Code Geass is one of the most significant anime sensations in the early 2000s. It updated the mecha genre with a solid scenario and an exciting cast.
More than ten years have passed, and the question still stands, is there a prospect for long-time fans to enjoy Code Geass Season 3?
What happened so far in Code Geass
In an alternate 2010, where the world is divided between three superpowers (Britannia, the Chinese Federation, and Europa United), we follow the young Lelouch vi Britannia, son of the Emperor Charles Zi Britannia. He is resentful toward his dad’s lack of initiative after his mother is brutally murdered in the palace.
Eager to stay far from his father, Lelouch is sent to Japan with his little sister Nunnally to deceive the country with a false sense of security and friendship. Japan was attacked, defeated, and renamed Area 11, with the rights and freedom of its citizens stripped away from them. A witness to the murderous carnage, Lelouch vows to his Japanese friend Suzaku Kururugi to destroy Britannia and his father.
Fast forward a few years later, Lelouch (now Lelouch Lamperouge) is a student at Ashford Academy, where he is known for his high IQ and his pleasant personality. Trapped with a group of terrorists on a fateful day, he is nearly shot by Britannian soldiers convinced that he is with them and is saved by C.C., a mysterious green-haired girl. She awakes the Geass in Lelouch, a power giving him authority over anyone’s free will by just making eye contact with the victim. The protagonist instantly uses his new power to force the soldiers to commit suicide. He decides to use his newfound ability to uncover the truth behind his mother’s murder, create a better world for his sister and overthrow the Britannia Empire. To enforce his ideals, Lelouch creates a new persona: Zero, the ruthless masked vigilante.
He becomes the leader of The Order Of The Black Knights (a resistance movement fighting for Japan), gaining support from the Japanese and turning into the symbol of rebellion. His path is not without trials as his feelings sometimes clash with his violent actions and his determination: Lelouch will have to confront Suzaku, who is now on the Empire side, fight his siblings, and shoulder countless deaths so that he can fully realize his plans and bring peace to the world.
What is going on with Sunrise?
Code Geass premiered on October 6, 2006, and ended on July 29, 2007, for Season 1, and Season 2 was aired from April 6, 2008, to September 28, 2008, with twenty-five episodes each. It is directed by Goro Taniguchi, written by Ichiro Okouchi, with the score being composed by Kotaro Nakagawa and Hitomi Kuroishi. The original character design is by Clamp and later was refined for the anime by Takahiro Kimura.
Mixing mecha, harem, and melodramatics with political undertones, the anime found a formula that would strike the heart of anime fans swiftly and efficiently. The main cast engages with a particular focus on Lelouch and Suzaku, even if we are still following the clichés and categories (the cute little sister, the hothead, the tsundere, the introvert with her glasses, and so forth). In terms of animation, nothing to complain about: it is smooth and stable, as expected from a veteran studio-like Sunrise. The mecha battles also demonstrate their rich expertise: the choreography is organized and easy to follow while keeping its fluidity. All that Gundam experience sure paid here!
The core idea of the scenario is appealing (politics, war, morals, and values) and the way Okouchi and Taniguchi decided to develop the story. This is akin to a lightning-fast punch delivered in one’s guts: more than just twists, Code Geass shows powerful and shocking moments that make us want to see more, if retrospectively said moments do not add much compared to their intensity.
As highlighted by Jacob Chapman from Anime News Network: “when there’s so much and then!” packed this efficiently into every tense new moment, you don’t have enough breathing room to focus much on the why. However, it works well; the story is fast-paced but still introduces character growth in certain instances.
Two OVAs are released: Code Geass: Nunnally in Wonderland (July 27, 2012), where characters from the anime parody Alice in Wonderland and Code Geass: Akito The Exiled with five episodes (from August 2012 to February 2016) which take place in Europa United. Code Geass also received the theatrical treatment as four movies were released between 2017 – 2019.
Initiation, Transgression, and Initiation, the first three movies, are considered a recap of the fifty episodes in the anime. However, those three movies tell a different story with newly added scenes, some removed ones, and freshly recorded lines.
They are more than a visual summary of Seasons 1 and 2. Okouchi describes them as “a beginning” as they establish a new timeline in an alternate reality. Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Ressurection, released in February 2019, is a direct sequel to the three recap movies and not to the first two seasons of the anime. Strengthened by the franchise’s popularity, the four Code Geass movies grossed a total of ￥1,899,872,257 in Japan.
Currently, Sunrise Studio is working on the series Kyoukai Senki and Yashahime that will be released in October and the movie Orbital Era. And maybe they are doing the same, in extreme secrecy, with Season 3 of Code Geass and Code Geass: Z Of The Recapture.
This project will see the expansion of the Code Geass universe through the release of different projects, using other mediums (video games, anime, novels, and so forth) over ten years. Therefore, the new season takes place right after the fourth movie and will be set on an alternate timeline. As for now, only one visual and the composition of the staff have been released to the public, but the production is still shrouded in mystery.
What are fans saying about Code Geass Season 3?
After the announcement, fans went into a frenzy, and the fandom is simply restless right now. Theories fly left and right about what could happen, considering that C.C. and Lelouch (now L.L.) started another journey, and L.L. entrust the name “Zero” to Suzaku yet again. Everyone is on the lookout, and social media is frantic with posts celebrating Code Geass as a regular occurrence. With people still discovering the anime in 2021 and the ten-year project predicting more to come until 2030, the fandom will be kept busy and well-fed.
Will there be Code Geass Season 2?
The mega-franchise Code Geass gave birth to a lot of derivatives. Eight different manga have been published:
Lelouch of the Rebellion (eight volumes);
Suzaku of the Counterattack (two volumes);
Nightmare of Nunnally (five volumes);
Tales of an Alternate Shogunate (one-shot);
Renya of Darkness (seven volumes);
Oz the Reflection (five volumes);
Oz of the Reflection O2 (five volumes);
Lelouch of the Shred Guitar (two volumes).
They are all completed and adopt different perspectives. The manga offers various reports, whether it’s an alternate reality, parody, new perspective through a new character, or a story filling the gaps between seasons.
Based on the information provided by Google Trends, search queries focused on Season 3 touch the extremes. The interest stopped breathing for an extended period in 2020 and came back to life in December, after the announcement of the ten years project. Past this point, the interest barely waned, regularly reaching the highest point on the graph.
The Blu-ray and DVDs sold exceptionally well: less than a year after the end of the first season, the anime had sold 900,000 discs in Japan. In 2008, Bandai Visual had to ship over one million Blu-ray and DVDs worldwide to respond to the demand.
The first volume DVD of the second season was in the Top 4 of the best sellers on Amazon Japan.
When will Code Geass Season 3 be released?
No official date has been communicated yet, but it has been confirmed that a new season of Code Geass will be released.
What can we expect in Season 3 of Code Geass?
Sunrise has shared little to no information with the public, and we can only infer what Season 3 will offer.
The critical visual released shows four new characters, and the new season is titled “Z of the Recapture.” Traditionally, the titles in the Code Geassseries include the name of the protagonist. Could it be that the new hero will be named Z? Or does it stand for Zero?
Since Season 3 will establish a continuity with the last movie, we know Zero is no longer Lelouch. If the story ultimately turns around and focuses on a new cast of characters and a new country, it would be exciting to see how and where the old cast could fit.
You can watch Code Geass on Netflix, Hulu, and Funimation.