Updated December 3, 2018: Added Code Geass Re;surrection dub movie details, trailer video, and new movie poster.
Anime fans waiting for Code Geass Season 3 are instead being treated to a Code Geass R3 movie in 2019. Called Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, the release date for the film is set for February 9, 2019. But what may surprise fans of the anime series is how the Code Geass sequel’s story is technically an alternate timeline.
Studio Sunrise initially surprised fans by announcing three recap films during the 10th-anniversary event for the original anime series. A promotional video featured well-known characters like Kallen, Ohgi, and Princess Cornelia and teased that Lelouch himself would return in the flesh.
This was quite the surprise since fans have long argued about what really happened during the ending of Code Geass R2. The ending touched back to one of Lelouch’s lines where he said, “The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed.”
Many years ago, Code Geass R2 director Goro Taniguchi (who is returning for directing Code Geass R3) once said that the ending was open to the interpretation of audiences, but that he himself likes to view it as a happy ending. The director did not directly answer the question whether Lelouch was alive or not. However, during a 2008 interview, Writer Ichiro Okouchi was emphatic that Lelouch died.
“It was decided fairly naturally,” he said. “During the Code Geass script meetings, there were many cases in which there were a number of disputes, but there were barely any when it came to the scripts for… episode 25 and the final episode. I think everyone felt the same when it came to the end of the character that is Lelouch.
“While it’s undeniable that Lelouch’s story has ended with a full stop, the other characters’ stories are still ongoing, and it’s not like the world [of the Code Geass anime] itself has come to an end either. We didn’t want to end it by closing it up for good.”
Okouchi’s comments about Lelouch may seem clear-cut, but the Code Geass recap movies muddied the waters. Titled Initiation, Transgression, and Glorification, the movies changed many story elements from Code Geass Season 2 in order to set up the conditions for a sequel.
Fans may have been hoping for Code Geass Season 3, but technically the fourth movie, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection is a continuation of the retconned movie trilogy, not the original anime series. Even calling the movie Code Geass R3 is not technically accurate since it may be the third act in relation to the second season, but it’s the fourth movie in the revised story.
In 2018, Okouchi explained that he had “intended to close the book on Lelouch’s story” with Code Geass R2, but the Glorification movie was purposefully made a “little different” so it could provide a new beginning. Director Taniguchi also noted that the differences in the recap movie trilogy are “not a negation of the television series, but rather one possible outcome.”
That means the original ending remains intact whereas the new movies establish a new separate canon based on an alternate timeline. The director also says that the fourth Code Geass movie will be a complete story that serves as a finale to cap off the entire series.
Bandai Namco Arts has released a streaming video trailer. The story is set two years after Zero Requiem and introduces several new characters.
Fans will just have to wait until the Code Geass R3 release date to see whether or not Lelouch is really coming back from the dead or if he even died in the first place. But what we do know for certain is that there will be new cast members for the new characters.
- Ayumu Murase as Shario
- Nobunaga Shimazaki as Shesutaaru
- Wataru Takagi as Bituru
- Keiko Toda as Shamuna
- Akio Ohtsuka as Fōgunaa
- Kenjiro Tsuda as Kujapatto
Funimation has licensed the English Code Geass dub for the new trilogy. The Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection dub will come out in North American theaters in 2019 but an exact premiere date has not yet been announced.