Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article. You have been warned.
Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it. Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Another anime that I’ve heard of quite a lot but just never bothered to watch before. For real I never had any idea what the hell this anime was about, but I’d seen plenty of gifs and AMV Hell clips using it, so I’ve known of its existence for quite a while.
The plot is told to us through a sort of flashback prologue intro, which seems to generally be a part of the show’s overall intro. Basically, the world is split into three superpowers. The Holy Britannian Empire (The Americas), the Chinese Federation (Asia) and the European Union (Europe & Africa). As of the first episode, “Britannia” has taken over Japan and renamed it “Area 11”, referring to the citizens as “Elevens”.
The first episode follows Lelouch (pronounced “leh-loo-sh”; and whom apparently is an exiled Prince of Britannia or something but I swear I don’t remember them ever mentioning that in episode one) going from a passive Britannian high school student, to getting caught up in a “terrorist” plot and ends up with a power known as Geass, or the “Power of Kings”. Lelouch pretty much immediately decides to use this new power to destroy/obliterate the Holy Britannian Empire; a vow he initially made when he was only a child.
Holy fuck. This show. I must admit the whole concept is very complex and hard to keep track of in some respects, but hell, I assume everything will be explained a bit better as the show goes along. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, so all the blood and stuff actually caught me off guard a bit. I mean I knew there were mechs in this anime but holy crap. There’s even a moment after gaining his powers where Lelouch orders the soldiers who were about to kill him to kill themselves instead. And they do it.
And they were all only a day away from retirement too.
Like, I’ve seen more violent stuff before, even in anime, but since I wasn’t expecting it in this anime, stuff like this did manage to catch me off guard and think “Oh shit, so this is gonna be one of those anime is it? Ok then”. Seriously they shy away from showing people actually shooting themselves and stuff, but there is a LOT of blood in the last 10-15 minutes of this episode for a show trying to be somewhat restrained.
The voice acting I must admit actually bothered me at first. I know I don’t really talk about voice acting in these things, but in this instance I will. It bothered me because I didn’t realise the Holy Britannia Empire was supposed to be The Americas……so I, and I’d assume anyone else who knows what Britannia usually refers to, expected people who were supposed to be Britannian to have noticeable English accents. Well, at least in the English dub anyway.
Must admit I’m not entirely sure what to think of Lelouch as a character this early on, but a female character (who remains unnamed in episode one) who seems to act as comic relief honestly seems out of place in this episode somewhat. Just in the grand scheme anyway. I mean this is an anime so there’s bound to be some comedy, but the tone is mostly pretty serious, so her being kinda dumb/ditsy or whatever was kind of odd. Especially since she only appears twice; and really, only one of those times is actually relevant to the plot.
All of that aside I did actually enjoy the first episode of Code Geass, and I do definitely plan on watching the rest of the show. The show itself consists of 50 episodes across two seasons, with 25 episodes per season (season two is specifically called “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2”). Along with two seasons Code Geass also has four stand alone OVAs (though the first two appear to simply be abridged versions of the two seasons), as well as a five-part OVA series called “Code Geass: Akito The Exiled”. The show is also available in both dubbed and subbed formats for those interested.
Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline. See you next time folks.