So I was posting around on some forums (back when I still did that… ) and I came across the issue of what Code Geass R2 was and what it could have been.
A lot of people look very negatively on the second season of Code Geass (even though its one of the most popular shows ever… what irony), going as far as to term it as a trainwreck (beloved, former gg fansub group leader is credited for that term). What did we think? We gave Code Geass R2 an A Grade, and we think it was a solid show, and while not perfect, it did more than get the job done as far as concluding the series went.
Of course, Even though Code Geass R2 was one of the best shows ever, there was still room for it do a lot more. There’s also an interview confirming that there was much more planned, and that the entire concept was overhauled because of a timeslot change. Now… I ‘m not going to claim that the original concept was good or bad, but it does present some interesting possibilities.
I always imagined Code Geass as this huge epic show, and I imagined that it would go on for around 90 episodes. Why did I think so? The first season just generally established so many wide plot points and had just so much that could be covered. Covering all that the very idea of Code Geass and its world has to offer, would take several hundred episodes.
In many ways, Code Geass R2 feels like the first Full Metal Alchemist series to me. The first Full Metal Alchemist series was good, great and awesome, we all loved it. Those of us who went on to read the manga, however, found a much deeper, richer and surprisingly better story in that version. Now, with Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, a lot more people are being exposed to a story that they have been missing for a while.
Does that make the first series bad? No, not really. It just points out an interesting fact that while Full Metal Alchemist was good, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is even better. In many ways, I feel that Code Geass R2 will be like that if the original, longer concept for the series is ever made.
The R2 series gushed over a lot of stuff too quickly, and near the end, some things just seemed forced. The entire revival or Marianne did not sit too well with me, nor did the whole showdown with Charles in the world of C. It was okay, and soon after the show provided enough shocks for the viewer to stop caring about what just happened and focus on what came next, but in retrospect, it just doesn’t seem… right.
So… what am I getting at? Well, recently there’s been announcements about a revival in the Code Geass franchise, complete with a new line of manga, anime and figures and what not. Now, the manga version is touting a prequel, and while that seems well and good for the manga, I’m personally more interested in seeing Code Geass remade, with the original idea.
Re making a show is sketchy territory, and unlike Full Metal Alchemist, which I draw comparisons to, Code Geass doesn’t really have a superior manga counterpart or set story that it can adapt.
So the question is, what do you keep, what do you cut out, and what do you expand upon? Read on…
What To Keep: The First Season
There is nothing really wrong with the First Season and whatever it establishes. The first series wonderfully introduces Lelouch, Suzaku and the entire universe which the story is set in. Messing with that is something that I would not only not recommend, its something I strongly hope is kept largely intact.
The beautiful thing about Code Geass’s first season is how open ended the ending is, and how much can be expanded on. Lelouch has a ton of siblings, since he’s hardly the first in line for the throne, and we’re only introduced to a few of them, namely Schneizel, what’s her face and Euphemia.
I think, taking the crux of Season 1, and slowly expanding on what it is establishes, is vital. Lelouch simply fighting for Area 11, Japan, is a small thing. The Britannia Empire and Charles will hardlly care for or notice such a thing at first. Of course, when Lelouch actually takes ground and starts to conquer and obliterate the Britannian forces and liberate the surrounding areas, that’s when some heads will turn.
What to Change
The whole fight for Area 11 is interesting, but I think Code Geass needs to move out of it, and fairly soon in a remake. Lelouch succeeding and keeping Area 11 and expanding on his thirst for revenge is ideal. The Britanian empire actually losing a bit of land, and starting to finally turn an eye towards Zero and his movement should be interesting.
Instead of having Lelouch start from square one, change allies and pretty much be the centre of attention of the Britanian empire and Charles, its important to have him and his entire band of Knights be a small force combating a mammoth of an empire.
The issue then, should be more about defending what they have, and having to destroy Britannia before it destroys them. I’ll get a little more into that later, but essentially, the status quo cannot change too quickly or too often as it did in Code Geass R2.
Lelouch and his Knights need to stay together and be a small force against Britannia, whois so big and powerful that it, at first, doesn’t even acknowledge them as an issue. At the same time, Suzaku needs to oppose Lelouch and his ideals at every step. The whole shifting of all of Lelouch’s allies to his enemies, and his former friend becoming his partner, was nice for a quick end to the show, but if the show wants to become an epic, long tale that will keep people interested, it needs to maintain the rivalary and allies that Lelouch develops.
Marianne also needs to… stay dead. Orange needs to remain against Lelouch, and hate him, not become his mindful slave and pawn. The whole idea of Marianne being Charles’s partner and attempting to kill time, was a “meh” plot at best. Its much better to have her as the victim of the cruelties of the world, and forge Lelouch’s will to fight against such injustices.
The changes to the characters and their relationships, was a vital element for Code Geass R2, which was a show that had to end the series and the whole enigmatic concept in just 25 episodes. With a new, possibly longer franchise, its possible to extend some events and make everything seem more realistic and natural progressive.
The confrontation between Lelouch and his father, should remain largely the same, except for a few differences. Charles should hardly even know of Lelouch’s existence, let alone give him so much credit or worth. The clash and battle between them should be of both idealogical and tactical nature. Charles is king and ruler of an epicly large empire, and he’s kept ruling it with an iron first, and brutal, cold blooded actions. It would be much more interesting to see both Kings give their all and battle against each other in a war.
Lelouch needs to face this father figure, show him who he is, and ultimately surpass his father. When Leloouch takes down Charles eventually, there should be a fight for succession, with Schenizel or someone else taking over.
What Needs to be Expanded On
Another thing that Code Geass R2 simply didn’t have the time to do, was expand on a number of relations and the back story of the series. Marianne was killed, by whom? Why did Charles not protect her, why did she die? Who is Charles and where did he come from? What are his motivations for doing what he is. What is V.V’s relation to the whole thing, and what does C.C have to do with it. How does Kallen’s father figure into it? R2 did a choppy job of making it so Marianne never died, but even them, the events of the past were never explained.
Ultimately, The franchise needs to take its time and expand on its characters and world, give us everything we want to know, and do it in a way that doesn’t just purely amount to shock value and thriller moments. The potential for Code Geass is to sso much much more.
Honestly, I’m rather unimpressed with the side story OVA announcement. It seems to take place before Lelouch even came into the picture, and quite honestly, that really does put all interest away from Code Geass. Code Geass needs C.C, Lelouch and Suzaku to BE Code Geass XD
Personally, I’m most interested in and hoping for a remake, as I’ve stated. There’s also the theory that Lelouch is still alive, and that the new series will simply force him back into the swing of things. As much as I am a strong believer in Lelouch being alive and well, I simply don’t find the idea of continuing from R2 as intriguing.
Ultimately, this article is pretty much a super idealized version of what Code Geass could be, but even if not what I expect and crave it to be, I’m interested in seeing what it can be and what Takaguichi wanted Code Geass to be. I guess we’ll find out what’s in store soon enough, as Sunrise doesn’t seem to want to let the Code Geass franchise end any time soon.
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