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April 13, 2012

Anime Review: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch

An entertaining anime series that is full of surprises at every turn. The action in superb, story is engaging and the characters are cool. This is what makes Code Geass worth watching.

Code Geass: Hangyaku no LelouchSynopsis:
On August 10th of the year 2010 the Holy Empire of Britannia began a campaign of conquest, its sights set on Japan. Operations were completed in one month thanks to Britannia's deployment of new mobile humanoid armor vehicles dubbed Knightmare Frames. Japan's rights and identity were stripped away, the once proud nation now referred to as Area 11. Its citizens, Elevens, are forced to scratch out a living while the Britannian aristocracy lives comfortably within their settlements. Pockets of resistance appear throughout Area 11, working towards independence for Japan.

Lelouch, an exiled Imperial Prince of Britannia posing as a student, finds himself in the heart of the ongoing conflict for the island nation. Through a chance meeting with a mysterious girl named C.C., Lelouch gains his Geass, the power of the king. Now endowed with absolute dominance over any person, Lelouch may finally realize his goal of bringing down Britannia from within!

Review:
From a confusing start, Code Geass has proved to be one enjoyable anime. It shows a world which has been torn apart by war and political corruption. Hence, in this time, the Holy Empire of Britannia is basically a world power trying to take control of the world. We see much terror and destruction caused by such a power and also the struggles of the rebellion group. This leads to Lelouch taking over command and acquiring followers of his hidden identify 'Zero' in an effort to overturn the Britannian Empire. The story was engaging and there were many surprising turn of events and a lot of cold hearted killing. It may seem corny at first but it gets serious. Dead serious in the end.

Well, the art took some time to get used to. At first, the character's faces seemed a bit squished and their body proportions had something wrong about them. After a while, you will get used to all the characters and the mechs. The many places shown throughout the anime were well illustrated and very very detailed. Finally, after watching every episode you will have forgotten the character's squished faces completely. Of course, this art style was probably chosen dependant on the manga as a typical shounen anime.

Voice acting was excellent with the exception of a few characters. Is it just me or does Lelouch sounds so monotone and emotionless all the time? Given his dilemma and personal problems I think that was the case. The other characters were voices really well and I have no complaints there. C.C and Kallen's voices were well done. The theme songs were rather bland, I did not find them catchy enough. Think of your typical sci-fi shounen anime theme song. Yep. That's about it.

Characters are all the talk throughout this anime. basically the whole anime revolves around Lelouch and his cunning plan to take over the world to make it a better place to live in. Of course, this action will require much thought, planning and sacrifices to make it succeed. Many times you will have mixed emotions about him, you will feel love and hate at the same time. Also, C.C. is just cute. Kallen is your cool girl type and Suzaku is your valiant hero type. Enough said. The other characters were either quite boring or just humorous to fill in the gaps.

Overall, it was a wonderful anime to watch. I am surprised I actually liked it in the end. What a gerat way to end the series with a cliffhanger to get everyone on their toes for Code Geass: hangyaku no Lelouch R2. You will feel many mixed emotions throughout the anime and you will be unsure which character is the good guy or bad guy. It is all part of a big plan that gets unravelled as you watch throughout the series.

STORY: 8
What a great story that portrays a war between nations and groups. Entertaining to the very end.

ART: 7
Took some time to get used to the characters but the backgrounds were nicely illustrated. The mechs looked cool.

SOUND: 7
Good choices for voice casting. Theme songs were a bit bland. Overall, excellent presentation.

CHARACTER: 8
Some cute, cool and funny characters here and there. You will have many mixed emotions towards the main characters definitely.

ENJOYMENT: 8
Surprisingly well thought-out story with some nice plot twists.

OVERALL: 8
What's in store for us in the second series? Find out next!