Thoughts on 2nd seasons of Gundam 00 and Code Geass

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Thoughts on 2nd seasons of Gundam 00 and Code Geass

Post by skyknight » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:05 pm

Potential SPOILER ALERTS!!!!

Since the 2nd season of Gundam 00 has ended, I thought I would bring a topic in regards to the storyline and character developments. Also, still having mixed feelings over CG:R2, I thought about discussing and comparing the 2nd seasons of both 00 and CG. Make no mistake, I did enjoy both shows, and Bandai is the biggest winner here for having 2 great mecha anime (just like Namco's Tekken and Soul Calibur) in the last 3 years.

Storyline:
The end of CG season 1 literally had me on the edge of the seat, with all the adrenaline pumped up from ep 23, it comes down to a Mexican standoff between Lelouch, Suzaku, and Kallen (never forget about her!). But several things should be obvious at the end of season 1, the Black Rebellion is a complete disaster, not only because of Zero's sudden absence from the main battlefield; but also rather it became a more of a nationalism uprising than a call for justice, as evident in the people's anger and hatred towards the Brits, which wasn't part of the Black Knights' creed: justice for all without any discrimination. I don't know if Lulu was ever able to apprehend the vulnerability of human emotions, which you wouldn't be able to control even with the power of Geass.

So S2 does have the setting right in the beginning: the Japanese had loss more than just in body count, but also in social status. But how will the Japanese respond to Zero's reappearance? Should they accept him without questions, or harbor deep resentment for his sudden betrayal from the Black Rebellion? This did become an issue for me, especially towards the end of R2, when the Black Knights decided to turn on Lulu by the words of Schneizel; you gotta ask why turn on Zero after he lead you to survival and success (and follow the Brits!), when you should've doubted him earlier. To me, it look like the Black Knights were bunch of idiots that were easy to manipulate if you say what they wanted to hear.

On the contrast, 00 S1 did had a conclusion which made things easier, as I mention in Gundamn! if S1 was the end of 00 universe, then the ending would be acceptable as it was. The fact is CB did change the world with their brief internention (< 1 year???), and earth is united under the newly founded Earth Federation and no longer divide by the 3 geopolitical spheres, but is this going led towards a better future? Well in the 1st ep of S2, we get a hard answer, the earth is united, but not in the best way, as we see how A-Laws operates. But the world doesn't want CB back (or aren't fully aware of their continued existence), and only a handful of resistance group oppose the EF without adequate strength. To the resistance group, CB is their only hope for the struggle against A-Laws and for the better future, and CB does realize they have make up for the distortion they caused 4 years ago. With that we have the cause for why CB fights, and there isn't any doubts behind their heads on what they must do.

I'll stop here, but I will continue on this post later as I gather my thought on other perspectives. Feel free to add more about your own thoughts.

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Post by Ryvius » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:31 pm

Simply put, both should not have been split into two seperate seasons with gaps between airing.

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Re: Thoughts on 2nd seasons of Gundam 00 and Code Geass

Post by wielder » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:40 pm

The second season of Code Geass suffered from issues related to the infamous time slot change and the subsequent modifications made to its original plans, which definitely hurt the pacing and had other negative effects, but ultimately I think the show did manage to provide full closure to its main premise, even if some secondary or tertiary concerns weren't really wrapped up that well.

The second season of 00 was more consistent overall, even though some characters did get the short end of the stick, but the ending felt a bit too open ended in terms of the main plot line and important questions remain even after the current crisis has been resolved. Then again, 00 also has the luxury of an upcoming movie which may provide more closure and address some of those issues, which might be to its benefit.

Personally, I liked both shows and that's probably what counts at the end of the day.
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Post by neoei3318 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:45 pm

Simply put, both should not have been split into two seperate seasons with gaps between airing.
Code Geass's situation was unintentional. The producer didn't feel that the project was going to be marketable as a 50 episode series which is why it was 25 episodes.

Taniguchi decided to take a risk and end the original series with a cliffhanger, with the hope to conclude the series in some fashion, via a TV series, OAV, manga, novel or feature film.

His gamble paid off when the original series became a ratings powerhouse... at least for a late night anime.

Gundam 00, on the other hand, was planned as a dual season series since it's conceptiton.

EIther way, I'm happy with the outcome of both series. Especially since there will be more Gundam 00 to tell in the future (and possibly Code Geass too). :)
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Post by Chris » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:50 pm

Ryvius wrote:Simply put, both should not have been split into two seperate seasons with gaps between airing.
It would kind of help move the discussion along if you actually gave a reason to explain this.
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Post by MindlessFire » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:54 pm

Well for me, Gundam 00 being split into two seasons felt like they were to 2 separate series kind of felt like Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny. I thought of Season 1 as "Mobile Suit: Gundam Exia" and Season 2 as "Mobile Suit: Gundam 00." Another interpretation is S1: "Mobile Suit: Gundam Meister" and S2: "Mobile Suit: Gundam Meister 00"

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Post by 'Dustin' » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:54 pm

MindlessFire wrote:Well for me, Gundam 00 being split into two seasons felt like they were to 2 separate series kind of felt like Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny. I thought of Season 1 as "Mobile Suit: Gundam Exia" and Season 2 as "Mobile Suit: Gundam 00." Another interpretation is S1: "Mobile Suit: Gundam Meister" and S2: "Mobile Suit: Gundam Meister 00"
S1: Mobile Suit Gundam: Meister

S2: Mobile Suit Gundam: Innovator

Is more like it.

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Post by scythedd7 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:31 pm

Myself I don't view it as two series and don't think it should be and thats the main reason that I don't think it should have been split, or even it it was split not presented in such a way that it gives the idea of two different series. But luckily the series flows well enough from the first part to the second even with the time skip, so I can still see it as one series, and I will always watch it as such, so it doesn't effect my experence much, except when I get on the net and hear about it as if the Gundam 00 had a sequel in Gundam 00 s2 when it really is just another season.

What I'm saying really is that I'm tired of it being treated like a sequel series when its just another season. When the next season of Simpsons comes out, its not a new series, its still the same show. But again, I think this is only coming from some of the fans I here and not a vibe I got from the show?

On a some what related note that I want to know, I always thought a season was 13 episodes (about), and most animes ran two seasons normally right in a row resulting in 25 or 26 episode series (mostly 25 because ep 14, the normal recap episode is now used for weird BS that is never even counted in the series for some reason or another). The question I have on this is two parts, firstly, am I right on that idea and why can't any series nowadays seem to settle for the 26 episodes I grew up on (why always 25 now! at least sometimes the clip show would do something cool (like in Nadesico) or reveal something more (like Eva) or just not exist but still be 26 episodes (like Bebop))? and secondly, what about the other Gundam series and there more odd episode lists (not counting the canceled) like the 49 episode ones or ZZ 47? This is directly relevant to how I view the current split series, as I am curious if they just ran straight through, and why after the first 26 episodes it wasn't called S2 (as that when the next season of shows would have started) Or do I just have a bad understanding of TV scheduling? :P
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Post by Crusader » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:52 pm

Gundam 00 story flowed alright. There were some twists and turns that fit the story well. The characters were well written and the actions didn't have to be explained.

Code Geass on the other hand wassomthing else. It had a strong start in R1 and ended well. R2 started off very well, but I don't know what to say about the second half. The plot took a hard twist honestly leaving a bad taste in my mouth. The story became unbelievable especially with the way some of the characters started acting.

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Post by manmiles » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:13 pm

Personally, I think that splitting Gundam 00 into two seperate seasons helped the pacing of the show in some regards. With some of these Gundam shows, you do get a problem with the story being dragged out or the dreader filler eps being pulled in to kill time before the next big event. Episodes where theres a battle and thats pretty much it. The second season did suffer from a few pacing problems and did they really need to do another (albiet a shorter) time-skip in the last five episodes? But on the whole, it was a good execution and definately an episode format they should persue on future shows.

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Post by wielder » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:13 pm

manmiles wrote:Personally, I think that splitting Gundam 00 into two seperate seasons helped the pacing of the show in some regards. With some of these Gundam shows, you do get a problem with the story being dragged out or the dreader filler eps being pulled in to kill time before the next big event. Episodes where theres a battle and thats pretty much it. The second season did suffer from a few pacing problems and did they really need to do another (albiet a shorter) time-skip in the last five episodes? But on the whole, it was a good execution and definately an episode format they should persue on future shows.
I think splitting a 50 episode show into two seasons is a worthwhile opportunity only when it's something that has been planned from the beginning or when you don't have to worry about a complex storyline.

If you're going to try and change the target audience and commercial appeal of a series from one season to another though, which is essentially what happened to R2, that's definitely a step in the wrong direction.

I don't think Bandai or Sunrise are going to complain too much as long as the resulting production is commercially successful, which has been true for both 00 and Geass, but the material may suffer in ways that could have been avoided with a little less ambition and a bit more prudence.
Crusader wrote: Code Geass on the other hand wassomthing else. It had a strong start in R1 and ended well. R2 started off very well, but I don't know what to say about the second half. The plot took a hard twist honestly leaving a bad taste in my mouth. The story became unbelievable especially with the way some of the characters started acting.
Taste is a personal matter, so there's not much I can say about it, but I think that while the story was rushed or compressed in several areas, including the time allocated to the different characters and their actions, for the most part I don't think it was entirely unbelievable. The execution of some specific twists, yes. The story as a whole, no.

Say, I definitely see why the moment showing the final betrayal of the Black Knights is a problem, in terms of execution, for many people. That probably should have been a two parter and the same thing goes for a few episodes. However, looking at the show or even just the season as a whole, that plot line had been gradually introduced through elements which created mistrust towards Zero. You could even see it coming a mile away. The problem was the way those elements came together when Schneizel showed up and seemingly met little opposition after some token resistance to his arguments. With more time, I think that could have been presented in a much smoother manner. And so on.
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Post by Dean_the_Young » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:56 pm

Speaking as to 00, I have mixed thoughts. Not good versus bad, but on just how consistent it was.

Personally, I view 00 as two consecutive but different series; though familiar faces return and the stage for the second was set in the first, they've never struck me as quite the same. I think a very large part of that had to do with character and time emphasis.

In the first season, it always felt like tiny terrorist group versus the world, and it wasn't hard to want to side with the world. The Three Powers and their aces as a whole got comparable amounts of attention, context, and character involvement as Celestial Being, and the world's views and positions were never far from the viewer's mind. Having a character who worked for a news station was a big help in that, as were the regular (if short) flashes to the elites of the three powers. Additionally, the soldiers of the Three Powers also got fair amounts of focus, analysis, and action; especially in the first two thirds of the season, you could skip most of the Ptolemy/Meister scenes and come away with a mostly intact understanding of what was going on. In short, it was as much about the world and rival characters/powers as it was about the heroes of Celestial Being, and there was no clear good side.

For better and worse, that changed in Season 2. The emphasis radically shifted away from the antagonist cast* to Celestial Being and its new recruits (*Sergei and Soma were the main exception for the first seven episodes, at which point Soma joined CB and both faded to the background for another 8 episodes). On one hand, it was a good touch: much of the story was about how the Meisters + Saji were changing and Innovating for a new world. More character focus was needed, and largely well spent (if awkwardly allocated for every Meister but Setsuna; Tieria, Lockon, and Allelujah all had long episode streaks of total irrelevance).

On the other hand, though, they sacrificed the antagonists of Season 1. It wasn't CB versus the world in a no right side situation; it was Celestial Being versus the evil and manipulative A-LAWS and Innovators. There was a good side and a bad side, and the bad side was a small select group of evil doers. Though the A-LAWS were understandable results of CB's actions in S1, and the Innovators had potential, there wasn't moral ambiguity, a serious charm of the first season. They also nerfed nearly all the Season 1 opposition with the exception of Kati; Billy and Graham went from major rival charcters to once-every-five episode camoes who annoyed the Ptolemy for personal vendettas, Patrick was still a joke, Soma got turned, and Sergei only fought a single battle against... falling debris. True, some of the new antagonists were interesting; Andrei had potential and a grudge against Sergei, Louise was interesting as a bad girl, and a few of the Innovators (Revive) were actually interesting. But all of the new ones either had more potential than was used (I still want to know why Ribbons chose Louise of all people to become an Innovator), and the potential from last season's antagonists was jettisoned.

They're both great seasons, mind you; I heartily enjoyed them both. But they had such different emphasis and focuses that it really feels like they were two separate series with reoccurring characters.
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Post by Doven » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:12 pm

I some what expected C.C. to show up in the 00 S2 for a quick cameo.
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Re: Thoughts on 2nd seasons of Gundam 00 and Code Geass

Post by Genocide » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:31 pm

wielder wrote:The second season of 00 was more consistent overall, even though some characters did get the short end of the stick, but the ending felt a bit too open ended in terms of the main plot line and important questions remain even after the current crisis has been resolved.
With regards to that, I somewhat noticed a change in style and pacing for the last few episodes. A lot of build up was kind of wasted, what with the ending being parallel to that of S1's. There's definitely a sense that at some point or another, the original plans were changed to accomodate for the coming movie. It certainly didn't feel as drastic as say, ZZ where we had completely out-of-the-blue character developments, but it didn't exactly feel entirely well planned either.

I can't comment on Code Geass of course, simply because I quit the series once things got too random. And frankly, I think that putting them in the same thread is bound to cause unjust comparisons, given the history of Gundam as a franchise and Geass' relatively new foray into the genre. Heck, there are even people on the internet who claim some of the homages in Macross Frontier were rip-offs of SEED/Destiny. I don't mean to pick on anyone in particular, but the blogger at Random Curiosity joked about a crossover for 00 and CG because of the pressence of Jupiter in the ending shot. He/she obviously never implied anything in a serious manner, but the planet has had a mysterious link to several shows in Gundam long before Geass was even conceptualized.

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Re: Thoughts on 2nd seasons of Gundam 00 and Code Geass

Post by Newtype87 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:10 am

Genocide wrote:I can't comment on Code Geass of course, simply because I quit the series once things got too random. And frankly, I think that putting them in the same thread is bound to cause unjust comparisons, given the history of Gundam as a franchise and Geass' relatively new foray into the genre. Heck, there are even people on the internet who claim some of the homages in Macross Frontier were rip-offs of SEED/Destiny. I don't mean to pick on anyone in particular, but the blogger at Random Curiosity joked about a crossover for 00 and CG because of the pressence of Jupiter in the ending shot. He/she obviously never implied anything in a serious manner, but the planet has had a mysterious link to several shows in Gundam long before Geass was even conceptualized.
And other movies too… *looks at 2001: A Space Odyssey*

Overall, I really liked Gundam 00. S2 doesn't quite feel as good as S1 to me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I can't quite put my finger on it. I think it has something to do with what Dean said, about the lack of real central baddies in Season 1 and the balance of story.
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Post by Recon 5 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:31 am

I think what we're missing is that Season 2 was about Celestial Being versus itself:

*On one hand we had the Innovators trying to 'improve' or derail Aeolia's plan with Ribbons pulling as many strings as he could get hold of both inside and outside CB.

*On the other hand we had the crew of the Ptolemaios II doing what they thought was best for mankind regardless of what Aeolia's plan actually might have been (which they didn't know but they nevertheless played into his hands in the end).

The Federation and A-Laws were at best pawns used by both sides at different points in the plot and at worst unrelated parties caught in the crossfire. They thought that by siding with one side or another they could change the world for the better but things were out of their hands from the beginning. It was all about the 'good CB' and the 'bad CB', almost like some game that Aeolia rigged to play itself with the future of mankind in the balance.
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Post by skyknight » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:44 am

Okay I am going on another topic,

Characters:
CG had a bunch of characters from S1 that continued into R2, while adding a bunch of new characters. And for that, I thought it was for the worst to add new characters while negating developments for S1 characters, especially when the new characters aren't that interesting. Gino and Anya look more a tag-team for Suzaku, Xingke and Tianzi were so one-dimensional, the Knights of the Round weren't even impressive as the top warriors of the Empire, and Rolo was sort of Golem from LoTR (have pity for him, and he shall die for you). There was the hype for R2 that you couldn't ignore: new roles featuring Midorikawa Hikaru (Heero from G:Wing, Ryuhou from S-Cry-ed) and Hoshi Shouichiro (Kira from SEED, Kazuma from S-Cry-ed), and unfortunately the writers didn't any justice for them at all.

And I thought the ladies took a back seat way into the back: C.C. wasn't interesting as she was in S1 (the "cougar" and the "boy"); Kallen should've gotten more development, but didn't; as was Nunnally; Villetta just simply becomes the "hot for teacher" and inspiration for school boy dojin. Cornelia was big letdown, so much so that I thought she should've died at the end of S1, than to ever show up in R2. Milly, Shirley, and Nina were ok; and maybe the best developed lady was Kaguya, whom I hated so much in S1. Kaguya does muture a bit and shows traces of statesmanship, to the point, IMO, that ending should have Kaguya as the leader of Japan meeting with Nunnally (who cares about Oghi?), which should also be fitting for the two to meet: one whom loved Lulu as a brother, and the other whom admired Lulu as Zero.

I personally thought the scriptwriters should have skipped the school setting in the beginning, especially when you have several characters gone, and the time skip towards the end which does make things irrelevant from the beginning.

Now, with 00 S2, there were the Innovators as well as A-Laws, but fortunately there wasn't many characters that needed attention. And we did get further developments for characters from S1, the past of Al/Hal, Tierra's appreciation for being "human," Kyle's struggle with his role as the next Lockon, and Setsuna's growth. Sumeiragi's past was interesting. And the new characters were good: I thought Andrei was solid character, as a flawed human that also shows the shortcomings of Sergei; Lindt and Goodman were the evil bastards that you couldn't wait to see them DIE!

But I did want more of Wang's story, as well as Nena's. And there always seems to be an enigma surrounding the Innovators, which I hope the '10 movie could unravel. And I did wish to know more about Graham, since he had a such passion for the Gundams from S1 that carried over to S2.

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Post by wielder » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:36 am

skyknight wrote:There was the hype for R2 that you couldn't ignore: new roles featuring Midorikawa Hikaru (Heero from G:Wing, Ryuhou from S-Cry-ed) and Hoshi Shouichiro (Kira from SEED, Kazuma from S-Cry-ed), and unfortunately the writers didn't any justice for them at all.
My relative ignorance about the voice acting business was something of a blessing in disguise then, since I honestly had no preconceived expectations about what kind of roles they would play just because of their fame. In fact, the more I think about it, the less I like the resulting implications. Famous voice actors don't need to be in important roles at all costs.

That's not to say more couldn't have been done with their respective characters, especially Xingke's, although he did end up receiving more attention than Gino, to say the least, who was treated as a minor character from the beginning. Hey, even Anya was more interesting than him and I wouldn't say she was particularly complex. As for Kaguya being the most developed female character...my short answer would be no. Her presence was mostly static while the other girls you mentioned (C.C., Kallen, Nunnally) were a bit more dynamic and did occasionally play an active role in specific events. Their development may not have been enough to meet expectations or it actually went against them, all of that's arguably been discussed before, but I'd still say they received more of it overall.
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Post by Chris » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:46 am

Dean_the_Young wrote:They're both great seasons, mind you; I heartily enjoyed them both. But they had such different emphasis and focuses that it really feels like they were two separate series with reoccurring characters.
I think people are having this perspective because 00 took a different approach to telling its story from other Gundam shows. Typically, you have one defining element to your story (good guys vs bad guys) and that element stays the same from the beginning to the end. Like in MSG, the enemy is always Zeon and the goal is always to defeat them. Sometimes this gets mixed up a bit, like how Zeta added Axis, but the Titans remained the primary nemesis. I think we're used to Gundam shows following that MSG style of development, whereas 00 mixed things up a bit like Zeta did.

In 00, the whole point of the series has not been to just defeat some specific faction, but to carry out Aeolia's plan. That's been consistent across both seasons, but the obstacles that crop up and the way they're dealt with changes. Frankly, I'm glad 00 went the split season route and changed gears halfway through. Like I said awhile back in Gundamn, I think a lesser series would have spent all 50 episodes on armed interventions just to get to the same point 00 did in 25. If that had happened, I think the story would've grown stale after the halfway point. Given how popular the split season concept is becoming across the board for anime series, I wonder how future Gundam shows will structure themselves, because this is probably going to be a permanent change.
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Post by Dean_the_Young » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:26 am

SSGokuJr wrote:I some what expected C.C. to show up in the 00 S2 for a quick cameo.
She did, only she was male and had a god complex. :P
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