Code Geass: Anime’s Wildest Ride

Code Geass

From The Original Rebellion To The Potential Season 3

Code Geass is an unparalleled anime watching experience. Specifically, we mean that the twists, turns, and absurdity that the show boldly throws in your face each and every episode will keep you on the edge of your seat with your jaw dropped to the floor harder than most other anime could make you. With more Code Geass on the Horizon, here’s hoping that will continue in the eventual Season 3.

You never know what Lelouch will do next. The first season of Geass first aired in 2006 and the second season aired in 2008. That means it’s been over an entire decade since the original two seasons aired, but now it’s coming back.

With the 2019 Lelouch of The Resurrection movie apparently being only the first part of a ‘ten-year plan’, it’s the perfect time to watch or revisit this modern classic. Make it to the bottom of this article to find out where to join Lelouch, Suzaku, and their battle for the future of Britannia.

A ‘Mecha’ Show By The Studio That Revolutionized Robot Anime Where The Mechs Didn’t Matter.

Code Geass is an interesting anomaly in the Sunrise canon of mecha anime. The animation studio is known for reinventing the robot anime wheel, from boy’s action cartoon to realistic horrors of war stories, with the original Mobile Suit Gundam in 1979 having always gone for a dose of realism. Even their more fantastical robot outings like The Vision of Escaflowne and The Big O contend with both the realities of war and the physical consequences of giant mech battle.

Many of the major players in Code Geass all have their own Knightmare Frame to battle with, the show’s name for their particular brand of fighty robot, but honestly, they’re never given much attention. They’re the tool used for battles in the show but otherwise, they’re no different from an average pistol or a nameless katana. There’s practically no lore to them, no iconic designs, and no strong individual emphasis placed on them, which very much is the opposite for other Sunrise robot shows.

Despite it being very different from the studio’s normal fare, even taking into account works like Cowboy Bebop which aren’t about Robots but are still relatively self-serious, Geass and its popularity spread like wildfire. Goes to show that even well established older animation studios can and should be trying new things; Maybe not everything will be a hit but sometimes you’ll strike onto dumb, Clamp gold.

An Overview To What Different Kinds of Power Geass Actually Are

It might surprise you to hear this but Geass play a pretty significant role in this anime called Code Geass. If you haven’t fainted from the shock of the previous statement, great! You’re ready to delve into our brief introduction to the variety of different kinds of power Geass are comprised of.

Geass do manifest themselves differently in just about everyone who receives their power and, at least so far, there’s no way to know what kind of skill a person may obtain. These special abilities are passed down from someone who is a Code Bearer, like C.C. for instance, to its users like Lelouch. Again, even a Code Bearer doesn’t pick what powers they pass down, just to who.

As a general rule, all the various Geass affect the psychological. Meaning none of these hand me down powers are going to summon giant nine-tailed beasts nor are they grant anybody super strength. Perception, thought, memories, Geass users tend to be able to manipulate these kinds of things often to dire extremes.

Let’s take Lelouch for example; His signature Geass power the ability to make anyone follow a single command of is, simple or vague, if they lock eyes. He can only use the Geass on each person once, though with how crafty the young prince is that’s never really a problem until the plot makes it out to be. Another emblematic Geass would be Rolo’s in season two, who can’t technically stop time itself but suspend people’s perception of time having passed for a short period.

Geass are god-tier powers that can aid people on and off the battlefield. However, like any good thing, there’s a catch! Those who use their powers too much will eventually suffer from their curse, like going blind due to overuse or being driven insane by your own ability. On rare, and necessary to the plot, occasions one might be able to manifest a ‘perfect Geass’ which allows them to use their powers at will with no consequence.

Code Geass

Your Guide To All The Code Geass Anime

Since 2006, there have been a few entries into the Code Geass canon and if you’ve never seen the series, it might be hard to know what to pick up first. As Code Geass is such a fast-paced and plot intensive show, we recommend viewing each release in the order it came out.

Your best bet is to save Akito The Exiled until after you’ve watched the first two series, even though the OVA takes place chronologically in-between seasons one and two. Naturally, the new sequel movie should be enjoyed after that, though you can watch it without having watched the OVA. Let’s break down each key entry.

Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion

This is where it all started. Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion lit the anime world on fire when it first came out in 2006.

The story of a prince who gains a Geass, special mind control powers, and uses them to become a terrorist to destroy his father’s kingdom, with gorgeous character designs by Clamp to boot.

Fans could not shut up about this show as the absurdity ratcheted up each episode. Pockets of anime fan communities at the time treated the show’s weekly airing as a sacred ritual, a communal experience that strengthened the entire culture.

Cutting edge political warfare, a slew of pretty boys and stylish ladies, and constant change-ups to the status quo, Code Geass took these raw ingredients and blended them to melodramatic perfection. Everything about the series was over the top, from Lelouch’s flourishing monologues to the show’s willingness to run buck wild at a moment’s notice.

Code Geass R2, The Even Crazier Sequel

Without getting into spoiler territory, season one did end on a sequel. For almost two years fans had to patiently wait until their questions would be answered but little did they know Sunrise was cooking up a show that was even more buck wild than the first.

The twists and turns were notched up to eleven, and some might argue that it was too much. Still, Code Geass; Lelouch Of The Rebellion R2 is a direct continuation, not a far off sequel, and is required watching for the full Code Geass experience. You simply haven’t seen the show if you haven’t watched R2.

With new mysterious new characters like Rolo Lamperouge and V.V. shaking things up, and with Lelouch approaching the climax of his complex plans, each episode becomes a mad rush to the end. Simply put it’s one of the most binge-able anime of them all.

The Unforgettable Code Geass Ending

We just want to make a quick note that these first two seasons finish the original story. The show pulls off something truly unbelievable in its final episode and has gone down in anime history for having one of the most memorable stories from start to finish. Everything that comes after this point, such as the Akito The Exiled OVA and the new movie wasn’t part of the original vision. Just something to keep in mind as the series’ brand new ‘10 year plan’ goes forward.

Akito The Exiled, The OVA – A Bit Too Late To The Game

Despite the original story wrapping up in R2, fans wanted more. A real fan favorite of those who were deeper into the anime culture, the show had grown into an otaku cult phenomenon. Sunrise eventually responded by giving fans more but not wanting to tamper with the plot too much, they opted for an OVA series that centered around new characters and took place in between the two series instead of after.

Furthermore, despite being announced in 2009 the first episode didn’t come out until 2012 and it took 4 more years for the next four episodes to come out. The show isn’t too bad but we’d say only completists need to watch Akito The Exiled. A little depressing since the OVA was directed by the great Kazuki Akane, who helmed classics like The Vision of Escaflowne and Birdy The Might Decode.

Code Geass The Movie: Lelouch Of The Resurrection

In theory, Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Resurrection was the return we’d all wanted. More Code Geass that took place after the ending of R2 that stars Lelouch, Suzaku, and the rest of the gang. In execution the movie’s exactly that but lacked the bite and that ‘off the walls, anything could happen’ quality the original seasons had. That said, this movie’s the first part of a 10-year plan and was necessary to get the characters back to baseline.

Post Resurrection; Where’s R3? Are We Getting A Season 3

This 10-year plan was announced only after Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Resurrection came out. That movie did end with a preview of what’s to come, so more Code Geass is definitely on the way. Will it be another movie, OVA, or proper TV season?

Right now, nobody knows. You’ll have to sit tight. We’ll be sure to tell you when more information becomes available.

If we were to make an educated guess though, what with the ten-year plan and all, I imagine we’d get some kind of actual Code Geass Season 3 sometime in the future. With the stage set for more melodrama and shenanigans with the actual cast fans loved and not a bunch of OVA nobodies, Sunrise would be silly to deny the hold-outs what they want.

Code Geass - Pizza Hut

Code Geass and Pizza Hut?

One of the big memes to come out of that initial Code Geass fanaticism was C.C. eating Pizza. The reason this was so funny? Because, at least when it first aired on Japanese TV, the characters would literally eat Pizza Hut pizza, with Pizza Hut branded pizza boxes littering everyone’s dorm rooms in the show.

Something about watching specifically the clamp designed beautiful and lanky C.C. and Lelouch eating specifically actual Pizza Hut was delightfully absurd. Obviously it was just product placement, but instead of coming off as obnoxious fans ate it up seeing the inherent comedy in it.

Unfortunately, or maybe not so if blatant product placement isn’t your thing, while the pizza-eating remained the Pizza Hut branding was removed from the international release of the show. So if you watched it on Adult Swim back when it aired on check out the current Blu Ray and streaming release, no Pizza Hut is to be found. Thankfully though Google is your friend if you want to peak into 2006 era in-jokes.

Do You Need To Read The Code Geass Manga

So there’s a plethora of Code Geass manga out there. So many that when you look at a list you have no idea what to think. In this case though, the Code Geass anime came first. All of the manga are either adaptations of the various entries, side stories, or reimaginings

If there’s a particular character you like, say Suzaku for instance, go ahead and read Suzaku Of The Counterattack. It’s a neat enough take on the tale. However, none of these manga really add all that much to the Code Geass experience and unless you really do just need more clamp pretty boys in your life, they aren’t all that necessary.

With Code Geass being a more in the moment show and less one where having all the backstory and lore really matter, these manga bits and pieces just don’t add up to much. Any new tidbits and fleshing out these comics would only be appreciated by the most hardcore of fans.

Our Favorite Code Geass Characters

Like any good anime, Code Geass has a stellar cast that’s hugely responsible for making the show such a memorable one. Even with the franchise’s famous twists and tricks, no one would have cared about them if there weren’t any characters you could sink your teeth into to accompany them.

The capable and fiery Kallen, the adorable yet unfortunate Nunally, and Nina who has one of the most surprising character arcs ever, all of the characters find ways to wow you throughout the run of the reason. Again, the legendary manga wonder team Clamp did their character designs which makes them all fabulous to boot. Who are our key companions though?

Code Geass - Lelouch Lamperouge

Lelouch Lamperouge

Of course, Lelouch tops the list. His name is in the dang title after all! A disgraced prince, a dirty eleven (code for Japanese), After receiving the mysterious Geass power Lelouch decided once and for all he’ll kill his father Charles Vi Britannia.

He dons a mask and starts calling himself Zero, so he can inspire fear into the hearts of all Brittanians. Despite being a high school pretty boy, he’ll really stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

A political marriage to get some clout for his nefarious antics? Kiss a girl he shouldn’t kiss because he’s too depressed to do otherwise? Kill his brothers and sisters to accomplish his goals? Start leading a terrorist cell aiming to take down the whole system? All a piece of cake for Lelouch.

Code Geass - CC

CC

CC, or C2, is the mysterious green-haired beauty was an internet meme 13 years ago because she just loved eating pizza hut. She’s also responsible for giving Lelouch his Geass and becomes his passive partner in crime. CC was locked away for a long time and has her own mysteries surrounding her. You never know what she’s thinking or why she’s supporting Lelouch, making her place in the series pivotal.

Code Geass - Suzaku Kururugi

Suzaku Kururugi

Suzaku is Lelouch’s best friend and greatest enemy. Stop us if you’ve heard that one before. The pair were as close with brothers during their childhoods but eventually got separated due to the royal ostracization of Lelouch and his Mother.

The pair eventually reunite but unbeknownst to one another, Lelouch is the notorious Zero who mans a group of terrorists and Suzaku is one of Brittania’s most loyal knights. Suzaku values chivalry and honor above all else, so you just know when everything about Lelouch pops into the open, there are gonna be problems.

Code Geass - Kallen Kouzuki

Kallen Kouzuki

A babe, a talented Knightmare frame pilot, and something of a righteous terrorist; While not the leader of The Black Knights canonically she’s the most focused on member in the story. She’s quick to act and as competent an actor as they come, and takes her role as a revolutionary very seriously. Of course, being an anime character, you can assume she begins to have her defenses broken down around Lelouch.

Code Geass - Nunally Lamperouge

Nunally Lamperouge

Lelouch’s little sister Nunally has had it rough despite technically being a princess. She’s both made immobile and blinded before the start of the series but despite that she keeps a cheery demeanor most of the time. Initially, she’s Lelouch’s reason for starting his fight against the powers that be despite her not wanting more blood to be shed.

Without delving into spoilers too hard, she takes a decidedly more active role in Code Geass: R2. Her role in the series having changed has a profound effect on Lelouch, giving that second season a sharpened edge.

Code Geass - Rolo Lamperouge

Rolo Lamperouge

Lelouch’s younger brother? Something’s up with Rolo, who doesn’t enter the series until the second season. Weird to think Lelouch had a beloved younger brother whom he had neglected to mention all this time but with the series’ twists and turns, nothing’s outside the realm of possibility. Self-serious and you’re not sure where his loyalties lie, but he does seem devoted to his older brother.

Code Geass - MAO

MAO

Somewhat of a rogue third party in all of this, MAO knew C.C. well before she ever hooked up with Lelouch and the Knights. His Geass power more or less allows him to read minds but he’s gotten to the point where he can’t shut his power off and only being with C.C. seems to calm him down as he can’t read her mind due to plot reasons. She abandoned him but he chases her down with obsessive fervor and with Lelouch now in the picture?

He isn’t a happy camper.

Code Geass - Charles Zi Britannia

Charles Zi Britannia

The big bad of the show who also happens to be Lelouch’s father, as well as the sire of many of the other characters. In fact, we’re not sure if there’s another anime character out there with more children. Regardless of how many offspring with however many different women he has, that’s not really the point of the character.

Charles Zi Britannia is the emperor of Britannia. He’s seemingly responsible for the mistreatment of the Japanese, who’ve been reduced to just a number. He also rules with an iron fist, using military power to keep his population under check. Basically, Charles is a giant asshole who thinks equality is for chumps and openly engages in class warfare.

No wonder revolutionaries keep popping up.

Code Geass - V.V.

V.V.

A mysterious actor who first appears in Code Geass R2 appears to have some major connection with Charles. While almost anything we could say about V.V. here would make for big spoilers, we have to include him on the big list of great Code Geass characters. He’s not a fan favorite but the extremely asinine second season of the show wouldn’t be the same without him.

Code Geass - Clovis La Britannia

Clovis La Britannia

The first of many Britannia siblings Lelouch and The Black Knights clash with. He fancies himself an intellect and he’s a little more than full of himself. He enjoyed Chess with Lelouch when they were children but just like when they were kids, when it comes to actual battle the titular star of this anime bests Clovis with relative ease.

Code Geass - Cornelia Li Britannia

Cornelia Li Britannia

A Britannia sibling who maintains her place in the series much longer than her brother Clovis, Cornelia plays a big part in the episode to episode military mech action in the show. Commander in Chief of the Britannian Army, she and those under her direct control end up in an awful lot of fights with the Black Knights. She’s confident and would be honorable if it wasn’t for her xenophobia.

Code Geass - Euphemia Li Britannia

Euphemia Li Britannia

A much kinder and exponentially less aggressive soul than her sister Cornelia, Euphemia is one of the most understanding and pacifistic of the Britannia family. She harbors no personal ill will towards the ‘elevens’ and eventually builds up something of a relationship with Suzaku Kururugi. Eventually, things take a certain turn for her after one of Code Geass’s most iconic episodes.

Code Geass - Shirley Fenette

Shirley Fenette

While a secondary character, Shirley’s unforgettable. A friend and something of a potential love interest for Lelouch, what happens to the bright and cheery young girl over the course of the first two seasons is a real focal point for sadness in the show.

If any one character represents Lelouch second-guessing his violent conquest and terrorist actions, it’s her. While we don’t say exactly what happens, you can probably guess it’s not good. You’ll have to watch to find out though.

Code Geass - Nina Einstein

Nina Einstein

Another character who starts out as just a student friend of Lelouch and Suzaku. Unlike Shirley though, instead of turning into a love interest she gets wrapped up into imperial warfare. She’s devoutly follows Euphemia Li Britannia with her feelings for the Princess being outright obsessive. After that certain incident regarding Euphemia, Nina up and joins the Britannian army after trying to assassinate Zero in a Knightmare Frame.

The show doesn’t hold back in how contorted Nina becomes over the course of its run. Even with a personality that’s hard to empathize with, you end up feeling a little sorry for her during her descent into madness. What does she do after joining the Britannian military though?

Oof.

Where Can You Watch All The Code Geass Episodes

Right now you can watch all of Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion, Code Geass R2, and Code Geass: Akito The Exiled on Funimation starting at just $5.99 a month or $99.99 a year with some premium benefits.

The original two seasons can now also be enjoyed on Netflix, which starts at a whopping $13 a month if you want full HD, so if you’re still using your parent’s Netflix subscription have at it! Right now though the movie Lelouch of The Resurrection has been made available for free streaming, only digital and physical purchase. That may change in the future.

SUNRISE/PROJECT GEASS
Join Our Discussions on Discord