Code Geass

 
Complex anime series too violent for young kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Japanese are conquered by a (fictitious) Western nation, which results in plenty of cultural tensions. Terrorism is often justified as a means of achieving freedom from the Britannian Empire, but some characters question the morality of these actions.

Positive role models

Lelouch loves his family and wants to create a world that's safe and peaceful for this sister, but he also wants to avenge the death of his mother.

Violence

Many scenes of people being mowed down by machine guns, as well as people shooting themselves and others at point blank range. Sounds of people crying out and being killed are heard in the background. Lots of images of blood splattering across walls, floors, and people's faces. Trucks, buildings, and other structures are blown up. Discussions of terrorist plots, including use of chemical warfare.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Language includes words like "bad ass."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Brief reference to drunk driving.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark sci-fi anime series is part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup. It's very violent, with people getting shot point blank with pistols and machine guns, as well as lots of blood splattering across walls, floors, and bystanders' faces. There are references to terrorist attacks, including bombings and flooding subway tunnels with poisonous gas. There's also some language (words like "bad ass") and brief references to drunk driving.

What's the story?

CODE GEASS: LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION follows Lelouch Lamparouge (voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch), who as a child witnessed Japan being conquered by the (fictional) Holy Empire of Britannia. After years of being raised in a country destroyed and rebuilt under Britannian rule, Lelouch receives the power of Geass from C.C. (Kate Higgins) -- a mysterious young woman murdered by Imperial forces -- after agreeing to grant her greatest (but unknown to him) wish. With her ghostly guidance and protection, Lelouch secretly becomes "Zero," an elusive masked man crusading to bring down the Britannians and restore what's now known as "Area Eleven" back to its former Japanese glory.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This allegorical story promotes Japanese pride as Zero and other rebels fight to bring down their Western conquerors and drive them back to the region once known as North America. Zero and bands of insurgents launch terrorist attacks against the Empire in hopes of weakening its power, sometimes blowing themselves up in the process. Imperial Forces retaliate by ruthlessly shooting innocent Elevens (former Japanese citizens) to maintain control. Britannia's fleet of Knightmares -- giant automated robot-like warriors designed to destroy everything in their path -- also contributes to the brutality.

Although the series contains some extremely violent imagery (like blood spattering and people being gunned down at point-blank range), these actions take place within a specific context, often forcing characters -- especially Lelouch's best friend, Suzaku (Yuri Lowenthal) -- to question the ethical appropriateness of terrorism and crossing moral boundaries in the name of freedom. Even Zero finds himself grappling with these issues as he tries to establish a peaceful world for his injured sister while also attempting to find a way to avenge his mother's death at the Empire's hands. It's a bit too mature for tweens, but the combination of action and psychological questioning will score big among teen and adult manga fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the cultural differences between TV shows in the United States and in other countries. What are the distinguishing characteristics of Japanese anime/manga series? Do any U.S. shows that deal with the same topics in similar ways?

  • Discuss the use of violence as a way to fight oppression. How does the media generally depict this kind of violence? Can violence really ever lead to a greater good?

TV details

Cast:Johnny Yong Bosch, Kate Higgins, Yuri Lowenthal
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byrobinbanks December 28, 2009
age 13+
 

Great show, for those who like this sort of stuff

For starters, I loved this show. Great plot, and easily one of the most creative endings ever, although I won't be spoiling that. However, there are a few concerns for younger kids: The couple of drug references, the scene with the character Nina and the table (although that's something that would normally be cut by American producers), and some of the WMDs later on, as well as the position of the character Kallen when she pilots her mecha and a few other violent scenes. Overall, none of the characters are exceptional role models, and especially not Lelouch and Suzaku. If you are older, however, and like this genre of anime, then you should watch it. Some love it, some hate it, so be be warned.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byMiwa-Sempai June 7, 2009
age 12+
 

If you're over 13 and love anime, you're in the right place!

Adult Swim has added another winner to its anime lineup. Code Geass is one of my favorite television shows, just the right mix of politics and action. First off, I wouldn't reccomend this to children under 12. There is plenty of blood and shooting. Dictatorship comes into play a lot in this series, and human lives are thrown away as easily as garbage. Lots of mass killing, though not usually shown on screen. I think a normal thing in this show is people saying that sacrificing others for the sake of a better future is okay... Really, the violence in this show is pretty standard for anime. A lot of the plot centers around the the morality of war and dictatorship and killing. The main character, Lelouch, also has the power to control others against their will, and the morality of doing such is often discussed as well. In short, younger kids or teens may get confused or bored. True anime fans will relish in watching Code Geass, though I assure you! It will keep them on the edge of their seat, wanting more.
Parent of an infant and 7 year old Written bySteffauri516 September 3, 2010
age 14+
 

A great anime...For teens and adults

As a personal opinion, I think that this is a great show---For teens and adults. I have a 7 year old daughter and this show is defenately out for her. The series takes place in the near future when a fictional country overtakes Japan and many other countries around the world; a young Prince of the empire named Lelouch vows to avenge the death of his mother (which is very graphic) and take over his father's kingdom. There is LOTS of violence including gun use, knives, swords, flamethrower use, drunk driving (brief reference) explosives and "mecha" or "giant robots" fighting. There is also a lot of blood, but no gore. As for the sexual stuff, there are some references and multiple full-body or upper-body nude scenes, mostly of young female characters in the series. The language isn't too coarse, but obviously innapropriate for any child to use: words such as, a*s, b***h, d**n, and h**l are frequently used. The rolemodels (for the most part) are also very negative. The Emperor is portrayed as a racist, abrasive and brazen man who stands for inequality, the good rolemodels are very few and far between--Princess Nunnally and Princess Euphemia who stand for peace in their nation are virtually the only positive rolemodels that act without violence, but one of them is killed off in a hellacious shooting. So again, great show for teens and adults, this show is off for anyone under 14.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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