Anime in the 2000s was marked by some truly impressive storytelling. Somewhere among the best of the best, sits the captivating sci-fi masterpiece Code Geass.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is often hailed as a phenomenon, blending intense mecha battles, strategic brilliance, and a compelling narrative. However, finally finishing a show of such caliber will understandably leave you wanting more, especially due to the polarizing way Code Geass ended. For those hungry for other anime with similar elements of complex storytelling and high-stakes drama, here’s a curated list of the projects you need to see that will leave you breathless in awe.
10. Future Diary
Future Diary, also known as Mirai Nikki, is a psychological thriller that revolves around Yukiteru Amano, a socially isolated high school student. After discovering that his phone can predict the future, he is unwillingly pulled into a deadly survival game orchestrated by the enigmatic Deus Ex Machina. He and twelve other participants, equipped with a unique Future Diary, must navigate the treacherous landscape of betrayal, deception, and violence for the title of the next god. Similar to Code Geass, this anime has strategic themes and explores the consequences of absolute power.
9. Steins Gate
While not a mecha anime like Code Geass, Steins; Gate features a protagonist grappling with the consequences of altering reality and explores the moral implications of wielding extraordinary power. The sci-fi anime follows Rintarou Okabe, a self-proclaimed mad scientist, and his friends who accidentally discover a way to send messages to the past using a microwave. As they alter timelines, they become entangled in a web of conspiracies, time travel experiments, and the looming threat of a dystopian future.
8. Aldnoah Zero
Set in a world where Martians and Earthlings are on the brink of war, the mecha anime follows Inaho Kaizuka, a pragmatic Earth student, as he becomes embroiled in the conflict between Earth and Mars. With advanced Martian technology and political intrigue, Aldnoah Zero explores war, prejudice, and the pursuit of peace in a world divided by interplanetary conflict. The series shares thematic similarities with Code Geass, including strategic warfare and moral ambiguity.
7. Guilty Crown
Set in a dystopian future, Guilty Crown follows Shu Ouma, a high school student who acquires the Power of Kings, the ability to extract weapons from people’s hearts. Drawn into a conflict between resistance fighters and the ruling organization, Shu must navigate moral dilemmas, political intrigue, and personal struggles as he grapples with his newfound abilities. With political intrigue, rebellion, and a protagonist grappling with newfound abilities, it draws parallels to the thematic elements in Code Geass.
6. No Game No Life
This fantasy anime follows the extraordinary sibling duo, Sora and Shiro, who are undefeated gamers known as Blank in the real world. Transported to the world of Sisboard, where all disputes are settled through games, they aim to conquer the realm and challenge the god Tet. Much like Code Geass, No Game No Life is fueled by strategic genius and disdain for a higher power.
5. Terror in Resonance
Terror in Resonance, also known as Zankyou no Terror is a psychological thriller anime that revolves around two teenage terrorists, Nine and Twelve, who embark on a series of carefully orchestrated bombings in Tokyo to expose government corruption. As the story unfolds, Lisa Mishima, a troubled high school girl, becomes entangled in their plans. With its intense atmosphere, intricate plot, and moral ambiguity, the series shares thematic elements with Code Geass, exploring the consequences of rebellion.
Psycho-Pass is a dystopian cyberpunk thriller set in a future society where a powerful system, the Sibyl System, determines an individual’s mental state and the likelihood of committing crimes. The narrative follows Akane Tsunemori, a newly appointed inspector, and Shinya Kogami, an enforcer, as they investigate crimes and confront moral dilemmas. Like Code Geass, the series delves into the balance between security and individual freedom.
3. Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is set in a future world torn by conflict over depleting energy resources. A private military organization called Celestial Being is created and deploys advanced mobile suits called Gundams to eradicate war and bring peace through armed interventions. The series follows the diverse group of Gundam Meisters led by Setsuna F. Seisei as they delve into moral dilemmas and the consequences of their actions in their quest for a better world. Overall, the series features intense mecha battles and a focus on the impact of warfare on society.
Monster, one of the best psychological thriller anime, revolves around Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a renowned surgeon. After choosing to save the life of a young boy named Johan over the mayor, Tenma’s life takes a dark turn. Johan, the seemingly innocent patient, becomes a cold-blooded serial killer. As Tenma pursues Johan to stop the bloodshed, he uncovers a web of conspiracies, manipulation, and a haunting past that connects them inextricably. Monster, like Code Geass, explores moral ambiguity, and features intelligent protagonists facing complex decisions within a backdrop of conspiracy and political intrigue.
1. Death Note
Death Note revolves around Light Yagami, a brilliant high school student who discovers a mysterious notebook that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. Motivated by the desire to create a utopia free from crime, Light embraces the dark power of the Death Note, taking on the mantle of the mysterious and feared figure known as Kira. Like Code Geass, this psychological thriller explores the consequences of wielding extraordinary power and the moral dilemmas that arise.