Anime recommendations: ‘Code Geass’

A classic anime, “Code Geass” shines through as an epic series

Martika Theis, Reporter

Do you like giant fighting robots? Moral grey areas surrounding the nature of power? Gorgeous animation? “Code Geass” is an old classic in the anime world and it remains so for these very solid reasons.

The story of “Code Geass” takes place in a futuristic society where the empire of Britannia has taken over most of the world and renamed the countries under their command. Japan, known as Area 11 to the Britannians, has numerous resistance factions that fight daily to overthrow the oppressive Britannian rule while normal citizens just try to survive.

Our hero, Lelouch Lamperouge, is a normal Britannian student who hides a secret. He’s actually a prince of the Britannian empire, exiled and disinherited by the Emperor of Britannia for speaking against him. In a strange series of events involving a motorcycle sidecar, a helicopter, and a bunch of rebels driving an eighteen wheeler- trust me, this isn’t a comedy- Lelouch ends up with a mysterious power known as Geass. This power allows him to command anyone to do what he wants with some conditions. His hatred for his home country grows to the point where Lelouch disguises himself as the vigilante Zero and launches the largest and most successful rebellion against Britannia in the history of the empire.

I would not recommend this as a starter anime. The action is a little ramped up and the characters are melodramatic, which can turn off viewers if they aren’t used to it. Also, there is violence and psychological drama about even to that of “Black Butler” and “Fullmetal Alchemist”. Think before you watch.

This series began as an anime and I have not read the light novels based on it, so I will not comment on them much. But from the little I have seen of them, the better choice is the anime. The anime is two seasons long and titled “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion”.

For a fighting robot anime, this series does an amazing job adding subtlety to the story. Lelouch is a compelling antihero protagonist as is his rival/childhood friend, Suzaku Kururugi. As the story moves along the morality of Lelouch’s actions becomes more and more unsteady while Suzaku’s idealistic nature gives way to the possibility that the ends justify the means.

The best part is the theory surrounding the whole experience and how the confusing moral dilemma just reaches an absolute peak, changing the watcher’s world. ”

My only complaint is the explanation of the nature of the power of Geass that is provided in the second season. It really doesn’t make a ton of sense or seem to be fleshed out all that much. Maybe I just didn’t concentrate very hard during that section of the anime but it felt awkward.

The execution of Lelouch’s plot and the involvement of the main characters is epic as they include fighting robots. Speaking of which, the character design is done by CLAMP, which if you don’t know, means it’s pretty much perfect. The theme songs are well chosen and “Colors by Flow” is especially engaging to watch and catchy to listen to. The soundtracks are usually put in at appropriate moments and really make the watcher feel they are up in the sky fighting from their own mech.

I would not usually recommend a dub, however, I feel “Code Geass” is about equally well done subbed or dubbed. Johnny Yong Bosch was perfect for Lelouch and in some of the more dramatic scenes actually shines brighter than the Japanese voice actor in my opinion. So it is really up to the watcher’s discretion. Just don’t watch the French dub.

The ending is spectacular. Without giving spoilers I can say that it rightfully earned from me the title of, “better ending than Death Note,” which if you don’t know, is very hard to trump. It deserved its high ranking on Anime America’s Saddest Deaths in Anime and Most Perfect Endings in Anime. Not many series can claim such an ending. The best part is the theory surrounding the whole experience and how the confusing moral dilemma just reaches an absolute peak, changing the watcher’s world.

For a series full of action, just enough side romance, and a story that will shake the foundations of what you believe in, “Code Geass” is a perfect anime to give a try.