“Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion” is one of those animes that really puts your emotions on a roller coaster – the kind that makes a complete loop. A mecha-thriller, political drama, and psychological study all in one, Code Geass offers an engaging storyline with complex characters that I could never get enough of.
Code Geass Story Summary
“Code Geass” is set in an alternate timeline where three superpowers rule the world: the Holy Britannian Empire, the Chinese Federation, and the European Union. The story begins when Britannia invades Japan, rebranding it as “Area 11” and its citizens as “Elevens.”
Our protagonist, Lelouch Lamperouge, is a Britannian student living in Area 11. Behind his regular student facade, Lelouch holds a burning desire for revenge against Britannia, who he blames for his mother’s death and his sister’s crippling injuries. His life takes a sharp turn when he encounters a mysterious girl named C.C., who grants him the “Power of Kings,” known as Geass. With his newfound power, which allows him to command anyone to do anything, Lelouch dons the alter ego “Zero” and wages a war against Britannia.
As the series unfolds, Lelouch’s fight for independence becomes more convoluted, pulling him into a web of political intrigue, betrayals, moral dilemmas, and shocking revelations. He manipulates his way through the ranks of the rebellion and the Britannian royalty, always one chess move ahead. However, his resolve is constantly tested as he navigates the fine line between his desire for revenge and the cost it exacts on him and those around him.
Code Geass Characters
- Lelouch vi Britannia/Lelouch Lamperouge/Zero: The protagonist with a genius-level intellect and a deep hatred for Britannia. He’s calm, strategic, and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
- Suzaku Kururugi: Lelouch’s childhood friend who shares his ambition for a better world but believes in achieving it through righteous means. He’s the moral counterpoint to Lelouch’s Machiavellian strategies.
- C.C.: The immortal girl who gives Lelouch his Geass. She’s mysterious and seems emotionless but shares a deep bond with Lelouch.
- Kallen Stadtfeld/Kallen Kōzuki: A skilled Knightmare pilot and key member of the rebellion, who’s fiercely loyal to Zero.
Summary of First 5 Books
Since Code Geass is an original anime series, it doesn’t have manga “books” per se. However, I can summarize the key events from the first few episodes for you!
- Episode 1: The Day a New Demon was Born – We meet Lelouch and Suzaku and witness the fall of Japan. After a chance encounter with C.C., Lelouch gains the power of Geass.
- Episode 2: The White Knight Awakens – Lelouch takes on the alias of Zero and saves Suzaku, who’s wrongly accused of murder. The world gets the first glimpse of Zero’s power.
- Episode 3: The False Classmate – Lelouch, under his schoolboy persona, manipulates events to protect his Geass secret, showing his willingness to use his powers for personal gain.
- Episode 4: His Name is Zero – Zero makes his first public appearance, announcing his intention to fight for justice and establishing himself as a symbol of rebellion.
- Episode 5: The Princess and the Witch – A deeper dive into Lelouch and Suzaku’s ideologies, bringing to the forefront their contrasting methods for achieving their shared goal.
Reading Order of Titles
While the original series, “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion,” is the best starting point, there are several other spin-offs, sequels, and OVAs to explore after the main series.
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (R1) – The first season where Lelouch receives the power of Geass and begins his rebellion against Britannia.
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 – The second season, where Lelouch resumes his battle against the Britannian Empire.
- Code Geass: Akito the Exiled – A spin-off series set between R1 and R2 focusing on new characters in the European front of the war.
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection – A movie sequel set after the events of R2. The peace Lelouch sacrificed himself for is threatened, and he must rise once again.
My Personal Code Geass Experience
I remember the first time I watched Code Geass; I was immediately taken in by its intricate storytelling and morally grey characters. I found Lelouch’s character fascinating; his tactical genius, charisma, and the layers to his personality made him one of the most intriguing protagonists I’ve come across in anime. He reminded me of Light Yagami from “Death Note”, another favorite character of mine, but Lelouch stood out with his emotional vulnerability and complex relationships.
I was equally captivated by the ideological conflict between Lelouch and Suzaku. It wasn’t just a battle of mechs; it was a clash of philosophies. This underlying tension provided a depth to the series that kept me hooked from beginning to end.
One aspect that truly stood out for me was the anime’s exploration of the consequences of power and war. The narrative didn’t shy away from showcasing the sacrifices made, the lives lost, and the mental toll it took on the characters. This complexity made Code Geass an unforgettable experience for me.
Code Geass Quotes from the Anime
“Code Geass” is known for its profound dialogues that delve into the nature of power, morality, and sacrifice. Here are some of the most memorable ones:
- “The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed.” – Lelouch Lamperouge
- “False tears bring pain to those around you. A false smile brings pain to one’s self.” – C.C.
- “It wasn’t me who was wrong, it was the world!” – Lelouch Lamperouge
- “The best way to remove your lies is to make them come true.” – Suzaku Kururugi
- “A life that lives without doing anything is the same as a slow death.” – Lelouch Lamperouge
- “What do you do when there is an evil you cannot defeat by just means? Do you stain your hands with evil to destroy evil, or do you remain steadfastly just and righteous even if it means surrendering to evil?” – Lelouch Lamperouge
- “I don’t want to lose anything anymore.” – Suzaku Kururugi
About the Author/Artist
“Code Geass” was created by Sunrise, a renowned animation studio in Japan, known for hits like “Mobile Suit Gundam” and “Cowboy Bebop.” The story and concept were developed by a creative collective called Clamp. The character designs were done by the manga artist group CLAMP, whose unique art style lent the characters their distinct aesthetic.
Code Geass TV or Movie Adaptations
Apart from the original TV series, “Code Geass” has been adapted into various forms. It includes picture dramas, OVAs like “Code Geass: Akito the Exiled,” and recap movies. There’s also the sequel film, “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection,” which provides a continuation of the story after the original series’ conclusion.
Code Geass FAQ
Q: Is Lelouch evil? A: Lelouch is a complex character with morally gray actions, but his intentions are arguably for a greater good.
Q: Can I watch “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection” without watching the recap movies? A: Yes, but the recap movies have minor changes to the story that carry over to the sequel film.
Q: Does Lelouch die? A: In the original series, Lelouch dies in the final episode. However, he appears alive in the sequel film.
Q: How does Lelouch’s Geass work? A: Lelouch’s Geass, the “Power of the King,” allows him to command anyone to do anything, but he can only use it once on any individual.
And there we have it! A deep dive into the world of “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.” Whether you’re new to the series or a longtime fan, I hope this overview brought back memories of this masterfully crafted anime. Remember, the world is not quite as it seems, and sometimes, rebellion is the only path to liberation.