Directed by Goro Taniguchi, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is considered a masterpiece by many fans so my opinion on this anime will be unpopular.
This is not to say I think Code Geass is a bad anime, because it is not, but I certainly do not consider it to be the masterpiece a lot of people say it is.
Still, there are many fantastic features in this anime that I really enjoyed and made me understand why people think so highly of it.
One of these features is the main character Lelouch vi Brittania, an exiled prince of a conquering nation, known as Brittania.
After the death of his mother, and witnessing the atrocities commited during Brittania’s occupation of Japan, Lelouch swears revenge.
His opportunity comes when a mysterious girl, named C2, gifts him with the power of Geass, which allows him to control anyone just by looking at them.
Adopting the persona of Zero, Lelouch sets out to defeat Brittania, liberate Japan, and make a better world for his sister Nunnally.
Lelouch is an amazing main character, with his growth from beginning to end being nothing short of spectacular.
He really reminded me of Light Yagami from Death Note, however, unlike him, Lelouch is fully aware of how terrible some of the acts he commits are, which makes him all the more compelling.
A lot of the supporting cast are also great with characters like C2, Kallen and Xingke being particular standouts.
The action of the series is engaging, with giant mechs known are Knightmares being used in most of the fights, and many of the story beats are very compelling, with episodes 22-25 and the final few episodes providing some amazing scenes.
However, all of this greatness is weighed down by various problems, which, for me, brought down the anime quite a bit.
Despite the fact that there are many great episode of Code Geass, there are also some that are not so much.
Any time the series would focus on Lelouch’s school and friends it would get pretty boring for me because I did not care for many of the characters involved in these storylines.
Speaking of characters, besides those I mentioned earlier, I did not care for many others.
The character of Nina, for example, came across as a creepy stalker who has one of the most cringe inducing scenes in anime.
You know the one I am talking about.
Even when I did like a character, the anime would often take them in a direction that led me towards hating them.
Suzaku Kururugi is a perfect example of this.
At the beginning of Code Geass, Suzaku is Lelouch’s childhood friend but he is cooperating with Britannia to ensure peace.
This creates a great dynamic between him and Lelouch because of their opposing world views but this changes for the worse when Suzaku becomes a complete hypocrite, ruining this dynamic and making Suzaku very unlikable.
Worse still, the way some storylines concluded were downright terrible.
Season one ends on an epic cliffhanger in episode 25 and I was dying to know what would happen next.
Then, when I went to watch the first episode of season two, I discovered that the storyline the previous season had ended on had been completely thrown away to basically restart the story.
So many scenes in the ending moments of the previous season are undone, making it pointless.
Looking into the production issues Code Geass faced, I know why this happened, but it does not change that, for me, the way season two picks up from season one is terrible.
Then there is the rushed way certain things are introduced or handled, the fact that some character arcs are set up but never resolved.
Finally, there are some storylines that are repeated so much that it gets aggravating.
I lost count of how many times a character experienced amnesia or flat out lost their entire memory.
All of these problems moved towards damaging the series for me.
As I said, Code Geass has some fantastic elements and these make it more than worth watching.
However, at the same time, it has numerous story and character problems that drag it away from being a fantastic anime, for me.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is a good anime that had a lot of potential, but its numerous problems stop it from reaching that potential.