The Codified ROSSMAN
First of all, you do know that you have to have seen the original Code Geass series before even attempting Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion - R2, its direct sequel, right? Second of all, even after seeing all of the original season you will still be confused as shit on a donkey's head with the first half of the first episode of Code Geass: R2 (Lelouch has a brother but no sister Nunnally? Villetta's a teacher at Lulu's school and not a Knightmare Frame pilot? Life's all peachy and keen in Japan?!). Even when familiar faces show up (Kallen, C.C.) and act strange (compared to how we left them in season 1), you still wonder if this is not just an alternate reality retelling of the original Code Geass, like any of the shitty Tenchi spin-offs that followed that original OVA oh so many years ago. But soon everything is made clear, and you're happy (ecstatic actually) that they don't ignore the happenings of the previous series and especially its helluva cliffhanger ending. But I digress.
As the entire world wide web is aware, I worship at the feet of Lelouch and Zero, and praise his/their brain(s) and stare in wonder at the size of his/their... chutzpah. Well, I praise that fictional character's traits and personality, but most especially I kiss the feet of the Gooch, who directs the lad on what to do and how to do it. I remember originally being afraid that season 2 would be pussified and toned way the hell down from the 1st seeing as it would be shown at a much earlier hour than its predecessor... But the first episode totally allayed my fears. Most excellently!
(SPOILERS for season 1 from here on out if you haven't seen it yet, foo'!) Things start out one year after Zero's Black Rebellion ended unsuccessfully. Zero hasn't been seen since, the Black Knights have been in hiding after being routed and pushed back from their attack on the Britannian forces in Tokyo, and it's apparently been a relatively quiet time for the occupied Japan... I mean "Area 11." As stated above, we run into Lelouch at the start of the episode, but he's back to happily attending the Britannian Academy with all his old friends and doesn't seem to have a care in the world, except to escape his gym teacher Villetta's pestering demands that he take a make up P.E. class, or see her in the empty locker room, or use her like a naked trampoline or something. So Lelouch escapes from Villetta's grasp (by being the ultimate strategist that he is), and runs away to the city with his kid brother in tow in order to play some high-stakes chess against some full-of-themselves aristocrats... Just like the beginning of the first series. I was really starting to get nervous at about this time, but soon at the casino/gambling hall Lelouch literally bumps into one uber-sexy cocktail waitress who is all too familiar to us (just not Lelouch). SHE knows him though, and soon after the reunion of sorts all hell breaks loose as the remnants of the Black Knights charge in and start blowing shit up left and right. Lelouch is scared to be caught up in the battle at first, but after crashing through the ceiling an invading Knightmare Frame opens up in front of him, and its mysterious occupant lays a big ol' wet one right on his lips.... And then Zero is back!
Immediately Lelouch takes command of the situation and then has to start going on the offensive again (both against the Holy Britannian Empire and in order to make his remaining Black Knights think that this year-long sabbatical was actually part of his long term plans for victory). Lelouch is such a know-it-all dick, but dammit I love him for it! At least he's not a traitorous douche like his Japanese patricidal ex-friend, Kururugi, who's even MORE of an asshole in this series. Oh, and yet ANOTHER giant enemy douchebag shows up on top of that... Holy fuck! The tension that slowly built up through out season one is already in overdrive by the third episode of this series. And I LOVE it!
Anyway, the politics in R2 take more of a front seat than they did even in series 1. Some of the political mumbo-jumbo in this one is so layered and confusing at times that you wonder just how in the hell Lelouch could possibly either get out of a certain situation or use it to his advantage... And by fucking golly he does (both gets out of dirty double crosses and flips them to his own agenda). He has plans and contingency plans for every possibility it seems... Except when 2 new strategists enter the fray. That's when things started to get interesting again for me (well, this show was always interesting, but it's really just another case of Lelouch doing the same stuff he was doing in the first season, but just on a slightly bigger stage this go-around). Lelouch's half brother (not the bearded pedophile who reeeeally wants to marry the Chinese throne's child Empress, and not the one who he killed in the first series, and not even any of the dozens of others that he looks down on, but the one and only one that Lelouch actually fears and admits is his brainy rival) and the Chinese warrior/strategist both come to play important roles and become the biggest thorns in Zero's plans for ultimate revenge against his dicky emperor father and all that his he stands for.
Throw into this politico-mess more Geass users, more Geass givers, a mad attempt to bring Ragnarok/Armeggedon upon the Earth, people switching sides like a global game of Red Rover, resurrections of characters we were led to believe were ka-put, more flair than 2 Giant Robos could shake a stick at, and giant "What a Twist!"s pretty much every other episode, and you know you'll have an interesting ride for the first 24 episodes. And I did... But things just felt a bit, well, off for most of this time. Yeah, there were surprising and painful deaths, tweaks to Zero's schemes and calculations due to monkey-wrenches being tossed into his well laid out gears, and enough drama to give the cast of The Hills a run for their money, but it was all simply a matter of "been there, did that, bought the T-shirt, cut the shirt up into strips and tied her up with it while I shat all over her face...." It was just the same thing as the first series — which didn't make it bad (it was still two tons of fun, and a scoop of cookie-dough ice-cream), just not as original as the original. But then came the final episode, good ol' number 25. Well, honestly, there were a few really good eps that acted as a great build-up to the final episode where-in the entire cast is shaken to its core and people start doing things for reasons that you cannot fathom without seeing it firsthand (and done believably enough at that)... But that final episode. Holy goddamn. I couldn't watch or even read anything for a couple of days afterward because I didn't want to stop reflecting on it, and also because I knew that whatever I watched next just couldn't compare to Code Geass: R2's final bow. Near the end, everything that Lelouch, Kururugi, the rebels, the elitists, the soldiers, the scientists, and the students do appears to be so chaotic at first, but the final episode brings such a fucking beautiful order to it all that I was completely caught off guard (ready to simply write off a rushed ending as "well, I guess they couldn't think of a way to make all this work... Too bad, it could have been something..."). What I love most about the last episode is that nothing is 100% clear to anybody in the cast of characters except for one person... And that person can never talk to anybody about it for as long as he/she lives (vague on purpose... You really don't want this spectacular shit spoiled).
That's pretty much all I can say about this show: It continues with the brilliant storytelling of the first part, throws in an assload of twists and turns, and then ends on such a fantastic high note that it will be very difficult for anybody (even The Gooch) to top in the future. Yes, there is a whooooole lot more talky-talky that takes place in R2, but you really need it in order to keep up with everything that's going on. Yes, we do learn why the Britannian Emperor sent Nunnally and Lelouch to Area 11 in the first place, we find out about C.C.'s past, my fears that the ending would turn into a rip-off of either Gungrave or Death Note were (thank-Christfully) unfounded, and I think that pretty much everybody (good, bad, ugly, and annoying) got what they deserved by the final end credits... Well, I mean except that one chick, but I meant in general. This is what it's all about, baby.
Okay... So I think that after a year I finally wrapped my head around just what the fuck happened in that Code Geese show. Some punk kid wants to start a revolt against the British Prime Minister in Japan, and he has a blind sister, and a bunch of goth followers who really like to dress in black, and then a finale that just STOPS. That was not fair.
So anyway, then a year later this Geese Code season 2 began, and apparently everything that happened in the first season wasn't real... What the fuck?! Oh, but then it turns out some people just had amnesia, and it really did happen, but then that patricidal douchebag became a super knight, and then the chick with the powers got amnesia, and then people kept switching sides, brother turned on brother, giant nukes were tossed around like beach balls, the blind could see, mothers weren't really dead, and then lots more deaths occurred. I... Honestly, what the goddamn fuck-a-doodle? You need a Cliff's Notes book open and your finger on the pause button while watching this show... That, or you really shouldn't be baked and drunk off your ass when you see it I guess.