- Episodes : 25
- Genre : Action, Suspense, Drama, Mech
- Airing Date : October 5, 2006 – July 28, 2007
- Producers : Sunrise, Funimation
Code Geass : Lelouch of the Rebellion Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)
At first glance, Lelouch Lamperouge seems like a normal teenager, going to school, President of the Student Council, and winning chess games for money in his free time. He’s also an ex-prince of Britannia, a country slowly conquering weaker nations one by one and dehumanizing their citizens by stripping them of their culture.
Lelouch is exiled as a child to area 11, originally Japan, before their take over with his sister as a sign of good will towards the native government, but their presence proved to be a move to lower Japan’s defense. Britannia soon made their move towards Japan, leaving Lelouch and his sister, Nunnally, to fend for themselves during the war Japan ultimately lost.
Upon Japan’s surrender, Lelouch vowed to his Japanese friend, Suzaku Kururugi, that he would take revenge for Japan, his mother, and his sister.
After seven years, Lelouch is living a relatively normal life until he becomes involved in a terrorist plot against Britannia. Trapped in a hijacked armored vehicle transporting precious cargo, Lelouch is carried along for the ride until the car crashes and the container for the cargo is opening revealing a young woman with green hair named, C. C., who offers him unbelievable power. From that point on, Lelouch is able to bend people to his will for one time only and he uses his power to keep his promise to Japan and his family.
Who does Code Geass cater to?
One of the best things about Code Geass is its ability to be flexible in genre and to attract many viewers from all walks of life. Mech fans will love the giant Knightmares used to fight in battles throughout the series, shoujo lovers will love the tension between Lelouch and the many female characters, and suspense junkies won’t be able to look away from the screen since Code Geass will keep viewers glued to their seats begging for more.
What's so appealing about this piece of work.
The same things that draw people to Game of Thrones will draw in viewers for Code Geass. Deceit, plotting, political maneuvering, mechs, and Pizza Hut, are the main attractions, but there is also romance and drama mixed in for good measure. For me, personally, the suspense is what drew me into the series, but I think different aspects of the series are what bring different types of viewers into the series.
Code Geass Trailer
Code Geass Main Characters List
Voice Actor : Jun Fukuyama
Born as Lelouch vi Britannia, Lelouch deeply loved his mother and sister as a child, but after the murder of his mother things changed drastically. Nunnally was used as a witness and forced to lie which scarred her so much, she became blind and unable to walk.
Filled with rage, Lelouch accused his father of murdering his mother and was quickly pawned off with his sister to Japan’s royal family to gain their trust before attacking them all out. Both siblings became good friends with the Japanese Prime Minister’s son, Suzaku Kururugi before they were forced to fend for their lives. Upon the conquering of Japan, Lelouch became livid and swore to one day get his ultimate revenge on his father.
On the outside Lelouch gives the impression of perfection. He’s kind, caring, considerate of others, and a great leader, but underneath the exterior he bears feelings that are much darker.
Upon gaining the power of Geass, Lelouch becomes a charismatic leader and tactician, able to gain followers and form alliances with groups having similar interests. While he has a number of admirers, it is unknown how he feels about them.
Voice Actor : Takahiro Sakurai
As the son of the last Japanese Prime Minister, Suzaku carries the weight of Japan’s hope while hiding a dark secret. He first meets Lelouch as part as part of a peaceful exchange between Japan and Britannia and at first dismisses Lelouch as a spoiled brat, but eventually the two become inseparable. When war breaks out between Japan and Britannia, Suzaku’s father feels the only way to die with honor is to fight until the bitter end.
Suzaku disagrees with his father’s ideas and attempts to convince his father to try more peaceful means to win the war, but his words are in vain. In order to stop his father’s bloodlust, Suzaku murders him, thus ending the war and his deeds are covered up. As atonement for his sin, he enlists in Britannia’s army and eventually is chosen as a pilot for an experimental Knightmare Frame.
Suzaku is a warm person who believes in change through conversation and tries to start a conversation with Britannia from the inside. He is honest to a fault and is often in situations where his naivety causes more trouble than helps. Unlike Lelouch, Suzaku lacks cunning, and takes the most straightforward route even if it places him in harm’s way.
Voice Actor :Yukana Nogami
Found in a box thought to be poisonous gas, C.C. is a woman of great mystery. She possesses eternal life and the ability to enter contracts releasing her of her immortality in exchange for awesome powers. None of her contracts have ever come to fruition and all have succumbed to madness. Upon entering a contract with Lelouch, she oversees his plots to overthrow Britannia and his father with pessimistic eyes. Her history is a mystery and not much is known about her
C.C. can often be found in Lelouch’s room eating Pizza Hut and talking to herself. She often has a Nihilistic view of the world and some would call her a “party pooper” as she always seems to point out the negatives in any given situation.
Voice Actor :Ami Koshimizu
A sickly student by day and a hard-core terrorist by night, Kallen has a complex history. While Kallen’s father is part of a well to do Britannian family, Kallen’s mother is Japanese and as a result, Kallen feels she is Japanese at heart. After her brother died in a resistance group, Kallen decided to take up the mantle and continue in her brother’s footsteps. Her group reorganizes is given Knightmares by Lelouch disguising himself as Zero and eventually becomes a force to be reckoned with. Kallen becomes the most skilled Knightmare pilot in the organization and serves as the backbone of most battles.
In an attempt to divert suspicious from herself, Kallen is a model student at school and pretends to be sickly so she may have more freedom to miss school days. Once off school grounds, Kallen’s personality does a 180 and she can be quite forceful and opinionated. She’s passionate about her cause and nothing can stand in her way once she’s come to a decision.
Voice Actor :Kaori Nazuka
As a child, Nunnally was used as a false witness during her mother’s murder trial and as a result she was permanently traumatized, losing the ability to see and walk. From that point on, she is forced to rely on Lelouch for support though she is provided an additional caretaker. Her father claimed to have no use for a “cripple princess” and so she was sent to Japan along with her brother Lelouch where she befriended Suzaku until the war broke out and they were separated. She also attends the same school as Lelouch and maintains several friendships with student council members.
Nunnally can be soft spoken and quiet, but don’t let that fool you. She can also be quite opinionated and is not afraid to tell you what she things despite seeing the best in people and situations. She never misses an opportunity to scold her brother. Even though she has a difficult time in school, she still loves to have fun and sip tea with guests.
Code Geass Review
A good demonstration of Code Geass’ ability to draw viewers from multiple genres to its audience in can easily be found in the first episode. Half high school drama and half thriller, the plot mesmerizes viewers and leaving them begging for more. There aren’t many other anime that can claim such a following after the first episode. The tragic backstories of the main cast makes them very human and relatable, covering issues of death, revenge, racism, and war to smaller more petty issues such as high school romances and elections for student council.
One of the larger issues involved in the series is that of war. From the start, viewers are told of Britannia’s many take overs and just how the hierarchy works: Britannians followed by everyone else. There is really only a two class system where the privileged live in mansions and those native to their country are set up in ghettos to fend for themselves. The stark contrast between the two is often shown where a scene from the student council room will suddenly change to that of Shinjuku Ghetto to remind viewers that our main characters are members of the elite class who are allowed to attend schools and are mostly oblivious to the suffering of the Japanese. Propaganda is used often to cover terrorist uprisings and to instill fear and hatred into the heart of young Britannians to insure the cycle continues. The parallels between Britannia and Germany during WWII are quite noticeable and one cannot help but wonder if that was the writer’s intention.
On the flip side, the Japanese are fearless and embody their traditional roots of honor and fighting to the death which proves to end in vain thanks to Gendou’s murder by Suzaku. Suzaku is dedicated to changing Britannia from within its military by starting conversations and gaining the trust of Euphemia, one of the more kind and understanding princesses of Britannia.
Together, they attempt to give the Japanese their name and culture back, but they are foiled by Zero (Lelouch’s alter ego) when he loses control of his geass’ powers. In the end violence wins out.
Suzaku and Lelouch represent polar opposite views about war and perhaps each represents a critique on those who can only see in black and white. While Suzaku’s intentions are noble, no one is willing to listen to him without any kind of power behind his words.
Lelouch can only see destruction and cares not on the methods to reach his end goals, causing harm to innocent people in the process. Both characters are stubborn and consistently bump heads with each other not understanding that if they met halfway, they most likely could work together since they have similar interests. Euphemia is the only person who has the power and the guts to step up to the plate to accomplish anything, but before she can get her feet off of the ground she is sabotaged by a fluke.
On another note, C.C. remains mostly a mystery, but is visibly suffering. While most would consider immortality a blessing, she reveals this is quite the opposite and wishes for her curse to be lifted. She has lived many lives and has died many deaths leaving her deeply scarred and pessimistic. She embodies those who have seen it all and are left with no hope.
Most often the ones who are celebrated and considered lucky by many are the ones who need help the most. Although C.C. doesn’t believe she has a chance to be saved, she still gives Lelouch the power of geass perhaps as a final effort or maybe just entertainment.
Racism is strong in this series and there is no one who knows this more than Kallen who lives a double life. She sees how her mother is treated and is ashamed her mother does not stand up for herself. While the Japanese are really no different than Britannians, their skin and eye color bar them from the comforts of a normal life forcing them to rise up through terrorism in order to draw attention to their cause.
While Lelouch’s end goal is a personal grudge against his father, he condemns Britannia’s cruel treatments to Japanese and wishes to liberate them by teaming up with the terrorist groups and leading them to victory. Fighting back through violence is the only answer for those who are less fortunate.
Code Geass is a gritty series with real issues relevant to today’s world. There are no easy solutions and more often than not people must set aside their grievances in order to look at the bigger picture and solve problems much more dire in nature.
Currently the world’s largest and most powerful country, Britannia continues to invade and control counties from all over the world. The end goal is to control and enslave the world leaving only Britannians to live rich, full lives. The current emperor, Charles zi Britannia, has fathered many children from many different wives, including Lelouch’s mother Marianne who was killed mysteriously. Charles’ army uses a combination of mech like machines called Knightmare Frames and geass powers in order to gain more territory and rule his empire. He has little sympathy for others.
2. Black Knights
The Black Knights are the result of Lelouch’s efforts to unite the resistance groups under one banner. Lelouch, acting as Zero, never fails to lead them to victory through his excellent use of strategy, cunning, and geass powers. After gaining financial backing from some of the original member of Japan’s government and China, the Black Knights are able to improve on their weaponry and build more powerful Knightmare Frames.
3. Knightmare Frames
Giant mechs used by both the Britannian military and the Black Knights, Knightmare frames do the bulk of the fighting in battles. They stand tall at anywhere between four to six meters and have wheels or “landspinners” attached to their feet allowing them to reach high speeds on the ground with little effort. Mass production models are all equipped with standard equipment, but customized units are created and tweaked for their pilot’s strengths and weaknesses. They are powered by a mysterious substance called sakuradite that is suspended in their core and rotates at high speeds producing massive amounts of energy.
Code Geass is not for the weak of heart and can be described as an emotional rollercoaster. While this review covered the first season, there remains a second season and an OVA series still in production called Code Geass: Akito the Exiled. I highly recommend both the second season which finishes the story of Lelouch and C.C. and the OVA series which adds extra layers to the original story. Once the first episode has played, a marathon will ensue.