Finally got round to watching Code Geass R2 episode 1 last night and I must admit that I was severely underwhelmed. Everything was there, the animation quality was acceptable and safe but it really didn’t grab me as I watched it.

One of the reasons was possibly because it was pretty much a rehash of the first episode of season 1, right down to the dead bodies at the end and Lelouche commanding the soldiers to kill themselves!

I was also annoyed by the fact that the series wasn’t really connected to the end of the first season. The show ended with a mountain of questions and we didn’t get a single answer or hint from the first ep of R2. It was almost stand alone. In fact, all it did was raise even more questions!!!! All I can say is, there had better be answers and damn soon!!! I mean, how can Lelouche conveniently forget that he is zero and lose his geass powers? How can Karen now accept Lelouche as Zero so readily when, at the end of the first season, she was on the verge of a breakdown when she found out?! And how the heck can Suzaku say to the emperor that he will kill zero when he couldn’t do it when he had a gun pointed at point blank range???!!!!

Still, there were some consolations…

I have no doubt that geass will pick up later but I wish the writers did a better job at linking things together instead of leaving so many loose ends all the time! But the sooner they change the OP and ED the better as they were awful!! Even the second OP from season 1 was better than this crap! Orange Road should be ashamed!

(EDIT: After watching ep 2, we actually DO get to find out what happened in the cave at the end of season 1!! and it lasts all of a few minutes!!! Seriously, couldn’t this have been put into the first ep? They also threw in a few more questions but at least they gave some answers this time. Though I still don’t understand how Karen can so readily accept Lelouche as zero given her actions and reactions in the cave. And the OP and ED still suck!)

As for Frontier…

Lets face it, Macross Frontier was never going to win a battle comparing first eps as we have all seen ep1 way back at Christmas. There were some minor changes and scene additions, none of which added much to the story but the one thing which irked me (and other bloggers) was the change at the concert scene. I was blown away by the choreography between the concert, the song being played and the space battle in the early version but they did away with all that in the broadcast version and just had an extended concert scene. There were shots of the battle as well but it didn’t hold together as well as before.

And again, it didn’t really add anything (aside from playing up a possible love interest between the idol, Sheryl and the main effeminate guy, Alto) so I would have preferred it to have remained the same.

In short, the early version is superior in my opinion.

So Geass won the initial battle but don’t count frontier out. If I was a betting kind of person, I’d bet on Macross coming over as the superior show in the end. Ep 2 should give us all a better idea.

(Edit2: Yep, it was great! Geass sorted itself out in ep2 but Frontier answered everyone who have been waiting since christmas for the continuation!)

On a side note, I have also had the chance to watch the tower of Druaga, Blassreitter, Kanokon and To love-ru.

Tower of Druaga had a brilliant first ep which had the show lampoon many stereotypes of action shows such as “announcing that you intend to get married after the adventure is over is akin to giving yourself a death sentence.” There were many others which were great and made the show really fun to watch. I’d recommend it if you haven’t gone over to youtube to watch it yet. The problem is that it’s almost certain that the show won’t be following that route as it would be too hard to make new material. So we’ll have to wait and see how the 2nd ep shapes up.

Blassrietter… All I can say is that it’s really generic and has far too much CG. it’s not a bad show but it doesn’t stand out. I still intend to watch it but I’m enjoying Druaga much more right now.

And then we have Kanokon and To love-ru fighting it out for the season’s ecchi show. And I have to say Kanokon is winning. Not only is it more ecchi, but the premise just feels more interesting right now. My only complaint is the choice of VA. Kawasumi Ayako should not do ecchi characters in these sorts of shows, EVER!!!

Kamen no maid guy was also awesome, but i’ve only seen it raw, so I’m hoping for english subs before I rate it properly.