Ep. 023 - Checkmate!

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Post by The Fowl Sorcerous » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:29 am

Speaking of Wing/UC comparisons Rommefeller always struck me as feeling more like the Crossbone Vanguard or the Zanscare Empire, mostly in the way they use Relana as a figurehead like Berrah rona and Maria in each of their respective cases.

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Post by Kavik Ryx » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:56 pm

The Fowl Sorcerous wrote:Speaking of Wing/UC comparisons Rommefeller always struck me as feeling more like the Crossbone Vanguard or the Zanscare Empire, mostly in the way they use Relana as a figurehead like Berrah rona and Maria in each of their respective cases.
Yes, but unlike Romafeller, Cosmo Bablyonia and Zanscare had the foresight to keep their puppet princess under control. The fact that Romafeller folded to Relena so easily really makes their defeat so pathetic and them so spineless. Their supposed to be evil capitalists, they could at least play the part.

Speaking of endings, I need to make one comment on it. Seeing Zechs as the final villain makes the ending absolutely stupid, yet once you accept that it was all a performance that Zechs and Treize planned, then the last ten episodes just end up to be really anticlimactic. They are unable to make a spectacle of it, and how their characters have been developed makes them unfit for the roles they take. Also, I find it hard to believe that none of the protagonists, except possibly Heero and Noin realized what was going on, and even then they don't even hint at knowing. Now I'm just ranting, but the lack of any dramatic force really kill the ending.

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Post by AmuroNT1 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:14 pm

As much as I like Cecily, I certainly wouldn't say that she was nearly as strong-willed as Relena circa F91; Crossbone is an entirely different matter. Additionally, they had intimated that there was strong resistance in Romefeller to Dermail's hawkish attitude, but they lacked a single strong and charismatic leader to oppose him, which is what Relena became.

To offer the counterpoint of respectful disagreement, I think the way Wing ended was about as good as could be hoped for. Several other Gundam series seem to rely upon the "linchpin villain", the baddest of the bad, whose death pretty much destroys the entire enemy military all by itself. Wing's whole point is that war isn't something that can be pinned on a single person and solved overnight with a single death. It's something that requires large-scale, conscious effort to end, and Zechs and Treize, while good men, decided to play the villains, willingly giving up their lives for the sake of peace.

As for so few people catching onto Zechs' true intentions, consider that Heero and Noin were the only cast members, aside from Treize, who had any extended interaction with him and could possibly possess insight into his methodology. The other pilots barely interacted with him (in fact, Trowa was the only other one to ever see him outside of Tallgeese or Epyon IIRC), and up to that point they only knew of him as "OZ's ace", then as "White Fang's leader", so it's not like they put a whole lot of thought into his motivations.
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Post by Toru Masuta » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:09 pm

Nice episode as always--though I'm afraid to say that I, too, thought that Code Geass Season One had some similarities to Dune. I'm afraid to do a forum search, just in case it WAS me who posted about that and I had just forgotten, because then my favorite Internet Heroes just called me out. :-(

I don't want to derail a perfectly good thread, but if you've read Dune recently, there are a few interesting similarities that one can point out, which make me wonder if someone on the staff read the books at one point or another. I definitely wouldn't agree it's a "ripoff" or even really borrows very much from Dune, but the early episodes definitely gave me that impression that someone was at least familiar with it. How well read are Japanese otaku on classic Western sci-fi novels, I wonder?

Anyways, keep up the good work. I always think the episode reviews run a bit too long, but I believe I only think that because the rest of your segments feel too short in comparison, and they're so good I really want more of them. I'd rather have longer news sections and stuff like the Code Geass Q&A and slightly shorter episode recaps/reviews. The podcast seems best at discussing things, rather than recapping things, I guess.

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Post by Chris » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:18 pm

Toru Masuta wrote:Nice episode as always--though I'm afraid to say that I, too, thought that Code Geass Season One had some similarities to Dune. I'm afraid to do a forum search, just in case it WAS me who posted about that and I had just forgotten, because then my favorite Internet Heroes just called me out. :-(

I don't want to derail a perfectly good thread, but if you've read Dune recently, there are a few interesting similarities that one can point out, which make me wonder if someone on the staff read the books at one point or another. I definitely wouldn't agree it's a "ripoff" or even really borrows very much from Dune, but the early episodes definitely gave me that impression that someone was at least familiar with it. How well read are Japanese otaku on classic Western sci-fi novels, I wonder?
No, it wasn't you. Yes, there are a few surface similarities, in that you have outcast royalty (Paul and Lelouch) using oppressed people (Fremen and Japanese) to fight evil empires. But that's about where it ends. The person who was making these sort of ridiculous comparisons was saying that Lelouch would seize power of Britannia, marry Kallen, and start a Britannian-Japanese dynasty to rule the world. Obviously, only the first part of that happened, but there were a lot more examples where he was trying to stretch events from Code Geass to fit Dune.
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Post by hawk of endymion » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:55 pm

The Straight Talk Express once again setting the record straight.
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Post by GN-003 Kyrios » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:22 pm

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Post by Toru Masuta » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:53 pm

Ah, okay. I think there's a lot of similarities myself, but I wouldn't say there's anything that specific.

The early episodes in Season One did seem to kind of stress the importance of Sakuradite and how Area was one of the major sources of it. It really seemed that the story was leading up to that being a major plot point, maybe with the Black Knights taking control of the supply and using it to broker a deal with either Britannia or one of the other powers, kind of like the spice's importance in the Dune novels. Then again, I think it's important to Lelouch's character that he doesn't do this--he's more a tactician than a negotiator, and the fact that he uses the Sakuradite supply at the end of the series to change the battle environment says a lot about his strengths--he can outfight anybody, but he's not one who can sit down at a table and come to a mutually beneficial political agreement.

And both have a super-powered leader (who also possesses quite a bit of ability regardless) leading an oppressed people against a much larger empire. That in itself isn't so striking, but it's interesting that both stories don't portray the super power as something good and noble--Muad'dib's prescience and Lelouch's Geass help their revolution, but both leaders question the empire they're creating with their abilities, and struggle with the acts they commit using their abilities. It's kind of a deconstruction of the way these things generally go--a messiah to one people or another appears to deliver them from their sufferings, using their divine powers.

And, significantly, both Lelouch and Muad'dib and his son Leto II have plans for the empire they're making that by necessity require them to die, because their idea for the world can't occur while they exist. I think this is actually the strongest comparison you can make, actually: Lelouch's Zero Requiem and Leto's Golden Path require them to die, because their powers would make people less free, and their life and death are planned to allow the future of humanity to be more peaceful. Dying also absolves them from the sins they feel they committed, because in a way, they are both altruistic villains rather than traditional heroes. Rather, they're both adversaries towards humanity by necessity in order to achieve the world they want, and storywise they have too much blood on their hands to be unpunished by the ending.

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Post by AmuroNT1 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:24 am

Well, that's the thing. Meaning no disrespect to Taniguchi or Herbert or any other author, there just aren't many (if any) original ideas anymore at this point in time. Basically every work of fiction draws from the pool of previously used ideas and just works them in different ways. Occasionally two works will end up with an element used similarly, and thus comparisons are inevitable. For example, even though Geass was in production long before the Death Note manga came into existence, people still draw endless comparisons between Light and Lelouch because they're both intelligent, arrogant manipulative anti-heroes. The character archetype is certainly older than either story, but the two of them being released in such close proximity made it that much easier for people to draw the conclusion (and ignore all contradictory evidence along the way, but that's for another debate).
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Post by thanatos » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:07 am

I appreciated AmuroNT1's remark about where Damocles got its name. It's always better when a weapon/ship/fortress has a name that has a real meaning, not just a string of random numbers or some random made-up name (what is a "gurren" anyways?). Kind of like how all of OZ's mobile suits were astrological signs.
I enjoyed how the first mecha we saw in Code Geass, back in the first season, were relatively realistic mecha with the names of British cities. I wish they had carried that on that trend and used names like "Liverpool", "Essex", "Cornwall" or "Belfast" rather than "Tristan", "Lancelot" or "Galahad". Not that I don't recognize those references, I just wish there had been continuity with each generation of knightmare frames.

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Post by Sume Gai » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:15 am

thanatos wrote:rather than "Tristan", "Lancelot" or "Galahad". Not that I don't recognize those references, I just wish there had been continuity with each generation of knightmare frames.
well those references are to the Legend of King Arthur mostly names of knights and "Guren" IIRC means Crimson
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Post by Chris » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:20 pm

thanatos wrote:I enjoyed how the first mecha we saw in Code Geass, back in the first season, were relatively realistic mecha with the names of British cities. I wish they had carried that on that trend and used names like "Liverpool", "Essex", "Cornwall" or "Belfast" rather than "Tristan", "Lancelot" or "Galahad". Not that I don't recognize those references, I just wish there had been continuity with each generation of knightmare frames.
You're mixing up two unrelated things though. KMF like Glasgow, Sutherland, etc are all grunt mecha for grunts. But Tristan, Lancelot and Galahad are all part of the Arthurian legend, and given that the mecha bearing their names belong to the Knights of the Round, it makes perfect sense for them to have those names. Continuity of naming is perfectly intact.
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Post by Kavik Ryx » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:14 pm

I'm surprised no one has seemed to have brought up Macross F yet. I might alienate myself by saying this, but I think by the end I enjoyed it a little more than Plus. Then again I like 7 more than Plus. If there is one thing that Frontier definitely did right, it was that by the end I no longer disliked Sheryl. Sorry Neo, I just didn't care for her that much.

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Post by hawk of endymion » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:56 pm

Kavik Ryx wrote:I'm surprised no one has seemed to have brought up Macross F yet. I might alienate myself by saying this, but I think by the end I enjoyed it a little more than Plus. Then again I like 7 more than Plus. If there is one thing that Frontier definitely did right, it was that by the end I no longer disliked Sheryl. Sorry Neo, I just didn't care for her that much.
Oh that's okay, different strokes for different folks. Guess I'm the de facto leader of the Sheryl fan club here.

You know, I have noticed no one has talked much about Frontier on the thread. Guess it shows you how powerful Geass. On the enjoyment factor, I think 7 is very close to Frontier, so don't feel bad about your opinion.
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Post by VentZX » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:45 pm

hawk of endymion wrote:Oh that's okay, different strokes for different folks. Guess I'm the de facto leader of the Sheryl fan club here.
If you're the President, then I volunteer for the position of Vice President. Sheryl was my favorite from way back in episode 5, I think it was, when she went on that date with Alto. To be honest, I never really liked Ranka.

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Post by thanatos » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:52 pm

Sume Gai wrote:
thanatos wrote:rather than "Tristan", "Lancelot" or "Galahad". Not that I don't recognize those references, I just wish there had been continuity with each generation of knightmare frames.
well those references are to the Legend of King Arthur mostly names of knights and "Guren" IIRC means Crimson
I assume "Guren" is Japanese then?
I get the references, it's just my opinion that naming mecha after cities sounded better (and a lot tougher) than naming them after semi-mythical characters.
Besides, it still doesn't totally follow the trend for 7th generation KMFs since there was no arthurian character (or major British city) named "Vincent". And the Gareth was named after an arthurian knight despite being a grunt mecha.

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Post by AmuroNT1 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:27 pm

The Japanese Knightmares all have evocative names. To wit...

Burai (無頼) = Villain (or Rascal)
Raikou (雷光) = Lightning
Guren (紅蓮) = Crimson Lotus
Gekka (月下) = Under the Moon
Akatsuki (暁) = Dawn
Zangetsu (斬月) = Slash the Moon
Shinkirou (蜃気楼) = Mirage

This also extends to the Chinese Knightmares; Gun-Ru (鋼髏) means Steel Skull, while Shen-Hu (神虎) is God Tiger.

As for the Vincent, I've heard it suggested that it's named for the Isle of Vincent, since it's a production model Knightmare and thus should fit in with the "places in England" theme rather than the "Knights of the Round Table" theme.
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Post by hawk of endymion » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:00 pm

VentZX wrote:
hawk of endymion wrote:Oh that's okay, different strokes for different folks. Guess I'm the de facto leader of the Sheryl fan club here.
If you're the President, then I volunteer for the position of Vice President. Sheryl was my favorite from way back in episode 5, I think it was, when she went on that date with Alto. To be honest, I never really liked Ranka.
You are hearby appointed Vice President of the Sheryl Fan Club.

We should go and throw things at the Crossroad Crew.
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Post by VentZX » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:41 am

hawk of endymion wrote:You are hearby appointed Vice President of the Sheryl Fan Club.

We should go and throw things at the Crossroad Crew.
Woot! Name a time and place and I'll bring the stuff!

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Post by Areku » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:53 am

hawk of endymion wrote:You are hearby appointed Vice President of the Sheryl Fan Club.

We should go and throw things at the Crossroad Crew.
As an honorary member of both groups, I am obligatorily confused...

And in case anyone didn't notice, this is now the most-discussed episode of Gundamn! by a considerable margin. Congratulations to both the Gundamn! podcasters and listeners/contributors alike! *presses a switch, and the walls fall down amongst a massive shroud of confetti, revealing a small army of automated delivery vehicles filled with delicious hot pizza*

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