I am one of many people who is spell bound by code geass, or at least i was when i first came across it. Back then i was quite surprised at what i found in this series, a perfect balance of intriguing characters and a intricate story. That was a time when i had yet to come a cross such shows, anime that didn’t drop one element in favor of another, such as introducing a great cast but a crappy story or an awesome story but a lame cast.
Code geass had the best of both worlds and that immediately attracted me to it. And besides this factor, i was never a great fan of mecha, not that i hate mecha related anime but most times i couldn’t care less about it. I am not really sure what about the genre rubs me the wrong way; sure i will watch it but there are so many elements that irritate me, plus giant robots fighting have always looked rather banal to me and most such shows will choose to focus on the giant robots fighting bits and the gritty details of controlling a giant mecha while sacrificing a decent story. it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that i am not gundam fan.
This show (and gurren luggan) managed to change my mind about the entire genre, or at least i was fascinated by the fact that the giant robots were simply a extra and the primary focus was the story and the characters. I will not say that this anime is perfect because i am sure it has some flaws here and there, but those are flaws that i have yet to see; so yes, this anime is perfect.
It shouldn’t surprise any one then that code geass would be choke full of seriously epic moments, events that will have you gasp in a jaw dropping reaction, there are all those ballistic moments that pitted Suzuku against Lelouch, both as a friend, enemy and sort of ally; then there was the grand battles in the end that brought Suzaku and Lelouch, disturbingly dubbed as villains against the allied forces of the whole world, Lelouch’s numerous clashes with his brother Schneizel in exciting contentions the victory of which was decided not by physical strength but by superior genius, the various knightmare frame battles, the most epic of which almost always revolved around Kallen and her constant desire to evolve the abilities of her frame’s abilities to the contend with the continuously threatening knights of Britannia and their charge against the black knights; lelouch’s confrontation of his father and C.C as well as the revelation of events behind her mother’s death and more.
Code Geass was basically a constant barrage of surprises, twists and turns, which then would make the selection of a single epic moment, standing above the rest of them all a bit difficult; at least if you were only thinking about the scale of the scene such as levels of destruction and all that. AS far as epic moments that stood out above the rest are concerned, Shirley’s death resonates more with me that any other event i can remember at the moment.
Admittedly, it isn’t her death specifically that interested me when i first watched the scene. Truth be told i didn’t like Shirley; for some reason she reminded me of Orihime from bleach who is dislike, which only increased my dislike for her. As such, yes it was sad that she died and all, especially lelouch’s pathetic attempts to revive her in vain ( you rarely see lelouch showing so much desperation) yet that isn’t the reason i remember the scene so vividly and why it stood out for me.
Something about the scene brought about some interesting realizations regarding Rolo and Lelouch’s characters. They made all the difference for me because, while by this stage in the show i thought i had a pretty good idea of what these two characters were all about, this scene somehow reinforced things for me.We all know that Rolo is a psycho, but as a character the show made it very easy to sympathize with this plight for family and closeness and in some cases, Zero made himself an easy target for hate with regards to how he treated his false younger brother.
We knew what Rolo really thought about Zero. He might have constantly threatened to kill him if he ever found out that Zero was playing him, but we all knew he adored the crazy anti hero and he would have done anything to ensure his survival. Some would point out Rolo sacrificing his life to save Zero as the most glaring example of this devotion, but i disagree. it would be this scene. When Rolo killed Shirley, it was more or less the greatest act of devotion he could commit in service to Zero; it was a crazy act but, sacrificing one self wouldn’t have been that big of a deal to Rolo. With the kind of Geass he possessed, it was a threat he lived with on a daily basis and he would have just as easily sacrificed his life to protect Britannia before changing allegiance.
Killing Shirley was committing an act that, he must have understood on a subconscious level, would attract Zero’s animosity. IN attacking Shirley he might have as well have been attacking Lelouch himself; he chose to commit an act that would for intent and purpose wound Lelouch and which his brother would have never agreed with; yet he did it anyway. He was crazy, but he also showed that death wasn’t the farthest he could go to please Zero; he was willing to go against Lelouch’s own wishes and attack his heart to safe guard him.
In the end Rolo was a pitiful creature, sad and lonely and more than ready to cling to the first psycho that showed him any attention and, as far as i am concerned, his death was a much sadder event that Shirley’s, especially with Lelouch finally recognizing his contribution and person by burying him right next to Shirley, the person he killed. Maybe he had grown soft.
With Lelouch it was more fascinating, almost funny at one point in fact in watching, not his reaction to Shirley’s death, but to the fact that Rolo killed her. I do not think he knew how to react. The very purpose that he was fighting, the reason he was doing so many terrible things, was so he could protect his friends from the enemy. Yet there lay Shirley, one of his closest friends, dead, not by the enemy’s hand but by his own ally’s hand. The one thing that i noticed first and foremost was the kind of self control Lelouch exerted upon himself.
We all know lelouch, he is crazy as hell. If Britannia didn’t exist, then Lelouch would be the villain with good intentions that everyone had to overcome to keep the world safe. He often spoke of his actions as him having had to make the tough decisions; but really, minus the complex strategic planning, it almost felt like he was always taking the easiest decision, the one most easily available to him, and most times, his ways involved the loosing of great amounts of blood before his favored outcome occurred. He was effective, but really, there were times he tested your loyalties, making you question whether rooting for him was the acceptable option; that was of course until you switched to his father’s perspective and had to eventually accept that Lelouch was simply the lesser of two evils.
How many heroes out there have a smile that makes one shudder rather than cheer? I do not know who illustrated those particular scenes, but when lelouch would enter a rage, when his face would contort into an expression of hate and rage, he looked downright evil and scary. Light from death note had more of a subtle aura of fear and rage around him. You just had to look into his eyes to fear him. Lelouch hid nothing back, with the way his face would twist as he prepared to unleash holy hell upon any one that was stupid enough to incur his wrath. And his rampages were never quick or swift and were mostly designed to achieve maximum pain and suffering.
Basically he was a maniac, i mean, who laughs like that. The man just couldn’t pull off the knight in shining armor look. So when Rolo killed Shirley, you could just augur the horror inspiring consequences that would follow; you knew that when he killed Shirley, Rolo had done to lelouch something worse than anything anyone of his enemies, besides his father, had ever done to him. And in committing this stupid act, he had just exposed to himself all the hate and evil that Lelouch could master. Lelouch wasn’t going to kill him. He was going to make him wish he had died at birth. HE would drag him down to the deepest parts of hell and make him scream. That is what i foresaw. Rolo had been stupid, too stupid.
That is what i expected; after all Lelouch knows what is at stake and the fact that he needs Rolo, but when he rampages,there is no holding him back, no reasoning with him. So i was greatly surprised when he kept himself in check, reasoning things out and allowing Rolo to live for another day. That somewhat shocked me. It was like you walking up to Nunnaly, shooting her in the head and Lelouch instead shakes your hand instead of wringing your neck for killing the very sibling he was conquering the whole world to protect. At this point Code geass proved to me that it was still more than capable of surprising me and that there were more twists and turns to come in the future.
I am still patiently waiting for a third lelouch series. I do not think i want one, after all, the story ended so well. But i have heard so many rumors about it that i can’t help but get excited over the prospect.