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.
The show is intelligent and frustrating. It is exciting and gut wrenching. My biggest issue with the show is the fact that a lot of good characters are killed off. This is played very well. I actually enjoy the out comes of this, but there are a few moments in the show that will make you want to rage quit. If you do, you will not like the show. If you stick through you will full enjoy it, even if you hate it. That sounds contradictory, but it is fitting. I do not know anyone who has watched through the end and thought it was good or decent. Every description of the show is highly polarized. Every person has things the love and things they hate, there is rarely middle ground. Often people love to hate the show or hate to love it. I really appreciate that.
I love the story telling. I love the world and it’s design. I hate the belief system. I hate the Geass ability and how it is used. I however, also, love the show. It is difficult to explain. I love how the main characters constantly match each others moves. There is no moral good in the show, everything is visible and destructible. Even the most solid characters and ideas can be ripped to pieces. In fact if you are going to watch the show, you must watch it all the way through, both seasons, otherwise you are wasting your time.
There is an annoying amount of fan-service. The mecha battles are quite good. The characters are portrayed amazingly. All I can really say is, I love the show, but watch it at your own risk.