|“||If the king does not lead, how can he expect his subordinates to follow?||”|
—Lelouch vi Britannia
Lelouch vi Britannia (ルルーシュ・ヴィ・ブリタニア, Rurūshu vi Buritania) is the main protagonist of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, and plays a supporting role in sidestories like Code Geass: Oz the Reflection and Code Geass: Lancelot & Guren. After he was exiled, he used the alias, Lelouch Lamperouge (ルルーシュ・ランペルージ, Rurūshu Ranperūji). He was the Eleventh Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire and the son of the 98th Emperor of Britannia, Charles zi Britannia. He was also the leader and founder of The Black Knights and the real identity of Zero. He is voiced by Jun Fukuyama, while his child self is voiced by Sayaka Ohara. His English dub voice is provided by Johnny Yong Bosch with Michelle Ruff doing Lelouch's child voice.
He was chosen the most popular male character of 2006, 2007 and 2008 at Animage magazine's annual Anime Grand Prix. His Japanese voice actor Jun Fukuyama also won the "Best Actor in a Leading Role" award for his portrayal of the character at the first Seiyū Awards in 2007.
Lelouch is a handsome young man with black hair and violet eyes, which he inherited from his mother. Lelouch is somewhat scrawny, having little muscle, and like most characters in the series, is rather thin. In spite of this, Lelouch is considerably tall, standing at least a head taller than Kallen, and apparently being slightly taller than Suzaku.
Lelouch usually wears the Ashford Academy uniform, or the Zero uniform. Outside of Ashford, his primary casual outfit is a red jacket with a black shirt underneath and grey trousers, though he has occasionally worn other clothing. As Emperor, he wears a white robe with gold accents and a matching hat; both sport a red eye motif, referencing his Geass power.
Lelouch is a highly intelligent individual who is also calm, sophisticated, and arrogant due to his aristocratic upbringing. While at school, Lelouch conducts himself as a sociable, likable, and often easygoing student. However, this is really a mask to hide his true nature. While as Zero his true nature is expressed. His charisma and beliefs in justice gain him the trust and respect of many soldiers and leaders.
Lelouch is known for having a very stoic personality. He never cared about schoolwork, seeing the entire thing as trivial, even though his high intelligence would make it easy for him. At one point, Shirley stated that if Lelouch applied himself in school, he could get high grades. He enjoys seeking out challenges, often playing chess against the nobility. In general, Lelouch takes most day-to-day affairs with open disinterest, often not even noticing the affection of others, especially Shirley, his classmate. He has a strong dislike for nobles, viewing them as tepid and "overprivileged parasites."
In battle, Lelouch is very cold and tactical. He is willing to sacrifice civilians and soldiers alike, if that is what it takes to achieve the objective. In the battle at Narita, when he created a landslide that wiped out most of the enemy forces, and indirectly, several civilians in the town below, he brushed off the civilian casualties as a simple "mathematical overestimation." He did have second thoughts when he learned that one of them was Shirley's father, but he accepted that there will always be consequences for all of his actions. He also saw no problem with collapsing a large portion of Tokyo, resulting in countless military and civilian casualties.
Many characters have noted that Lelouch is quite selfish, as his desire to remake the world into what he wants it to be comes from his desire to avenge his mother's apparent death and Nunnally's sake, however in time he realizes that this goal is not just for them, but for the entire world.
Despite his cold, calculating demeanor, and ruthlessness in battle, he can be a rather compassionate person to his friends and loved ones. To Nunnally, he is a loving older brother, and to Suzaku, a loyal friend, despite the fact that the two are enemies. Lelouch, at first glance, seems to have relatively little concern for the well-being of his subordinates, but in reality, he does care about them, seeing them as valuable allies. Though he has shown preference on occasion especially with Kallen.
As the series progresses, Lelouch suffers traumas and further loses that further deepen his resolve. However, he also grows less merciful to his enemies if he cannot Geass them.
Character Planning History
While first designing the concept art design for Lelouch, the series' original character designers CLAMP had initially conceived of his hair colour as being white. Ageha Ohkawa, head writer at CLAMP, said she had visualized him as being a character to which "everyone" could relate to as being "cool", literally, a "beauty". During the early planning stages for Lelouch's alter ego, Zero, CLAMP had wanted to create a mask never witnessed prior in any Sunrise series. While developing the character during the initial planning stages, the series' core staff at Sunrise, director Gorō Taniguchi, writer Ichirō Ōkouchi, and the production team discussed numerous possible influences for the character with CLAMP, such as Kinki Kids and Tackey and Tsubasa.
Lelouch was born on December 5, 1999 a.t.b. as Lelouch vi Britannia the son of the Emperor of Britannia, Charles zi Britannia, and the late Imperial Consort Marianne, making Lelouch the Eleventh Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire. He was in line to be the seventeenth heir to the throne prior to his mother's assassination and his sister's crippling in the same incident. A ten-year-old Lelouch confronted the Emperor afterwards and accused him of leaving his mother defenseless, even going as far as renouncing his entitlement to the throne. In response, his father banished him to Japan, where he was used as a political hostage in the Sakuradite conflict.
It was during his stay at the Kururugi household that he first met Suzaku Kururugi, with whom the young Lelouch did not interact initially in a friendly way, before later becoming friends. However, when Britannia finally developed its Knightmare Frames fleet and decided to invade Japan to seize control of the Sakuradite mines, consequently discarding Lelouch's use as a diplomatic tool, Lelouch, fearing for his and his sister's safety, hid their true identities and sought the help of the Ashford family, who were his mother's allies.
His mother's death and his father's apparent lack of concern in regards to it were huge blows to Lelouch. He always felt that it was unfair for both his mother and sister, and made it his goal to pursue a better world for Nunnally. He also seeks to discover the true reason for his mother's death, as she was murdered in the Aries Imperial Palace, a place terrorists would be unlikely to penetrate successfully without being noticed, if at all.
Main article: Zero
Shortly after gaining the power of Geass from C.C., Lelouch assumes the secret identity Zero, a mysterious, masked revolutionary dressed in a black helmet and cloak. The helmet has a retractable plate over the left eye so Lelouch can use his Geass. In this guise, he forms the Black Knights, initially composed of the members of Kaname Ohgi's resistance group. The goal of this vigilante group is a campaign against powerful individuals who oppress the helpless, which he eventually expands into reforming Japan as an independent nation.
Lelouch is willing to do whatever it takes to carry out his goal, even if it means lying to his followers and using people as bait for the outcome he desires. However, he has trouble putting those he is close to in harms way for the sake of his goal, which is a weakness as a commander but a remnant of his humanity and sanity. His feelings for Nunnally in particular often hinders his plans, particularly at the end of the first season, where he abandons a massive war with Britannian forces to rescue her, and early into the second season, when he has trouble believing Nunnally is willingly waging a campaign for peace that interferes with his plans. Gradually, however, he has come to embrace the fact that he has to destroy before reconstruction can occur, even if it means harming those he cares about.
Originally, Lelouch is motivated by the desire to avenge his mother's death and construct an ideal world where his sister Nunnally can live in peace. After Nunnally becomes Viceroy of Area 11, and her wishes conflict with his goals, his friends help him to realize that his rebellion is no longer just for Nunnally, but for all the people of the world.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Lelouch makes his first appearance in the beginning of the first episode of the series, as a child, along with
Suzaku Kururugi watching the Britannian Military entering Japan, with the figure of C.C. apparently watching them. After the invasion of Japan, Lelouch vows to obliterate Britannia. He is later introduced to be a student of Ashford Academy where he is a member of its Student Council. He is a brilliant thinker who is quite talented at chess, he lives with his younger sister, Nunnally, and their maid, Sayoko, in the Student Council building of Ashford Academy, where they are looked after by the Ashford Family.
Lelouch and his friend Rivalz enter a room where a chess match was being played, with Lelouch claiming he can turn the situation on the chess table in under 9 minutes. He starts his game by moving the King. He effortlessly crushes him in a short period of time (8 minutes, 32 seconds), while the noble gapes at his own defeat. Rivalz compliments Lelouch on his victory, and is happy that the ego of the nobles will force them to pay, which he notes also make them loose. As they walk out of the casino, they are interrupted by Clovis' "heart-breaking" speech which turns out to be an act. On the road, Rivalz accidentally cuts the way of the terrorists, resulting in their vehicle's crash. People gather, but to Lelouch's disgust, they are more interested in placing the blame and gawking over the incident than helping, prompting him to go and assess the situation. As he inspects the crash, he hears a voice, but is then thrown in the back of the truck, as Nagata, one of the hijackers, puts it in reverse for an attempted getaway. However, Lelouch is soon swept into the conflict between the Holy Britannian Empire and the pockets of resistance which oppose it when he accidentally boards a truck being used by Japanese Resistance operatives. To Lelouch's horror, he realizes that he is trapped in a terrorist getaway. Suzaku, who Lelouch had not met for seven years, finds the vehicle and confronts Lelouch, who he mistakes as a terrorist. Nagata opens the capsule, to which Suzaku quickly puts his own gas mask on Lelouch's face. The capsule opens, instead of gas, as Suzaku expected, a restrained C.C. appears. Before they can get answers, Suzaku's superior comes and tells him not to question his briefing, and to shoot the "terrorist", Lelouch. When he refuses, he is promptly shot in the back. Lelouch and C.C. take the opportunity to escape. Just as they seem to have evaded detection, Lelouch's phone rings, giving him away. As they are about to kill him, C.C. jumps in front and is shot in the forehead. A desperate Lelouch now thinks of his impending death, his last thought being of Nunnally. He is grabbed by the hand by C.C. , who proposes a contract which would allow him to live and endow him with Geass, the power of kings. He accepts, and stands up reinvigorated, and uses his power to make his pursuers kill themselves. He then retroactively contemplates this moment, noting his life is a lie, but that he accepts it as long as he has the power from it.
Following his actions, Villetta Nu appears in her Sutherland and Lelouch decides to take it and uses his Geass on her as well. After making use of his new-found power, he attempts to crush the rest of the Britannian Military that is wiping out the Elevens in the Shinjuku Ghetto. He uses Ohgi's Resistance Group and gives them orders in eliminating the Britannian Soldiers. He initially gains the upper hand, forcing Viceroy Clovis la Britannia to allow the release of an experimental Knightmare Frame by the Special Envoys, named the Lancelot, which is piloted by Suzaku Kururugi. Suzaku defeats most of the rebel's forces and eventually finds Lelouch's Sutherland inside of a building. Unable to defend himself against Suzaku's attacks, Kallen appears in her Glasgow to buy him enough time to escape, stating that she is returning the favour for helping her. Just as the Britannian Army corners the terrorists, Clovis orders an immediate cease-fire under coercion by Lelouch. Lelouch confronts Clovis at gunpoint about the murder of his mother, Marianne vi Britannia, before killing him.
When he returns to Ashford Academy, he discovers that Kallen Stadtfeld, one of the terrorists he helped in Shinjuku Ghetto, attends the same school. The limitations to his power are also revealed to him when he attempts to question her and unsuccessfully erase her memory. Both him and Kallen attempt to gain information from each other, but he creates a cunning deception, through Sayoko, to ease her suspicions of his identity. When the death of Prince Clovis is announced in the media, it is Suzaku who is accused of the murder.
After finding out Suzaku is being accused of murdering Clovis, he assumes the mantle of Zero and reveals himself, in a disguise, to Ohgi's Resistance Group. He convinces them that he will show his power by rescuing Kururugi. During the scheduled public run of Suzaku heading to the courts, Zero appears on top of Clovis' royal transport that was made by Kallen and Ohgi. Debuting to the whole entire whole as Zero, he reveals the capsule that supposedly held poison gas. In exchange for the capsule he wanted Kururugi, but Jeremiah remains steadfast stating that he can not give him up as he murdered Clovis. Lelouch refutes stating that he was the one who killed Clovis. Knowing that Jeremiah would not cooperate, he uses the codeword "Orange" to instill doubt in the Purist Faction and Britannian Military as some sort of bribe or plan in cooperating with Zero. Using this to his advantage, he uses his Geass on Jeremiah to allow them to escape.
Arthur, a stray cat slips into the Lamperouge residence on campus and takes off with Lelouch's Zero mask. Milly announced that the one who would catch the cat would get a kiss from any member of the Student Council. A massive, comedic chase throughout the school grounds involving the entire student body follows. Suzaku and Lelouch were the ones that got the cat and got a kiss on the cheek from Nunnally. The student council adopts Arthur and builds a cat house in the council room. Lelouch along with the rest of the student body watches Prince Clovis' funeral on live. During the funeral, the Emperor of Britannia, his father, makes a speech on the virtues of inequality and the social battle for evolution and betterment while Lelouch shows an expression of dislikeness.
Unknown to Lelouch, Cornelia had set a trap for Zero at the Saitama Ghetto by simulating the conditions in Shinjuku Ghetto. Despite C.C.'s warnings, Lelouch takes the bait and goes to the aid of the Saitama resistance. His plan falls apart from a combination of Cornelia's superior tactics and the resistance cell's dissimilar motivations. Lelouch is cornered and nearly discovered, but C.C. dons his Zero costume and distracts the Britannian Army, allowing him to escape. Lelouch blames his defeat on the undisciplined rebels and resolves to build something better than a mere resistance unit, first an army, then "people," and finally a nation.
He later forms The Order of the Black Knights during the Japanese Liberation Front Hotel Incident after rescuing the hostages. He leads the Black Knights becoming a revolutionary and gains popular support amongst the Elevens.
The turning point in his rebellion comes when Euphemia li Britannia declares the region under Mt. Fuji, the Special Administrative Zone of Japan, giving the Japanese people their name and country back, albeit in a much smaller area. This effectively destroys any possibility of the Black Knights' rebellion; acceptance would render them powerless and refusal would make them pariahs. Lelouch confronts her at the opening ceremony and tries to have her shoot him, hoping to make himself a martyr. When she says she plans to give up her title, he surrenders and agrees to work with her. However, at this moment his Geass permanently activates, and an offhand comment about ordering her to kill the Japanese forces her to do just that. Lelouch is forced to kill Euphemia to end the ensuing massacre, but in doing so becomes a hero of the people. Using this new-found support, Lelouch announces the creation of the United States of Japan and is able to lead an attack on the Tokyo Settlement. The attack goes well at first, but when Lelouch learns that Nunnally was kidnapped, he abandons the battle, leaving his forces helpless against the much better organized Britannian forces.
On his way to rescue Nunnally, he is intercepted by Jeremiah who is piloting the Siegfried, but is able to lose him after an ensuing battle. Lelouch and C.C. make their way to Kamine Island to search for Nunnally, but Jeremiah appears once more. Being unable to defeat him as the Gawain has taken its toll in the many battles it has participated in, C.C. decides to sacrifice herself and drops Lelouch off.
Using the Gawain's slash harkens and damaging the Siegfried's float system, she drags Jeremiah down to the bottom of the ocean. Afterwards, Lelouch is confronted by Suzaku Kururugi. Kallen appears as well and Suzaku reveals to her that Zero's true identity is Lelouch. Lelouch attempts to broker a truce, trying to convince Suzaku to help him find Nunnally, but Suzaku is distraught over the death of Euphemia and refuses to listen. An angered Lelouch draws his pistol and he and Suzaku attempt to shoot one another. A single gunshot is heard as the screen fades to black at the end of the first season.
Code Geass: Akito the Exiled
Main article: Julius Kingsley
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, Lancelot & Guren, Re; and Oz the Reflection
One year later, Lelouch is once again a student at Ashford Academy. He has had his memories rewritten by Charles zi Britannia, revealed to possess a Geass power of his own, erasing his memory of him being a prince, being Zero, and that he has a younger brother named Rolo Lamperouge, instead of a sister.
He is seen running away from Villetta Nu who is revealed to be a teacher now in the first episode. He is able to leave Ashford Academy with Rolo to go gamble at Babel Tower. It is here where Kallen and the remnants of the Black Knights attempt to retrieve Zero. After being cornered by the OSI, C.C. appears. Lelouch's memories are restored by C.C. and he uses his Geass to kill all of them. Afterwards, Urabe and Kallen appear in their respective Knightmares and he resumes leadership of the Black Knights. Initially, Lelouch makes his base in the Chinese Federation's consulate, using his Geass on the High Eunuch stationed there so they will be welcomed. They are eventually forced to abandon it, however.
When Nunnally is appointed as Viceroy of Area 11, and announces her plans to re-establish the Special Administrative Zone of Japan, Lelouch falls into a depression since he would be impeding her wishes by continuing his rebellion. He nearly begins taking Refrain before Kallen stops him. With the help of Kallen and his friends at the Ashford Academy, Lelouch realizes that his mission no longer revolves solely around Nunnally, but concerns the rest of his friends and the Japanese people as well.
Lelouch engineers the legal exile of the Black Knights by getting the Britannians to agree to exile Zero in exchange for bringing one million participants for Nunnally's new Japan. By having them all dress as Zero, he forces Suzaku to exile them and The Black Knights escape to the Chinese Federation, where Lelouch begins forging an alliance with the other world powers to create a force that rivals Britannia. He starts by destabilizing the Chinese Federation, returning control to Empress Tianzi from the High Eunuchs. During this time, he also meets Benio Akagi and appoints her to the Zero Squad in recognition of her skills and personally bestows upon her the Benihozuki Knightmare Frame but was unaware that Rolo stared at Benio and Kagari with a bad mood.
During his time in Area 11, Shirley is killed by Rolo after her memories are restored by Jeremiah Gottwald, an assassin for the Geass Directorate. Unable to retaliate against either, as they are now his allies, Lelouch instead wipes out the Directorate, in the process learning of C.C.'s wish to die and that the Emperor has become immortal. C.C. would have had Lelouch kill her and take on her immortality, but instead spares him by placing him inside her memories while the Emperor kills her. Lelouch refuses to let her die unhappy and convinces her to live on, but her memories of her life after gaining Geass are erased during their escape.
When Benio was about to be cornered by Rolo who wounded Kagari, Lelouch stepped in to stop Rolo from killing her resulting in Lelouch to wipe out Benio and Kagari's memories so that they don't have to get wound up getting hurt as Lelouch was responsible for the deaths of Benio's parents.
Once Lelouch's new alliance, the United Federation of Nations, is formed, their first act is to liberate Japan. To insure Nunnally's safety, Lelouch meets with Suzaku in an attempt to convince him to help. Lelouch takes full responsibility for all that he has done rather than admit the truth, but Suzaku agrees to help since he recognized what Lelouch is doing. Prince Schneizel's troops, having been ordered to follow Suzaku, then move in to arrest Lelouch, convincing him that Suzaku sold him out. Lelouch escapes with the help of Guilford, having used his Geass to make Guilford see him as Princess Cornelia, and begins his attack on Tokyo. Rolo and Sayoko are sent in to retrieve Nunnally and Kallen.
The battle initially goes well, but the hostilities are cut short when Suzaku fires Nina's F.L.E.I.J.A. bomb under the influence of the Geass command Lelouch placed on him. Nunnally is apparently among the dead, which leaves Lelouch heartbroken. This is only made worse when Schneizel appears in order to speak to the core members of the Black Knights. Schneizel is able to convince them to betray Lelouch using recorded evidence from his meeting with Suzaku, revealing his real identity of being Zero and his power of Geass. Kallen meets up with Lelouch to tell him that Ohgi wants him to come to warehouse 9. In the elevator, Kallen expresses to Lelouch her gratitude for Nunnally's help when she was captured.
They then arrive to see that the core members of the Black Knights are betraying him, stating they know his real identity and Geass power. With Lelouch backed into a corner, he reveals his identity and lies that everything he has done was for his entertainment in order to save Kallen from dying with him telling her that she needs to live. As they are about to gun Lelouch down, Rolo appears in the Shinkirō to evacuate him, but dies in the attempt as he overuses his Geass. Lelouch comes to terms with his feelings for Rolo and buries him properly, as the little brother of Lelouch Lamperouge.
Following the betrayal of the Black Knights, Lelouch focuses on defeating the Emperor, Lelouch confronts the Emperor in the Sword of Akasha, where he learns the truth about his mother and Charles' plans. He denies their attempt to create a new world and kills both of Charles and Marianne, with C.C. and Suzaku. One month later he installs himself as the 99th Emperor of Britannia and appoints Suzaku as his Knight of Zero. After Lelouch becomes Emperor, his half-sister Marrybell mel Britannia has an audience with him, where she pledges loyalty to him. Unlike the other members of the Imperial Family, he does not use his Geass on her.
As Emperor, Lelouch abolishes all the oppressive laws and class systems of Britannia, frees every colony (thereby abolishing the concept of "Numbers"), and puts down all resistance to his goals. However, the seemingly benevolent acts are a smokescreen for his intention to take over the world, which he calls the Zero Requiem. He announces that Britannia intends to join the U.F.N. At the meeting, Lelouch takes the council members hostage after it is revealed that Britannia's large population would give him a majority voting block. This brings him into conflict with Schneizel and the Black Knights, the former bringing his F.L.E.I.J.A.-equipped floating fortress into the battle. The biggest surprise comes when Nunnally is revealed to be alive and declares herself to be his and Suzaku's enemy. Though initially reluctant, Lelouch is convinced that he must fight her for the sake of his plan.
Lelouch began to leave when Damocles continued to fire F.L.E.I.J.A.s. Shortly afterwards, Lelouch saw C.C and showed worry for her, but Kallen attacks them. C.C. stays behind to fight Kallen. Using Nina's countermeasure, Lelouch and Suzaku disable the F.L.E.I.J.A. and the two proceed to board the Damocles. He manages to place Schneizel under his control, then goes to confront Nunnally, who has regained her sight. Lelouch uses his Geass on Nunnally to get her to hand over the F.L.E.I.J.A. launch button and takes over Damocles. With no one left capable of opposing him, Lelouch becomes the ruler of the world. Some time after the battle with Schneizel and the Black Knights, Lelouch appoints Marrybell in charge of Damocles.
Lelouch arranges the public execution of the Black Knight leaders and the U.F.N. representatives. Suzaku, disguised as Zero, interrupts and kills Lelouch, the culmination of the Zero Requiem as they had planned. By directing all the hatred of the world onto him, Lelouch's death will serve to facilitate peace, while simultaneously redeeming both Lelouch's and Suzaku's sins by having them impose the greatest punishments on themselves: death for Lelouch who wishes for a tomorrow with his sister, life for Suzaku who wishes to atone for his sins through death. At the same time, during the Glinda Knights' and Peace Mark's assault on Damocles, Marrybell and Orpheus fall to their deaths. Nunnally can only watch in shock. When Lelouch falls near her, she takes his hand and realizes that he had sacrificed himself on purpose, for her dream and world peace. Lelouch dies smiling in the arms of a crying Nunnally, saying he has both destroyed the world and created it anew. Suzaku is left playing the role of Zero.
The aftermath is narrated by Kallen, who ends up forgiving Lelouch as she has realized Lelouch's true intentions were noble and explains how the world is much better off with all the energy being focused on reconstruction. During the final scene of the series, C.C. makes one last remark to Lelouch, about how she may have been wrong about Geass condemning one to a life of solitude.
Due to his good looks and charm, Lelouch is quite popular with girls. However, he does not care much for this, due to his focus on caring for Nunnally and changing the world. Still, Lelouch does show hints of romantic feelings for several characters, namely Kallen Kōzuki, Shirley Fenette and C.C. While he was never able to express how he really felt about them, it is shown that he did care deeply for each of them.
|“||"Even after all that's happened, I still became your friend."||”|
—Suzaku musing at his friendship with a brainwashed Lelouch
Suzaku Kururugi is the first and last true friend Lelouch had ever had. Lelouch trusts and has faith in him more than anyone else (excluding Nunnally) in the world. He is even willing to go down on his knees to beg him to protect Nunnally because Suzaku is the only person he could trust and find help in, despite the fact that they were already enemies at that time. Lelouch was also hurt deeply when Suzaku decided to turn him into the emperor and when he thought Suzaku had betrayed him again in the Kururugi Shrine.
They had many face offs and Lelouch often could not bring himself to hurt Suzaku after finding out that Suzaku is the pilot of Lancelot and tried time and again to get Suzaku to join his side. Suzaku is also the only person aside from Nunnally whom Lelouch is unwilling to use Geass upon--even when he did, he did not order Suzaku to obey him or join his side, but to "live on."
As Suzaku once said, "There is nothing we cannot accomplish together." They are able to complete many impossible missions when they choose to cooperate with each other. The ascension to the throne and the plan to take over the world to complete Zero Requiem was the best proof of how strong they could be when working together. Lelouch eventually entrusts Suzaku with everything, including the final step of the Zero Requiem, the peace of the world afterwards, and Nunnally.
Suzaku has very mixed feeling for Lelouch. He also sees Lelouch as his best friend but he disagrees with Lelouch's methods. He had suspected Lelouch was Zero before their confrontation but chose to trust his friend, thus he was more disappointed than surprised when he finally discovered the truth of Zero's identity. He also could not forgive Lelouch for killing Euphemia and smearing her name as a mass murderer. He is also furious that Lelouch apparently views people as pawns and how Lelouch had forced him to "live on" when his secret desire is to die in battle and the Geass often forced him to do things he has no desire to.
But after the confrontation at the Kururugi shrine, the explosion of F.L.E.I.J.A. and the encounter with the emperor in the world of C that realize Charles cause Euphemia's tragic actions, Suzaku completely changes his views and adopts the same approach and beliefs as Lelouch. That results are what matters, and from then on, like Lelouch, he is willing to achieve the desired results regardless of the means. Thus Suzaku chooses to fight side by side with Lelouch as a faithful knight to complete the Zero Requiem they devised together.
His silent tears when executing Lelouch show that despite all that has happened, he still cares deeply for Lelouch and even after all the damage, their friendship was never truly destroyed. As the new Zero, he now protects Nunnally in his stead. Suzaku still cares for his first, true, and best friend.
|“||Everything I've done was for Nunnally's sake.||”|
—Lelouch's main motivation for the Rebellion
His younger sister Nunnally was the reason Lelouch began his quest to overthrow the Britannian Empire, and for most of the series creating a world she can live peacefully in is his driving motivation. Lelouch loves his sister over all others (even Euphemia) and her safety and comfort were always his number one priority to the point of him abandoning his allies to save her when she was captured. He once lost his intention to live after thinking Nunnally was dead. Despite his love for her (or perhaps because of it) Lelouch was willing to do whatever it took to bring peace to the world, even to the point of using his Geass on her and having her hate him in order to bring the Zero requiem to fruition. The Zero Requiem was actually planned by Lelouch (the enemy of the world) to have him killed by Suzaku disguised as Zero to end the cycle of hatred and to bring peace to the world. Part of the reason Lelouch sacrificed himself was for the dream of Nunnally to make the world peaceful ending all the focuses on war and altering it to reconstruction and negotiation.
|“||"Yes, you got it right. Your big brother is just a liar."||”|
—Lelouch last word to Rolo
Rolo was Lelouch's Foster Brother and one of Nunnally's replacement siblings after his memories were altered by Charles and Clara's death. They first met when Rolo who was escorted by the Order when he and Suzaku remained captivity by Shin until when Shin died during the mainland intervention. Lelouch despised Rolo and would take advantage of his weakness just to make him an effective pawn. When Rolo killed Shirley was what made Lelouch decided to destroy the Order instead of using it and allowed Lelouch to not repeat the same mistake when Rolo was about to kill Benio and Kagari. After Rolo failed to rescue Nunnally, Lelouch was enraged at Rolo of how he would do the things Nunnally would not do. Where announce to Rolo that he been trying to killing Rolo but ended up failing telling get out of his sight.
Despite the hatred Lelouch had for him, Rolo rescued him after the Black Knights betrayal determine not letting Lelouch getting killed even while continue overusing his geass affecting his heart Rolo admit that for all time he been used as tool and admit that Lelouch has also use him as a tool in the end but he consider the time he spend with him was genuine which allows him to become human and that his decision to save Lelouch was own will. In his final moments that he recognized his older brother as a big liar which Lelouch acknowledge. After Rolo's death Lelouch honor Rolo buried him and promising that he will not let his sacrifice go to waste recognize Rolo not as the brother of Lelouch vi Britannia but rather Lelouch Lamperouge.
He was not replaced after dying due to Charles being destroyed afterward.
Clara was Lelouch's Foster Sister and one of Nunnally's replacement siblings after his memories were altered by Charles. After she was killed by Orpheus Zevon, she was replaced with Rolo.
|“||Farewell, Euphie. You may have been the first girl I ever loved.||”|
—Lelouch's last words as he shot her.
Lelouch and his younger half-sister, Euphemia, were extremely close when they were young, with Nunnally stating that Lelouch had a crush on her, and she may have felt the same. When they met up in the present day, and discover his identity as Zero it showed that he still cared for her deeply but whether or not he still had the same romantic feelings is unknown.
When Euphemia met up with Lelouch even persuade him to stop his rebellion and comply with her Special Administrative Zone of Japan after he has vehemently refused it initially believe it to naïve idea and if it was establish the Black Knight would collapse and was determinate to wreck it. However Euphemia manage convinced him to agree after telling him that she did it for Nunnally's sake and was willing to sacrifice her right to throne. when Lelouch accidentally uses his Geass on her, when making a joke about her killing the Japanese although she was resist the effect but unfortunately succumb to commanded Lelouch attempt to stop her but couldn't because his geass can only be use on a person once left with no other choice but to kill Euphemia in order to end the massacre. As Lelouch shot her, he states that she was his first love. It was one of the greatest burdens and sins on his soul and something that he was never able to forgive himself for.
Later, in tribute to Euphemia's memory, Lelouch asked Rolo to depose a gray candle labeled with her name in the memorial candle of those who died in the Special Administrative Zone massacre.
Like Euphemia, Marrybell has a good relationship with Lelouch and Nunnally since youth. Ever since Lelouch declared himself as the new Emperor of Britannia, Marrybell joins him, being the only member of the Imperial Family to not be subjugated under Geass. Like Lelouch, Marrybell has quite in common with him: their tragic past, exile from the family, formation of their organizations for different purposes, a quest to atone for their sins that will satisfy their desires due to everything that was for nothing and similar Geass abilities, with Marrybell's being the darker of the two. Marrybell reunited with his half brother when she had an audience with him as she declared her loyalty which Lelouch accepted and it was quite a while when the two interacted until when he entrusted his half sister with the Key of Damocles after defeating Schneizel and Black Knights in the Battle of Mt. Fuji. Both died in a similar fashion, at the hands of their best friends and at about the same time.
|“||I didn't know. I didn't know until I lost her how much she meant to me.||”|
—Lelouch telling a memory-erased Shirley his feelings for her.
Shirley and Lelouch had been school mates and good friends in Ashford Academy. Shirley stated that she once disliked Lelouch at first, but one time she saw a car accident where an elderly couple was being scrutinized by the man who was clearly at fault. Without anyone realizing, Lelouch took a tow car's hook and put it on the man's car, dragging it away and saving the couple. The fact that Lelouch did it without boasting and emotion sparked Shirley's curiosity to discovering Lelouch's real self which ultimately led to her falling in love with Lelouch. She affectionately calls him "Lulu", with which everyone else caught up and made fun of him.
As they became friends, she developed a huge crush on Lelouch, though she disapproved of his gambling habits. She tried to act as a moral centre for the seemingly amoral Lelouch.
As she was too shy to confess, she would often become jealous when Lelouch seemed to show interest in other women, particularly Kallen, with whom Lelouch has had a number of misinterpreted encounters. Shirley's crush for Lelouch is explained when she confronts Kallen in what she misunderstands as a romance between the two. Kallen and Lelouch often dismissed Shirley's suspicions as false, but she didn't believe them.
Their relationship became complicated during the Battle of Narita, in which Lelouch's battle tactics killed her father Joseph Fenette, a Britannian army scientist. A distraught Shirley sought comfort in Lelouch's arms, not realising he was responsible for causing her father's death. A guilt-ridden Lelouch, horrified with his actions, comforted her and they kissed.
However, a Britannian knight Villetta Nu, suggested to her that Lelouch might be involved with the Black knights. A horrified Shirley follows Lelouch during the Battle of Port Yokosuka where she attempts to kill Zero, until he was unmasked as Lelouch. That the man she loved killed her father devastated Shirley, but she still chose to save him by shooting Villetta. Plagued by insecurities, Shirley was manipulated by Mao, a mind reading Geass user, to try and kill Lelouch. In pain of her losses, Shirley almost killed him, but her shot caused Lelouch to drop her photos which he had taken and reminded her of her love for him, causing her to refuse killing him. After Mao was defeated, Shirley collapsed in Lelouch's arms, tormented by her feelings for him, death of her father and guilt over shooting Villetta. Unable to bear seeing her in pain, Lelouch used his Geass to make her forget him, despite his own pain of losing Shirley. As she left, Lelouch regretted his actions and wondered if he might have loved her, but thought he'd never know it now.
By Season 2, Shirley, along with the Ashford Council had been brainwashed by Emperor Charles to forget all the incidents. Still, Shirley developed her old crush on Lelouch once more and maintained their friendship. She even advised him on love matters, stating the love is the most powerful force.
Later, she confronted Sayoko posing as Lelouch. Thinking he was a playboy, and in an attempt to distract her from things related to Lelouch's hidden nature as Zero, Sayoko kissed her. As a result, Lelouch is incapable of convincing Shirley that he doesn't like her, and they became a couple on Cupid's Day, despite Lelouch's intention to avoid such result, as he is still guilt ridden about the history she has forgotten.
When Jeremiah used his Geass canceler on Shirley, she remembered everything she had forgotten. Despite everything he had done, Shirley saw Lelouch's motivation for his actions and forgave him. She tried to find him, to support him and reunite him with Nunnally. Unfortunately, she found Rolo instead, to whom she revealed her intention. Jealous and wary, Rolo murdered her on the spot, leaving her to die.
When a devastated Lelouch arrived, he found her dying in a pool of blood. Getting to see her beloved, Shirley confessed her long maintained feelings for him, stating that even after knowing his crimes, losing her memories, she fell in love with him all over again. She told him that she wasn't afraid, as she would die loving him again.
A devastated and sobbing Lelouch desperately tries to force her to live with his Geass, but she dies in his arms.
Shirley's death had a profound effect on Lelouch. It was one of the main motivations for him to wipe out the Geass Order to the last man, woman and child. Also when Rolo was about to kill Benio, Lelouch prevented the same mistake from happening but had to repeat history once again to wipe out one of Kallen's closest protege so that she can avoid war as she was supposed to have. It also made Lelouch fear that intimacy with others would lead them to die because of him, leading to his obsessive behaviour to prevent C.C. and Kallen from dying during the confrontation in the Sword of Akasha and the Black Knights' betrayal, respectively.
Memories of Shirley were amongst those Lelouch saw as he was dying.
In Code Geass: The Miraculous Birthday, Lelouch uses his Geass via the afterlife with Shirley, Rolo, and C.C. to bring a final gift of peace on the 5th of December on his birthday.
|“||If you are a witch, then I shall become a warlock.||”|
—Lelouch upon learning C.C.'s past
Lelouch and C.C. were often paired as the witch and the warlock, being part of a contract. At the start, the two seem to consider each other nothing more than part of a contract with C.C. giving Geass to Lelouch.
This began to change during the Battle of Narita, when he spoke her true name on her request. Later on, they began to get along, with C.C. often irritating Lelouch with her willful spirit, such as being in places where she would be seen in public. C.C. seems to have no guilt whatsoever when using her contractee's credit card for an endless supply of pizza. She also enjoys teasing him, to which Lelouch would respond by calling her a witch.
As the first person to know what he really desires, C.C. was the closest person Lelouch could share his inner thoughts and turmoil with. C.C. could understand his decisions and motivations, having lived through centuries of war and suffering. C.C. supports him, while making suggestions where she thinks he is wrong.
Their bond seemed to be close enough that when Mao attempted to kidnap C.C. at Clovisland, Lelouch willingly went to rescue her despite not needing to.
By the end of the first season, their connection allowed Lelouch to see some of her past. As Lelouch refused to judge her, C.C. touched and caught up in the moment kissed him. Although Lelouch was rather shocked at this sudden movement to the point of not returning it, he did not mind it and bid her farewell.
In the second season, C.C. kisses him to awaken his memories in the beginning, causing the barriers put up by Charles to be destroyed. When she was about to be granted her wish (to end her immortal life) by Charles, Lelouch stated that he knew her one true wish. He promises her that he would make her true wish come true, and that she would die with a smile on her face. This causes C.C. to seal off her own Code.
When Lelouch finds out that C.C. had lost her memory, he seemed devastated. He treated the amnesiac C.C. more kindly, perhaps sensing how delicate she was at first. He saw her memories and how she came to get her Geass, which gave him a true understanding of her. When he accidentally took his anger out on her, he immediately regretted it and gave her a band-aid. He even ordered pizza for her while she was suffering from amnesia.
While in the Sword of Akasha, Lelouch's bond with her allowed him to sense that C.C. had regained her memories. The two seem to know what the other is thinking, even when they have not communicated.
As she was becoming close to him, C.C. feared that Lelouch would hate her for all she had done. However, Lelouch was instead grateful to her for giving him Geass, as it allowed him to make his wish come true. He also refused to judge her for her past crimes and atrocities she had committed, declaring that if in their contract if she was a witch, he would be a warlock.
During the Zero Requiem, C.C. is shown to be praying in a church for all the things Lelouch has done. A single tear rolls down her eye as Lelouch dies under his own orders, grateful to know that Lelouch cared for her. C.C.'s kiss had been amongst the last memories Lelouch saw as he died.
At the end, she is seen riding on a haycart. She states her little monologue about Geass, then smiles as she asks a question to Lelouch, much like she did with his mother.
|“||Kallen, you have to live...||”|
—Lelouch, just after lying that she meant nothing to him.
It is easily noted that both have similar backgrounds and ideals. Characters in the series have called them half-breed, Lelouch because his mother was a mere commoner promote to knighthood with the Emperor as a father while Kallen was born to a Japanese mother and Britannian father. Furthermore, both are very close to their siblings. They both have a student persona that was a completely different person from their real personalities as well as their disdain for the aristocracy and discrimination.
Kallen despises Lelouch's student persona, seeing him as an arrogant Britannian student who could not be bothered about the world despite his abilities to make a difference while as Zero she saw him with admiration as a symbol of hope against the Britannian Empire and was willing to lay down her life to protect him.
Lelouch, on the other hand saw Kallen as his most loyal follower and held her in high regard due to her abilities as a Knightmare pilot and fierce loyalty to his cause as she shares the same beliefs naming her Q-1 as his queen on the chessboard. However, he often throws snide comments and jabs at Kallen in her student persona as she had difficulties pretending to be a sickly Britannian when she became emotional. This behavior may have stemmed from their own frustrations with possessing a double life and a desire to converse with someone who shared more of their opinions than the people they usually interacted with not surprisingly due to their similar background.
Despite making protests whenever questioned, Kallen and Lelouch have gone through a number of misinterpreted encounters where they end up in sexually awkward positions or almost kissing each other, becoming one of the major running gags in both Code Geass series.
Although they continued to bicker in their student persona, they grew closer as Black knights as Lelouch often contact her directly and speak in moment of privacy about the war where Kallen declared that she would follow him all the way, leaving Lelouch grateful for her support. Lelouch soon trusts her to the point that he was willing to reveal his identity to her but Kallen declined the offer, cementing their trust.
The major turning point came when Kallen found out about Lelouch's identity when she followed him to Kamine Island after he seemingly abandoned the rebellion. She became confused and heartbroken by his true identity being one made from two conflicting views of him as well as his unbalanced and obsessive behaviour that made him seem like neither Lelouch nor Zero when he faced Suzaku, and left him at the Japanese knight's mercy.
After finding out about Geass from C.C. Kallen became conflicted over her deep loyalty to him as whether it was a product of a Geass command or due to her own feelings. In order to find out, she rejoined the Black knights under C.C. to save Lelouch.
When C.C unlocked his memories and as he took over the operation against the Britannians, Kallen confronted him at gunpoint. Lelouch calmly told her that her loyalty and choices had always been her own but asked if she believed him. In tears, she declared that she wanted to believe that more than anything which made Lelouch guilty for being the source of her sacrifice. However, Kallen stated that she was still angry with him for the lies he told her.
Throughout the rest of the campaign, Kallen began to question which of the two personas did the real Lelouch reflect and tried to keep them as different persons. This led to humorous confrontations between the two where Kallen would switch from being an obedient soldier to snarling and shouting at him depending on his behaviour. At the same time, Lelouch treated her as a mixture of both personas, and ended up making flirtatious comments at her, to her embarrassment.
However, when Lelouch despaired over the notion of fighting Nunnally, Kallen repeatedly tries to speak to him but Lelouch broke his phone and threw it away. Attempting to forget his pain, the former prince tried to take Refrain only to be violently stopped by an angry Kallen. She demanded that he stop fooling around and ask for orders from him, to which a depressed Lelouch asked her to comfort him as a woman, leaning forward to kiss her. While their mutual attractions were clear, Kallen snapped at the last minute and slapped him, not wanting to kiss with only lust and desperation on Lelouch's mind. With tears in her eyes, Kallen screamed at him to be Zero and insisted that he attempt to turn his lie into truth before running away, leaving a shamed Lelouch to regret his actions.
Lelouch finally regains his motivation through his friends including Kallen and arrives right in time to save them from a Britannian naval attack.
During the China Campaign, in a moment of privacy Kallen expressed relief with Lelouch returning to his old self, with her thoughts going to his attempt to kiss. Lelouch, however, startled her and she tumbled on top of him with their faces inches from each other. In the tender moment, Kallen asked what made him return to the Black knights which prompt Lelouch to ask her if she would return with him back to Ashford after the war, though they were comically interrupted by C.C before he could ask why.
As they grew closer, Lelouch seems to consider Kallen as one of his valued possessions and was visibly stunned when Kallen was captured by Xingke and swore to rescue her with his own hands. When he arrived too late, he furiously cursing Suzaku for taking away everything that had "belonged to him." Kallen was touched by his oath to save her and waited calmly for him to come for her.
During her captivity, Kallen learnt more of Lelouch from Nunnally in which she learnt of Lelouch's pasts and how he resembled her own brother, while also noticing photos of a happy Lelouch with his friends, as seen in a photo book of Suzaku's Gino Weinberg gave her; this caused her to realize that the real Lelouch was a conflicted yet genuinely nice person. She had little time to consider it as the Battle of Tokoyo Settlement started with Sayoko rescuing her.
After Nunnally's apparent death in the FLEIJA blast, Kallen was heartbroken over Lelouch's pleas to find Nunnally. She attempts to comfort Lelouch when she came back and as they share their relief in each other's safety she presumably attempted to confess to him, but before she could the Black Knights began their coup. Kallen attempted to defend him, stating that they were being one-sided. When both realised that the Black knights were willing to kill them, Kallen decided to remain with him even till death. Lelouch, thinking that he had lost C.C. whose memories were gone, Shirley and his sister, was unwilling to let her die as well and lied saying that she was just a chess piece, specifically a knight, and this provoked her to walk away from him out of range. Even as a tearing Kallen left, Lelouch whispered her to live on within earshot. Shocked, she tried to turn around and talk to him about it, as well as continue defending him, but Rolo Lamperouge took him away before she could, leaving her craving to get a response from Lelouch as to what he truly felt.
After Lelouch took over Britannia, the two met once again with Kallen as his escort to the UFN council where Lelouch, initially pretending to have never met Kallen, decided to take the long way so they would have a moment for themselves. Kallen, confused with his actions as Emperor and the suspicions of the Black knights attempted to open up Lelouch, recalling their times together. However, Lelouch pursed his lips and stubbornly remained quiet, as he did not want Kallen to be part of the Zero Requiem. Unable to hold any longer, Kallen demanded why Lelouch asked her to live despite calling her a chess piece. When he refused to reply, Kallen moved forward and kissed him. He did not return the kiss and remained stoneface to Kallen who took it as a rejection and left with a farewell.
But though he remained quiet, Lelouch was deeply touched, whispering his farewell when she left but out of earshot. Lelouch had been grateful for her loyalty and friendship and perhaps love as well, and so refused to involve her in his scheme, knowing that she would reject it as being his protector and would have made her betray her own country that she spent the entire time fighting, as he knew she could choose him over anything else; in turn, he feared that if she got too close to him, she would suffer the same fate as Shirley.
As enemies, the two clashed several times at the final battle, Kallen's eyes filled with tears as she did and feeling betrayed by both his rejection and actions tried to kill him. After the Britannian victory, Kallen, along with others, was captured to be executed when Lelouch's plans finally unfolded with Suzaku as the new Zero who slays him. Realizing the deception, Kallen screams helplessly as Lelouch dies then stoutly proclaims Suzaku as the new Zero to Tohdoh even as she cries for him.
Like with C.C. and Shirley, Lelouch remembered his interactions with Kallen and their farewell kiss in his dying moment.
Kallen's character poem stated how she had fallen in love with him and how she was willing to follow him to hell had Lelouch admit any form of feelings for her even if it was a lie. Aware, that it was precisely the reason why he refused to say anything to her after their kiss, Kallen smiled at his photo she kept, choosing to remember him as not the evil emperor or a hero but as the man she loved.
During his brief gift to his friends, Lelouch noted that Kallen was back at school, and stated that she should never give up.
Lelouch's Geass, bestowed upon him by C.C., gives him "The Power of Absolute Obedience", allowing him to plant commands within a person's mind upon eye contact in a manner comparable to hypnosis. Activation of his Geass is visually represented by the manifestation of a Geass Sigil in his left eye. Commands dictated in this state are written into the minds of the designated targets once the Sigil projects from his eye to theirs. Lelouch could initially toggle Geass activation at will, but subsequently lost this control and suffered from an affliction known as "runaway Geass" near the end of the first series.
In the second season, C.C. gives Lelouch a contact lens that blocks his Geass, but indicates that his Geass will eventually grow powerful enough to render it ineffective. Lelouch's Geass evolves to cover both of his eyes in episode 21 as a result of pushing his Geass to the limit, trying to command C's World, the collective unconscious of mankind itself. He receives a second contact lens to cover it later.
Of all the Geass abilities in the series, Lelouch's has been explored the most, and also seems to have the most restrictions and side effects of any Geass introduced:
- Only affects the nervous system.
- Commands must be issued verbally.
- The victim must make direct eye contact for commands to be issued. The maximum effective distance is 272 meters. Line of sight via a reflective surface is sufficient for the effect to occur.
- Commands may be issued only once to any given individual, but any number of commands may be issued at initial application so long as eye contact is unbroken. Since Jeremiah's Geass Canceller negates all Geass effects, those exposed to it may be commanded once again.
- The victim will not perform any action disallowed by their physical or mental capabilities, though they will try to carry out the command to the best of their ability. For example, a victim will not be able to correctly answer a question they don't know the answer to, but will direct the user to someone who can if they are able. However, commands that affect the mind or consciousness (such as erasing memories or seeing hallucinations) are possible despite the fact that the victim could not normally force themselves to do so. Also, commands that ask for something unpreventable and physically impossible, such as telling a dying person to "not die", will have not make them immune to death. It should be noted that in non-canon appearances, his Geass could be used to unlock memories (Another Century's Episode: R), or put someone into an eternal sleep (Lost Colors).
- An action will be carried out for as long as dictated in its command, or upon the indicated conditional circumstance. Eye contact does not need to be maintained for command execution to occur. No upper limit has been established, but the conditional command Lelouch gives Suzaku is still in effect more than a year later.
- The victim's memories for the duration of command issue and execution are sealed and cannot be recalled.
- As demonstrated in Princess Euphemia's response to the command that she kill the Japanese, a victim may resist a commanded action to some degree if it is utterly repugnant and morally incomprehensible to them.
So long as the above conditions are met, commands may be issued to anybody besides those that had gained an immortal code and to any number of individuals at once. Those under the effect of Geass have a red outline on their pupils, presumably a visual cue for the viewer since the characters never point it out.
Intellect and Chess
Main article: Chess
Even without his Geass, Lelouch is a formidable opponent. His greatest weapon is his prodigious mind, possessing a genius-level intellect, and is capable of devising and executing strategies with incredible speed and precision. As a child, he was a brilliant chess player, besting any opponent who played against him. He has a record of winning a game in 8 minutes and 32 seconds. However, the one person that he was unable to defeat in a chess game was his older brother, Schneizel. As a teenager, he utilized his masterful skills in real combat, leading a small band of terrorists to victory against overwhelming odds. He could manipulate people and factions with well-spoken speeches and clever deceptions.
The series repeatedly demonstrates Lelouch's mental acuity; ranging from his superb skill in playing chess, to an incident in Stage 14, when Mao says C.C.'s name, Lelouch instantly comes up with fourteen different possibilities for Mao's identity - including the correct one. His intellect is also shown when he was able to program the F.L.E.I.J.A. countermeasure in 19 seconds typing at an incredibly fast speed.
In the audio dramas, Suzaku says that, when they were children, Lelouch devised a secret sign language containing over 500 words. In Stage 17, Lelouch proves his tactical ability by predicting Lancelot's actions exactly thanks to his study of past battles, allowing Kallen and the Four Holy Swords to almost defeat the Lancelot (only Suzaku's reflexes saved his life). His intelligence is also parodied in a humorous Audio Drama, which has the Student Council members acting suspicious, and Lelouch racing through possible explanations and cover-ups with increasing speed (though it turns out that they were acting strangely because he had some rice on his cheek from his lunch). Similarly, when Milly Ashford held a "Masked Confession Competition", which was started off by Shirley professing her love for him (while wearing a swimming cap and goggles, no less), he started racing through all the possible identities save the correct one. Focusing so intensely on it, not even hearing the others around him pitying Shirley, he concludes that there are over 47 different possibilities, and that "they've had [him] fooled from the beginning."
Physically, Lelouch is underwhelming. He possesses the physical prowess of a teenager who engages in little to no strenuous physical activity. Thus, one of Lelouch's traits is the inability to run very fast or for any substantial period of time. Within the series, this is usually played for comedic effect, as Lelouch is constantly outpaced by his classmates in every situation, and even the most simple tasks requiring manual labor exhaust him before he manages to accomplish anything significant. This joke is taken to its logical conclusion in the second season, where it is revealed that Lelouch is supposed to attend remedial physical education classes, but skips them as often as possible. This creates problems when Sayoko poses as Lelouch: she is a master of martial arts, and hence far more athletic than Lelouch himself. Lelouch laments the problem and decides to have Sayoko attend his gym classes to fix it. By the middle of the second season, Lelouch seems to have gained a bit of physical ability however, as he is able to hold onto Shirley when she fell off the roof of a building.
Lelouch is also shown to be very talented at most domestic skills, including cooking and sewing; it has been stated that this comes as a result of his taking care of himself and Nunnally for seven years. He has been shown to be an excellent cook, and is usually the one cooking the food for parties held by the Student Council, both because the others (except Milly) are terrible cooks and nobody else can meet his exacting requirements (such as measuring ingredients to three significant decimals).
Lelouch also has some skill with firearms, usually brandishing a Britannian pistol when threatening someone. His Knightmare piloting skill has been shown only above average. While Lelouch uses Knightmares that have superior specs, he tends to be overwhelmed by Suzaku or other skilled pilots with faster models. When Lelouch pilots a standard Knightmare on the battlefield, he is typically accompanied by Kallen, who is an elite Knightmare pilot and the leader of his personal squad, Squad Zero. After commandeering the Gawain, Lelouch co-pilots it with C.C., controlling the weapons and command functions while C.C. handles navigation and flight. After the Black Knights are exiled from Japan, Lelouch pilots the Shinkirō, which has the most powerful defense of any Knightmare. He also shows a level of ambidexterity as he is able to control either side of the Shinkirō's keyboard-based controls with both hands. Though he could not defeat them, Lelouch managed to hold his own against the Knights of Rounds during the second battle of Tokyo.
Lelouch's character has been well-received by viewers of the series, appearing in various anime pools. He ranked 23rd on IGN's top 25 anime characters list. Editor Chris Mackenzie commented, "he [Lelouch] never did a damned thing halfway, and he made Code Geass a heck of a ride all the way to the end."Lelouch was chosen as the most popular male character of 2006, 2007 and 2008 at Animage magazine and Newtype magazine named him the best anime male character of the decade. He was chosen the most popular male character of 2006, 2007, and 2008 at Animage magazine's annual Anime Grand Prix. His Seiyū, Jun Fukuyama, also won the "Best Actor in a Leading Role" award for his portrayal of the character at the first Seiyū Awards in 2007. Fukuyama's work as Lelouch's voice actor also leads him to win the Tokyo International Anime Fair in the category "Best Voice Actor".
Critics for anime and manga series have also commented on Lelouch's character. Anime News Network's Carl Kimlinger stated that Lelouch "is hard to like" because of his narcissistic personality, but noted that his bonds with Nunnally and his friends make up for that. Bamboo Dong from the site agreed with Kimlinger because of Lelouch's arrogance but at the same time commented that such traits made him interesting to watch.
Mostly positive responses were given by Danielle Van Gorder from Mania Entertainment due to Lelouch's differences from most of anime's protagonists and how his double life as a Zero and as a student is shown across the series. Chris Beveridge from the same site praised Lelouch's actions in R2 when he becomes Britannia's Emperor, describing him as "the classic angle of the villain with good motives" because of the dangerous actions he does for a greater good. Beveridge also commented on his confrontations with Scheizel and Nunnally, mentioning the rivalry across the series in the former and citing the latter as heartbreaking. IGN compared him with Death Note's Light Yagami and the Count of Monte Cristo's Edmond Dantès due to his double life and his quest for revenge, respectively. The double life aspect has also been praised due to how such change also differentiates the show's tone from a high school comedy to an action show, and how he "winds-up" between his two selves. Moreover, his reasons for evil actions have also been found to help viewers to like the character. Also from IGN, Ramsey Isler found Lelouch's double life trait as rather comical as after short prologue of his role as Zero in an episode, he is seen doing homework at school for being absent to classes. Kevin Leathers from UK Anime Network enjoyed Lelouch's personality as his cold persona made the series "refreshing" from other mecha anime. Johnny Yong Bosch's role as Lelouch English voice actor has also been praised due to how Lelouch's villainy and youth characteristics are portrayed.
- Lelouch's English voice actress as a child is Michelle Ruff, who also voices Euphemia and Arthur
- A character similar to Lelouch is Char Aznable (and subsequent characters based on him) of the long-running Gundam franchise also by Sunrise. Both wear masks and bear several aliases rebelling against a nation (the Principality of Zeon which parallels the Holy Britannian Empire) they were once part of. In Lancelot & Guren during Kallen's capture, Lelouch takes up Quattro's Bajeena's traits as an advisor to the young orphan named Benio Akagi who is similar to Kamille Bidan and just like in 0079, Lelouch opposes Britannia once more like how Quattro opposes the Titans who are atrocious as Britannia.
- Lelouch's character design is based on Kamui Shiro from X-1999 and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles by CLAMP who were also the character designers for Code Geass.
- Lelouch's alias "Lamperouge" can mean "The Emperor" if the japanese letters are rearranged.
- During Lelouch's reign as emperor, the sword he used is highly possibly a tribute to the divine sword of Kamui from X-1999.
- It could also possibly be a reference to the Sword With the Red Hilt, a holy Arthurian sword wielded by Galahad, used by his father Lancelot when he killed Gawain.
- Lelouch's first personal Knightmare, Gawain, is named for a Knight of the Round Table who Lelouch has a lot in common with. Both are older brothers, are popular with women, and are betrayed by their best friend known as Lancelot. Lancelot killed Gawain's younger brothers like Suzaku was thought to have killed Nunnally. Gawain refused to fight Lancelot until his unarmed brothers were slain, like how Lelouch continually tries to recruit Suzaku and doesn't actively try to harm him until he's been horribly betrayed and Nunnally taken from him. To top it off, Lancelot kills Gawain and Gawain forgives him, similar to how Suzaku executes Lelouch after the two reconcile.
- Lelouch has parallels in the series where he is not the star, Leila Malcal in Akito the Exiled and Marrybell mel Britannia in OZ the Reflection. All three are high-born and orphaned, estranged from much of the family they have, commanders of a specialized group, have a strong sense of justice, are willing to join the front line themselves, are very close with their ace pilot, and have a powerful Geass manifested in their left eye. Marrybell takes it further than Leila by being royalty, losing her mother and sister in a supposed terrorist attack when it was actually V.V., losing her claim to the throne, reclaiming it, being Geassed by Charles, being betrayed by and fighting a war against her childhood friend/best friend who uses a version of the Lancelot, taking a rival to her best friend as her ace, and then essentially having a Zero Requiem of her own and even being stabbed the same time Lelouch is. Lelouch himself even comments on how alike they are.
- These parallels can also bring the nature of the relationship between Lelouch and Suzaku into question as Marrybell and Oldrin are heavily implied to be in a romantic and possibly sexual relationship, and Leila and Akito are one of the few canon couples with an on-screen kiss and a happy ending.
- In a book entitled Les noms des Juifs de Tunisia (The names of the Jews of Tunisia), "Lellouche" is an Algerian surname, variant form of Lellouch, Lelouch and Allouche. It is derived from the Arabic el allouch "The Lamb". There is a famous French director named Claude Lelouch
- In French, Lelouch Lamperouge means:
- Lelouch = Le (is an article of 'the') + louche ('shady', 'cross-eyed', 'ambigious', 'crafty' etc.)
- Lamperouge = Lampe ('lamp/light') + rouge ('red')
- "Say, how should a Britannian who detests his own country live his life?"
- "What's wrong? Why not shoot? Your opponent is just a schoolboy. Or have you finally realized...the only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed!"
- "I, Lelouch vi Britannia, command you! Now, all of you...Die!"
- "[Thinking] That was the turning point. Since that day, I've lived a lie: The lie of living. My name, too, was a lie. My personal history, a lie. Nothing but lies. I was sick to death of a world that couldn't be changed. But even in my lies, I refused to give up in despair. But now, this incredible power, it's mine. [aloud, as he grins evilly] Well, then..."
- "How about you pay me back for dragging me into your fight?"
- "It's been a long time, big brother. The eldest son of the late consort Marianne and 17th in line to the imperial throne, Lelouch vi Britannia, at your service."
- "I have returned, Your Highness, and I've come back to change everything."
- "No, you are mistaken."
- "The trick of real combat is that everyone is human."
- "Time flows constantly, it doesn't care about the people who are struggling."
- "Being hurt on the outside is better than being hurt on the inside."
- "If happiness had a form, what would it look like? It might be something like glass, because one doesn’t notice it normally. However, it is actually there. As proof, if you look at it from a different angle, the glass will reflect light. It will state its presence and existence more eloquently than any other thing in this world."
- "You can't change the world without getting your hands dirty."
- "You will never be able to love anybody else until you love yourself."
- "The conditions are all complete/clear."
- "It's all in the past, I can't turn back."
- "Shut up, Witch."
- (To C.C.) "C.C., I do not know why snow is white, but I do find such white snow beautiful. I don't dislike it."
- (To Kallen) "I must spill yet more blood, so the blood already spilled will not be in vain."
- (To Euphemia) "Farewell, Euphie. You may have been the first girl that I ever loved."
- "Yes, I am Zero, the man who leads the Black Knights, who challenges the Holy Britannian Empire, the one who holds the entire world in his hand."
- (To Guilford) "Let me ask you something, Lord Guilford. Suppose there is an evil that justice cannot bring down. What would you do? Would you taint your hands with evil to destroy evil? Or would you carry out your own justice and succumb to that evil?"
- "That is how you cause a panic."
- (To himself) "I see, then I...shall become evil to conquer an evil larger stil!."
- "If I'm not mistaken, I think it was Suzaku who said that the shape of happiness might resemble glass. His reasoning made sense. He said that even though you don't usually notice it, it is still definitely there. You merely need to change your point of view slightly, and that glass will sparkle whenever it reflects the light. I doubt that anything else can argue its own existence more eloquently."*
- (To Empress Tianzi) "Your Majesty, your future belongs to you. You decide your own fate."
- "The human heart has always been the source of all our power. That is why the people rose up against the High Eunuchs, and the Black Knights fight like titans. We fight with the power of our hearts!"
- (To Kallen) "Kallen, you have to live."
- "My name is Lelouch vi Britannia, I am the eldest son of Empress Marianne, the prince who was abandoned by his empire. If anyone wishes to stop me, let them try! If there is anyone who can go beyond my despair!"
- "Shut up! I did what I had to do! People lie to survive! No one is blameless!"
- (To Charles zi Britannia) "That...I. I reject you, and I reject everything you believe! Why do people lie? It isn't only because they struggle against each other, it's also because there is something that they're seeking! You now want a world without change. How stagnant, you could hardly call it life. The same as a world of memories, just a world that's closed and completed, That's a place I wouldn't want to live in."
- "But forcing your good intentions on others is no different from an evil act!"
- "When will the war end? When someone wins?"
- "I don't intend to defeat God. This is a request. Yes, now I know who I really am. God, Collective Unconscious! Please, don't stop the march of time!"
- (To C.C.) "I cannot treat her differently anymore. For the sake of all the lost lives ,we cannot afford to stop now."
- (To Schneizel) "Life without change might be called anything except life. It's nothing more than experience. (...) Yes, Emperor Charles sought the past. You seek the present. But I seek the future!"
- "Attention, entire world! Hear, my proclamation! I am Lelouch vi Britannia, Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire and your only ruler! Schneizel has surrendered to me. As a result of this, I am now in control of both Damocles and the F.L.E.I.J.A. weapons! (...) Yes, from this day, from this moment on, the world belongs to me! Lelouch vi Britannia commands you! Obey me, subjects! Obey me, world!"
- "Before creation there must be destruction. If my soul stands in the way, then I'll toss it aside. Yes, I have no choice but to move forward."
- "If a King doesn't move, then his subjects won't follow."
- "The only ones who should kill, are those who are prepared to be killed."
- "The world cannot be changed with pretty words alone."
- "It wasn't me who was wrong, it was the world."
- "To defeat evil, I must become a greater evil."
- "What do you do when there is an evil you cannot defeat by just means? Do you stain your hands with evil to destroy evil? Or do you remain steadfastly just and righteous even if it means surrendering to evil?"
- "If strength is justice, then is powerlessness a crime?"
- "Emperor Charles sought the past. You seek the present. But I seek the future!"
- (Last words before the end of R2) "Yes, I...destroy the world...and create it...anew."
Main article: Lelouch vi Britannia/Gallery
Succession and Precedence
Charles zi Britannia
|Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire
a.t.b. 2018 – a.t.b. 2019
Britannia is downgraded to a Principality
a.t.b. 2017 – a.t.b. N/A