Etymology of Geass

Originally wanted to tweet this, but had more than 140 characters of stuff to say.

I was rewatching the ending of Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 a few days ago a began wondering where did the word “Geass” is derived from or if it was completely made up word for this anime. Neither, Merriam-Webster, nor Wiktionary had an entry for it.

I took a glance over Wikipedia’s entry on Code Geass and didn’t see anything that popped out.

I forgot what I did, but some how I ended up on Wiktionary’s page on Geas (probably by randomly removing characters):

1. (Gaelic mythology) A vow or obligation placed upon a person.
2. A curse.

And that had quite a resemblance to what Geass or at least what Lelouch’s Geass could do. Searching the term on Wikipedia resulted in:

In Irish mythology and folklore, a geis is an idiosyncratic taboo, whether of obligation or prohibition, similar to being under a vow or spell.

Read More…

Turns out Geas is another word for Geis which is a curse/spell that forces someone to do something or prohibits someone from doing something, which sounds exactly like Lelouch’s power. However, in the anime, they’ve expanded Geass to represent different types of powers (known as Power of Kings).

Turns out the Wikipedia entry on Code Geass also explained this (guess I wasn’t looking hard enough):

Geass is a mysterious ability which certain people (witches) can bestow upon others; C.C. and V.V. are the immortal and eternally youthful witches who can grant the power of Geass; they are also immune to it. The form the Geass takes is different in each individual. C.C. calls Geass the Power of Kings. It is represented by a bird-shaped symbol which glows red when active.

Every Geass has its own unique set of restrictions, limitations, or idiosyncrasies. These factors allow a Geass to be defeated, or its power limited, by someone who is aware of its characteristics. All Geass abilities that have thus far appeared within the canon of the television series have been related to the mind, influencing such aspects as will, thought, memory, emotion, and perception. Geass abilities in the manga spin-off Knightmare of Nunnally have no such limitations.

Various characters in the series do or did possess the power of Geass. C.C. had the power to make others fall in love with her, but she lost it when she became immortal; Emperor Charles has the power to alter a person’s memories; Mao had the power to read minds; Lelouch has the power to issue commands that are always obeyed (only once per person); and Rolo has the power to freeze the perception of time for living beings near him. Jeremiah is remade into a nearly-immortal cyborg with the ability to cancel the effects of Geass on himself and others.

The power of Geass increases with use, usually starting in one eye. It can eventually spread to both eyes and become uncontrollable with repeated use. When a Geass is at full power, this person can now become a recipient of the “Code,” the power which gave the person Geass in the first place. The person who bestowed the Geass can relinquish his or her “Code” to this person, allowing the recipient to continue the cycle while the giver is allowed to die. In exchange for their original Geass power, a person who takes on the “Code” becomes both immortal and immune to other Geass and gains the ability to him/herself bestow the power of Geass on others. This transfer, however, does not necessarily require the consent of both parties involved; C.C. received her “Code” against her will, and V.V. has his taken against his will. A person with the “Code” bears a physical mark (a sigil resembling that of the Geass) somewhere on his or her body.

According to an English edition of Newtype, the power of Geass has something to do with the very existence of humankind, and it may be used to destroy or transform just about anything. “Geass” may be an intentional corruption of the word geas or geis, a term for a type of magical contract in Irish mythology.

I guess I never really did a review on Code Geass after it completed. So I guess I’ll do an informal review here.

The story was amazing! Graphics were stunning and I really like how devious and strategic Lelouch was. He reminded me of Light from Death Note (which you can watch on Hulu), another series I really enjoyed. The story was thought out well, though there were times I wanted to kill the producers for what they did to us by leaving such a big cliff hanger at the end of season 1.

I wanted to find a trailer to share, but couldn’t find a decent one. Here’s a collage of scenes with some decent music in the background:

The music/soundtrack wasn’t out of the world, but it was still spectacular. My favorite track is Madder Sky (WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS):

Listen to song w/o animation: Code Geass R2 OST – Madder Sky. Current play count according to iTunes: 103

Code Geass is definitely one of my top 10 anime series of all times. I’ve said that for quite a few animes. I wonder what’s still on that list. Off the top of my head in no particular order:

  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Trigun
  • Monster
  • Hikaru no Go
  • Code Geass
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Death Note
  • 12 Kingdoms (Juuni Kokki)
  • Berserk

That’s 9. If you give me some time, I can probably think of 1 more or maybe even more to push down some of them. There were other series I’ve seen, which I really enjoyed but with favorites, there must be great emotional attachment, which I found in all of the above. Other series I really enjoyed, but not top 10 quality, include Full Metal Panic, Azumanga Daioh, Full Metal Alchemist, Detective Conan, Hellsing, and tons more.

Code Geass (season 2) is actually currently playing on Cartoon Network/Adult Swim. Unfortunately, these are dubbed. They’re not bad, but the original Japanese dubs are a lot better in my opinion.


So now onto the animation I wanted to share: VOiCE (Download):

I quote Sankaku Complex:

Plenty of (presumable) professionals seem willing to turn their hands to animating MADs of late; the latest is VOiCE, the tale of a girl (who would appear to be an infant Miku) and her robot, in a war-torn land…

This animation was very beautifully done and the ending is just so sad, I felt a tear starting to form.

I previously posted a 3DCG Nendroid Vocaloids animation (blog post). Very cute if you haven’t seen it before. That post will also talk about Vocaloids and Miku if you’ve never heard of them.

Update: I’ve also ripped the mp3 if you want just the music: Download VOiCE Music

Sword Stand

So after getting my graduation gift from my co-workers: Warrior Series: Wakazashi, I’ve never got an official sword stand for it. I’ve always thought about getting one, but was just too lazy to search for one. It’s always just sat above my fireplace. 3 years later, my mom decides to get me one for Christmas.

I do have to say, it turned out pretty nice:

sword stand

Along the same theme, I’ve also recently unpacked a bunch of anime figurines. I can’t believe I still have so much stuff unpacked in my storage room.

Hellsing Figurines - Alucard and SerasBleach Figurines - Rukia and IchigoRurouni Kenshin Figurines - Kaoru and AoshiRurouni Kenshin Figurines - Sojiro and SeijuroRurouni Kenshin Figurines - Kenshin and ShishioAnime FigurinesAnime Figurines

The Bleach figurines are actually new. I had to find enough to reach $50 for free shipping at RightStuf during their recently sale. The 2 Hellsing figurines came with 2 of the Hellsing DVD volumes which I purchased awhile back. I’m surprised none has fallen off the edge down into the living room yet.


3DCG-Kurutto-Odotte-Hatsune-Miku-NENDOROID Someone had posted this video at work: 【3DCG】くるっと・おどって・初音ミク【ねんどろいど】 (【3DCG】 Kurutto – Odotte – Hatsune Miku 【NENDROID】) (mirror). It stars 初音ミク (Hatsune Miku) a character from Vocaloid.

I had previously uploaded another Miku video, which I guess I never got the chance to post it: 3DみくみくPV (3D Miku Miku PV). The tune’s pretty catchy.

Anyway, back to the video. The little 3D characters are SO CUTE!!! Apparently it’s a 3D animated version of くるっと・おどって・初音ミク (Kurutto – Odotte – Hatsune Miku) / くるっと・うたって・初音ミク (Kurutto – Utatte – Hatsune Miku). The first one was sang by the original artist, while the latter is sang using Vocaloid.

If you didn’t know, Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer application software developed by the Yamaha Corporation that enables users to synthesize singing by just typing in lyrics and melody.

According to WWWJDIC:

  • おどって (Odotte) refers to dancing.
  • うたって (Utatte) refers to singing.

The animation above is actually a parody of an ending sequence in ケロロ軍曹 (Keroro Gunsou) anime: Keroro Gunsou ED 9 – Kurutto Mawatte Ikkaiten. The music is actually called るっと・まわって・いっかいてん (Kurutto, Mawatte, Ikkaiten) by Kigurumi.

Someone actually posted a comparison video of all 3: 【Comparison】Kurutto・Odotte・Hatsune Miku【NENDROID】

I’m not exactly sure what NENDROID/NENDOROID, or ねんどろいど refers to, but given that is selling cute little plastic chibi figurines, I’m going to guess it refers to that. And they do indeed sell Vocaloid Hatsune Miku figurines.

At the end of the original video, they have some bonus footage where the gang does Caramelldansen / U-U-U-Aua Dance (Full Version).

Did I mention how cute the little dancers are in the video? Now I want some Nendoroid figurines for myself!

精霊の守り人 (Guardian of the Sacred Spirit)

Seirei no Moribito Tera recommended me this series 2 weeks back and it’s been awesome: 精霊の守り人 (Guardian of the Sacred Spirit). The enunciation of the Japanese name is: Seirei no Moribito. It might even qualify as one of the few that makes it into my favorites list. Typically, I take what Tera recommends with a grain of salt, but given that it had a very high AniDB rating, I decided to give it a try and I was amazed at how beautiful the graphics and animation were. The fact the storyline was great was also impressive. I was so hooked that I finished all 26 episodes in less than a week. May not sound impressive to some, but when you’re coming home at 1am and finding time to squeeze in 3 episodes is not easy.

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The story is about a young prince of Yogo named Chagum. A water demon/spirit apparently has possessed him and the emperor and his advisers believed that it is in the countries best interest to kill off the water demon/spirit as the stars are foretelling a drought is nearing. They have no idea how to separate the water demon/spirit from Chagum, so the only thing they can do is kill both the boy and the spirit.

However the mom does not agree, but can’t really persuade the emperor to do otherwise. She hires Balsa, a female bodyguard and entrusts her son to her and probably will never see Chagum for the rest of his life. Balsa agrees as this will be the 8th life she would have saved and completing her promise.

The story goes on from there. I don’t wont to reveal much more as it’ll bound to spoil.

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Was there really any reason why both Tanda’s and Balsa’s hand had to be used to remove the egg from Chagum? They never really explained how the “spell” was suppose to work for removing the egg.

I assume the bird (Naji) that ultimately came to take the egg was the same bird that Sagum and Chagum injured when they were small and ended up taking care of afterwards. Later on Sagum set it free and it returned to take the egg. I’m also thinking the fact the bird realized that Chagum knew how to get stuff into the bird’s mouth played a role in the egg being implanted in Chagum.

What exactly are those furry animals in Torogai Shaman’s hat? I’m thinking along the lines of rabbits, puppies, and guinea pigs. However, what piqued my interest was the fact that in a flashback during Balsa’s story of Jiguro, her hat was filled with these little furry animals. However, now she’s down to one. The only part of the story that this little furry animal comes into play was Torogai Shaman was trying to sacrifice it in order to save her own life. I’d hate to think all the other furry animals were sacrificed.

When the swordsmith described the ultimate sword being one that cuts one free from one’s karma and does not cut people reminded me of Kenshin’s sakaba sword, also known as the reverse blade sword. A sakaba sword is one where the dull edge is the edge that comes in contact with your enemy, therefore not sharp enough to cut into them. They never did go into details on how this ultimate sword was made, but episodes later when Balsa was fighting against another bodyguard, what appeared to be her slicing her opponent in half only resulted in his shirt being ripped apart, while the body was not harmed at all.

Halfway through the series, I realized that the blue glowing ball during the intermission/interlude was actually representative of the egg, when I saw and realized that there was this little worm that was getting bigger inside it episode after episode.

Very late in the story, they brought up the fact that there can be multiple carriers of the egg (such as the young bear cub), but they never really did explained what would happen if multiple water spirits were born. I thought it was very arbitrary for them to add that.

The fact that there weren’t many deaths (I mean how can none of the 8 elite assassins not get killed during the fight with the La Lungas) made the story less emotionally strong. None of the good guys died either. The only deaths in the story that I can recall was Chagum who died of over-stressing himself from work as the crown prince; Jiguro who died basically of old age; and the 8 spear wielders that came to kill Jiguro and Balsa.


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The music was also amazingly done. The soundtrack was composed by 川井 憲次 (Kenji Kawai) and I’m addicted to one of the songs which has been playing on repeat for the past 3 days: The Song of Naj. There are 2 soundtrack CDs that have been released: Seirei No Moribito Ongakuhen V.1 and Seirei No Moribito V.2 and the music is just astoundingly beautiful.

I also uploaded the clip where the song was played during the anime (BIG SPOILERS):

Seirei no Moribito - The Song of Naj

I’ve also uploaded a lower quality version. For some reason the quality seems to be quite diminished, but that’s probably because I converted from h.264 (mkv) to xvid to wmv. Windows Movie Maker doesn’t like mkv files for some reason.


Planetes So awhile back, I watched an anime series recommended to me by Tak Wai: Planetes. I definitely recommend this series if you haven’t seen it before. It ranks among my favorites and I’d probably give it 9 out of 10 stars.

The series is standard length, 26 episodes long. In short, the background story is about how humans were reckless in the future and started dumping trash into space. Later down the road, they realized that all this space debris would ultimately come back to haunt them as even tiny debris coming at you at 50 miles per hour can cause major damage to your spacecraft. Therefore, a new division in the space agency was created and their purpose is to remove debris from space. Like the janitorial position, no one sees this new department as anything that great, but because of them, space exploration can continue with a lot fewer accidents.

The story begins with Tanabe joining the space agency and getting assigned to the space cleaning department. Hachimaki is assigned as her mentor, guiding her along and the episodes are a series of missions they go out on. Hachimaki’s dream has always been to one day end up owning his own spaceship. As the mission continues, Tanabe slowly reveals Hachimaki’s past, and that’s when things start to get interesting.

The description above doesn’t really do it justice and I can’t really say much more without spoiling something.


For more details, visit Wikipedia or You can also check out the trailer on YouTube.

House, M.D.

Ohfuee had introduced me to House, M.D. a long time back, but I was never really a fan of hospital shows like ER or Grey’s Anatomy, so I never really bothered looking into it. However Xyon convinced me to give it shot and it has turned out quite interesting.. The fact that Xyon owns both season 1 and season 2 on DVDs gave me another incentive to watch. It meant I didn’t have to go “procure” them some other way.

You can blame House for my absence in posting blog entries for the past 2 weeks, but who besides Gregory House can make words like “me likee” and “thingies” sound cool.

I was also very intrigued by the intro music. Apparently the song is called Teardrop by Massive Attack. Once again it has that dramatic feeling that I like.

There was a funny thread going on at work. Someone had claimed they missed Monday’s episode of House. Someone replied saying he’d save him the time from watching it:

Someone was sick.
House tried to cure them but it was only 20 minutes into the show so the cure made them worse.
Then someone else tried to cure them, and House got mad. The second attempt was at 30 minutes so it didn’t work either.
Cuddy got mad, House made a pass at her and was rejected again.
The patient got worse and they couldn’t figure out why. Someone said it was an infection, someone else said it was a fungus, someone else said it was a tumor. None of them could prove it.
House came up with some great idea and everyone said it wouldn’t work but he did it anyway.
The patient got better and everyone was happy.
13 still doesn’t have a name.

Then there were these responses:

That must be a unique episode from the rest, neither MRI nor lumbar puncture was involved.

You forgot Lupus.

And of course someone shouted:

Spoiler space man!!!

I will admit that it does get repetitive, but then again, I watch Detective Conan religiously, which is 500+ episodes in and the theme is basically:

  • Someone gets murdered
  • Conan looks for clues
  • Conan figures out how the culprit did it
  • Conan tranquilizes Mouri Kogoro (Ran’s father)
  • Conan uses Sleeping Kogoro to explain the case (who would believe in a elementary boy?)

I sort of got screwed over watching Season 2. For some reason Media Center had listed them out of order (partly blamed by the My Movies plugin, partly blamed by the fact my file server doesn’t list files in alphabetical order). Apparently the 1st disc I watched was disc #5. When things started to not make sense like why *cough* needed an HIV test or how *cough* miraculously got cured with no explanation, I realized I wasn’t watching the DVDs for Season 2 in order. After resorting them, I was still wrong and actually ended up watching disc 2 out of 6 2nd to last.

I’m down to the final disc of season 2 and then I’ll have to decide if I want to continue watching House instead, or should I resume blogging. ;p

Shakugan no Shana vs Zero no Tsukaima

louise vs shana So as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve started watching Shakugan no Shana (灼眼のシャナ) and I can’t stop thinking of how much it reminds me of Zero no Tsukaima (ゼロの使い魔).

Not only do they both star a prepubescent girl who’s supposedly very powerful, but her power hasn’t been fully awaken yet, they also feature a clueless guy who basically follows her orders. And of course they both somehow fall in love with each other, but have a hard time expressing so.

Anyway, I did some extra research and it turns out the voice actors for both the main female and male characters are the same!

Hino Satoshi (日野聡) voices both Hiraga Saito (from Zero no Tsukaima) and Sakai Yuji (from Shakugan no Shana).

Kugimiya Rie (釘宮 理恵) voices both Louise (from Zero no Tsukaima) and Shana (from Shakugan no Shana).

If I had to guess, the story/manga is probably done by the same artist/company too.

5 Centimeters Per Second – Review

5 Centimeters Per SecondI just watched Makoto Shinkai’s latest masterpiece: 5 Centimeters Per Second (秒速5センチメートル). You might remember Makoto Shinkai from his previous works such as Voices of a Distant Star (ほしのこえ) or The Place Promised in Our Early Days (雲のむこう、約束の場所).

This animated film was so beautiful, yet so heart wrenching, and I think I’m going to be depressed for some time. The drawing was just spectacular and the music/soundtrack was nothing short of Tenmon‘s best. The storyline was so amazingly beautiful, I’m not sure exactly how I feel with such an open ended ending.

Continue reading the review…

Naruto Shippuuden – Why Do You Go So Far For Him?

Naruto Shippuuden - Why Do You Go So Far For Him?
(Click thumbnail to watch video clip)

In one of the recent episodes of Naruto Shippuuden (Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles), I found Naruto’s dialog to be quite touching/emotional and wanted to share.


Why do you go so far for him?
Why are you trying so hard to bring him back,
willing to risk your life by going up against Orochimaru to do it?
Why? You haven’t been ordered to do this.


Sasuke is my friend.
Someone who I was finally able to form a bond with.


A… bond?
But still, against Orochimaru, you…


I don’t care who I have to fight!
If he rips my arms off, I’ll kick him to death.
If he rips my legs off, I’ll bite him to death!
If he rips my head off, I’ll stare him to death!
And if he gouges out my eyes, I’ll curse him beyond the grave!
Even if I’m torn to shreds, I’m taking Sasuke back from Orochimaru!

Then today I saw this on Digg: The Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), referring to Obama vs Clinton. I thought it resembled the quote above, but in a totally different context.