Code Geass is an anime that has sparked a lot of discussion inside the anime community with its famously ambiguous ending. Recently, however, discussions about the anime began once again with the recently announced season 3 and movie coming up this year. So I thought it was time for me to talk about my favourite anime of all time, Code Geass and why you should watch it, also I will be talking about season 1 and 2 as a whole and not separately. Minor Spoilers ahead so if you don’t want to be spoiled maybe just look at the ratings.
An anime is nothing without an intriguing story, and Code Geass smashes this. The plot revolves around a young high schooler by the name of Lelouch Lamprouge, former heir to the Holy Britanian Empire and his quest to overthrowing his own family’s corrupt empire. While these are the bare bones, the anime is not as simple as that. The story focusses on themes of terrorism, revolution, racism and the war economy, it will not only make you question society but also your own morals with characters such as Lelouch himself, who is the type of person who is willing to do anything to accomplish his goals even if it means killing somebody with his own hands, Suzaku Kururugi on the other hand, first planned on joining the empire and making it better from the inside even though his own people, the Japanese, were enslaved and their country stripped of its name, other major characters such as Schneizel, Euphemia and Cornelia have their codes of morality and it’s always entertaining to see how these people react, or manipulate others with different mindsets. The plot itself tends to focus on the so-called terrorist organisation, The Black Knights, lead by Lelouch masked as Zero after he gains the ability to compel anyone to his bidding by making eye contact, a power he gains from a woman named C.C. He uses this power to attempt to destroy the Holy Britannian Empire. The way this anime deals with the issues of racism and terrorism are exceptional and very rare among anime today, Terror in Resonance being an exception.
The plot receives an 8/10, while it is a great plot, the anime tends to drift from it at times instead giving full episodes dedicated only to filler and fan service.
With such a great plot, there are bound to be some great characters, unfortunately, an issue I have with this anime is that the cast is simply too big, however, this problem is overcome by the way Code Geass makes each and every major character memorable, now I’m not going into much detail on all of the characters but I will give you a rundown of the two major characters, Lelouch and Suzaku, two sides of the same coin.
Lelouch Lamprouge, formerly Lelouch Vi Britannia, used to be the seventeenth heir to the Holy Britannian Empire, though after witnessing his father’s indisposition to keep his mother safe, resulting in her death in front of Lelouch’s sister’s own eyes, Lelouch confronts his father and is exiled to Area 11, former Japan. Once Lelouch arrives in Japan, he and his sister Nunnally acquaint themselves with Suzaku Kururugi, son of the Japanese Prime Minister. After watching as the Britannian forces completely decimate the Japanese, he swears that he will destroy Britannia. Years later he is caught attempting to help a crashed truck, the truck, however, belongs to a terrorist group who had stolen a supposed bioweapon from the Britannians. During the ordeal, he encounters C.C a witch who grants him the “Power Of Kings” known as Geass, a power that allows him to control a person’s mind by making eye contact, with this he takes the mantle of Zero and assumes the terrorist group under the banner of revolution calling themselves, “The Black Knights”. Lelouch is a complex character, at first all he does is in order to build a better world for his blind and crippled sister, however, this very desire would drive him crazy.
Suzaku Kururugi, son of Prime Minister Kururugi, of Japan before the Britannian occupation, now serves the Britannian army as an honorary Britannian. He disagrees with everything Zero stands for and believes he can change the Empire from the inside. During Zero’s first action with the terrorists, Suzaku, after being critically injured trying to protect Lelouch, is now chosen to pilot the Lancelot, a mech, or as they’re known, nightmare frame, that is the latest product of the research and development team, one of the most advanced war machines, he is given this as an opportunity to prove himself to the Britannians by crushing the terrorist attempt. Suzaku is a character built on contradiction he opposes the government and yet works for it, he wishes to protect elevens (Japanese) though he works for the army that oppresses them and he talks of how the ends don’t justify the means, and yet commits questionable acts in order to obtain his own goals, though many hate his character for this, I believe that his character was never intended to be likeable in the first place, Suzaku displays the self-righteous facade that we all have but deep down he has his own goals and ambitions, making him one of the most relatable characters of Code Geass.
For the Characters Code Geass receives a 9/10, truly an exceptional work when it comes to character development, while there are still too many characters for my liking, the characters are different and unique enough for them to be memorable, the inconsistency of the main characters is an aspect that can really make you relate to them as they portray how we as humans are often inconsistent with ourselves.
Now here is where this anime really nails it. Composed by Kōtarō Nakagawa fits the anime perfectly, everything from the tragic to the light-hearted. Of course, the most iconic sound of Code Geass comes from the excellent orchestral music queued perfectly for every battle scene, every tragic moment and every major plot points, without the music, I dare say, Code Geass wouldn’t be the modern day classic it is now. Furthermore, not only the OST for Code Geass but also the OPs and EDs, almost every single one of them, with the exception of OP 2 was simply amazing, you may be bringing this anime for hours on end, but you will always watch the full opening, if not for the great sequence just for the amazing music, songs like COLORS and WORLD END by FLOW, O2 and Shiwase Neiru by Orange Range and the very last song, Continued Story by Hitomi Kuroishi make up for some of the best OPs and EDs I have ever listened to in anime.
Music Gets a score of 9/10, if not for the plot watch the anime for the music.
This anime is too good to pass on if haven’t already, use this chance now that the hype for it is back up with the third season about to hit soon and catch up with the anime. It is my favourite anime of all time so this may influence my opinion but seriously if you haven’t already done so, go ahead and check it out and even though the anime is quite old (originally released in 2006) the animation holds up really well to today’s standards. The anime gets a score of 8.7/10.