Retrocaustic: Code Geass – Episode 1

Code Geass is stupid. But how stupid? Let’s find out together.

SILLY.JUST-LET-IT-HAPPEN

Shhh. Just let it happen.

Episode I – The Empire Strikes Back Again

  • We get it, Japan. Cicadas happen in the summer. Summer has cicadas. Can we never have this trope ever happen again?
    • NOPE.
  • THE HOLY BRITANNIA(N) EMPIRE IS IN NO WAY SIMILAR TO THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, WHOSE TUTELAGE IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR ENTIRE  COZY GEOPOLITICAL AND ECONOMIC POSITION BUT ONE WE WILL RESENT TO OUR DYING BREATHS.
    • There. I have summarized all of Japan’s foreign policy for the past 70 years.
      • Also don’t remember how we raped China and Korea for three-ish decades. That never happened. Just keep reminding everyone how we were conquered by a vaguely America-shaped power as if we didn’t deserve it.
        • Even though we did. Really bad.
  • Oh, Japan lost its name. How cute. What hegemon would do this? This doesn’t make any linguistic sense. Renaming Japan as “Area 11” and actually calling them all “Elevens” is so fucking retarded. They seriously reach for the anvil in the first thirty seconds of this show.
  • Knightmares (what a pun!) are the most impractical weapons ever depicted. I know of no way these things could possibly work or provide any advantage worth their incredible expense and numerous obvious engineering flaws over the tried and true methods of warfare already at these nations’ disposal.
    • No, seriously. They’re giant humanoid soldiers that rely on melee combat, i.e., cannon fodder in an era of precision-guided munitions, not to mention are immensely expensive. They can be disabled with a few well-aimed shots to their legs or other weakspots so glaring they might as well be bosses from God of War. Kneecaps, anyone?
      • Why would you even want to emulate the anatomical disaster that is the human kneecap anyway?
    • Knightmares exist to sell toys. That is literally their only purpose in this series. Everything else could have been better accomplished through conventional weapons.
  • Enter Lelouch Lamperouge, who, at eight-ish years old, now has a grudge against an empire he is party to. All after living in Japan for a few months.
    • Suuuuuuuuuure.
  • What did Britannia do to Japan? Why is there all this ruin and devastation in the ghettos alongside a pristine capital after only seven years? Do you really expect me to believe that many Britannians moved to Tokyo in less than one decade and that they were able to build such a pristine capital in that time? Why? Why would they even destroy Tokyo so much anyway? Enough to push the 40 million people living on the Kantou plain into a ghetto? Do writers have any sense of demographics whatsoever or how colonization has actually proceeded before?
    • No.
  • Lelouch Lamperouge is a wunderkid, showing that these writers have no idea how basic human neurology works.
    • Chess is a bullshit way of showing intelligence. People have been working out the strategies to chess for five hundred years and more. It’s a matter of rote memorization.
  • Lelouch Lamperouge is playing hooky many miles away from his school, because this school sucks at basic things like accountability. Of course.
    • Idiot rich nobleman with immense resources and frivolous idle time to play chess with random people remarks how time-stressed, exam-laden high-school students have so much free time. Someone has never gotten laid.
  • [4:31] Did they set that chess board up wrong? Because I’m pretty sure everything about that chess setup is wrong/impossible.
    • SILLY.STUPID-CHESS-1
      • Lol.
        • Lol.
          • I’m going to go kill myself.
  • Speaking of which: enter Shirley, tragedy bait.
  • Of course #2: a terrorist attack.
  • Enter Clovis, death bait.
  • Terrorist attack involves the inevitable scene where the racist Britannimericans call the Japanese “Elevens,” then the racist Japanese protest they are called “Japanese” with no sense of irony towards how the Japanese treat Koreans/Chinese in the real world.
    • This happens because writers do not know how to convey racism in a natural, convincing way. They literally have to hold neon-lit arrows labeled “RACIST” over their characters’ heads.
      • This does not bode well for the next forty nine episodes of this series.
  • Enter Kallen Stadtfeld, the humanoid growth attached to Kallen Stadtfeld’s Derriere.
    • Also the least Japanese-looking Japanese person since every other “Japanese” protagonist.
  • Enter Diethard, the evil journalist.
  • The Britannimericans are utterly incompetent in controlling their own capital. I should like to know how these ragtag Japanese terrorists–who, despite the collective protests of all anime in history, stick out like sore thumbs–managed to sneak into the heart of the Britannimerican district, steal a top-secret truck supposedly containing POISON GAS, all while having in-tow an uncamouflaged Knightmare. Absolutely nobody in Tokyo does their jobs.
  • We’re speaking about highly sensitive and classified information within earshot of three dozen or so people with no business knowing any of it. Now I’m beginning to understand.
  • Why are the streets so goddamn empty in the middle of the capital?
    • The animators were lazy cheapskates.
  • Why did the driver drive that way? You know, the worst way possible? What reason did he have for veering off the road like a maniac? It was just a motorcycle. Use the right lane (it’s Japan) and pass him.
    • In other words, if Kallen Stadtfeld’s Derriere’s dumbass driver had not been a douchebag, Code Geass would not have happened.
  • Why does Rivalz use the word “puraido?” Do the Japanese not have a word for pride in this alternate universe? You know, like 誇り?
    • At no point do the Japanese get to complain about the decline of their language ever again. Code Geass has taken away their hall pass.
  • Oh look, Lelouch got stuck in the truck. I wonder what will happen next.
  • Why are you using Knightmares to chase down a truck supposedly filled with POISON GAS? What makes you think Knightmares are the tool for such a delicate situation (or any situation)? For God’s sake, just track the truck and summon some special forces to surround and capture the people when they eventually stop somewhere. Or better yet: announce the idiot Elevens have stolen a truck filled with POISON GAS that they have no idea how to contain or handle.
    • Note: this is actually how the situation ends up being handled anyway. The Knightmares prove utterly useless.
  • Wait, why was a top-secret project supposedly involving POISON GAS allowed to be located in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas on the planet?
    • Not even God knows.
  • Kallen Stadtfeld’s Derriere’s dumbass driver suggests unleashing POISON GAS in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. Kallen Stadtfeld’s Derriere should think about why she brought this monster along with her.
    • It certainly wasn’t for his fantastic driving skills.
  • How does Kallen Stadtfeld’s Derriere have the required military training needed to use a Knightmare? Like, how is that temporally possible?
  • Enter Jeremiah Gottwald, flamboyant nutcase.
  • Enter Lloyd, the Mad Prince of Awesome.
    • And the woman who works for him. Whatever her name is. I don’t remember. That’s how badly they treat her.
      • Go Japan. Yaaaaaaaaaaaay.
  • IT’S POISON GAS. GASP. (Hee hee.)
    • Except POISON GAS doesn’t talk.
      • Or sparkle.
  • Why are 40 million people living in a massive ghetto that definitely does not have the resources to support their numbers? Does Britannia not know this will inevitably lead to very bad things?
  • Enter Suzaku Kururugi, also known as Mary Sue Goody Two-Shoes (MSGT). This is his name now. Yes.
    • That karate move MSGT just did is literally impossible.
  • Lelouch: “You don’t want more deaths? Then obliterate Britannia!”
    • This would require more deaths, Lelouch.
  • Lelouch is reasonably shocked that MSGT would join the Britannimerican military, of all things.
  • Canister opens at the most random of times.
    • For no reason.
      • At all.
  • Enter C.C., servant of Morgoth.
  • MSGT believes he can change the system from within.
    • Thirty seconds later, MSGT is shot by his brutal, sadistic Britannimerican commander.
      • MSGT might be mistaken.
  • WE’RE SO CORRUPT WE’LL KILL OUR OWN PEOPLE BECAUSE REASONS.
  • Clovis orders his armies to destroy one of the most populated areas on earth on a whim. This is not a good idea: it is neither possible to carry out on any reasonable time scale, nor does it accomplish its stated purpose, since it merely displays that Clovis is an utterly incompetent ruler who has lost control of the situation.
  • I think it’s been like ten minutes since one of the human beings on this show did something rational.
  • Why does Lelouch think Suzaku is dead? There was literally no blood from that gun shot. None. Check the frame.
  • DEAD BABY.
    • That baby is fucked.
  • Shirley strikes. Her aim is deadly.
    • Why didn’t Lelouch set his cellphone to vibrate or silent in the half-hour he was hiding in the back of a truck being driven by people he thought were terrorists?
  • C.C. takes one for the team. It’s funny because the higher-ups know C.C. can’t die, so they would never believe these murderous soldiers’ cover story anyway.
  • Enter Nunnally, walking plot device.
  • C.C. spawns a web of foreshadowing that the show will never follow through on.
  • Why do they all cackle when they kill themselves? And why do their guns sound like water balloons?
  • So this was actually one of my favorite parts of the series, when Lelouch narrates his whole saga and commits fully to the path he’s set himself upon, switching from the past tense to the present seamlessly and elegantly in Japanese. The English translations have always been rather lackluster. I’ve always preferred something a bit like “So it’s worth it” for Lelouch’s last line in the episode, rather than the dry “So that’s why.”
    • Anyway.

This is gonna be fun. Hee hee hee.

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