Often referred to as simply Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series created by Sunrise, directed by Gorō Taniguchi, and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by manga authors Clamp. Set in an alternate future, the series focuses on how the former prince Lelouch Lamperouge obtains a power known as Geass and decides to use it to obliterate the Holy Britannian Empire, an imperial monarchy and a superpower that has been conquering various countries. Code Geass first ran in Japan on Mainichi Broadcasting System from October 5, 2006, to July 28, 2007. Its sequel series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュR2 Kōdo Giasu Hangyaku no Rurūshu Āru Tsū?), ran on MBS and Tokyo Broadcasting System from April 6, 2008 to September 28, 2008. The series has also been adapted into various manga and light novels with the former showing various alternate scenarios from the TV series. Bandai Entertainment also licensed most parts from the franchise for English release in December 2007, airing the two TV series on Cartoon Network. Most manga and light novels have also been published in North America by Bandai. The TV anime series has been well received in Japan, selling over a million DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes. Both seasons have won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Critics have also praised the series for its large audience appeal as well as the conflicts shown across among the main characters and the moral questions presented.
The series is set in an alternative timeline where the world is split into three superpowers, Britannia, the Chinese Federation, and the European Union. The story takes place after the Holy Britannian Empire's conquest on Japan in August 10, 2010 a.t.b., by means of Britannia's newest weapon, the "Autonomous Armored Knight", or Knightmare Frame. In turn, Britannia effectively strips Japan and its citizens of all rights and freedoms and renames the country Area 11 with its citizens referred to as Elevens. Lelouch Lamperouge, the series' protagonist, is an intelligent exiled Britannian prince who was sent as a bargaining tool to Japan, along with his sister Nunnally Lamperouge, by his father, Emperor Charles zi Britannia, after his mother, Marianne vi Britannia, was murdered. When Marianne was murdered, Nunnally lost her sight and her ability to walk. After the war in the ruins of a Japanese city he then vows to his Japanese friend Suzaku Kururugi that he will one day obliterate Britannia. Seven years later, Lelouch gets caught up in a terrorist attack and finds a girl called C.C. (C2), who saves Lelouch's life from the Britannian Royal Guard, by making a contract with him that grants Lelouch a power known as Geass (ギアス giasu?). This power also known as the Power of the King (王の力 Ō no Chikara?), allows him to command anyone to do what he wants for one time, whether bending their will to live, fight, or die – though only with direct eye contact. After killing the Royal Guard with his new power, Lelouch decides to put his Geass to use and find the person who killed his mother while trying to make a better world for his sister, Nunnally. Lelouch in the process becomes the leader of the resistance movement known as The Black Knights under the alter-ego Zero, gaining popularity and support among the Japanese on his way towards rebellion. However, his memory is erased between the first and second seasons by Emperor Charles zi Britannia, who also possesses Geass. However, Lelouch regains his memories and "reverts" to being Zero, creating an entirely new country: The United States of Japan.
Code Geass officially premiered on the Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS) television network at 5:25 JST on October 5, 2006. Its satellite television premiere across Japan on Animax was on November 7, 2006. Upon the airing of the first 23 episodes, the series went on hiatus on March 29, 2007, and completed broadcast of the first series with a contiguous one-hour broadcast of episodes 24 and 25 at 6:25 JST on Saturday, July 28, 2007. The immense popularity of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion followed with the development of its sequel, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, which was first announced on the March 2007 issue of Newtype and later confirmed by Sunrise producer Yoshitaka Kawaguchi on the series' official staff blog on March 9, 2007. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 premiered on MBS and TBS on April 6, 2008, with the channel's primetime anime timeslot changed from 18:00 JST on Saturdays to 17:00 JST on Sundays. Prior to the series' television broadcast, three private preview screenings of episode 1 were held on March 15 and March 16 in Osaka and Tokyo respectively, which was attended by the series' Japanese voice actors as well as a pool of 3800 randomly selected applicants. On April 15, 2008, at 17:00 JST, the last 6 minutes of the then unaired third episode was accidentally posted onto the Internet due to an error by Bandai Channel, Bandai's online broadcast channel and the series online distributor, in the midst of testing a system preventing illegal online uploads. Both seasons of Code Geass have been licensed for release in the United States by Bandai Entertainment, and the first season began airing on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block in the U.S. on April 27, 2008; the second began airing on November 2, immediately following the first season, both viewable in English on Adult Swim Video. The series finale premiered on June 7, 2009, ending the second season and the rest of the story. On April 23, 2010, Adult Swim's rights to this series expired. In Australia and New Zealand, the series is sub-licensed to Madman Entertainment by Bandai Entertainment USA, and began airing on Australian channel ABC2 from January 19, 2009. In the Philippines, the first season of Code Geass premiered on November 10, 2008, weekday nights at 7:30pm PST and ended on December 15, 2008 through TV5 while season 2 premiered on May 4, 2009 and ended on June 5, 2009, weekday nights at 6:00pm PST with a weekend afternoon recap of the week's episodes also on TV5. Despite the poor ratings it attained due to competition with local TV newscasts and prime time soaps, the series was able to gain a huge following and became one of the most talked-about anime series in the country during its run. Code Geass had its Philippine cable premiere on July 27, 2010 through Hero TV. In Italy the first season was broadcast from September 24, 2009 to February 25, 2010 on Rai 4 and the second season was broadcast on Rai 4 too from March 4, 2010 to August 12, 2010; both series were broadcast at about 11.10 pm. The release of Code Geass: The Miraculous Birthday (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ キセキの誕生日 Kōdo Giasu: Kiseki no Tanjōbi?) included bonus material about a new Code Geass OVA anime in production called Code Geass: Akito the Exiled (コードギアス 亡国のアキト Kōdo Giasu: Bōkoku no Akito?), directed by Kazuki Akane. The side story is an OVA, set in Europe during the Britannian invasion of Europe between Lelouch of the Rebellion's two seasons. The drama itself was based on a live event held in Tokyo, Japan on Lelouch's birthday. Another OVA anime titled Code Geass: Nunnally in Wonderland (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ： ナナリーinワンダーランド Kōdo Giasu Hangyaku no Rurūshu: Nanarī in wandārando?) was announced and revealed in the anime's official website. Takahiro Kimura will do the character designs of the series. Makoto Baba is assigned as the director of the OVA while episode scriptwriter Yuuichi Nomura and music composer Kotaro Nakagawa will return for the said project. In the story, Lelouch makes the ultimate use of his Geass for his little sister Nunnally, who loves Alice in Wonderland. The Blu-ray was released by Bandai Visual on July 27, 2012 with English subtitles and bundled with a 40 page picture book.