Code Geass is this year’s overall best-produced anime…
It also has this massive cliffhanger, but hey, nobody is perfect.
In no truer fashion did Taniguchi catch up to the 21st century with a big exclamation mark that also, admittedly, marking him fashionably late. But boy, are CLAMP designs always in fashion. It really is a statement about “design sells.” Yea, yea, at the end of the day it’s just another mecha anime, but I think this one would’ve been a huge winner if the ending wasn’t such a non-ending.
But in simpler terms, Code Geass wins because it’s just a well-produced work, with a well put-together plan that included all the “popular” things. Its large cast and diverse personalities ensure no one goes through the show without something piquing his or her attention (even for some it’s just C.C. the whole time). It even provides enough in themes and messages to keep the brainy ones thinking about questions that don’t have right answers.
The pacing is compelling. The scenario writing is solid. There is enough about the plot to keep those that has affinity towards puzzle-type shows like Death Note interested (a large group I imagine), and enough moe and cheese to keep the otaku glued to those … cheese-filled pie crusts? If it means I have to watch in-show product placement to get more financing for anime, I am all for it.
But what does Code Geass have it in for me? I think that is a hard question to answer. I didn’t watch Code Geass back when it was all the rave late last year, and I caught up marathon-style (which is probably the most appropriate way for this show) middle of the year right before the OAVs came out. And yeah the OAVs are also non-endings. What is up with that?
Still, it’s great to remind myself that there are still mainstream-appealing yet personally compelling anime series out there that are longer than 14 episodes. Perhaps I am just jaded, but I think my standards are quite easy to meet and I can enjoy a lot of shows. It’s why I still watch so many anime and I only have the chance to talk about roughly half of the shows I watch on this blog. But yeah, why Code Geass? This was simply just the best overall show that I had the chance to watch this past year. It’s something I would recommend to the average anime viewer without reservation. It beats out shows like Denno Coil because we’re talking about a very different group of viewers than those who would watch NHK on primetime hours. They may overlap in some cases, but generally speaking not at all. Is this like, a mainstream for the underground or something silly?
Anyways. Substantively Code Geass still offers something worthy of review. Seeing that it’s Taniguchi and Sunrise, we should expect violence. And sometimes that’s all it takes to get guys to enjoy a TV show, much like sometimes all it takes is CLAMP to get some sissies (like me?) and girls to watch and enjoy a TV show.
I’m sure I can draw some kind of thematic examination between Code Geass’ cycle of redemptive violence and Manabi Straight’s subversive, win-by-heart teamwork. But for the moment let’s just tip our hats to the dead peacemakers and would-have-been successful idealists if not for an deus ex machina of a coup de grâce, an excuse for a memorable climax that went nowhere. I suppose there is a beauty to dying ironically for what you lived for except in the reverse, and leaving those alive to ponder their own predicaments.
Alas, with season two on the horizon, it’s time to bid farewell to Euphie and say hello to our cash cow milking overlord, to lower our expectations at the face of an upcoming sequel that is, odds are, mediocre. It’s Sunrise after all.
This is the sixth post in a series reflecting back to the new anime of 2007. I really enjoyed Minami Omi’s performance as a near-lead female character in a big show, and 2007 does mark the return of a couple old-timers. Hope to see more of them in 2007.