Etymology of Geass

Originally wanted to tweet this, but had more than 140 characters of stuff to say.

I was rewatching the ending of Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 a few days ago a began wondering where did the word “Geass” is derived from or if it was completely made up word for this anime. Neither, Merriam-Webster, nor Wiktionary had an entry for it.

I took a glance over Wikipedia’s entry on Code Geass and didn’t see anything that popped out.

I forgot what I did, but some how I ended up on Wiktionary’s page on Geas (probably by randomly removing characters):

1. (Gaelic mythology) A vow or obligation placed upon a person.
2. A curse.

And that had quite a resemblance to what Geass or at least what Lelouch’s Geass could do. Searching the term on Wikipedia resulted in:

In Irish mythology and folklore, a geis is an idiosyncratic taboo, whether of obligation or prohibition, similar to being under a vow or spell.

Read More…

Turns out Geas is another word for Geis which is a curse/spell that forces someone to do something or prohibits someone from doing something, which sounds exactly like Lelouch’s power. However, in the anime, they’ve expanded Geass to represent different types of powers (known as Power of Kings).

Turns out the Wikipedia entry on Code Geass also explained this (guess I wasn’t looking hard enough):

Geass is a mysterious ability which certain people (witches) can bestow upon others; C.C. and V.V. are the immortal and eternally youthful witches who can grant the power of Geass; they are also immune to it. The form the Geass takes is different in each individual. C.C. calls Geass the Power of Kings. It is represented by a bird-shaped symbol which glows red when active.

Every Geass has its own unique set of restrictions, limitations, or idiosyncrasies. These factors allow a Geass to be defeated, or its power limited, by someone who is aware of its characteristics. All Geass abilities that have thus far appeared within the canon of the television series have been related to the mind, influencing such aspects as will, thought, memory, emotion, and perception. Geass abilities in the manga spin-off Knightmare of Nunnally have no such limitations.

Various characters in the series do or did possess the power of Geass. C.C. had the power to make others fall in love with her, but she lost it when she became immortal; Emperor Charles has the power to alter a person’s memories; Mao had the power to read minds; Lelouch has the power to issue commands that are always obeyed (only once per person); and Rolo has the power to freeze the perception of time for living beings near him. Jeremiah is remade into a nearly-immortal cyborg with the ability to cancel the effects of Geass on himself and others.

The power of Geass increases with use, usually starting in one eye. It can eventually spread to both eyes and become uncontrollable with repeated use. When a Geass is at full power, this person can now become a recipient of the “Code,” the power which gave the person Geass in the first place. The person who bestowed the Geass can relinquish his or her “Code” to this person, allowing the recipient to continue the cycle while the giver is allowed to die. In exchange for their original Geass power, a person who takes on the “Code” becomes both immortal and immune to other Geass and gains the ability to him/herself bestow the power of Geass on others. This transfer, however, does not necessarily require the consent of both parties involved; C.C. received her “Code” against her will, and V.V. has his taken against his will. A person with the “Code” bears a physical mark (a sigil resembling that of the Geass) somewhere on his or her body.

According to an English edition of Newtype, the power of Geass has something to do with the very existence of humankind, and it may be used to destroy or transform just about anything. “Geass” may be an intentional corruption of the word geas or geis, a term for a type of magical contract in Irish mythology.

I guess I never really did a review on Code Geass after it completed. So I guess I’ll do an informal review here.

The story was amazing! Graphics were stunning and I really like how devious and strategic Lelouch was. He reminded me of Light from Death Note (which you can watch on Hulu), another series I really enjoyed. The story was thought out well, though there were times I wanted to kill the producers for what they did to us by leaving such a big cliff hanger at the end of season 1.

I wanted to find a trailer to share, but couldn’t find a decent one. Here’s a collage of scenes with some decent music in the background:

The music/soundtrack wasn’t out of the world, but it was still spectacular. My favorite track is Madder Sky (WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS):

Listen to song w/o animation: Code Geass R2 OST – Madder Sky. Current play count according to iTunes: 103

Code Geass is definitely one of my top 10 anime series of all times. I’ve said that for quite a few animes. I wonder what’s still on that list. Off the top of my head in no particular order:

  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Trigun
  • Monster
  • Hikaru no Go
  • Code Geass
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Death Note
  • 12 Kingdoms (Juuni Kokki)
  • Berserk

That’s 9. If you give me some time, I can probably think of 1 more or maybe even more to push down some of them. There were other series I’ve seen, which I really enjoyed but with favorites, there must be great emotional attachment, which I found in all of the above. Other series I really enjoyed, but not top 10 quality, include Full Metal Panic, Azumanga Daioh, Full Metal Alchemist, Detective Conan, Hellsing, and tons more.

Code Geass (season 2) is actually currently playing on Cartoon Network/Adult Swim. Unfortunately, these are dubbed. They’re not bad, but the original Japanese dubs are a lot better in my opinion.

Code Geass and It’s Horrible Cliffhanger Ending

Before my cursing, I’d like to say that out of all the music they used in the opening and ending, the only one that I liked was Ending 2: Code Geass Season 1 ED 2. The song’s called Mosaic Kakera (モザイクカケラ) by SunSet Swish. SunSet Swish was also the group that did one of the ending songs I liked for Bleach. If you like the song, you can download the music video or the mp3. Somehow the way the lead singer sings a few syllables really fast, pause, and repeat really creates a nice melody that I enjoy.


Did I say @#$%! yet?


I’m still so pissed right now, imagine how pissed I was last night at 5am when I finished watching episode 25. I was so pissed, I couldn’t stop myself from cussing out in a chatroom. I wasn’t even able to fall asleep for over an hour because I was so angry. When I woke up this morning, I still had a big empty feeling inside me. How the heck could they end season 1 like that.

I started watching this series either on Sunday or Monday of this week. Last night, I only had 3 episodes to go, so I decided to finish watching all 25 episodes in 3 or 4 days. Big mistake. The ending left me in a state where I was not functional at all. I was so disappointed with how they ended season 1.

Usually, when a season ends, it gives viewers at least some type of closure, but leaves a cliffhanger so you’d watch the next season. However, there was NO CLOSURE AT ALL!!!

Just thinking about it makes me want to yell @#$%! @#$%! @#$%!

Don’t get me wrong. The series was awesome. The story was very fast paced, and none of those Naruto/Bleach style battles which take 6 episodes to complete. Each battle pretty much lasted the episode and sometimes you have more than 1 battle.


Besides Death Note, Code Geass also reminded me of Gundam Seed Destiny. Not just because it had robots, but the protagonist and antagonist were very similar. I forget the names of the characters in GSD, but like Lelouch and Suzaku, they were also very close friends with different ideas of how they should change the world. Both wanted to make it better, but they were on different sides of the war. One would try to convince the other to join their side, just like how Lelouch tries to convince Suzaku. Along the way, you get your robot upgrades and of course different sides have different technology.

Anyway, what Lelouch did to Princess Euphemia was really sad, and I wished he could’ve taken it back and accepted her offer like he decided to. But now it’s too late. I almost cried. *sniff*

Episodes 24 and 25 were released as “specials” as they came out months later after 23. I thought since season 1 ended, it would be a good time to watch it as I’ve heard people were dying just waiting for the last 2 episodes.

However, apparently I didn’t hear the last part where 25 almost killed them, now that we have to wait for season 2 to see what happens.

Episodes 24 and 25 were set up to be the big battle which would end it all. Either the Knights of the Black Order will win, or the Empire of Britannia will successfully destroy the terrorists. However, they decided just to tease us. Not only did they not complete the battle, but they’ve introduced new major aspects to the series.

A new “witch” gets introduced. Her name is V.V. and she’s come in contact with Suzaku. It’s not clear if Suzaku has obtained a Geass as well.

V.V. kidnaps Nunally, and Nunally (sister of Lelouch) being Lelouch’s raison d’être, he had to go rescue her leaving the battle midway. He gave full control to Toudou, but having the brains of the entire operation leave midway is bad both for morale and strategy. I first heard the word raison d’être in Ergo Proxy, also another anime series I finish recently. The definition is: The claimed reason for the existence of something or someone; the purpose of something or someone. I wouldn’t recommend Ergo Proxy for most people, unless you like mixing philosophy with anime. It just got utterly confusing and too philosophical to the point it wasn’t really enjoyable anymore. The animation and graphics were awesome though.

Last seen, it looks like the Empire of Britannia was going to be able to hold back the invasion until reinforcement came. Everyone in the Order of Black Knights were very confused why Zero (Lelouch) would run away in the midst of battle. Ougi (who is dying) had told Kallen to follow Zero, as Zero is not the one to abandon them in the midst of a battle. Something serious must’ve came up and told Kallen to go protect Zero.

And now back to the students. It’s obvious Shirley knows something is up and she is pretty sure Lelouch is Zero, but every time she’s about to confront him, something happens. She’s utterly confused what Lelouch did to her to make her forget him completely.

Then there’s the young girl (head of one of the major Japanese families) that says she’ll be wife of Zero and be his angel. Zero denies her request stating he’s already made a pact with the devil. Speaking of which, we still have no idea what the contract he made with C.C. is. We also never find out C.C.’s real name, but that doesn’t really bother me as much.

The last we see of C.C. is she charges into Orange-kun’s (Jeremiah) robot and dives into the sea with him. It looks like in order to take him down, she’s going to sacrifice herself. But she states, I wouldn’t want to commit lovers suicide with you (Jeremiah). Given that C.C. can’t seem to die, that would make sense. However, I’m still confused as to why she gave up on Mao and why he wasn’t able to fulfill the contract, which leads back to the question of what the heck the contract is. The contract was mentioned in the 1st episode, but never gets revealed even in the final episode of the season 1. Will Lelouch ever be unable to fulfill that contract?

C.C. also keeps saying she’s an accomplice, but not a comrade, but she keeps doing things that seems to risk her life in order to save Lelouch’s life.

The season ends with Suzaku and Lelouch pointing a gun at each other. At this point, Lelouch has taken off his mask and revealed that he is Zero. Kallen is shocked beyond belief and is left shaking on the floor. At this point, Lelouch begs Suzaku to join forces with him temporarily to rescue Nunally. However, Suzaku denies his request and says he’ll kill Lelouch and go rescue Nunally on his own. The last thing you see, well hear, is a gun fired and a flash of Nunally’s image.

So they end season 1 without letting us know who dies, an incomplete battle, basically no closure. Nothing at all.

Code Geass vs Death Note

So after recommendations from a couple friends, I began watching Code Geass. I noticed quite a few similarities between the main character in Death Note (Light) and the main character in Code Geass (Lelouche, also known as Lulu).

Code Geass is turning out to be quite an interesting anime and so far I’ve watched 6 episodes in one day. Season 1 titled “Lelouch of the Rebellion” is merely 25 episodes, but there appears to be several .5 episodes stuck in between.

Both stories begin with the main characters obtaining a power beyond this world which allows them to control people. Light obtains the ability to control people by writing the names of the victims and how they die inside this particular notebook. Lelouche can control others by making orders looking directly into the person’s eye.

The downside of Light’s power is the fact by controlling the person, Light has to ultimately send them to their death. The downside of Lelouche’s power is that he appears to only be able to use it once per person.

Both want to change the world and rid this world of scum and corruption. Both see that the end justifies the mean.

Along the power comes a mysterious person or creature. Light has a Shinigami and Lelouche as C.C. I don’t know much about C.C. yet, but she appears to be an experiment or alien of some sort. Both entered a binding contract with their mysterious person/creature.

After obtaining their powers, both tested to see what the limits of their powers are. Light tested it with prisoners, while Lelouche tested it on students in the academy.

There are a few differences.

The Shinigami basically told Light that he wasn’t going to really help him much and was just enjoying the show. C.C. told Lelouche that they are now accomplices.

I was going to say Suzaku was like L, but that’s not clear at this point yet. Suzaku might very well get an order to hunt down Zero (Lelouche’s alias).


I have a feeling since Lelouche’s sister Nannally is blind, she would’ve recognized his voice as Zero from the TV. But that doesn’t appear to be the case yet, or maybe she’s hiding the fact. I also have a feeling that Lelouche will lose his sister for his cause, just like how Light had lost his father.