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  1. #1
    GWOtaku's Avatar
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    Code Geass Manga and Novel Talkback

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    Now that most of Code Geass' first season has aired on Adult Swim and Bandai's release of the DVD's and manga are underway, I thought it'd be good to have an independant thread dedicated to the release of the various manga and light novels that are being published by Bandai Entertainment.

    There are many different adaptations of Geass put to print. Here's a summary of the different licensed releases as they stand.

    This list was updated on 7/6/09

    Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
    This is the main adaptation of the TV series. In addition to the normal release, the manga is an extra for the limited edition release of the anime.
    Volume 1: Now Available
    Volume 2: Now Available
    Volume 3: Now Available
    Volume 4: TBD, possibly 9/30/09
    Volume 5: TBD

    Suzaku of the Counterattack
    An alternate story that focuses on Suzaku as the protagonist. If my understanding is right, Knightmare Frames--the mecha of the Geass world--do not exist in the story.
    Volume 1: Now Available
    Volume 2: Now Available

    Nightmare of Nunnally
    In this story Nunnally Lamperouge is the protagonist, not Lelouch, and she receives the power of Geass.
    Volume 1: Now available
    Volume 2: TBD
    Volume 3: TBD

    Code Geass Light Novels
    A novelization of the television series. The adaptation of the first season covers a span of five light novels. The novels seem to have suffered significant delays, but there are now listings up through stage 3 (i.e. what is apparently the fourth novel) and it's possible to preorder them.
    Stage 0, Entrance: Now Available
    Stage 1, Shadow: Now Available
    Stage 2, Knight: 8/30/09?
    Stage 3: TBD
    Stage 4: TBD

    Quite a lot of material! I'll kick things off with a review of my own.
    _______________

    Being curious about the Code Geass manga, I walked into the nearest Borders and found a copy of volume 1 lying around. Here's some thoughts.

    First off, the art isn't all that bad, but anyone reading this who's seen the show will notice pretty quickly that the CLAMP influence seems mostly absent. This isn't surprising, as CLAMP's style is not one easily imitated. Faces seem more rounded, and most significantly most characters give off a very young look. You even sometimes have that little convention of speech bubbles featuring miniature drawings of the characters' heads. The result is a comic that comes off as more cute than stylized, from my point of view.

    The plot seems trimmed down and scaled back. First off, the "poison gas" pod containing C.C. is not stolen by Kallen and the rebels, but is instead aboard a military plane which crashes for unknown reasons. Lelouch discovers C.C. at the crash site, at which point he is discovered by the Britannian thugs and receives his Geass power. This happens exactly like in the series, but the chase scene and the cleansing of the shinjuku ghetto are not factors in any of this. In fact, completely unlike the series, mecha are not present in this volume at all.

    The Japanese resistance seems very low-key. If Ougi and the other members of the Japanese resistance exist in the manga, they didn't appear in volume 1. Instead, it's just Kallen teaming up with a group of generic lackeys.

    The most significant change is that more focus is given to Ashford Academy. In the manga both Japanese and Britannian students are attending Ashford, which was once a Japanese school and is now taken over. The Japanese students seem mostly resentful of this, and publically protest about how history books are censored to omit Japanese history. Said students also protest at being called Elevens, whereas many Britannian students abuse their status and force Japanese students to make way for Britannians. The leader of this little "troupe" is an unnamed student that apparently has a parent in the military. I think they may have actual power, since the leader is shown to be carrying a gun.

    Suzaku is an Ashford student at the beginning of the story. When Rivalz gets into trouble for being a jerk and deriding the protests of the Japanese students, Suzaku steps in and gets them to back off. True to the series, most Japanese think of him as a traitor. This resentment emerges at school: in one scene Lelouch walks up on Suzaku to find him trying to wash his uniform, which he notices has an insult painted on it. I think this is a good touch, as it brings into focus some of the social issues that were very present at the start of the Code Geass series but not directly talked about much in favor of other plot elements.

    Getting back to Kallen, she's just doing small-time stuff. The big activity of her group in this volume is destroying a statue of Prince Clovis at Ashford--very unlike stealing C.C.'s container from Britannia and Kallen piloting a Sutherland, like in the anime. Her group is pursued by the enforcement troupe but are saved by Lelouch, who does his best Kamui impression by wearing a cloak and a hood.

    Clovis does eventually give the order to cleanse Shinjuku, the reason being that Japanese resistance is tough enough that searching for C.C. is too difficult. However almost immediately Lelouch appears, getting him to rescind the order and then executing him just like in the anime. Later, when Lelouch attempts to recruit Kallen to his cause when he calls her to the roof of Ashford Academy, he throws her Clovis' brooch as proof that he's serious about changing the world. It is here that he is shown wearing the Zero mask for the first time.

    Overall, I'm pretty lukewarm about this volume. It has some interesting ideas and the focus on school life gives us a somewhat different perspective, mostly about what kind of crap Suzaku has to go through for taking the path in life that he did. That said, many anime characters simply do not exist here, and things are so small-scale that one wonders whether the manga will reach the heights of the TV series. If Lelouch builds a true rebellion in this manga, he will be building it from nothing even more than he did in the anime.

    Serious fans should give it a look, but I think for the casual fan and newcomers it can pretty easily be skipped. It's not a case where I can say you're getting as much from reading this as you would from seeing the anime itself. I'm going to keep tabs on this manga adaptation, but I'm hoping for more from Suzaku of the Counterattack and the Code Geass novelization.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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  2. #2
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    I got Volume one of hte manga with the Special edition DVD boxed set. Wich was totally worth it. But anywho i thought the 1st volume of the manga was great, even though its somewhat diffrent from the anime. I havn't gotten the novel yet, but hope too by the end of the month.
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  3. #3
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    ANN has a negative review of volumes 1 and 2 of the main manga here. Some of my criticism is repeated, but I find it curious that it's criticizing the school comedy. All that stuff was in the anime too, right down to Arthur the cat "stealing" the Zero mask. It does sound as though the Geass manga is perhaps overly focused on the school side of things, at least at this early stage.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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    Sounds like the manga is more 'Code Geass: Lelouch of the Banchos'. They actually increased the Ashford focus?...I suddenly see the merits of book burning..

  5. #5
    bigdeath's Avatar
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    Nightmare of Nunnally is rather interesting but I think I read they canceled it. Does anyone know if they did. thats depressing if they did.
    Tobi: "Tobi's a good boy."

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  6. #6
    GWOtaku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HellCat View Post
    Sounds like the manga is more 'Code Geass: Lelouch of the Banchos'. They actually increased the Ashford focus?...I suddenly see the merits of book burning..
    Yeah although it's not like they increased the hijinks, but there is more Ashford focus because of the extra focus on Suzaku as well as the fact that Kallen's little gang was hitting targets there.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdeath View Post
    Nightmare of Nunnally is rather interesting but I think I read they canceled it. Does anyone know if they did. thats depressing if they did.
    I haven't seen that news. I'd take it with a grain of salt--it was licensed only a little while go and now it's suddenly canceled? That sounds strange to me.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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  7. #7
    HellCat's Avatar
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    Every school should have a Kallen gang.

    Though that does make me ask- does this mean the manga doesn't have her lies about being near bed ridden?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HellCat View Post
    Every school should have a Kallen gang.

    Though that does make me ask- does this mean the manga doesn't have her lies about being near bed ridden?
    I don't remember exactly, but she does keep up her act as a harmless student by day. By night, she and her compatriots go to work.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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  9. #9
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    Interesting take...though I suppose no Ougi means less foul ups for her.

    "Hey Kallen, can I join your gang?"
    "No! Go away, Ougi. No boobie chasers"
    "But you let HC join"
    "No boobie chasers. We're allowed to have one"
    *HC lefts off a goofy laugh, mocking Ougi*

  10. #10
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    So there's some mixed news on the Code Geass Manga and Novel front, and I've updated the first post here accordingly. The good news is that I was right and that Nightmare of Nunnally is not canceled, with the first and second volumes now being listed. Also, in theory volume 4 of the main adaptation has been moved up to April 22 and Suzaku of the Counterattack volume 2 may be coming out two weeks earlier than it was originally supposed to (Feb 15).

    The not so good news is that the release schedule for the light novels seems to have been significantly delayed, with Borders now listing stage 1 for May 15th when it was supposed to have come out at the very end of last year. This most likely pushes the releases for the following novels forward, as I highly doubt that BEI will release two or three at the same time.

    I was motivated to check up on all this after encountering the first novel and Suzaku of the Counterattack at the Borders where I often spend breaks. I can report that the first light novel appears to be a prequel, covering the time when Lelouch and Suzaku were kids. At least part of it focuses on Suzaku being mentored by Tohdoh, among other things I'm sure.

    Also, Counterattack strikes me as being a much better read than the main Code Geass manga itself. I was actually motivated to buy volume 1 on the spot, and so a personal review will be coming for that.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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  11. #11
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    In-depth Review: Suzaku of the Counterattack (some spoilers)

    Well, I made it through volume 1 of Suzaku of the Counterattack. This is very much an alternate retelling of the Code Geass story: same setting, different context. If I had to put it as simply as possible, this is a story where Suzaku is indeed shown as a hero, placed in a role somewhat different than his role as an antagonist to Lelouch in the TV series.

    In fact, he's at least Lelouch's equal here when it comes to being likable and sympathetic. If you preferred one over the other before while watching the series, the writing in this comic may well have you rooting for both of them. If you like seeing an alternative take on a familiar story, this is a very good comic for you. If you love Suzaku, this is definitely for you.

    Faithful, Yet Different

    Superficial details first: the art here is much better than it is in the main Code Geass manga. Atsuro Yomino draws everyone rather faithfully, with the end result being designs that invoke the style of the show quite well. Very different from the Code Geass manga, which as I noted before trends toward a cuter style that even indulges in some SD-type drawings. Obviously this is a matter of preference, but if you want faithfulness this is the manga you want. I'd say the same for the story, which starts off exactly like the TV series but breaks in a substantially different direction.

    The narrative moves quickly, often hitting the main points of the plot and then moving on to the business of focusing on Suzaku and his life. It isn't particuarly interested in explaining all the little details, so knowledge of the TV series on the part of the reader is certainly assumed. By page 4, Suzaku has already found Lelouch in the midst of his discovery of C.C.

    After quickly covering episode 1 material, the alternate retelling begins. First of all Lelouch adops his Zero mask almost immediately, being so bold as to ambush Clovis' limousine and personally execute him on the spot along with all of his bodyguards. Suzaku's "trial" still happens but he is saved not by any complicated plan, but rather by Zero smashing a car through the courtroom wall and using the occasion to introduce himself as the man who killed Clovis (though he does abduct Suzaku like in the show). Yeah, Lelouch seems to enjoy the direct approach in this story.

    Mecha? Who Needs Em

    Suzaku is recruited by Lloyd the same way as in the series, with Suzaku hoping to change Britannia through his actions. However, Cecile does not exist in this story. Instead we have an original character named Mariel, who I have to confess appears to be much more interesting than her animated alternate. She's very cheerful, friendly, and intelligent to boot, perhaps to the point of having a slight ego (she objects to being referred to as a "girl" by Suzaku since she's older than him, for one example). Lloyd acknowledges her as his "assistant and star newbie."

    She is also a good person, with no apparent bias toward Suzaku because of his nationality. She even takes Suzaku on a "date" after a certain incident depresses him, and when they witness a Japanese being abused in a store she fakes an accident to put a stop to it. So, I have to wonder if Mariel's ultimate purpose isn't to basically give Suzaku an ideal girlfriend eventually. She even playfully pokes him and says "Call me Elle. If you call me Mariel, I'll kill you." This, mind you, is during their first meeting ever. Whatever the case may be, she's thankfully relevant to the broader story.

    Another huge change is that there are no giant robots to be found, at least not yet. Instead however, Suzaku IS the Lancelot. To be frank, he's basically turned into a costumed superhero. He is given a special helmet equipped with an experimental "Knightmare System." I'll skip the technical jargon and simply say that it drastically increases a human's physical abilities. In this volume Suzaku accomplishes feats such as deflecting bullets, fighting off multiple men all alone, and jumping from a helicopter without suffering any injury. So what we have here is basically two masked men opposed to each other, with Lelouch armed with Geass and Suzaku armed with artificial super powers. The one catch is that the system requires a stable mind to work. After one mission, Suzaku becomes depressed and his potential drops by more than half.

    Suzaku vs. Bigotry

    Now lest anyone think that this comic is just a simple attempt to give Suzaku a perfect life, there is a practical and sobering reason to write the story this way. Much like the Code Geass manga, Counterattack isn't shy about portraying Britannian prejudice. As mentioned earlier a Japanese is being abused in plain sight until Mariel steps in, with Suzaku being discouraged from intervening by other Japanese on the grounds that they would all lose their jobs at the business if they got on the wrong side of Britannians. Suzaku also has to take a lot of crap at Ashford. On one page, someone throws a bucket of water at him from a second story window. Elsewhere he picks up something Kallen dropped, only for one of her classmates to berate her for even touching something that an eleven had touched. After Nunally gives Lelouch and Suzaku a surprise visit at Ashford she is almost cut by falling glass after an accident breaks a school window from high up, but she is protected by Suzaku. A teacher soon arrives on the scene and gets the whole story from Lelouch--after which he remarks that he always knew that elevens were trouble. Seriously, wow. Lelouch's Ashford friends do not appear in volume 1, so Lelouch could well be Suzaku's only friend in the entire school with the possible future exception of Kallen. Naturally, Lelouch sticks by his friend no matter what, blowing off Suzaku's objections that being friends with him will hurt his reputation. For my money though, this is the most depressing environment for Suzaku that has been shown so far.

    Fortunately, thanks to his Lancelot costume, Suzaku is able to operate with complete anonymity to everyone besides the army. In a twist of irony, in fact, "Lancelot" gets some media attention and apparently has his share of fangirls. Fangirls that would probably be horrified if they knew his real identity, but fangirls nonetheless.

    Two Heroes of Justice, Two Sides

    The second huge change involves Suzaku's backstory.
    Spoiler:
    In this story Suzaku kills his father, but for the opposite reason--we are shown a flashback where Suzaku overhears his father apparently selling out Japan to the Emperor himself, telling him about a conference in Shinjuku where he can take out most of Japan's top officials all at once. Suzaku challenges him, only to be told that there is nothing wrong with it since Britannia is a superpower and Japan has no chance anyway--at which point Suzaku snaps and kills him. Cue the guilt trip. Ouch.


    What all of this adds up to is a rather rough situation that threatens to pit Suzaku and Lelouch against each other, which if anything is even more painful since the friendship between the two of them seems even stronger in this story. Just like in the series Suzaku sees Zero as a terrorist and disagrees with Clovis' murder. But things truly get worse when a group of Black Knights (led by none other than Tamaki, of all people) tries to abduct Mariel's crippled father independent of Zero's orders--in this story, Lelouch places emphasis on the Black Knights being defenders of the defenseless. As Lloyd's former superior and the original developer of the Lancelot System, they hope to learn of a weakness that they can exploit. Suzaku receives a panicked call from Mariel, and a loyal Kallen tips off Lelouch. And then.....well, you'll just have to read it to find out what happens.

    There's many other smaller details as well. That part is a rather surprising story though, since in the series Lelouch is always in control of his movement whereas in this story we have the Black Knights getting so large that we have a group of them believing that they don't need to have every operation approved by Zero. Here Lelouch's ideals seem threatened not by his own amibition, but by the scale of his own movement. To top it all off, right near the end it is revealed that Lloyd is developing the Lancelot System on behalf of Prince Schneizel. The first volume concludes with several plot threads waiting to be explored in the next one.

    In my view, this is a genuinely good manga. It has all the drama and competing interests of the original series, and shockingly enough it tells a good story in spite of no mecha and Suzaku being what could have easily come off as a cheap Power Ranger ripoff. I'm honestly interested to see where this goes, and will definitely be buying volume 2. Highly recommended.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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  12. #12
    bigdeath's Avatar
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    Indeed, I much prefer that version of Suzaku. I would have liked him a lot more if thats how he was in the anime.
    Spoiler:
    Especally his changed reason for killing his father in the manga.
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  13. #13
    HellCat's Avatar
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    I don't know. It sounds one part bad fangirl fanfic, one part 'Let's make Suzaku a true heroic martyr for the Japanese'.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HellCat View Post
    I don't know. It sounds one part bad fangirl fanfic, one part 'Let's make Suzaku a true heroic martyr for the Japanese'.
    It could certainly play out that way, I don't know. The best that can be said about it is that no favoritism is exactly given to either side in volume 1, given that Lelouch is shown fighting for justice whereas so far Suzaku hasn't yet been ordered to do anything that might bother his conscience. It remains to be seen how they'll write the conflict from now on.
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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    Ive read V 1 & 2 of Code geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion there ok not as good oa the anime though...Ive also read the 1st Volume of Suzaku of the counterattack, It really is good, better then the regular CG manga in my openion my only complaint is I can't take Suzaku seriously because his lancelot suit makes him look like a power ranger..LULZ.
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  16. #16
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    I just try to tell myself that Suzaku is merely wearing his pilot suit that happens to also include a magic technologically advanced helmet with some metal parts attached here and there for protection. But yeah, the thought had crossed my mind. How could it not?
    I would suggest that it's not the medium, but the quality of perception and expression, that determines the significance of art. But what would a cartoonist know? -Bill Watterson
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWOtaku View Post
    If you love Suzaku, this is definitely for you.
    In other words, I need to rush out and get it ASAP? I've been planning to check out Suzaku of the Counterattack for awhile, but your review makes me want to check it out even more now.

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    Updates, Counterattack Volume 2, and Stage 0

    Well, Bandai's publishing woes continue, with titles continuing to be pushed back. The Geass manga has been on hold at volume 3 for some time, with the familiar contradicting information out there for volume 4. If Borders is right, we're looking at August or September before we see that, more light novels beyond stage 1, or Nightmare of Nunnally.

    What's going on with them? I still don't know. This is something they need to be asked about at Anime Expo and Otakon. My advice is this though, if you want to be sure you get the Gundam 00 manga and 00F in a timely manner then buy the special editions.

    The good news is that Bandai continues to solicit new releases, even if it does seem to end up delaying them so far. Furthermore, Gundam fans will be happy to know that Bandai is not stopping at those two manga. A certain product known as "Gundam 00 Lite Novel" is now listed on Amazon for December 29th this year.

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    Suzaku of the Counterattack: Volume 2 Review

    The good news is that Suzaku of the Counterattack has finished its release. What I didn't know at the time is that volume 2 is actually the last one. This means that everything is brought to a swift conclusion, with the emphasis on swift. Suffice to say that things get serious and Suzaku is forced to make some tough choices. Elie takes more of a backseat in this volume in favor of focus on what happens between Suzaku and Lelouch.

    The result is an ending that definitely highlights Suzaku, and predictably puts him and Lelouch on the same side. The outcome is not so predictable, with some surprising deaths and results and a completely improvised crisis that has nothing to do with what happens in the animation. All that is, of course, expected from an alternate universe that finished while Geass was still on the air.

    I'd say it's a rather mixed bag. I think this concept could have supported a much longer saga so I was a bit let down to see it end early, and events move very quickly. Emperor Britannia makes a short appearence when Lelouch confronts him, but he is already dead at the hand of Schneizel! Who, naturally, wastes no time in capturing Lelouch and C.C. and using Lelouch as the scapegoat for his coup. Whoops.

    This ties into Schneizel's ultimate goal, which is basically to study C.C. and get Geass' secrets for himself. Most notable about this is an attempt at an explanation for where C.C. and those like her come from, and the nature of Geass power itself. I'm going on memory, but the basic idea is that there is potential in the human mind that anyone can realize, resulting in cases like C.C. The issue is, the odds are astronomically high--one out of a million, something like that. Schneizel's project is an attempt to artifically harness this potential, so the Lancelot system that gives Suzaku his powers is actually coming from the same source as Lelouch's Geass. There's no proof that this is canon, but it works in the context of the story.

    In the end everything works out fairly well, although the story is so short that Schneizel is molded into a pretty typical villain. He does all this so that he can give himself awesome power, thereby allowing him to reign supreme--we've been here before. Also, there wasn't much space for tying up loose ends. It's mostly concerned with a quick epilogue (courtesy of Elie) and a final few panels showing us how Lelouch, Suzaku and Nunally made out.

    All in all I'd say that this story ends too early, right when it was getting most interesting. There's lots of missed potential. Still, it's pretty good for a decent what-if story and for the major Suzaku fans out there, and at just two volumes it is admittedly a cheap buy.

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    Code Geass Stage 0 Review

    Moving right along, I also took a chance on the first Code Geass Light Novel. Stage 0, as you might expect, is basically a prequel to the anime series.

    How was it? Well, this was my first light novel, so a few words about that. Light novels are light. Really, really light. The book is small and not overly thick, and the writing is extremely easy to understand. You can get through the book's 160 pages in one or two days without any difficulty. The style shifts between a straightforward narrative and a conversation. For instance, the writing will sometimes describe something and then say something like "But don't misunderstand. This is because that..." There's also a good share of back-and-forth dialogue, which helps make it such a fast read. The book also drops a hint that we are hearing from a "witch," which is a not-so-subtle hint that C.C. is the narrator.

    A word of warning: the first seven pages suck and are better off skipped. They lead into the flashback that is the entire book, and they describe Lelouch and Suzaku struggling to dodge old booby traps while they clean up abandoned club rooms at Ashford Academy. Yes, the book has pointless Ashford hijinks. Boo.

    The inexpliciable opening aside, the novel has a very focused goal. It explains how Lelouch and Suzaku became friends as children, and it explains the context of how and why Suzaku killed his father. Probably the biggest point is that after going to Japan, Lelouch and Nunally were not doing well on their own at all. Lelouch trusted no one and tried keeping Nunnally isolated to protect her, whereas Nunnally became more and more dependent on Lelouch to the point that she would have terrible fits if Lelouch was absent for too long. At one point the book mentions Lelouch coming home a bit late to find that Nunnally had beaten on a wall so much that she had hurt her hands. Yikes.

    Enter Suzaku, who was seemingly something of a tough kid and didn't have any real friends for himself. One day he finds Lelouch getting beaten up and helps him out, and the book chronicles their relationship building to mutual respect. A big component of this is Nunnally, as interacting with Suzaku does her a lot of good. This also gives Lelouch a reason to tolerate his presence at first.

    The book also quickly tries to account for Suzaku's crazy capacity for physical feats. For a time Suzaku studied under Tohdoh in Kendo, and in one chapter Tohdoh reflects on Suzaku's ability to be a first-rate soldier. It also singles out Suzaku's speed at one point, implying that he could run about as quickly as an adult even as a boy.

    But the big surprise of the book comes toward the end. Basically, Genbu Kururugi is a bastard. The anime makes him look somewhat noble, but the book reveals the not-so-pleasant truth. He didn't quite sell out Japan like in Suzaku's Counterattack, but he did make the calculation that war with Britannia was inevitable. The book doesn't mince facts: Britannia made many antagonistic actions leading up to the war, but Kururugi's actions intentionally escalated things further and well beyond the point of no return for Japan. His main concern was making sure that he would be able to consolidate his authority after Japan had lost, and being able to negotiate some degree of autotomy. Then, after that, a revolt could eventually be planned and carried out. His insurance? Lelouch and Nunnally. He believed that he could kill one of them to show that he was serious, leaving the other as a small bargaining chip.

    All this is explained to an angry Tohdoh, who is outed as a mole for Kirihara Taizo (the old man Lelouch wins support from in episode 12) and detained. Suzaku hears just enough of their conversation to freak out and then confront his father once he discovers that Nunnally had already been kidnapped with Lelouch drugged and helpless. As in the anime, Suzaku does the deed and Kirihara covers things up afterwards.

    The book basically ends with the Ashford family's proposal to Lelouch to have him and Nunnally "killed" and be given fresh identities, which Lelouch agrees to in light of the abduction. Stage 1 promises to adapt the anime from there.

    The book closes with a couple of nice extras. the first is a standard postscript from the author, who promises that no facts will be changed from the anime and that the books are basically meant as a supplement to show us what the characters are experiencing and thinking.

    But the real gem is the short commentary from Jun Fukuyama--Lelouch's Japanese voice actor. He says a lot about the context offered from the book and how it made him feel sorry for Lelouch and Suzaku as two characters that were basically screwed up by the actions of their fathers. I'm not doing his thoughts justice, though.

    He also does a nice job basically summing up the book at one point, which I'll quote here:

    There are still mysteries surrounding this man, but in the anime, Suzaku's father is more or less featured as "the last samurai," a hero of the nation. But it is revealed that he was the culprit who triggered the war with Britannia. Even if the Britannian Emperor were going to war anyway, Kururugi was involved in some pulling of the strings. He took away the refuge Lelouch and Nunnally had finally found for the sake of greed. And he was, in a sense, the underlying cause of Lelouch following the road of evil.

    -Jun Fukuyama
    I can't confidently say that I'll buy any more of the light novels. I think a lot of what happens in the series pretty much speaks for itself, possibly rendering the novels superfluous.

    But all in all, this particular book was okay. It has very easy writing, and it will not challenge you in any way. But as a supplement to the series and as a rather substantial piece of backstory, it gets the job done. So my doubts about the novel series notwithstanding, stage 0 is recommended. It also gives me a lot of hope for the 00 light novels, because Bandai did a rather good job with this.
    Last edited by GWOtaku; 06-18-2009 at 03:39 PM. Reason: fixed formatting
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  19. #19
    purplehairedwonder's Avatar
    purplehairedwonder is offline No woman should suffer
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWOtaku View Post
    The good news is that Suzaku of the Counterattack has finished its release. What I didn't know at the time is that volume 2 is actually the last one.
    Huh, I didn't realize that either. Considering how quickly the first volume moved, I can only imagine the pace of the second to tie everything up. But as the resident Suzaku fan, it's a must have >.>

    Interesting about the Stage 0 light novel, as well. I've seen that at my bookstore but wasn't sure whether it was worth picking up. Sounds like it is. Good to know.

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  20. #20
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    bigdeath is offline A Legend is Born
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    That explains why Suzaku would do that to his father so well that I wish the Anime had included it.
    Tobi: "Tobi's a good boy."

    Zero: "Be crushed to dust you relic."

    Magneto: "The brave are always the first to die."

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