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Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Review

August 7, 2007

story 5.5/10

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion screenshot

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.

animation 7.5/10

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.

sound 7.5/10

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.

characters 4.5/10

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.

overall 6/10

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."

Anime Info

In 2010, the Britannian Empire enslaved Japan using powerful mecha known as Knightmares; in the aftermath Japan was renamed Area 11, and its people began a hard and terrible existence. Lelouch, a Britannian student living in Area 11, has grown up hating the Empire and everything it stands for. One day, in the middle of a terrorist attack, Lelouch meets a mysterious girl who grants him the ability to control minds. Can he use his new power to fight for freedom, or will his hatred twist his good intentions into mindless acts of vengeance?


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comments

BoyTitan avatar BoyTitan
Jun 15, 2011

At red Cross Fine ill give u a logical indepth argument of why this is one of the best fucking animes ever.

 

First the charters pure genius each of them are very diverse and immediately. grab your attention. All of play there role and do it a 100 times better than ALOT of animes including flc.  Lelouch was enuff of a character to make the show him self kept u guessing on just what kinda guy he is. C2 was shrouded in mysteries that slowly got unraveled in a very very satisfying way.

 

both also suffer from inert character development, IS HE STUPID. All of the characters were fully developed and servered there roll greatly non were on 2 long or 2 little.

 

Comparing Code geas  to  Gundam Seed THE WORST AND POINTLESS OF ALL GUNDAMS OONLY ONE I DIDN’T FINNISHW ATCHING Ya He knows good anime when he sees it NOT.  The pacing is terrible u mean not drawn out and at a good pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Man its so hard not to just go on a rant of insults here. This animes powerful scenes had impacts  when someone  died u went dam what the hell.

Fight Scenes are just for selling toys does this anime  even have a toy line. Dude the fight scenes in this anime were epic. A mix of fast paced action mixed with real life tactics and strategys unseen in animes.

Going on any more responding to this would be a waste of time this is obviously a post made by some who has no business watching anime or watching or reading anything let alone doing a review PERIOD.

default avatar seefoo13
May 7, 2011

yeah i totally disgree with this review

im usually not a fan of mechs or mind animes. more into Gintama and samurai champloo however this anime kept me on my seat and fascinated at the beautiful minds that conjured up this story. after finishing the complete two series, i stayed in an altered state of CODE GEASS recollection for two days. amazing story, insane charachters and dialouge. amazing story, animation was chill honestly. and it will keep you on the edge of your seathowever i must admit it took me a couple of episodes to get into. and if you dont like paying attention this will not appeal to you. and if you are into only action it will not appeal to you i believe. and i say ONLY action cause i am mostly on the action side as well yet i was STILL ENTRANCED BY THE AMAZING ANIME. caps for those with short attention spans like myself.Enjoy Guys

Aggelos avatar Aggelos
May 5, 2011

I have to say I disagree with this review. Especially about the characters part. The cast might be bigger than it should but calling the characters shallow is a bit too much I think.

minamina avatar minamina
Apr 22, 2011

I concur. I'm normally a big fan of anything CLAMP-related, but in addition to characters I felt I'd seen before (both literally and figuratively, the main character is quite Kamui-esque), the pacing in this series was just abysmal. Although I understand why a lot of younger fans who are relatively new to the anime-genre are intrigued (there are some interesting plot devices and a few promising background stories that are, however, never adequately explored), most seasoned fans are bound to agree that this series is over-rated.

 

KiyoshiSama avatar KiyoshiSama
Mar 8, 2011

Code Geass is one of the best anime ever! I'm really picky with what anime i watch so i think that this is really a interesting anime.

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