There are so many new anime being produced each season, so it can be harder to discern major trends of the medium as a whole when there are so many varied options being delivered over several different kinds of streaming services. You'd think this would amplify the creativity that goes into each new series, but Code Geass director Goro Taniguchi begs to differ.
Speaking with Planets' Hangout Plus talk show in Japan (via Anime News Network), Taniguchi notes that the current trends in anime would make it impossible for something like Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion to come out these days.
As Taniguchi lamented, "I wouldn't be able to make something like Code Geass nowadays," he believes that the current anime industry seems to be gearing more toward slice-of-life or lighthearted series these days. Which would make a more dramatic series with such "depressing" elements like Code Geass harder to be approved than it was over 10 years ago.
Taniguchi explained, "I get told, 'Don't put depressing elements in.' The production committee is separated from the fans, and they don't know what will or won't be a hit." It's hard not to disagree with this sentiment. Although Code Geass was able to return for a big sequel project, there aren't too many anime that can make a similar impact these days.
Due to the currently packed released schedules and timelines, it's tougher for an original anime project to make a mark with an intense story. If it's not based off of a light novel property, or a long running manga series, not only is it a tough road to get produced, it's tougher to stand out amongst the bevy of other new options constantly getting pumped out.
This calls to mind a much larger conversation about the nature of "classic" anime series like Code Geass. The reason Code Geass stands out is because it released without much competition. Like how event television works, many more anime fans were clued into a single series at a single time. These days, thanks to the options for what to see and how to see it, it's harder to tell a story that keeps fans coming back.
There are a few major dramatic and intense anime options released in the last few years, but a crucial element of each of these series' success is the conversation. That might be why so many slice-of-life or Isekai anime are releasing these days. It's what fans want to talk about, really. It's kind of a bummer that even if something like Code Geass were to release now, there's a good chance it'll be ignored in favor of something else. Even if it did find a cult audience, some of them would undoubtedly move on when new anime hits.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion was first created by Sunrise, with character designs provided by manga collective CLAMP. Set in an alternate world, the series follows Lelouch vi Britannia who decides to bring the Britannia Empire down when he receives the power of the Geass, which allows him to exert his will over others. The anime series ran for 50 episodes from 2006 to 2008. The series was licensed for an English language broadcast by Bandai, and was aired on Adult Swim in 2007.0comments
The big sequel film, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection, recently had an impressive, but limited run through theaters in the United States earlier this year. Taking place two years after the finale of the original anime series in 2008, the film features returning staff and cast. The most notable return of the film is also the most mysterious -- an even technically a spoiler -- as the sequel features Lelouch vi Britannia despite his conclusive fate at the end of the original series.