Opening with a chess game where a high-school student, Lelouch Lamperouge, defeats an aristocrat in record time, Code Geass is a show clearly low in logic and high in cheese. When said student acquires mind-control powers, an all-black superhero costume, and starts playing political games with people as pawns, events get really dumbfounding. In spite of this, Code Geass brims with the kind of high-octane antics that make getting swept away in its story hard to resist.
At the start, terrible things happen to Japanese civilians in rapid, manipulative scenarios to grab attention and sympathy. From then on, it's a rollercoaster ride in which Lelouch (under the pseudonym 'Zero') outmanoeuvres the oppressive Britannian Empire between bouts of maniacal laughter and sweeping hand gestures. The show is an exercise in theatrics, a high-budget pantomime where every chorus of 'He's behind you!' at the Britannians feels as exciting as the first. Indeed, this series embraces melodrama with such joyous frenzy, that its liberal application becomes an endearing trait rather than a handicap.
While any political venture is bound to be fraught with controversies, Code Geass settles only for the juciest. Who can forget the Emperor announcing his warped form of moral darwinism to the world? 'People are not equal!' he asserts. 'We must fight! Compete, take, control, possess! Beyond that lies the future.' Or the show's use of that classic 'buddies at war' plot device a la Gundam SEED, where Lelouch and Suzaku Kururugi stand in opposing camps despite being childhood friends. My personal award, however, goes to Princess Euphemia's stunning revelation on war, which sums up the shallow waters of intellectualism in which Code Geass wades: 'Suzaku, I finally understand. It's not about ideal countries, justice, or other such complicated things. I just want to see smiles.' Tell that to the Iraqis, sweetie.
Moreover, although strictly classifiable as a mecha show, Code Geass is not at all defined by this feature; while the political manoeuvres drive the story, the mecha serve the same function as spoilers on an already monstrous sports car. At some point the writers thought: 'They're tacky and superfluous, but what the heck, they'll make things go faster!' Indeed, as accessories, they are extremely good fun, delivering the kind of pyrotechnics and en masse casualties an action show needs these days to keep the kids slavering.
With all its excesses and crude pseudo-philosophies, nobody could mistake Code Geass for a subtle, intelligent show. On the other hand, I can't deny the slick way it appeals to sentiment and intuition to deliver a jaw-dropping political adventure. It verges on madness and, once or twice, even flirts with genius, but always with a keen eye for spectacle.
Nobody does 'cute' like the ladies at CLAMP. Only they could be responsible for the adorably anorexic character designs reminiscent of their previous works like Tsubasa Chronicle. The unique concept is bright, cartoonish, and full of kawai details - from princesses with flowing pink hair to the quaint upward curve of the girls' miniskirts. Even Lelouch, despite his tortured personality, is on cel nothing more than a bug-eyed bishie. Yet the animation as a whole stops short of looking as childish as Tsubasa Chronicle thanks to the generous application of gory blood splatters and smoothly-animated mecha battles.
On the other hand, the show offers an awkward set of main themes. While they don't suit the tone of the narrative, I'm not certain their schizophrenic application is wholly inappropriate either. The banal first opening theme says nothing of what’s to come in the story, but will likely appeal to avid J-pop lovers. Later, the opening theme switches to the bizarre ‘Kaidoku Funou’ by Jinn; with a funky riff and discordant vocals, this one is more of a controversial choice. I have come to appreciate its unique sound over time and rank it as one of my favourite themes, although this is unlikely to be the case with most other viewers. The rest of the soundtrack consists of choral and instrumental pieces designed to work with the show's grandness - the chorals, in particular, help produce some rousing tragic scenes.
Code Geass is an excellent example of polishing a narrative by using the characters like a dishrag; it manipulates its cast with such ruthless disregard for their development, that most remain unmemorable at best. A handful of main characters deliver entertaining performances and serve their purpose within the narrative well, although they sometimes evince glaring contradictions or convenient mindlessness.
Take Suzaku, for instance, who seems a typical hero - he wants to make the world a better place by changing Britannia from within. Unfortunately, beyond appearances his character falls apart. I'm unsure what the writers were aiming for when they scripted him, but they certainly succeeded in creating a textbook hypcrite. Even as the Britannians massacre his fellow Japanese nationals at every given opportunity, he chooses to fight Zero as part of the Britannian army in the name of justice. With that kind of mindless loyalty to the wrong side, his interventions against Zero appear not so much heroic as idiotic. The show's saving grace is that it makes no pretense of being philosophically consistent - Suzaku, like all the others, is but a convenient cog to facilitate the manipulation of my emotions.
Only Lelouch resembles anything like a fully-fleshed human being. He is to Code Geass what Light Yagami is to Death Note. Armed with a similar arsenal of histrionic speeches ('Either live with me, or die with me!'), he nonetheless comes across more charming. Unlike Light, falling in love with Lelouch is unavoidable for the simple fact that he fights on behalf of the victims whilst having little regard for his own status. In fact, his greatest point of fascination is that, beneath his hatred for Britannia, he loathes himself even more. Delivering a performance that's theatrical but also full of acute anguish, he epitomises everything that's brilliant about Code Geass.
Still reeling from the conclusion of Death Note? Make Code Geass the antidote. While it contains melodrama and cheese to saturation levels, it delivers them in a heady narrative that few could resist. With a bounty of twists and cliff-hangers on the menu, Code Geass is the perfect way for mainstream fans hungry for action to burn away several hours.
In many ways, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is uncannily similar to Sunrise’s own My-Hime. Both have extremely large ensemble casts, superb production values and a surprisingly engaging narrative. Unfortunately, both also suffer from inert character development, nigh unforgivable pacing and a largely disappointing ending.
Code Geass is almost certainly at its best when the protagonist must use his intelligence and questionable morals to overcome a seemingly overwhelming task. These parts are satisfyingly clever, surprisingly engaging and difficult to predict. There is also a good deal of promise in the general premise, which works to set up a Mobile Suit Gundam Seed-styled epic war with sympathetic heroes on both sides.
However, the series’ good points are mixed in with problems so egregious that it’s difficult to recommend the project as a whole. For one, the pacing is terrible; while My-Hime was unbearably slow for the first half, Code Geass feels permanently stuck on fast forward. While each episode has powerful moments, the impact they leave is inevitably dampened by the schizophrenic cutting. The moment you begin to follow one plotline, the series has immediately cut to a different one happening simultaneously. There are simply too many characters doing too many things at once, and the result is a discombobulated mess. There is also a fair deal of unnecessary and generally unimpressive mecha action injected into the show (for the sole reason, some cynics might say, of selling toys). This only exacerbates the lack of narrative focus. Ultimately, Code Geass' story is always more about having clever things happen than making me care about what will happen next.
Finally, the series fails to reach any sort of satisfying conclusion and instead opts for a cliffhanger, assumably to be resolved in the second season.
This is a nice-looking show. The character designs have the same glossy, colorful and memorable feel of Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and My-Hime, which is extremely important when there are so many different characters to keep track of. Also, while uninteresting and unnecessary, the mecha action scenes are at least pretty to look at.
One complaint is that, in spite of fact that a huge number of people die, there is a noticeable lack of gore. The show seems a little self-censored to be able to air at prime-time, which takes away some of the punch of the more violent scenes.
Also, PIZZA HUT there's a ridiculous amount PIZZA HUT of product PIZZA HUT placement for a PIZZA HUT certain company. The logo for this company is PIZZA HUT used so pervasively that PIZZA HUT it actively serves to disrupt PIZZA HUT the flow of the series, not to mention PIZZA HUT ruining the audience's suspension of PIZZA HUT disbelief.
All joking aside, the animation for Code Geass is solid, and I have no major complaints.
The pacing of the series requires the seiyuu to talk extremely quickly, but otherwise they do a fine job. When combined with the character designs, the diverse voice-acting makes for some surprisingly memorable characters, in spite of the gigantic cast.
I didn’t enjoy the OP/ED, but the intense, dramatic, background music works well with the frenetic mood of the series.
While the characters are fairly easy to tell apart, their sheer number prevents any one of them from being developed well. Still, most of them are somewhat likeable at face value, which prevents the show from ever becoming tedious. However, because of the shallow characters, it’s difficult to become emotionally involved in what is going on. When the show is at its very best, Code Geass is still more passively interesting than genuinely suspenseful.
Sadly, even the protagonist fails to be a sympathetic character. He's drawn up to be a high-minded character whose lust for revenge ultimately causes him to use his followers as pawns. The problem is that this tragic flaw is poorly realized and inconsistent with the rest of his character, making him difficult to believe as a real person. One moment he's regretting the waste of life he's accidentally caused, and the next he's using his EVIL MWUHAHAHA laugh as the enemy slips into his carefully planned Machiavellian trap. He's... pardon the phrase, a cartoon character. A caricature. His “ends-justify-the-means” philosophy dominates his personality to the point where he ultimately feels like a giant walking plot device.
Code Geass’s hyperactive pacing and shallow characters sink the show from possibly good to marginal at best. Add in the “watch the sequel” ending, and at this stage there’s little incentive to watch this.
The show certainly isn’t terrible. Despite what I’ve said, some parts are clever enough to be entertaining, and no one can deny the excellent animation and sound. That said, this loud, messy, and uneven series still feels a lot like "Death Note Lite."
When I first started watching this show I always wondered why it was called Code Geass. Basically because I pronounced Geass like Ge-ass sounding like I said “The ass” but beyond that, code the ass is one of my favorite animes of all time.
You don’t need me to write the basic plot that’s what the site summery is for, so if you haven’t read the summery, I suggest you do so now…done? Okay let’s start this then. So basically this show is somewhat like Death Note, but with a different power, different setting, and different main character (though somewhat the same). When *spoiler tag* happens Lelouch becomes Zero and has the whole Britannian Empire against him—Also Britania is the U.S.A. combined with the U.K….I don‘t know, I just feel somewhat hurt that America is the bad guy in this—But personal feelings aside, I guess you’re probably wondering what I think about the story, huh? And that you’re assuming that I love it since I can see the “fanboy” labels coming up already.
Well, I do like the story, but the way it’s brought out kind of pisses me off. Some of the most biggest tension from the story comes from the fact that Lelouch (warning spoiler, but it needs to be said) can only use his mind control on a person once (Not too big of a spoiler, but it removes the half-surprise you‘ll get at that moment). This is very important to the plot of the show, because when *spoiler tag* happens it really screws him over. Now you might be thinking to yourself “so what, it adds suspense” Which I agree to completely, but there’s a hole to this, after all, he could just say “follow my every order” and the fact that it only works once no longer applies (and yes it works he does it in R2), and so code the ass has one big hole that bothers me; though, it wouldn’t have been as good if he did that at first, so what the writers should have done is remove the part when he does it in R2.
Okay, I’m worried that I told a little much in that last paragraph (I‘m pretty much a spoiler nazi) so I’ll make sure to keep that at a minimum for now on. So why does code the ass have so much fandom? It’s because it has a lot of different story elements. For example, like mecha? It has that, and a lot of that quite frankly; it also has action, yuri, drama, comedy, magic, super powers, ecchi, fantasy, incest, love triangles, martial arts, secret identities, a military, anti-heros, political intrigue, psychological plots, harem, sci-fi, shonen, yaoi, suspense, thrillers, and war. Indeed, it seems that the writers put a little of everything into this show, even Pizza Hut product placement which probably won’t work on me, since my nearest Pizza Hut is 100 miles away, but it did somewhat make me giggle whenever I saw the obviously apparent Pizza Hut logo in the background.
So, do you like how I keep going on and on about nothing much? Well if you don’t then code the ass will make you happy, because it’s plot is rather fast, though I wouldn’t like to use the term “rushed” since I still know everything about the show, and there’s no unanswered questions, just an open ending which is open because there’s a second season of code the ass so that you can feed all of your code the ass cravings when you’re done with R1.
The show’s animation is pretty good, I have literally nothing bad to say about it…wait for it…EXCEPT Ougi, a character that doesn’t matter much, but every time I see him I feel like he just doesn’t belong, he looks like a character from an older anime—unless this is just me, otherwise I apologize, but my opinion doesn’t fit yours; other than that though, there’s nothing to complain about when it comes to code the ass.
And the show even shows some boobies for anyone who isn’t pretending to be a pervert (and girls).
The only song I can really remember right now is the opening theme, though now that I think about it, all the music seems to fit really well with every scene…besides the opening. Though it’s not really that weird to hear it just doesn’t seem to fit very well, somewhat, but not all that well.
The voices in code the ass are superb, I hate to sound like a fan boy, but I really like the voice of Johnny Yong Bosch, every anime that he’s in is a must watch for me, though I‘m not going to like it no matter what, his voice is just a big plus for me. I just love his voice in a non-homosexual way.
So music is a 6 and voices are a 10 average that out and sound gets an 8
Code the ass has a large number of characters and because of the show’s short running time hardly any of them get developed, by the end of R1 you basically get the personality of everyone, but no real reason for them existing (Which sounds kind of evil now that I repeat that in my head). So let’s look the main character Le-douche—or I mean Lelouch—he starts out as a man that wants to get revenge on Bitania and make the world a better place, he ends as a man that wants to get revenge on Bitania, and make the world a better place…for his sister. One of the official reviews of this say that Lelouch is not a real character, but I believe that he is. Lelouch’s revenge defines his character, now why is this real? Well this is because he’s been planning revenge his whole life.
Though he seems to be sad at the sea of corpses that he’s made, he still comes to battle with an evil look and laugh to go along with that. Now how is this real? That just seems to by very inconstant with his character; well, have you ever seen a war veteran, yes, oh yeah, well have you actually listened to what he was saying?! Most veterans will say that war changes them, and that when combat is happening you become a totally different person, this explains Lelouch apparent personality changes, it’s reasonable, and not fake.
But beyond Lelouch, there are few others worth mentioning, such as Suzaku, who seems to be a great rival to Lelouch. C.C., who has a saucy personality but her back story isn’t reviled till R2. There’s a few more, but because of the low number of worthwhile characters I’m going to give this a score of 7.
Now why do I like this show? It’s because it’s a show that makes me feel smart and most shows can’t say that about themselves. I recommend this anime to anyone who likes Death Note which seems to be the high and mighty king of all anime (Don‘t believe me? Look at any best anime vote, Death Note is almost always at the top). But I wouldn’t dare oversell this show, it’s haters are fucking annoying! (and yes, I‘m talking to you Mr. Hater).
However I won’t recommend this show to people who want to watch a show for a relaxing time, or comedy (though it does have some funny parts). This show is serious to the core you won’t be relaxed watching this no to mention the ending that does nothing but make you watch the next series.
Alrighty, and to end my joke my R2 Review will not have code the ass in it since that joke is probably not funny anymore (if ever).
Crimson here with yet another review. Oh the joys!
So what are we looking at this time?
Ahh... This show takes me back! "Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion" is an original Anime project that released in 2006, created together by the Animation studio Sunrise, and the amazing Mangaka Circle CLAMP. Since it's release, "Code Geass" has seen ridiculously high amounts of popularity, being regarded as an instant classic for it's fresh concept, intellectual plot twists, well developed characters and a whole bunch of other bold claims, with many referring to it as a "masterpiece".
"Code Geass" means a lot to me. It was one of the shows that I instantly resonated with during my early years of watching Anime, and got me into trying a whole host of new shows that were very similar.
With all this in mind: what do I think of "Code Geass"? Well, read on and find out...
"Code Geass" starts off with a rather unique and pretty captivating premise from the get go. Years before the series began, the Holy Britannian Empire, the worlds greatest super power, wanting more power, decided to invade Japan, on August the 10th of that year. They came equipped with giant Mecha's known as Knightmare Frames, which decimated the Japanese forces, wiping them out, and allowing the Empire to take over the country and enslave it. Japan, now named "Area 11" has become a land where Britannian's live carefree lives, and the Japanese people, now known as "Elevens" are treated as sub human, and are persecuted.
Amidst all this, the story follows a young Britannian High School student named Lelouch Lamperouge, who originally appears normal, but is secretly a member of the Britannian Royal Family, his real name being Lelouch Vi Britannia. Years ago, Lelouch's Mother was murdered in a conspiracy that Lelouch believes was the fault of the Britannian Royal Family, and now, posing as a High School student, Lelouch has spent years in hiding plotting his revenge against Britannia, claiming that one day, he will destroy the nation.
One day, Lelouch gets caught up in a terrorist attack by two Japanese, and after much confusing events, he ends up in a life or death situation with a mysterious girl named "C.C" (pronounced "C2"). About to be shot to death, she offers Lelouch the "Power of the King", which will grant him the power he needs to survive. After accepting, Lelouch gains a magic eye known as "Geass", which gives him the power to give anyone he looks in the eye any order he gives them, but only once per person. With this new power in his arsenal, Lelouch decides to use it to achieve his goal of destroying the Britannian Empire, and avenging his Mothers murder, while leading a group of terrorists who follow him, all while he is under the guise of "Zero" hiding behind a mask, so no one knows his true identity.
Man, that shit was long. Yes, as you can no doubt see, "Code Geass" has quite the premise, and for the most part it is well set up, intriguing, and very interesting. However, it's not the most original premise. There have been countless series that have done the political themes that surround "Code Geass", with many of the shows handling said themes much better. Despite this though, the premise is great, and draws you in from the beginning.
A "smart" plot with lots of tension:
But how is the general plot of "Code Geass"? Well, for the most part it's pretty damn good.
The script is well written for quite a lot of the show, and the events that unfold are incredibly unpredictable. This is a show that throws a lot of surprises at it's audience, and it isn't afraid to get bold when it needs to either.
"Code Geass" also has the advantage that "Death Note" has a few years before it, in that the main appeal of the shows plot lies in it's tension and it's use of psychological warfare. "Code Geass" is a show that focuses heavily on it's smarts. Lelouch as a character is a tactical genius, and in almost every episode, his Geass power is used, in combination with his tactical brain, to create some really dramatic and well orchestrated events that are just freaking awesome. Like "Death Note", the show has you on the edge of your seat all the time, with you constantly trying to figure out exactly what's going to happen next. It makes the story itself rather refreshing, in the sense that unlike most modern Anime, it isn't predictable, nor is it just plain fucking stupid.
However, despite the above praise, the plot itself isn't perfect, and it does have several issues. The first being, that despite looking intellectual on the outside, if one closely looks at "Code Geass" and analyses it, the truth is, it really isn't all that smart sometimes. Yes, sometimes "Code Geass" can be a very intelligent show, where the tactics make perfect sense, and all come together nicely, and when these moments happen, you literally feel like applauding because it's fantastic. However, there are a lot of moments where plans just kind of fall together because they have to! Sometimes Lelouch will appear like he's going to lose, and that he's finally been bested, then suddenly, he just whips out some grand master scheme that he planned all along. I'm sorry but I don't buy it. There are times when this happens, and I just know that there is no way in hell that the sequence of events could have happened that perfectly for the plan to work. It's silly, and people who can't see this are stupid.
"Code Geass" is also sadly, victim to several asspulls. There is one particular moment where the show appeared to coming to resolution, where everything would finally be solved, only for some bullshit plot twist involving Lelouch's Geass "Powering up" to get in the way, and accidentally cause lots of bad things. Basically, lots of bad things happen in this episode because of chance and by complete accident, and it's because of this accident that lots of future events happen, and the show continues into further conflicts. It's just kind of silly to think that a lot of the plot was caused because of a freaking accident! Stuff like this happens a few times, and sometimes it's fine, whilst other times, it's just kind of unforgivable.
But alas, despite my negavitity, I don't want to give the wrong impression. "Code Geass" has a good plot, it just doesn't have a great plot, and it's certainly not as intellectual as it's trying to appear to be. However, if viewed as a newcomer, or as something that's just plain fun, the plot is definitely a joy, and sometimes, that's all that matters.
In regards to pacing, "Code Geass" is a very well paced show. The show is 25 episodes in length, and something happens in pretty much every episode, with major events occurring frequently, and little time feeling wasted. Pretty much all stories are of relevance to plot, and progression is very nice. However, there is one episode that does feel rather misplaced, which is episode 6. Aside from a few scenes, the episode was basically Lelouch and Suzaku chasing after a fucking cat. And although it was amusing, it really served no purpose to the plot other than give Lelouch a little scare about his identity being revealed.
In regards to it's conclusion, "Code Geass" ends very well, and on a high, tension filled note. The ending itself is a cliffhanger, however, a second season was confirmed, and has been made, so the ending leaves the series with a very open ended conclusion, allowing the viewer to ponder what just happened before moving onto the second season. The conclusion is a very well handled emotional climax, where all the tension, drama and epicness simply build up to it's peak, before ending everything with a bang. It's great! More Anime need to do cliffhangers this fantastic!
So plot wise, "Code Geass" is very good. It's certainly not the best story in the world, but it's good enough that you'll love it, even if you do notice it's flaws and mishaps, something that isn't hard to overlook if you switch off your brain.
The characters in "Code Geass" are fairly strong. I will detail some main ones below:
Lelouch Vi Britannia: Lelouch is the primary protagonist of the show. A member of the Britannian Royal Family, he has sworn revenge on his family for the death of his Mother, and is hiding in Japan, posing as a High School student. With his new power of Geass, Lelouch decides to use this power to create an army of followers, and overthrow the empire with it, achieving his revenge.
As a character, Lelouch is very strong. His personality is very well founded and is both relateable and believable. When around his friends and those he loves, Lelouch is a very kind and gentle soul, who is loved by all, and is well liked. However, while under the guise of Zero, and achieving his goals, Lelouch is shown to be a very tactical person, with a lot of masked anger and hatred. He even shows an "evil" streak sometimes, which sometimes involves him laughing like a maniac and being a cocky bastard.
His tactial genius is what makes Lelouch so loveable as a character, as well as his duo personality. Lelouch is very charismatic, and his charisma is so great that he's just a joy to watch. It's interesting to see his plans unfold, and he's just a really epic character. I really like him.
Lelouch also develops very well as a character, and his development is very believable. Overall, he's a fantastic protagonist, and he pretty much makes the show as good as it is.
C.C: C.C is Lelouch's companion, and the girl who gave him the power over Geass. She is immortal, and as such, cannot be killed, nor does she age. She has decided to aid Lelouch as much as possible, and serves as his right hand woman.
As a character, C.C is of the emotionless companion type, thus, she rarely expresses her feelings and as such, isn't the most interesting of characters, as her interactions are almost non-existent. However, she is developed rather decently, and as such, is still a very good character.
Suzaku Kurarugi: Suzaku is Lelouch' childhood friend, and is the son of the deceased Japanese Prime Minister. Although he is Japanese, Suzaku has been accepted into the Britannian Military, and thus, without his knowledge, ends up being an arch rival to Lelouch, always getting in his way. Suzaku is eventually chosen to pilot a Knightmare Mecha known as "Lancelot" and decides to use his idealogy to try to "fix" Britannia from the inside.
As a character, Suzaku is pretty decent. His personality is slightly annoying, with him being full of angst and always making stupid as fuck decisions, with an idealogy that makes no fucking sense whilst always being a massive hypocrite. However, you either love him, or you love to hate him.
Suzaku also develops fairly well, with him starting out as a simple soldier only to later become someone blinded by his ideals. It's simple, but it works and it's believable.
Kallen Kozuki: Kallen is the secondary female character of the series. She is a high school student at Lelouch' high school, but is secretly Japanese, and is a terrorist trying to overthrow the Britannian Empires rule. She ends up joining Lelouch in his quest for revenge, along with her terrorist friends, although she is unaware of his true identity or his powers.
Kallen is a very likeable character. She is strong willed, determined, and filled with energy and has a very strong air about her. She also serves as Suzaku's Mecha rival, due to her piloting a Knightmare Mecha that always combats Suzaku's. The rivalry between them is very well done.
As a character, Kallen develops very well too, originally starting out as a cold-hearted terrorist, she begins to show a softer and more caring side to her. She's a great character.
On a side note, Kallen also provides most of the series' fan-service, which is fun I suppose if that's your thing.
In regards to secondary characters, they are all relatively minor, with not a lot of them having much relevance to the plot or story. There's Lelouch' sister Nunally, who is very important, and there's the love interest Shirley, but aside from them, most of the secondary cast are entirely irrelevant, with most of them just being there to fill up space, for some gags, or to make Lelouch' army of followers look bigger than two people. Some of them get decent screen time and do things, but most of the major events are always handled by the main cast, with the secondary cast simply being there for the action sequences and mecha battles. They also don't develop too well either which is rather sad.
The villains of the show however, are a different story. All of them have a very clear character, with clear motives, goals and very well handled backstory and development, and all of them, aside from Mao who just kind of had his own little story, are relevant to the overall plot and grand scheme of things. Most of the villains aren't all plain dark and evil too, a lot of them have feelings and show human compassion and characteristics, which is refreshing to witness.
So overall, characters are mostly, very good.
Art and Animation:
"Code Geass" was animated by Studio Sunsire in co-operation with the Mangaka Circle CLAMP, who did the character designs. Both Sunrise and CLAMP are known for having very good production values and art. So how did they do?
Well, the general artwork is very beautiful, with a lot of lively colour and detail, everything looking very pretty. The setting is captured beautifully, with the science fiction aspects being handled very nicely. The backgrounds are all highly detailed and look lovely. I can't fault them.
Character designs are done in your typical CLAMP style, with crazily skinny character models, with extremely detailed facial expressions and hair. I love the art style and I'm a CLAMP fanboy, so I can't fault them all that much either. They all stand out from one another and look very nice and are detailed. The Mecha Robots also look stunning, as you would expect from Sunrise, who's primary media focus is giant fucking robots!
The animation is again wonderful, with frames being captured perfectly, especially in the action scenes. Lelouch' Geass animation is mighty impressive too. Outside of these examples, animation is still excellent, with pretty much everything being handled perfectly. I honestly can't fault the production values at all. Everything looks great, even by todays standards. This show is almost a decade old, yet it barely shows it's age. Truly a testament of its greatness.
"Code Geass" also performs well in the sound department. The music is absolutely amazing, with a lot of orchestrated themes and epic as fuck stuff playing at the right moments. The emotions are captured perfectly in each scene through the music, and pretty much all of the tracks are memorable and stand out.
The series has three Opening Themes. The first one is "Colours" by FLOW and is one of the most amazing Anime Opening's ever made. It's absolutely fantastic, and it's one of my favourite pieces. The second one is "Indecipherable" by Jinn, which is again fantastic, but not as good as "Colours". Finally, the third Opening is "Eye's Wing" by Access, which is again awesome.
The series also has two Ending Themes. The first Ending is "Chivalrous Youth Song" by Ali Project, and it's epic as hell! The second one is "Mosaic Fragments" by SunSet Swish, which is great, but not as good as the first.
The voice acting is excellent in bot languages, although I watched it in English because I'm one of those dub faggots. The English version is definitely better, simply because Johnny Yong Bosch is better as Lelouch. But both languages are excellent, and capture the characters well, with well produced sound quality.
Lastly, the sound effects in "Code Geass" are again, excellent and are of good quality, with stuff sounding right with a lot of variety. That Geass sound is epic. NEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW! (I can't type it, so it looks like a cat going "Meow" instead).
So how is "Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion"? Well, the answer is simple. It's not the greatest show in the world, and it's incredibly overrated. It suffers from a minor pacing issue, some undeveloped characters, and a good amount of asspulls, whilst pretending to be intellectual. However, that doesn't stop it from being very entertaining and epic as hell. If one can see past the flaws of "Code Geass", then it proves to be a very enjoyable watch that is definitely worth your time, and I consider it to be a very special Anime to me, as it welcomed into a whole new realm of shows I never knew existed.
Despite my praise however, it is far from a masterpiece, and there are much better shows out there.
I recommend "Code Geass" to anyone who is looking for a decent Science Fiction/Political/Military Thriller with some Mecha action on the side. You'll really enjoy this one. I guarantee it.
And yes, I will be reviewing the second season soon. That'll be fun. Why? Well, you'll need to wait and see why. Although I'm sure you can figure out why.
And now, it's scoring time:
Premise 2/3 - A well set up premise, but it's not the most original.
General Plot 1/2 - An unpredictable plot with lots of twists and drama. However, is subject to asspulls and convenient things happen sometimes to progress the story along.
Pacing 2/3 - Very well paced. Something happens in almost every episode, aside from one episode, which felt silly and wasted.
Conclusion 2/2 - A very satisfying conclusion, with a dramatic cliffhanger for season two.
Artwork 3/3 - Absolutely beautiful, with everything being very detailed and colourful. The backgrounds especially look great.
Character Designs 3/3 - All the characters are unique looking in their appearance, and all stand out from one another, with defined features.
Animation 4/4 - The animation is consistent, fluent, and just flawless. It still holds up today despite being almost a decade old.
Personality 2/3 - Most of the characters have a defined and likeable personality, but some of them really don't stand out so well and are forgettable.
Development 2/3 - The main cast all develop well, but the secondary characters barely develop at all, nor do they have any relevance to plot outside of some minor moments.
Uniqueness 3/4 - Most of the characters are unique, but again, the secondary characters are nothing special.
Voice Acting 4/4 - I watched it in English, but the voice acting was perfect in both languages, with the dub being slightly better because of Johnny Yong Bosch.
Music 4/4 - The music is epic, memorable and captures the scenes emotions perfectly.
Sound Effects 2/2 - The sound effects are nice and sound great with lots of variety.
It's a truly excellent series and one you should definitely check out.
But hey, I thought "Free! Eternal Summer" was the an aborted fetus of an Anime series, so my opinion probably doesn't matter to you people.
Code Geass starts off with Lelouch showing his true genius by winning a chess game (????), we didn't see how he won but we know he's smart from this (?????---?!?). Some evil guys take over the world and strip Japanese people of their pride and names, Lelouch, doesn't like this. Lelouch runs around town for a while and gains some superpowers then hops in a big fancy machine and turns the camera and says "Geniuses can operate any machine without reading instructions or knowing what to do, get with the program noobs". Lelouch runs away with his fancy mecha and says "haha, I have a pacman mini-map on my mecha, from this I've deduced that there is a convinent train with mecha in it'. Lelouch once more turns the camera and says "Geniuses can create spontaneous plans that fit together perfectly, don't you know JUST HOW SMART I AM!?!?" SWITCH BACK TO SOME DISTRESSED FAT ARROGANT BOURGEOIS, "Oh shiitt, something's going down but it's np cause I am GENIUS MILITARY MAN, all units go foward and crush them!!"
Lelouch laughs at the simplicity of the fat arrogant bourgeois' plan and then says "Obey me, the audience can vouch for me, they saw me play chess well so now I can lead you to victory" and the rebels are like damn who is this kid, oh well lets do it. Lelouch yells out with dramatic hand gestures, shoot to the left! to the right! backwards! Dramatic music follows and it's damn intense, the rebels begin to marvel in Lelouch's genius
Rebel #1: YOO THIS KID IS AMAZING
Rebel #2: Indeed, we will trust him for now
Rebel #3: How come our mecha's don't have pacman minimaps like his? Shit's so unfair yo
Rebel #1: These must be cheap models, fuck my luck seriously... I wouldn't need someone to tell me to shoot left or right if I had one for myself then i'd be god of the world too
Rebel #2: Yeah, he hi-jacked the enemies' mecha so it must be better
Rebel #4: How come they aren't shooting through walls when they have the same mecha...? I mean surely it can't be so difficult..
Zero: FOOLS, Only a genius can use this pacman minimap effectively, could a normal man honestly call out the exact direction in which to fire? NO. Could a normal man win a chess game? NO. So shut the fuck up and do as I say
Then Fat arrogant enemy leader laughs and says "mwuahaha, you're trapped now gg sucka" but Lelouch has a trick up his sleeve. He explains that "Geniuses' strategies may seem simple and obvious but you can't comprehend the finer details of my greatness, so shut up bitch"
Victory was achieved for the rebels and much happiness occured throughout the rebel noobs. Much audience applaud the Code Geass for creating a Death Note with action in it, Lelouch the genius of our time... achieved imbalance and allegedly owned. In all seriousness if I had time to break down the complete idiocy of evey situation like this then believe me I would, but unforuantly you're just gunna have to trust me when I say... I could!!! If this doesn't annoy you then that's cool, but I hope I have shown Code Geass is not so smarts...
I've heard such great stories about how brilliant and well designed this plot line is, the true genius of it etcetc blah blah.. However from a reviewers perspective, simply creating a character who is CALLED a genius, and SEEMS very moral or APPEARS to be very cool and awesome does not make an anime good. It's true that Code Geass attempts to remain true to the idea that this is not unrealistic, merely futuristic and thus everything Lelouch does is commendable for that very reason. However the difference saying something exists and showing it is what makes the difference between a good story. Death Note is an example of anime that can show it's genius, Code Geass is an example of an anime that describes it's genius, in other words nothing "genius" ever happens, and so the anime isn't genius. Just because it has a character who is supposedly a genius IN the anime... Just because other characters admire him or praise him, DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD. Be a little more critical for fucks sake..
I'm not going to write anything more about the story, if you want more then look at community reviews and click on the 1/10 one, he says the flaws very clearly and correctly.
Not too bad in my opinion, I think sometimes it was a little annoying and it ruined some of the scenes, i'll add some pictures hopefully to show you what I meant by that but generally it was quite acceptable. I never watched any mecha except this and Neon Genesis and so I'll just say I thought it was pretty cool.. but I can't really compare it to anything much. It was decent but it didn't stand out to me much, I think for dramatic scenes it would have been nicer if animation picked up a bit in quality.
Not too bad, i'm a bit bias when it comes to OST I'll admit very openly. I don't really like the style of music that Code Geass decided to use but I can acknowledge that the OST was pretty decent in creating the mood that I felt they wanted to, but again a better action mix and a better drama mix would have really made a much better anime, don't underestimate the power of music just because it's an anime. I didn't like the OP or ED but that's my personal taste, won't bother saying much about them.. I didn't think they fit the mood of the anime but they certainly fit the cheesyness HAHAHAHA >_>.
Voice Acting was below average, trying hard not to be bias and compare it to a certain similar anime, *cough Death Note cough*, which clearly surpassed it significantly. I think just in general, the Lelouch wasn't too bad, Kallen was okay and then there was no real character on the other voices, it doesn't help that the script sucked and the plot was bad but voice actors always have the chance to carry their anime. Sometimes I watch anime of a standard I wouldn't bother with generally just because it has a good voice actor cast. In this way, they failed to step up to the plate when they were needed most.
I've explained my issues with the way that these characters were presented, they didn't show us who they were. They relied on well-known cliches or description/small scenes that bypass reason in order to display traits. For example Kallen is overly and irrationally spontaneously violent and strong, her childhood displays nothing about her character but it adds "depth" and Kallen explains to us some strange and boring things about how it affected her and that was that. At other times they just seemed to sink into their role and be nothing more than that, which made them boring. Many characters represented and acted as pawns in certain themes and to create drama/plot, Suzaku is a good example of this and so is Lelouch. These characters serve as nothing more than representations of a cliche, Lelouch's and Suzaku's morals contradict each other in every way. The frustrating irony is that all the characters are buddies yet they constantly undermine eachother in order to create drama. Once you realize that link, predicting this anime becomes insanely simple.. and it's because of the characters, the plot alone is not predictable amazingly, i'd argue it doesn't make much sense either but that's irrelevant for this section!!
Not too much to say really, characters are boring and reveal the plot through the fact that the only drama that ever occurs is through the betrayal of friends to each other by constantly undermining each other and in this way ruining their chances for any success of their own. It's a frustrating and boring process particuarly when it's hard to like any of the characters when there's nothing special or interesting about them. If you're having a hard time keeping up with me but you've watched the anime.. Close your eyes and think about every mainish character, about their morals and nature. Then compare those morals and their nature to the characters they come into conflict with. You'll find the large majority of them are exact opposites =/, anywho 4/10 is justified alone by the fact that they are described not shown + cliche.. ignore my mumbling I guess >_>
I doubt i'll edit this despite how messy this section is.. Code Geass is very well-known and so I doubt this review will serve to do much other than annoy some devoted fans which I really don't care to do, if you're a noob who is wondering whether to watch this or not and somehow you've been drawn to this review, comment me and i'll fix it up.. but to my knowledge you people don't exist hehe...
5/10 is quite generous but I give it because I made it through till the end and still decided to watch the second one. It was one of the first animes I watched and so I somewhat enjoyed it despite many bursts of outrage at the stupidity of some of Lelouch's dealings. In all honesty it's not terrible, I tried to watch it again so that I could make an awesome review to mock some devoted fans but I dropped it out of boredom and frustration very quickly. Due to that however, i'm prepared to say that just as I once enjoyed Bleach, I enjoyed Code Geass.... I think that enough people have enjoyed it including somewhat myself a year ago, to say that it'd be unfair to slap it for it's many faults and ignore what makes it watchable (fanservice;D). I don't like writing review on overly reviewed anime but it's important to have at least one comprehensive hate review on this anime ;-p... I stand by what I say please comment + check out my other reviews tyty