Is Code Geass deserving of its fame?

Code Geass anime

More than fifteen years after it first aired, Code Geass continues to be one of the highest-rated shows on Myanimelist. The anime came out in 2006 and rose to the heights of popularity comparable to anime like Death Note. Despite being so highly regarded, the anime didn’t come without its fair share of evident flaws. With a diverse range of characters and interesting themes, the show fails to lead everything it introduces, to a satisfying end.

Everything gets wind up pretty well in the end but some characters and some subplots are left off without a proper closure for the sake of convenience. With that said, we can’t turn a blind eye to the popularity of the show. So let’s ponder over what makes Code Geass worthwhile and if all those elements make it deserving of its fame. 

Everything Worthwhile in Code Geass

Lelouch Lamparouge
Lelouch in the Zero Costume with his Geass | Image Courtesy via IMDb

When the conversation turns to the good parts of the anime, Lelouch easily takes the throne for being the best of them. The character development he goes through to become a selfless hero in the end is awe-inspiring. We get to see him as two different people, Zero and Lelouch.

  • Zero, he’s a commanding revolutionary fighting against the government to establish peace. He takes the necessary steps to reach his goal.
  • As Lelouch, we see him in a more grounded sense. His familiarity with the feeling of loss and the effects of oppression is reflected in his actions.
  • Every time his actions are unkind, we see him being weighed with a guilty conscience. He learns from his mistakes. Both roles help us warm up to him and his motivations.
Lelouch Code Geass
Lelouch Lamparouge | Image Courtesy via IMDb

The layers and nuance in his character are presented to us in the form of a fascinating hero, one whose journey is enjoyable to watch. Enjoyable and fascinating are strangely reminiscent of something else. Oh, the Spiel Anime Newsletter! It comes out twice every week with a fascinating range of topics. 

Character Development and Dynamics

CC Code Geass
Zero and C.C. | Image Courtesy via IMDb

Besides Lelouch, there are a great number of characters who contribute to the overall appeal of Code Geass. Kallen and C.C. support Lelouch but their characters are not present for that sole purpose. Kallen is strong and it’s admirable how she stands firm with what she believes in. On the other hand, C.C. is reliable and smart. Her character is easily the best-written only second to Lelouch. 

Suzaku shares the same vision as Lelouch but his ways to bring that vision to life are entirely different. He offers an interesting contrast that helps us understand the inner workings of the government. There are other great characters like Shirley, Cornelia, Lloyd, and Euphemia. 

Subplots and Themes

Suzaku Code Geass
Suzaku and Zero | Image Courtesy via IMDb

The anime explores the moral compass and war from different perspectives. Lelouch and Suzaku present to us the two sides of a coin. One being more ethical than the other. 

  • We have Zero and Suzaku who have the same goal, a peaceful world. Their ways of achieving the goal are entirely different. Suzaku believes in doing things ethically, becoming a part of the system, and changing things from within. We get a great look at his vision. Contrary to that, Zero challenges the ways of the government. He is a vigilante. 
  • The show explores war from a grand perspective as well as from a personal one. We see war from the eyes of the characters. Not just the ordinary citizens who bear the consequences but the royal family that plays a huge role in unraveling the chaos. 

Is Code Geass deserving of its fame?

Karen Code Geass
A still from Code Geass anime featuring Karen | Image Courtesy via IMDb

The primary criticism that stands out is the poor execution with rushed pacing. Season 2 takes off and the momentum is vastly different from the first season. There’s also an annoying amount of fan service which foils the overall experience. Unlike the main characters, some side characters are spared any significant development.

With all these flaws, there are a great number of things that make Code Geass so good. The anime offers everything from drama to adrenaline-inducing action scenes. The art style is colorful and distinctive. Overall Code Geass is easily an extremely enjoyable show with one of the best anime endings. The ending can have an entirely different discussion of its own but we’ll refrain from discussing that here. 

Conclusion

Suzaku and Lelouch
Code Geass also shows a great rivalry between Suzaku and Lelouch | Image Courtesy via IMDb

To sum it up, Code Geass presents to you a great number of things to enjoy. All these elements summed up with nostalgia make the anime worthy of its fame. The balance between the information-heavy parts and the enjoyment-heavy parts is quite commendable.

The fights, characters, and plot twists play a huge role in keeping you hooked on the story. Undoubtedly some things could’ve been done better, but the anime lives up to the initial promise it shows. And still an enjoyable watch after all these years, which is admirable, to say the least. 

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