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Code Geass: How to watch every movie and series of the anime franchise in order

We got two different timelines, each with giant mech battles.

Code Geass Lelouch using his Geass
Image credit: Sunrise

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would be like if Britain had colonized Japan and had giant mechs at their disposal, then Code Geass is the anime for you. This show is a standout in the mecha anime genre for its mixture of high technology with fantasy elements and stellar animation. It has remained popular enough in both Japan and the West to warrant two seasons of the anime, plus several movies and spin-offs.

However, some of the films are primarily recaps of the anime while others take place in entirely different versions of reality, so it can be pretty confusing to try to sit down and watch the show in any order. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you watch Code Geass in either chronological or release order.

How to watch Code Geass in chronological order

Code Geass Zero outfit
Image credit: Sunrise

There are important flashbacks throughout the Code Geass timeline that help establish who Lelouch Lamperouge is and how he came to live in what was Japan before it was conquered by the Holy Britannian Empire. If you’ve watched the show before, this can be a fun way to reexperience the series, but it can seriously undermine several of the dramatic moments in the anime. This is why we only recommend you watch Code Geass in chronological order if you’re already familiar with it.

Here is how to watch Code Geass in chronological order:

How to watch Code Geass in release order

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The release order for Code Geass is much more straightforward than watching it in chronological order, though it does take a bit of back and forth between the series and the OVAs. As is usually the case, this is the best order to tackle the series for the first time as it will preserve the dramatic tension and the plot twists till the end.

The release order for Code Geass is:

Which parts of Code Geass do I need to watch?

Code geass Lancelot mech being repaired
Image credit: Sunrise

The main thing to remember is that there are two distinct timelines in the Code Geass universe. The first two series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, are considered the canon plot. You can get the entire main plot of the anime just by watching these two series.

The Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Lelouch of the Re;surrection films follow most of the same story beats but change many of the events of the show, making them their own distinct timeline. You can watch all four of these and get a complete – but different – story. What about the OVAs? These don’t follow the canon events of Code Geass and are usually side stories you can skip. They’re fun and add a bit of flavor to the characters, but they’re not necessary to watch.

Where can I watch Code Geass?

Code Geass Lelouch playing darts in movie 1
Image credit: Sunrise

How you can watch Code Geass will depend entirely on where you live. The two seasons of the anime are both available on Crunchyroll in most territories, including Europe, the UK, and the US. In the US, Crunchyroll also has the four Code Geass films available to stream as well. If you want to watch these outside the US, you’ll need to find them on Amazon Prime.

For the OVAs, things become a bit more difficult. There isn’t currently a legal place to stream them and they’re not easy to track down in physical format. Occasionally they will pop up for sale on Amazon, but they are tough to get hold of.

What’s next for Code Geass?

Code Geass Lancelot mech
Image credit: Sunrise

The most recent entry in the Code Geass franchise was Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection in 2016, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything else planned for the series. A new anime series titled Code Geass: Z of the Recapture was announced in December 2020 as part of a 10-year plan for the franchise. However, in the three years since that announcement, we haven’t had any other details.

We still don’t have a release date or any plot information for Z of the Recapture. We don’t even know which timeline it will take place in yet. The project may have been put on hold or even canceled, but we won’t know until we get confirmation from the studio.

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