Friday, May 4, 2007

Well, here we go again.

I'm creating an anime blog, because I need a place to vent about anime, manga, and otaku culture. (In other words, a platform to troll and fanboy-ize.) Eventually I want to make 4koma, but I need to learn how to draw first.

Anyway, today's subject is Code Geass. I started watching it last night -- I am most impressed. It has that cohesive feel that is the hallmark of a great series. The CLAMP character designs have a pretty significant influence on the show: Suzaku's idealistic intensity, Lelouch's flamboyant anger, and that silly scientist guy's ... silliness.

There are some nitpicks I can make about the series: the excessively upbeat OP, while kinda CLAMP-ish, doesn't really mesh with the darkness of the story. Plus it sounds a lot like Eureka Seven's opening, which, well, is admittedly by the same band.

And the story -- wow. This is serious stuff. While I get hints of Gundam storylines, there's definitely echoes of WWII, not to mention current events. Lelouch's terrorists are obviously the heroes of this story, but do their means justify the ends? We're obviously invited to ponder the nature of insurgency, in light of current events, with some Japanese nationalism thrown in for good measure. It's a complicated brew of current events and fantasy.

What really hit me, though, was the direct allusion to the Holocaust. The Japanese are portrayed as living in ghettos. The language Clovis uses -- "clearing a ghetto" -- made me think back to something I'd read recently about authoritarianism (which, by the way, should be required reading). Specifically, chapter seven, which relates in passing the gradual acceptance of genocide by common soldiers who made up the German "Order Police" in WWII. Geass doesn't flinch at showing the wholesale murder of civilians. Quite frankly, I was shocked at how graphic it was. I suppose there's a collective horror about being on the Axis side of the War which is still being worked out.

I watched way too much Geass last night (through 8.5 ><). Hopefully I'll have more self-control tonight.

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