I think most of you should have watched the subs for episode 22 of Code Geass by now. If not, go watch it now! It will totally blow your mind apart. (Something that CLAMP stories never hope to achieve, so we can all thank Sunrise for that.)
Spoilers and thoughts after the break.
I still can’t decide if episode 22 was the greatest plot development ever since episode 1 or whether it’s the most blatant and out-of-place plot twist ever in the history of mecha anime.
Zero has finally descended to Mao’s level and can no longer turn off his Geass power at will. Oblivious to this terrible turn of events, he has a private meeting with Euphemia during the official inauguration of the Japan Special Administrative Region in an attempt to regain the support of public sentiments by forcing her to shoot him and using this act as a proof of Britannia’s intention to backstab the people of Japan. But Euphie’s charms are too great for him and he gives in to her request to help build a new Japan together. HAPPILY EVER AFTER…
Or for 5 seconds at least. In a completely unexpected plot twist, Zero accidentally suggests to Euphemia to kill all Japanese, unaware of the fact that his Geass power is now constantly activated. And we bear witness to a rapid descend into hell for the remaining one third of the episode.
While it seems somewhat contrived for such a convenient plot twist to happen and it feels out-of-placed and totally unexpected, I think it just rekindled my love for the series.
It’s a perfect example of proverb made famous by and often wrongly attributed to Samuel Johnson: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Lelouch believed he could plan out the world like a game of chess and destroy a system of social injustice. Euphemia believed everyone could get along in peace if she tried her best. But no one can predict the results of his/her actions and the butterfly effect will ultimately complete one full circle and kick up a tornado in your yard. No one is at fault for trying to achieve happiness, but fate can often turn our good intentions against us.
Newton has it right, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So it seems that the only way for nothing bad to happen is for one to do nothing at all. But alas, few of us can accept that. We desire happiness and it comes at a price, the price of uncertainty. An action can produce a good or bad reaction and we can never tell what the results will be until it’s too late to turn back.
It is human to believe that things will turn out well until the evidence overwhelmingly says otherwise. Often, we end up getting hurt. It takes time to recover and try again, and some people will never recover.
The whole process seems like a futile struggle. We will all die one day anyway, so why bother chasing after fleeting illusions of happiness at the risk of getting hurt? Why not just give up and do nothing?
I think it’s because that’s what makes us human. If we give up on trying, we will be no different from a piece of rock.
But I guess sometimes, like Lelouch and Euphie, we have to suffer for just being human. It’s better than committing spiritual suicide, or so I choose to believe.