It’s rare that I notice fansub group drama (there’s apparently a lot of it), but for one reason or another, Code Geass R2 is the first series for which I’ve regularly watched multiple sub releases for (what a loser, right). As such, when gg declared, rather obnoxiously, you might say, that they were dropping the series, I noticed. Their flaming Internet ragequit led to some interesting discoveries and discussions though, and it came to my attention that apparently, R2 hasn’t exactly gone as planned.
The first season of Code Geass aired in a late-night slot in Japan. Thanks to its unexpected popularity though, R2 was upgraded to a prime-time slot. Drama ensues. You can read the details of it yourself, but it basically boils down to Taniguchi having to change, alter, or rewrite completely parts of the story because he had to deal with a new audience in a new timeslot. New elements were added in — /a/’s theory about Rolo has gained widespread acceptance in the few hours since it was formulated — and other elements were taken out, notably Kallen’s backstory and Suzaku’s funky connection with geass as seen in S1 episode 22.
Without knowing what we’re missing, it’s hard to decide whether those things were just supplemental storylines or if they were really supposed to be important, but honestly, considering the unfortunate mess of executive meddling, I think R2 has turned out pretty decent so far. I’ll save the long opinion for when the series finishes in five weeks, but yeah. Even though plenty of people have been ragging on it since it started, and even though I also subscribe to the near-universal belief that the first season was better, my general opinion of R2 is still positive. After all, the general themes seemed to have been preserved pretty well enough. There are a lot of parallels with the first season, such as the Shirley-centric episodes 12-14, followed by geass-centric episode 15, but those feel pretty natural too. And even though I would have loved for R2 to have picked up the second S1 left off, I think the flashback thing worked out okay. I mean, it isn’t horrible, anyway.
I think Taniguchi has done a great job considering the circumstances, but I also think it’d be great if we could find out exactly what he had had planned originally. DVD extra? Magazine interview? Long letter to the fans? It’d definitely give greater insight into the inner workings of the series to see what was deemed critical enough to stay and what was tossed or changed. Code Geass is a complicated series as it is, but stuff like this makes for an even better discussion. I guess we’ll see what happens.
As for gg‘s cancellation, I’m not really sure how much of it was based on this revelation. A lot of people are calling it a hoax already. I’ve always liked Eclipse‘s release a bit better, but if anything, I’ll definitely miss their “Everything is FABULOUS~!” in the second OP.
Addendum: Oh, look. It was a joke after all. Figures.