When his actions lead to the death of someone close, will Lelouch be forced to rethink his methods?
What They Say
Embarking on the path of carnage, Zero and his Order of Black Knights have begun operations in the mountainous region of Narita. Using the power of Kallen’s Knightmare, the Guren Mk-2, a land slide is triggered and a trap is set for the Imperial Princess Cornelia. Just as victory is within arms reach a white flash moves across the battlefield and Lelouch once again finds himself face to face with Suzaku. With Zero unable to escape the Lancelot, C.C. steps forward and unleashes a torrent of mental anguish upon the young Eleven pilot but will this be enough to ensure escape?
As the dust clears from the battle of Narita a number of casualties are revealed, amongst them the name of Shirley’s father is revealed. A loathing soon blossoms within her as she sets out for vengeance against the Order of the Black Knights, but once Zero’s identity is discovered will she be able to pull the trigger?
We watched this show in both English and Japanese. Both casts do an excellent job overall. The audio is a nice stereo mix with a good amount of directionality and some really great points, especially during action sequences. I didn't notice any distortion or dropouts in either language track.
First airing in 2006, this is presented its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Since its so recent, the transfer is very clean overall, and overall very good looking. The color palette is vibrant but not too bright. Cross-coloration and aliasing are mostly absent. Other than some noise in the backgrounds, this is a solid looking release. Thankfully, this volume is free of the playback problems that plagued the first two discs.
The packaging here is very basic, no physical extras or even an insert. It does the job, but it certainly isn't particularly impressive.
The menu is dramatic and active, with an image of Area 11 centered in what looks like electronic sights. The flashing blue in the background, the rotating sights, and the windows that pop up with scenes from the show make this one of the busier menus I've seen in a while. Navigation is fast and easy, and response times were good.
The extras here are very similar to the first volume, with two more picture drama episodes, audio commentary, and textless opening. While it's not a ton in terms of what could be here, it's still a nice mix of things that offer some fun peeks into the series.
The Black Knights are growing in both size and influence, and when they're given a special Nightmare from the main power of the resistance, Kyoto House, most of the senior members are convinced that they've finally made it. But Lelouch sees it as more of a test than an affirmation. When they receive intelligence about an attack on the main JLF stronghold, Lelouch moves in with the intent of taking Viceroy Cornelia prisoner. He triggers a massive landslide that takes out not only most of Cornelia's forces and decimates her command structure, but does the same to much of the JLF. Still, Lelouch ends up taking heavier fire than anticipated, so the unexpected arrival of four of the JLF's top fighters ends up being a welcome distraction.
The Four Holy Swords attack Cornelia's position, forcing her to retreat, right into Lelouch's ambush. Kallen takes her on and manages to defeat her handily, but is interrupted at the last minute by Suzaku in Lancelot, who does enough damage to her Nightmare that the Black Knights are forced to retreat. When he comes after them, however, it's C.C. who rescues them, using a strange power that leaves Suzaku helpless. But things go wrong when Lelouch steps in, and they end up on their own, separated from the Black Knights, where Lelouch learns a little bit more about C.C.
While he might not have achieved his objective of capturing Cornelia, he still managed to defeat her, which got the attention of the main resistance group in Kyoto. Lelouch isn't as convinced that he needs them as the Black Knights are, but he is sure of one thing - he wants the power that they wield. He agrees to a meeting with their leader, who hides his face just as Zero does, but who is unwilling to let Zero remain masked, which leads to an unexpected reunion, and the unwavering support of the Kyoto Group.
But the Path of Blood that Lelouch has started down is rife with unintended consequences, and when one of his victims ends up being much closer to home than he could have imagined, Lelouch is left doubting himself and is forced to reconfirm his ambition.
This series is fun for all the wrong reasons, but I'm shamefully hooked. The constant deus ex machina twists that Lelouch manages to pull out of thin air stretch plausibility to its very limits, but that's really a large part of the appeal. With the new insights and plot twists in this volume it's going to be extremely interesting to see how certain elements play out, especially with Shirley. And the few new tidbits about C.C. we got here just managed to whet my appetite for more. Again, this isn't a show that's going to appeal to everybody, and the over the top elements are going to drive quite a few away. But what it does, it does extremely well.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Picture Drama Episode 4 (Stage 9.75), Picture Drama Episode 5 (Stage 4.33), Audio Commentary Stage 11, Textless Openning (2nd Version of “Colors”)
Panasonic DVD-S25S Progressive-Scan DVD Player and Panasonic TC-26LX85 26" Viera LCD 720p HDTV (Component Connection)