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.”
On one hand, 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. However, during a 2008 interview, Writer Ichiro Okouchi seemed 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.”
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. 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. 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. Funimation has licensed the English Code Geass dub for the new trilogy. There’s no release date set for those films and it’s uncertain when the Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection dub will come out in the future.