SPOILERS FOR CODE GEASS AND CODE GEASS R2
Is Code Geass R2 the greatest anime of all time? After you have been a part of Manga and Anime culture long enough you are able look at the trends, the history, and form an understanding of what happened at a deeper level. This results in an abstract idea, a thought which doesn’t have a physical existence but can be speculated. Welcome to Anime Abstract.
The simple answer to the question is No. Code Geass R2 is an above-average anime with a lot of great moments, some interesting characters, and a jaw dropping final episode. The animation kept up with its consistency between the first second season. The music by Orange Range, FLOW, and Ali Project are catchy and deserve to be on anyone’s anime playlist.
You’re probably asking if the answer is so simple, why write a whole article bringing it up? Because despite giving it high marks, many think it needs to much higher. Code Geass R2 at the time of this article sits at #16 of all time on Myanimelist and #6 on Anime News Network. This means the show is beating Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Cowboy Bebop on both lists. Despite how good Code Geass R2 those three titles are essential viewing for anyone who wants to be more than a casual fan of the media. This brings us to the real inquiry and reason for this article, which is to discover why Code Geass R2 has such a high rating.
One of the main reasons for fans of the show insisting it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread is how it makes use of the trope known as “The Ending Changes Everything.” Through the final episode, the actions and plot of Lelouch and Suzaku are revealed and the reason for their extreme behavior starting at episode 21 is explained. This plus the shocking presentation of this information does make for a perfect episode. Unfortunately, one perfect 10 does not retroactively make the rest of the series perfect. This is the same show which featured an episode called “Love Attack” and another where the cast tried to make a giant pizza in a school festival for a second time. The show is hardly without its faults. Also, the “Ending Changes Everything” trope doesn’t automatically mean a series is good. The same ideal was employed in Panty and Stocking, and all it did was leave the audience demand a sequel.
It does find a way to to pull off the The “War To End All Wars” plot to some extent. which has been employed many times in animes previously (usually other shows created by Sunrise) but these don’t often yield positive results. Again though, just because this was the one show which successfully pulled off the formula of “I’m going to have the war to end all wars so people have no choice but to embrace peace” doesn’t mean the show is perfect. In fact, points should be taken away from it because of how many series had to come before it with the same plot to finally get all the details to align properly.
So, what happened? Why does the show have such a high placement on different lists? Basically a lot of overzealous fans thought it was the best show ever and voted it as such. A similar incident occurred involving GameFAQs and a vote to find the greatest game ever. The polling was overrun with Undertale fans and the game ending up beating out others which had a long history of being necessary gaming experiences. Such overzealous behavior has resulted in many individuals not wanting to approach the fandom because of the over the top way the fans reacted.
So what can be done to fix this error? Not much really. Clearing the show’s score won’t fix anything as a multitude of individuals will probably forget to recast their vote. A similar situation could just as easily occur and the voting would be so overwhelmed by bias fans, the show could end up being voted the greatest of all time. For now, the incident with Code Geass R2 must instead serve as a warning about the problem of bias scoring on websites and hopefully in the future fans won’t make the same mistake. Unfortunately, knowing what happens when fans get too eager, this situation is almost destined to happen again.
What are your thoughts on Code Geass R2? Leave a comment below and let us know.