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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Code Geass Rating and Review


Series: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Animation Studio: Sunrise
Original Run: 50 Episodes (Total for two seasons)
English Licensor: Bandai Entertaiment
Adaptation of: N/A

Summary: The story takes place in Japan after the Holy Empire of Britannia has taken over with the help of superior military weaponry known as "Knightmare Frames", and with that Japan is no longer known by its name but rather it is a numbered area; "Area 11". The Japanese are stripped of their name and title (to become known as "Elevens"), but there is a small handful of people who are willing to fight to regain their honor.

Our protagonist of "Code Geass" is Lelouch Lamperouge, a brilliant Britannian student who has the intellect of a strategist and the heart of an avenger. Despite his seemingly laid back character, with ditching class to beat nobles in chess, he holds a very dark secret. He is actually a son of the Emperor of Britannia who was cast aside, along with his blind and crippled little sister Nunnally, when his mother was killed. Lelouch despises the Empire and the Emperor for everything that they did, including the take over of Japan, crippling Nunnally. Lelouch wishes to take his revenge but he doesn't have the resouces nor the power to do so. Or so he thought.

After Lelouch unintentionally gets involved with a rebel (Japanese) hijacking, and finds himself in the middle of a huge massacre of Japanese citizens, he discovers that the container the rebels took was not a poisonous gas weapon but a strange girl named C.C. (pronounced C Two). It is after he releases C.C. that he is reunited with his childhood friend, a Japanese boy named Suzaku Kururugi. Unfortunetely it is not under good terms, as Suzaku has become a soldier for Britannia, and Lelouch is mistaken to be a radical. Suzaku refuses to shoot Lelouch by command, making him recieve a bullet from his superior officer. Yet this gives Lelouch and C.C. a chance to escape. The two are later cornered and just as Lelouch is about  to get a bullet to the head, C.C. jumps in front of him and takes it right to the forehead. He is in utter horror but alas, C.C. isn't dead. She grabs is wrist and gives him the power of kings "geass" in exchange that he would grant her wish; to die. In Lelouch's case, the geass evolved into a power to allow him to order anyone to do anything he wants them to. So, to try out his new power, he makes the soldiers before him shoot themselves, but not before he can say his true name, "Lelouch vi Britannia". He is a bit shocked at first that it actually worked but he soon realizes that he can finally obtain his revenge with this ability. 

From here the story takes off and he eventually adopts a masked alter-ego, called "Zero" and creates a team of Rebel Japanese to free Japan and defeat the Empire. They become known as "The Black Knights". Lots of drama ensues from here as his best friend becomes his enemy, and C.C. becomes a passive support for him. He manages to keep his Zero ego under wraps from his friends at school but things start to get complicated when the Empire gets wind of "Zero" and The Black Knights. The Empire begins to send in other daughters and sons of the emperor, most with military experience, to attempt to kill the rebellion. Also, other rumors arise concering the geass and thus the question of its origin and the nature of it arises.

The series has lots of points to it and a lot more details but if I were to type them all, I'm afraid this post would go on for far too long. So if you enjoy, drama, action, some psychological aspects, a tiny touch of romance, robots, and war, "Code Geass" is something you should try.

A.I.'s Rating: 8/10

A.I.'s Review:  "Code Geass" is definitely a series that has gained major popularity in both Japanese and English audiences. I actually had no interest in the series but because it was so popular I checked it out and watched the whole thing through. The story was fairly interesting and one thing pretty much lead into the next. But I felt that revenge was the primary mover in the series. Lelouch, obviously, wanted revenge, and later Suzaku wants to kill Lelouch/Zero for killing his lover (Sorry, that was a spoiler and Lelouch didn't want to pull the trigger but had to). So yeah, just one big series full of hate and war, but then again this is a series about a rebellion. 

Of course what kept me interested was what C.C.'s deal was and what exactly the "geass" was. But they don't reveal that until season 2. The ending of the series was pretty predictable, and left a bitter-sweet feeling(watch and you'll understand). I docked a couple of points from the score just because I felt that some things were dragged on for too long, I felt the character designs could have been better (they're pretty stringy looking; sorry CLAMP), there were moments that I was like, "Are you serious?" or " is stupid", and at times I felt that the series rushed things that shouldn't be. On the plus note, the score for the series is wonderful, the voice actors were amazing in both Japanese and English dub, the animation is okay,the backgrounds, and the Knightmare designs are stellar, and the complexity of the main characters' characters were pretty well thought out (especially Lelouch's). There are some rumors about a third season for this series but I find that the series is fine as it is. Also, it wouldn't be the same for a crucial reason (no I'm not spoiling anything anymore).

So if you want to give this series a shot please do. And for those that don't, then I don't blame you. If you are on the sidelines, here is a short clip of Lelouch gaining and using the geass for the first time. So enjoy, and I'll see you next time.

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