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Code Geass:

Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up]I can't root for Britannia, how they are onscreen, in any unironic sense. I can come up with potential justifications or retcons in my head to make Britannia more reasonable but it's not like Zeon where I can 'get' why they're doing what they're doing. Britannia is just presented as nasty, brutish conqueror.

[up][up]The contrast is arbitrary though cause Suzaku is implicitly okaying the complete subjugation of the Japanese people. And we're given really reason to expect his idea that internal reform is at all possible, given how the show is more intent on showing how Lulu is right about the Britannian system being hopeless corrupt and broken.

edited 8th Oct '12 12:20:50 PM by Scherzo09

These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
 2327 Drakyndra, Mon, 8th Oct '12 1:05:55 PM from Somewhere
Her with the hat
[up]Lelouch might be right in his opinion of Britannia, but as noble as "rebel against the Evil Empire" sounds, I found his plans ended up being just as ineffective ultimately. As Zero he achieved precisely none of his stated goals (freeing Japan, destroying Britannia, making Nunnally happy) - they wait until he joins the system. He literally achieves more with Suzaku's methods than his own.
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Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up]Putting aside the fact that he probably would've succeeded if the Black Knight's hadn't betrayed him (though I don't particularly want to open that can of worms); isn't there some inherent moral 'rightness' for resisting injustice instead of dully submitting to it? Now, I don't think Suzaku got his fair shake in Geass, but only because he was saddled with siding with a nation that is Luaghably Evil. But, for example, would the American Revolution be injust if it had failed? Is justice merely a manner of success, or fighting for a principle? To me, as much as he becomes a Mary Sue, Lulu has stronger principles of individual dignity and is willing to take upon himself the responsibility for the damage he'll cause. Suzaku, before bumping into Euphemia, is merely content with protecting the status quo because he's not willing to be responsible for anymore deaths, even though that's implicitly condemning the Japanese to be stamped on by Britannian boots forever. If the Britannian regime had been presented as any less monstrous, not necessarily good but at least reasonable, Suzaku would've had ground to stand on.
These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
 2329 Drakyndra, Mon, 8th Oct '12 2:53:10 PM from Somewhere
Her with the hat
Arguing moral superiority sort of Completely Misses The Point in a conflict between "Freedom or Death!" and "Preserve as many lives as possible". Conflicting ideas about what morality means is sort of Code Geass's thing.
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Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up] That isn't moral ambiguity, that's just two moral systems, specifically, a Hobbesian one (Revolution is never justified because the state of war always leads to worse conditions for humanity) and a Lockiean one (Revolution is morally justified when certain fundamental, inalienable human rights are deprived to people by their government). And throughout most of the series it heavily favors Lulu, besides the arbitrary Zero Requiem that's just there to show how much of Magnificent Bastard AND how selfless he is. Suzaku is supporting a regime that has utterly no conniptions about machine gunning Elevens to death, his defense of the empire ensures more Elevens will die and be oppressed through atrocity. Britannia is portrayed as so self evidently in series that I don't see how anyone with a conscience could not see the moral imperative to see it dismantled.
These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
 2331 vandro, Mon, 8th Oct '12 10:18:18 PM from Little shop that wasn't
Shop Owner
Basically, the way I see it, Brittania's atrocious actions at the start of the series were so over the top evil that they didn't really register in me as actions a human being can actually fathom. They served to make Lelouch's crusade seem the righteous one, true. What I mean is not that I supported the whole brittanian enterprise but rather that the main characters in the brittanian side(Suzaku and Euphemia) seemed far more moral to me than Lelouch. And the black knights seemed to be, at least to me, a group with no real agency, mere puppets of a megalomaniacal rationalizing scumbag(If you are supposed to be the good guy: You simply DON'T start laughing like a maniac TWO episodes in).

Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up]Well the more logical thing to do is, since you realize the absurdity of the situation, is to just root for no one. I mean, as you yourself said, Britannia's actions are so unfathomably atrocious and despicable, how can you see a guy as morally upright when he looks at that darkness and says 'I want to defend that'. To phrase it another way, what if Suzaku were a Frenchman during the Nazi Invasion and occupation of France? What if he looked at the Nazis and said, 'they may be doing bad stuff, but they've brought order to our country, even let us have some form of self-rule. Opposing them would only bring about needless death and destruction, so see should support them and, somewhere along the line, try to get reform from within.' Would you really look upon him and see him as morally superior to the French Resistance, fighting for freedom?

I mean, for all I dislike Lelouch's characterization, at least how it's handled, his central cause, as confused as it may be, is still Just. It's again like Hamlet, while his means may be suspect and in the end self-defeating, the soul of his cause is still 'right'.

OH and another thing about Suzaku; he signs off on Lelouch's reign of terror, killing, apparently, thousands of people arbitrarily, just so he can have the privilege of killing Lelouch to avenge Euphemia? To me that's extremely petty; though Zero Requiem is already fucked up as is.

Euphy... She's just, she had promise, but upon rewatching it she isn't as strong as I remember her being; way too doe eyed and blindly idealistic. I was hoping her optimism had been married to more genuine tact and cunning; we only get sparks of that in the series and overall she just comes across as an arbitrary Hope Spot that's doomed to fail.
These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
 2333 Ultimately Subjective, Mon, 8th Oct '12 11:21:46 PM from Once, not long ago
Conceptually Frameworked
Is it just me, or were the group that would become the Black Knights both stupid and dangerous petty terrorists before Lelouch took over?

I mean, that poison gas stunt was pretty dumb and it did draw attention to them in a way that put innocent lives at risk. Kallen doesn't exactly have the most rock-solid moral high ground either.
"Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes."
Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up]They were just a petty Freedom Fighter/Terrorist Group. I don't think it's really ever explained how they got CC other than somehow managing to steal it. I don't know if they intended to use it, maybe instead use it as a bargaining chip. But they probably one of many disparate resistance groups that operated in the ghettos of Tokyo, like all the 'FSA Brigades' that are fighting Assad in Aleppo.

Heh, kinda ties into how weird CG is about its nationalism because Lelouch often badmouths how petty and shortsighted most of the Japanese rebels are. More Mighty Whitey stuff imo.

edited 8th Oct '12 11:27:52 PM by Scherzo09

These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
 2335 vandro, Tue, 9th Oct '12 12:06:02 AM from Little shop that wasn't
Shop Owner
Well the more logical thing to do is, since you realize the absurdity of the situation, is to just root for no one

That's what I did in R2.

To phrase it another way, what if Suzaku were a Frenchman during the Nazi Invasion and occupation of France? What if he looked at the Nazis and said, 'they may be doing bad stuff, but they've brought order to our country, even let us have some form of self-rule. Opposing them would only bring about needless death and destruction, so see should support them and, somewhere along the line, try to get reform from within.' Would you really look upon him and see him as morally superior to the French Resistance, fighting for freedom?

Why do you do an incomplete analogy? You have left out that this group of freedom fighters are mere tools of an ex-nazi nutjob with delusions of grandeur?

I mean, for all I dislike Lelouch's characterization, at least how it's handled, his central cause, as confused as it may be, is still Just. It's again like Hamlet, while his means may be suspect and in the end self-defeating, the soul of his cause is still 'right'.

I am everything in the world but a consequentialist. To me what matters in a person is how their intent and motives matches their actions. Suzaku intents to show brittanians that the japanese can be trusted, to show japanese that they can work from within the system to thrive. And he act accordingly as a model citizen. Lelouch wants to destroy Brittania out of a grudge against the system and a rationalization over what kind of world his sister wants without actually trying to ask her what kind of world she wants(selfish motives). His method, ignite the flames of revolution in hopes of toppling brittania: no matter the cost(BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD actions).

edited 9th Oct '12 4:49:50 PM by vandro

"I dunno. One of my first reactions to the end of the first season was how interesting it was that how at the start the Britannians seemed like Complete Monsters and Lelouch was set up as the hero, and yet by the end the Black Knights were holding school children hostage at gunpoint, Lelouch was laughing madly as he dropped a city on top of vehicles full of people trying to evacuate and then running out on the people counting on him while it was Britannians evacuating innocent Ashford residents and the racist princess Cornelia was going on about how Suzaku was a worthy knight. The role reversal was really interesting to me."

That's more a matter of Evil Virtues on Cornelia's part, not to mention her being closer to her military having been put through the discipline. Lelouch on the other hand was a secretly angry civilian who took on the role of leader not only with no formal background, but also a whole lot of secrets (and not without reason; would the B Ks knowingly follow a Britannian, let alone an ex-prince?), and an extreme sister complex (to be fair, Cornelia did have a bit of a break down before she stepped up to battle). Lelouch had a bit of a failure to think straight; otherwise, he might have made an order to have Cornelia captured.

Also, even though she starts getting over her racism, she still has a whole lot of merciless, needless blood on her hands, ie Saitama and Area 18, which is no comparison to what Lelouch does, which at least tends to have some basic tactical advantage in mind.

"Lelouch might be right in his opinion of Britannia, but as noble as "rebel against the Evil Empire" sounds, I found his plans ended up being just as ineffective ultimately. As Zero he achieved precisely none of his stated goals (freeing Japan, destroying Britannia, making Nunnally happy) - they wait until he joins the system. He literally achieves more with Suzaku's methods than his own."

It was ineffective partly because Ohgi wanted to get in Villetta's pants. Zero Requiem only happened because he lost the will to live after said betrayal and Nunnally's apparent demise. It had even less chance of working, because the B Ks were too strong. Lelouch actually had a powerful, legitimate front for fighting Britannia with the UFN. Even if taking over as emperor was a good idea, let the following sink in: becoming even worse than Charles and Schneizel, the latter who he allows to reappear with a huge impenetrable Kill Sat. To say any of that is better is Insane Troll Logic.

"Lelouch wants to destroy Brittania out of a grudge against the system and a rationalization over what kind of world his sister wants without actually trying to ask her what kind of world she wants(selfish motives). His method, ignite the flames of revolution in hopes of toppling brittania: no matter the cost(BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD actions)."

Rewatch Turn 7. He realizes he's been using his sister, who he fears doesn't need his help anymore to be safe, as an excuse, and really DOES want to get Britannia out of the picture for the sake of the world.

edited 9th Oct '12 1:32:57 AM by azul120

 
 2337 Grand Prince Paul II, Tue, 9th Oct '12 1:49:37 AM from Western Eurasia
Imperial knight
Would you really look upon him and see him as morally superior to the French Resistance, fighting for freedom?

Would you say that futile resistance against the ruling bad guys is justified and right if you can get a better deal for yourself and your country by collaborating with them?
Lazy and pathetic.
 2338 Iaculus, Tue, 9th Oct '12 3:39:23 AM from England
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]First, you have to define 'better', then decide if you trust your fascist oppressors to actually give it to you.

edited 9th Oct '12 3:39:34 AM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 2339 Grand Prince Paul II, Tue, 9th Oct '12 4:20:56 AM from Western Eurasia
Imperial knight
[up] Becoming a (near-)equal part of The Empire or at least a privileged one among the conquered, and avoiding the needless devastation of your own country.
Lazy and pathetic.
 2340 vandro, Tue, 9th Oct '12 10:09:31 AM from Little shop that wasn't
Shop Owner
Rewatch Turn 7. He realizes he's been using his sister, who he fears doesn't need his help anymore to be safe, as an excuse, and really DOES want to get Britannia out of the picture for the sake of the world.

Realizing he is a selfish person using a rationalization doesn't actually mean he stops being a selfish person, he just becomes a self-aware one. And while true that he believes that Brittania should stop existing from the betterment of the world, his methods didn't change with this epiphany.

If he was that selfish, or at least as selfish, he would have just quit the rebellion. But he just couldn't sit around and let them have their way. He may have been no saint, but at the very least he had the most clear sighted goal with the UFN, a legitimate front against the Britannian Empire. It may have not been exactly what Nunnally wanted, compared to just being with Lelouch, but really, letting Britannia have its way with the world would have been the more selfish thing. Besides, not all of his destructiveness was unjustified, given the nature of Britannia itself necessitating it for a basic advamtage. As far as him laughing mad, he's not exactly sane given what he's been through (not to mention he has his moments of repulsion and doubt), and to an extent, he's getting a little schadenfreude against the nation that's pissed on him.

Besides, Suzaku himself wasn't exactly a saint either. Season 1 was infact him overcompensating for his past by way of a death wish. R2 was him going down the slippery slope, alienating almost every other nation so he could have a shot at becoming Knight of One.

edited 9th Oct '12 8:33:26 PM by azul120

 
Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
And I'll say that Britannia is a nation that's all about using bad methods to get what they want; their creed is practically Thucydides' statement of "The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must." They're actually in violation of the basic ideas of what proponents of unequal systems of government believe. Like say John Winthrop, one of the founders of Boston colony who made the observation that God had ordained the state of mankind to be unequal, some born into nobility and some born into poverty, some born strong and others born weak; but that this is not necessarily absolute and that the system is maintained by mutual respect for both parties, the strong not oppressing the weak and the weak not revolting against the strong. Obviously, with Britannia's naked Realpolitik, that gets thrown out the window.
These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
 2343 vandro, Tue, 9th Oct '12 9:04:45 PM from Little shop that wasn't
Shop Owner
First, we are supposed to be talking in the context of R1. I've already said that in R2 I cheered for no one. And I am almost sure UFN didn't come into play during R1. It's not about being a saint, it's about Suzaku being earnest and, AND AND AND, Euphemia being actually a good person. Why are people leaving her outside of my argument? While on the black knights we have Lelouch the megalomaniac, Kallen the pilot with minimal agency, C.C. the I-don't-Give-A-Fuck, Diethard Ried the I'm-just-here-for-zero, and Tohdoh. and what else has Brittania in the first season that is outright immoral? The chivalrous-to-a-fault Glaston Knights? The Loony Earl and his assisstant? The Racist Cornelia is the closest thing! Clovis didn't even manage to get more than a couple episodes!

And I'll say that Britannia is a nation that's all about using bad methods to get what they want; their creed is practically Thucydides' statement of "The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must." They're actually in violation of the basic ideas of what proponents of unequal systems of government believe. Like say John Winthrop, one of the founders of Boston colony who made the observation that God had ordained the state of mankind to be unequal, some born into nobility and some born into poverty, some born strong and others born weak; but that this is not necessarily absolute and that the system is maintained by mutual respect for both parties, the strong not oppressing the weak and the weak not revolting against the strong. Obviously, with Britannia's naked Realpolitik, that gets thrown out the window.

I am not judging Britannia, which from the start is deemed by the story as too rotten to exist, I am judging Lelouch, because he is a gigantic jackass who believes that the ends justifies the means(a position I thoroughly reject).

edited 9th Oct '12 9:16:09 PM by vandro

Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up]Because as much as I want to like her, she just comes off as a privileged fool in the context of the show. I really wish she was a strong, Rosalind-like female role model, but she's just a baseless idealist because of how, well, evil Britannia is. One person can't change a culture that malignant; at best the SAZ would have been a puppet government like Vichy France. Anyways that's all beside the point because you're argument is essentially saying something like 'Well Nazi Germany produced decent men like Rommel and Stauffenburg and they wanted to change the system, so it couldn't have been that bad.'

To bring change to the world, you're going to have to accept that you're going to be responsible for collateral damage along the way. And sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to accomplish your goals, in the end Suzaku sure as hell does, and even in his protection of life he is protecting the means of Britannian oppression, with the vague notion that he'll make it better eventually. Is that any different than Lelouch rationalizing the carnage he wracks in his quest for Japanese freedom?

Keep in mind Suzaku's motivations aren't pure either. His biggest thing is guilt over his Father's death, and I think his defense of Britannia is partly because he wants to prove to himself and his dad that he made the right choice by saving them from needless self-sacrifice.

[up]Well that's a petty thing to do isn't it? At the end of the day Lelouch, however poorly portrayed, is still a man with flaws of character. So he has ulterior motives, so what? So has practically everyone in the history of the world. And his resistance of Britannia, and his ability to turn the disparate, pathetic Japanese resistance groups into a competent fighting force is something to be admired, at least conceptually.

edited 9th Oct '12 9:26:56 PM by Scherzo09

These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
If the ends don't justify the means, what other means, pray tell, does he have? He may be far from a hero, but megalomaniac is a tad bit hyperbolic.

And UFN never enters the equation in season 1 because the rebellion is starting with Japan.

And Suzaku isn't really being earnest to begin with, given his hidden motives, not to mention that he ends up turning his back on his nation.

The only good person in Britannia in season 1 is Euphemia, and she's too naive, sadly. Everyone else is neutral, at best.
 
Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up]Britannia's right to a certain extent; whoever's left standing at the end of the day gets to define what's right.
These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
Still, they were the ones who violated Japan and all the other occupied territories in the first place.
 
Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
[up]Well yeah, I'm not arguing against you. I'm just saying if you don't take all the necessary means to defeat an enemy, they will win and their will will be morality.

Heh, I'm currently reading Hamlet right now, which will be fun.
These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
 2349 vandro, Tue, 9th Oct '12 9:51:37 PM from Little shop that wasn't
Shop Owner
Keep in mind Suzaku's motivations aren't pure either. His biggest thing is guilt over his Father's death, and I think his defense of Britannia is partly because he wants to prove to himself and his dad that he made the right choice by saving them from needless self-sacrifice.

This I have to agree with, fair enough.

Well that's a petty thing to do isn't it? At the end of the day Lelouch, however poorly portrayed, is still a man with flaws of character. So he has ulterior motives, so what? So has practically everyone in the history of the world.

A man with ulterior motives is not a good guy, but a guy who does good because it suits him, a good guy does it because he believe that what is good is what has to be done, however circular the logic.

And his resistance of Britannia, and his ability to turn the disparate, pathetic Japanese resistance groups into a competent fighting force is something to be admired, at least conceptually

Who said you can't admire Lelouch as a rebel leader while considering him a jackass? He had a talent, nobody is denying that.

If the ends don't justify the means, what other means, pray tell, does he have? He may be far from a hero, but megalomaniac is a tad bit hyperbolic.

He can have his revoluton allright, he just doesn't have to be a dick about it.(i.e.: people are not tools)

Laughs like a maniac, believes himself superior to others, considers people as tools to get what he wants, is distrusting of others to a extreme, what, pray tell is he but a megalomaniac?

Those trust or need for control issues aren't without reason though. Blame his father for spitting him out and pissing on him, even if he didn't necessarily mean it like that.

He's not a megalomaniac so much as he is a fucked up mishmash.

Not like any of the others were above using other people, either, in all fairness.

edited 9th Oct '12 11:23:08 PM by azul120

 
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