(JAP title: Code Geass : Hangyaku no Lelouch)
[ 1 MINUTE REVIEW ]
Code Geass is one of the most popular anime of all time. It completely deserves this honor as it has an excellent plot that has many twists, great fights between human controlled robots and intricately designed characters. The story is the high point of the series and like Death Note’s Yagami Light, this anime’s protagonist, Lelouch is ruthless and is a genius. Watching him mastermind seemingly impossible operations is a blast. This series is just so enjoyable, that it leaves you begging for more. And thankfully, there is a season 2. This anime is definitely worth checking out. Don’t judge the anime by its first few episodes. It will appeal to fans of all genres as this anime restricts itself to no single genre, drifting from Shonen to Mystery to Drama to Slice of Life to Fantasy effortlessly. Code Geass : Watch it.
[ 5 MINUTE REVIEW ]
When I first heard about Code Geass’s storyline, I was not very impressed. I mean come on; a guy can tell anyone what to do and they’ll just do it without any hesitation? Sounded like an overpowered protagonist to me at first. And his aim? To defeat an empire which covers 1/3rd of the world. Right about now, I lost interest. But then one day I was really, REALLY bored and picked this series up. I expected a typical shonen with a guy who doesn’t talk much, a girl with a crush on him for no reason, extraordinary hidden talents, blah blah blah… And that’s exactly what I got for the first few episodes. But after around the 6th episode, my oh my… the series just kick starts its engine and goes into high gear. The story from then on has a breakneck pace which will keep you at the edge of your seat.
The story of Code Geass is that the protagonist (note that I don’t use the word hero. You’ll find out why.) Lelouch Lamperouge, is a prince of Britannia, the empire that controls a third of the world, who renounces his title as the Britannian army massacred his family and disabled his sister. Lelouch lives on, praying each day to get revenge on the Britannian Empire. And one fine day, he runs into an alien girl called CC. She offers him a contract – She will give him the power of Geass and he must fulfil his part of the bargain, regardless of what it is. Lelouch, of course, agrees and obtains the power of Geass. With a Geass, you can turn one of your eyes into a Geass eye and use the Geass power on any human being. And what is the Geass power? Well, if you use Geass on a person, they simply do whatever you ask them to. Yes, he can ask them to die, rollover, do pushups, run on fire and whatever the heck he wants. And Lelouch is a master strategist, who has exceptional chess skills which builds his battle tactics. Now that he has a Geass, taking over an empire should be simple, wouldn’t it? Not quite. The story is set in 2017 a.t.b where soldiers use battle bots (like the ones in Mobile Suit Gundam) called Knightmare Frames to fight. And all Knightmare Frames are insanely powerful. Thus begins the story of how Lelouch, a high school student, tries to take down the world’s largest empire using his brilliant mind and the power of Geass. To keep his identity a secret he becomes Zero, the oddly dressed savior of Japan.
The animation is done by CLAMP, so you can expect the bots, the Knightmare Frames, to look good. Transition is smooth and there is almost no recycling of frames. Almost all the bots, especially the ones that come in the later episodes, look slick. However, the character design did not appeal all that much to me. Almost every character in the anime had the same build- lanky. But still, all the characters look different and you rarely ever get confused. I really though Zero could’ve had a better attire, the mask looked like an egg on a stick. There are a few tit flashes, a lot of scenes where the female characters are shown being in tempting poses and it has tons of open gory violence so it’s definitely not recommended for kids below 14. As far as the animation department, I am impressed and don’t have too many complaints.
The music in Code Geass, is overall, good. The first season opening and ending theme were pretty good. As far as soundtrack goes, it is done well, but there is nothing standout. Because of the noise made by the Knightmares, you can hardly hear the soft background music sometimes. Not much to criticize, but not much to appreciate either.
The story is much deeper than the synopsis above says. The story also plays the Best Friend vs. Best Friend card. And I just love anime which play that card. While Lelouch tries to take down the Britannian empire, his best friend from childhood, Suzaku, tries to stop Zero. And the best part? They don’t know each other’s secret identity. In the initial episodes, Lelouch simply does not care how many people he kills and abuses his Geass to the core. Just as it is about to get stale, the story switches paths, minimizing the role of the Geass and giving greater importance to his tactical and strategic abilities. There are constant twists in the plot, which keeps you engaged. Whether it may be a new Knightmare or a new character, the tight script keeps the action going. Although you may initially think Code Geass is just a rip off of Death Note + Mobile Suit Gundam, you soon change your mind. Agreed, they have a lot of similarities, but it is handled and presented in a different manner. For those who are familiar with Death Note, Lelouch might seem similar to Yagami at first, but around mid-way in the series, you stop comparing the two and realize both of them are completely different characters. Code Geass is far more dramatic and emotional than Death Note. It answers several critical questions Death Note did not. It’s not as intelligent, sophisticated or subtle, but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. Geass has grandeur, which surprisingly appealed to me. The balance of Code Geass continuously shifts between the power of the Geass and the power of the Knightmare Frames. The characters in the anime are really good, each of them showing depth in their personalities. The notable side characters are Shirley, Kallen, Cornelia, Nunally, Ougi and Euphemia. The main characters ( Lelouch, CC, Suzaku ) are all excellently made and make the show a cut above the rest.
The ending, is well, hardly an ending. It’s like the prequel of season 2, Code Geass : Lelouch of the Rebellion R2. Yet, you will savor every moment of it. You shouldn’t have much problem choosing between the sub and the dub as both are, surprisingly, done extremely well. You should be comfortable with either.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is a mind-blowing anime that should satisfy Detective, Sci-fi and shonen fans alike. It is by no means overrated and it’s hard to criticize such a fast moving, engaging and fun anime. Enjoyement guaranteed.