Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 anime series cover art
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2

Season Overview

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch R2 / コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ 続編) is the second season of Code Geass. I reviewed the first season way back in 2018, and I’ve only just recently gotten around to watching the second. So naturally, there were a lot of things I forgot.

However, one thing I did remember from the first season was how it ended. It ended with a standoff between Lelouch and Suzaku, with a gunshot ringing out after the screen cut to black. This was a great ending for that season because of the suspense it left the viewer with.

Unfortunately, R2 does away with that suspense by effectively retconning the end of the first season. It wasn’t literally retconned, but it was revealed that neither of them was shot, Lelouch’s memories were sealed, and the series continues on as if that scene didn’t happen. The scene is still canon, it just no longer matters.

I’m also pretty sure that there’s a year gap between the first season and R2. Nothing much happened during this gap though because, without Zero (Lelouch) to lead them, the Black Knights’ rebellion came to a standstill. It’s not until Lelouch regains his memories (this was obviously going to happen so it’s not a spoiler) that things pick back up.

Once the rebellion starts rolling again, it’s back to business as usual. Lelouch is using people as pawns and playing 5-D chess with them to achieve his goals. This can be entertaining at some points, but I definitely wasn’t as much of a fan of it this time around compared to three years ago.

I guess that’s to be expected though, considering I feel the same way about Death Note. I liked that series more years ago than I do now.

Things I Don’t Understand

From here on out there are going to be major spoilers for the series. If you don’t want everything to be spoiled, including the final episode, I suggest you stop reading at this point.

Now, many of the things I didn’t quite understand are probably my own fault for waiting 2.5 years to watch the second season. I’m sure there were a lot of things that would have made sense if I had just watched the seasons back to back. And one of those things is how people get Geass in the first place.

I understand that Lelouch received his Geass from C.C. and the emperor received his from V.V. That much is clear. But was it ever explained how the other people got their Geass? What about Rolo and Jeremiah? And I think there was some other random Geass user in the first season.

C.C. eating pizza from the anime series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
C.C. eating pizza

The next thing I don’t understand definitely isn’t my fault. Why does everyone trust Lelouch so much? There were multiple times when Lelouch outright betrayed people and then they forgave him and trusted him again just because he said he wouldn’t do it again (he did).

Lelouch betraying people and not even trying to hide the fact that he was betraying them became such a major recurring event that I could no longer suspend my disbelief when people trusted him.

There was also the whole thing about Suzaku nuking a city that infuriated me to no end. Nina built the weapon and repeatedly told Suzaku to use it. Then once he used it, suddenly she was shocked by the damage it caused. You can’t be shocked that your weapon of mass destruction caused mass destruction. Oh, and then Nunnally somehow wasn’t vaporized even though she totally should have been.

End of Lelouch

Honestly, I wasn’t much of a fan of R2. I liked the first season back when I watched it. But R2 just seemed to have so many contradictions and unnatural developments that I couldn’t get properly invested in the story or most of the characters. That is, until the end.

The end of Code Geass is often considered one of the best endings to any anime. And now that I’ve experienced it, even though I already knew what was going to happen since this is an anime from 2008, I can see why. The fact that I knew what was coming didn’t matter — it was still a great ending.

At the end of the series, Lelouch becomes the ruler of the world, only to be killed during his victory parade by Suzaku dressed as Zero. This was all planned beforehand by Lelouch and Suzaku — probably around three-quarters of the way into the season.

Zero killing Lelouch from the anime series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
Zero killing Lelouch

Why does this ending work so well? Because it resolves a lot, but not all, of the loose ends of the series. I mean, I don’t remember what happened to C.C. in the end, for example. But I also don’t really care about her anyway.

This ending allows Suzaku to get his revenge on Lelouch, it allows Lelouch to create a peaceful world for Nunnally, it removes the perceived antagonist of the world from existence, and it restores Zero as the champion of the people. And it does all of this without feeling like a Deus ex machina because we already knew that there was some agreement between Lelouch and Suzaku.

Honestly, I think R2 is worth watching specifically for the ending. Sure, the rest wasn’t that good, in my opinion. But the ending makes up for it, which isn’t something I often say.

Conclusion

Overall, I think Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 is a 7/10. That’s lower than my score of the first season. But I get the feeling that if I rewatched the first season I would lower my score for it.

As for the OPs and EDs, I didn’t think any of them were that special. I don’t remember which of the OPs it was, but one of them had a poorly drawn/animated horse that I thought was funny. And all I remember about the EDs is that they had nice art, but there wasn’t anything else to them.

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2 Replies to “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2”

  1. Personally, I thought Code Geass R2 was a train wreck. Taniguchi Gorou, the director, even apologized to fans for Code Geass R2 although the apology has been lost since it was first posted onto the Internet over 10 years ago.

    1. Most of the season was definitely a train wreck. I was going to give it a 5/10 until the final 5 or so episodes. I thought the ending really saved the season and tied most of it up neatly.

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