Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection: Or I how I came back from the Dead to Screw Over my Best Friend One More Time.

One of the biggest debates of the fan-sub era was the final fate of Code Geass’ Lelouch Lamperouge. Did he actually die at the end of the series? Had he been given the code to immortality from his father? Was he that mysterious figure driving the cart in the final scene? It took almost a decade to get the answer to that, and a few years back we did. Was it worth the wait? Well after the cut let’s take a dive into Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection and find out!

Very much like Naruto: The Last, this is a film that was made to appeal to a very specific fan and is focused on delivering that. As with that movie and its resolving of the romantic plot point, Re;surrection is focused on giving fans what they want, Lelouch’s return. Now of course some would say that flies in the face of the series’ stellar ending, and you would be right. That is why Re;surrection serves as a continuation only for the movie version of the anime, not the anime itself. Those films already had changes to differentiate themselves, the most notable being a character surviving when they originally didn’t. This helps soften the blow for viewers who might have felt that Re;surrection was cheapening its own story in order to placate vocal fans.

This final shot of the anime made fans beg for over ten years.

In that element, the film does a good job. The opening scenes of C.C travelling with the now near comatose Lelouch, taking care of him, protecting him is great. We see that this is C.C who can’t imagine a world without him and went around his own goals in order to keep him alive. While it doesn’t get as much screen time as you may have hoped, it is clear that Lelouch and C.C have a bond like no other, and the events of the anime have shaped them both for the better. Lelouch is able to achieve his dream of a better tomorrow, while C.C is no longer alone. The final scene where Lelouch discards his name for the moniker of L.L, (confirmed to be type of marriage proposal by the director) and sets off together with C.C is a triumphant moment, and it warms my heart to see our green haired pizza girl finally get the win she deserves.

C.C’s reaction to Lelouch’s decision is the highpoint in the film, bar none.

Had Re;surrection been solely about that, about the relationship between these two characters, I would have loved it. Sadly, those scenes are only a few minutes in a two hour film, and the rest is well…interesting.

Bad? No. But the remaining runtime of Re;surrection ends up becoming like every other franchise film. A filler adventure with disposable villains and a plot that doesn’t feel important at all. The plight of Zilkhstan and the desires of Shamna to try and become a god are either incomprehensible to understand, or too boring to care about. I still don’t fully understand what was going on, and the way that Shauna is defeated still boggles my mind. They are barely even characters, with any attempt to serve as a foil to Lelouch and Nunnally barely there. Instead they serve as obstacles for the characters to get over, and frankly something to pad out the movie when it isn’t focused on C.C and Lelouch. While it is good to see everyone in the cast get together for one final bow, many of them only feel like cameos and there is precious little development for any of them. Suzaku has been regulated to a supporting player, only getting a (well done) reunion scene with Lelouch and barely anything else. Kallen fares a little better, going from weeping over Lelouch’s return to standing around and being busty. It’s a big disappointment for anyone who loved those cast members, as it often feels the script is trying to find something for them to do. 

Shamna is a waste of a villain who feels very much like every anime movie baddie who has come before. Great tattoo though.

Yet with that being said. I will admit that Re;surrection does a good job of telling you where everyone ends up. The ending credits and its montages of everyone’s peaceful lives is a treat to see. Watching all of these characters, many of whom fought and bled for their freedom, living as normal people is heartwarming. Everyone gets their happy ending, and Re;surrection serves as a proper book-closing for all of them, even if it is only in a still-framed montage. Except for Suzaku of course, who is still stuck forever acting as Zero while Lelouch gets to go and bang his hot green-haired pizza obsessed girl for all eternity. Talk about screwing over your supposed best friend.

Suzaku gets absolutely screwed in this movie. Like to no fucking end.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection probably was never going to win over hardcore fans or those who wanted to see a true sequel. It is an epilogue piece. One meant to placate \ fans who demanded Lelouch return, or the shippers who wanted to see who he ended up with. In that regard the movie does admirably, with scenes that touch the heart and make you feel for its two main leads. For everything else, this is just another run of the mill anime film that seems to be scrambling for something to say. It killed a good two hours, but for a series that was already on shaky ground in the second season, this is not the triumphant return to form. Still, when it works it works well and I will always love that final scene with C.C. That alone is probably worth giving the film a look. See for yourself and make up your own mind, just don’t expect this revolution to spark again.

Who would watch a series of just these two running around? I would.

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