“To defeat evil, I must become greater evil.”
The title of this article refers to the first episode of Code Geass. Code Geass is set in an alternate universe, after Japan’s conquest by Holy Britannian empire stripping it’s citizens of all rights & freedom. Lelouch is a Britannian prince who gave up his right to the throne after his mother was murdered & has vowed to destroy his father, the Emperor of Britannia. He gains the ability of Geass granted by the mysterious girl C.C. , becomes the leader of resistance movement to fulfill his two wishes: to seek revenge for his mother & to construct a world in which his beloved sister Nunally can live happily.
The main protagonist is Lelouch, a high school student. It’s hard not to compare him with Light Yagami of Death Note. Lelouch is a revenge driven genius who would dare to go against the world to reach his goals. He directs terrorist group by radio, controlling them & anticipating the moves of Britannia an forces like a game of chess. Both Light & Lelouch have the power of God. But Lelouch knew he was no God. He understood his responsibilities & executed his plans without letting it get to his head. He appears as both protagonist & antagonist which leads you truly thinking what is actually good or evil.
The plot focuses on geo-political climate posing questions on nationalism, racism, genocide, war. As it is in war, there is no good or evil, all the characters have their own motivations for what they do. Betrayal & changing sides, lies & deception can be found around every corner along with incredible plot twists & character development. Writer Ichiro Okyouchi & director Goro Taniguchi pack every episode with immersive story & intense scenes but does not offer any sense of right & wrong, good or evil that will leave you questioning the significance of war & how evolution of war can affect people’s lives. Every episode ends in marvelous cliffhangers. The action scenes are also a treat. From assualt to massive warfare, the battles are breathtaking & supremely choreographed. The conflict between both sides will lead to some of the most intense scenes that ever graced on screen.
Recently Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection was released as sequel to the finale of the original anime series. Director Goro Taniguchi said that it’s impossible to make anything like Code Geass these days because people prefer more slice-of-life or light hearted series. Only few series (Death Note, Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc.) can match the intensity of Code Geass. However it’s a completely different story all together.
If there is any quote that can describe Code Geass it’s:
“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villian.”