To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the worldwide smash anime; Code Geass, Funimation and director Gorō Taniguchi have lovingly put together a recap movie of the show’s first season entitled Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 1 – Initiation. In similar vein to the recent release of the Attack on Titan recap movie, this is a great way for a new audience to experience this alternative reality story whilst also giving long time fans a well crafted version of a world they know and love.
Set an alternative reality, Code Geass follows the story of Lelouch Lamperouge, the son of the Emperor of Britannia (one of the three superpowers on Earth). After the death of his mother, Lelouch and his blind sister Nunnally are sent to Area 11 (formally known as Japan) to be used as a bargaining chip in Britannia’s bid for complete rule over earth. As Lelouch grows older he sees exactly what Britannia is doing and, after meeting a mysterious girl called C.C., gains the Geass power to control minds and vows to end Britannia’s tyrannical rule as the vigilante Zero.
As with the Attack on Titan movie, Code Geass: Initiation takes the entire first show and packs it into a 135 minute runtime. I personally first experienced the anime about ten years ago and haven’t been back since so most of the material was hazy in my memory at best. But seeing key events unfold soon brought the memories back and a smile to my face.
The main issue with this jam-packed anime is that the plot is, at points, difficult to follow even for fans and suffers with pacing issues. The start is slow but eventually builds to some dramatic reveals and action set pieces before being brought down to earth for exposition and side plots to be loosely explored before jumping straight back into an explosive and shocking finale.
Now, that being said, that is the only real issue with this streamlined version. The story and world it sets up is truly captivating and full of surprises. This is not your average young teen anime. In fact, it’s a very adult affair as complicated international politics issues are present along with many characters including our lead Lelouch dealing with incredibly powerful morale conflicts during his arc.
For long time fans of the anime, this will be a perfect way to revisit a favourite but I can only imagine what this intense and energetic sci-fi drama may be like for newcomers to follow on first watch. That being said, the film ends with an elegantly timed cliffhanger that will have audiences waiting for the second movie this October with bated breath.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 1 – Initiation was released in UK Cinemas nationwide for one night only on Wednesday 21st March with more independent dates to be added in the coming weeks.