Posted by HelghastKillzone on 30 April 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy continuation of the series? Read ahead and find out what’s in store for Code Geass’s future.

Warning: Full Spoilers Ahead!!!

It has been thirteen years since the first episode of Code Geass first aired and its mixture of mecha, supernatural, school, drama, action and geopolitical maneuvering has gone down to become one of modern anime’s most iconic classics. However, following the conclusion of the R2 season, the mediocre Akito the Exiled film series and other short stories have failed to satisfies its fanbase demands for more content despite having a definitive conclusion to its original TV series. With that fact, the production committee is rather shrewd in how they went about rebooting the franchise with an alternate timeline through the release of a recompiled trilogy of movies. Studio Sunrise is the premiere production company (Mobile Suit Gundam) for animating mecha shows and they wisely forgo the full 3DCGI and rotating camera of the Akito the Exiled in favor of traditional 2D animation with 3D elements sprinkled in. It’s pretty much the same art style and framing of the TV show that has been upscaled and given extra details.

Normally, I wouldn’t go into the details of the plot as I write a post that assumes that the readers have already watched the movie but this is a special case as the movie hasn’t been publicly distributed yet and is not a direct continuation of the original series. For the casual Code Geass fan, all you need to know is that Shirley is still alive and that she and Jeremiah manages to successfully fake Lelouch’s death after Zero Requiem. Unfortunately, due to some complications of having the Code and Geass, Lelouch is reduced to a shadow of himself where his body is intact but his mind has fallen off the deep end into the abyss that is C’s world. C.C., unwilling to let Lelouch go without fulfilling the promise of ending her life, roams around the wilderness with him looking for a way to restore her accomplice mind. It was unsettling see Lelouch being absolutely useless, even more so than the beginning of R2 season and his brief appearance in Akito the Exiled, with some of the more powerful moments having C.C. shouldering all the burden. Elsewhere, every other member of the cast goes on with their lives by having children, opening up new cafes and remedying various world problems.

The real conflict of Lelouch of the Resurrection begins with Nunnally and Suzaku being kidnapped and setting the stage for a rescue operation. Movies like this have a tough time in conjuring up a good enough antagonist by either resorting to an old foe or bringing in new characters. They went with the latter option in the form of the Kingdom of Zilkistan, a nation of mercenaries and warriors, which finds itself obsolete in an era of complete peace. Naturally, C.C./ Lelouch crosses paths with everyone else and it becomes apparent that the goals of these two groups are actually quite similar. If you loved the signature moments of Code Geass, the different quirks of each characters and crazy 4D chess plans with giant robots, then Lelouch of the Resurrection does its very best to immerse its audience in nostalgia with its first major operation of orchestrating a prison break .

This movie is very much about reunioning the cast with Lelouch and making up for things that couldn’t be said nor fit within R2’s final episode of Zero Requiem. In the lead up to the final operation, each character gets their own small scene in either confronting or having a few words about their relationship with the original Zero. It’s pretty much the picture dramas that Sunrise had released after TV series but with more animation and hilarious meetups Other characters like Cornelia have more than an axe to grind with Lelouch but the resolution to this seemed to be a little easy considering all the terrible things that he has done but I don’t fault the movie for doing that as it can’t spend all its time dwelling on the past when there is an franchise to reboot.

It wouldn’t be a good climax if Lelouch was just able to steamroll his opponents and stroll in to save his sister. While the Kingdom of Zilkistan does possess their own Knightmare tech and standing armies, it doesn’t stand up against Team Lelouch’s Knightmare Giga Fortresses piloted by Kallen and Suzaku, the Knights of the Round, the Black Knights and every notable supporting character participating in the operation. However, there is a very good reason on why Britritana was never able to subjectate the Kingdom of Zilkistan and that is of a certain Geass user behind everything. Without going into specifics, I thought they did a good enough job of giving Lelouch a run for his money as she has the ability to completely subvert the main rescue plan Lelouch has laid out. What follows is a Groundhog Day sequence of events where shit is being made up on the fly and ends off in a satisfying conclusion that only Code Geass can pull off. One thing that sticks out was an odd scene with a shower of lights enveloping the entire world but I did get a proper explanation from the staff after the movie. I know that is a sign of poor directing that an entire scene had to be explained from the staff but at the time, it seemed more like a throwaway scene than being the pivotal setup of where Code Geass was heading towards in the next ten years. Whatever that might be, the closing scene makes it very clear that Lelouch has made his choice of calling himself “L.L.” in what is probably the most emotional scene in the entire movie. One fan even yelled out “BEST GIRL WINS!!!” to which we all applauded. Personally, I’m more of a Kallen fan but that single scene of CC realizing what Lelouch said has pulled over me to the other side. I’m just glad that were is a definite pairing and conclusion as opposed to the endless fan theory and ambiguity of the cart driver.

If you are a Code Geass fan, then I wholeheartedly recommend to watch this in theaters. If you are everyone else, you can wait for the subs that inevitably come with the Blu-ray releases in a year or so. It is a extended epilogue and trailer mashed up together to bring Code Geass into its next phase but it does with the same style and flair when it first aired all those years ago.

8/10

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection comes to North American theaters on 05 May 2019.

Some notes on panel questions.

Being in a crowd of one thousands Code Geass fans was the best time I had watching an anime movie where four senior staff members from Studio Sunrise were in attendance. The Code Geass staff was very pleased that the American audience reacted to every scene and easter egg they placed in the movie as the Japanese are far more reserved in expressing their emotions. They also stuck around for a couple of questions from the fans and I have jolted down some notes from their two biggest questions.

Why is Shirley alive in this alternative timeline?

You might remember that Shirley ends up dying at the hands of Rolo in the TV series but the production staff decided to keep her around in this set of movies for two reasons. She was to be the generic example of how the peace that benefited mankind and that having Shirley’s story would have distracted from the overall plot of Lelouch. Other than that, she is pretty much useless in the movie.

What is that shower of light that falls on the entire globe?

In the panel interview following the movie, the director announced that Code Geass was going to be continued in some form or another for the next ten years. In order lay out the foundation for that, they pull a plot device ripped straight out of Inuyasha where Geass fragments are scattered across the globe and that C.C./Lelouch will be traveling around together investigating these anomalies, gathering up the shards, obtaining the One Piece and finally buying some clothes at the soup store.

One Response

  1. Avatar swa says:

    “ripped straight out of Inuyasha”

    Can’t contest that.

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