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Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Review

May 6, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Code Geass
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Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection Review  

Directed By: Gorô Taniguchi
Written By: Ichirô Ôkouchi
Runtime: 112 minutes
MPAA Rating: N/A

Johnny Yong Bosch – Lelouch Lamperouge
Kate Higgins – C.C.
Yuri Lowenthal – Suzaku Kururugi
Karen Strassman – Kallen Kouzuki
Rebecca Forstadt – Nunnally vi Britannia
Elizabeth Maxwell – Shamna
Jared Gilmore – Shalio
Rich Sommer – Shesthaal Forgner
Patrick Seitz – Volvona Forgner
Liam O’Brien – Lloyd Asplund
Christopher R. Sabat – Belq Batoum Bitool
Kim Mai Guest – Sayoko Shinozaki
Gabe Kunda – Swaile Qujappat

Fans who have waited years to see the next chapter of the Code Geass saga can finally relax. The wait is finally over. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection is here to continue the story of the seminal anime series and reveal the true fate of Lelouch Lamperouge (Yong Bosch). I was on hand for the Los Angeles world premiere of the film, featuring its English dub, and it was an action-packed anime thrill ride.

Set about two years from where the end of the story, C.C. is traveling with a very familiar companion. Most fans probably already know who it is. Thanks to Lelouch’s efforts, a world at war was able to discover peace. Suzaku (Lowenthal) continues to play the role of Zero, and his sister Nunnally (Forstadt) is a respected diplomat. Lelouch’s friends and allies seem to be happy and enjoying their new roles in the future Lelouch helped forge. However, a new threat has risen in the form of Shamna (Maxwell), the leader of the military nation of Zilkhstan. Shamna and her sociopathic younger brother, Shalio (Gilmore), have organized their forces to kidnap Nunnally and threaten the world and peace that Lelouch created. However, it appears C.C. guides what might be the key to striking back at Zilkhstan and saving the world from another devastating conflict.

First of all, it’s great to see all the iconic and memorable characters from Code Geass back in a new story that continues off from where the original ended and get some overall progression for what happens later. The world has changed, and a more peaceful future was obtained. But just because Japan gained peace doesn’t mean everyone else is going to be OK with it.

Code Geass always sort of had a unique approach to its character designs and moels, as the cast had these very lanky, wiry and thin bodies. All the animation here looks good, and Sunrise thankfully didn’t go overboard with any CG eye candy. Regardless, it’s nice to see Japan keep traditional animation alive and well. Thankfully, Gorô Taniguchi was kept on board to supervise and direct this project, and he puts together some impressive action sequences. Also, the designers and animators created some impressive new Knightmare Frames as well.

Now, the main drawback to the film is that it’s essentially not a direct continuation of the second season. Instead it goes off the more recent compilation films. As a result, certain character fates and subplots that actually became quite crucial in the run of the original anime over 10 years ago are no longer valid or have been completely changed. The big one in particular is Shirley Fenette. Considering that the previous compilation movies flew under my radar, it was a bit jarring to see certain characters pop up and where they were compared to what happened to them in the series.

If the Code Geass franchise is to continue, it definitely raises a lot of questions for what direction the story will go in. Does a future TV series, OVA or movie acknowledge the end point of Re;surrection, or stick with the the established status quo at the end of the series? One might recall how Dragon Ball Z continued with two anime features, Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’. Both films acknowledged the events of Dragon Ball and were a direct continuation after that series.

In terms of the script, things do get a bit thrown off by the introduction of a new type of Geass super power later in the movie involving Shamna that’s a major curveball for the story. Then again, the Geass of this series are basically cheat powers anyway.

Then, a new Dragon Ball TV series started in Dragon Ball Super that is a direct continuation and sequel to Dragon Ball Z, but it’s first two major arcs retold the events of the two aforementioned anime features in a completely different way with numerous changes. That’s not terrible, but it’s a bit of a handful to constantly reset the storyline continuity, along with figuring out what is canon and what isn’t.

The English dub cast all do fine work. It’s especially nice to see that the production retained most of the original voice-over cast from the original anime series. While it’s been quite some time since the series ended, it’s great to hear them all easily slip back into their roles. Liam O’Brien’s Lloyd is easily the scene-stealer and has some of the best and most humorous moments in the film as the eccentric scientist.

Despite some storytelling choices and drawbacks, Re;surrection is solid return for the franchise that fans have been waiting for. Hopefully, it won’t be another 10 years before the next chapter of the story.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection is aptly titled. It doesn't just resurrect a certain character either. It really resurrects the franchise as a whole. Director Gorô Taniguchi and Studio Sunrise have put together an exciting adventure that continues off the events of the recent movies. It's a bit unfortunate that the continuity has been a bit jumbled, but seeing all these characters onscreen again was definitely worth it.