After being given a mysterious power to control others, an outcast prince becomes the masked leader of the rebellion against an all powerful empireAfter being given a mysterious power to control others, an outcast prince becomes the masked leader of the rebellion against an all powerful empireAfter being given a mysterious power to control others, an outcast prince becomes the masked leader of the rebellion against an all powerful empire
But beware, this is only a short outline of what the two seasons of Code Geass are about. Is this really one of the best anime series ever made (if not the best)? I certainly do believe so, because it does excel in all areas. It is a character driven series first and foremost, and here it makes no mistakes. There are absolutely NO STEREOTYPES to be found in Code Geass. All characters are as real as it gets. This is were most anime series fail, but character development is this series best feature. Apart from the two protagonists, we basically have more than 15 characters than can be considered main. As I have said before they are all full fledged and round personalities and even the gigantic supporting cast only consists of fully fleshed out characters. But make no mistake; Code Geass is a story of war and therefore great tragedy and drama. As it is in war, there is no real good or evil, and all the characters have their own motivation for what they do. Betrayal and changing sides, lies and deception can be found around every corner, along with incredible plot twists and character development. But how can the viewer keep track of these developments on such an epic scale? Easy. Code Geass is set in a realistic environment and a believable world is created (despite Geass and mecha action). All the characters decisions can be reconstructed and their motivation is understandable. Be it love, betrayal, pure insanity or maybe all of them.
However, the anime does not offer any sense of right and wrong, good or evil and the characters even deceive themselves at times. There is no ultimate hero to be loved and no real villain to be hated. Everyone is right and wrong, good and bad at the same time when it comes to revolution and warfare; and everyone who is not shamelessly used by others, follows his/her own egoistical agenda. Sides change often so quickly, especially in season two, that you never can decide who to root for. This may seem like a negative point of the series, but that is actually why the story and therefore the entire anime succeeds. Because it never strays and cops out, uses the deus ex machina device or lets characters decide things they wouldn't, just to make them likable. They have to make decisions and accept the result and keep on living. As they say, ''sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils'', but since you know all characters so well and what drives them, you still feel with them, but hate and curse them at the same time for their foolishness and weakness. The animation is excellent and the mecha action top notch. It is the first time they actually bothered to make the machines as realistic as possible. Sometimes the animation seems very clean and cold, suitable for the world it creates though.
Everyone seeking an emotional roller-coaster ride get on, you won't regret it. Code Geass is as epic as it gets.
- Jun 5, 2009