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Episode #3. W&L. What did Lelouch do better?

Okay, the reveal of the princess’ secret identity was a good twist. No question there, but... it really should’ve happened in the second episode.

It’s worth bringing up CODE GEASS as a comparison point here. That show was also a mecha sci-fi that involved prep schools kids having to take arms against a hostile government, and it also involved pampered royals causing problems once they got involved on the front lines.

The major issue with CODE GEASS was that - - as Sam would put it - - it packed its premise with too many ‘buys.’ However, while the world-building got a little complicated, too quickly, the plot always had a strong through-line. There was a clearly-established protagonist, leading a cast of clearly-differentiated characters, who all received clear intros.

ALDNOAH is just as top heavy with lore as CODE GEASS, but it’s collapsing under that weight a lot worse because it never bothered to introduce its characters properly. I can’t tell any of these preps apart, because their first scenes were just scenes, not introductions. Same goes for the martian villains. The only character I can really identify here is the princess (she’s like the Lelouch of this plot!) because - - guess what? - - she got an actual introduction in episode #1.

Observing this, I think I’ve finally gained a better understanding about why anime became so infamous for characters with ridiculous colored hair. Give a character a bright, green dye job and - - guess what? - - she’s going to be a lot easier to differentiate from the rest of the cast.

So yeah, I say this twist should’ve come during the second episode, because it would’ve more solidly defined the princess as the lead (right? Like Lelouch?), and we'd be introduced to the rest of this complicated world through her eyes. That'd be solider plotting. Instead, it’s just a bunch of made-up politics and lore, presuming that we should tell these characters apart because we can read the crew’s minds.

Watch “the Children's Echelon" and decide for yourself, then read my thoughts on the previous episode.

metalsnakezeroon Aug. 22, 2014 at 7:12 a.m.

Well she was revealed in second episode just disguise. I mean wasn't the dialog and the fact her sister was with her enough to show she was the princess. I can understand that you want to understand the characters by having them with proper introduction but I think the series is going with the on the moment situations to show what the characters are.

I guess I'm use to understanding characters by their actions.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 22, 2014 at 11:23 a.m.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion comparison is valid. But the princess is not the lead. At least I don't think so . In the main character roster yes. Lead no. Think back to the pilot an how Inaho Kaizuka has more screen time an tactical plans that save them. In this show he is Lelouch Lamperouge of this anime.

Also um the world build could have been a bit better sure. But then if it was would you be complaining like The Irregular at a Magical High School that it is to front loaded on the explanation on the world build? "Just right" is reserved for porridge at the least. At the best its a rarity in any story telling medium.

The world build or its politics are not hard to follow at least.

zaldaron Aug. 23, 2014 at 4:01 a.m.

Just right is rare yes but it is what should be striven for....remember these are reviews and as such should be reviewed hard as what we are looking for are the classics. Sure not only classics should be watched but last thing we need is "review inflation".

Now I don't have as much problem with front loading of lore as tom does but then I read epic fantasy and own several copies of the silmarrillion (the prequeal heavy plotting to lord of the rings). I would not say Geass had heavy front loading of lore at all honestly. If anything show suffered from too much focus on sillyness and not enough focus on the lore which was much more interesting. Eureka had the same problem and this is why Evea is better than both of these shows. I could only enjoy Geass on a second viewing knowing it was going to be silly. (but once I was ok with that, was a very good show that though not classic was certainly incredibly entertaining. They did a great job of making it more and more ridiculous and topping themselves all the time - but Madoka or Eva level of quality no most certainly not)

takashichea moderator on Aug. 23, 2014 at 4:48 p.m.

I never did watched Code Geass. During my dive into mech series, a lot of my teammates and folks I know make comparisons to Code Geass:

I can only compare this show to another mech series that serves as a foils somewhat, Argevollen.

YotaruVegetaon Aug. 24, 2014 at 8:26 a.m.

I'd rather have an anime that forces you to tell people apart. Also, anime with wild hair color tend to have characters not worth knowing anyway.

I can tell who Calm is just fine. Besides having the lightest hair color, he's the one never being calm!

@metalsnakezero: The maid is her sister? Can you tell I don't pay much attention?

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 24, 2014 at 3:16 p.m.

@metalsnakezero: @YotaruVegeta: err pretty sure that was a cover story that she was her sister when people were sorting out who would join the military. An that the Princess is a only child of the king to was part of the whole blood line being severed aspect .

Plus she could be the game changer as she could bestow the power to use the Aldnoah drives just like the king did to his knights.

@YotaruVegeta: I agree with ya character it self should trump a characters look.

@takashichea: I still have not finished it. Took me 3 runs at it just to get into the story. The main character is smart, strategically smart an kind of a anti hero type. It shares with this show that plus one side invading the other in a dominate manner. As well as mechs. Tho I would argue Aldnoah.Zero feels more serious than Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. Mostly because Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion had some light hearted bits. Where as Aldnoah.Zero has had um none or none that spring to mind.

@zaldar: Classic is based on opinion tho. Tom does not like Ghost in the Shell an its considered as a classic more often then not. While to me it is a classic it is not to him. Plus its hard to judge what will stand the test of time an become a classic. Some things do not age well in story not just animation special effects etc.

takashichea moderator on Aug. 24, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Plenty of mech series share the invasion element: Valvrave the Liberator, Argevollen, and now this show.

  • Aldnoah.Zero - Nationality Issues, Being Invaded, No Romance I seen so far, main hero has regular and outdated tech against Martians with superb tech and relies on intelligence rather than luck and tech
  • Argevollen - Being Invaded, Romance during wartime, Trained, young soldiers, only one unique, hi tech mech so far, has a lot of ecchi,
  • Valvrave - Being invaded, has a lot of ecchi, no prior military knowledge in Haruto's group who are being invaded, Romance and Unrequited Love,
  • Let's put Gargantia for the fun of it - Fish out of water, ecchi yes, after the war,

I really need to watch Code Geass. What's your recommendation on it?

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 24, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.

@takashichea: Well like I said for me it took a few runs at it to get into it. You might like it eh 50/50 really. That 1st episode was front loaded with world build it took me few times to soak it all in. At the least I would not say dont watch it . It has elements that are pretty good an it does stand out among mech shows where the mechs are not the stars of the show.

Yeah was not saying it an Aldnoah.Zero are the only ones for sure. Heck Robotech fits that mech story build to. But not all mech shows are built around it as ya pointed out. Patlabor ( which I do HIGHLY recommend even used caps there ) Mobile Suit Gundam tho sides are not even its not so tipped to domination one side like we were discussing. Full Metal Panic! um some others out there as well brain fails me atm. That is a bad thing :/

But ya if ya can get past the 1st front loaded episode Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is pretty good. I need to finish off the series my self. May do that today even.

takashichea moderator on Aug. 24, 2014 at 6:02 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Oh no, I wasn't implying that. I was listing all the mech shows except Gundam in my comparison. I only watched 4 different mech shows. I guess I could try Patlabor, Code Geass, and Robotech.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 24, 2014 at 6:28 p.m.

@takashichea: Just finished Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion season one. Um way I would describe this is if some one took like tragedy an made a anime with mechs it would be Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. Its unique that way I think. Would guess 60/40 that you would like it if you get past the 1st episode.

Early Robotech was made from two different anime to so its a odd duck an unique in that respect. Patlabor well no mech show has its humor. Think of it as a police show with mechs which is what they aimed for but mech designs were done by same guy who did Robotech ones. So they are good for the most part.

zaldaron Aug. 25, 2014 at 3:57 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Eh this is one of the areas I disagree with you on. Judging art is not solely opinion there are standards and what is "classic" can be decided based on judgement. Ghost in the Shell IS a classic...this is one on which Tom is wrong.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 25, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.

@zaldar: Naw judging what art is actually is opinion. These standards you speak of are a ideal but not a practice. Or your gonna have to explain to me how body fluids in a jar is a art standard. Oh oh how some ones bed is art .

What is an is not a classic will vary from person to person because of opinion. I am sure there are older titles we would disagree on that fit that title. Tho if it was a car there is no argument to be made. At 20 years old it becomes a classic. Which means god help us all by next year they all will be considered automobile classics. /shudder the horror.

zaldaron Sept. 2, 2014 at 5:33 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Yeah this is where I disagree with you though I define classic in the art world differently than artists do as most modern art is crap. The examples you give being perfect examples of them. Classic has a note of quality that is important even in cars the designation is for insurance purposes and age....I don't use it for what looks good and what doesn't which is part of the real definition of "classic". Standing the test of time is another good example. See the is ok for a harem show thread for more discussion of this.

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 2, 2014 at 9:53 p.m.

@zaldar: Disagree is fine,tho in a larger sense it proves my point.. But understand to some work is classic. An thus proves my point classic is gonna be like defining what is art . Its just opinion. Boil it all down its all opinion. Art has no set criteria standards tho some of those in the arts believe it does.Sure you can set a work as a gene type. But even then some one will say its trash an not art.

Anime wise some shows do hold up well vs the test of time. But if you did not like it the 1st time it will not be a classic to you.

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 6, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.

@zaldar: Found this an its well suited for our discussion on art. It explains how an why art standards died an how to get them back.

Well worth the watch an interesting read in the you tube comments as well. Highly recommend this video for any one who tries to understand what an whys of the art world such as it is. It does make the case at one point their were standards an shows when they fell away. It also makes the case of lower standards bring lesser results to but thats kinda common sense, something far to rare these days as well.

Dig Deeper into Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

The Britannian Empire swept across the world and conquered the nation of Japan. Seven years later in the Tokyo settlement, a Britannian youth named Lelouch is granted the power of Geass and aims to crush Britannia with the strength left in Japan, but his friend Suzaku stands in his way.

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