Despite watching a different anime, my friend Vivian from my Japanese class, would constantly beg me to watch Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch. When I realised that I need to watch 2 seasons of Code Geass to get the full story, I was very hesitant because I rarely watch an anime that requires an extra season. That being said, after the constant messaging from Vivian, I manage to finish the first season in two days so I can write my general thoughts on it.
The year is 2010 and on the 10th August, the Holy Empire of Britannia sets out on a conquest to take control of Japan. It was a success in a month due to their deployment of Knightmare Frames, mobile humanoid armor vehicles. With that, Japan’s identity and rights were stripped away and is now referred to as Area 11. Formerly known as the Japanese, the Elevens are forced to live in strenuous situations which the Britannians live comfortably with their settlements. There are resistances throughout Area 11, who aims to gain independence for Japan.
The main character, Lelouch, a disgraced Prince of Britannia acts as a student, finds himself in the deep conflict for the nation. Until he meets a mysterious girl named C.C, Lelouch gains the power of the king, known as Geass. His ability to control anybody drives his motivation to bring down Britannia’s reign.
As you can probably tell, complex themes were incorporated to make the story interesting. Who would have thought that Japan can be easily defeated and lose its identity? It also defines the characters too, with Lelouch obviously being the highlight. I imagine many girls that watched Code Geass would have fallen in love with Lelouch due to his looks. 😛 But seriously, he has emotions and opinions that the viewers can relate to, which is why this anime is considered a classic. Add in the superpower and his intellect, Lelouch is a very complex character and its why the story is able to be relevant throughout the 24 episodes.
The only drawback is its first episode, which was very underwhelming. In fact, after watching that episode, I initially didn’t feel interested in watching the series overall, largely because the story was not well explained. But after the second episode, it was more epic than what I expected and referencing chess made me want to continue on.
Overall, Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch is a great anime with a complex story and likeable characters. Politics, Rivalry, Friendships, Complex Ideologies, Mecha vehicles and explosions, all in 24 episodes. There is a second season so that means that I’ll have to watch that if I want to get the full picture of the story.