Code Geass R2 Review — A-

The first time I watched Code Geass R2, I was disappointed. I’d been waiting for what seemed like decades for the conclusion to the first season. And it did have some serious flaws.

  • Ramping up the dial on the fanservice beyond the point of decency.
  • A pathetic end to the emperor as a mere mid-boss. Schneizel just couldn’t induce the same rage levels. Why dispatch the ultimate villain so cheaply?
  • Rollo. Towards the beginning he was so annoying and clingy.
  • Wasted time. I didn’t feel like the whole arc in China added much.
  • Power-ups. The combat was much less interesting this time around. This was mainly due to endless chains of power ups in mechs which determined the battles. Less tactics, more strategy, as Lelouch might say.

On my second time through, the show did leave a better impression. So the fanservice, power-ups and time usage were still irksome, but I did have a better appreciation for the Emperor’s fate and Rollo this time around. Sure, the Emperor’s death was still a let down, and I didn’t care much for Schneizel, but it was a great ending. Everything was resolved conclusively, and it fit well with what had happened so far. It’s similar with Rollo: he was annoying while he was alive, but he sure went out with a bang. I actually ended up feeling sorry for him.

The characters continue to be spectacular. There’s Lelouch, of course, but also the side characters. Even Orange managed to become a supreme badass. Lloyd and Cecile continued to be awesome as well. I especially liked  the choice of who remained loyal to Lelouch after the Black Knights betrayed him. Suzaku, Sayako, Orange, Lloyd, Cecile and Nina. Definitely not who you would have expected after the first season, but they all make a great deal of sense. The only disappointing character was Diethard. What a sellout.

The highlight of season two was the same as the highlight for season one: witnessing all the twists and turns. The use of collapsing buildings / cities / sand pits did start to get stale, but some new twists still freshened things up. I think the most badass moment was when Zero was exiled, and the million people donned Zero costumes and boarded the iceberg. Lelouch’s blackmail of the UN came in a close second. His ascension to the throne could have been more exciting, had they actually shown what happened.

  • Plot / Script – B – Less strong than the first season, but still enjoyable.
  • Characters – A – A diverse and entertaining cast.
  • Production – A – Looks nice, great evil laughs.
  • Overall – A-

Recommendations – Eden of the East, Spice and Wolf, Legend of Legendary Heroes

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8 thoughts on “Code Geass R2 Review — A-

  1. I was pleased with this season all in all, though I came to it knowing that people were crying “trainwreck” left, right and center. It’s not as good as the first season but it does the job, and in any case, the first season set the bar too high in retrospect. I guess I feel about these two seasons the same way I feel about ef’s two seasons.

  2. I was very pleased with Code Geass, overall, I’d rate it the same as you, while some things seemed irrelevant or annoying (Rollo, little douche) I really enjoyed watching.
    Treating the emperor like a “mid-boss”, as you said, I think added to the idea that you really couldn’t predict where the story was going. A showdown between Geass may have been too obvious for the writers, who thought it better (and I kind of agree) for essentially everyone to be engaged in this grand scale chess game (one of the biggest themes in the series). The battle set up for Lelouch’s legitimate dominance of the world. Which made it all the more damning when he was killed.

    1. Treating the emperor like a “mid-boss”, as you said

      Someone hasn’t played much Disgaea. 🙂

      The ending was great. I think that’s still probably one of the most enjoyable death scenes I’ve seen.

  3. I recently finished this show, and I must say I thought the second season was much better than the first. I mean, it has a lot of flaws, as you already pointed out, and the pacing is so fast it’s almost too fast. But I guess I prefer a quick-moving story over a slow one. There’s so much going on at all times, there’s never a moment of boredom. I really like Rollo (sorry), he is adorable, but his final scene with Lelouch contributed to making me like Lelouch so much more. I had a feeling what was going to happen to Lelouch at the end, but that did not in any way prepare me for all the feels. I cried so much.

    1. Yeah, no one could ever accuse R2 of being boring haha. I couldn’t stand Rollo, but his final scene with Lelouch was amazing and possibly made him worthwhile as a character.

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