Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Review: A Mixed Bag Just Like the Show.

3 stars
I have mixed feelings about Code Geass. 
On the one hand it has instances of brilliant writing, on the other hand it has instances of pretty terrible writing.
That said, it does have an incredible ending that makes a follow up extremely difficult to pull off.
In order to solve this problem, director Gorō Taniguchi decided to set this story in an alternate universe with a few minor changes to the original story… with mixed results as expected.

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The film has as many positives as it does negatives, just like the original anime.

Lelouch of the Re;surrection is set one year after Lelouch’s sacrifice during the Zero Requiem.
A revived Lelouch (Japanese Jun Fukuyama, English Johnny Yong Bosh) is under the care of C.C (Yukana and Kate Higgins) when his sister Nunnally (Kaori Nazuka and Rebecca Forstadt) and good friend Suzaku (Takahiro Sakura and Yuri Lowenthal) are kidnapped by the enemy nation of Zilkhistan.
Now C.C and the Black Knights must find a way to bring Lelouch back to his former self so he can rescue the two and defeat Zilkhistan.
The film is well voice acted, animated and scored, with some great action sequences throughout.
Along with this, the writing is occasionally great just like how it is occasionally great in the show.
Lelouch and C.C are definitely the highlights, with their relationship having a fantastic arc that ended the film well.

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The way Lelouch of the Re;surrection ends with Lelouch and C.C’s relationship is genuinely touching.

It was a lot of fun to see the man of miracles at work again, defeating his enemies using his brilliant tactics.
In particular, one prison sequence where Lelouch got to show off his skills is a terrifically fun sequence.
And then there’s the villains of the film who, while they are not really interesting characters, do have an interesting motivation.
Their actions show the consequences of the Zero Requiem in a way that was believable and understandable.
Although, this does undermine the authenticity of the original ending somewhat.
Unfortunately, the issues of Lelouch of the Re;surrection don’t end there.
For starters, the changes to this story with the alternate universe don’t really have a point.
Take Shirley (Fumiko Orikasa and Amy Kincaid) for example.
She is brought back to life and the reason for this was so that she could sneak Lelouch’s body to C.C but this doesn’t really make any sense considering Shirley didn’t know C.C beforehand and she doesn’t have the skills to smuggle Lelouch’s body out.

Shirley
It felt like Shirley was kept alive just because the writer wanted her to be rather than there being a legitimate reason.

Not only this but a lot of the characters seem to forget Lelouch’s actions in the parts of the original story that are still canon.
Cornelia, weirdly enough, seems to be not as angry about Lelouch, you know, using his Geass on her sister Euphemia and then killing her.
Also, Oghi does something in this film that comes out of nowhere and feels really out of character.
And then there’s the problems with the original series that is carried over, chief among these being fan service.
Now, there is nothing wrong with fan service but does it have to come during these big emotional moments.
I can’t get invested in a scene where C.C encourages Lelouch during a dire moment if the shot spends so much time focusing on her private parts.
It makes these scenes comical rather than emotional.
Still, despite these problems, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection is a good film.
It does have occasional moments of brilliance, even if they are bogged down by problems, both old ones from the original show and new ones entirely.

 

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – An Unpopular Opinion.

3 and a half stars
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.

Code Geass cast.jpg
Code Geass has some great characters, specifically its main character Lelouch.

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.

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Please, for the love of god, do not let Nina anywhere near a table again. Please.

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.

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The way season two picks up from season one is a disaster, in my mind. It got good again, after a few episodes, but it still left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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.