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Watch & Learn: CODE GEASS #11

How politically provocative.

 She's really Morrigan from DARKSTALKERS, isn't she? She's slumming it here.
 She's really Morrigan from DARKSTALKERS, isn't she? She's slumming it here.

I love how the JLF are the patsies in this whole conflict. They’re getting dumped on all the time. Even though their antennae are probably evocative of some real traditional Japanese headwear, I can’t help but feel like they were designed to intentionally look silly (as I’m pretty sure those floppy strings aren’t doing anything helpful.) Snickering aside, I do think it’s cool how the JLF get their own mech models with their own specific style of combat in contrast to those of the others faction (melee vs. ballistic weapons.) Also, their giant mecha-katanas make me think of that other Zero that Rxanadu brought up, and that’s tops, because Zero’s a pillar of my MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 dream team.

Actually, I didn’t start thinking about the potential significance of the name “Zero” until you lunatics brought it up. If Guren evokes the nationalistic red in the Japanese flag, then I’m sure Zero must’ve been chosen for its allusions to the fighter planes and, perhaps by extension, the zero-like circle of the flag. If that’s the case, then the comparisons to V FOR VENDETTA run that much deeper, because a terrorist/freedom fighter named “Zero” battling on behalf of Japanese autonomy is probably as politically provocative as another rebel doing the same for England in a Guy Fawkes mask.

Ruminations on political symbolism aside, this was another stellar episode that hooked me on a level more visceral than usual. CODE GEASS does a great job of playing with your allegiances and flipping them up from episode. I’m definitely rooting for Suzaku the most, but when you put him against Lelouch and Kallen, I’m conflicted over who to cheer on. CC (or whatever her name is. They bleep it out, KILL BILL-style) pulls such a nasty trick on him, here, though. I was glad to see it backfire on her once Lelouch intruded on her witchcraft. Even though we get some hints at her own trauma in those flashbacks, she maintains such a cold, removed distance from all of this that it was amusing to see her get zapped a little.

Watch this episode "Battle for Narita" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.  


Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

ninjadude853on May 3, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.
You may be the first person I've ever encountered who sympathizes with Suzaku more than Lelouch, I definitely did not expect that. Of course, you don't know the whole story behind Suzaku's motivations. Lets just say there's a reason he started screaming when he saw his dad.

I've never really wondered why Lelouch chose the name Zero, but i recently read a fanfic that put out an interesting answer. The idea being that the Emperor fears nothing, so Lelouch chooses to become Zero, or nothing. I don't know if that's the truth, but it's an answer i really like.

Three years after first seeing this show and i'm still not sure how I feel about C.C. Part of me feels sorry for her, she's had a pretty rough time in her life. On the other hand, she's done some seriously messed up stuff in the past to further her own ends.
zaldaron May 3, 2011 at 2:50 p.m.
oh yes...and just wait CC gets worse.  The flipping of the alliances got to me after awhile and was one of the reasons I dropped it the first time.  I really need to start watching this again with you so I can see exactly when I did drop it and enjoy it again with your reactions.

I LOVE your parts on the name zero.  I had not thought of that AT ALL.  I have an appreciation for this show on a whole new level now...
FoxxFireArt moderator on May 3, 2011 at 3:57 p.m.
While I like C.C., I much more side with Kallen.

A design you will start to notice about the design of the KMFs in this series. The Britannians start to steadily look more and more like humans in armor, and the Black Knights and Japanese look more demonic. Again, the Burai Customs are just heavily modified Glasgows.

Goro Taniguchi wanted to design a protagonist that has not been seen in most anime series of this kind. Normally, the heroes are both physically at the peak and also intelligent. They thought to make Lelouch brilliant but weak and balance him with Suzaku who is incredibly well fit and not as bright. Everything about Lelouch's design says villain, but his actions and motives are that of the hero of the series.

Personally, I can't relate to what Suzaku is doing at all. Siding with a force that is performing genocide. Suzaku wants to change Britannia. While that sounds great, how many innocent Japanese are going to die waiting for him to change it? Another thing, you can't change an empire through popular opinion. You can only do that be unseating the emperor and taking his place. The emperor makes the rules and can change them on his whim.

You have Zero who is saying we will welcome all races and religions, then you have Charles the emperor who is trying to subjugate and discriminate against anyone who doesn't conform. It's not a hard choice.
WarlordPayneon May 3, 2011 at 4 p.m.
I never liked Suzaku, even from the start, but I could sympathize with him somewhat.  As the series progressed, however, I developed a pretty intense hatred for Suzaku.  In fact, I think he's probably my most hated character in all of anime.
Lurkeroon May 3, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
I don't think I ever liked Suzaku. That kind of allegiance to duty is very unappealing to me.

As for CC, at this time in the series I was still confused about what her purpose is. She just seemed to be there like Ryuk in Death Note, but at least Ryuk admitted that he was there because it was fun to watch.
zaldaron May 3, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
you have got to think to about the number of innocents zero is killing as well.  He is doing terrorism here, kind of thing bin-laden would do.  I didn't really side with Suzaku either but the Japanese of course have a very different sense of duty than we do.  Some of zero's actions though...they were a little much for me.  We have talked before about your definition of Genocide.  I still say the word is inappropriate here, but then I am a rather big capitalist so I can see and respect the whole social Darwinist aspect here.
ninjadude853on May 3, 2011 at 7:03 p.m.
@zaldar: He's not at Bin Laden's level of terrorism. Zero does cause harm to innocents, but he doesn't do it intentionally, his targets are always the military and the civilian casualities are collateral damage. Zero is responsible for two mass civilian deaths, here at Narita when he caused the Landslide,
Lelouch is somewhere in the top ten most evil characters in this series (probably made it to the top five after the Geass Order episodes) but he's not as bad as bin laden.

Plus, most of the Japanese are against harming civilians as well, remember when Kusakabe attacked the hotel? there was a brief scene of Tohdoh basically calling him an idiot at the JLF base.
vergiliuson May 3, 2011 at 8:32 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said:
"Another thing, you can't change an empire through popular opinion. You can only do that be unseating the emperor and taking his place. The emperor makes the rules and can change them on his whim.You have Zero who is saying we will welcome all races and religions, then you have Charles the emperor who is trying to subjugate and discriminate against anyone who doesn't conform. It's not a hard choice. "
A lot of people seem to think this and it simply isn't true. Shifting popular opinion against a government is actually far more likely to work than supplanting the ruler by force. Tyrants become tyrants specifically because they are very good at killing people--why would you get in a killing contest with them? A better strategy would be to undercut the apparatus they use to maintain control--in practice this means sewing discord, promoting noncompliance, etc., in the military and in the mass media.
zaldaron May 3, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.
@vergilius worked in Egypt!

@ninjadude no he isn't on Bin Laden's level...there are lower level terrorists, he is still a terrorists though (but then so was the original tea party).  I mean a terrorist I would have supported but still a terrorist.
kuroveton May 3, 2011 at 10:20 p.m.

prepare for the season best episode (episode 14) i think it was very emotional episode

as i like shirley best of course 

it was an interesting turn of events

looking forward to see what do u think of it 

hitsusatsu11on May 4, 2011 at 8:04 p.m.
I definitely go with Kallen>Suzaku 
Rxanaduon May 5, 2011 at 3:24 p.m.
First of all:  Thanks a million, Tom. for putting bit of my content into the article, even though it was for a familiar design between Zero and the Samurai Mechs.  I actually never really noticed the similarities until you brought it up in the article; I kept on thinking of Hakumen from the BlazBlue series.

Now then, @ninjadude853: I had a similar theory about the reasoning behind the name of Zero.  The reasoning was because the number zero basically means nothing, which would fit into your reasoning behind the name.  

However, the number zero is also regularly used as a starting point when it comes to counting (a mathematician's tabula rasa, if you will).  In this sense, this means that Lelouch means to use his alter ego as a starting point for the rebirth of the nation of Japan.

Another theory comes from the infinite potential power the number zero holds.  As you may very well know, if you add zero to the end of any number (let's say 1, for simplicity's sake), suddenly this number that previously held no power grants power to the number 1, a relatively small number by itself.  As you continue to add more zeros to the end of any number, you will find that a once insignificant number has become so massive you don't know what to do with it.

Now, people could argue and say that the same could be said for any number you stick onto the end of another number.  However, if Lelouch were to name himself "100" with the notion that a larger number means more strength, then he would be showing one fatal flaw: that he relies heavily on numbers (in this case, soldiers) as his strength, thus he could do little to nothing on his own.

The reason that Zero hold more significant weight than 100 is this: the number zero is, as I described above, everything and nothing.  Whether he is alone or with his Black Knights, Zero wields significant amounts of power.  He starts to show his power as he is alone during the second season of the show in a few significant instances, especially in one particular plot point, which, if I went into detail, would ultimately go under the Spoiler tag.

I hope this gave a better perspective of what I think the alias "Zero" symbolizes.  I would love to hear what everyone else thinks about the significance of Zero in this show (aside from an insane urge to show off Lelouch's bizarre fashion sense). 

Dig Deeper into Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Lelouch, a high school kid and Britannian prince, gains the power of Geass, a power with the ability to make anyone obey him. For the sake of his sister and late mother, Lelouch plans to overthrow his father's empire and create a better world.

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