Code Geass

In which I enthuse about, of all things, anime.

Last week the moose watched series one of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. It is readily available to stream online.

Code Geass is anime, which is not a genre I’ve spent much time on. And CG is fully anime. Utterly preposterous yet fantastic hair abounds. High school children in giant robots fight. There is cutesy humour and a curiously innocent hypersexuality. It is all somehow absurd yet utterly compelling.

Here’s the thing: it is totally fucking brilliant. It transcends genre in a way that blows me away as a creator.

You can use any medium to tell an amazing story and illuminate real issues and conflicts. Tropes are a palette to work with, and damn you can paint something spectacular. (Kim Stanley Robinson went off about this a couple of months ago. Adam Roberts’ response is well worth reading.) I mean, I knew this. But CG just brought it out in stark new relief.

General comments: The setting is politically complex, and morally and philosophically loaded. The structure reveals the thematics with staggering precision and art. The show is completely unafraid to be brutal. It sets up its status quo and then torments it to breaking point – and well beyond. Characters actions have devastating consequences which they are forced to confront. The resulting emotional beats are startling. There are tangled secrets. No one is uncompromised. The narrative skips along, leaving the viewer to catch up. It gets big and crazy and unpredictable. Series one ends with possibly the best cliff hanger I’ve ever seen.

Without getting spoilerrific, just take the recommendation and watch it.

Sturgeon’s dictum holds that 90% of everything is crap.

But part of 1% is transcendent.

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