Those familiar with my journal should know what comes next: I attempt to cram the series in question down everyone else's throats.
It's your lucky day, because I'm about to cram a bunch of shoujo-styled mecha down your throats!
But I'll be gentle.
Code Geass is Yet Another Anime About Giant Robots. But I don't watch much mecha anime--or any at all except for this one and Gundam SEED--so why this one? Well...there are several reasons. These also happen to be the reasons you should watch Code Geass.
1) The girls. The only other series I have known to give its female characters such opportunity to shine on such an equal basis is Bleach. The first character we see in a mecha is female, and she doesn't pussy about with it, either. Rumors also suggest that of all the characters, she will be only the second one to pilot a special elite mecha. On top of that, the two current political leaders in occupied Japan are both princesses. One is the obligatory sweet ingenue--but beneath that bright-eyed exterior is a full set of conflicts and issues. The other is one of the two or three main villains of the show, and she has already proven herself more than a match for the antihero at his current stage. She is actively badass; we are not merely told this, but shown it. Plus, there's an awesome blonde lesbian. And that's not even getting into Viletta.
2) The antihero. Lelouch has all the issues in the book, and he makes them heartbreaking. That's good for the angst factor. But what makes it good in general is the fact that it's also easy to laugh at him. His dramatic plans are nearly foiled by a cat. He's way too fond of dramatic gestures. He's clueless to the girl who is interested in him and awkward around the girl the show is setting him up with. He's also a rather interesting twist on the usual mecha anime hero in that he sucks at combat. Instead, he strategizes, he thinks, he schemes, he commands other people. It puts him in a unique position plotwise, and for all that the show takes from other series (uh...mostly SEED), it's one of the things that keeps it fresh and interesting. Another is also a part of Lelouch--the fact that in most shows, with his darkness and ruthlessness, he'd be an antagonist. Instead, he's the protagonist, and his friend, the nicer, kinder boy (who also has some issues of his own), is being set up to face him. The situation promises some nasty twists down the road.
3) The animation quality. Yeah, the style isn't everyone's cup of tea--I didn't much care for it at first, mostly because I'd seen too much bad CLAMP-esque fanart on the Japanweb. But the attention paid to the quality itself was just so much more than what I'd been grumping about in such anime as Bleach and D.Gray-man. It's pretty. Well, maybe too pretty, if you're not a CLAMP fan (of note, though--CLAMP only did the character designs; they didn't do anything else for the series). But the quality of the animation makes up for that.
4) The setting and politics. They seem absurd at first, so much so that I laughed, but as the series goes on, you realize that there's an entire AU history behind the whole thing. It's been thought out well too--sure, it's not entirely realistic, but it makes more sense than most random anime AUs. And it means that there are politics. Not as many as there could be--the series, like Gundam SEED, prefers to focus on character interaction--but they're there.
5) Evil British people. Come on, this shouldn't need more explanations. Everyone loves evil Brits.
Look, just watch it, it's really cool. It's got a lot of Gundam SEED in it--they share a writer (no, not Morosawa, thank you)--but it adds entirely new twists and turns and looks at things from a very new perspective.
Plus, evil Brits.
** Torrents **
Given that gg (the first group to start subbing) has a presence on Livejournal and people have been mocked in anonymous comments for expressing a preference for Shinsen & Ureshii's subs, I'm going to avoid going into detail in public on which I prefer. Make your own choice, or ask me for more information privately.
However, I know not all of you do well with torrents. So I've started uploading the AVIs (that is, Shinsen & Ureshii's version, because people tend to find AVIs easier) to megaupload. I will keep uploading them and adding the links to this post until I've caught up with the current episode; then it should be easy for people to watch code_geass and see when direct downloads are posted there.
Code Geass: Stage 1
Code Geass: Stage 2
Code Geass: Stage 3
Code Geass: Stage 4
Code Geass: Stage 5
Code Geass: Stage 6
Code Geass: Stage 7