0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2

Sunday 10th March 2013


Andrew Osmond on the permanent revolution of Code Geass

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (released on Blu-ray and DVD) is the sequel to the original Code Geass, and like most sequels it can be justly called more of the same. Unlike most sequels, this means it has a crazily unpredictable story where you just can’t tell what the next episode will bring, where it’s heading or how it’ll end. And that’s a lot of the fun.

We should warn you that R2 very much assumes you’ve seen the preceding Code Geass, already on Blu-ray and DVD (if you want to know about it, click here. That’s not immediately obvious, because the sequel starts with a massive non sequitur, designed to make fans wonder if the whole story has been rebooted. The original show ended with pretty much everyone on the brink of life-or-death cliffhangers. R2 starts with a resounding ‘huh?’

Most obviously, Lelouch is suddenly an ordinary schoolboy again, with no memory of being a rebel leader called Zero. Indeed, Zero is officially dead, and it’s been a year since his revolution failed. Moreover, Lelouch no longer has a sister called Nunnally (whom we saw being abducted in the first series finale) but an affectionate brother called Rolo, while familiar faces turn up in strange guises. Hold on, why is she a teacher now – and what on earth is she doing in a bunny-girl get-up?

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2Code Geass isn’t a show which hangs around. In the first two parts, we get the lowdown on what’s happened (well, some of it), and the action kicks off in a familiar way – Lelouch is reinstated as Zero, and sets about his interrupted liberation of Japan. Most of the huge cast returns: there are far too many to go through, but the girl Kallen gets an especially central role. She’s one of Zero’s very few allies who now knows who he is under the mask, giving her emotional conflicts that would blow Lois Lane’s mind. The green-haired ‘witch’ C.C. is back, of course, and we learn more about the nature of Geass and its owners. And Lelouch is rocked to the fundament when a certain character reveals a red glint in the eye…

Naturally, there are new players as well. There’s Rolo, for one, who has an, ahem, extreme personality. There’s also a raft of players from China, including a sinister crowd of eunuch generals and a swashbuckling knight; as with many of the players, the knight finds his political allegiances sliding here, there and everywhere. Even for attentive viewers, it’s often hard to follow everything that’s happening, unless you’re keeping a scorecard. Lelouch is the kind of bonkers strategist who’d get dizzy if he walked in a straight line. Then again, you can watch the show just for your favourite character plotlines, or for the endless mecha battles, which regularly introduce snazzy new robots and killer-diller superweapons.

In general, R2 is a heavier show than its predecessor. When things get intense, the narration goes kaleidoscopic, racing around the multiple characters and subplots with brutal speed, while the story mutates faster than Tetsuo in Akira. An emblematic scene has one of the main characters being hit with nasty recovered memories that cause a psychotic meltdown, turning friendly faces into leering stage masks. There’s still some lightness in the show, though, including another giant pizza episode (you can never have too many giant pizzas!), and Lelouch’s exasperation at being the kind of girl magnet that’d put most boys in seventh heaven.

Later episodes play fantasy world politics, as Japan becomes the most crucial country on the planet. There are more ghastly unintended consequences coming round to bite Lelouch on the bum, and what looks like a sly parody of a rival SF anime, as Code Geass takes a trip into metaphysics that promises liberation from the self, only for the show to argue passionately that it’s all totalitarian b***ocks. On at least two occasions, the series seems to reach a “final” conflict several episodes too early, only for the story to fling another curveball or three, exploding into massive fights (often in the heavens) to light up Lelouch’s red eyes.

Don’t worry, there’s not another cliffhanger conclusion to make viewers gnash their teeth. The last episode is a very definite (and satisfying) end, though the Code Geass world continues in anime in the form of side-stories. At present, a four-part OAV serial (Code Geass: Akito the Exiled) is being released in Japan; it has a different cast of heroes and shows what happened in Europe while Lelouch launched his revolution. But will it show us what the Code Geass Blighty is like? After more than twenty hours of anime about the evil Britannian empire, it’s high time that we know!

Code Geass season 2 is out on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now

MANGA UK GOSSIP

£
was £

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

High School DxD

Hugh, phew, barneys and boobs, cutthroats, demons and blood...
If this show dropped all the extreme fan-service it would still be an exciting action-horror adventure, not far removed from an extended arc of Supernatural or the like. As it is, you get that and a show that would have broken the jiggle counter if anime DVDs still had them. After decades of evolution, even harem comedies can produce a show with some substance.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Andrew Osmond compares Edward Elric to Harry Potter
It’s tempting to compare Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the fifth Blu-ray of which is out on Monday), with an epic fantasy saga about a certain boy wizard. For starters, both Harry Potter and Alchemist have male heroes but female creators. Alchemist comes from the manga by Hiromu Arakawa, who wrote and drew the nine-year, 27-book manga about two brothers’ journey through an increasingly rich world of steampunk and sorcery.

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Hideaki Anno Interview

Evangelion's director on Gerry Anderson, fandom and his latest project
This is not the Anno you may have read about, the one portrayed as an awkward, gangly, neurotic geek. Maybe Anno was like that once, but the cream-suited director we meet is sleek and authoritative, composed and confident, quite at ease talking to foreign hacks like us. He doesn’t adjust his glasses intimidatingly, but it still feels like the onetime Shinji has quietly metamorphed into his father Gendo.

SWORD ART ONLINE VS SUMMER WARS

Andrew Osmond says, if you like that, you might like this…
Summer Wars and Sword Art Online are made for a generation who’ve grown up with and within virtuality: social networks, video streaming, games without borders or ends. Both anime are adventures about things going wrong in cyberspace, but neither are technophobic; on the contrary, they’re all about hugging the avatar.
The roller-coaster of emotion that is Golden Time comes to an end this month with the release of the second collection, and it has been a ride to remember.

Podcast: A Dingo Stole My Anime

Studio Ghibli, tattoo removal and the San Diego Comic Con in our 26th podcast
Jeremy Graves is joined by Jerome Mazandarani, Andrew Hewson and Jonathan Clements to discuss last week’s Studio Ghibli, the San Diego Comic Con, upcoming releases, and your questions from Twitter and Facebook. Includes an inadvisable impersonation of Meryl Streep, commentary track shenanigans, and Jerome’s skateboarding stunts.
Manga Entertainment Ltd and Animatsu Entertainment Ltd are proud to announce LeSean Thomas as their special guest of honour at this October's MCM London Comic Con.
WILL YOU SURVIVE THE DEATH GAME?

Naruto Music: Okamoto's

Tom Smith on Naruto Shippuden’s 18th ending theme
As Naruto ups the ante and swears to take on Sasuke alone in box set 18 of Naruto Shippuden, the team responsible for the encompassing episodes’ ending theme have also took it upon themselves to up the pace.

Ben-To

Andrew Osmond discovers that every little helps...
Scott Pilgrim vs the World, in a supermarket. Well, that’s one way of summing up Ben-To, a wild anime comedy in which ‘ordinary’ citizens engage in Matrix-sized brawls over the holy grail of living on a budget; the bargain half-price meal.
Japan, the mecca of all things anime, have taken it upon themselves to create a popcorn bucket out of Eva Unit-01's head!

Modern Japan: All That Matters

Andrew Osmond turns an anime eye on a new history book
If the past is truly another country, then Modern Japan: All that Matters suggests the average Japanese youth may be as remote from the land of shogun and samurai as Britain is from today’s Tokyo. Jonathan Clements’ new book is a concise history which focuses on the country’s last seventy years, from Japan’s surrender in 1945 to the present.
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 from the UK's best Anime Blog.