Code Geass is in my book a classic anime. Not classic in the sense it is old, but classic in the sense that it was popular and at the same time polarized the people watching it. I loved the show. This was the first anime that I was ever hooked on, and it quickly became one of my favorites. Never before had I seen such a complex story mixed with beautiful and intense design. To this day, I love how the main characters and their relationship pushed and at times pulled the story along. Nothing felt wasted, nothing seemed to fanciful.
Code Geass starts in an alternate world. In this world, the Roman Empire failed in their conquest of The British Isles. This was because of mysterious powers known as Geass. Our story takes place at what would be modern day Tokyo. Britainia has conquered the Americas and is now based out of the USA (only it never became the USA.) About seven years before this story, Britania invades Japan and colonizes it and re-names it Area 11. However, in the past a Prince and Princess of Britania were traded to Japan and become stranded after the war. They are known to be dead, but aren’t really. They are in hiding. The prince, Lelouch, gains the power of Geass and thus begins his war of vengeance against Britania. His every move though is checked by his old friend and bitter rival Suzaku, who is fighting to change the system from the inside. What ensues is basically Death Note fused together with Gundam 00.
I avoided watching Code Geass for a long time, partly because I am picky about character design in anime (I happen to like my characters to be somewhat under eight feet tall), and partly because I had watched two episodes without beginning to care about any of the characters. In the end, two things made me change my mind. One came from the preparations I made before creating my anime fanart group at deviantART, in which I learned that Lelouch Lamperouge ranked third in the Anime-Planet poll for character all-time popularity (an influx of votes for Kakashi-sensei has since lowered Lelouch to fourth place). Granted this is not the most scientific poll in the world (nor does it claim to be), but when over twenty thousand named characters got ranked in that poll, scoring so high must mean something.
The other reason I gave Code Geass a second chance was TWWK’s earlier post on this series, in which he was clearly quite exercised, even appalled, at the violence later on in the series. I couldn’t help being curious about the show that elicited this response from him. Of course, since TWWK wrote this essay with a backdrop of real violence happening too close to home, and since he didn’t know Code Geass would go in that direction whereas his post gave me the benefit of being prepared for it, there was no possible way I could react as he did. Still, I am holding off watching the last two episodes in the first season, so as to put myself in as similar a position as possible to TWWK’s when he wrote his post.
(SPOILER WARNINGS for Code Geass, Death Note, and Steins;Gate below!)
From time to time, a reader will send us a question about our thoughts on certain series or various ideas related to religion. For instance, Albert asked about iDOLM@STER, leading to one of our most popular posts.
In an effort to encourage further questions, I recently added an “Ask the Staff” button to our toolbar.
Do you have questions for us in regards to anime or manga? Christianity? Religion? Or anything else in between or all around? Please feel free to send it to us.
Esther, another reader, recently sent us this query:
Have you guys heard/watch/considered “Code Geass”? I think the ending had a great impact and I also think that it can relate to “sacrifice for a loved one” or just “sacrifice”. It’s a short series with just 25 ep. in 2 seasons. (50 in all) Great action scenes and connections.
Thanks for the question, Esther.
Indeed, most of us have watched (or are in the middle of watching) Code Geass. In fact, it’s one of Zeroe4’s favorite series.
I’m not as big of a fan. Well, more accurately, I was a huge fan until one particular scene affected me so deeply (in a negative way) that I dropped the show:
I turned the computer off and proceeded to be angry for days, thinking of little but this episode. I never did finish the series, and never will.
I’ve read a summary of the ending, though, and I agree with your analysis – maybe one day one of our writers will address this strong connection.
In the meantime, stay tuned! Your question is very timely because “The Professor” (R86) is working on a post for the series, which should be going up soon. Please check it out – he’s a gifted writer and I’m sure you’ll enjoy his thoughts.
And for everyone else, please send any questions you have our way!
Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Aniblogger Faith, the Number Three in Rinne no Lagrange, and Unmasking Lelouche
Jordan wrote an interesting article about the role one’s faith plays in watching anime, quoting Naru, Canne, and myself from interviews he conducted for the post. [The Otaku HQ]
Ephemeral Dreamer makes some wonderful connections between Rinne no Lagrange and various religious motifs, including those in Buddhism and Hinduism. [Ephemeral Dreamer]
Zeroe4 continues his “Under the Mask of Lies” series by examining Code Geass, reaching the conclusion that Christ can unmask us. [Zeroe4]
Also, wish Zeroe4 luck as he starts on his trip to Japan for Discipleship Training School! [Zeroe4]
As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere series of posts, each week, Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality. If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included.
From the writers that brought us Code Geass, we are graced this season with Guilty Crown. This was one of the few series I was excited for this season and while it got off to rushed start, it presents a promising premise.
First impressions through the first episode: “Genesis”
The episode starts out with a beautiful song about peace and the sorrow of why people have to fight. During the smooth song, we are thrown into a high tension escape of an oddly dressed girl who is being called a terrorist, together with her small robot companion called Funell. The chase ends with the girl falling off a bridge, then we cut to the next morning where our main character, Shu Ouma, tells about the current situation of Japan in the year 2029.
A virus called the “Apocalypse virus” spread and put Japan into a state of emergency. Beyond that, we are not told how this virus affects a person, but simply that Japan had to request aid from and is now under the martial law of foreign countries. Read the rest of this entry
This is the ninth in a series of Aniblogger Testimony posts, where select writers will discuss their personal faith. Today’s post is by Zeroe4. The previous posts in this series were written by Lauren Orisini, R86, Nikko, Arianna, Ed Sizemore, Canne, an anonymous blogger, and Annalyn.
When I was growing up, anime was the greatest thing ever. Pokémon was the pinnacle of anime fandom, except in my house. My mother had lived in Japan for a while and had a very negative view of anime. She viewed all anime as being sexually explicate and violent. So my mother did not allow any anime in here house. I learned to love Pokémon through my best friend. Then my family moved.
I didn’t get back into anime tell the same best friend came to visit me and introduced me back into anime. I didn’t fall in love with anime till I saw Code Geass. It captured my imagination. The depth of characters, the amazing art style, the complex story, and above all, the Knightmare Frames all pulled me into the story. I was in love with anime. Read the rest of this entry
As I watched the 7th episode of OreImo (Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai) the other day, I felt a sort of uneasiness throughout. The episode was just as good as others so far. But…I just couldn’t get comfortable enough ti simply enjoy the show. I tried not to think too much as I watched and it wasn’t until the end of the episode that the reason for my discomfort hit me on the head.
Episode seven was flirting with crossing the line.
You know, the line. That invisible mark where one turns off their television or computer. The place where one sighs and leaves a series behind. The imaginary point where we move on to another series, like I did after the bloodbath episode of Code Geass.
The line is where we decide a show is no longer worthy of our attention. And I’m not talking about the quality of a show. I’m strictly discussing the point in which our morals, sensibilities, values, beliefs, conscience, religion – whatever it is – takes over and tells us that we won’t take anymore.
Truth be told, nothing in this episode was repugnant. In fact, some of you right now are thinking, “Why the heck would this guy stop watching OreImo because of this episode?” Well, first of all, I haven’t decided if the show has crossed that line for me yet – you see, lines are often blurry and not always straight-edged and bold. And secondly, I might stop watching because this was the first episode for me where the point was clearly to establish the beginning of a romantic relationship between Kyousuke and Kirino. Read the rest of this entry
I didn’t plan on writing yet another post, but real life has struck. If you haven’t heard, The University of Texas at Austin campus is on lockdown, as one of two gunman is still loose in on the university grounds. I work five blocks away from the PCL, UT’s main library, where the first suspect shot and killed himself. It’s mayhem around here – the sound of helicopters and police sirens are a constant outside my office. Meanwhile, I pray here silently for my friends on campus, including about 20 young people who are students of mine in a prayer class I teach. This is happening just a few months after another national news story involving Austin, when a man purposely crashed his plane into a building not far from my house.
Christians are often condemned for their seemingly hypocritical views of nudity v. violence, where the first is degraded and the latter often accepted. Personally, I’m a hater of senseless violence in media, or violence for the sake of art. Most of all, I hate when violence is used to titilate. Case in point: Keep reading, but be warned, a major Code Geass spoiler is ahead…