In the road paved by “Berserk” and “Evangelion,” another great anime title is relaunched in the form of a series of movies, although this time, “Code Geass” “is an exact rerelease rather than a new adaptation.
On August 10th of the year 2010 the Holy Empire of Britannia began a campaign of conquest, its sights set on Japan. Operations were completed in one month thanks to Britannia’s deployment of new mobile humanoid armor vehicles dubbed Knightmare Frames. Japan’s rights and identity were stripped away, the once proud nation now referred to as Area 11. Its citizens, Elevens, are forced to scratch out a living while the Britannian aristocracy lives comfortably within their settlements. Pockets of resistance appear throughout Area 11, working towards independence for Japan.
Lelouch, an exiled Imperial Prince of Britannia posing as a student, finds himself in the heart of the ongoing conflict for the island nation. Through a chance meeting with a mysterious girl named C.C., Lelouch gains his Geass, the power of the king. Now endowed with absolute dominance over any person, Lelouch may finally realize his goal of bringing down Britannia from within! Soon, he adopts the persona of Zero, and takes over a number of resistance groups who find in his abilities the leader they have been waiting for. However, an archrival appears in the form of his most dearest friend, Suzaku, whom Lelouch was considering as the man who would marry his handicapped sister Nunnally, with the girl being the driving force for his obsession with bringing down the British Empire.
Using ingenious tactics much similar to the ones in “Death Note”, Goro Taniguchi presents a very intricate story, that uses the arch rivalry of two radically different characters (with Lelouch being a genius who lacks in terms of action and Suzaku the exact opposite) in order to present a number of sociopolitical comments. These include colonization, racism and the consequences of all kinds of segregation, friendship, corruption, the role of the media, and revenge. At the same time, a portion of the title functions as a school comedy, in a comic relief element that lightens the mood of an otherwise complex title.
This however does not mean that the title is lacking in action, on the contrary, “Code Geass” is filled with impressive battles, which highlight both Lelouch’s abilities as tactician and the prowess in fighting with mecha of his right hand, Kozuki, Suzaku, and a number of other individuals, from both opposite parties.
In terms of drawing and animation, I would say that the age of the title shows (the original anime screened on 2006), but this is a minor tick in the cons column since the focus is on the outstanding story, which compensates fully for any kind of fault in the technical department.
The rerelease of one of the great anime titles of the 21st century is definitely good news, both as a chance for those who have already to watch it to give it another go and for the ones not acquainted with it to get know a truly outstanding title.