.
Whereas you can have Code Geass without Knightmare Frames or any technology (like the Renya manga).
However, pull Lelouch out of the show (assuming we're talking an R3 style sequel) and a problem quickly develops--Lelouch-a-holics.

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I don't think the vessel can be considered more important than its contents. In fact, the ultimate fate of the RX-78-2 at the end of the series speaks of itself.
Indeed it does.
Gundam, like Lelouch, was sacrificed to save Amuro and end the war against Zeon.
Lelouch sacrificed himself to save his friends and end war in Geass.
The two characters (the Gundam is a character in it's own right) are very similar.
Gundam rose again, the only question now is will Lelouch?

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That has more to do with the fact Lelouch was never meant to be a great pilot, unlike most other mecha protagonists, but a showman and a mastermind. That was his unique role. However, even if Sunrise had given him the Lancelot and Suzaku's pilot skills, the story wouldn't be about that no matter how many people screamed the name of a white mecha instead of a masked man. I believe story focus and action focus are two different concepts and we shouldn't confuse the two.
That's because the focus was on Zero.
Whereas the events of the story of Gundam centered on the Gundam, the events of the story of Code Geass centered on Lelouch.

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Are you sure about that? ANN doesn't exactly have such information from what I can tell. By which I'm referring to actual data that would allow us to make comparisons between the different Code Geass manga. They do have regular manga rankings but, once again, that's a completely different ballgame.
Yes, they do give the top 50 manga for each year.
Here it is from the first half of 2009 (no Code Geass manga is even on here):
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news...t-half-of-2009

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Lelouch of the Rebellion ran for 8 volumes, Nightmare of Nunnally for 5 volumes and Suzaku of the Counterattack for 2. It's hard to believe NoN did poorly when, unlike the Suzaku-centered story, it wasn't so ridiculously short and actually lasted long enough to cover events that parallel the end of R2.

We also have this quote from Taniguchi's interview on Renya, which is available elsewhere in the forum:

Saying that NoN was the most "freely acknowledged in the world" is a weird way to put it, perhaps because of the translation or Taniguchi's specific rhetorical expression (I mean, how do you "acknowledge" a manga other than buying it?), but that's not what you would say about an unsuccessful product. I assume he isn't counting the Lelouch of the Rebellion manga because it's simply an adaptation and not an original story or expansion (the most "original" thing LotR did was trying to tell the same basic story as the anime without any mecha).
Don't get me wrong, I am a huge NoN fan (got shit for that from the fanboys too, when I added the characters from NoN into my fanfic via Chronicles of Tartarus).
It wasn't a particularly high ranking manga (at least not in the top 50, although in fairness to NoN, there is a ton of Japanese manga put out each year).
It might be on an earlier rank chart (I don't remember when NoN came out).

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To some extent, yes, but if we just saw Zero giving speeches or filmed footage of his past actions including his eventual return at the beginning of R2...I wouldn't think that will be enough to satisfy said fans unless they're really that easy to please. In which case I'd be simultaneously disappointed and content.
You got me on that one.
I have no idea what the fans want in that regard.
Just having a Lelouch-Zero might work?
However, SuzakuZero is hated beyond all hate.
I mean despised.

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You can say that again. I'm hoping Newtype magazine publishes something for June/July, if nothing else, considering we have seen no news since January/February.
Agreed.
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Old 2011-04-23, 14:56   Link #7917
azul120
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
I don't think any of those elements make the ending less bittersweet in the grand scheme of things. I can understand the source of your bitterness but complete karmic harmony is ultimately a matter of personal expectations and not a requirement. The point of showing generally happy scenes was to provide some sort of emotional pick-me-up after the tragedy of Lelouch's death, which had literally concluded the main narrative for all intents and purposes.

Among those scenes, the wedding photo bothered a number of viewers but I think it was just a way to kill two birds with one stone. Doing that saves time for the rest of the epilogue, which was already a bit too short, and basically tells fans the cast was able to resolve their differences off-screen within the new status quo.

Whether or not those characters deserved to be happy is always open to debate because not everyone found them sympathetic. Those who didn't will never agree with those who did. Personally, I think Cornelia is, ironically, less of an issue for most people than Ougi and Villetta. She wasn't really a true antagonist in R2 and Euphemia's death can be considered a form of karmic punishment for her brutal conquests. Ougi's betrayal remaining unpunished is simultaneously more displeasing but also more of a petty matter. The real world is full of individuals who can get away with similar or worse actions.
That overlooks the cold-blooded killer she was up until the end of season 1. Remember her introductory moment where she conquers the Middle East with a smirk on her face? Or the Saitama ghetto massacre? Or, heck, her willingness to abandon hostages (i. e. episode 8)? She never atoned nor repented for any of these. And while losing Euphie was a gut punch for her, other, more sympathetic characters didn't lose any less.

Again, I acknowledged that the real world is full of Karma Houdinis, however this is completely handwaved in the show itself. Displeasure towards Ohgi isn't any less petty than similar displeasure towards Jay Leno. Heck, the conclusion to the whole late night fiasco reminded me of Ohgi.

You have every right to argue that the ending needed to be a happy one, but it rang false to me. I don't appreciate being BSed.
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Old 2011-04-23, 19:59   Link #7918
Xander
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Originally Posted by azul120 View Post
That overlooks the cold-blooded killer she was up until the end of season 1. Remember her introductory moment where she conquers the Middle East with a smirk on her face? Or the Saitama ghetto massacre? Or, heck, her willingness to abandon hostages (i. e. episode 8)? She never atoned nor repented for any of these. And while losing Euphie was a gut punch for her, other, more sympathetic characters didn't lose any less.
I acknowledged Cornelia was certainly responsible for "brutal conquests" and their consequences. That said, let's look at this from another angle.

If there was an inner monologue where Cornelia realized that Euphemia's death made her appreciate how little she used to care for human life and this later became her motivation for opposing Schneizel's genocidal plan or joining the resistance against a victorious Emperor Lelouch at the end of R2's story...would such a thing resolve the issue? If so, then the matter can be reduced to a lack of sufficient exposition. If not, then it's back to square one. I don't think I've seen even half of the people who protest about Ougi's getting off the hook complaining about Cornelia's fate.

As far as Britannian commanders go, she already had a sizable cult following during the first season despite never apologizing nor showing any remorse for her actions. Cornelia could be cruel but this didn't stop people from admiring her as a competent opponent to Lelouch. You could say she wasn't explicitly redeemed but, at the very least, there was an attempt to humanize her to a greater or lesser extent. If anything, she needed to play more of a role in R2, in order to develop her characterization further and satisfactorily address the concerns you've expressed. This would mean, of course, making the whole sequence of events less rushed.

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You have every right to argue that the ending needed to be a happy one, but it rang false to me. I don't appreciate being BSed.
That's your call. I'd say the actual ending was more than adequately bittersweet and less than a minute of the epilogue can be considered questionable or "too happy."
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Old 2011-04-23, 22:17   Link #7919
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I just want to go on record as saying that I'm NOT a rabid Lelouch fan! Rather that I was stating that IF a sequel is ever made that I fully expect Lelouch too show up, not as a main character but more as a fugitive or as maybe the antagonist.
The little art drama that was shown last year (the dance/Chinese attack) was I suppose an attempt to close the Lelouch saga, and show what and where the other characters were doing now.
It's just that the ending was an open door for future projects, and maybe one day there will be a sequel! In the mean time I intend to enjoy whatever we get.
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Old 2011-04-23, 23:54   Link #7920
azul120
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Originally Posted by Xander View Post
I acknowledged Cornelia was certainly responsible for "brutal conquests" and their consequences. That said, let's look at this from another angle.

If there was an inner monologue where Cornelia realized that Euphemia's death made her appreciate how little she used to care for human life and this later became her motivation for opposing Schneizel's genocidal plan or joining the resistance against a victorious Emperor Lelouch at the end of R2's story...would such a thing resolve the issue? If so, then the matter can be reduced to a lack of sufficient exposition. If not, then it's back to square one. I don't think I've seen even half of the people who protest about Ougi's getting off the hook complaining about Cornelia's fate.
A little more exposition for Cornelia would have helped. Then again, she was protesting Schneizel accepting Ohgi's deal to turn over Lelouch to have Japan back.

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As far as Britannian commanders go, she already had a sizable cult following during the first season despite never apologizing nor showing any remorse for her actions. Cornelia could be cruel but this didn't stop people from admiring her as a competent opponent to Lelouch. You could say she wasn't explicitly redeemed but, at the very least, there was an attempt to humanize her to a greater or lesser extent. If anything, she needed to play more of a role in R2, in order to develop her characterization further and satisfactorily address the concerns you've expressed. This would mean, of course, making the whole sequence of events less rushed.
That's the thing. Cornelia had quite the pair of Leather Pants from her fanbase, much of whom also thought Lelouch (and Kallen in some cases) was despicable, even though he was at least after something noble by contrast, and wasn't responsible for as much destruction, though I guess Zero Requiem changed that.

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That's your call. I'd say the actual ending was more than adequately bittersweet and less than a minute of the epilogue can be considered questionable or "too happy."
Perhaps. Still though, it's that under a minute that grates. (Then again, the part of the final picture drama with Villetta chafes at me, even though it was just an aside.)

At the very least, whether it was a good end or not was something Okouchi/Taniguchi left up to the fans.
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