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A Defense of Code Geass’s Euphemia Moment

Hello & Welcome – To Replay Value When I think of Code Geass I think of Jibun
Wo – which I almost can’t say without singing, an alternate history that I wish more material
would explore, several fascinating characters, Madder Sky, and an incredibly satisfying conclusion
to one of my favorite anime ever. But that’s because I love Code Geass, in
spite of its flaws, from its treatment of Chess, the soft-reset in Season 2 to force
back the school setting, the second OP, the unprompted fanservice – but none of those
issues that I have are as widely divisive as the scene referenced in the title of this
video, one that is so memorable that people who have seen it know exactly what I’m talking
about just by mentioning the character’s name, and there’s a pretty good chance that
even if you’ve only heard of Code Geass this sequence is so ubiquitous in criticism
of it, that you would likely be able to intuit what I mean by “The Euphemia Moment”. Because this for better or worse, is a part
of Code Geass’ lasting legacy, the moment the show allegedly jumped the shark, and one
that I’ll be taking it upon myself to defend here. I’ll also be outlining why I think this
sequence got a bad wrap, and arguably still deserves it, in addition to all the usual
scene analysis bells and whistles so that everyone is refreshed as to the major elements
at play here. Bloodstained Euphie is one of the last episodes
in Season 1 and serves as the point of no-return prior to the climax. Over the previous few episodes of the show,
Euphemia has gone through quite the emotional journey, confirming that her half-brother
Lelouch is not only in fact not dead, but also Zero – the leader of the rebellion helping
the Japanese fight against the Britannian Occupation. Lelouch even went so far as to kill their
half-sibling Clovis who was the previous viceroy of what is called Area 11. Euphie has also fallen in love with Knightmare
Pilot Suzaku – a soldier for the Britannian Army who is viewed as a traitor by some of
the Japanese civilians as he is also Japanese yet fighting for their occupiers, and discovers
that Lelouch’s sister Nunnally is alive as well. All of these factors together causes her to
proclaim as sub-viceroy of Area 11 that she’ll be creating the Special Administrative Zone
of Japan – effectively a Japanese state with oversight by Brittania – which she does because
of her desire to be with all the people she cares about, but is also directly opposed
to Lelouch’s desires to have Area 11 rebel against his father – the Emperor of Brittania. The episode opens with both sides discussing
the SAZ, setting up the fact that this could be a death knell to the Black Knights – Zero’s
military unit – and true Japanese independence since presumably rebellion would stop. It’s viewed negatively on both sides, with
even Brittanian nobles attacking Japanese commoners for trying to drum up support for
the cause. In a familiar sight we see Lelouch stand up
for the weak against the strong, but as he begins to use his Geass – the power to command
someone to do any act – he cuts himself off by closing his eye. This scene has two interpretations, one that
he stopped himself because his friend would also have made eye contact as the command
was made, or that his Geass began to appear unintentionally and he realized before he
said something he didn’t mean, in this case telling the man to kill himself. This concept of Geass going out of control
had been foreshadowed in a previous encounter with Mao, another Geass user whose power to
read minds developed to the point where it could never be turned off, and led to the
worst possible tragedy for him – being abandoned by C.C. As Lelouch meets privately with Euphemia at
the ceremony to announce the SAZ, he tells her of his plan to be shot by her and continue
his rebellion. At that moment though, his Geass acts up causing
both him and C.C. to fall to the floor in pain, though only C.C. is aware of what’s
happening, as she says “he’s reached that point”. And Euphemia is only able to convince
Lelouch not to go through with his plan because she’s being considerate of Nunnally. She’s giving up her claim to the throne
because she truly desires this outcome, an opportunity to be with Lelouch, Nunnaly and
Suzaku without anyone having to fight anymore. Even as Lelouch continues to try and bait
the pure Euphy into saying something that will give him cause to continue his plan,
she’s just entirely honest about her feelings and her desires – not to lose anyone important
to her, which of course includes him. As Lelouch declares her win, a calming vocal
track begins to replace the more confrontational music, to confirm the peaceful aftermath. At this point there’s no more tension in
the scene, Lelouch is no longer holding a gun, it’s just two siblings chatting comfortably,
probably made most clear when Euphemia questions his certainty that she’d shoot him if he
so demanded. Lelouch begins to explain his power, that
he could command her to do anything, a claim so ridiculous that Euphemia can’t help but
exclaim, where the music suddenly cuts, and Euphemia
who struggles against the command for a moment, succumbs to Geass and does in fact begin the
process of massacring the entire Japanese population at the ceremony. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions, both
in how it affects the world at large and how it affects our principle cast – loss of life,
and a farewell to any semblance of a happy ending. What I really appreciate about the sequence
though, despite the obvious stuff like the dramatic nature of Lelouch battling against
the straightforward Euphemia (I wonder if their outfit colors have anything to do with
their moral allignment) – is how the moment to moment visuals play into the critical beats. Notably in the command we never see Lelouch
activate his power: Using Geass follows a three-part structure,
command and close-up of Lelouch’s eye, Zoom into the target’s eye, visualization of Geass
shifting brain waves or something. In this case we skip the first one of those
entirely, not even the usual sound effect – clip – plays in that scene, instead using
this far shot that makes both characters small in the frame. It’s supposed to be a total undercut of
the viewers expectations, as much as shock to them as it is to Lelouch, a betrayal of
his powers at the worst possible moment. And not to jump too far passed this moment,
but this immediately builds into the climax of Season 1, the attack on Tokyo – with emotions
running so high because of the events of Bloodstained Euphy. Suzaku heartbroken looking for vengeance,
a guilty but determined Lelouch – the finale of Season 1 is amped up to eleven because
of the Euphemia moment. So with the recap done, what are the exact
elements that cause grievance and that I’ll be attempting to defend? Unsurprisingly they’re all based around
the statement “Kill all the Japanese” which is argued to be a Diabolus ex Machina
– an unexpected event that suddenly ruins everything for the protagonist, the opposite
of a Deus Ex Machina. There’s the fact that Lelouch says those
words in the first place, the idea that the Geass activation came out of nowhere, and
the timing on that activation to occur at that very moment. The second one of those I think I’ve already
put to bed, it had been foreshadowed not just by Mao in the previous arc, but twice in this
very episode. I have what I think is a convincing argument
for Lelouch’s statement – but the timing window…well let’s detour really quickly. Because this is such a divisive topic, I want
to quickly state that I understand why people don’t like this scene and why I think anyone
would be justified in not finding my upcoming conclusions satisfying. I don’t think this is like the Hyouka Finale
where most of the detractors believe it to be unsatisfying because they’re missing
the subtext, that is not the case here – I think there is a legitimate complaint about the timing of Lelouch’s
Geass’ becoming permanent to be contrived writing. That the show had painted itself into a corner
with Euphemia’s personality, political beliefs and relationship with Lelouch such that Lelouch
had no choice but to accept her terms and end the core dramatic thread that defined
the show. He admits as much in that very conversation,
and it is only by the grace of the screenwriter that this ending is stalled and the show continues
without making Lelouch kill an innocent character without just cause. I don’t think people are wrong for not liking
that, of course most if not all fiction writing is convenient in some way – new conversations
open with contextual material so the unknowing audience is clued into the discussion and
character names, the start of the story coincides with the inciting incident and not the majority
of the protagonist’s irrelevant childhood, we don’t watch characters slowly and silently
eat all their meals – but those aren’t massive plot points that define their stories. It’s easy to nitpick convenience in writing,
but it tends to be bad faith criticism about stuff done for the audience’s benefit or
story pacing, that undermine actual complaints with elements that legitimately strain the
audience’s suspension of disbelief. The Euphemia moment isn’t something insubstantial
– it is the climax of the story to that point and has massive ramifications for the entire
plot and almost every character. The audience has to accept that Lelouch’s
Geass went crazy at this exact moment AND he made eye-contact JUST as he made that statement
instead of the previous ones – that’s a pretty convenient timing window. So I’m not here to tell you that this sequence
is handled perfectly, if it was this video wouldn’t exist because no one would complain
– and my argument regarding the timing window is not that it’s perfect and that you’re
crazy for being bothered by it. Suspension of disbelief varies between watchers
so if Code Geass hasn’t captured your imagination at this point, I can totally see why this
would bother you instead of shocking you as I’m lead to believe was the intent by the
shot selection and the timing of the sequence. Brief tangent – I do wonder why you stuck
around to the Euphemia Moment though, I don’t know how no one seeing Arthur wearing Zero’s
mask when everyone in the school was chasing him wasn’t the capstone moment of implausibility
– though the tone of that sequence was clearly comedic so it doesn’t carry the same weight
– still though, come on it was pretty ridiculous. My defense of The Euphemia Moment is not an
attempt to convince you that the lynchpin sequence is not convenient in its timing – that’s
an unfortunate side effect of trying to unite Lelouch and the audience in their shock about
the event – but rather that Lelouch’s statement is not all that outlandish when you consider
his character, that even if you do believe the Geass activation moment to be a Diabolus
ex Machina because of the timing, it is thematically consistent with the story. In my chess video I referenced The Euphemia
Moment’s tendency to be discussed as Lelouch’s poorly timed joke, but I don’t think that’s
a fair description because I wouldn’t describe Lelouch’s statement as a joke. Lelouch means everything he’s saying to
Euphemia, if anything he’s being more honest with her than literally anyone not named C.C.
and there’s two reasons for that. For starters, he’s let his guard down – he’s
with someone he trusts and who cares about his most important person, Nunnaly, nothing
he does from this point on is a tough decision – after he agrees to work with Euphemia there’s
nothing to worry about, his scheming has come to an end and his time as Zero the master
of rebellion is over. Lelouch is surrendering…and that’s the
other part. Lelouch is a walking incarnation of pride,
it has been shown over and over again how he thrives on outsmarting people – laughing
hysterically whenever someone walks into one of his traps, his showmanship in the rescue
of Suzaku, hell Cornelia makes an amazing read on Zero and says that he’s prideful
presumably based on his tactics. That’s borne out by the fact that Lelouch
never thinks he’s going to be defeated, he usually has the one singular strategy for
that encounter and he’s insanely confident in his abilities, justifiably so by the way. When he is defeated, like against Cornelia
in that same fight, he complains about the unequal playing field to which C.C. rightfully
calls him a sore loser. Lelouch is a proud guy, he doesn’t like
admitting defeat, and so when he’s surrendering to Euphemia he’s doing the classic “I
could have won if I wanted to.” That’s totally in character, and when Euphemia
says “you’re just being silly” to his assertion that that he could win, it’s all
the more reason for him to double down and state the thing that is the most abhorrent
to her, as if to prove how he could do it – the thing that he would do if not for the
fact that he cares about her. The other thing is that because Lelouch’s
guard is down, he’s not being cautious – and I’d actually argue that Lulu isn’t a particularly
cautious guy, Arthur running off with his Zero mask being A1 example on that list, and
his cavalier attitude towards his Geass as a “get-out-of-jail-free-card” that almost
winds up biting him in the ass against Cornelia as A2. But especially because he thinks his fight
is over, it’s unlikely he’d be considering Mao’s permanent Geass affliction as he’s
having this conversation – again maybe another example of his pride. So I think Lelouch is consistent as a character
in this scene, he’s not the kind of guy to be focused on the worst case scenario and
is absolutely 1000% the kind of guy who if you beat him, would start talking about how
he had a brilliant plan that he could have used if he wanted to win. Him saying something so outlandish to exaggerate
his point seems only natural for a proud guy like Lelouch. But the character flaw that leads to Lelouch’s
statement is only one part, because his Geass needs to activate in order for anything to
happen. That, I believe, is best explored by taking
a look at what exactly Code Geass is cribbing from in its dramatic ideas. Part of the Diabolus Ex Machina moment being
consistent with the thematic nature of the story is a reminder of what kind of drama
Code Geass is in its DNA. Code Geass is a tragedy, or at the very least
it likely fancies itself one of the Shakespearean variety – this is best shown in the first
episode where Lelouch is reading none other than Hamlet. Lelouch is a disowned prince in a monarchy
filled with fratricide, revenge, betrayal both by family and advisors, power-vacuums
and zealous overthrows – bringing to mind Macbeth, King Lear and the aforementioned
Danish prince. Lelouch and Hamlet both are driven by revenge
and achieve it, kill their first loves incidentally, kill the Kings of their countries, and their
storylines end with a death confession scene where they tell their one friend who knows
the whole story to live on. I wouldn’t go so far as to claim that Code
Geass is a sci-fi spin on Shakespeare, but certainly Code Geass is at the very least aware of that tradition. Ex Machina moments are not infrequent in Shakespeare’s
work, like the ending of Romeo and Juliet where the message of her plan just happens
to be delayed and (in a moment of story convenience) Juliet doesn’t awaken in time to stop Romeo
from killing himself but wakes up immediately after and kills herself before anyone can
find her. They are frequently used, like in the previous
example, to create the tragedy from what would otherwise be a happy triumphant moment, especially
when the characters do not deserve it for their previous actions – especially when it
comes to the killing of others. And that’s basically what’s happening
here – Lelouch is not allowed to achieve happiness because he has caused so much destruction
to this point. Another tragic element at play – though not
Shakespearian – is the faustian bargain Lelouch makes with C.C. for the power of kings, which
she notes will isolate him – something born out by Zero Requiem – and which of course
winds up being the vehicle for the Diabolus Ex Machina, the double edged sword that both
brought him to this moment, and will now be ripping it away. This sequence re-inforces the idea of Geass
being a curse beyond just C.C. saying so. Sure we saw what happened to Mao when his
Geass became permanent, he lost his mind and C.C. which certainly falls under tragedy for
his character – but he was an antagonist. The only real downside to Geass for Lelouch
is that he wiped Shirley’s memories but that’s just fallout from non-Geass related
actions – everything else has been coming up rainbows. This aspect of Geass’s curse hits a lot
closer to home because it’s our protagonist who is burnt directly because of Geass and
it kills a character who the audience has gotten to know and appreciate if not like
quite a bit. Because it is Lelouch’s pride that leads
him to say the words, the tragic element is in full-effect – if not for this character
flaw of needing to win; Lelouch, Euphemia and everyone else would be happy instead of the insane brutality
of both the massacre and the following attack on Tokyo. It is only by the gift of his Geass that Lelouch
is on the verge of such happiness, and it is a curse that destroys said happiness and
punishes him for his pride. It’s Fate dealing just deserts after killing
his half-brother, hundreds of others, declaring that he would walk the path of blood, and
then choosing instead to retreat from that chosen destiny. On top of that it immediately forces Lelouch
to realize that he’s just a faker when he speaks about being a “messiah” for the
Japanese people – going from declaring himself the true savior as opposed to Euphemia in
his rage, and then after condemning the innocents to their deaths, has to reckon with his own
self-image crumbling. It would seem that at the very least some
part of Lelouch wanted this – the opportunity to play the hero – otherwise his grandstanding
with Euphemia was completely farcical. And it is all the more tragic that fate granted
him his wish in the worst possible way. This concept of fate having a direct hand
in the Geass’s activation even gets a feasible in-universe explanation with C’s world and
all the other mystical elements that don’t get proper explanation in Season 1, but for
the purposes of this discussion that’s not relevant to the viewer’s initial interpretation
of the sequence since that material is only made clear in the Second Season and could
arguably be a retroactive explanation. Again, I’m not arguing that the timing window
isn’t convenient, but even if you consider the sequence to be a Diabolus Ex Machina,
that’s right in alignment with the story’s dramatic intent, and the shock factor that
unifies the audience with the horror of Geass is designed to make us question whether it
is a blessing or a curse, and raise questions about the kind of person Lelouch really is
a moment of reflection for himself in that regard as well. So acknowledging that the timing window is
this critical element that serves to create shock value in the scene – I have a thought
experiment I’d like us to consider. Imagine an alternate world where the Euphemia
Moment is played for suspense instead – so once both characters collapse for the Geass’s
maturation, instead of C.C. saying the more vague “he’s reached that point” she
says explicitly “His Geass is permanent now” and when we cut back to Lelouch his
eye is red for the rest of the scene ready to send off a command even though he’s clearly
unaware of it. For the viewer, the remainder of the conversation
is just a question of when Lelouch will utter a command without realizing and how bad the
consequences could be, it’s a ticking time bomb in the background of the episode that
creates tension, even as the conversation on the face should be undercutting that since
it’s a moment of surrender and togetherness for the two on screen. It’s very much a Touch of Evil / Hitchcock
way to play the scene and personally it’s more my taste anyway. The question I have is – if you think that
the original’s timing window is too contrived – does this alleviate that for you? Making the audience aware of what’s going
to happen prior to the command instead of unifying with Lelouch’s shock when suddenly
Euphie collapses fighting against Geass. Nothing would even have to change from that
point on in the storyline – we’d have to fix some of the music – but it’s just a small tweak to change the viewer’s engagement
with that sequence which MIGHT also do away with the viewpoint that the final moment is
too convenient. I doubt it fixes all of the issues that anyone
could have with the sequence – especially for those that felt a strong emotional attachment
to Euphemia – but personally I think I’d really enjoy the sequence being played that
way, and I have a feeling I’m not alone. So after that lengthy defense and thought
experiment, here are my major issues with the Euphemia Moment – because while I don’t
have the same problems that I just defended it from, I do have some legitimate complaints. The Euphemia Moment doesn’t actually wind
up changing Lelouch’s character by a significant degree, sure it completely upends Cornelia,
Nina & of course Suzaku – but for our protagonist the second season’s memory wipe also seems
to undo any of the lessons that should be learned, he killed the first girl he ever
loved and it was all his fault – yet it feels like Euphemia’s passing becomes more Suzaku’s
character arc than it does any part of Lelouch’s. It does wind up being motivation for Zero
Requiem, the parallels in the second season regarding Nunnaly’s SAZ are super fascinating,
Suzaku Fleja’ing Tokyo because of Geass in another parallel is thematic gold, but
I cannot help but feel like that its impact on Lelouch is limited to the moments between
his Geass firing and then his gun firing. It just seems odd that it has so little impact
on his character, because Lelouch is so busy at the start of the next Season trying to
re-establish the Black Knights and everything else there’s no time for contemplation because
we have to get back to the norms. My other major issue is similar, the show
should have hard committed to the idea that Lelouch now has to be particular about his
words when he’s not Zero, but he gets a workaround to make the Geass not effectively-permanent
– the contact lens he can put on and remove to control it just like before. This is the definition of a narrative cop-out,
and it’s personally the reason I have the most issue with the decision to make it permanent
at all – it only comes into effect this ONE TIME. It would seem that this is also a fault of
the soft-reset in Season 2 and it’s infuriating to me how The Euphemia Moment’s consequences
on Lelouch’s character are basically null in the moment to moment goings on of the second
season outside of a few select scenes. Almost all of my complaints about the structure
of Code Geass can be traced to the Second Season, but hey that might be a video for
another time which in turn, brings us to the end of this video. Were you persuaded at all by my defense? Does my alternate take of the Euphemia Moment
sound more appealing? Will it take me 6 months before I take a look
at the Akito films as the next video in my CG franchise list? Hopefully not, but regardless – thanks for
watching, thank you for your patience while I finished this one up, and catch y’all
with another video soon.

  • I always thought that it made sense his geass "broke" at this exact moment…. C.C says that the geass is a reflection of what is inside of someone's heart and if you think about it, when Lelouch got his geass he had only one thing in mind "destroy Britannia" BUT when he shakes hands with Euphie, he chooses to "work with Britannia". In other words, Lelouch is betraying his geass (and his heart) at this moment.
    Also Charles had a full geass but he could still deactivate it at will which means it's possible to keep control of it even at its full power and Charles (as far as we know) always worked to accomplish his goal, he never stopped unlike Lelouch.
    Maybe to keep control of your geass you must stay 100% focused on your goal and if you have doubts or change your mind the geass overpowers (or curses) you.

    Moreover, the word "geass" comes from "geas" and it's quite intersting to read about it:
    "In Irish mythology:
    A geas can be compared with a curse or, paradoxically, a gift. If someone under a geas violates the associated taboo, the infractor will suffer dishonor or even death. On the other hand, the observing of one's geas is believed to bring power"
    So if you betray your "geas" bad things happen…
    I think people forget that the geass is a magical/mystical thing, it's not the same as a gun that misfires at the worst possible moment for example.

  • i liked the moment since i rarely see a diabolus ex machina in a good show and it wasn't so absurd that i turned off the show

  • Yeah, that would've been so much more interesting if the writer had to constantly have Lelouch speak carefully in his normal life. Obviously with the mind wipe shenanigans, that whole set up 2nd season wouldve had to be different.

  • The second season should have absolutley shown character growth from Lelouch. God I hate how basically nothing about Lelouch changed until shtf at the end

  • I had no idea you were going to nail the argument so completely. As you alluded to, my primary issue with the Euphemia Moment was the incredibly narrow timing window in which LeLouch would blindly make a "poor loser" comment like that, coinciding with the permanent activation of his Geass. It might actually be the latter factor that hurts the most – the fact that permanent geass activation is only alluded to with Mao, with almost no foreshadowing in the episode or previous episodes that lelouch's geass was reaching that point. It's compounded by the fact that permanent geass activation is not a factor for the rest of the series.

    I think that changing the moment into one driven by suspense instead of as a twist or shock moments helps fix some of the immediate issues. But while you're right in that Lelouch has always seemed rather cavalier – he's never seemed that careless with Nunnally. With Euphy supposedly being second only to Nunnally in his affections, I'm still not completely sure he would be THAT bad of a poor loser in this moment. Great job though.

  • still cant believe they did my girl Euphy so dirty, rip, I was more upset about her death than Shirley who was just blindly in love

  • Yeah you did a really good job, but I also wasn't hating this scene and was just surprised as the creators intended, only complaining later so maybe it's just me.

  • I didn't know people did criticize it. It's, in my opinion, the second best moment in the series other than the ending, from a writing standpoint. It makes sense that he said it, given that the entire point of why he was there was to save the Japanese, it makes sense that the Geass activated, not just because it was foreshadowed, but the reason it activated there was because he was thinking and talking about Geass, and the reason he looked at Euphemia there was simply because it was the end of his statement and it's normal to gauge someone's reaction when you finish talking, as well as make eye contact for their response. So not only was it logical, but the results were exactly what the show needed to progress. Yes it was partially shock value, but it was important to the characters, the plot, and added to the meaning of the ending. It was emotional too, especially afterward when Euphemia asked how it went.
    All in all a powerful scene that I can't imagine criticizing for any reason other than being upset at the gore and wanting a reason to complain about it (which if you are then that's fine but how did you get past literally the first episode?).

    Also I do agree that the way Emmett put it would probably still be a bit better, but leave it to the script writers to make it seem more natural. The idea is still good though.

  • Wait? People had a problem with that episode? I always thought it was the highlight of the series. A really well-played tragedy in the classic sense of the word that is rare to find in anime.

  • Here’s an idea to make Lelouch’s phrase more natural: what if he and Euphemia were discussing goals of a genocide villain? Euphemia asked, “What do he want?” Lelouch answers, “Kill all the Japanese.” If Lelouch was a person without Geass, this phrase would be ordinary. If Lelouch said this phrase without losing control of his Geass, it will still be ordinary. Lelouch and Euphemia can unite to take down this villain. But such a plan is no longer possible if Lelouch said this phrase without realizing he couldn’t turn off his Geass.

  • Your alternate take on the scene is definitely better but my problem with this scene doesn't come from the coincidence only. It comes from the fact that the royal guards actually obeyed Euphie to begin with. If she gave the order in a serious manner, as if a "Change of plans" I would be totally fine. But she gave the orders laughing innocently. No one wondered if she was literally out of her mind? The Geass effect having bad timing isnt as controversial for me as the escalation of the tragedy itself. And my opinion is reinforced by your second take on the scene. Its not the coincidence that bothered me, it was actually how it was handled from a direction stand point + the escalation of the incident.

    Your problems with the fallout of the Euphie incident is understandable, but let me play devil's advocate for a moment. Lelouch's pride is actually a trait he has in Code Geass, but I don't think it's exactly a type of 'feeling of invulnerability' or a superiority complex. The speech he gives to the japonese right after the event, show exactly what Zero really is: Not the man Lelouch trully is (a remorseless monster) but someone the feels is the necessary thing for the situation at hand (an indestructible messianic figure). And lelouch do suffers from moments like this since his first murderer. I think the reason why some fail to see this suffering is because most of the time lelouch is posing for the camera as: Lelouch Lamperouge, a nobody or Zero, a vicious leader. The only person lelouch can share his pain is with C.C. but this can't take the whole show. So we are left with scenes like the "You and I have a contract" or their last dialogue before the final battle against Damocles in R2 (which is for me one of the greatest scenes I watched in anime). Lelouch in many ways is a doubtful Randian Hero. He sees the virtues of this Randian archetype, but his conscience punishes him because of the blood on his hands, but his strength of character is so big that he does this actions despite his conscience. I think this is the core drama of Lelouch in the anime (what he feels is the right thing vs. what he knows rationally is the right thing) and the mistery behind what goes on his mind only enriches this.

  • Code Geass is perfect. I literally had no idea people found this a point of contention whatsoever, or that anyone thought the series jumped the shark at any point. I'm legit shocked lol.

  • You spend way too much time making sure people know that you know their opinions are valid and to not hurt feelings.

    It's your video, a place to say your piece so get to it already

  • Fun fact:
    "Euphemia" = "Ευφημία" in greek which literally translates to "good reputation"
    Exactly the opposite of what happens to her after the incident

  • Before watching the video, I am someone that despises Code Geass, and especially the Euphemia scene, so this should be interesting! That said I promise I am going in with an open mind, I mean heck I even liked your video on the chess scene even if I didn't totally agree with it and still think that scene is dumb, lol.

    In regards to the foreshadowing, I agree with you, the show did this just fine and I didn't take any issue with it.

    The timing (aswell as saying that order into her eyes) was a bundle of contrivances I took major issue with and I am glad how reasonable you were in the video about respecting those that were bothered by it. That said, I took issue with several contrivances throughout the show and I was a bit annoyed with how you somewhat judged people for not jumping ship earlier, citing the cat episode as being particularly egregious in this regard. The thing is, people have several reasons as to why they finish shows they don't like. I watched it for two reasons, one because it was for the sake of the spoilercast episode on my podcast and the second reason is because I actually used to like Code Geass when it was initially airing and I wanted to see if it held up. That's just me though, there are several other valid reasons as to why someone would continue watching a show they dislike and I don't think it was fair of you to cast judgement like that. Granted I realize you weren't being totally serious, but it was something that bugged me all the same.

    Now as for the infamous line, I think your defense is admirable and I do think you make some good points but ultimately I just can't agree with you. Yes, he has his guard down and the reason why is perfectly valid, but for him to start telling her that he can use a supernatural power? Then for him to explain it to her in a way that would cause him to say "Kill al the Japanese"? I just can't buy that when coupled with the contrivance of the timing and looking into her eyes as he says it when his Geass loses control, it's too many things being forced together to make the story progress. I do like your suggestion to turn into it a suspense scene instead and I think I would've preferred it, but ultimately I would've still hated the scene.

    All in all, interesting video and probably the most reasonable defense of the scene I've seen, but honestly I still feel the same about it and find it to be one of the worst scenes in the show.

  • I like your idea about C.C. being more literal about what’s going on. That would definitely change the scene.

    Nice correlation to Shakespeare. I hoped somebody else noticed him reading Hamlet. Maybe a bit on the nose, but I liked it.

    About the contacts thing, I agree. Never though about it, but it is a little annoying. Nobody asked, but if I were to make a change to that, I would probably have C.C. say that the contact wouldn’t work forever and she doesn’t know when Lelouch’s Geass will become too powerful for it. That statement would likely echo in the back of his mind and hopefully make him more cautious? Hopefully? Dunno, just a thought.

    Good video, though. Code Geass is a very thought provoking show and I love watching debate things like this. A new perspective is always refreshing. Good work.

  • The scene could've made more sense:
    1- Lelouch activates his Geass in preparation to brainwash Euphemia, but he changes his mind and supposedly turns it off, then he gives in to her plan.
    2- Euphemia starts talking friendly with Lelouch, he only replies with small words like "I see" "you win" "that's like you", he doesn't say anything that sounds like an order, during their chat Euphemia says something like "I was afraid that the Japanese people would turn down my plan and side with you to fight me".
    3- Lelouch jokingly says "It's not like they would've caused you much trouble with Suzaku on your side, if you're scared of the Japanese just kill all of them".
    4- Good job, Euphemia is now brainwashed and wants to kill all of them.
    Charles zi Britannia laughing hysterically

  • Don't like this show got 18 episodes in but it was so repetitive and boring with no character development besides lelouch.

  • Lol I never even realised this scene was hated by some. It's literally one of, if not my favourite moment in the show.

  • Great video man. I never had any problem with this turning point of the anime, I find this 100x more comfortable to watch than the mess in SS2 lol. It's all about paying attention and people tend to ignore details but well CG has quite a fast pace anyway so I guess it can't be helped that they would be mad about it.

  • I didn't know that there was criticism about the scene.
    A way I always viewed the moment and the show in general is that we have two characters, Lelouch and Zero. They are generally the same person, but sometimes they also differ in some ways. As the show progresses, we get less and less of Lelouch and more and more of Zero.
    To simplify it, Lelouch is caring and protective, while Zero is completely calculating and willing to make any sacrifice to win. I kind of see Zero being a subconscious force at this point, though towards the end of the second season we are into complete Zero.
    The way I see it is that though Lelouch wanted peace, Zero didn't. Lelouch's Geass was soon to go out of control, and I think Lelouch's subconscious forces essentially performed a Freudian slip and activated at that moment because it would be a huge strategic victory for Zero. I think this was subconscious/unconscious activation.
    A way to look at it is that his unconscious has always been trying to make commands, but there was too high of a barrier to actually activate the Geass. At this point though, he's used it so much that there is very little resistance and his unconscious command worked.
    To put it this way, Diethard was under the impression that Zero somehow was behind this whole moment and praised its effectiveness. This sort of move wouldn't be in character for Lelouch, but it would be completely in character for Zero.
    To be clear, that is my own headcanon and I'm not claiming it is actually true or anything. I just never saw the timing to be an issue because I always took what Diethard to have said to imply that there was some sort of intent.
    With that said, the criticisms that the video makes are valid. It doesn't really have much impact for Lelouch after season 1.

  • Diablous ex-machina, something I think would be more interesting if it was used in some more shows, though the backlash of that moment is an often common one, it helped allow a second season for an ending that was just as well known as that first season's ending. I think that DnD would be the best example of how a Diablous ex-machina moment could be interesting or disastrous for a story, all because of that pesky critical failure in a most important moment.

    My own defense for that moment is that it did follow the formula quite well, there was just a time lag between when Lelouch activated the Geass on her and gave an order, showing that you can control someone and wait to give the order you want when you finally need it, say you know that you are going to lose the eye that has the Geass, you use the eye to affect as many people as possible before that happened so what you do lose it, you can still give commands to those around you, almost as if it was insurance. The people that know about the Geass but not that rule would be fing surprised when the guard that they brought into that room was someone that was just waiting for your order. And it isn't like Lelouch would have thought about testing that either as he is someone who plays as a king on the battlefield. He gives orders to those when he needs it then and there because even thought he can play the long game, he himself finds that there are to many external factors that can happen. Likely what is supposed to be pointed out when he loses his first battle because the enemy made a move he never thought of.

  • It wasn’t that bad of that bad of a scene of anything we didn’t want Zero conquest to end with the special zone.

  • After losing control of his Geass and making the big mistake with Euphy, he learned to put a contact lens over his eye. That’s how her death affected him ;DD

  • Yeah now that I think of it, as the Geass buildup reflects to your own brain wanting to use the power subconsciously, the moment of great reflection upon your morals and desires into "feeling of release" would have you lose a bit of your "control". So the next flaunt of using desire is more abrupt and flowish.

  • The best anime, no doubt. Wish there were more alternate history animes that actually werent stupidly so farfetched or fantastical.

  • Thank you so much for pointing this out! I didn't see the problem with the Euphemia moment until watching this video if I'm really honest xD
    Though, I get why people don't like this scene.
    But back to the point: Thank you for defending this scene and great analysis on the characters ^^

  • This scene had controversy? I thought it was one of the most brilliant scenes I've ever witnessed. Shocking yes, but really flipped the table.

  • "Code Geass: Renya of Darkness" this is what happen alternatively choices. thought it in edo 18 centuries but euphemia leading at the end

  • Btw about the Zero mask part. Lelouch was behind the cat the entire time and anyone who saw it, he used his geass to make them forget.

  • The only thing that ruined this moment for me is the fact that lelouch gave an explain that made is feel so forced the build up was their, they just needed to exute it well.

  • Honestly I do love this scene! Sure nobody liked it being totally coincidental, I would have preffered it to be planned and Lelouch abandoning part of his humanity early to achieve piece, but I just love the conclusion of this moment! When you have this contrast of Euphemia dying and Lelouch declaring the United States of Japan this might be the second favorite moment of all time for me and easily makes up for the way we got there!

  • Personally i never had a problem with the scene i was sad to see her die but when you learn about Mao and his geass you have to ask yourself about luluouch to me it was a matter of when not if."

  • Most of you may not know this, but the second season of code geass, was not what the original writers had intended, originally it was supposed to have a female zero impostor, lelouch having to try to regain leadership of the black knights and multiple other things. The reason i bring this up is i think the scene where the black knights betray Zero, was a major part of the ORIGINAL ideas for the second season.

    If you think about it, it makes a lot more sense then, what happens in that scene i ask you? A Britannian prince tells the black knights that Zero has been lying to them and using them for their own gains and that they are not who they think they are.

    Taking this into consideration, the whole betrayal scene, was possibly supposed to be a moment of triumph for Lelouch where he truly regains leadership of the black knights, out maneuvers the fake Zero and exposes them for the liar and fraud they are. Just wanted to throw in these two cents, stuff like this has happend in the past. Where writers or creators have a set story in mind, but the producers say it has to be changed.

    And so they have to alter their story, but try to keep parts of the original ideas and story inside it.

  • Well if this didn't happen the story would have ended and I do agree this should have changed him in session two to make him atlest more careful in general but nope…

  • I didn't watched season 2 because of the Euphemia moment and the soft reset. I didn't know that such a contact lense exist. That just makes that moment much worse because it is now obvious that the whole shenanigans about geass going out of control was conveniently made just for that moment with no further consequence.

  • I feel the point you missed for why it is such a rewrite was even when he loses in general, he tries to think of how he could have won. Not in the context of Euphie, but in the context of Cornelia. While his ultimate desire is to smash the state, the way he was written before this point, he had issues taking a loss; but would be fine as long as it was a black eye to Britannia as a whole. Someone that thinks ahead like Lelouch, would say to himself “build forces, because while there are Japanese that like this. It’s a half measure and it’s only time before something else happens. Like with Mao and how he had basically locked down CC and knew after the first meeting of Mao, knew he needed him gone.

  • One of the most unexpected scenes I’ve ever seen and I loved every bit of it because I knew at this point there was no way Lelouch could have a simple happy go lucky ending

  • This better be a good video because I am so ready to dislike, this is literally the part I hate the most about this anime, not because I even like the character, I don't give a fuck about her, what I give a fuck is how the plot came to save Lelouch when he was forced to take a different route, I don't give a fuck if they foreshadowed with Mao.

    WTF are you talking about? this is a clear Deus Ex Machina, you think because his feelings got hurt in the process the outcome was "bad"? The outcome was exactly the one he wanted, the one he needed for his plan to progress, the story came to a point in which he had to fall back and rethink his strategy completely, he was between the sword and the wall but then out of nowhere he said those exact words and this is exactly when his powers malfunctioned. Don't worry Lelouch you don't have to do anything now, everything went according to plan, because the plot demands it.

    I also hate the chess game btw.

  • Lelouch was seriously explaining the power of his geass properly to her. In order to make it clear of how absolute the geass is, he prepared the most extreme example of situation which was that she would kill all of them. That was impossible. Euphemia would never kill anybody. So, of course Euphemia didn't believe that and think positively that he was just joking, but unfortunately Lelouch wasn't joking. He was telling Euphemia that she would do the worst thing possible because of how powerful the geass is. He knew she would. But only if the geass is active. So, in Lelouch's mind, that was the strongest, best example that he could provide to make Euphemia understand about his geass. That's why the "kill all of the japanese" line was used by Lelouch. It was necessary. If he didn't use that line, that means geass isn't that absolute actually. It was the biggest threat to Lelouch and the world. It was just a normal conversation. Convincing and explaining between the two characters.

    And both of them never knew that geass was active during that exact moment. The geass wasn't active before when they both started talking. They thought that the dialogue may continue further with each other for a while. We thought so too. That's it.

  • It's not a Diablo Ex Machina when the story foreshadows and sets up for the moment. The idea of an uncontrolled Geass causing destruction was built up for much of the season, Romeo and Juliet was written so we understood all the moving parts that led to the tragedy. Being a bit contrived is not the same as Deus/Diablo Ex Machina, which is when something comes out of nowhere without foreshadowing.

  • Are people having issue with this scene?? All the way in 2020????
    Euphemia as a character was designed to be a plot device – Both to represent the loss of innocence, and hope to improve the world through peaceful ways for Suzaku – and a way to solidify Lelouch's path that he chose, despite his internal guilt.

  • I think that most people were just upset with the final delivery of Lelouch's "excecute the Japanese" line. Granted it might be tricky to reword, it felt kind of cheap the way it was inserted. Still though, this moment highlights the danger that is Geass so for most it gets a pass.

  • The Euphemia Moment never bothered me. I thought it was hilariously tragic and amusing. As well as logically possible in the way the story works.

  • When plot convenience undercuts character development it becomes very anoying.

    You could argue it technically doesn't as no one chooses to act out of character… but the character arcs of both characters and story arc are still both undercut.

    Romeo and Juliet have an ex machina moment that lets us explore the extent of their 'love' (indactuation) and therefore the theme of the story. This does the opposite. We were exploring Lelouch's pride vs his humanity and seeing whether he can set that pride aside for the good of the people he cares about. Has he been corrupted by the power, ambition, and pride his goal required him to bear?

    That sacrifice of pride is tossed aside by convenience. It renders it and the character growth it required moot.

    It also completely undercuts the final ending of the series when we him make this same sacrifice in a different circumstance. Been there done that. Oh an arbitrary bit of writing didn't undo it this time? Whatever.

  • I mean if the grass activated before the command and was just out euphemia probably would have noticed the strange red glowing eye. But I think your defense makes sense and yeah I didn’t notice when I first watched how much of a cop out the contact lens was. But the scene did take me by shock initially.

  • This scene is one of my favorite plot twist, it being bad or "too" convenient would never cross my mind if I wasn't online to see it. Code Geass as a whole being anything other than a masterpiece at that, seen it twice and in the middle of a 3rd time. I've yet to hear any argument(s) I think justifies it not being a top tier series.

  • Before watching: This scene is indefensible. I only started watching Code Geass last year (2019) and this scene was the worst scene I had seen in anything all year, and think about what a high bar that is!

    For me, the worst thing about it was the wasted potential. Imagine if this scene didn't happen, and Euphemia's plan was enacted, only to inevitably and tragically fall apart on its own due to Brittania being what it is. Imagine a devastated Euphemia seeing her ideal of peaceful reformation collapse around her; forcing her to reassess how she goes about making sure those she loves can live happily. Does she start supporting Zero; putting a strain on her and her sister's relationship? Does she start making plans to seize the position of Emperor; putting her against the Emperor, Schniezel, and Lelouch? Imagine the plot potential.

    …And they squandered it to stuff Euphemia in the fridge so conflict as usual could resume. Such a waste.

  • I would like to add in that Lelouch's declaration to Euphemia isn't just him saying he had an ace up his sleeve, it's his natural demeanor to make light comments on such morbid things. "Besides, spilling tears won't bring the dead back to life" regarding the deaths of Britannians in the first terrorist attack (episode 1) or his comments after unleashing the water veins in Narita mountains "Perhaps I should have consulted a physics teacher, or asked Nina to tutor me in probability". It's even as he acted to the Britanian nobleman, saying casually how trash like him should die. Lelough just rather liberal with his actions and words when he isn't focusing.

  • Has this man seen Mdzs? There's so much to analyze in that show and someone already did it for the in world characters but the outer discussion of it's cinematography and thematic meanings would be so awesome since he's so good at it 😂😄

  • People really didn’t like this episode? I loved it, it’s one of my favorite episode. Almost reminds me of the red wedding in GOT.

  • Opening= “The reasons I thought a alright show suddenly drove of a cliff, but miraculously climbed back up, only the shot itself in the head”.

    As far the topic goes I consider it to be 30% fair. With the foreshadowing in the previous arc showing us it’s a thing that could happen. But looking at it in retrospect makes feel the show lulling me into a false since of security. Since up until then the show made me feel like the Geass going out of control was something that would happen Next Episode rather than 5 minuets later. And the way it happened would give Death in Finale Destination a run for his money.

  • You know that this scene was bullshit but you're ok with it

    but then again you yourself bring even more reasons to why this particular scene was bullshit near the end of the video


    It was just lazy writing, a way for him to do exactly what the story needed him to do without portraying him as a villain, at least in that moment in time.

    Once he realized what happened he could have stopped her inside the room, for example, and be done with that but they had to make him "accidentaly" do her dirty

    They could also have him give the order on purpose and have some character development that way but instead they went "oh lelouch would never to that so I guess we'll need to bend reality so he can to that without actually doing that hehexD"

  • I love this scene. As stupid as it's almost meme like catalyst is you can't deny the emotional impact of what it was going for.

  • I was watching Code Geass with my mom and she thought the moment was so stupid that she told me to turn off the show

  • This was an interesting take on things! It seems the thought experiment trade is Ex Machina for dramatic irony, but I think a missing piece is audience context. While dramatic irony might have maintained suspension of disbelief better for Western audiences, Ex Machina plays better with the perhaps more Japanese (at least what I've seen in media) struggle regarding suppression of pride (different from the character suppression of pride discussed). By introducing dramatic irony, the audience is immediately handed an excuse and, as a result, ends up approaching that scene as if anticipating a jump scare. On the other hand, by forcing the viewer to be clueless with Lelouch, the audience experiences his forced suppression of pride mutually. This subtle yet infuriating anger is blinding and maybe resonated better with Japanese audiences. By having the rug ripped out from under Lelouch, a sympathizing audience is forced to confront the duality of pride being integral to motivation but also a vehicle for disaster, even when arguably both Lelouch and Euphemia's approaches achieve similar results for the people they cared about. Anyways, while less coincidentally presented events would've been better as plot devices, I think Ex Machina was one of the more (maybe most) effective ways to get the likely primary target audience to understand experientially one of the themes of Code Geass (themes as in statements about the human condition, not motifs which is commonly confused for themes). I do agree whole heartedly that sellout 2, I mean season 2, didn't do a great job though, outside of maybe the last episode.

  • what ??? how the hell would no one like this scene !?!?! I freaking loved it 10 years ago and still do now Dx

  • I thought it was just the best Tragedy. Like…in Romeo and Juliet. Some characters just don't know. Things they cant control. Like when V.V told Jerimiah to use the counter geass randomly in city. NO ONE at any time knew shirely would get caught up like that. It just weirdly happened. Thats tragedy (and i mean that in a literary definition) where it ends bad. And people plain don't know.

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