Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (season 1): anime review

Title: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (season 1)
Genre: action, mecha, sci-fi, drama
Released date: October 5, 2006 – July 28, 2007
Episode: 25
Director: Goro Taniguchi
Animated by: Studio Sunrise
Comment: Code Geass sets in the alternate universe in which Japan was conquered by the Britannia Empire and was renamed ‘Area 11’. Lelouch, whose mother was murdered and who is the heir to Britannia Throne, accidentally runs into C.C. the mysterious woman who gives him ‘Geass’, the power to control other people’s minds. With this power, he starts the plan to destroy the empire and rebuild the world in which his beloved sister can live happily.

Another leading character is Suzaku, Lelouch’s childhood friend, who disapproves of Lelouch’s idea and becomes his enemy. The two characters do everything according to their beliefs and the anime never says if any of them are good or evil. They are full of details. Lelouch is a realist, a murderer, the savior or just another greedy person trying to claim the throne. His action results in changes and hope for many and also suffering and loss for the rest including himself and his friends. While Suzaku is an idealist and sometimes pacifist but his action sometimes seems foolish. Code Geass has a very serious political issues and adult situations. I think the theme in the anime is too mature for high school children who form the main characters of Code Geass but after I let myself be carried away by the story, the feeling never bothers me again.

Code Geass keeps creating difficult situation for the characters to solve and endure. The anime introduces large group of characters who are closely connected by either blood or comradeship or friendship and they are divided into two opposite groups by different political idea. It tells the story from the point of view of both opposing factions. This division leads to endless series of tragic stories resulted from political conflicts and the war. The viewers will see friendships torn apart, families destroyed and alliances broken. While watching the series, I experienced various emotions all at once as if I were trapped in a box which was tossed around all the time. For example, I cheered for Lelouch when he won the first battle and felt sorry for his loss and then I hated him for his cruelty and for what he did to many innocent people. I ended up having mixed feeling towards him and, belief it or not, I felt like this toward almost everyone. Code Geass cleverly creates “gray characters”, who are neither good nor bad but they are very real. They all have their reasons for doing what they did. I saw them clashed and I saw them fell and I was devastated. There are many messages hidden in the story but the most prominent one is that war never leads to happy ending.

Aside from political themes, the anime is also a mind blowing military action anime. Drama and romance can also be seen hidden throughout the series. The animation of Code Geass is superb. The action scenes are plenty and masterfully executed. The first season ends in a cliffhanger and I feel like I would die of suffocation if I don’t start watching the second season soon. Conclusion: Code Geass is one of the most powerful anime in recent memory. It is serious, complex, thought-provoking and entertaining. Making an anime which has all these qualities is not an easy job at all.
Rating: A

One response to “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (season 1): anime review

  1. It is a little mature for youngin’s. The first season was dark but more enjoyable IMO.

    R2 got a little TOO twisty. It got so you did not know who to root for. Even the person you rooted for the previous episode may no longer be someone you can in the next.

    It was still enjoyable, however not as much as first season. Here are my takes on both seasons with lots o’ pics and perhaps a little wit:

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