Popular Japanese cosplayer Midori Kanda dips her toe into the hugely popular Code Geass anime franchise, choosing to bring to life everyone’s favourite female Knightmare Frame pilot and top student, Kallen Stadtfeld!
Kallen Stadtfeld is a half-Britannian, half-Japanese teenager girl. Her father is Britannian and her mother is an Eleven; her father comes from a prestigious Britannian family, which Kallen benefits from. She attends the Ashford Academy, where she pretends to be ill to explain her prolonged absences. She later becomes a member of its student council and one of the school’s most outstanding students.
Kallen is a member of a Japanese resistance cell originally led by her brother, who died in the first episode, and then later joins Zero’s Black Knights. She is the group’s most talented pilot and on par with the Knights of the Round. Throughout the series, her devotion to Zero is unmatched among any of the other members of the Black Knights. She is one of the few people that understands that Zero Requiem was intended to turn the whole world against Lelouch.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_Geass
After a short break Cosplay Sundae roars back into life, starting things off with the always good to take in Midori Kanda portraying Villetta Nu, the no nonsense Knightmare Frame pilot who always seems intent on making life as difficult for Zero as possible!
The dark skinned, elite Knightmare Frame mecha pilot, Villetta Nu is a loyal subordinate of Jeremiah Gottwald of Britannia. Composed in battle she makes for a fierce and unyielding opponent. Although not of noble, pure blood, Villetta supports Jeremiah and his Pureblood’s ideals, believing that she might be able to earn a title of nobility through them.
She is one of Zero’s first victims after Lelouche first gains his powers, using them to trick her into handing over her Knightmare. However, this intelligent woman soon pieces together the pieces and soon becomes a recurring thorn in the would be rebel’s side!
Midori Kanda is an always sought after cosplayer on the Internet scene and as you can see from the pictures here, she pulls off a particularly strong and alluring Villetta Nu. Nice.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villetta_Nu#Villetta_Nu
The cute Himeno Shirayuki graces us with her cosplay talents in today’s Cosplay Sundae entry, pulling off an excellent C.C. impersonation from the awesome Sunrise anime spectacular: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2!
Withholding more information and secrets than what she cares to reveal, the mysterious tritagonist of the hit anime Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 comes across as a young, carefree, though detached, girl with no regard for anyone else and the penchant for doing whatever she wants whenever she wants.
However, C.C. is not this girl’s real name nor is she even really human any more – despite appearing little older than 16 years old, she is in fact immortal and has been alive for longer than anyone can remember. Unable to die, despite being shot, crushed, burned at the stake and beheaded by a guillotine, C.C. bears the power of the “Code” and more importantly the ability to pass on the power of the Geass to whomever she so chooses.
Seemingly intent on tormenting and interfering with Lelouch, the boy who saved her and whom she empowered with the ability to force anyone to obey his will, just what her ultimate goal is remains a mystery – though her insatiable love for all things pizza is not.
This capable if enigmatic leader (as revealed in R2) is recreated here in real life by the popular Japanese cosplayer Himeno Shirayuki, who manages to pull off a great costume with the matching personality to great effect. Fantastic cosplay as per usual in other words! :)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.C._%28Code_Geass%29
For those of you who are not familiar with the character, Kallen is one of the primary characters to emerge out of the hugely popular blockbuster, two series long, Sunrise anime spectacular, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. Kallen is half Britannian and half Japanese, or more accurately half Eleven, though she benefits hugely from her father’s Britannian heritage in that she is allowed to attend prestigious schools like Ashford Academy and generally doesn’t fall under the strict set of rules applied to normal Eleven citizens.
However, fiery-tempered and strong-willed Kallen leads somewhat of a double-life, eager to serve her Japanese heritage and more importantly to free her fellow countrymen. A crucial link in the resistance movement, Kallen is a skilled combatant, particularly when it comes to piloting Knightmare Frames and as the series progresses, she becomes ever more pivotal in Zero’s plan to defeat the hated Empire.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kallen_Stadtfeld
Following directly on from the previous season, Code Geass R2 plunges us straight into a new world where not everything is quite as it seems. Japan remains under Britannian rule, still stripped of its name and status, still simply referred to as Area 11 and its inhabitants, Elevens. The Black Knights are no longer a plausible threat and to the public in general, Zero appears to be dead, lost in the final battle.
Lelouch Lamperouge and his school companions’ memories have been wiped, his precious sister Nunnally has been both physically and mentally taken from him, and he is now under constant Britannian supervision and surveillance, ensuring that his memories of his previous life as Zero don’t make a sudden reappearance.
However, C.C remains on the loose and with her still around, there is no guarantee that this newly crafted peaceful world will remain as it is for long. She has a pact with Lelouch and that pact must be seen through – meaning that the time for Zero and his geass is at hand once more… as is the destruction of the absolute Britannian Emperor, Charles Di Britannia.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 is the second season of the highly successful Sunrise original animation, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and was released in 2008, standing at 25 episodes long. It is once again directed by Goro Taniguchi and written by Ichiro Okouchi, with character designs once more handled by the famed CLAMP mangaka group.
Essentially everything that was packed in and what made the first season such a hit is back in the follow-up run, with our love him or hate him protagonist still making some pretty dirty decisions to further his goals. There is a lot of mystery and intrigue, a lot of drama, the usual, seemingly completely out of place humour and of course tons of action – with just a hint of romance sprinkled in for good measure. The pacing is non-stop and Zero’s machinations continuously grow and change in scope as the series progresses, always keeping you on your toes and waiting to surprise you around each and every corner.
There are quite a few new characters added to the roster and the season focuses more heavily on the geass itself, introducing new users of it as well as chronicling a little more about this wonderous gift or curse as it is. However, Lelouch’s primary goals of creating a peaceful world for his blind, paralysed sister and eliminating the current Britannian emperor remains the same and thus his lies and machinations stay pretty true to his original run with the first Black Knights uprising. And in addition to all this political and strategic maneuvering, the series ALSO throws a ton of very well choreographed and thought out mecha battles to enjoy, thus ensuring that the series continues to hold as much entertainment value for those just interested in the action aspect of the story as what it does for those who dig slightly deeper in the story and message of the show.
Visually, Code Geass R2 continues its interesting character designs courtesy of CLAMP and the resulting visuals are pleasingly different from your standard anime fare, making this one of the better looking anime shows currently out. The mecha designs in particular are also pretty fantastic and very different from the norm, again helping the show to stand just that little bit taller than the rest of the current, rather generic pack. Colors are bright and vibrant and the animation is particularly fluid and generally very well choreographed. CG is kept to a minimum and the special effects that are used are extremely well blended into the scenes, making Code Geass R2 a particularly pleasing on the eye watch.
The show features some pretty veteran voice actors, including the likes of Jun Fukuyama as Lelouch Lamperouge, Takahiro Sakurai as Suzaku Kururugi and Yukana as CC. The entire group puts in a fantastic performance and coupled with a well designed musical score and arrangement under the directorship of Motoi Izawa and Yasuo Uragami, Code Geass R2 comes out sounding as polished as one could hope for in a made for TV anime series. Theme song composition, arrangement and performance is handled by Orange Range, with additional performances by Ali Project and Flow.
In summary, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 continues its addictive blend of intrigue, drama, pulse-quickening excitement, humour and just sheer mecha madness action, and with a solid meaty story underneath that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat, it is most certainly one of those must see anime series that anyone calling themselves an anime fan simply cannot miss!
So my advice to you is simple: sit back and enjoy…
Related Link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=9173
Japan is no more. Conquered by the Holy Empire of Britannia armed with their awe-inspiring mecha known as the Knightmare Frames, Japan is now known simply as Area 11 and its native inhabitants simply as “Elevens”. While society struggles to get to grips with the various class structures now forced upon it, there are however still those pockets of resistance that would see a revived Japan rise from the ashes and struggle against the authorities who would keep them down.
One such figure is your not so ordinary student Lelouch Lamperouge, an exiled prince who is abnormally clever and more than just a little scheming. A dark past has meant that this young man has sworn to bring down Britannia, and a chance encounter with a strange girl known only as CC has blessed him with the most awesome of abilities, that of the Geass. Now with the ability to bend anyone to his will, Lelouch seeks to craft a world where his disabled sister can live happily and where a Britannia no longer exists.
On the other side of the coin is Suzaku Kururugi, son of the last Japanese prime minister and a boy who has instead embraced Britannia and seeks to bring about a world of peace using Britannia as the tool. An excellent warrior with a particularly awesome Knightmare Frame at his disposal, Suzaku will soon be pitted head to head against his once best friend, Lelouch – or as he is more commonly known to the world – Zero.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is a 25 episode long anime series, produced by Sunrise and directed by Goro Taniguchi. Now Taniguchi isn’t new to the anime scene and has brought classics like s-CRY-ed, Planetes and Gun X Sword to our screens and his latest production, Code Geass, certainly doesn’t disappoint.
What makes Code Geass so enjoyable is the clever story writing in which we find an oppressed Japan (by Britain no less) and a scheming, revenge and power-hungry student who wishes to oppose his oppressor and take control over the world. This lad is then given the amazing power of the Geass which allows him to bend anyone to his will (with the usual restrictions in place just to give us some more plot devices) and then set free to start his machinations. The beginning of the anime is charaterised by clever and intricate plots that leaves a viewer hanging, much in the same vein as what Death Note did a year before it. Unfortunately though, the rigours of this clever writing proves to be a little too much and halfway through the anime slumps back into your typical student romance/comedy/drama which leaves a pretty bland taste in your mouth.
Thankfully though, the writers rescue the show with a couple of episodes to go and turn up the action a notch, while at the same time falling back to the clever twists that made the show such a hit right at the outset. This makes for a grand finale and puts Code Geass back firmly on the must see list.
However, and this is a big however, Code Geass is let down by the fact that it appears that commerce had a heavy hand in its production. First off is the atrocious decision to allow Pizza-Hut on board with its egarious advertising campaign in which huge sections of the show is specifically added to simply showcase their product. It is an annoyingly obvious intrusion and I can only believe in the disgust that Tanaguchi to deal with when forced to inject these scenes in his work. The second is the whole stop production at 23 episodes, then decide to wait a couple of months before releasing episodes 24 and 25 and then because of the great interest that was generated, end episode 25 and thus the ‘season’ off on a HUGE cliffhanger and announce that a second season would come into production.
Terrible. Of course, the problem is that we as the fans allowed this kind of behavior from the production companies behind the show and as such have to live with the consequence. Nevertheless, despite these two quibbles, Code Geass is in fact quite a well written story with an interesting storyline, some compelling characters and worthy themes that are explored throughout the series.
The first thing that immediately stands out when you see Code Geass for the first time is the unmistakable CLAMP inspired character designs, all in their trademark character gawkiness. An inspired move on the part of Taniguchi because the look of Code Geass raises it above other similar mecha-based school shows and CLAMP certainly didn’t let him down in this regard. For instance, one of the pieces that got the most attention was the design of Zero’s helmet. The idea was to come up with something never seen before and the final “tulip” design certainly exclaims this.
Of course, the show needs good looking mecha to move forward as well and in this regard Code Geass doesn’t disappoint. Solid mecha designs that use an innovative roller skating system to get around and clever harpoon cables to inflict a lot of damage makes for some fantastic battle sequences which are made even more spectacular thanks to the extremely smooth and fluid animation that literally oozes throughout Code Geass. A lot of effort was spent on animating things right and combined with a dynamic and vibrant colour palette give a stunning visual result.
The voice acting in Code Geass is pretty much as spot on as you can get for all the characters, though the forced English “Yes my Lord” can sometimes be a tad silly. Lelouch in particular stands out, sounding as arrogant, conceited and eccentric as what he appears to be. The music for the series is composed by Kotaro Nakagawa and Hitomi Kuroishi, the same guys who had worked previously with the Geass team on Planetes and Gun X Sword and they come up with some great incidental and insert tracks for the show.
The initial opening theme song is “Colors” performed by FLOW and is a brilliantly energetic track that sets the perfect mood for the action and intrigue that is to follow. Unfortunately the ending track doesn’t quite live up to the opening theme song and disappointingly, neither do the two opening/closing replacement tracks halfway through the series even though they aren’t all that bad on their own.
Code Geass is a novel take on your usual Mecha series in that it is cleverly written, intellectual at heart and yet features a protagonist that you simply can’t bring yourself to like but at the same time delivers on some strong themes like friendship, loyalty and betrayal – all mixed up with a generous amount of comedy and romantic hi-jinks that are pretty standard in most anime titles nowadays anyway. The forced Pizza-Hut advertising is a bit of a pain and the horrible cliffhanger of an ending is a disaster, but outside of those two negatives, Code Geass does make for quite an interesting and gripping watch, particularly the first and last thirds of the series.
It looks good, plays out good and is guaranteed to hold your attention. What more could you ask for?
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_Geass
Maybe it was just my misfortune, or maybe it is just the way in general in which anime is moving, but after watching Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion followed by Darker than BLACK, I am convinced that a new anime genre has been spawned – that of the pizza.
A pizza anime genre? What the hell am I talking about?
Well, by now everyone knows the insidious movement of retail advertising outside of its usual bounds and into our daily entertainment in such a way as to avoid the so-called “Tivo Skip” phenomenon that has been causing countless sleepless hours for marketing executives. Of course, I am referring to in-(insert media name here) marketing which basically meshes advertising with the entertainment medium that you are currently absorbing.
We first saw this with in-game advertising which saw advertisers place their adverts directly in the games that we were playing, either as big billboards or as direct logos placed on model skins. Syndicate Wars, way back in the 1990s kicked off the trend and since EA took a big liking to this idea of making even more money off of us, we’ve had to grow used to it ever since.
More recently, our sacred movies started to have more direct advertising injected straight into them, painfully obvious because these prominent ‘product shots’ usually have the camera linger over a certain product for a little longer than what normally would be the case.
Even the silver screen has proven to be susceptible to this new form of advertising with more and more shows containing marketing quips and product shots – hell, even Smallville has fallen victim to a damn car advertisement. I mean, who the hell wants to see a lingering interior shot of a stupid car when Clark and the gang are meant to be escaping from someone!
But now it seems that even my beloved anime has fallen victim to this new wave of marketing that for some reason manages to raise my hackles and cause me to spit bile at the offending advertisement. Actually on that point, it is a strange phenomenon that the majority of people who pick up on in-media advertising generally despise the advertisements being forced upon them and may in fact be generating the opposite result of what the advertisers originally had planned for.
Anyway, back to the case in point. Code Geass and Darker than BLACK have now proved themselves to be the most egarious of offenders when it comes to in-anime advertising thanks to an insidious Pizza-Hut ad campaign that saw the damn Pizza-Hut logo splashed all over the anime, in almost every episode! Long lingering shots of Pizza-Hut billboards and characters forever munching on prominently displayed Pizza-Hut pizza, the list just goes on and on. And when pizza is forced as a main story point as in Code Geass, then I really get annoyed.
Anime has a long reputation for displaying disguised brands just to avoid lawsuits, but with this new move in marketing this may very well be changing to showing the real thing. I don’t have a problem with it if it isn’t shoved down your face and isn’t shown more than once or twice in the same location, but I guess that I am going to have to face the facts and grit my teeth – In-media advertising is the new marketing buzz word and it is definitely here to stay.
I think that I’ll just start wearing more unbranded T-shirts in protest then.