Sunrise produced recap films for Code Geass.
The first recaps films came out between 2008 and 2009:
- Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch Recaps
- Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch Special Edition – Black Rebellion
R1 also had two recap episodes 8.5 and 17.5.
These films only recap the story in a similar way that Evangelion Death and Rebirth Does.
Each film is under two hours long and goes through all of the main events in Code Geass Lelouch of the rebellion R1 and R2 respectively.
Each one starts near the end of the series it’s summarizing and shows you how we get there. The film uses montages and narration which makes the film seem more like reliving a memory than actually experiencing the events in real-time.
Which makes sense given because I believe the intention of this film was that you were supposed to watch them after the original anime not before.
You only need to watch the ending of the recap film for R2 because it answers a very important question that fans have been wondering about for a long time.
Without spoiling too much it involves the new epilogue which explains the fate of a character.
Where Can You Watch the Old Recap Films
Even though the old recap films are out of print you can find the Blu-ray version online. But there are two problems with those versions. They are overpriced and do not include subtitles.
So you are going to have to find it on some dodgy site that shows anime.
Good thing you only need to watch the ending to R2’s recap film.
Sunrise made new recap films from 2017 to 2018.
The intent was to “resurrect” Code Geass a common tactic were are seeing with other anime.
Other studios have tried this for both Full Metal Panic! and Eureka Seven. What separates these recap films from your traditional recap films is how the story is altered.
The new Code Geass films do the same by adding, removing, and changing many parts of the original anime.
If you want a complete guide of the changes between the films and the original anime click here.
So, understand that the films are an alternative universe and not part of the main story in R1, Akito, and R2.
A big confusion that I see is fans trying to understand why certain things are different in the latest Code Geass film.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection is a part of the film story and not the original series hence the confusion. On MAL it is not listed as a sequel to R2 which again demonstrates that this film is not part of the original series.
Here is my review of Code Geass Lelouch of the Re;surrection.
Rather it is part of four films which unlike the first recap films tell an alternative version of the Code Geass anime.
Do you need to watch these films?
No, these new films are part of a different universe than R1 and R2 thus all of the events in it have nothing to do with R1 and R2.
If you do want to watch it, to avoid any confusion watch all the films first and then the original series or vice versa.
Because if you watch them together you are going to get confused. If you don’t believe me just go on any forum about Code Geass and you will see questions asked that can easily be answered with “They are two separate universes”
Can I watch Lelouch of the Re;surrection after R2 and skip the new recap films?
You can watch the new film after R2. without the recap films
But just remember that the original series and these new films are from two different universes and timelines.
I think at the bare minimum you should either read up on the differences or watch the new scenes from the recap films before watching Lelouch of the Re;surrection. Doing this will help you understand all the major changes in this universe.
I went from R2 to the Lelouch of the Re;surrection and regret not looking into the recap films before doing so.
This is why you should look up information on the new recap films before skipping them to watch Lelouch of the Re;surrection immediately following R2.
Now speaking objectively though there is only one change you need to know before watching Lelouch of the Re;surrection if you want to go straight to it from R2.
I will not state it here because it’s a spoiler. So you should be okay going from R2 to Lelouch of the Re;surrection.
Z of the Recapture
This anime takes place after Lelouch of the Re;surrection.
Even though the new anime will not require any prior knowledge of Code Geass. I still think you watch the films and Lelouch of the Re;surrection before watching the series.
I kinda see it in a similar way to Mass Effect three which was made for people who did not play the previous two.
Although it was kinda strange why you want to start a trilogy with the third entry in that same trilogy without playing the first two that’s a whole another topic for another time.
The point here is that if you had played the first two games, the third game was a much better experience.
And I think for Code Geass Z of the Recapture the same is going to be true.
Where You Can Watch Anime from the Alternative Universe?
Unfortunately, you cannot stream the new recap films or Lelouch of the Re;surrection with solely having a subscription to a streaming service.
You have to either purchase or rent the films to watch them from sites like Vudu and Amazon.
When the Z of the Recapture comes out it most likely going to be on Funimation.
Here is the watch order of the Alternative Universe films and links to buy/rent the digital copy:
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion I – Initiation
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion II – Transgression
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion III – Glorification
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection
- Code Geass: Z of the Recapture