Just received my copy of the recently published "Official Code Geass The Complete" guide book from my penpal. Had to ask him to get it for me because my usual import sites didn't have it at the time (at least not the ones that didn't charge a huge postage and handling fee!). If you want to order this now though, you can get it from Yesasia.
So, lets see if this 95 page A4 sized book was worth the purchase and what's inside. You can click some of the photos for a bigger version.
Opening the book you'll find a fold-out poster. One side shows you screenshots from the OP...
And the other, the childhood friends Lelouch and Suzaku riding horses.
Contents page filled with the characters in SD form.
Was a bit disappointed with the character profiles because they only covered Lelouch, Suzaku, C.C. and Kallen as the reviews said it did. But, since they aren't very detailed biographies, I guess there's not much to be missed.
On the other hand, the episode guide part of the book is very good. Definitely better than the Newtype's other "Complete" guide supplement that I imported from before.
This book covers the whole of season one from episode 1~25, 2 pages per episode apart from the final two episodes which have 4 pages each. Each episode has an original illustration on one of the pages but since it's not an artbook, you'll probably have come across most of them in magazines.
There's also a "Geass Count" box dotted here and there, recording each time Lelouch used his Geass whether successfully or not. Seems he used the Geass 35 times in season 1 but I'm not going to verify that... Apart from that, each episode summary also reveals the best 3 scenes voted by viewers via the MBS mobile phone website, plenty of screenshots and key dialogue lines. There are even little close up shots of items the characters use such as their mobile phones and bags.
Stage 5 "The Imperial Princess and the Witch". Suzaku meets Euphie for the first time.
Stage 6 "The Stolen Mask". A fun episode at Ashford Academy!
Stage 7 "Shoot Cornelia". A bit of flashback with Lelouch.
Stage 9 "Refrain". Kallen finds a new reason to fight and that's to change the world so that it's a place where she and her mother can live normal lives.
Stage 10 "The Guren Dances". A memorable line from C.C. and one of the lines typed out on the page. "Do you know why snow is white? It's because it's forgotten what colour it is."
Stage 11 "The Narita Battle". Lelouch finds out what C.C.'s real name is... Wonder what it is.
Stage 12 "The Messenger from Kyoto". That scene where Shirley invites Lelouch out and you hear nothing because they're outside... You can hear the conversation on Sound Episode 1 or read the script at Galvea's CG Translations. Very cute.
An interesting line here...
When Mao ran off only to find C.C. waiting for him with a gun, I thought she said, "Mao... Go ahead and wait for me in the world of death." Here, the book has it as "world of C". So is that where C.C.'s name comes from? Death is pronounced as "shi" which is how the letter "C" is pronounced too. Hmmm, "Death Death"... Well, I suppose C.C. did die many times but that doesn't sound right. A bit of word play from Newtype? Or is C.C. really referring to another world that Marianne maybe residing in?
Stage 14 "Geass v Geass". This event was a sad one for Shirley. I really like the song "Masquerade" though which appears as track 13 on the first OST.
I'm not so sure about this caption for episode 21.
It says, "Lelouch glares with hatred at the Euphie who can obtain everything." The impression I got from this episode, when Euphie announced the establishment of the "Special Administrative Region of Japan", was that she was ruining Lelouch's plans. Lelouch was planning to create a new Japan with his Black Knights but, with such an announcement, the Black Knights would have no reason to fight any more. Any action they take would also be frowned upon by the public if Euphie's plan went well so it was fairly natural that Lelouch would become upset but certainly not with hatred.
This version of Cornelia from episode 24 reminds me of...
Mitsuru from Persona 3.
Finishing the episode guide off we have shots of the illustrations used in the ED and also what C.C. said at the end of episode 25.
And for the hardcore fans, here are 2 pages that cover a good amount of in-depth detail about CG's world settings. It tells of the historical establishment of Britannia and how it began with Alvin the First in 1813 (CG's story takes place in 2017). There's also details about what role Sakuradite plays in machines, the nation's governing system and brief descriptions of the other world powers.
6 pages of character sketches here which I haven't come across before (they're not in the other "complete" guide I have). Besides character expressions, it even has detailed sketches of how Leleouch wears his school uniform and how C.C. puts on her straitjacket. The pages pretty much covers all the characters that didn't get a coloured character profile at the start of the book.
Yes, it's "Knightmare Flame" now not "Knightmare Frame". I know it should be the latter but well, that's just the ambiguity between the Romanisation of the Kana "ru". It can be "l" or "r".
As you can see, it goes into detail about the cockpit, the Factosphere, Landspinner and monitor display. It walks you through the 7 generations of KFs too. There's 6 pages detailing the KFs used in the show.
Single page interviews with the voices behind the characters who have been confirmed to survive for the second season; Lelouch (Jun Fukuyama), Suzaku (Takahiro Sakurai), C.C. (Yukana) and Kallen (Ami Koshimizu).
Didn't realise Suzaku's voice actor was the same person who done Cloud's voice from FFVII: Advent Children!
He's a "Tifa" man too (taken from the bilingual "Reunion Files" book)! Sakurai fangirls take note?
And I'm impressed that Yukana also done the voice for Testarossa from Full Metal Panic. Must be hard keeping her natural high pitched voice low for C.C.'s role!
3 pages of info about the music used and its composers Koutarou Nakagawa, Hitomi Kuroishi and Mikio Sakai. Mikio's Scryed songs were great!
And finally to finish it off, we have a 3 page Manga of Lelouch trying to infiltrate the Code Geass Sunrise Studio. Lelouch wants to elevate his status in the show and complains about how he's never won a KMF battle before. He tries to enter the conference taking place only to be kicked out because the staff thinks he's an outsider. Ironic when he's the main character.
Angered, Lelouch decides to sneak in to steal unused "highly classified" footage of episodes 24 and 25. Rummaging around the giant studio, Lelouch can't find the DVD he's after. Meanwhile, C.C.'s found a hard disc. Lelouch continues his search for DVDs and tries to dismiss her until she explains how all the material is stored on external hard discs. They run off leaving the studio staff to panic.
The back of the book contains a full credit listing such as who the scenario writer was, the person who done the story boarding and the narration script used in the preview clips and the opening of episodes.
Overall it's a very information book printed on good quality paper. Just wish the character profiles were a little more detailed and there was more original artwork. I was really a bit hesitant about buying the book even after doing some research about it but, I'm satisfied with my purchase.
Thoughts about the Show
I've been thinking but, the way Japan is portrayed in Code Geass... I wonder if that's the story writer's way of presenting the modern day country. Japan has had a restricted military force since 1947 and still do under the Constitution of Japan so I wonder if this is to show how the country is being restricted in power. In Code Geass, the Japanese are also being suppressed by foreign power, namely Britannia which America happens to be a part of according to this guide book. It's not the first time Japanese have used fiction to convey their thoughts indirectly after all.
Take the latest title in the GyakuSai series, Ace Attorney 4 for example which came out April 2007. In Japan, the jury law in which members of the public help decide whether an accused was guilty of a crime or not, was pretty much abandoned since 1943 and it won't be until next year in 2009 before it will be put to use again. Thus, there has been much criticism about Japan's law system and human rights. Gyakuten Saiban 4's final chapter covers this idea and tries to provoke its Japanese players to think about the subject.
In any case, I wait in anticipation for the second season. I wonder if it really will air next month but since Sunrise is going to be showing "Gundam 00", the latest title in the mammoth Gundam series, I doubt it. I just hope the show doesn't turn into an "alien v humans" story as "revealed" on the Animesuki forums.