Code Geass: A Generational Masterpiece 

There are, however, a handful of fictional tales that have affected me right to the core and stuck with me. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (“Code Geass“) is one of those tales. An anime series broken into two parts, Code Geass is an anime that was introduced to me by someone very special and dear to me, which makes the series all the more important and one that’s close to my heart.

The anime follows Lelouch vi Britannia, the exiled Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire, who now goes by Lelouch Lamprouge, as he receives the power of Geass, the ability to command others to do as he wills. With such power, Lelouch decides to use it to find out the truth about his mother’s death, seek revenge on his father, the Emperor, who had banished him, and create a better world for his sister to live happily after.

The story of Code Geass is set in an alternate history in which the USA never gained independence, and so the greatest global superpower is the Britannian Empire. In this timeline, Britannia continued to colonise many countries around the world, including Japan, whose flag and national identity were stripped and reduced to the name of Area Eleven.

The rest of the plot revolves entirely around Lelouch and what he does with this newfound power. In order to understand his actions, then, we must first have to examine what his motivations are — and it is here that lies the essence of Code Geass. You see, it is never actually perfectly apparent at any given point what Lelouch’s motivations truly are. Why is that? you may ask. Is it because the writers got lazy? Well, I can neither confirm nor deny that. However, what is apparent is that Lelouch himself doesn’t know what his motivations truly are at some points in the show, and that, to me, is one of the major insights into what makes Code Geass (and in particular, the character of Lelouch) so special.

However, the show makes sure never to tell you who is “correct”. In fact, in regards to Lelouch’s rivalry with his childhood friend Suzaku, the show makes it blindingly obvious as it goes on that both parties are hypocrites of the highest order — the only decision for you to make, as the viewer, is who you think is the bigger one. This is the key point of Lelouch’s characterisation that allows him to retain so much complexity as a character — that he’s not some perfect Gary Stu-like figure, but is rather precisely the opposite.

Without diving into too much detail so as to not spoil this amazing anime for you, Code Geass is by far one of the best anime series out there and is one that will leave you suffering from ‘the feels’. There’ll be moments which will make you chuckle and there’ll be some that may leave you in tears. Either way, I’m sure you’ll feel satisfied having watched this show, which will likely leave you pondering your own sense of morality and justice in today’s world.

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