"Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion" is a twenty-five episode Japanese anime series that had recently stopped airing late July of 2007. The series is written by Ichiro Okouchi and is directed by Goro Taniguchi. It seems to be very political with a mix of fantasy, mecha, and science fiction. The year of the series takes place in 2017 as Japan transformed itself into an isolationist nation as it didn’t have the necessary resources to wage war with anybody. Because Japan isolated itself, Great Britain calling itself the Britannian Empire allied with France and took over Japan. In turn, Japan is dubbed as "Area 11" as it seems to be a dystopia as the European nobles reign supreme.
Because Japan was isolationist as a result, the Holy Empire of Britannia overpowered them by their weapons called "Knightmare Frames" which are giant humanoid looking mechas. Because of the superior weapons, Japan lost the war. The Japanese were renamed "Elevens" and are forced to live a life of poverty in the ghettos and the slums. However, dystopia isn’t without dissidents and rebels as the rebellion caused and fought the empire for Japan’s independence. In a sense, it’s reminiscent of "Banlieue 13" but without the mechas.
The Knighmare Frames play an important part as they are the main mobile armors that are used in combat. They use a system of self-propelled roller skates to gain speed and mobility making them far superior.
The main character is Lelouch Lamperouge who is a student at the Ashford Academy. He is apart of the royal bloodline of the Holy Empire of Britannia. By some chance he encounters his best friend Suzaku since childhood. Suzaku is a soldier of the Britannian military. Refusing to kill Lelouch, Suzaku is shot from behind and left for dead. He runs off with the girl he and Suzaku found named C.C. The girl gets shot in the head but bestows Lelouch the power of Geass which is "Power of the King". It allows for Lelouch to make blindly obey his orders as it doesn’t last permanently.
Lelouch uses it to make the military soldiers commit suicide. He then reveals himself as Lelouch Vi Britannia a prince of the Holy Empire of Britannia as swears to take it down. From then, he uses the power to hypnotize an elite soldier before stealing her Knightmare. He comes in just in time to witness a battle between the Britannian forces and the rebels. Lelouch assists the rebels by secretly giving orders to wipe out the Britiannian forces destroying the Shinjuku ghetto and trying to eradicate everybody living inside.
Due to Lelouch’s help, the rebels get the better of the forces. The powers of Geass also provide valuable help for Lelouch to give out those orders. However, Lelouch tends to go a bit power crazy as it gets to his head. He takes on the identity of the mysterious "Zero" to continue his fight against the Britannian Empire. While leading the rebellion known as the Black Knights, Lelouch continues his studies at the Ashford Academy. It’s the perfect guise of Lelouch.
He works with the rebellion but uses them to his own advantage. While the Black Knights want to liberate Japan, Lelouch merely wants to take revenge for his mother’s murder and the crippling of his sister Nunally. It’s also revealed that female rebel is also a student at the Ashford Academy named Karen Stadtfeld but goes by the name of Karen Kozuki.
The powers of Geass are great but do not work on the same person twice. The series presents that one must use those powers responsibly. Meaning, Lelouch cannot depend on those powers all of the time.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion presents the interesting possibility of what would happen if a country had developed superior battle technology. It also presents the possibility of what would the oppressors do to the country while the citizens are treated as garbage. The series also presents the interesting possibility on how the military and the new government would use the media to cover up their actions.
Despite from the action and bloodshed in the series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion definitely has a web of political intrigue in the form of conspiracies. As the airing of the series has finished, the chances that a North American dubbed release of Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion will not happen overnight. The series is only aired in Japan at the moment and probably will not be aired anytime in North America for at least one to two years.
Currently, there’s a sequel to the series that is in production. If you’re a fan of science fiction and mecha, you may enjoy Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. Most political and military science majors may find plenty of intellectual value of it. One could say it could mirror what Bush’s administration is doing according to its foreign policy. But, it’s one interesting series to watch.