code geass 1

Sunrise and CLAMP sititng in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G…

(It’s hard not to talk about this episode without giving parts of it away. Still, I don’t consider them major spoilers… it is just episode 1 after all. So be warned.)


If you told me that Sunrise was using CLAMP character designs for an anime series about rollerskating giant mecha a week ago, I would have been like a puppy dog getting a tummy rub. The unintentional comedic potential is just tremendous. But, the funny thing is, Code Geass is one of the strongest shows of Fall 2006.

In a dystopic (for Japan) future, Japan has been overrun by the “Britannia” Empire. Honestly, they don’t even show Europe on the map and just the US. It’s unapologically a commentary on the US, but, whatever. Britannia has conquered Japan using rollerblading mecha called “Nightmare.” (Nightmare is also the OP to the new season of Law and Order: Loli Demon Services Unit as well as the singer for the OP/ED to Death Note. I have no point.) Some time has passed, and the occupation of Japan– err– Area 11 is going smoothly save a few random terrorist attacks.


Imagine the beginning of Gundam Seed. A coordinator student gets involved in a war against his fellow coordinators and his best childhood friend. He also befriends a special girl who is on the other side as well. Code Geass follows Lulu (voiced by Jun Fukuyama; Keita in Inukami), in prime Kira role, as a Britannia student in Area 11. He gets caught up in a terrorist attack and finds himself up against his childhood friend, Suzaku, who is now in the Britannia army… and Lulu also finds CC, a mysterious girl that Britannia has been keeping secret. Now imagine Athrun and Lacus dying before the end of episode 1. That’s Code Geass.

This is the first show this season that made me wonder, “OMFG, what time does episode two air?” when it was over. It’s pretty gripping, if only because we’re left to wonder what Lulu will do now after receiving his new power (jagan!) and seeing all this bloodshed. And, yes, there’s tons of bloodshed. Genocide? You got it.


The animation quality is what I’d expect from Sunrise– no complaints– everything is fluid, and the character designs from CLAMP seem odd at first like a shoujo boarding school anime is going to break out anytime; however, it works. It’s actually a good change of pace from typical Sunrise character designs and is an improvement over the GSD designs at least. The mecha is more hit-and-miss. Since we’ve already been exposed to surfing robots, I guess rollerblading robots isn’t that much more of a stretch, but interestingly, the original Nightmares looked more like military machines. The newer models lose the industrial look and are more gaudy… just like comparing a Zaku to Providence Gundam.

One cavaet is that there’s a commoner/noble understory in Code Geass. I’m so sick of this setup– it’s like vampires– enough already. I had to suffer through noble and commoners in Kiddy Grade, Zero no Tsukaima, Innocent Venus, Pumpkin Scissors, and now this? Enough is enough. Class struggles just aren’t interesting when compared to pretty much any other source of conflict. Even Ebichu vs a telephone. Can we get maybe something like lefties vs righties or innies vs outties instead?


While I’m not exactly thrilled that they killed off all the characters right after introducing them, this is Sunrise, so I expect them to be up and alive and wearing opera masks within the next ten episodes. Furthermore, since it is Sunrise, I’m actually expecting a fairly fun and entertaining ride. Despite my well documented love-love relationship with the studio, they always seem to pump out great anime the first time around– Gundam Seed and Mai Hime weren’t exactly shabby, and Zegapain is a serviceable mecha series. Nevertheless, if even Code Geass pulls a Destiny on us, the series will still be watchable for the train wreck factor. It’s a win-win series to follow. Now excuse me while I anxiously await episode two.

33 Responses to “code geass 1”

  1. probably the first series this season that deserves to be taken seriously.

  2. ahahahahahaha… ::snort::


    Interesting show, but I take it as much as I take nippon banzai! seriously

    Foor me once, shame on you Japan.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.

  3. *awaits subs*

  4. ^ subs are out …

    Ever so often, when they aren’t trying to capitalized too badly, Sunrise can make really greats shows. And I am betting on Code Geass to deliver… even if they have the most ridiculous names: Lelouch! What were his parents smoking when they named him? “If we have a girl we will name her Lulu, if we have a boy we will name him … LULU!”

  5. awesome first episode!!

  6. I can’t agree more with your comments. The first episode was gripping, and the second episode was just straight out frenetic in pacing, but was so much fun. It’s almost as if they “learned” something from the disaster that was GSD. As scary as the idea of CLAMP working with Sunrise, it actually turned out pretty good. Kind of like how people were shocked when Square said they’d make a game with Disney characters.

  7. Ebichu vs. Telephone >>> Class struggle

    Awesome observation.

  8. this is like the love child of gundam seed and death note, fun enough to follow so far though, though i like ep 2 less than first

  9. what happens when luna and shinn get together with sunrise and clamp…well they op to have there love child star in a new series!(that or the wierdest orgy in all history)

    i swear to god the similarities are freaking scary…thank god theres no overpowered mech that just happens to be given to said charactar….damn better not jinx it

  10. holy crap that first picture reminds me of emo shinn…actually those are bad flashbacks

    thank god sunrise isnt doing this alone…we’d have a trainwreck 7 states long involving lulu’s gender switch(explains his name lol) and how he met CC when he was six and somehow got her to want him…badly…and then lulu goes and findes…er X102-523298775jsk2399w/e Gundam SuperPWNER!??!!?!HAXOR!!WTFXD and goes and fights a war cause hes bored….or wins MVP in mecha skating for his awesome 360s lol…

  11. Here in France, we have a famous movie director called Claude Lelouch. Can’t help thinking about him when I hear about this anime. But I like the name, it’s fun to pronounce: Luh-loosh.

  12. Innoncent Venus already has roller skating mechs (well power suits but anything 9 feet and taller is a mech) so the knightmares are nothing special besides being fugly…and note that big white and gold mecha (the Lancelot…*snort*…don’t try too hard Sunrise) in the OP…there’s your overpowered mecha right there…enough said…

  13. SEED was watchable – SEED Destiny, though… no.

    We’ll see how this goes – but they honestly can’t get much WORSE than what they’ve done in the past. They did flub up some interesting concepts, unfortunately (Stargazer), so I don’t expect too much from this.

  14. First comes love
    Then comes marriage
    That better not be Koizumi and Abe’s love child in that baby carriage

    Britannia wow, how deliciously unsubtle. Still it looks like the military industrial look got shafted in favor of pretty bauble and a pseudo French Monarchy with a dash of Prussian uniform style. Despite the overt propaganda being played out here this looks like one helluva shit storm. Yes America pwns all! We will out tech you by not one but two ages! Banzai can’t save you, the meat ball can’t save you, nothing can save you mwhahahahaha! Zig Zeon Mien Kaiser. :P Now if only my ride were as well protected as a Nightmare and if my dress uniform looked half as spiffy…

    My next bet on Propaganda anime will be about North Korea, China, those “cheating” South Koreans who play football much better, and those “big Barbarian” Aussies and their lousy 3-1. ;) Still that is one mighty persecution complex.

  15. Wow, when did America get reconquered by Great Britain? Sounds like its time for a second American Revolution. Maybe Lulu can get President Michel Wilson to help out in Japan after he frees America.

  16. This is one of the better series this season, isn’t it?

    …I want something like Simoun again, though…

  17. Hey, you know, all history is the history of class struggle. What are you going to talk about aside from classes?

    Rollerblading mecha isn’t that much of a stretch for me. Many manga have asserted that the biggest problem of making real mecha is the up-down motion of the entire frame which will make the pilot incredibly uneasy by jolting him all the time. So wheels on the feet should solve that problem while still retaining the humanoid motif.

  18. >>Hey, you know, all history is the history of class struggle. What are you going to talk about aside from classes?

    All history is not the history of class struggle you know, the Hundred Years war was not about a bunch of peasants lining up to kill the king. The Crusades were not about the proletariat rising against the cursader states and Saladin. The Bolshevik revolution despite resulting in Lenin’s victory did not result in the realization of Karl Marx’s theories. The whole mess in Africa is not a class struggle. However aside from quoting Marx there are other conflicts to explore such as men vs women, man vs machine, man vs nature, man vs himself, man vs the supernatural, and my favorite Stalin vs Trotsky! ;) Conflict and war are more complex than most people realize all sorts of ugliness can come into play if you look deep enough. Class warfare is not the be all end all of the sorry state of affairs.

  19. That’s it. I’m sold on this show. Since both Jason and Garten have now recommended it I’m watching it to at least see the first episode. I do have to wonder about the patriotic undertones, but perhaps those will die down later.

  20. >Now imagine Athrun and Lacus dying before the end of episode 1.

    I love this show already.

  21. Sunrise is awesome this season.

    Code Geass has as much potential to be the great just as much as mecha has potential to be ignored, Bakumatsu Irokanwhatever whatever is argubly the dark horse of this season, and Kekkaishi is proving the be the next good Sunrise lite-shounen of the season after the good stuff that were Gintama, Keroro, Yakitate Japan… Not to mention all of them reeks of high production values


  22. Oh, I nearly forgot.

    It’s KNIGHTmare Frame, not Nightmare.

    Leave it to Sunrise to fork out ANOTHER Engrish.

  23. When I summarized the show to a friends of mine, I told him it’s “the main character of Deathnote gifted with powers usually bestowed to villains in a psychic drama thrown into a revoluting-themed show with mechs”.
    Really, there’s some real similarities between..uh…Lulu here and Yagami Raito.

  24. engrish needs to be recognized as a real language, especially since everyone can speak it XD

    cause of Code Geass i started wondering what if athrun and lacus had died in the begining of seed…mabye then kira wouldnt be so damn retarded lol

  25. Nothing to do with this post, but i got an “account exceding CPU quota” error while trying to get to the site (error on

  26. That happens when server traffic spikes, usually due to a spambot.

  27. Lulu’s no Kira. (Bad grammar…) No, really. I’ve watched the first and second episodes (raw, so I didn’t understand much, but…) and Lulu’s… crazy. Really. He makes people shoot themselves and uses the rebellion shamelessly, not to mention cursing them when they fail.

    Suzaku’s not dead. He survives in the most cliche way ever. I don’t know about CC though. In the end of the first episode, Lulu has a halucination about her grabbing his hand when she gives him that power, but then we see that she never actually moved… So, maybe she’s in his head. Or she’s going to be cloned. (Remember all those kids in the ‘native’ outfits with the red bird tattoos on their foreheads…)

    But yeah, this show is cool in how absolutely messed up it is.

    What bothers me most is the giant cast. There’s the Britannia side, the rebellion, Lulu’s school friends… any one group would be enough for most anime, but all three together is just… yeah.

    I wonder, how many of them are related?

  28. All commentary on the story aside, I thought the mechs looked pretty bad. I hope they didn’t leave even the mech designs to CLAMP. If they were going for the industrial look, something resembling Zakus would have worked better.

  29. Now if they had shown me just the OP for this show
    I would have believed that this is a rerun of the show
    that was shown at 6:30 on Sunday morning…

  30. This anime is fun to watch. It’s definitly one of the best anime of the year!

    In the 2nd episode, Lelouch jacked one of the Knightmare frame thingy using his amazing power. He leaded the civilian fighters from Area 11 fought back and they wiped out the entire Britannia army thx to Lelouch’s intellegent brain. They alomst ended the massacre until the still-alive-Suzaku came back with a super strong and fast mecha….

    At the end of the episode, Lelouch revealed his true identity in front of the 3rd Prince of Britannia Empire. It was quiet shocking and exciting~

    Oh man I can’t wait to see the next episode~

  31. lelouch reminds me of kelhus from “Prince Of Nothing” its a book im reading (there are three) anyways this kelhus guy pretty much commands just about everyone without them knowing it (ends up becoming a prophet) and has a zillion people following him…

    now lelouch= crazy royal teenager who somehow gets the rebels to pwning the britannia army…now switch that too lotr style and you get the prince of nothing series

  32. what i find to be interesting is that hes notthis god character, like kira in gundam seed… his power has limits and that shows why this series will be the best this season .

  33. this is exactly like metabots. METABOTS! RO-BATTLE!

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