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CODE GEASS: Nunnally in Wonderland

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「ナナリー in ワンダーランド」 (Nanarī in Wandārando)
“Nunnally in Wonderland”

How you end up reacting to this comedic, light-hearted, frequently downright silly, spinoff OVA based on the Code Geass series depends pretty much entirely on what you’re looking for in it. If you’re expecting a serious story with a similar feel to the rest of the franchise (I sincerely hope you’re not) then you’re in for a fair bit of disappointment. However, if you’re looking for a good laugh, plenty of satire and proof that a series can make fun of itself, you’ve come to the right place! As far as seriousness goes, it was certainly not on the table when Sunrise sat down to create Nunnally in Wonderland. In fact seriousness was on another table in a different anime studio entirely!

Fair warning – it’s not fully animated. The majority of OVA is done in picture drama format but with the occasional interjections of some pretty cool fully animated scenes. As a fan of the original Code Geass picture dramas, I can’t say this bothered me too much, particularly when you take into account how frequently it managed to get a laugh out of me! That’s not to say it’s perfect though – at times it strays from being humorous into being downright silly which detracts a little from the enjoyment. On the whole though, it has something for pretty much any kind of Geass fan, particularly with its frequent references to fandom (more on that later)!

I imagine most people will be somewhat familiar with the story of Alice in Wonderland, and I for one can say that it was one of my favourite childhood stories, so it’s always entertaining to see different takes on it. Of course, there are only so many times you can see the same plot before it becomes incredibly boring, but what stands in Nunnally in Wonderland’s favour is seeing how well they blend the characters from the original anime into each of their roles, along with the addition of constant references to the original franchise. Typically, as many such adaptions do, characters were pulled not only from Alice in Wonderland but also from Through the Looking-Glass. It’s always interesting to see how this seems to inevitably happen these days – as though people are no longer aware of the distinction between the two works. But that’s pretty unimportant in this context!

Before I get into the main body of this post, I want to quickly comment on the music. A huge part of the Code Geass atmosphere came from the music for me. So much nostalgia came into play just hearing the old themes as Lelouch (Fukuyama Jun) used his geass to recreate Wonderland for Nunnally (Nazuka Kaori). Countless times throughout the OVA, the distinctive soundtrack of the original series brought up associated memories and added to the unique spin on Alice in Wonderland by giving it an extra touch of Code Geass. It was certainly great to hear it again… which reminds me… why haven’t I done a soundtrack review on it yet? I should get on that sometime!

Moving swiftly onwards, let’s talk a bit (a lot!) about the characters and their roles, since that’s pretty much the main focus of this OVA – to satirise the original anime through its characters and references. It’s actually a little surprising to see how well each of the Code Geass characters slot into the various roles taken form Alice in Wonderland! Lelouch, with Fukuyama Jun’s wonderful tones, spellbinds us as the narrator – it’s something I would love to hear much more of. At the same time, he makes a brilliant Mad Hatter in his Zero form – it’s a role that almost seems meant for him! Of course, if he can only fulfil one of these roles for the bulk of the story, I’m glad it was the narrator – his dramatic interludes in which he betrays his siscon nature with borderline creepy comments were extremely entertaining! I worry a little for Nunnally though…

The first of Wonderland’s inhabitants is of course the White Rabbit. It’s a little strange to see Anya (Gotou Yuuko) fill this role given her usually quite nature, but her deadpan deliveries (and awesome outfit!) more than made up for that! I can only imagine just how horrified she would’ve been to discover the loss of her precious ‘memories!’ She’s quickly followed by Sayoko, ever the noble maid while simultaneously fulfilling the Dodo’s role in the story! We can’t forget Rakshata, our smoking caterpillar who still retains her scientific hobbies with question after question for Nunnally on the side effects of her latest inventions. It’s a little sad that neither of their seiyuu appeared for the OVA, but given their minor roles I suppose this is no surprise.

Milly (Ohara Sayaka) and Nina (Chiba Saeko) are up next, taking on the roles of the Duchess and Cook respectively. No surprise to see Milly fitting perfectly into her role, even announcing the opening of the next big event in style! Nina uh… yeah I can’t really say cooking is one of her specialities. Certainly not when the meals all contain highly deadly miniature F.L.E.I.J.A. which would certainly do a lot more than cause everyone to start sneezing… I would not eat that stuff. I hope none of you would either!

Kallen (Koshimizu Ami) makes a typically dramatic entrance (hares kick, geddit?!) along with Rivalz (Sugiyama Noriaki) as the lazy Doormouse (which works surprisingly well, particularly with his half-assed sucking up to Milly!). Naturally, her immediate reaction as a Black Knight is to find herself in an epic (carrot?) duel to the death with one of her Knight of the Round nemeses, Anya! Let’s not forget about breaking the fourth wall since a certain someone is suspiciously absent!

Where Anya’s memories are held in her phone, Shirley (Orikasa Fumiko) has once more lost hers, wandering aimlessly as a Faun. At least she didn’t die this time! Kaguya and Tianzi take the place of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee as the identic- wait… something’s off here… Oh well, I guess Code Geass had a distinct lack of identical twins, and those two are the closest viable option and needed some form of cameo eh! But why on earth are they arguing over stockings and pantsu?! Li Xingke as Humpty Dumpty… no I don’t get it. If there’s a reference there that’s gone completely over my head. At least Orange-kun got to transform into a terrifying creature once again! Though there was a distinct lack of oranges.

O-ME-DE-TOOOOOOU! It just would not be the same without cameoing Lloyd’s (Shiratori Tetsu) crowning moment of pure insanity. I feel a little bad for him once again being forced to eat Walrus Cecile’s (Inoue Kikuko) legendary bad experimental lunches! Rolo (Mizushima Takahiro), saddened by his heart condition, takes on the role of the Mock Turtle. Wait, why is he naked? Is this a thing? The irony of his joke about stopping time and his demise was a nice touch, particularly in light of Viletta’s (Watanabe Akeno) relationship issues with Ohgi. Not even remotely surprised that that relationship would prove problematic!

C.C…. Cheshire Cat… the acronym alone almost makes this worth watching. Why did no-one think of this before the announcement of Nunnally in Wonderland? C.C. (Yukana) is a perfect embodiment of the Cheshire Cat. Her personality needs no modification whatsoever – even in the original Code Geass she had the mischievousness, meddlesome and curious nature down to a T! Let’s quickly brush on by Darlton and Guilford as the Lion and the Unicorn because who cares about side characters who have their development pushed casually aside!

Wakamoto remains as badass as ever in his role as the Emperor (or the King of Heart rather!). As always, he remains wrapped around the finger of the Queen of Heart – Marianne (Dodo Asako) in this case. Did she have a penchant for chopping off people’s heads in Code Geass? I imagine not, but who knows what went on behind the scenes! Kind of ironic seeing V.V. as her retainer despite having been responsible for her death! And at long last we have the entrance of Euphie (Minami Omi) as the White Queen, still seeking equality for all in the form of the ‘Special Administrated Zone of Croquet’ while Cornelia (Minagawa Junko) dotes on her as the White King. Yuri fans rejoice! Sunrise has heard our pleas!

There is a flip side too… Schneizel (Inoue Norihiro), the Red King and Kanon (Mito Kouzou), the Red Queen are clearly inserted for the fujoshi (*coughMochicough*)! See, it really does have something for every kind of Code Geass fan! Oh and there was the whole Damocles made out of croquet equipment thing.

To be perfectly honest, the whole croquet thing was pretty dumb… and once again Britannia’s internal politics become their downfall allowing Nunnally to flee before events became even dumber. Not a moment too soon either… surely there was something better they could’ve done with that portion of the story? But let us not dwell upon it, for lo and behold! Gino (Hoshi Souichirou), the Red Knight playboy appears to duel Suzaku (Sukurai Takahiro), the white-knighting White Knight astride his horse, Lancelot Albion! At this point, I solidly expected to see some brilliant animated action! Instead we got something better…

So uh… it would appear Sunrise is aware of Spinzaku. This has to be one of the best references to fandom I’ve seen in an anime to date and more than makes up for the croquet tomfoolery. But to say that Spinzaku was the only thing that managed to get me to laugh through the entire OVA would be wrong. Other than some questionable elements, the comedy was pretty damn good. The dramatic pauses were perfectly timed and had just the right amount of impact to amuse me and the antics of each of the characters were entertaining in their own ways.

Perhaps it sounds like I’m being too lenient on some of its flaws, but at the end of the day, I enjoyed it. Does anything else really matter in an OVA designed purely for the sake of entertainment? Sure, it would probably have been much better as a fully animated one-hour OVA, but for what it was, it definitely worked. If you don’t like picture dramas (or humour), you may not enjoy this, but if you do, it’s certainly one of the better ones I’ve ever seen!

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – References to both the original series and fandom make for an entertaining picture drama! #NunnallyInWonderland

Random thoughts:

  • Were Milly’s breasts always that big?
  • Wait, why are there two of her and Lloyd during this scene?!
  • Shirley… there’s a particular phrase I want to use right now…
  • We can certainly see just how much the animators favoured C.C. – just look how much animation she got compared to all the other characters!

Full-length images: 15, 23, 29, 32, 34, 36, 37, 44, 45.

July 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm
80 comments »
  • July 30, 2012 at 2:35 pmSilentCid

    You wonder at first if Nunnally is on refrain but it turns out it was only Lelouch having some crazy dream.

  • July 30, 2012 at 2:36 pmCybersteel

    I can certainly enjoy those ahem girls though a bit static. More C.C. :D

  • July 30, 2012 at 2:36 pmmutio

    Looks like the makers went crazy on this one – I like it..^^

  • July 30, 2012 at 2:42 pmacolyte

    wut? o_O

  • July 30, 2012 at 2:44 pmAnanas

    So cheap…

  • July 30, 2012 at 2:45 pmDimagus

    Lelouch is actually Kirito from SAO.

    • July 30, 2012 at 4:42 pmMash

      Are you sure about that?

      • July 30, 2012 at 5:21 pmDimagus

        Propensity for black, the ultimate solo player, has a little sister, harem with more hair colors than a rainbow, and his primary companion has a fascination with food.

        Aren’t *you* sure? :D

      • July 30, 2012 at 8:35 pmMash

        Sorry, I thought you were talking about Seiyuus

    • July 30, 2012 at 6:10 pmSilentCid

      Sorry but Kirito is not flashy enough to be Lelouch

    • July 30, 2012 at 6:19 pmOmega

      No one can be Lelouch/Zero, except Lelouch/Zero himself.

      • July 31, 2012 at 7:02 amWhatsht

        Lelouch geassed the World of C for it to follow his bidding and kill Charles, Kirito took over control of another world to defeat the final boss.
        Flashy? Kirito uses a light saber in a FPS game, and is the champion of the game.

    • July 31, 2012 at 8:33 amjunglepenguin

      You mean Kirito’s actually trying to emulate Lelouch. As mentioned by Omega, no one can be Lelouch but Lelouch himself. No one else can fill his shoes.

  • July 30, 2012 at 2:57 pmBeedle

    • July 30, 2012 at 6:47 pmMoridin

      Shirly challenged CC for the title of Ms. Fanservice this OVA but the reigning Queen took it back in style.

    • July 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm0927123

      I havta wonder where the tail is attached to…

  • July 30, 2012 at 3:03 pmshamaticgrl

    *o* Thank you! even though it’s a PD it was amazing! Lot’s of good reference to the series and satire like you said. Especially the Spinzaku. It never gets old. even the pic can make me laugh lol Thank you so much for posting it

  • July 30, 2012 at 3:27 pmJhacks

    Just got trolled by the show, expecting it to be somewhat more serious (hahaha….sigh, seriously 30min of picture drama??). Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it….w/ alcohol.

  • July 30, 2012 at 3:48 pmMaster of Perzpektiba

    I think the appropriate title for this OVA is CODE GEASS: C.C. I’m in Wonderland O(≧∇≦)O

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:19 pmstarss

    Woah! I feel weird seeing CG again!

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm†Croos†

    Brofist Moomba for having the same train thought

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:32 pmP Ko

    Oh sweet Jesus.. CC.. oh lord… just… I… and then… just…

    Yeah.

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:35 pmFT5Havok

    SPINZAKU HAHAHAHAHA!

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:38 pmEliteF22

    Forget why there’s two of Lloyd and Milly, why wasn’t Kallen in this scene? Milly’s boobs? Heck I want to know where Marianne’s boobs came from!

    • July 30, 2012 at 9:05 pmManoloH

      They always had pretty large boobs even in the show, whenever you can actually tell.

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:44 pmSilivious

    Been awhile since I’ve seen any C.G stuff….
    What fun. XD

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:45 pmAnonymous

    what the hell is this.

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:50 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

    What the hell… I didn’t expect when this when I saw the ova in the season preview….

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:54 pmAlec

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:55 pmClick

    How you end up reacting to this comedic, light-hearted, frequently downright silly, spinoff OVA based on the Code Geass series depends pretty much entirely on what you’re looking for in it.

    Shirley’s butt is what I came for. Shirley’s butt is what I got. Needless to say, I was immensely satisfied.

    • July 30, 2012 at 6:02 pmOmega

      C.C is the most fitted for that as we all know that C.C’s butt is the stuff of legends :p

      Well, i don’t mind if it’s either Shirley or C.C :p Either one is fine :p

      • July 30, 2012 at 6:48 pmMoridin

        Well we got both…

    • July 31, 2012 at 9:48 pmstarss

      Good God Shirley. You are so splendid today. It’s so nice to see you after your exit from the last show!

      And Nunners looks exceptionally cute with her wide eyes!

  • July 30, 2012 at 5:13 pmKaka

    Makes me want to go back and re-watch the whole series again >_<

  • July 30, 2012 at 5:24 pmZanibas

    Kaguya is nopan. That is all.

  • July 30, 2012 at 5:40 pmMaster of Perzpektiba

    Didn’t notice this earlier but Nina and A Table coincidence much? ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶

    • July 31, 2012 at 4:22 amMoomba

      Wow, somehow I didn’t make that connection! Nice catch!

    • July 31, 2012 at 10:04 amKyzel

      Tablefap. Sorry. I just had to say it.

    • July 31, 2012 at 4:04 pmSeishun Otoko

      Damn Nina, you cracked me up in every scene you appeared in and lawl at tablefap XD

    • July 31, 2012 at 9:49 pmstarss

      Table-kun will be playing the role of Wonderland Table.

  • July 30, 2012 at 5:55 pmOmega

    First is Carnival Phantasm. Now this. What’s next?

    We should have more of this kind of “poke-fun-of-their-own-works” series. I’m hooked on this kind of stuff ever since Carnival Phantasm :)

    • July 31, 2012 at 11:59 amKaka

      I wish they could continue Carnival Phantasm!! Good times good times :D Maybe next time they could poke fun of the 4th Holy Grail War also haha

  • July 30, 2012 at 6:31 pmkoager

    loved Lelouch’s Mad Hatter outfit. yay CLAMP!

  • July 30, 2012 at 6:43 pmKentaiyoshimi

    I agree in that the BGM was the first thing that stood out for me. It’s amazing how well the soundtrack fit each scene, as well as bringing up waves of nostalgic memories of CG.
    Given how well the CG characters fit into their respective roles, I can’t help but think that AiW had some influence on the CG characters

    Props to Sunrise for deliberately animating the Suzaku/Gino fight scene the way it was, considering the budget. Although it seems the amount of animation per character = popularity of the character.

    Cosplayers will have a field day with this PD.

  • July 30, 2012 at 6:46 pmMoridin

    I think Li Xingke is Humpty Dumpty as in the show he was broken (ie: incurable illness) and all the Kings men (well Tainxi) couldn’t put him back together again. Best connection I can find.

  • July 30, 2012 at 7:33 pmHOURAISAN

  • July 30, 2012 at 7:33 pmARQ

    Ougi has got to be impotent or something. How can you have that bored look on your face while looking at hadaka apron viletta??!

  • July 30, 2012 at 8:32 pmMasterDragonKnight

    Who got butter on the Hadron Cannon?!

  • July 30, 2012 at 10:55 pmAutumn The Cuzzy

    • July 31, 2012 at 10:26 pmAni_BEE

      That was the funniest part of that scene as you knew Kanon just had a thing for Schneizel in the series but to actually see Kanon doting like that made me burst into laughter.

  • July 30, 2012 at 11:27 pmrandom viewer

    I enjoyed this OVA just because of nostalgia. The characters in this anime are something I remember by when all these years have passed.

  • July 30, 2012 at 11:30 pmDa5id

    Why was Nina trying to feed Nunally nukes?

    • July 31, 2012 at 6:23 am0927123

      Code Geass R1 EP 12.

  • July 31, 2012 at 12:55 amSlushiZ

    A couple good laughs but their attempts at humor fell flat a bit too often for my liking…still it was good to see some CG again. I hope Bōkoku no Akito comes out soon…

  • July 31, 2012 at 1:04 amAnarchy

    Glorious OVA. I feel like the writers had stumbled into a cache of fandom excerpts and decided it was crazy enough it would work.

  • July 31, 2012 at 5:06 amc2710

    i was laughing from start to finish

  • July 31, 2012 at 5:30 amCybersteel

    All that is needed now is Nightmare of Nunally to be animated.

    • August 1, 2012 at 2:15 pmBlack Gekikara

      Indeed good sir, indeed!

      And damn it, Spizaku!

  • July 31, 2012 at 6:04 amAndmeuths

    This OVA is full of win. It’s comedy gold.

  • July 31, 2012 at 6:33 amKappei Hiiragi

    C.C. as CHESIRE CAT (C.C.)
    I see what you did there…

    And Suzaku’s new definition of SPIN-Zaku. Now I’ve seen everything… *bang*

  • July 31, 2012 at 6:50 amWhatsht

    Turns out C.C and Shirley are eye-pleasing enough.

    Seriously, this is hilarious.

  • July 31, 2012 at 7:54 amFiShar

    Awesome!
    They remember to include Spinzaku.

  • July 31, 2012 at 8:52 amCroco

    I just HATE those comic-style anime. They even do this to h-anime as well…

  • July 31, 2012 at 11:06 amCTT

    The guy in those last two screen caps looks a lot like the guy driving C.C.’s carriage at the end of R2. Just saying

  • July 31, 2012 at 11:07 amYanDaMan

    I have no idea what I just watched.

    All I know is I saw me some CC fanservice shots :3

  • August 1, 2012 at 11:51 amNaYa

    Haha the whole sexy take on Wonderland characters is very reminiscent of Miyuki in Wonderland. Oh, CLAMP… how I adore thee.

  • August 1, 2012 at 11:54 amStyxounette

    The emperor curls are heart shaped. Certainly, all my life was so that I could witness this.

  • August 1, 2012 at 12:30 pmposeidonhands

    DAT FAWN

  • August 1, 2012 at 1:47 pmjrj

    totally WTF, but totally awesome OVA, brings back memories :)

    one thing I noticed, C.C is immune to the effect of Geass, yet she still played parts in this whole thing (if it is not a dream), then that must mean C.C is actually the real mastermind behind it? xD

    nice catch on the tables for whoever did that :) so awesome! (it is not a round table for that matter :)

    and spinzaku… only if it is completed with a kick would I be totally satisfied xD

    • August 1, 2012 at 5:48 pmMoomba

      I think the joke was that he used his Geass on the production team or something similar rather than on the anime cast.

      • August 1, 2012 at 6:48 pmjrj

        I am pretty sure Lulu used geass on CG casts… just went to re-watch it, he said “code geass characters”… so C.C really wants to trap Nanally in wonderland so she can hold Lulu all for herself? xD So this is the scheme of our pizza queen xD

  • August 1, 2012 at 3:33 pmMike F.

    This was definitely better than what I was expecting. Good mix of fanservice and jokes. A love letter to the fans of the series.

  • August 2, 2012 at 12:24 amAnonymous

    Here is a quote from 4chan that summarizes my observations:

    “Everyone is basically wearing slutty clothes except Cecile who is wearing something she’d probably wear anyway”

  • August 2, 2012 at 7:09 amSilentman

  • August 2, 2012 at 2:50 pmChaos Raiden

    C.C. is illegally hot in this OVA.

  • August 4, 2012 at 7:01 amAizawa

    Well, amazing OAV, totaly crazy xD I saw that Nightmare of Nunnaly must be animated, yes but the R0 too ;) With the story of C.C :) This mounth, the movie will be released, finaly and in October, there is the european story :) A lot of Code Geass release :D Now, we need an R3 xD
    Sorry for my bad englsih :P

  • September 19, 2012 at 5:37 amb.i.t.w.

    well give my dislike on this series give it a chance besides also have Standards too ya know.

    it did bit redeem itself of sorta give still wished main series still be re-fix or reboot to prevent those “events”.

    overall this wonderland ep really f-service overload from nearly all females good grief doobi & behind big WHAT seem fine to see & ok to watch.

    feel watching something wwe’s are you serious would do especially that puppet h.