Friday, August 3, 2007

Code Geass 24 & 25 (Season Finale)

Finally got to watch Code Geass' season 1 finale after such a long wait. Impression? As usual, the story progression begs for more surprises (albeit not shocking ones). The invasion plan of the Order of the Black Knights gone haywire right after Lelouch decided to turn tails and chase after his sister Nunnally who was captured by V2 (correct me if I'm wrong...). This really shows the importance of the morale of an army. Although Toudo is just as good a strategist as Lelouch (or the other way round perhaps), but the situation turned ugly not because of their strategy failing, but the confidence and morale of the army dropped largely (Diethard commended on the same thing as well). The whole season still ends in a cliff hanger after such a long wait, and the episodes wasn't anything more spectacular than the usual. Seriously, I didn't think it'd make a big difference now with or without episode 24 and 25. However, I do concur that if the series went straight up to 25 (without stopping for the long wait), then it'd be a tid bit more significant, giving a proper season ending for all the main characters, Lelouch, Suzaku, C.C., V.V., Nunnally, Karen, and the likes.

With 24 and 25 wrapping up the whole season, lets see what are the more memorable scenes:
Straight from my mind, I'd think the most memorable one is the existence of Mao, appearing in the episode Geass v Geass (episode 14). His Geass of mind reading which is the biggest advantage of the genius Lelouch is intriguing. A resemblance of Death Note's L vs Kira(Light/Raito) perhaps; both trying to outwit each other. Although Mao's arc main objective is to introduce to Lelouch the danger of overusing his/her Geass, and the fact that there is actually more than 1 Geass user like himself.

My favourite skirmish scene is of course the first battle Lelouch confronted. Lelouch had only used his Geass to obtain a Sutherland. The rest of the battle was fought with his wit and strategy against the Britannian Empire! Of course the rest of the battles that follows through the whole season is great, but there is too much a use of his Geass to impress me. The second most commendable one would definitely be the battle at Narita where the Order of the Black Knights guise their attempt to trap Cornelia by defending the stronghold at Narita.

Battle scene? The thing about Code Geass that separates it from the likes of Gundam and many other mecha animes is their little focus on mecha battles. Most of the battles were short, with most emphasis on their war-scale strategies. Any fight scene between the two aces, Suzaku of the Britannian and Karen of the Black Knights is great. Other than that, a good fight scene would be at episode 24, Cornelia vs Gawain. This fight really shows off to us that Lelouch despite his great planning strategies is a weak combat fighter, even with the Gawain, he stands no chance against Cornelia's Gloucester.

Code Geass is certainly a great anime, one which I would definitely rank it above Suzumiya Haruhi, on par with Claymore. Looking forward to season 2!

-End of post-

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Naruto Manga Chapter 364

The Naruto Shippuuden arc of the manga had always been a bit lame and uninteresting (IMO); The story plot sees little progression of the characters. Naruto had gone back to becoming weak again (for the purpose of more character development in the future?). Sasuke's power is even further apart now from Naruto who fought as equal during the fight at the waterfall (3 years ago?).

Furthermore, the almighty Akatsuki when first introduced seems strong enough to take down even the most powerful jounins like eating bread; with their level of power at no less than a -Kage's level. However, 4 already fallen like the leaves in Autumn. Sasori's fight, being the first death of the Akatsuki was commendable. The same could be said to Shikimaru's fight with Hidan; all brains with little brawns. However Kakuzu's fate seems a bit down-played, the seemingly immortal Kakuzu is taken down easily by Kakashi and Naruto. He should've been more experienced (considering the fact that he even got the first Hokage's heart!!) to even be touched by Naruto, let alone a killing blow which takes away 2 hearts of his. Deidara's one was laughable! Although we all expected Sasuke to win, but honestly, looking at how he fought, just gives you the feeling that mangaka Masashi Kishimoto got a bit lazy thinking of a better ending for him. Oh, and don't forget how the all mighty and powerful Orochimaru lost to Sasuke (in spite of being sick and all that...) just like that.

Moreover, Akatsuki's objective of world domination seems very childish to me. When their objective was first announced, I thought it must've been some form of a joke; maybe Masashi Kishimoto really got bored of thinking for a better reason for Akatsuki to exist. Seriously, I stopped chasing up closely for the latest chapters of Naruto already, only downloading and reading a few chapters at a time when I'm free/remember to do so. However Chapter 364 begs to differ.

If any speculation was right, it would perhaps be that Uchiha Itachi was really a good person, joining Akatsuki just to be an undercover to discover their real true purpose. Pain, the leader of Akatsuki does looks really a lot like the 4th Hokage, but for the few dots in the middle of his face. Luckily, the pathetic purpose of world domination is really just for show (how glad!!). There seems to be another purpose IS definitely a conspiracy behind Akatsuki. As expected (again), the seemingly carefree and childish Tobi (who did nothing but running away from enemy so far) is strong, possibly the strongest in Akatsuki. And, Tobi (Ok, he didn't die when Deidara exploded! Yippee!!) is actually the real black hand of the Akatsuki. With his eye that shouts Sharingan, he is actually Uchiha Madara (if you would recall, when Sasuke entered Naruto's vision with the Kyuubi, the Kyuubi did mention Madara's name...). It really seems that the fateful night of Uchiha's clan is the doing of Madara instead of Itachi after all.

I guess the story plot could only be more interesting from now on. This chapter really spices up the whole Naruto Shippuuden since it first published! I really look forward to the continuation of it!

-End of post-

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