The story takes place in the same official Code Geass history as the anime, but in a different era. The title character, Renya, is a 17-year-old boy with a mechanical left arm and shuriken throwing stars as his weapons of choice. The story begins when Renya encounters a mysterious, perpetually young witch named "Reifū C.C." C.C. has appeared in Japan's historical Edo era to seek a new partner for a covenant. Meanwhile, a mysterious man, with a striking resemblance to the character Lelouch of the original anime, also appears with unknown intentions.
I, like many other readers, began reading this because of the Code Geass franchise. I won't lie, I dived into this hoping to catch a glimpse or two of the original cast (who is that Lelouch lookalike and what is he doing in that era?!). After all, what made Code Geass so enjoyable was the cast, more so than the storyline.
WARNING: Mild-spoilers ahead
The story so far is mediocre. It's interesting how Britannia existed that far in the past (and how Britannia was giving Japan shit since then) but what should have kept me interested, but failed, is the plot regarding the cast - the
journey to save/capture a runaway Britannian princess.
To top it off, there is a new concept of "Knightmares,"which, in my opinion, is pretty lame. I supposed they tried to incorporate Knightmares, which are originally mecha, into an era before there was advanced technology, which would have been great, if executed properly. Knightmares in this realm are pseudo-mutants of some sort. Why they no longer exist in Lelouch's timeline is a big mystery to me.
The only things that have kept my interest so far are a) C.C. and the Lelouch-look-alike's involvement and connection with each other, b) the contract that went awry, and c) the fact that a lot of the characters look like original Code Geass characters (I wonder if they'll expand into this and explain it...reincarnation perhaps - or maybe the artist was simply lazy?).
The art is not bad. Character designs aren't particularly novel (4 major characters look like they're straight out of the original Code Geass). The designs for the new characters are simply put..."meh," nothing extremely creative or new. The fight scenes are nicely illustrated.
C.C. is still C.C. and the Lelouch-look-alike acts eerily similar to Lelouch, so those are both pluses in my book. Renya the protagonist, however, is a bit boring and annoying; he is the "I-don't-want-to-get-involved-but-if-I-really-have-to-*SIGH*" type. The rest of new cast all seem to be pretty shallow, run of the mill characters. Some of them have "complex" pasts which don't much to add their depth.
Not what I would call a page turner, but it's not bad either. Something I would read if I was stuck on a train with nothing else to do.
By no means is it a horrible manga. But in the same vein, it's not great. It didn't capture my attention, not even after the 11 chapters I've read. The story, so far, is a basic save the princess storyline. The characters are your typical staple manga cast.
It's still too early to pass a final judgment on this manga, but so far I'm not impressed.