In the first half of February 2018, the Gallery AaMo in Tokyo held a Code Geass ~Hangyaku no Lelouch~, or as it is more known in English, Code Geass ~Leloch of the Rebellion~ Exhibition, and well, it is definitely one of the events that Honey’s Anime team could not have missed! This exhibition will move out to Osaka on March 24 to the Osaka Nanko ATC Museum, so if you’ll be around Osaka at that time, it’s highly recommended to visit and experience the exhibition yourself!
One of Sunrise’s big hit titles since 2006, the Code Geass series is currently releasing two recaps movies of the two Code Geass original series seasons before the sequel movie, Code Geass ~Fukkatsu no Lelouch~. Also, Code Geass ~Lelouch of the Resurrection~ is scheduled to release later this year. This exhibition was held as part of the promotion of the movies, intended to refresh fans’ memories and love on the series itself.
After managing to secure our tickets in two days before the exhibition ends, we excitedly made our way towards Gallery AaMo. It was still mid-morning when we arrived, which thankfully meant there was no line at the entrance gate framed by two huge pillars of Lelouch in different times of his life. The front of the gallery was already bedecked with a humongous-sized poster of Lelouch—it really pumps up Honey-chan’s and Bee-kun’s excitement!
Code Geass ~Hangyaku no Lelouch~
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural, Magic, Shounen-ai
- Current Movie Airing Date: February 2018
- Studios: Sunrise
When It Started
Those of us who have been watching anime since before 2005 must have watched Code Geass series at some point, as it was one of the must-watch series that got really popular both in Japan and overseas. The original TV series for Code Geass ~Hangyaku no Lelouch~ aired back in 2006 with a total of 25 episodes. If you haven’t watched Code Geass yet (and you really should), it is a mecha anime series that tells the life of one Lelouch Lamperouge, whose real identity is the exiled Eleventh Prince of the Holy Empire Britannia, Lelouch vi Britannia. In an alternate timeline where Japan is no longer an independent nation and instead a colonized area of the Holy Empire Britannia simply known as Area 11, Code Geass follows Lelouch’s effort of creating a peaceful world for his sister Nunnally, by leading a rebellion against Britannia, doubling as an act of vengeance against his father, the Emperor.
Not only was it handled by the studio Sunrise, Code Geass was directed by Taniguchi Gorou, whose works included s-CRY-ed and Planetes, and was written by Okouchi Ichirou, who is also the one doing the episodic screenplay for the currently popular Devilman Crybaby. The character designer for Code Geass is none other than the famous CLAMP—the creator group behind Cardcaptor Sakura and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. In 2008, the second season of Code Geass aired under the title of Code Geass ~Hangyaku no Lelouch~ R2. The huge success caused the series to grow even bigger with a number of OVAs and spin-offs released, and in 2012, Sunrise launched the Code Geass ~Boukoku no Akito~, which is a side story released as movies spanning from 2012 to 2016.
After finishing the Code Geass ~Boukoku no Akito~ project, on the tenth anniversary of the Code Geass series, the director dropped a bombshell on the fans by announcing that there will be three new movies for the original Lelouch series. The first two movies will be a summary of the original Code Geass TV series and R2, but the third one would be a sequel set a few years after the end of R2, titled Code Geass ~Fukkatsu no Lelouch~. In this exciting period of waiting for the new movies, the Code Geass Exhibition is going to take old and new fans alike to a journey detailing Lelouch’s life and story in the original two seasons of the anime series.
|PLACE / LOCATION||Gallery AaMo, Tokyo Dome City.|
|Length of event||February 3 – February 12 2018.|
The second we all got through the entrance gate and gave our entry tickets, we received a brand-new Code Geass Exhibition ticket and one random character identity card replica—Honey-chan got Kururugi Suzaku’s Britannia military identity card while Bee-kun got Lelouch’s Ashford Academy student ID card! You can also buy a narration guide for an extra 500 yen, which will get you a tiny phone-like device that you can use to have one of the available characters to narrate the exhibition for you as you go through. The available characters were Lelouch Lamperouge, Zero (both voiced by Fukuyama Jun), and Kururugi Suzaku (voiced by Sakurai Takahiro). Honey-chan decided that 500 yen is a cheap price to pay to listen to Sakurai Takahiro’s voice for the entire exhibition, so Bee-kun could only watch as she excitedly bought the narration guide with Kururugi Suzaku’s voice. Well, extra contents are always good, right?
Going in, we were greeted by a wall carved in with Lelouch’s Geass symbol, while the walls around us were plastered with close-up shots of the prominent characters in the series. As we progressed, the next section was a brief history of Lelouch’s early life—on the walls were framed original illustrations of Lelouch’s childhood, first as the Eleventh Prince of Britannia, and later as the exiled Prince, who was casted away to Japan with his sister Nunnally and met Suzaku, the son of Japan’s then Prime Minister. The walls featured the happy memories the three of them spent at Kururugi Shrine, and there was even a special corner for Lelouch, Suzaku, and Nunnally’s scenes in the original anime series.
We continued to the next section, which introduced us to Lelouch’s school life and friends: the Ashford Academy and its Student Council. The walls were plastered with life-sized illustration of the Student
Council members—from Milly Ashford to Rivalz—and many others were all over with framed screenshots of the original anime series, telling us the memories of the days Lelouch spent in the Student Council. We get to glimpse the shots of silly episodes such as the Halloween event with the Student Council, or the one where Suzaku and Lelouch had to chase Arthur the Cat all over the school, but we also got to see again screenshots of Shirley crying on Lelouch’s shoulder, or that one scene where Lelouch reminisced about the old Student Council members after Suzaku left for Britannia. It definitely reminded us all about the roller coaster of emotions we went through when we watched the series!
In the next section, we got to see Lelouch’s life as Zero, the leader of the Black Knights Rebellion. There was an impressive special section where an entire wall was dedicated to a spread of Lelouch as Zero, surrounded by his memorable lines from the anime series, each different lines lighting up repeatedly every few seconds. This section detailed the major plot points of the fight Lelouch faced as Zero—how he led the Black Knights in their rebellion against Britannia, what political impacts they caused, and what price they paid. Following the labyrinth-like path of the room, we stumbled into the centerpiece of the section: a very nicely-detailed, life-sized sculpture of Lelouch as Zero! Bee-kun quickly whipped out the camera and began taking pictures before other exhibition visitors could gather around and obstruct the view.
Entering the next section was a rather big open space with framed screenshots of character death scenes. In Honey-chan’s ears, Suzaku began telling the story of the people both he and Lelouch had lost over the years of their conflict and struggles, including Euphemia li Britannia, Shirley Fenette, and Rolo Lamperouge. The center of the section is a waist-tall round screen that replicates Special Zone Memorial Candle Site, except instead of having candles, the screen showed us glimpses of the characters who lost their lives in the course of the series to the melody of Kuroishi Hitomi’s hauntingly beautiful Innocent Days song.
Right across this section was an impressive replica of Kururugi Shrine, surrounded with the iconic scenes that took place in the shrine such as Suzaku and Lelouch’s childhood, as well as their confrontation in R2. There’s even a corner where we could stamp our tickets with the Kururugi Shrine stamp, which is something commonly found in famous shrines throughout Japan. Since this is one of the few photo spots in the exhibition, Honey-chan and Bee-kun didn’t waste their chance and asked the kind exhibition attendant to take a photo of them reenacting the iconic scene of Lelouch and Suzaku’s confrontation where Suzaku literally stepped on Lelouch’s head. Surprisingly, a lot of other visitors were reenacting the same scene as well!
Once finished with the photo shoots, we continued to the special corner made for the last episode of the first season of Code Geass series. Honey-chan intently listened to her narration guide as Suzaku’s monologue told her about what happened in the series in that episode and how Suzaku felt about finding out that his best friend was the enemy he’d hated so much, while Bee-kun stared at the impressive spread of wall dedicated to the very last scene of the first season. In the center was a large screen playing the last scene repeatedly, and the rest of the wall was completely covered in the entire scene’s genga or key animations. On a different wall of to the side, we could also watch a video progress of the animation behind that particular scene when it was still in the form of the genga.
After rewatching the scene to our hearts content, we finally continued to the next section. This section was the point where we started looking into Lelouch’s life as The Emperor of Britannia, and it began with a replica of the Britannia Throne. A good chance for us all to find out what it’s like being the Emperor of Britannia! You could also ask the nice attendant to take your picture here, like Bee-kun did. Make sure to not hold up the line of people who also wanted to try being an Emperor though—not all of us could be Charles and reign for years!
In the next section, we finally began to walk down the road towards Zero Requiem—the walls were decorated with framed screenshots of Lelouch’s attempt to center the world’s hatred on him, while in Honey-chan’s ears, Suzaku explained what Zero Requiem is and how he had decided to be Lelouch’s sword not just to cut down Lelouch’s enemies, but also Lelouch’s own weaknesses. The section’s path ended with a small open space with framed key animations of the very last scene of the second season of Code Geass: the Zero Requiem and the death of Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia. The centerpiece was a big screen playing the particular Zero Requiem scene repeatedly, bringing a very somber mood to all the visitors who hung back to watch, over and over, how Zero stabbed the Emperor Lelouch and how Nunnally screamed for her brother. Even Honey-chan and Bee-kun had to wipe a tear off the corner of their eyes.
Kuroishi Hitomi’s Continued Story guided us to the next section with a more uplifting mood, which was a closing section showing us a new original illustrated work of Lelouch and Suzaku. Surprisingly, the narration guide for this section doesn’t only have Suzaku’s monologue, but a new original, exhibition-only dialogues between Lelouch and Suzaku! What a brutal combo after the previous section of Zero Requiem—Honey-chan really had to bite back her tears!
Even though the exhibition ended here, don’t forget to drop by the exhibition-only shop that sells limited exhibition-only Code Geass goods! Sadly, since we came so close to the last day of the exhibition in Tokyo, a lot of the available goods were already sold out. If you’re planning to go for the Osaka exhibition, you might want to make sure going on the early days of opening to be able to get the goods! Consider buying the exhibition pamphlet as well—it has a summary of everything showcased in the exhibition, making it the perfect souvenir to remember your experience by!
Lastly, on our way out, visitors were allowed to write their messages for the Code Geass series and stick the messages on a wall panel of Lelouch. The amount of messages left by visitors nearly covered Lelouch completely! Reading some of them had been interesting, too—some messages had doodles of the characters or funny messages. Be careful not to be in the way of people who would want to take a photo of the panel, though!
Code Geass was amazing and must have been a classic favorite for people who grew up watching anime around the year 2006. This exhibition certainly brought back old fans’ love and nostalgia for the series, especially with the many impressive-looking replicas and detailed summary of the series. For new fans who had started getting into the series through the newly released movies, however, the exhibition would be a huge spoiler, but also a good way to get more background and details on what happened in the original series if they’re too lazy to watch the entire fifty episodes of it. All in all, it was a very exciting, enjoyable experience! For those of you who would be in Osaka in March, do consider dropping by the Osaka Nanko ATC Museum to catch the next show of the Code Geass Exhibition, starting from March 3 2018!