Ever Present Curiosity

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Code Geass R2 episode 1 - Thoughts and impressions

DISCLAIMER: This entire post is about a Japanese anime with an alternate history theme. This post itself and the anime should not be condemned for any comments or statements because it is purely fictional.

Heavy spoilers for episode 1, read at your own risk.

I will be updating this post periodically as i gather my thoughts, watch the episode a few more times, come up with some theories, etc. Though I'll probably just share some thoughts on it.

Firstly, C.C is back. We see this in the first scene itself, so it's obvious she somehow managed to escape from under the sea, stuck in a mech with N amount of water pressure on top. *shrugs* Then again, can she even die? I suspect the only real way to kill her is to blow off large chunks of her body. Not that I wanna see it happen! >.<'

Another thing that anyone would obviously ask is "where is Jeremiah aka Orange-kun?" Well, even the answer became rather apparent in awhile when he was revealed in the OP. What kind of new twist and drama will this fallen knight offer to the series? We'll just have to find out. Obviously, he'll be against Zero and the Black Knights though anyone who followed the hints given by the producer would know that Jeremiah isn't part of the Knights of Round.

Moving on, we see Lelouch in a school setting, with Villetta chasing him demanding he turn up for class. She chases him around and quite obviously he escaped. Mind's still as brilliant as ever, first making a smoke screen with the chemicals in the science lab, then getting Rivalz to run around with a wig that made him look like Lelouch. If you ask me, everything must have been planned out already. Too convenient for the right chemicals to be where he wanted and Rivalz wearing a wig suddenly, no? Lelouch escaped with Rollo, his "brother", and went off to a building (forgot the name) to gamble, much like what happened in the 1st episode of season one. In fact, a large part of R2 episode one felt like a parody of the 1st episode in season one.

Now at this point I'm sure a lot of you are scratching your heads. Almost no questions were answered, other than C.C and Orange-kun being alive, and the higher echelon of the Black Knights in high security prison. We get more questions instead. Lelouch and gang were supposed to be 3rd year students, why have they not graduated? Have they been retained? Or is Ashford academy is an escalating academy? Shirley, she should have known who Lelouch is, has she come to terms with what has happened? Seeing as she is behaving normally, has she forgiven Lelouch?

The OP comes next, and reveals quite a lot of things. Though sometimes one shouldn't really take OPs or EDs at face value (like FS/N), most of the time it should reveal or reflect what is in the show.First random thing is, C.C's new dress! It's kinda sexy, even if I do say so myself.

Next up, Lelouch's apparent ability to control his geass once more, a fearsome thing. This is one of the things that plagued me for quite awhile now since the last season, when he suddenly lost control of his powers. How did it happen? Is his powers now truly back? If not, will he continue hiding in the school? Lots of questions, no answers as of yet.

Then, we see a scene of another geass user, the geass symbol reflected in the right eye. That geass user seems to be the Britannian emperor himself, an ominous sign, and would certainly make the people on AS forums go nuts again; what with their theory that Lelouch's mother and sending the siblings to Japan being a part of his grand scheme to create another cruel and evil emperor like himself to succeed the throne. Pretty far fetched, but it is kinda viable.

Next is the heart-shaped pendant, I don't recall ever seeing it. However, it seems to hold a lot of significance. What is it? Another question. I hope by this point you haven't start pulling your hair out yet, this post isn't ending anytime soon. Then sadly, we have what seems to be a Kyrios and Virtue clone. Though it is Sunrise after all, I personally don't think there's any problems with them reusing their own designs but maybe they could have come up with something new. Seriously, I've never liked the Kyrios or Virtue as mechs, prefer Exia more. There's something about a melee mech using vibrating blades that really interests me. Beams and giant cannons are just too unreal for me, give me swords any day.

Moving along, we soon get a scene of the Chinese faction, which we can assume will play significant role this season. IMO, they're probably Chinese rebels. They will offer their assistance to Zero, and in return will likely ask that he assist them in overthrowing the corrupt Chinese government. You scratch my back, I scratch your's. Mutual benefit. Plus, the scale of this season's war will be on the big stage, the entire world. Thus, it'll make sense that Lelouch will likely accept the proposition.

Reappearance of Jeremiah aka Orange-kun! I mentioned this in one of the earlier paragraphs so I'm not going to repeat myself. The only thing I haven't mentioned is that he seems to be wearing something over his left eye.

Lots of other random things to note, such as what seems to be an invasion. Nina is alive, Ohgi and Villetta seems like they might actually patch up and get together. Rakshata seems to have gain some new loli assistants, another new character that I'm totally clueless of, someone who looks to be Kallen's step-mother (why on Earth is she in the OP?)

That's the OP, a final note is a black King chess piece flipped into the air, seemingly symbolizing the return of the Black King, Lelouch. You'll understand the significance of the difference later when I cover the later parts.

After the OP, we see Lelouch going of to Babel Tower to gamble, bringing along his "brother". I like how the episode title precedes the other scenes after the OP sequence, "The day the demon awakens". Despite what many think, Lelouch is probably going to be a lot more evil than we remember him to be. Lelouch thinks to himself, of the Black Rebellion, and the consequences of the failed rebellion. Area 11 were relegated to a remedial area territory, which I assume means the evelens'll be even worse off than being the slaves they already are.

The next scene shows that there are people who are actually keep track of Lelouch. They are the Intelligence division, and seem to be directly under the orders of the emperor himself. It makes a lot of sense for him to want to keep track of Lelouch. Though if Lelouch was captured, why release him in the first place?

Unlike last season, Lelouch at this point was not gambling for money to secretly fund a future rebellion, but was actually gambling to "kill time". One wonders if the memory alteration even affected his memory of the death of his mother, but a later scene suggests that this is not so.

The "reformed" Lelouch has become insensitive, and accepts the circumstances that surrounds him as they are. Though he still held on to his ego, and asked Kallen, whom he bumped into not long after arriving at the gambling den, not to push her values on him. What he did not realize of course, was that she was merely repeating the exact same words he used on her last season, and she replied in more or less the same way he did, or rather reacted same way.

"People with no power must bear it with patience, even if it's towards the wrong people." Socially, this is actually quite true, but personally I'd tell Kallen the same thing Lelouch did. After all, I'm a pretty blunt person; I'm not into tolerating certain things.

Next this fugly dude, who thinks he can get away with putting his hands on Kallen (BASTARD!), is challenged to a chess match by Lelouch who didn't like his attitude. (CFP ma :P) The fugly bastard is supposedly a pro in chess, but he got his ass handed to him easily be Lelouch. As if he could beat someone who has been playing chess on the larger scale. One thing to note here is Lelouch's apparent disgust when the emperor was mentioned. Though I'm not sure if it's because the hate was not erased, and is still there.

The scene then shifts to a high security prison, where Tamaki is being ushered back into his cell. Tamaki still believes in Zero, though Chiba claims Zero is a traitor. Ougi thinks there may have been a reason, and Chiba scoffs at the argument. Toudou then silences all of them and says Zero is dead anyway.

Scene jumps back to the Babel tower, where Lelouch smugly calls for checkmate, officially declaring the defeat of the fugly self-proclaimed Black King. Dude's a sore loser and an ass, so he decides to frame Lelouch and say he cheated. How on Earth can one actually cheat in chess with so many people witnessing the match, is beyond my ability to comprehend. Of course obviously, the dude just wants to save face, which makes me wonder if he's an ah beng at heart (probably is).

The Black Knight remnants chose to attack at that very moment (what a coincidence!), and a huge explosion rocks the Babel Tower. Kallen immediately goes into kung-fu fighting mode (Everybody loves kung-fun fighting! HU! sorry can't resist ^o^ ), kicks the fella with critical face problem in...the face. Then KOs the other 2 bodyguards before running off with Lelouch.

Somewhere else, the new victim...err I mean governor of Area 11 greets the Chinese delegation and spouts some high and mighty crap about them not understanding Britannia. Mr. Kung-fu bodyguard felt insulted, especially when they call his shiny toothpick an antique and decides to relief the two guards of their belts. (This is what you get for insulting Chinese kung-fu!) He then throws back the same thing the governor said to his face.

More explosions, and scene goes back to the Babel Tower, where Kallen lost Lelouch. Rollo drags Lelouch off, and the intelligence division attacks, with the person in charge brushing off the governor and claiming that they received direct orders from the emperor.

Next, the modded Burai drops in near Lelouch and Rollo and extends a hand as if asking to come. The intelligence division arrives next, and Rollo happily thinks it's the Britannian army. Of course, he's wrong. The intelligence division is not interested in keeping any eye witnesses around, and proceeds to shoot everyone in sight, including their own citizens.

We then find out what's the thing hedged near Kallen's cleavage (though I already knew), it's not tip, but the activation key for the Gurren Nishiki. Of course if you already know before hand like me you'll know that the Gurren no longer has it's magic right arm, though I'll venture and guess it won't stay that way.

Lelouch and Rollo have already escaped to a safe place by now, or so they thought. As they were talking, a Black Knight remnant tried to shoot Rollo, probably some grunt who doesn't know his leader's true identity (and I doubt the grunts are supposed to know). Lelouch pushes Rollo away from the path of the shot, but gets knocked off the floor by another explosion (do they store gas tanks in this building or something??).


Okay, from this point on I'll stop, as I've addressed the remainder of the episode in my previous post. I prefer to use the rest of this post to share some thoughts.

Seen the heart shaped medallion? Is that something new? Not sure, I'll probably need to watch the first season again to find out. Sad thing is, I don't have the time. Do you know how much anime series and episodes I have piled up that I haven't gotten around to watching? This was never possible before. Ever since I started working, this has happened. *cries*

(Continue...another time. I wanna hack through the anime backlog after saying that. grrr)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Even if I reach out my hands, they cannot grasp anything.

That which can never be obtained, shall always be the most beautiful thing.

Though I long for the warmth that is lost, it can never be regained.

At times it feels like we are seeing the same stars at night, but that is merely a fleeting hope.

Is it possible to go through life lonely and deprived? Friends offer companionship but most realize it is never enough. However, not everyone will manage to meet with that special person they secretly hope for, despite being somewhat contented with the situation. Many times I look at my friends who are happy with their other half, with a wistful look, and an obscure pain that I was never able to fully comprehend for many years plagued me. Even now I wonder, was I merely envious? Or was I feeling lonely deep inside.

Is it wrong to feel this way? I dunno. Some think it is, but desperation is not a problem for me. Rather, every once in a while I lapse into a sort of "low", where I'm a bit moody for no reason, and all I wish is for someone who can understand. But how many girls do I interact? And how many will honestly look at me as a candidate?

I've had people give me weird looks before when I told them I've never dated anyone before, though they're the minority. It bothers me when they start getting arrogant about how girls flock to them like cats going for catnip. Am I jealous? Heck no, I have no intentions of having a horde of rabid lala mui coming after me. But, I can't help but feel lonely every now and then, and it sucks when you've not had a heart to heart talk with people over...issues of the heart, for years; like me.

*sighs* No point whining over it. Back to work.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring 2008 - Code Geass R2

Okay so the continuation of the series that I've been anticipating for months is finally here. I don't care what others think, but the second season of Code Geass can only be summed into a few singular words, such as "epic" or "awesome". IMO, people who don't watch this, are weird. But that's just me anyway.

In any case, I'll post up some screenies first, and update gradually throughout today.

She's alive!The power of the king restored
If you are a fan of Code Geass, wait no longer, the second season of this awesomely epic anime has started as of April 6th 2008. I won't provide that many screenshots, cuz I'm just plain lazy. In any case, the 1st episode starts with who obviously would be C.C leading the remnants of the Black Knights in an operation to recover their charismatic leader, Zero (who is actually Lelouch).

After that brief scene, the episode moves to Ashford academy, where Lelouch is located at, seemingly living the normal peaceful life; until Villetta, now a teacher at the school, decided to hunt him down and drag him off to...remedial P.E classes. *rolls eyes* Lelouch evades her after a relatively short chase, and gets away on Rivalz's bike along with his...brother, Rollo. (yeah I know, if you haven't read any of the spoilers you'd be wondering "wtf?!")

Reminiscent of the 1st season, Lelouch was heading off to gamble with his favorite game of chess as his means of battle. Except this time they go to what seemed to be a casino instead of a private house. On the way, the witness the execution of Japanese (aka Elevens) by the new governor of Japan (aka Area 11), and Lelouch commented on how the current situation in Japan was due to the foolish actions and rebellion of the Black Knights and Zero.

Fast forward, at the casino, they witness the depravity of the Britannians, and Lelouch bumped into Kallen. The interesting part of that scene was Kallen repeating what Lelouch once told her during the 1st season, but Lelouch of course (by now if you haven't already figure out, please go bang your head on a desk somewhere lol) finds it disgusting and told her not to "push her values" onto him. Next some moron decides he wants to claim Kallen as his merchandise (OMG STUPID PIG YOU DESERVED TO DIE OMG I JUST SPOILED BLEH). Lelouch decides he will be hero and kicks the guy's butt (metaphorically) in chess.

Bla bla bla, Black Knights appear and people start panicking and running all over. Yada-yada, to cut a long review short, Kallen tries to drag her beloved Zero away, but got separated with him and a blast rocked the building and knocked them off their feet. Rollo runs off with Lelouch, they hide somewhere, some idiot tried to kill them, Lelouch got knocked off as a result, and miraculously survived the fall thanks to...whatever you call those sheet of plastics.

Anyway he goes "omg I must save my only brother!" (talk about messed up memories), and starts finding his way back up, only to stumble unto a scene of carnage, where Britannians and Japanese both lay dead (quite obviously the work of the Britannian army, rather than the Black Knights as fuddle-minded Lelouch believed). Cue C.C, who came in the old version Burai, comes out of her cockpit and says that she know who he truly is.

Lelouch enters into stoned mode and approached her, but before he could, C.C got shot through the heart (ouch!) and toppled over. Bla bla bla, cutting things short again, Lelouch regained his memories and power with a kiss from the hawt C.C. *fanboy mode activated*

Anything after this, I'll be darn if I spoil it. Suffice to say, I'm personally quite satisfied with the first episode. Now the only worry I have in mind are unrelated things like whether there'll be another effing parking ticket on my car windscreen, or if I have to OT to finish some work. -_-' *sighs*
Now the rebellion restarts*evil grin*

Disclaimer: Please excuse any typo, grammar mistakes, or sentence structuring errors. I'm tired, I'm at work, I'm busy, and most importantly I'm lazy. So spare me. +_+

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spring 2008 anime preview

Another season has come! But unfortunately unlike usual, I don't have the time to actually do research on the series I want to watch....yet. I'll probably be doing this over the course of a few days since I'll be including a whole slew of other anime that are from previous seasons, which I haven't gotten around to watching yet.

That being said, I'll just do the usual and put the link to Random Curiosity here and you guys can just at the preview for yourselves. This should give you guys an idea of what to look out for this season.

Spring 2008 anime preview

Tentatively, I'm definitely going to follow Code Geass R2, Kanokon, Soul Eater, Vampire Knight, and Macross Frontier. Anything else will depend on the various anime blogs I read, Animesuki forums, or whatever that can convince me. I might possibly even watch Da Capo II (will stream and watch the first season to see if it's worth it before downloading, and there's an outside chance I might watch To Love-ru; just for the fanservice if nothing else.

That would mean I'm potentially watching another 5-8 series this season. Ahh...the madness continues.

Now playing: the brilliant green - Ash Like Snow
via FoxyTunes