Code Geass R2: The Beginning

Earworms:
-nothing in particular
Playing/Reading/Other Projects:
The Black and the Purple Chapter V: The Shadows of Tilverton
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
-Singapore Application

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 started its run yesterday, and after having seen the first episode, I’m immediately hooked. Again.

Here’s the video of the new OP: O2 by Orange Range.

There are some minor spoilers in it:

1. The Emperor has a Geass in his right eye. But you expected that, didn’t you?
2. Viletta is now a teacher at Ashford Academy.
3. Nunnally disappeared, as per her abduction at the end of the first season.
4. New Britannian Knights are working with Suzaku. Word is that they’re the best of the best in all the empire.
5. The Chinese Federation now figures more prominently in this season. They also have a Knightmare frame.
6. Mr. Orange is still alive.

Anyway, a summary of the episode is to follow.

The episode begins with an airship requesting permission to fly over the main Britannian settlement. It seems to be an ordinary ad blimp, but we discover that it’s being flown by CC, and is holding none other than a small contingent of Black Knight remnants. They toast to Japan’s freedom, promising to retrieve Zero.

Ashford Academy. Lelouch has resumed the life of a regular student, though regular is hardly a word you’d use to describe him. Apprehended by Viletta, who has become his PE teacher, Lelouch manages to escape after being aided and abetted by Millay and Rivalz, despite Viletta’s best athletic efforts (jumping out of a second-story window to pounce on a disguised Rivalz).

Lelouch escapes on Rivalz’s sidecar, which is driven by his younger brother Rollo. Lelouch reveals a certain restlessness and angst at the world (typical to teenagers anyway), and says that going on to university is no different from his current status. The nobles control the hierarchies of society, and the weak are still left to be downtrodden. They pass by a large monitor playing live footage of a public execution, along with the new governor-general’s discriminatory threats and self-justification.

While reading a copy of The Divine Comedy, Lelouch reflects on the failed rebellion of the Black Knights. The faces of the captured officers are shown: Toudou, Chiba, Ougi and Tamaki have been captured, while Diethard and Laksharta are at large. Zero is publicly known to have been executed. Lelouch writes them off mentally as weak and Zero himself as a fool. Had they just stayed put, they wouldn’t be suffering as they are, he thinks.

The scene then shifts to the goings-on at the Britannian headquarters. Governor General Callares is preparing for a meeting with ambassadors from the Chinese Federation. Cryptic talk goes on about the “Technical Information Bureau” and their operation at Babel Tower, a new skyscraper being completed. Callares complains about how the day would be a sensitive time to conduct such an operation and hopes nothing goes wrong. (Gilford is shown in the foreground, seemingly alive and well.)

A shadowy group of Britannians are tracking Lelouch’s progress to Babel Tower, which is apparently his destination. The members of the group wonder if “she” is going to appear, and the leader says that she’d better.

As they arrive at the casino’s parking lot, Rollo insists on accompanying Lelouch to his chess match. He asks Lelouch why he does this, and Lelouch simply says he’s in search of stronger opponents. As they ride the elevator, though, Lelouch says inwardly that his real reason is just his restlessness. Lelouch is shown for once to be tapping his finger absently, hinting at a sense of ennui that is biting at him from inside.

The interior of the casino is horrifying. Wealthy Britannians gamble their money away while a gladiatorial match fought between Japanese goes on in the center. Two brothers are being made to fight to the death this time, with nothing more than their fists. Disturbed by this, Rollo tries to get Lelouch to go home, but Lelouch tells him flippantly that it’s easy to see that pleasure is only for Britannians, and misery only for Elevens. He says that it’s the lot they get after trying to rebel against the empire twice—with Prime Minister Kururugi and with Zero.

Lelouch bumps into a bar girl dressed as a playboy bunny, and the girl apologizes profusely. Lelouch tries to calm her and says that there’s no problem, but the girl goes on to say that it’s her role, as a weakling, to simply allow the strong to have their way, even if the latter are wrong. The girl is Kallen, but Lelouch doesn’t recognize her. Kallen attempts to hand him a small transceiver, but she is interrupted by a sleazy Britannian man who wants to purchase her. The girl says she isn’t for sale, but the man says that losers don’t have rights. This disturbance is detected by the shadowy observers.

Lelouch challenges the man, who is apparently a Mafia mobster, to chess. Rollo objects, but the man says it’s too late to back out. Lelouch recognizes the man as the Black King, a well-known chess master.

Britannian prison. Tamaki is being beaten up by soldiers, and it seems that Tamaki still believes in Zero, and so does Ougi. Chiba, however, calls him a traitor for leaving them at the final battle. Toudou is convinced that either way, Zero is dead, a fact which Ougi struggles with.

Back at the casino, Lelouch soundly beats the Black King (Lelouch, for once, is playing with the white pieces). Taunting the Black King, Lelouch quickly finds himself in a situation he had not foreseen—being Mafia, the Black King has no compunctions against using violence in public—even against fellow Britannians. He accuses Lelouch of cheating (which is impossible in chess), and attempts to have his thugs restrain him—just as explosions rock the roof of the building.

Kallen then smashes the Black King’s face in (which is just amazing), and the Black Knights rappel from CC’s blimp. The Britannian observers launch their own Knightmares. Kallen grabs Lelouch and attempts to take him to the Black Knight rendezvous place.

Back at the Governor’s palace, the meeting with the Chinese is not without unrest. The governor says that the Chinese aren’t ready to understand Britannia yet, while Britannian MPs attempt to confiscate Xingke’s sword. He responds to them by cutting their belts off, saying that Britannia isn’t ready to understand the Chinese union either. The ambassador apologizes for his bodyguard’s actions, just as an explosion rocks the roof of the nearby Babel Tower.

Lelouch and Rollo manage to escape from Kallen, and a collapse prevents Kallen from following them into the chaos. The Black Knights deploy a giant smokescreen and engage the VTOL choppers that fly around the tower. Meanwhile, the Secret Information Agency commences the “seventh sequence,” ignoring orders from the local officials (since they are apparently under the direct supervision of the Emperor himself).

As Lelouch and Rollo escape into the lobby, Zero’s old Burai Kai jumps in from the ceiling and holds out its hand to Lelouch. Confused, Lelouch hesistates until the Britannian SIA officers crash in. Rollo rejoices at their arrival, but much to his chagrin, they begin shooting at everyone, including Britannian civilians. Kallen arrives at the Black Knight rendezvous area and activates Guren Nishiki.

Rollo and Lelouch escape into an unfinished section of the building, and Lelouch ponders the meaning of the Knightmare’s gesture to him. For some reason, a Black Knight soldier opens fire at them, causing Lelouch to fall into an unfinished elevator shaft.

Meanwhile, Shirley is going off again on one of her “Lulu is crazy” monologues, which Rivalz and Millay tease her about. She blushes and looks away.

Lelouch lands on a fabric stretched across the building’s scaffolding, and calls out for Rollo. Rushing up the stairs in an unparalleled feat of Lelouch athleticism, he goes on looking for his brother until he stumbles on a pile of dead bodies—Britannians and Elevens alike. Among them is the Black King, while another playboy bunny girl is shown holding onto a bloody picture of Zero.

Confused, Lelouch looks up to see the Burai in front of him, and it opens up to reveal CC. CC tells him that she’s the only one who truly knows him, and that she is an ally, and that Britannia is his enemy. She says that she knows the real Lelouch. Lelouch begins walking toward her, just as a shot rings out, and CC falls to the ground. (Again, Lulu shows how athletic he is all of a sudden by catching the falling girl.)

The shooters were SIA troopers, and they come in to incinerate the bodies with flamethrowers that spit purple flame, casting an eerie light on the scene. A woman screams, apparently still alive, and Lelouch protests, telling them that there are still living people in the pile. Two shots ring out, quickly silencing the screams.

The leader of the SIA squad thanks Lelouch for performing his role, and Lelouch asks just what his role was. The leader says he was bait for CC, nothing more, and that all his activities have been monitored until now. Lelouch asks for more explanations, but the captain, tired of having to explain himself, orders them executed. Lelouch reflects on what a pathetic end this is, dying so quickly, without knowing anything. As he wishes he had the power to fight the world he lived in, CC wakes up and kisses him, unlocking his memories–and his Geass–once more. The last memory that comes back to Lelouch is that of Suzaku pointing the gun at him.

He and CC stand up, much to the surprise of the SIA troopers, and Lelouch asks the leader: if weakness is evil, is having power justice? Is revenge evil? Can friendship coexist with justice? The captain replies that there is no justice or evil, only death for the bait. Lelouch then says that the same shall be true for them, and Geasses them to kill themselves, just as he had in the first ep of the first season. The Black Knights drop in, and Zero assumes command of the Black Knights once more.

The episode ends with three knights in front of the Emperor–the tall blonde man, the pink-haired girl, and last to rise is Suzaku, who promises to kill Zero personally.

————–

Wow. WOW. The series started on such a chaotic and dramatic note. Instead of answering the questions left at the end of the first series, it added more:

1. What is the Emperor’s Geass power?
2. What happened to Nunnally?
3. Who IS Rollo?
4. Who are the two Knights who work with Suzaku?
5. Why did Lelouch lose his memory?

This series is, once again, really promising. I’m sure it will be an even more mind-jarring experience than the first. Exactly how will all of this be tied up?

~ by J. R. R. Flores on April 7, 2008.

2 Responses to “Code Geass R2: The Beginning”

  1. *begins looking for torrents*

    Man, I love this anime.

  2. This season looks to be more engaging than the last; the pilot eps are already gripping (with “what on earth happened” enfolding bit by bit to tantalize). Though i think i’ve lost sympathy for certain characters this time. Must be growing more jaded.

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