It’s been a while since I have been enthralled by a television series. When Heroes first came out, i was impressed with the fresh approach a series had on an age-old concept of the superhero genre. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ, had been my staple diet, viewing-wise these past couple of weeks. Rendra recommended this last summer and despite muat turun-ing season 1, I managed to watch both seasons back-to-back only recently.

There are two series that I follow (not of late, the recent season of Bleach and Naruto still rests in my drive D:\) and whilst anime series are aplenty, I thought the writers of Code Geass did well to come up a well-woven yarn that encompasses full-on mecha action with a dash of high school romance, displaying a quasi-hentai camera work (more on this later), on a background of common or garden global politics in an alternate reality that started after the Romans failed to invade Britain in the 1st century BC. Oh, they’ve even got actual product placements in Code Geass. With me yet?

The tale revolves around Lelouch, the deposed son of the Brittanian emperor, who received a power known as Geass which has a hypnotic effect that makes people under its spell obey his commands. Lelouch’s chip on his shoulder is such that, as a masked character called Zero, he plots and plans to destroy his father’s empire and everything it stands for, in ways that even Machiavelli would shit his pants seeing. The politics of both the holy empire of Brittania and Zero are ever so familiar for any viewer, whilst events in the history of this alternate reality may appear to be drawn from actual world events like the Holocaust and the Gulf War.

Code Geass can be a tad convoluted but if you manage to keep up, the flow of the story is excellent. The first season ends quite nicely on its own with a plausible continuity of events when you start watching the second. I think this series would appeal to most fans of anime subgenres – shōnen (sci-fi/mecha aplenty) and shōjo (jantan hensem/err… jambu) alike. And for those with a taste for the, err… illegal, there are subliminal features in Code Geass that may pique your interest.

Which brings me to this observation. I wonder what goes through the minds of the director when he made this[1]. I guess they could get away with it, as the episodes were aired post-watershed, with the mild bloody violence and occasional scenes of implied (bar one!) nudity.

Verdict? Highly recommended.

[1]Also known as the infamous fanservice (ファンサービス/fan sābisu).