30 minutes

The Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames. Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11's. A Britannian who was living in Japan at the time, Lelouch, vowed to his Japanese friend Suzaku that he'd destroy Britannia. Years later, Lelouch is in high school, but regularly skips out of school to go play chess and gamble on himself. One day, he stumbles on terrorists 11's who've stolen a military secret and is caught by a member of the Britannian task force sent after them, who is Suzaku. As the rest of the squad arrives, Suzaku is shot for disobeying orders, while the military secret, a young girl, gives Lelouch the power of Geass, which makes anyone obey any order. While Suzaku is secretly made the pilot of Britannia's brand new prototype Knightmare, Lancelot, Lelouch becomes the masked Zero to lead the rebellion to destroy Britannia once and for all.
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Dec 7, 2018 12:16PM EST
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Once the plot's fatal flaw becomes obvious, this show just feels desperate to prove that it's clever. It's not.

Lelouch's Geass gives him the power to make anyone obey his commands. All he'd ever need to say is, "Follow my every instruction." and he'd have an army at his fingertips. Instead, he gives specific, one-off commands to people and then he has to worry later about the fact that he can only use his power once per person. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in the beginning because he was testing the limits of his power, but as soon as he had a grasp on it, he would have realized the only obvious choice was to make everyone into a secret slave; let them live their daily lives unless he tells them to do something. That's what he would do if he were as clever as the show wants him to appear, anyway. He's not.

The flaw just makes the entire show contrived in order to seem like a game of Chess, one of its favorite recurring themes. Worse, the plot frequently uses situations where Lelouch wins by taking advantage of a flaw in Britannia's technology that the audience is never made aware of. That's not clever; it's like reverse dramatic irony where Lelouch knows something we don't but wants us to think he's clever because he knows it and we don't. That's just lazy writing.

And the anti-climactic wrap-ups are terrible. Lelouch's driving motivation is to create a world for his sister to live happily, and to find out the truth about his mother's murder. The conclusion to his mother's storyline is painfully bad. We also get a one-eyed Knight (but the show makes very clear that he's hiding something under his stitches). Once we find out what it is, not only is it obvious, it makes no difference at all to the story. What was the point? Those are just two examples of storylines that are built up and then flop at the climax.

I just can't wrap my head around how bad the writing is for this show. I want to read the comic because, just maybe, they lost everything good in the edits.

The show boils down to fake cleverness, contrived situations that make less and less sense as time wears on, and very anti-climactic conclusions to most situations.

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