Suzaku Kururugi , 17 years old (18 at R2), is the deuteragonist of the Sunrise anime series, Code Geass. He is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai, while his child self is voiced by Akeno Watanabe. He is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal in the English dub, and his child self is voiced by Laura Bailey. In the 29th Anime Grand Prix, he was 6th place with 143 votes.
Suzaku is the son of Japan's last prime minister, Genbu Kururugi. His existence was kept a secret from the public until after the war. Suzaku met Lelouch Lamperouge and his sister Nunnally when they moved to the Kururugi residence as a diplomatic peace trade. At first, Suzaku despised Lelouch because he thought that he was a prince who didn't care about anyone. As time passed by, however, he came to know Lelouch better, and they soon became best friends. They become separated when Britannia invaded Japan, but are reunited in the Shinjuku Ghetto.
When Britannia began its invasion of Japan, Suzaku was mortified by the violence and his father's belief that resisting to the bitter end was preferable to surrender. Unable to change his father's mind, Suzaku murdered him during a heated exchange. The incident was covered up and Suzaku's life was spared, while the government was thrown into disarray and surrendered to Britannia. Lelouch believes that, had Genbu lived, Japan would have likely been torn apart by war once the other major powers decided to intervene. His guilt over the incident causes Suzaku to constantly place himself on the frontlines in the hope of atoning for his actions with his death. It also inspires his belief that the ends achieved by using the wrong means are meaningless, since he created peace through murder. However, after firing the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead, under the command of Lelouch's Geass, he decides to achieve his desired results regardless of the means.
Suzaku is introduced in the first episode of the series as an Honorary Britannian soldier. While searching the Shinjuku ghetto for a poison bomb stolen by resistance members, he finds his childhood friend, Lelouch Lamperouge, standing next to it. He refuses to carry out an order to kill Lelouch, and is shot by his superior officer for his insubordination. However, the bullet is stopped by a broken pocket watch belonging to his deceased father.
In a twist of fate, Suzaku is made the pilot of the experimental Knightmare Frame Lancelot, since Britannia won't risk actual pilots on an experimental craft. He almost single-handedly dismantles Lelouch's plan to route the massacre Shinjuku ghetto with the Lancelot's abilities, but finds himself under arrest afterwards for the murder of Prince Clovis; though Lelouch was in fact responsible for this, the military needed a scapegoat since they have no idea who was responsible.
Lelouch rescues Suzaku from his impending execution by assuming the identity of Zero and taking credit for Clovis' murder, forcing the military to acquit Suzaku due to lack of evidence. While Suzaku agrees with Zero on the latter's assertion that the Britannia Empire is corrupt and not worth serving, he wants to change and improve the Empire from within, to show that his father's death was not in vain. This is because, as Suzaku claims, achieving results by wrong or illegal methods is meaningless.
From this point on, Suzaku remains the pilot of the Lancelot. He is enrolled into Ashford Academy on Euphemia's suggestion. His rank within the military is initially Private, but he is promoted to Warrant Officer by Cornelia when she first arrives in Japan. He is appointed as Euphemia's personal Knight, granting him the rank of Major, after a televised battle with the Black Knights makes his occupation public knowledge. During the battle on Shikine Island, Lelouch was forced to use the power of Geass on Suzaku and commanded him to "Live". As this command gives no time or event limitations, it activates every time Suzaku feels suicidal or is endangered and forces him to survive by any means.
Suzaku Kururugi falls in love with Euphemia, and thus is emotionally crushed by her murder at Zero's hands. He gets a visit from V.V., who explains Lelouch's power of Geass to him. This drives him to find and kill Zero at all costs; this is exemplified when he brutally kills anyone who gets in his way, including senior Black Knights member Yoshida. As a result, he is also dubbed the "White Reaper" or "White Death". He follows Zero to Kaminejima and the two have a standoff. Lelouch tries to offer Suzaku a truce in order to rescue Nunnally, but Suzaku is too swept up in his grief to care. Enraged, Suzaku insists that Lelouch's very existence is a mistake, one he intends to correct. Lelouch draws his pistol as well, and both men attempt to shoot one another, at which point the screen fades to black and the season ends with a single gunshot.
In the second season, it is revealed that Suzaku managed to take Lelouch alive, leveraging his capture for a promotion into the Knights of the Round, the most powerful order of warriors in the Britannian Empire. Among its twelve members, his rank is seven. He still holds his desire to kill Zero, even swearing to the Emperor that he alone will kill Zero. However, he seems to still have some faith in Lelouch, and looks forward for a chance to clear his doubts about his friend by asking him about the incident with Euphemia. (This non-hostility was necessary in order too acquire information however.)
Suzaku and the other Rounds' members watch as Zero announces that he will continue his plans to create the United State of Japan. Suzaku returns to Area 11 as a student in Ashford Academy to discover if Lelouch has regained his memories of being Zero. Unable to find any sort of sign, Suzaku lets Lelouch talk to the new governor of Area 11, Nunnally, which also ends in failure thanks to Rolo Lamperouge using his Geass to freeze Suzaku temporarily. When Lelouch attempts to kidnap Nunnally as she is being brought to Area 11, Suzaku steps in to rescue her, ironically fulfilling the purpose Lelouch had originally envisioned for him.
Suzaku leads the Britannian Navy to wipe out the Black Knights to ensure that Nunnally's plans of re-establishing the Special Administrative Zone of Japan will not be dismantled, but is completely surprised when the whole Navy is wiped out. In a surprising twist, Zero announces that he will accept Nunnally's offer in exchange for exile. This is revealed to be a clever ruse when Zero has all one million Elevens participating dress exactly like him, leaving Suzaku no choice but to exile the entire group to prevent another massacre. Standing on an empty stage, Suzaku realizes that Zero must know him very well, having banked on the fact that Suzaku wouldn't allow a massacre to take place.
Suzaku is deployed to the Chinese Federation's capital, where the First Prince of Britannia and the Empress Tianzi are to be wed; however, Zero kidnaps the Empress during the ceremony. Britannia's aid is requested in recovering Empress, and Suzaku personally has Kallen Kozuki transferred into Britannian custody before heading into the battle. Lelouch muses that this is Suzaku's way of taking everything he can from him.
In the aftermath of Shirley's death, Suzaku investigates Shirley's supposed suicide and comes to the conclusion that Lelouch murdered her. He decides to question Kallen about Zero's true identity, threatening to use Refrain if she does not cooperate. Kallen refuses to cooperate, but Suzaku does not use the Refrain, realizing that by doing so he would be no better than Lelouch. She beats him severely during their next meeting in retaliation, which he does not fight back. Frustrated, he goes to confront Lelouch personally and discovers that the Intelligence Agency is under the effect of Geass, confirming that Lelouch has regained his memories. However, he is hesitant on reporting this information to Charles because he knows he will use Nunnally as a hostage.
Just after the creation of the United Federation of Nations is cut short by the Emperor's appearance, Suzaku is contacted by a desperate Lelouch, who asks him to protect Nunnally from the Emperor. He confirms he has regained his memories. Suzaku agrees to his request, but only if Lelouch meets him alone at the Kururugi shrine. The meeting starts off with the inevitable confrontation of Zero's sins, and even as Lelouch bows down for the first time in his life, Suzaku merely steps on his head. But while Lelouch answers Suzaku's questions, Suzaku recognizes Lelouch's face as someone who does not tell the whole truth to accept punishment since it was the same face Suzaku had after he'd killed his father. Suzaku finally extends a hand to Lelouch, saying that Lelouch could atone for his lies by making them into truths and before Lelouch could reach out, Schneizel arrests Lelouch, which makes Lelouch believe that Suzaku sold him out again. Schneizel gets Suzaku to reveal what he knows about Geass, and Kanon tells him that the world doesn't exist to make him alone happy. Suzaku is left pondering if he will have to use the Lancelot, equipped with Nina's F.L.E.I.J.A. bomb, on Lelouch.
During the second battle of Tokyo, Suzaku is attacked by Jeremiah Gottwald and Guilford under the influence of Lelouch's Geass. Though both are drawn away from Suzaku, he is forced to battle Kallen in her improved Guren. Though Lloyd advises him to flee, Suzaku insists on dealing with Zero. As Lloyd has upgraded the Guren far beyond what the Lancelot is capable of, she easily parries his attacks and significantly damages the Lancelot. Driven to the edge, Suzaku realizes he cannot win and comes to terms with his death as an atonement. In doing so, Suzaku's Geass command activates and forces him to use the F.L.E.I.J.A. bomb. Kallen dodges and the bomb instead hits the government complex, wiping out the entire government building and most of the surrounding area. Following the battle, Suzaku can only laugh madly at the destruction he has caused.
Suzaku concludes that the ends are more important than the means to reach them, and becomes more focused on becoming Knight of One. He suggests to Schneizel that he could assassinate the Emperor. Schneizel agrees and Suzaku heads to Kaminejima to complete his mission, but Suzaku's attempt to kill the Emperor is derailed by the Knight of One. When Lelouch attacks the island, Suzaku considers the task his burden to bear and heads off to find Lelouch, only to have the ground knocked out from under him by a stray blast. He is recovered by Anya, who is possessed by Marianne, and C.C. Suzaku enters the Sword of Akasha with C.C., and looks on as Lelouch defeats his parents and stops Ragnarok. He thinks about taking revenge for Euphemia but the time shift one month later reveals that he became the Knight of Zero under Lelouch vi Britannia, the 99th Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire.
When four of the remaining Knights of the Round attempt to remove Lelouch from power, Suzaku battles them single-handedly. With the new Lancelot Albion, he easily defeats and kills all of them, sparing only Gino's life. He later assists Lelouch in taking the UFN leaders hostage. Following the destruction of Pendragon by Schneizel and the revelation that Nunnally is alive, Suzaku is stunned.
Despite Lelouch's concern for Nunnally, Suzaku insists that their objective has not changed. He tells C.C. that he is Lelouch's sword, and will remove his enemies and weaknesses and ask C.C. to be his shield since they are accomplice. He attacks the Black Knights preventing them from reaching the Avalon, but was too late. He joins Lelouch in boarding the Damocles, holding Gino off while Lelouch goes ahead. Suzaku comes out victorious defeating Gino, but Gino's last attack opens the shields and allows Kallen to take over.
Suzaku fights Kallen to a standstill, eventually taking a blow to the chest which causes his Knightmare to explode while she loses consciousness. He believed to have died in the blast, but later shows up as the new Zero to kill Lelouch, now the tyrannical Emperor of the world, as part of their plan for world peace. With the Zero Requiem complete, Suzaku weeps silently as he watches Lelouch die. Lelouch tells Suzaku that he is dead from this day on, forced to exist as Zero and sacrifice his happiness for the sake of the world. Suzaku becomes Nunnally's protector in the following months, aided by Schneizel, who Lelouch ordered to specifically obey Zero.
While Suzaku possesses no outwardly superhuman powers, such as Geass, his physical prowess is top-notch. He possesses superior hand-eye coordination and has extensive military training in both firearms and hand-to-hand combat. Before Britannia's Invasion of Japan, Suzaku was trained by his instructor, Kyoshiro Tohdoh, in martial arts, and has spent most of his time training to become stronger. He is also skilled in the art of kendo. His physical prowess is sometimes exaggerated to almost ridiculous levels; for example, in one episode he manages to destroy a camera-mounted machine gun with a lag time of 0.05 seconds without being struck once. In the final episode, he is also able to dodge gunfire from Knightmare Frames as he approaches Lelouch under the guise of Zero.
As the pilot of the Knightmare Frame Lancelot, Suzaku is an extremely skilled pilot, with a 94% efficiency rating from Lloyd based from his simulator scores. His lack of any tactics confuses Lelouch, as he fights with instinct instead of strategy. The mech's superior abilities also help, as few other Knightmare Frames can match its astonishing speed or overcome its considerable defenses even if they outnumbered the Lancelot by a tremendous degree. This has been mitigated as of the year 2018, wherein newer Knightmare Frames have filled the technological gap. Even when Lelouch managed to predict his movements, Suzaku's reflexes allowed him to narrowly escape what would have otherwise been certain death. As seen in the second episode of the first season, he got the Lancelot to perform a mid-air kick, matching the same movement he did on Lelouch in the first episode.
Despite not possessing a Geass power, Suzaku does have an unusual ability to detect those who grant the power, such as C.C.. C.C. speculates that this is either due to her using her abilities on him or another as-yet unidentified factor. Following episode 18 in the first season, Suzaku is also placed under a command by Lelouch to "live." As this command gives no time or event limitations, it activates every time Suzaku feels suicidal (or otherwise accepts his death as an inevitability) and forces him to survive by any means. It also activates to a lesser extent when his life is in immediate danger, but Suzaku is able to resist such activations. He can also use the command to his advantage, allowing him to react faster than he would normally be capable of.
Suzaku's impressive physical abilities have been the basis of an Internet meme, renaming the character "Spinzaku" in reference especially to the kicks he uses against Lelouch when disarming him, in the first episode, and in the flashback of the very end of the First Black Rebellion. This meme is often accompanied with the song "You Spin Me Round" by Dead or Alive
Appearances in other media
In the video game spin-off, if the player uses Rai's geass on Suzaku to make him join the Order of the Black Knights, Suzaku joins and brutally fights off the Britannian forces. He also participates in the Black Rebellion. However, in forcing Suzaku to join, the player angers Lelouch, who wanted to recruit Suzaku without using Geass. Lelouch puts Rai into an eternal sleep, resulting in a game over.
The player may choose to pursue Suzaku as a friend by joining the Britannian military. In the All Hail Britannia route, Rai becomes Suzaku's partner in battle and receives a Knightmare Frame of his own similar to the Lancelot. He may use his own Geass to stop Euphemia from ordering the infamous massacre portrayed in episode 22-23 under Lelouch's accidental Geass. After ordering the Princess to stop and then ordering the crowd to forget her order, Euphemia's plan to create the Special Zone of Japan succeeds. Rai and Suzaku are then known as the new country's two White Knights.
In the Black Knights path, if Rai stops Princess Euphemia from following through with Lelouch's accidental Geass (an alternate version to episode 22-23), Suzaku (who is standing nearby) will catch the princess as she suddenly collapses. She wakes up in his arms without any recollection of being under the control of Lelouch's Geass.
Nightmare of Nunnally
In the manga spin-off series, Suzaku's appearance is changed slightly. Some parts of his hair are down, and his eye color is blue instead of green. Both his knight outfit and his pilot outfit are also customized with a blue samurai arm gauntlet. Suzaku also owns his own Ōkatana with a custom Britannian hilt.
Suzaku first appeared in chapter 7 of the manga series, and has received approval from Schneizel for Euphemia to have Suzaku as her knight. In the manga, Suzaku is shown to have an ability to sense the power of other people with Geass. When Suzaku first fought against Lelouch as Zero in his Lancelot Knightmare Frame. He is almost defeated when engaging Nunnally's Mark Nemo, and fought Mark Nemo on several occasions. When Nunnally is to be executed by Nightmare of Nunnally's Rolo, Suzaku stops the execution on Euphemia's orders and proceeds to fight Rolo and his knight, Anya Alstreim, only to be defeated by Anya's Tristan Knightmare Frame. Suzaku in Nightmare of Nunnally discovers Zero's identity far earlier than in the Anime. After Alice flees with Nunnally and Emperor Charles zi Britannia declares the Holy Nation of Eden Vital, Suzaku is arrested along with Euphemia, Cornelia and Guilford (who had also attempted to stop the execution). He is rescued by Zero and, despite his mistrust of Zero (due to the knowledge of the identity), helps him make Euphemia the Empress of Britannia. Having lost his original Lancelot, Suzaku deploys the Lancelot Albion against the Emperor's Knights of Rounds (a bunch of undead zombies). Suzaku and his Albion are almost defeated, but are saved by Charles' defeat. Suzaku remains as Euphemia's knight at the end of Nightmare of Nunnaly.
Suzaku of the Counterattack
In the manga spin-off series shows Suzaku as the main protagonist, wearing a bionic combat suit and going by the alias Lancelot. Suzaku also develops a close friendship with Lloyd's assistant Mariel Lubie, and later meets her father, Lenard Lubie, who requested Suzaku to take care of her. After a renegade Black Knights faction had attacked the Lubie automobile, which killed Lenard and injuring Mariel when the wrecked car was destroyed, Suzaku was fueled in anger as he seeks to defeat Zero. Fulfiling Lenard's request, Suzaku is taking care of Mariel until she gets better.
It is revealed that he had killed his father Genbu, but it was done when Suzaku found out that he and the Emperor of Japan were willing to collaborate with Britannia and kill off anti-occupation Japanese officials and civilians. In a fit of anger, he stabs Genbu in the chest.
When Suzaku meets Schneizel he as moved by his words that he wished to create a world were everyone is an equal which he was surprised that he wants him to be his Knight, which he later accept believeing that Schneizel can end the fighting.
When an Art Gallery, with the Emperor Charles, was in control by the Black Knight, Suzaku was sent by Schneizel to try and prevent any civilian from getting hurt and was surprised to find that Kallen was a member and revealed that she is half Britannian-Japanese, but left her when he realised that Zero is after the Emperor. When he arrived he saw not only the Emperor dead but saw Schneizel being shot by Zero, which caused him to pick up his gun and shoot at his mask, which craked and was shocked to see that it was Lelouch as Zero. When he demand why he did it, Lelouch replied that he only did it for the both of them. Suzaku find it hard to believe as the two point the gun at each other and fired, with Lelouch missed the shot and Suzaku shot away Lelouch's gun, but later one of the Glaston Knights shot at Lelouch and leaving him injured.
Code Geass: The Manga
Suzaku is present in the manga adaptation with many differences. He was already a student at Ashford Academy from the start. He was not present with Lelouch when C.C. was revealed to be in the capsule. Finally, he met Euphemia while at the Academy and not on the streets. He still believes that he can change the world from within.