Until the very end, Code Geass stayed true to its course, with characters far and wide clashing together to give us one last glimpse of the epic scope of the series before turning their attention to one man. One man who destroys worlds. One man who creates worlds.
Seriously, if you mean to watch Code Geass one day or haven’t seen the finale yet, don’t read this post! I can do without explective-filled hate mail, thanks.
So you clicked anyway. All right. You’ve either watched it already, or you don’t care about spoilers and are dying to know if it ends in a Milly bra explosion. Here’s the picture that sums up the finale best.
To say that I wasn’t prepared for it would be an understatement. Not only did the denouement blindside me, it did a lot of people, too, and perhaps even the writers themselves, who’d been at a loss how to end their own series, the anime equivalent of the mythological hydra with plotlines for heads: cut one off and three more pop up. But the most surprising was my own emotional reaction. Hell, watching it again causes me to mist up like a ten-year-old girl whose pet goldfish has just disappeared down the toilet drain. In my eyes Lelouch had transformed from a snotty, aloof genius into a character with whom I greatly empathized, despite ignoring the thrust of his master plan — in spite of not knowing it, maybe. Over the course of fifty episodes I’d learned to trust him and his wily intellect. He was without a doubt one of the most interesting characters to see develop over the course of any anime show I’ve laid eyes on: Sunrise constantly brought back the tug of war between Lelouch’s abilities and his burgeoning humanity. In the end, the humanity won, but at what cost? Answer: the cost no one else (the Emperor, Schneizel, etc.) was willing to bear.
The fight between Karen and Suzaku so long in the making finally exploded all over our screens and reminded me that yes, before Code Geass dipped into every anime sauce, it was a show about mecha kicking one another’s butts. And seeing Karen and Suzaku tear each other’s machines to pieces made me chuckle in glee. In a way, it’s yet another metaphor in the show’s arsenal: unless there’s a chance you’ll lose your robot/life/loved one, he/she/it is worthless, as I pointed out in my Sekirei episode 12 review. Code Geass was willing to gamble with its most cherished characters unto the end and that’s what infused it with awesome drama potential.
Of course there will be legions of fans who will point to C.C.’s last words and either rejoice that the series could, technically, not be over, or raise their clenched fists to the skies and demure Sunrise’s undecisiveness in providing closure to a great show one minute and making it disappear the next. But then again can you blame them? Code Geass was an uber-anime that drew an unprecedented amount of attention. I’m sure they’d love to milk it for a few more pennies before sending it to its rightful grave. I’d be disappointed if they brought everyone back for an encore, but at least, I thank my lucky stars we got a pretty soft reset for an ending instead of a full-on, time-rewinding Geass ending we’d feared.
I shouldn’t even have to mention the review potential, given my blogging Code Geass every damn week, rain or shine, ever since I created this blog… But I decided to postpone a review for the moment because I want to see how the series holds up to a second casual viewing. Somehow, I get the feeling Code Geass will turn out the way Pulp Fiction did: you can pop it in your DVD player, pick a random scene/episode, and just sit down and bask in it for half an hour of flashy entertainment. It’s funny how I despised it while watching the first season’s episodes back to back; only after I’d caught up with the start of season 2 did I begin to discover its genius and captivating powers. After all, if you watch all the episodes one after the other, you’ll probably overdose on plot twists and find the whole schtick cheapening. But having to wait patiently (or not so patiently sometimes!) every week to get your Code Geass fix and find out how Lelouch extricated himself from the latest predicament suddenly turned the show into a maddening season-long series of tantalizing cliffhangers.
Sayonara, Code Geass. You made me rack my brains every week trying to predict what direction your crazy plot twists would go. Oh, and you gave us Karen butt fanservice. For both of these reasons you will be missed. I can only hope fall will bring me such quality entertainment to fill your niche.