Code Geass

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Code Geass TV Poster Image
Complex anime series too violent for young kids.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 44 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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
Language

Language includes words like "bad ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief reference to drunk driving.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant and 7 year old Written bySteffauri516 September 3, 2010

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 seri... Continue reading
Adult Written byrobinbanks December 28, 2009

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... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMiwa-Sempai June 7, 2009

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... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKid with Morals June 6, 2010

Excellent Anime isn't for most minors.

This anime is a materpiece, despite its inappropriate content. Many of these reviews don't express the negatives in the series properly; Im guessing the au... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action and animation

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