Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.
Code Geass was broadcast in Japan on MBS from October 6, 2006 to July 29, 2007. Its sequel series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, ran as a simulcast on MBS and TBS from April 6, 2008 to September 28, 2008. The series has also been adapted into various manga and light novels with the former showing various alternate scenarios from the TV series. Bandai Entertainment also licensed most parts from the franchise for English release in December 2007, airing the two TV series on Adult Swim. Most manga and light novels have also been published in North America by Bandai. A compilation film trilogy that recapped the events from both seasons of the anime series, with altered storylines for various characters, was released in 2017 and 2018. A new film, titled Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, taking place after the Zero Requiem of the recap films’ universe, was released in theaters on February 9, 2019.
The anime television series has been well received in Japan, selling over a million DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes. Both seasons have won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Critics have praised the series for its narrative, characters, strong voice acting, large audience appeal as well as the cross conflicts shown among the main characters and the moral questions presented.
Lelouch vi Britannia is an exiled Britannian prince, son of Emperor Charles zi Britannia and his royal consort Marianne vi Britannia. Lelouch has a sister, Nunnally vi Britannia. Marianne was brutally murdered in the palace and Nunnally, who witnessed the murder of their mother, was so traumatized she lost both her sight and ability to walk. Lelouch is furious with his father, believing his father failed his mother and sister by turning a blind eye to their mother’s death and failing to pursue their mother’s killer.
Lelouch and Nunnally are sent as political pawns to Japan to lull the Japanese government into a false sense of security. After the siblings are sent to Japan, Japan is attacked and defeated by Britannia. With the ruins of Japan as a background, Lelouch vows to his Japanese friend Suzaku Kururugi that he will one day obliterate Britannia as an act of vengeance against his father.
Seven years later, Lelouch (now going by the name Lelouch Lamperouge), is now a popular yet withdrawn student at Ashford Academy. Lelouch becomes involved in a terrorist attack and finds a mysterious girl called C.C. (C2), who saves Lelouch’s life from the Britannian Royal Guard, by making a contract with him and granting Lelouch a power known as Geass. This power, also known as the “Power of Kings”, allows him to command anyone to do whatever he wants, including bending their will to live, fight, or die on his behalf. This power can affect an individual just once and only through direct eye contact. Lelouch decides to use his Geass to find his mother’s murderers, destroy the Britannian Empire, and create a better world where Nunnally can live happily. In the process, Lelouch becomes Zero, a masked vigilante and the leader of the resistance movement known as The Black Knights, gaining popularity and support among the Japanese on his way towards the rebellion of Britannia. However, this does not come without a cost. Caught up in a conflict where he does not know the full extent of his powers, Lelouch will have to battle Suzaku, a resistance member named Kallen Stadtfeld, the strongest army in the world, his own half-siblings, and many others in a battle that will forever change the world.
Lelouch Vi Britannia
the Eleventh Prince of the Britannian Imperial Family and seventeenth in line for the throne. His father is the Britannian Emperor, Charles zi Britannia, and his mother was Marianne vi Britannia. For questioning his father’s cold apathy of his mother’s assassination and his sister Nunnally’s disablement, Lelouch and Nunnally were sent to Japan as political hostages. Taken into the residence of the Prime Minister of Japan, Lelouch and Nunnally soon formed a strong friendship with the Prime Minister’s son, Suzaku Kururugi. When Britannia invaded Japan, he went into hiding with his sister, taking refuge with the Ashford family. Seven years later, he discovers C.C., who grants him a Geass that allows him to command any person to follow his subsequent order. Seeking to build a peaceful world for his sister even though all she wants is to be with him, he begins to orchestrate a revolution, pursuing the destruction of Britannia under the guise of his masked alter-ego, Zero. As Zero, he creates a military force known as the Black Knights, formed from the members of a group originally known as the Japanese Resistance.
is Lelouch’s childhood friend and son of Japan’s last prime minister, Genbu Kururugi. He murdered his father when he was a child in the belief that it would end the war between Britannia and Japan, but only paved the way for Japan’s conquering. Traumatized, he also begins to find a way to liberate Japan. However, in stark contrast to Lelouch, he claims to support reformism and that achieving results by wrong or illegal methods is meaningless, wanting to change Britannia from within. As such, he is aligned against Zero’s Black Knights, but nevertheless intent on changing the Britannian Empire for the better. In reality, however, this is an illusion, as Suzaku actually wishes to be KIA in order to atone for his father’s death. Suzaku is an Honorary Britannian and part of the Britannian army, later becoming the pilot of the experimental Knightmare Frame Lancelot as a member of the R&D Division. In the second season, Suzaku is granted a position in the Knights of the Round by the Emperor for his capture of Zero. At the same time, however, he becomes a repeatedly hypocritical antivillain, focusing on publicly exposing and killing Lelouch in an attempt to avenge the death of his girlfriend, Euphemia, and is not above murdering and torturing others to get his way. Over the course of the second season, he slowly starts to see the error in his ways, and eventually becomes part of the Zero Requiem.
is an immortal “witch” who bestows the power of Geass upon Lelouch under the condition he grants her greatest wish, later revealed to be for Lelouch, let alone anyone, to kill her. She oversees Lelouch’s activities and assists in his plans in order to ensure that he remains alive to fulfill their contract. She is the main female protagonist of the series. Lelouch often refers to her as the witch and himself as the “demon lord”. She is seen to be quite close to Lelouch and advises him whenever he is feeling lost. C.C. often comes to get Lelouch out of a tough situation when his identity is about to be revealed. Despite this, she routinely gets on his nerves, often sneaking out without his permission or ordering Pizza Hut (which sponsors Code Geass in Japan) with his credit card.
is a half-Britannian, half-Japanese teenage girl. Her father is Britannian and her mother is an Eleven; her father comes from a prestigious Britannian family, known as the Stadtfeld family, which Kallen benefits from. She attends the Ashford Academy, where she pretends to be a sickly, milquetoast student to explain her prolonged absences and changes her appearance. She later becomes a member of its student council and one of the school’s most outstanding students. In school, she is known by her legal name but she prefers her mother’s maiden name, and goes by the alias Kallen Kōuzuki (紅月カレン Kōzuki Karen) during her revolutionary activities. Kallen is initially a member of a Japanese resistance cell led by Ohgi, using her brother’s death as motivation, and later joins Zero’s Black Knights. She is the group’s most talented pilot and on par with the Knights of the Round. Throughout the series, her devotion to Zero is unmatched among any of the other members of the Black Knights, almost being Lelouch’s female counterpart. Conversely, she dislikes Lelouch, despite constant remarks from others about intimacy in their relationship, and is dismayed when her Knightmare rival, Suzaku, reveals that Lelouch and Zero are the same person. However, when she learns more about Lelouch’s noble desires via C.C. and Nunnally, she helps protect his identity and ultimately develops feelings for him.