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CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion Part III (Volumes 5 & 6) (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

May 27, 2009 by  



“’These final two volumes of the first season of ‘CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion’ are absolutely magnificent!   Definitely an anime TV series that is simply a ‘must own’ for anime fans who want a quality series with beautiful animation, plenty of action and awesome storytelling.  Each episode literally gets better and better.  Highly recommended!”

Image courtesy of (c) 2006-2008 SUNRISE/PROJECT GEASS, MBS, CHARACTER DESIGN (c) 2006 CLAMP

DVD TITLE: CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion Part III (aka CODE GEASS: Hangyaku no Rurushu)

DURATION: 200 minutes (8 episodes/ disc 1 – 4 episodes / disc 2 – 4 episodes)

DVD INFORMATION: Original Uncut Episodes,English and Japanese Stereo, 1:78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Bilingual (Japanese and English), English Subtitles

COMPANY: Sunrise/Bandai Entertainment

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Produced by MBS, SUNRISE, PROJECT GEASS

Original Story by Ichirou Ohkouchi and Goro Taniguchi

Director: Goro Taniguchi

PRODUCERS: Hiroshi Morotomi, Yoshitaka Kawaguchi, Takuo Munegishi, Atsushi Yukawa

Character Design: Takahiro Kimura

Character Design Concept: CLAMP

Art Director: Yoshinori Hishinuma

Mecha Design/Character Design: Kenji Teraoka

Main Animators: Takahiro Kimura, Yuriko Chiba, Eiji Nakada, Seiichi Nakatani

Assistant Director: Kazuya Murata

Assistant Series Planner: Hiroyuki Yoshino

Series Planner: Ichirou Ohkouchi

Knightmare Design: Akira Yasuda, Eiji Nakada, Junichi Akutsu (BEE CRAFT)

Featuring the following voice talent:

Jun Fukuyama/Johnny Yong Bosch as Lelouch Lamperouge

Takahiro Sakurai/Yuri Lowenthal as Suzaku Kururugi

Yukana/Kate Higgins as C.C.

Akeno Watanabe/Megan Hollingshead as Viletta Nu

Ami Koshimizu/Karen Strassman as Kallen Stadtfeld

Fumiko Orikasa/Amy Kincaid as Shirley Fenette

Jouji Nakata/Jamieson Price as Diethard Ried

Junko Minagawa/Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Cornelia Li Britannia

Kaori Nazuka/Rebecca Forstadt as Nunnally Lamperouge

Kazato Tomizawa/Cindy Robinson as V.V.

Kazunari Tanaka/Michael Lindsay as Shinichiro Tamaki

Ken Narita/Crispin Freeman as Jeremiah Gottwald

Kikuko Inoue/Deborah Sale Butler as Cecile Croomy

Masayo Kurata/Laura Bailey as Rakshata Chawla

Mitsuaki Madono/Kirk Thornton as Kaname Ougi

Noriaki Sugiyama/Brian Beacock as Rivalz Cardemonde

Norihiro Inoue/Troy Baker as Schneizel El Britannia

Omi Minami/Michelle Ruff as Euphemia Li Britannia

Saeko Chiba/Kim Mai Guest as Nina Einstein

Sayaka Ohara/Julie Ann Taylor as Milly Ashford

Tetsu Shiratori/Liam O’Brien as Lloyd Asplund

Yuuji Takada/Steven Blum as Kyoshiro Todo

Contains Volumes 5 and 6 of Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion.

Despite his status as an Eleven.  Suzaku Kusurugi has been granted the title “Knight of Honor” by Princess Euphemia.  Fearing that others might follow Suzaku’s example of living peacefully within the Empire.  Zero and his Order of Black Knights devise a trap for the Lancelot.  While Euphemia and her entourage attend a welcoming ceremony during the arrival of a Britannian artistocrat, the Black Knights stage a surprise attack.  With the Lancelot surrounded by enemy forces.  Suzaku receives an order from the arriving aristocrat to maintain position in an effort to trap Zero in a fiery barrage, at the risk of losing his own life.  Will Suzaku sacrifice himself despite Euphemia’s objections?

“CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion” has been a gripping and thrilling series since the start of episode 1.

An anime series that has a good amount of drama and action and the pace never slows down, things continue to escalate with each episode and manages to captivate you by its well-written storyline and beautiful animation.

With the release of this “Part III” box set containing volumes 5 and 6, this is the final box set for the first season.

The series revolves around Lelouch Lamperouge, one of the children of the Britannian Emperor.  As a child, Lelouch has harbored resentment towards his Britannian roots since the death and murder of his mother, Marianne vi Britannia.  When he was younger, he spoke out against his father and by doing so, he and his sister Nunally (who was blinded and crippled during the murder of her mother) have lived with the Ashford family, hiding their Britannian ancestry.  But for Lelouch, he has always wanted to take revenge against his father, even if it means destroying Britannia, including his siblings.

Japan has harbored a hatred towards Britannia, ever since the country took over Japan, made the major cities into slums and have called the Japanese not by their country name but they are known as “Elevens”.  In the first volume of “CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion”, we see how Lelouch has received the power of the Geass.  A power given to him by an immortal being known as C.C. (the girl with green hair) but for a price, which is a contract between the two which is unknown.  The Geass allows Lelouch to use it once on a person by looking into their eyes and have them do whatever he wants.  With this power, he has assumed the identity of the terrorist ZERO, who has managed to amass a great number of Elevens and name them the “Black Masks”, a group that counters the Britannians and eventually taking their technology and grow in force.

Opposing Zero is actually Lelouche’s childhood friend Suzaku Kururgi, the pilot of Britannia’s awesome mecha known as the “Lancelot”.  He is the son of Japan’s last Prime Minister and also the primary Japanese taken in by the Britannia and a warrior who opposes all that Zero stands for.  He and Princess Euphemia (Lelouche’s half sister and third princess of Britannia) are quite smitten with each other.

With the first two volumes featuring the battle of the Black Masks vs. the Britannians, we see how Zero gets used to his new power and how he is able to grow his group and amass new technology and even get Britannians to side with him.  But also having to make tough decisions by using his Geass on the people that are close to him.

Now, with part III which contains the final two volumes released, things ramp up even more as the battle between the Black Masks and Britannia becomes personal.

“CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion Part III” comes with both volume 5 (episodes 18-21) and volume 6 (episodes 22-25) of the popular anime television series.  Here is a quick spoiler-free rundown of each episode for volumes 5 and 6:

  1. Stage 18 – I Order You. Suzaku Kururugi Princess Euphemia makes Suzaku her knight.  The Black Masks debate if they should assassinate Suzaku.
  2. Stage 19 – Island of the Gods – After a battle between Zero and Suzaku (in his Lancelot), both Euphemia and Zero and Kalen and Suzaku are transported to another island and identies are revealed.
  3. Stage 20 – Battle for Kyushu – The Britannian Army fights against the Kyush invaders.
  4. Stage 21 – The school Festival Declaration – With Princess Euphemia (Euphy) knowing Zero’s real identity, she decides to side with him and making a public announcement that will shock Britannia and Japan.

For Volume 6, we get the following episodes:

  1. Stage 22 – Bloodstained Euphy –  Zero’s price of using the Geass comes to create great tragedy by an accident which has Princess Euphemia doing the unthinkable.
  2. Stage 23 – At Least with Sorrow –  After what has transpired in episode 22, Zero has no choice but to make a decision that will cause major repercussions between Britannia and the Black Masks.
  3. Stage 24 – The Collapsing Stage – The war between the Black Masks and Britannia begins in full force.  Suzaku filled with rage wants only one thing, the death of Zero.
  4. Stage 25 – Zero  – With Nunally being taken by V.V., Zero has no choice but to go after her and leave the Black Mask army to defend themselves.  The shocking finale of Season 1.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“CODE OF GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion” is featured 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen.  The animation and video quality is colorful and digitally modern since it is a newer anime television release.  What I love about the video quality is the sheer amount of people involved.  Everyone with detail, buildings, mecha and the destruction has detail.  The character designs based from CLAMP’s character design concepts are just fresh and cool to look at.  One of the coolest looking character designs in an anime mecha series without being a full-on mecha series.  Very cool!

As expected from a recent anime series, video quality was just great.   From the character animation to the backgrounds, everything was colorful and vibrant.  And because this series features so many scenes throughout Japan, this series really featured so much background art and characters.  Everything looked awesome!  Again, I’m very impressed with how much went in creating a single episode.

As for the audio, the audio is English and Japanese in Dolby Digital (English and Japanese stereo).  On my 7.2 system, the sound comes quite clear on your fronts and rear surrounds but good audio usage when it comes to the action and music scenes.  Dialogue is clear and understandable and overall, for a TV series broadcasted in Japan, audio was quite satisfactory.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

You can find really cool special features on both volumes.  Let’s start with the volume 5 DVD:

  1. Picture Drama Episode Episode  (Stage 9.33) – (4:11) A festival at Ashford Academy and the girls talk about cosplaying for the event.  Lelouche, Suzaku and Arthur sporting sexy female outfits while the girls sport male outfits.  Lelouche has a hard time with it.
  2. Audio Commentary Stage 19 – In this audio commentary, the voice actors for Lelouche (Jun Fukuyama), Takahiro Sakurai (Suzaku Kururugi), Ami Koshimizu (Kalen Stadtfeld), Hiroyuki Yoshino (Assistant Series Planner) and Takahiro Kimura (Character Designer and Chief Animator) discuss episode 19.   Discussion of how the voice talent are in the dark of the plans with their characters and the curiousity if their characters will live in each episode.  Also, changes in the storyline.
  3. Audio Commentary Stage 21– In this audio commentary, the voice actors for Lelouche (Jun Fukuyama), Takahiro Sakurai (Suzaku Kururugi), C.C. (Yukana) are joined by Yukawa from Bandai Visual and they each discuss episode 21.  Overall, an upbeat commentary.
  4. Textless Opening – “Kaidokufunou” Version 2 – Opening theme for “Kaidokufunou” and none of the title text credits.
  5. English Voice Actor Interviews – Voice actor interviews with English dub actors Johnny Yong Bosch (Lelouche) – (7:55) Discussiona about playing Lelouche who is not necessarily a hero; Yuri Lowenthal (Suzaku) – (7:20) discussion about his first anime job and playing Suzaku , Kate Higgins (C.C.) – (6:15) Discussion about playing C.C. and how mysterious a character she is and Karen Strassman (Kallen) – (5:10) Doing the voice acting in French and English and her thoughts of doing the voice for her character.

With the sixth volume, the special features are:

  • Picture Drama (Stage 22.25) – (3:51) Nunnally listens to the radio broadcast of Princess Euphemia’s surprise announcement before the broadcast is cut short.  Nunally thinks about when she and Lelouche would play with Euphy and accidentally breaking a commemorative plate for Princess Euphemia’s brother.
  • Picture Drama (Stage 23.25) – (5:32) This picture drama focuses on Suzaku Kururugi and thinking about when he and Lelouche and Nunally went their separate ways when they were children and made their own decisions which would lead them to become friends but rivals in their beliefs when they grew older.
  • Audio Commentary Stage #25 – In this audio commentary, the voice actors for Lelouche (Jun Fukuyama), Takahiro Sakurai (Suzaku Kururugi), C.C. (Yukana) and Ami Koshimizu (Kalen Stadtfeld) talk about episode 25.  The four watch the final episode and are in awe of how powerful the ending is with the cliffhanger and look forward to the second season of “CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2”.
  • Textless Ending for “Mosaic Kakera” – Closing theme for “Mosaic Kakera” and none of the title text credits.
  • Textless Opening for “Hitomi no Tsubasa” – Opening theme for “Hitomi no Tsubasa” and none of the title text credits.
  • Textless Ending for “Colors” – Ending theme for “Colors” and none of the title text credits.
  • Promotional Video Version 2 – (2:03) A promotional trailer for “CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
  • Trailers – Trailers for “Sword of the Stranger”, “Lucky Star” and “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2”.

“CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion” is a fantastic series.  Despite the fact that there are many characters in this series, the story is well-written and well-animated that you know each of these character’s major role within the Black Mask or the Britannia Army.

But what amazes me the most is the amount of character development put into each episode and you feel a connection with not just the main characters but also the many supporting characters in the series.

In this final volume, it’s shocking to see how far Lelouche will go to carrying out his plans but also the tragic episodes that happen when his Geass goes out of control.  I was shocked by the tragedy and overall, impressed of how the story was presented.  Even more impressed with the cliffhanger for the final season.  Well done!

There are very few animated series that keep a strong pacing with its storyline and not use filler episodes just for the sake of character development or breaks from the storyline.  “CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion” is a series where things continue to escalate with each episode.  So, in a positive, you never miss a heartbeat, each episodes gets better and better.  The negative is if you came into the series late during the airing in Japan and never watched previous episodes, then one can easily get confused.

Overall, Bandai Entertainment has done a great job presenting each volume with a good amount of special features.  These last two volumes feature a good number of drama episodes, commentary and even interviews with the English dub voice actors.  Animation quality is just beautiful to look at and the audio is clear and understandable.  The musical score is terrific!

If you have invested your time into the previous volumes, you definitely want to own these final two.  The storyline just ramps up to an incredible season finale but also a tragedy that just sets the wheels in motion between Lelouche and Suzaku.  Fantastic episodes that make you crave even more!

“CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Rebellion” is magnificent and for those who want quality anime, definitely invest your time in this animated TV series.  It’s well worth it!

 

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Comments

  • I loved both Series of the anime, and I'm waiting on the 3rd series to come out, and I'm hoping that it'd be as good as the first two.

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