Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Japanese name: Kōdo Giasu: Hangyaku no Rurūshu
Aired: October 5, 2006-September 28, 2008
Tv Series, 50 epsiodes
Genre: Action, Drama, Psychological, Science Fiction, Supernatural
The Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames. Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11's. A Britannian who was living in Japan at the time, Lelouch, vowed to his Japanese friend Suzaku that he'd destroy Britannia. Years later, Lelouch is in high school, but regularly skips out of school to go play chess and gamble on himself. One day, he stumbles on terrorists 11's who've stolen a military secret and is caught by a member of the Britannian task force sent after them, who is Suzaku. As the rest of the squad arrives, Suzaku is shot for disobeying orders, while the military secret, a young girl, gives Lelouch the power of Geass, which makes anyone obey any order. While Suzaku is secretly made the pilot of Britannia's brand new prototype Knightmare, Lancelot, Lelouch becomes the masked Zero to lead the rebellion to destroy Britannia once and for all. (From AnimeNewsNetwork)
Art and Animation: 8/10
While the Animation by Sunrise is fluid and occasionally quite impressive, it's nothing special in hindsight. CLAMP's character designs are good, but not for everyone. They're really an acquired taste, and I'm sure many aren't fond of them. Regardless, the art and animation are somewhat superior to many of their counterparts.
Code Geass's story is supremely interesting, wickedly experimenting with the giant mecha genre and turning it into the insanely twisted, but extremely fun story that I don't think many will finish the anime disappointed with. A lot of this has to do with the characters, which I'll go into in depth later. For now, let's just say that it defies the laws of giant mecha character archetypes into an interesting, original piece of storytelling that you won't soon forget.
Voice Acting/Music: 9.5/10
My high opinion of this anime's sound is due to two people. Jun Fukuyama and Kotaro Nakagawa. Jun Fukuyama's portrayal of Lelouch as the magnificent bastard has always been one of my favorite performances in Anime history and the standard that I hold great voice-acting to. He can be subtle and sweet-sounding or strong and sinister, which really fits Lelouch and his alter-ego well. While the other characters are very well-acted, especially for their roles, Fukuyama's performance really stands out. Second, Kotaro Nakagawa. I have marked this man's name down as a god of soundtrack composing. (Up there with Hans Zimmer and the like.) His broad, orchestral soundtrack really complements the anime well, and each song has its own interesting sound to it, though I'll admit it occasionally falls into generic epicness.
This is certainly the Anime's strongest aspect. As I've said, it twists the laws of Mecha anime into something fascinating and unique. Mask-wearing well-intentioned extremist who is a military genius and has a wicked evil laugh? Why, he's the hero! Idealistic ace-pilot with the mecha that's better than everyone else's? The villain protagonist! Most of the time with films and anime, people say that they can watch them over and over again because they notice some new camera angle or something in the background. But that's not why you'll want to watch Code Geass again. You'll watch again to see Lelouch's latest plan come into fruition, and it never gets old.
A darn near perfect anime, with its only drawback being occasional animation weaknesses. Regardless of those, this is my favorite anime of all time and certainly a good watch for any fan of the giant mecha genre, or any anime genre really.