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Code Geass Review
Oct 11, 2008 reviewed by ChocoMilkTea
There some mecha's that achieve near brilliance, and others that are rendered useless in their awkward failure. Code Geass is neither of this.
I started Code Geass as soon as the first episode aired.. Yes, I have enjoyed it very much. But to my surprise, on the arrival of the 13th episode, Code Geass took the anime industry by storm. Like a moth to a flame, people crowded the anime and simply worshiped it(God knows how many CC fans are being born as of this moment). Much as Ive enjoyed Code Geass, it does not do justice to be considered what it is today. In fact I feel its popularity is similar to FMA, both are highly enjoyable but nowhere near being the masterpiece people claim it to be.
Code Geass is not a sight to behold, but rather a sight to gather thousands of fans within only barely dozen of episodes. Spectacle, after all, is Code Geass specialty, not subtlety, so enjoying the sum of the parts sometimes requires dispassionate detachment or at least blind belief. But whether you think Code Geass is absurd or lacking originality, Code Geass is one of the most fun and engaging anime's in recent memory, as long as you don't think about it too hard.
Japan, being defeated by the empire of Britannia, whose territory reaches nearly one third of the world thanks to their high-tech war machines called Knightmares, was renamed to Area 11. Britannia swiftly depraved the Elevens(Japanese) of their pride, rights and isolated them from the migrating citizens of Britannia, leaving them to poverty.
This is where our main boy steps in. Lelouch, a young former prince of Britannia who was known to have passed away, not to mention a cheap ripoff of Light Yagami from Death Note. During a battle between the Britanna and a scarce amount of rebelling Elevens, Lelouch finds a capsule containing a naked woman, who gives Lelouch Geass, a mysterious ability that can control any human simply by looking them in the eyes and speaking his commands. And because that it just so happens that Lelouch has this great animosity for the Brittania, he plans to single handedly face the tyrant.
Lelouch under the alias of Zero, becomes a hope to the elevens and a threat to Britannia.
Its hard not to compare Lelouch from Yagami Light of Death Note. But if you can get past it, you'll find out something more. Coming with a tragic past pre-installed, it may seem that Lelouch is your typical apprehended teenager(Gundam anyone?). But Lelouch in a way, is a revenge-driven genius who would dare to go against the world to reach his goals and doesnt endlessly desires to just die without a fight. He even has the discernment for seizing control of the situation and directs the terrorist group by radio, controlling them and anticipating the moves of the Britannian forces like it was a game of chess. It isnt entirely plausible how is still able to manage a double life and lead the Japanese to victory. But it does provide Lelouch moments to look more sympathetic and less unrealistic.
So yeah thats pretty much what you need to know. Lelouch battles Britannia with the help of the ever so gullible and disposable Japanese. Oh and I forgot to mention Suzaku,an Eleven who is his childhood friend, siding to Britannia. They both basically the want the same thing, only they have different methods. Lelouch wants to rid of Britannia to make the world easier for his sister to live in, Nunally. Suzaku, on the other hand, wants to climb the ladders of Britannia, and gradually change it to good from the inside.
There's a ton going on in these first five episodes, and the pacing is rapid-fire. Add in a truly epic stage, some awesome battles, and just a dash of comedy to keep things from getting too dark, and it's really hard to see where this show can go wrong from here.
Code Geass is majestic, in terms of entertaining. The plot twists are so twisted that it becomes endless and absurd. Every episode ends in marvelous cliffhangers that can make you get a garotte wire and strangle yourself for an entire week until the next episode comes out and makes you do the same thing all over again. It just keeps getting better and better.
The actions are also a treat. From assault to massive warfare, Code Geass is impressively detailed. The contest between Britannia and the Eleven are as breathtaking as they are thrilling, while the individual battles are supremely well choreographed.
Code Geass has so many things working in its favor that it becomes easy to overlook some of its flaws.
The animation is completely convincing and fulfills the shows mecha plausibility quotient well besides than the roller blading war machines. Moreover, few if any prior shows have as effectively integrated the tacky yet refined movements of the robots as they do here. CLAMP did the designs here so be sure to expect it to be excellent(and have arms, which have uncanny ability to stretch an extra three feet)
The music is fluid. It always depicts the sound perfectly. Be it a gunshot or a whole building crumbling down, it is nicely executed. The background effects are also a plus. You get to hear a bunch of insects flying around or birds chirping. It gives a rather credible atmosphere partnered by a perfect atmospheric melody. The clarity of the sound effects definitely supports the anime very well.
Voice acting is no slouch either. It can easily persuade you of the emotion of each characters tries to convey, even supporting characters are given enough to time to emote.
The results are predictably impressive, even genre-defining. However as good as Code Geass is in terms of spectacle, the show does hit a few dud notes in terms of plot and characterization. But put together with visual flair, it’s a winning combination that helps to ensure Code Geass is a roller coaster experience of thrilling intensity.
Just like Da Vinci Code, it is preposterously entertaining.It is safe to say that anyone who's interested in action or mecha will go bananas over Code Geass.
ChocoMilkTea also recommended: Death Note, Naruto,
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