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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Code Geass Leouch of the Rebellion: Season 1, Pt. 2
Code Geass Leouch of the Rebellion: Season 1, Pt. 2
Bandai // Unrated // December 9, 2008
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted December 22, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Show:

Chances are good that if you have your fingers on the anime pulse you have undoubtedly heard about Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. It's not only a difficult to pronounce title, but it's also a successful anime series from the mind of Ichiro Okouchi who has worked on Stellvia, Planetes, and Eureka Seven. In addition to that it's worth noting that the original character designs were put together by the popular manga group CLAMP. With 25 episodes under its belt Code Geass' first season came out in 2007 with a second that began airing earlier this year. That's a mark of success for anime series, but I suppose another test is whether or not the series withstands the test of the American audience.

Released by Bandai, Code Geass's first episodes came out a little while ago in individual volumes and a part, which collected both of the installments. The second batch of episodes is presented in much the same fashion. Two volumes have been released by themselves with four episodes a piece or if you so desire you can pick up both with a nifty art box and you can save yourself a few dollars in the process. Whichever way you decide to take the plunge with Geass you should know that you're getting yourself into a great show and it is money well spent.

Code Geass takes place in an alternate world and begins around the year 2010. At that point the Holy Empire of Britannia conquers Japan with powerful technology known as Knightmare Frames (mecha). The Japanese are forced to live in slums and are reduced to destitution with their livelihood being stripped away. Their name has been taken away as well and the region has become known as Area 11. During this time the son of Britannia's Emperor, Lelouch Lamberouge, is banished to Area 11 after his mother was assassinated and his sister was blinded in the attack. Lelouch comes to loath the Empire and sympathizes with the Elevens (Japanese) so it's only natural that he's wrapped up in events that bring about a revolution.

In the first volume we got to see what motivated Lelouch and during an act of sabotage by some terrorists he winds up meeting a green-haired girl named C.C. This girl has the ability to unlock the power of Geass in people, and lucky for Lelouch he's bestowed with this gift. He gains the power to control people just by issuing a command and he uses this power to create an alter ego known as Zero, who basically leads the rebellion. The first two volumes catalogued Lelouch's rise to prominence in the circles of resistance. He goes on to create the Order of the Black Knights and from that point Zero operates with mobilized purpose against Britannia. In case you can't tell the plot can get rather complex, but it's handled so well that these layers of depth are easy enough to understand.

The second "part", or the third and fourth volumes if you will, continues right where the previous set left off. The Order of the Black Knights has been orchestrating plans and along with the Japan Liberation Front they launch an assault on Cornelia li Britannia's forces. It's an all-out battle that involves Knightmare Frames and it also turns out to be the Black Knight's first organized major military campaign. This battles goes on for a couple of episodes here and there are many surprises in store for everyone when the dust settles. In the end though it's Zero's forces which come out on top and the group lives for another day to fight the good fight.

After the battle arc there's another bit that revolves around a girl from the academy who is crushing on Lelouch. Our angry hero figures out that she may have discovered his secret identity as Zero, which naturally leads to panic. Things don't turn out quite as planned though when another Geass using person steps into the light. A Chinese native known as Mao has the power of the Geass, but his abilities are slightly different than Lelouch's, and he's crazy which just isn't a good combination. It brings about some interesting snippets from C.C.'s past and all around it's a good character building storyline that gives Lelouch a chance to reflect on the severity of his actions.

From start to finish this collection of episodes from Code Geass is every bit as engaging and interesting as the first. The Black Knight rebellion is in full swing here and there are many amazing battles as well as dramatic moments to behold. This is an extremely layered series with a lot of depth and it doesn't show signs of letting up. This show's serious tone combined with everything else is refreshingly different and I can't wait to see what happens in the coming installments.

The DVD:

Video:

Code Geass hits DVD with a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The presentation of this show is absolutely stunning with a vibrant color palette, solid animation, and very rich designs. All around the quality of the image holds up well with virtually no grain or digital artifacts, though it's worth mentioning that some blurring occurs now and then during fight scenes. Despite very minor oversights, Code Geass is a fantastic looking show that receives an equally impressive transfer for its DVD release here in the States.

Audio:

Sadly while the video presentation for Code Geass impresses; the audio doesn't really push the envelope. This release comes with English and Japanese 2.0 stereo offerings with absolutely no 5.1 mix in sight. That's kind of a shame when you think about because the sound range for this show could have been very dynamic. As it stands the quality is acceptable, if not a little underwhelming, and it suits the show fine enough. The audio is clean and clear and the front channels get an average workout.

Extras:

This time around the bonus features are more or less the same as we saw in the first part. That is to say there are three more episodes from the Picture Drama, which are basically slideshows with voiceovers. There are also two audio commentaries with the original Japanese cast members and boy, let me tell you, these actor have some serious energy. The commentary tracks are quite lively as well as informative, entertaining, and interesting. It's too bad all commentary tracks for anime couldn't be like these! Finishing things off are some textless opening and closing animations.

Final Thoughts:

Code Geass is another fine property for Bandai. The show maintains a high level of action, powerful storytelling, great character development, and beautiful animation in every episode. The second part is every bit as engaging as the first and the series shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. I love the level of detail put into every aspect of the show and I absolutely can't wait to see what happens next time around. Highly Recommended


Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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