Anime DVD Review: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion The Complete 1st Season

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion The Complete 1st Season is a six-disc DVD box set that includes all 25 episodes of the first season of Code Geass. From what I see, it appears that this set takes six individually released discs and collects them into one set; however, with how much bonus features were included on each disc, this actually works out well. The first disc has five episodes, while the remaining discs all have four episodes.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion The Complete 1st Season
English Publisher: Bandai Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 22, 2011

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is set in an alternate universe, where the Holy Britannian Empire conquered Japan on August 10, 2010 a.t.b., and renamed the country as Area 11. The series begins in 2017 a.t.b., and it’s a time where mecha robots and weapons are used in addition to regular arms for combat.

Lelouch is the main character of the series, and he’s an intelligent student who enjoys using his intelligence to gamble and beat his opponents. One day, after beating a nobleman at a game of chess, Lelouch finds himself trapped in the middle of a terrorist plot. The terrorists have taken something from the Empire which is claimed to be poison gas. Suzaku, Lelouch’s childhood friend who joined the Britannian Empire’s armed forces, comes to his aid. They discover the “poison gas” is actually a woman.

Suzaku is shot by other members of the armed forces, and is left for dead. When it appears the forces are going to kill Lelouch, the mysterious woman grants him the power of the Geass; this allows Lelouch to control others when he makes eye contact with them. Now that he has been granted this power, Lelouch disguises himself and goes by the name of “Zero” in order to lead a rebellion against the Empire. As the series progresses, there’s a lot of political intrigue, breakdowns of relationships, and Lelouch’s stuggles with his Geass powers.

I personally enjoyed the first season, although it ends on a major cliffhanger. I found the characters to be engaging and the storyline to be intriguing. I also like the look of the animation in Code Geass. By the time I finished the episodes in this first box set, I could see why Code Geass is so a highly regarded by the anime fandom.

When it comes to the bonus features included in the DVD set, the most important are the “Picture Dramas.” These run anywhere from three to six minutes in length, and they either provide additional background information not included in the series, or they put the characters into humorous situations that wouldn’t work with the tone of the actual series. The Picture Dramas are done with still images, with dialogue spoken over the images. The art styles for the Picture Dramas range anywhere from simple drawings to more elaborate-looking art. The more elaborate-looking Picture Dramas tend to be the ones that include some kind of “fanservice.” For this feature, I tended to like the ones that provided more background information for the characters.

Each disc contains audio commentary for at least one episode. Spread out between the six discs are textless versions of the various openings and endings that appear in the set. Each disc also contains DVD credits.

The fifth disc contains interviews with four members of the English dub cast: Johnny Yong Bosch, Yuri Lowenthal, Kate Higgins, and Karen Strassman. These interviews range between five and eight minutes; they consist of interview questions being shown on the screen, followed by the actor answering the question. Discs five and six also include a version of a promotional video for Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion; I’m guessing that these were promotional videos that were shown at Bandai panels at anime conventions around the time that Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion would have premiered in the United States.

Each disc also includes trailers for other Bandai releases that were being promoted at the time they were released.

If you’re a fan of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and don’t already have the series in your DVD collection, I would recommend purchasing this set; it’s a well-done box set that’s worth the money. And now that Bandai has discontinued manufacturing and distribution of DVDs in the United States, it’s better to acquire this set sooner rather than later.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion The Complete 1st Season that my husband and I purchased.

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3 comments

  1. Dai10zin · April 11, 2014

    Funimation recently rescued the rights for Code Geass – there’s a small chance they’ll produce a new DVD set in the future, but there’s no word at this time.

    • Lesley Aeschliman · April 11, 2014

      I’d forgotten to mention that FUNimation had acquired the rights in this review, but I did remember for the review I wrote for the other Code Geass set. Thank you for mentioning that. 🙂

  2. milesvibritannia · May 27, 2014

    Code Geass is (clearly) one of my all-time favorite series, though truth be told that’s more for R2 than the first season. That’s not to say the first season is bad though, it set the stage really well and it was a very gripping watch all the same. From the Mao arc on I absolutely loved Geass and R2 benefits a lot from what the first season established. That cliffhanger really is atrocious though, I feel sorry for the people who actually kept up with Geass weekly and had to wait between the seasons back when it was still airing, I got into the series long after it all ended.

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