no. 5 – Finish a series in one sitting (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)

It never really crossed my mind to watch this anime. I wanted to have the marathon on Big Bang Theory season 5 but the show is still running (and the objective was to FINISH a series). My next choice was the Koreanovela Secret Garden so I bought a DVD yesterday. When I went home, the ever bipolar laptop cannot read it. I tried online streaming but it takes forever to load and I was running out of patience. Then I remembered the Code Geass folder I copied from Ron’s external hard drive. I opened the folder and voila, 18 episodes. I searched Google for the list of episodes and found out there were 25 for season 1. Uhm, I can load the remaining 7 while watching…but, Code Geass? Really? I first heard that title in 2008 because it was recommended by Toffee, other than that, nada. What if it’s not good?

So I decided to watch the first episode. If it looks fine, I’ll continue. If not, I’ll just sulk the whole night.

And boy it was more than fine. It was idealistic, sad, funny and most of all, heartbreaking. I cried really hard in episodes 22 and 23. And I was having hand tremors while watching which was a first time. After that episode, everything just went downhill.

According to Wikipedia:

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ Kōdo Giasu: Hangyaku no Rurūshu), often referred to as simply Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series created by Sunrise, directed by Gorō Taniguchi, and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by manga authors Clamp. Set in an alternate future, the series focus on how the former prince Lelouch Lamperouge obtains a power known as Geass and decides to use it to obliterate the Holy Britannian Empire, an imperial monarchy and a superpower that has been conquering various countries.

I finished the 25 episodes (more or less 25 minutes each) without yawning, to think that I watched from 7 pm to 7 am. I just stopped to harvest my super yellow melons in farmville, buy coffee in 7-eleven, defecate, and of course, wait for the remaining episodes to load.

The series was so depressing towards the end that I decided to stop after ep. 25 and not to continue with season 2 because it might be sadder and the transference might manifest in my being blue.

I liked Code Geass because it’s about love, power, selfishness, going too far, friendship, the future, war, good and evil, right and wrong and the contradicting principles “the end does not justify the means” and “greater good for the greater number”.

Also, it reminded me of the Power Ranger-like shows I watched as a kid because weapons used in the series were “Knightmares”, pretty much robots controlled by soldiers. I was hooked because Japan and anything Japanese have a special place in my heart. Can you imagine being stripped off your identity, your culture, your country? In the series, Japan was named Area 11 after being conquered by Britannia and the Japanese were called Elevens, mere numbers. Britannians were superior and Elevens were treated as lesser beings. Talk about apartheid of the future.

Lelouch, the protagonist, is an interesting piece. Sometimes you love him, most of the time you hate him. But seriously, I kind of understand his being evil especially with that power and his past. Besides, anyone who is good at Chess is automatically cool.

The series shows that anyone with an immense power can be corrupted by it. That when blinded by your anger and driven by your will for revenge, you sometimes lose what’s important, what you were fighting for in the first place. And, disturbingly, like in a chess game, pawns are needed to be sacrificed in order to mate your opponent.

If there’s one thing I found annoying, it’s Lelouch’ sister complex.

Some characters are:

Suzaku Kururugi, the son of the last emperor of Japan whose view in changing the world is different from Lelouch. Also, he is the first ever non-Britannian who manned a Knightmare, Lancelot.

C.C. the mysterious girl who gave Lelouch his Geass.

Euphemia, the third princess of Britannia and Lelouch’s half-sister.

Kallen Kozuki, a half Britannian and rebel who lives a double life as a Black Knight and a sickly high school girl.

How good was it? According to Wikipedia, when the first episode was shown during a special test screening which was attended by Ōkawa, other members of the series’ staff, as well as several journalists and other media-related personnel in response to the hype surrounding the series’ upcoming release, the audience fell into immediate silence after it ended, followed by “tremendous applause.”

Laslty, I agree with Columnist Carlo Santos when he said that “the series is at its best with raising questions rather than offering a final solution”.

It is but fitting that I watched this for my bucket list. After all, before american shows and tele/koreanovelas, I loved anime first. 🙂

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