Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
There are quite a few mecha series that have a lot in common with Code Geass but Gundam Seed probably has the most, and it makes sense as it’s from the same production studio, Sunrise. Just like in Code Geass, Gundam Seed follows a young man named Kira Yamato who ends up being forcefully thrown into a conflict he wanted nothing to do with.
Gundam Seed features many of the same plot threads that you find in Code Geass, primarily of which is the relationship between Kira and his childhood friend Athrun Zala. The two end up fighting each other on opposite sides of the war, at first without knowing they’re even doing so, just like Lelouch and Suzaku. The story also weaves in surprises on characters being related, themes of terrorism and elitism, and more in common with Code Geass. Of course, on top of that there’s plenty of mecha action to give you your fill.
Death Note might not feature giant mecha or sci-fi elements, but thematically it probably has the most in common with Code Geass. The central crux of both series revolve around young men who are granted an unbelievable power, and use it to invoke their own sense of justice. In Death Note, Light Yagami is granted the power of a notebook belonging to the Shinigami Ryuk. By writing a name and the reason of death in the notebook, Light can bring anyone in the world’s life to an end. This power certainly has parallels Lelouch’s Geass that lets him control anyone he can make direct eye contact with.
Both Death Note and Code Geass put a huge emphasis on character, and the clashing ideologies of two opposing forces. In the case of Code Geass it’s Lelouch and Suzaku, and in Death Note it’s Light and the brilliant detective L. If you’re into Cod Ceass, Death Note is a thrilling choice that you might really enjoy.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
You might be able to guess, but the Gundam franchise in general has much in common with Code Geass. Besides Gundam Seed, however, Gundam 00 is the series that has the most in common with Code Geass. The series takes place far in the future, where three superpowers have struggled for years over three massive solar energy stations that give the world its power. After decades of war a mysterious group named Celestial Being emerges with the sole goal of eradicating all war, through the use of war itself.
The members of Celestial Being make up the main cast of the show, and the four main characters each pilot a powerful Gundam mobile suit. As you might imagine, each of these characters have a past wrecked by the consequences of war, and an ambition to see its end. Gundam 00 is filled with politics, clashing ideologies, religious references, and massive battles. Like many Gundam series, and Code Geass, it’s about the war of ideals as much as it is mobile suits blasting each other apart. Rebellions and terrorism are just a couple of the central themes that Gundam 00 shares with Code Geass.
Eureka Seven certainly has a bit of a lighter tone when compared to Code Geass, but there’s still a lot of similarities between the two. The show is a coming-of-age story for a young boy named Renton Thursten, who dreams of joining a mercenary group named Gekkostate and riding the particle waves. Similarly to Code Geass, Renton’s world gets turned upside down when a mysterious girl named Eureka comes to his grandfather’s shop to get her LFO fixed.
Despite being relatively lighthearted most of the time, Eureka Seven tackles some serious themes and can be quite thoughtful on the inner conflict of its characters. As there’s 50 episodes in the series, it takes its time to develop the main characters and build their relationships to others and the world around them. Also, the robots basically surf on the wind with boards, which admittedly is pretty great.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Legend of the Galactic Heroes is the oldest anime out of everything here, and in many ways it probably set the groundwork for Code Geass. The series is a grand, sweeping space opera with multilayered plotlines and characters that weave in and out of the whopping 110 episodes of the main anime series.
The series is set in the distant future of the Milky Way Galaxy, where planets have been terraformed by humans to live in. The Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance are locked in a brutal war that encompasses the galaxy. Legend of the Galactic Heroes is sci-fi but it’s much more grounded than Code Geass, not featuring any of the fantasy or supernatural elements. Something the show does put a huge emphasis on, however, is actual battle strategy. It’s constantly showing and describing tactics and strategies used during battles, along with the strong personalities enacting them. This unique aspect of the show puts it in line with Code Geass’ style. At the same time the sweeping story deals with political upheavals, revolutions, heroics, and tragedies. Battles here are determined by strategy, army size, and technology, not the use of a mystical power. Still, the general tone, scope, and style of the story has a lot in common with Code Geass.
Beat for beat, Guilty Crown is very much like Code Geass in every aspect. In Guilty Crown, Japan has come under the control of another power known as the GHQ. This party gained control after a tragedy called “Lost Christmas,” where a virus known as the “Apocalyptic Virus” ravaged the country. No one is quite sure what the GHQ wants or what their end goal is, but the rebel group Funeral Parlor wants to see their downfall, similarly to Lelouch’s rebellion against the Holy Brittanian Empire in Code Geass.
In the midst of this tumultuous time a young boy named Ouma Shu meets a mysterious girl who grants him the power to extract the voids in people’s hearts. This power is called “The Right Hand of the King,” and grants him the Guilty Crown. Just like Lelouch, Shu becomes a central figure in the conflict and gets wrapped up in events beyond his imagining.
Valvrave the Liberator
Valvrave the Liberator is another mecha anime produced by Sunrise, and like Code Geass its main character is granted a power. Unlike many other series on here, however, Valvrave features a school setting, showing its main characters living out their daily high schools lives in addition to the crazy stuff happening. This makes it more like Code Geass than many others.
In Valvrave, humanity now lives in spherical cities located in space, and only three main political powers exist: the Dorsia Military Pact Federation, ARUS, and the neutral power of JIOR. Module 77 is a residential block mostly filled with students, where it just so happens the advanced mecha known as Valvraves are also being hidden away. Tokishima Haruto and his friends stumble upon the Valvraves, and Haruto is given a strange, almost vampiric, power. There’s obviously quite a few parallels between the two series.
Darker Than Black
Darker Than Black is thematically strikingly similar to Code Geass. Both shows take place in a futuristic world filled with dark themes showing off the depraved depths that humanity can sink to. Both main characters possess supernatural powers granted through a contract. In the world of Darker Than Black, 10 years ago a spacial anomaly known as “Heaven’s Gate” opened in South America shortly followed by the “Hell’s Gate” opening in Tokyo and wreaking havoc on the city. During this time the real stars were replaced by fake ones and people with special powers started to appear, known as “Contractors.” Hei is one such Contractor who undertakes various espionage and assassination missions.
Darker Than Black is a brutal series that’s incredibly dark with its themes, surprising you at multiple turns. Although there aren’t any mecha to speak of, there’s a ton of action packed into the show. Combined with its complex hero and supporting cast, there’s a lot to love about Darker Than Black coming from Code Geass. As an added bonus, just like Lelouch, Hei wears a mask and outfit at every turn.