Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
Studio: Sunrise (Gundam, InuYasha)
Manga author: Ichirō Ōkouchi (Angelic Layer anime)
Genre: Drama, Mecha, Sci Fi
First complete run: 2006-2008
Regular episodes: 50
Code Geass is a dramatic action anime set in an alternative reality that has it all. The series is set after Japan's conquest by the Holy Britannian Empire, a monolithic, colonialist blend of the United States and Nazi Germany. The unique world of Code Geass lends what I think is its best and most appealing quality: its protagonists are all freedom fighters or terrorists. The anime follows Lelouch, an exiled Britannian prince, in his quest to liberate the Japanese and destroy Britannia. Lelouch takes on an alternate identity, named Zero, in order to anonymously lead the rebellion in Japan. Accompanied by his friend C.C., a witch or "Code," Lelouch acquires a power called "Geass," the ability to compel anyone to obey him.
The show's intricate background story and lore are complimented by an enchanting set of characters and gadgets. Each individual character adds something special to the show's colorful, engaging reality. Its cast of well-developed personalities range from the hauntingly compassionate to the eerily evil, each with their own flair. The anime's characterization is complimented by some tell-tale Sci Fi elements, including the ubiquitous presence of mechas, called "Knightmares." The technological interplay between the Britannian government and Lelouch's terrorists is fitting for the most avid Sci Fi fans. But Code Geass's true power lies in the plot, an unbelievable political and psychological thriller at times reminiscent of James Clavell's Shōgun. The show is a suspenseful roller coaster of action and drama that doesn't let up for an instant. Without a doubt my favorite anime I've seen; watch at your own risk, you may be compelled to obey.