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Johnny Yong Bosch, Karen Strassman and Kojiro Taniguchi talk Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection is the next installment of the Code Geass series. Originally airing in 2006 until 2008 the 50 episode series developed by Sunrise follows Lelouch Lamperouge, a former prince of the Holy Britannian Empire who takes the identity of Zero in order to stop his family and save the world by doing what must be done.

While the series has been over for over a decade, the series has still seen some life in the form of an OVA series as well as three films that retold the events of the series with some changes. This May though, things will change as Lelouch was stabbed at the end of the series and enters Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection the upcoming film heading to select theaters across North America on May 5th (sub) and May 7 & 8th (dubbed).

Funimation held a North American premiere for the film last week, where lucky fans had the chance to watch the movie before its release alongside a few special guests that included Johnny Yong Bosch (Lelouch), Karen Strassman (Kallen), Yuri Lowenthal (Suzaku) and Kojiro Taniguchi who served as the producer for both the film and the series.

Before the screening, we had a chance to sit down with Johnny Yong Bosch, Karen Strassman and Kojiro Taniguchi.

NTF: I was a huge fan of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion when it released over a decade ago, so I have to ask, how challenging was it to work on a new title where everyone originally was at odds whether Lelouch died or survived?

Kojiro Taniguchi: As the creators, we want to make sure that everyone understands that at the end of R2 we intentionally left that answer open-ended. So, over the course of thirteen years, since the end of R1 and R2, a lot of the Japanese fans had come to the consensus that Lelouch was dead. In order to make sure that this franchise and IP can survive the next ten years, we, of course, had to bring Lelouch back into the picture.

NTF: What was the decision of making Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection a film over a new series?

Kojiro Taniguchi This goes a bit into Japanese anime culture and perception that movies are an elevated version in terms of production and storytelling from its television counterpart. If you look at Gundam for example, it evolved from the original 79, it also had different iterations and it works all the way up to Char’s Counterattack. So there is this understanding that it’s a movie, therefore it will have something great a version “up” so to speak.

One of the other reasons is, by reviving Lelouch if we had chosen to release it as a tv series, I don’t think the fans would truly enjoy that satisfaction of seeing Lelouch come back into the picture and do all the things Lelouch would do. When you’re dealing with 13 or 26 episodes, if Lelouch’s revival is a big plot point we can’t reveal that card until about halfway through so fans who come into the series expecting to see Lelouch it wouldn’t be a very satisfying experience. So, by forcing ourselves to explore that narrative within a two-hour container, it gives the opportunity to give fans what they want.

NTF: Was there any difficulty when it came to showing off how the characters had grown after so long?

Kojiro Taniguchi I think through the 50 episodes, it really wasn’t that much of a challenge to really look beyond and understand what type of character people would evolve into. Mostly because during the course of the series the characters had to have multiple faces due to everything happening around them just to survive, where is were a lot of the complexity came from. Take Kallen for example, she’s a member of the resistance on one side and on the other, she is a student in one of empire’s school. So she has this duality to her but now that there is no more war, looking beyond that her character has been established so it’s easy to imagine the character when you remove the conflicts from that equation.

NTF: What about Knightmares? Can we look forward to seeing ones we are familiar with as well as new ones?

Kojiro Taniguchi Absolutely!  There is a new faction that will be introduced to the movie called The Kingdom of Zilkhstan, all of their Knightmares will be an original design while a lot of the Knightmares that you remember from the television series will be reimagined and have a fresh look in the movie.

NTF: After working on the series for so long, who has become your favorite character?

Kojiro Taniguchi It’s always really hard to answer this question because when you’re creating something out of nothing, each character that you bring into the picture becomes like your child. With the understanding that it’s very hard to pick, if I had to choose one it would be Suzaku.

I find it kind of endearing and adorable in a way how Suzaku has a hard time expressing himself, there is a lot of stuff he wants to tell  Lelouch but he is the type of character that just internalizes everything. So it’s like he’s not really good at living in this world so to speak and he is kind of clumsy in how he approaches certain situations and interacts with different people.

NTF: Anything you would like to say to Code Geass fans in the West?

Kojiro Taniguchi People feel that the series had such a beautiful and poetic ending that some felt that any additional story or narrative was really kind on unnecessary but I truly believe that through this move and how much we’ve poured into it that it will blow all those criticisms away, so I encourage everyone to go watch the movie and witness it for yourself.

You can watch the rest of our interviews below:


Stay tuned for our review of the movie which is coming soon…Until then!