|Blazer: H&M Top: Forever21 Leggings: INDIE-GO Shoes: SOULE Phenomenon|
Photos by Monica Villarica
On a regular basis, my sleeping hours begin either 11 PM or 12 midnight onwards. I've always been the frail type and usually, I cannot stand it when my sleeping hours are thwarted and extended for whatever possible reason. Lately though, I've been steadfast in being awake until 3 in the morning. Every day it gets worse, getting so far as to forcing myself that sleep is a basic necessity in every human being. This drastic change in my system was brought about by - yes, believe it - an anime series, entitled Code Geass that drove me nuts, made me almost throw my cell phone at the screen on a regular basis (I didn't, thank goodness), brought me to laughter and tears and frustration (mostly, the latter two), questioned my moral standing, ideologies and principles on a continuous basis and kept me going till 3 AM every day for the past week (and I could've gone on forever if I just didn't remember that I was a normal human being).
Now that it's all over, my entire being has been struck by its tragic yet extremely profound ending. So permit me for yet another heavy geek-a-gasm post. But mostly, I'd just like to take this time to just bring out all the reflections this series has made me think about.
"Suppose there is an evil that justice cannot bring down. What would you do? Would you taint your hands with evil to destroy evil?
Or would you carry out your own justice and succumb to that evil?"
- Lelouch Lamperouge, Code Geass
TITLE: Code Geass, Lelouch of the Rebellion
DIRECTOR: Goro Taniguchi
SUMMARY: Set in an alternate and futuristic timeline, Japan, renamed as 'Area 11', has become an oppressed colony of the fascist-based government superpower, the Holy Britannian Empire. Lelouch Lamperouge, an exiled Britannian prince, vows to bring down the oppressive empire in order to bring his sister, Nunally Lamperouge, a chance at happiness and a bright future. One fateful day, Lelouch stumbles upon a set of events that lead him to a mysterious woman who gives him a special power called Geass, a power in which he has the ability to command anyone to do his bidding. This sets him to begin challenging the Britannian Empire and changes the lives of everyone dearest to him, and inevitably, the world.
Review (possibly contains spoilers, but read on ahead if you've watched the series):
Powerful, disturbing, ideologically-challenging. Honestly, I have never seen anything as psychologically and emotionally heavy as this series. It was the dialogues that made you question the very meaning 'justice', the characters who each had extremely different perspectives and ideologies; it was Lelouch, who made you question what the meaning of 'hero' was, the idealistic but yet, highly immoral ways of righting wrongs with another set of wrongs. It made you question what 'wrong' was.
I recognized some Western-inspirations in this series, mainly V for Vendetta, except they scaled it to 100 times more than what V ever was. But the foundation was there. For example, Lelouch and his masked vigilante theatrics to his enemies and the general public - he's always interrupting a news program and flashing on the wide screen for the entire world to watch. I love how the whole thing, despite being a convergence of ideologies and principles, stuck to the core theme (presented by Lelouch in the question above) from start to finish. At times, you'd even be confused if Lelouch had succumbed to his own evil and Geass power due to excellent play at being a multi-faced persona. At the very end, you'll realize just how much the writers stuck to the question of "would you fight evil with evil" and that was the beauty (ergo, the tragedy) of it all. Oh. And all because just loved his sister and wanted her to experience a good and peaceful life. Shit.
Other themes that compelled me: The Bestfriend turned Enemy-theme was done exceptionally and beautifully. Kururugi Suzaku, the best friend, was the complete opposite of Lelouch; warm and idealistic - in your typical Justice League idealistic kind of way, whilst Lelouch was just cold, calculating and detached, but idealistic nonetheless. Suzaku represented the old Japan and then the oppressed and struggling Japan. And then, he goes through several changes thereafter when it is revealed who the masked terror vigilante was. Obviously, because two opposite ideologies were being played so well on screen, that inevitably the two became mortal enemies. However, epic moments are witnessed when, despite being enemies, they have the amazing capabilities to trust each other like they will no other people and join forces to fight against a common struggle. Beautiful.
Ooh. I loved how Nunally, his sister whom he did everything for, became the final tool that Lelouch was put up against. It almost made him stop - and there was a point in which he did, because he recognized that his blind and crippled sister had created her own ideals and principles and became independent while he was busy being Masked Vigilante. Nunally was the vessel that represented his dreams and at the same time, excuses and then suddenly, she was his opponent and an independent entity... and she was still the sister he was fighting and giving everything up for. Nothing can run so deep as their powerful sibling love and Lelouch's devotion to being a good brother. He sacrificed everything for her (and inevitably, the world) - his morals, his beloved, his life. He even sacrificed people and fought against his power. God, it was amazing. It was powerful, and moving and in the end, the heart of the tragedy at the end of the entire series.
So much and more.
Again, extremely heavy series. I did not even expect it. This series made me feel like how I am when watching Game of Thrones, times infinity - which is a lot considering this was just anime. In towards the end of Season 1, the writers did this cruel thing of completely obliterating what was supposed to be a good and positive outcome. Anyway, the accident just led to an unseeming and innocent character orchestrating a massacre against her own will. Even if Lelouch didn't mean it, he forced himself to push through and use said character's unwilling actions to stir the people into a revolution. Well. Shit.
I spend a day reflecting about the things I've watched (that's how mind-boggling this whole series was) and I realize how terrible this society was made up.
People are brought about and accept surface-level facts because it's easier to deal with. I find it so completely unfathomable how it had to take grievous actions just to stir the people to fight for themselves and their country - when in fact, the problem had always been there for almost a decade. I've always found it bizarre, whether it's in this anime or through our histories of countries, that revolutions are always sparked with a death or two. And yet, when someone, prior to that death, came in wambling about, trying to preach justice and rights, they were ignored and deemed terrorists. I find it annoying how most people only have linear beliefs with no follow through. "Hate" and "evil" have specific forms and once you manipulate that and hone it to fight against the greater, and ever-present evil, there is no forgiveness or redemption to be left for you. No one bothers to go any deeper than what's conventional and common-knowledge. And that's kind of sad.
Anyway, point is, this whole thing explicitly deals with the belief that in order to attain the perfect society, we have to destroy all that what we have now and start anew.
I find myself at a constant struggle. How much would I go for change in my society? And do I even really want it? Because saying yes to that question allows me for the idea that destruction of everything is something that I'm okay with. And I'm not sure if I am really ready to let go of the things I'm used to myself - the easier things. What would you do?
See how I've begun to question my own morals?
|Lelouch x Shirley poster from http://gallery.minitokyo.net/view/275290|
Last tidbit. I leave off with a very nice poster I found on Google images of my favorite pairing in the series. So yay. And then to the rest of this post!
I love little parks where I can sit around and just think, mid-way while working on a design or writing another piece for someone. And after Code Geass, I've honestly a lot to think about, haha.
Fight off hate and war with love, love, love!
Enjoy the photos!