The Messenger from Kyoto is the twelfth episode of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.
Zero and core members of the Black Knights meet with Taizō Kirihara, one of the most powerful people in the Japanese underground and an acquaintance of Lelouch from his younger days at the Kururugi Shrine. Lelouch deftly displays his tactical prowess and wit before Taizō, unmasking his face to the man to gain his trust and support. When Lelouch returns to Tokyo, Shirley tells him of her father's death, indirectly caused by Zero during the Battle of Narita. Shirley then kisses Lelouch amidst the rain.
Reactions to the Battle of Narita are varied among the Britannians; some find it a success with the decimation of most of the Japan Liberation Front, but Cornelia, Guilford, and the rest find it a failure after the great loss of their own troops and Japan's increasing support of the Black Knights, who have taken over the subway lines without resistance due to an order by Clovis. Andreas Darlton brings up a new point: a group of self-governing Elevens known as the NAC. He suggests eliminating them, and Cornelia agrees, but reluctantly stops when she hears that it will hurt the economy if it happened. It is also revealed that the few Black Knights who could not escape chose to die rather than surrender, and Jeremiah is on the Dead List. Meanwhile, in Kyoto, a group of men discuss how the Front's pyrrhic victory means the death of the last true Japanese. However, one girl, hiding behind a window pane, claims that the Black Knights are also Japanese, and the men accuse her of having a crush on Zero.
At Ashford Academy, Shirley finds two tickets to a concert she got from her father, then notices Lelouch and Kallen are missing, to her dismay. She ends up distraught the rest of the day, which Milly catches on to. She says that Suzaku is missing also since Narita, so there is no need to worry. However, Milly says she is envious of Shirley's feelings and claims "That's what I love about you," which Nina catches on to. Milly tells Shirley to confess, but Shirley is too flustered to do it. At that moment, Lelouch himself walks in, having had to stay home for a bit since Nunnally had a fever and Sayoko was absent. He takes some papers from Milly and leaves to go sort them, claiming he is nothing but a subordinate, but ends up taking Shirley's tickets in the process. Shirley manages to catch up to him and get the tickets back, but also manages to give him one ticket, essentially asking him out. C.C. sees this from a window, then talks to another person, saying that he couldn't possibly be something, unaware of a blindfolded man watching the whole thing. Shirley then goes behind a building and thanks her father for the tickets to herself when she gets a phone call.
At the Black Knights' base, the core members discuss the Battle of Narita after Kallen has some doubts from her battle with the Lancelot, while Zero questions why Shirley would randomly ask him out. Ohgi gives him a "love letter" (which Zero asks if it was from him, to Tamaki's amusement) that requests for Kyoto to meet with Zero directly. Zero questions the importance of it, and Ohgi says it will help resolve their financial crisis, mainly done by Tamaki spending it on asking the new recruits out (which Kallen reveals to everyone). Zero decides to put replace Tamaki with Ohgi, which Tamaki objects to. Zero says that if he wants to be treasurer he needs good results, but Tamaki objects to this by asking Zero why he won't show his face. Kallen, however, stands up for him, finally saying confidently that it doesn't matter who Zero is since he is on their side. Meanwhile, at night, Nina is alone in the student council room with a photo of Euphemia playing with children, moving her body violently, possibly masturbating. Nunnally comes in and asks if everything is okay, and Nina says it is, although it is shown she was masturbating to the photo. The core members continue to debate over Zero's leadership, with Ohgi having been intended to replace Naoto, the previous leader and Kallen's older brother who was killed in action. Away from the others, Zero begins preparing to meet at Kyoto while looking at people who may be there when Kallen knocks on his door. She asks if he was out of line by defending him, but Zero instead asks if she wants to know his identity also. Figuring that C.C., and seemingly having a crush on Zero, she denies this and leaves. Lelouch then returns home and sees that Nunnally is getting better. She suggests that her fever was probably due to anxiety over Lelouch being very busy, but Lelouch says he will always be there for her.
The next morning, Lelouch asks C.C. to help him out in getting Kyoto's power, regardless of their intention. C.C. agrees, but reminds Lelouch that he has a "date" with Shirley. Lelouch was planning to cancel regardless due to the meeting, but at that moment Shirley, boarding a train for Narita, calls Lelouch and says she might also be late. Zero then arrives at Kyoto with the Black Knights patrolling the perimeter, and uses Geass on his escort. Meanwhile, Suzaku is in Narita helping with the recovering and disposal of bodies from the landslide and questions C.C.'s presence. He asks Lloyd why the Black Knights would do this, claiming this is not justice at all, but Lloyd tells him not to spout about justice. After Cecile finishes repairing the Lancelot, Suzaku briefly sees Shirley, but shakes it off. Cecile confirms to Lloyd that there was a giant shockwave that resounded through the Lancelot, and believe it was the doing of Rakshata Chawla.
Meanwhile, Zero, Kallen, Ohgi, and Tamaki prepare to enter Kyoto in a car sanctioned by Kyoto. Using magnets on the wheel spokes, they head upwards, and upon exiting the car they are shocked to discover that they are on Mt. Fuji, which has been turned into a mining facility that was seemingly the entire purpose of Britannia's invasion. They are then confronted by a veiled man who voices his hatred of Fuji's state-of-being. He says that he will remove his veil if Zero removes his, but quickly brings in Knightmares to force him into it. He then makes Ohgi take off the mask, and despite Kallen's objections, he agrees. When the mask is removed, however, they discover C.C. inside, and Kallen sees through the ruse. C.C. then identifies the man as Taizo Kirihara, so his guards try to gun her and the rest down. Instead, one of the Knightmares defeats the rest, and is revealed to have the actual Zero inside. Aiming a wireless gun at Kirihara, Zero reveals that Kirihara is a wealthy businessman who works as a double agent for resistance groups, and then reveals the truth as to why he doesn't show his face - he is not Japanese, and wants to see Britannia's destruction because he can, shocking everyone around him. Being shrouded behind the Knightmare from the Black Knights, he reveals his face to Kirihara, and it is revealed that Kirihara helped take Lelouch and Nunnally in after their exile, along with Suzaku and the woman from before. Lelouch asks Kirihara for further assistance, and he complies, saying to the Black Knights that they can trust him. He asks if Lelouch plans to make peace with war, and Lelouch says yes.
At Narita, Shirley is with her mother when Villetta identifies one of the bodies to be related to them, and unveils it. That night, Lelouch is in the middle of the rain, having arrived late to the concert. He tries to leave but finds Shirley outside, standing idly without an umbrella and appearing incredibly downtrodden. Lelouch suggests they go elsewhere, but Shirley asks him if Zero is truly fighting for the weak. Lelouch says that that is what "he" says, but Shirley, with tears streaming down her face, reveals that her father, who she describes as gentle and harmless, was killed in the Narita landslide undeservedly, and Lelouch realizes to himself that, even though Kallen caused the landslide, he was the one who ordered it done. Then Shirley understandably breaks down in Lelouch's arms and kisses him while asking him to help her.
Characters in Order of Appearance
Knightmare Frames in Order of Appearance
Powers or Abilities used
- In the episode's Adult Swim airing, entire sequences are reworked or out-right removed to cover up for the fact that Nina masturbated to pictures of Euphie.
- "Hey hey, I hope you're not going to start spouting some embarrassing theory about the nature of justice. We're soldiers after all." -Lloyd
- "It's repulsive. Mt. Fuji, a sacred mountain once know for its clear water and quiet beauty. Now it is bent to the empire's will. A place of hideous violation. A reflection of what Japan has become. It pains me so." -Taizo
- "Taizo Kirihara, founder of Kirihara industries which has a monopoly on sakuradite mining. Formerly a key backer of the Kururugi regime. However, when Japan fell you dodged the tribunal by collaborating with the colonial rulers. Commonly know as Kirihara the traitor. In reality you are one of the leaders of the six houses of Kyoto who support resistance groups throughout Japan. A double agent, how cliche." -Zero
- Conversation between Taizo and Lelouch
- Taizo: Are you embarking on the path of blood?
- Lelouch: Indeed. If that is my destiny.
- Conversation between Lelouch and Shirley
- Shirley: Lou Lou, tell me. Zero, he fights for the weak doesn't he?
- Lelouch: What? Yeah, well that's what he says.
- Shirley: Then why did he kill my father? You know my father, was so gentle. He never ever hurt me. He didn't do anything wrong. But, he was buried alive. He couldn't breathe. Why? Why did my father have to die?! I don't want this! Please, Lou Lou. Help me.
- Yes, I understand my actions have consequences. I know that now. So why? It'd be so easy to vanish from the stage. Just stop being Zero. If I can keep Kirihara quiet I could go back to being merely Lelouch Lamperouge. But even so..." -Lelouch (Preview for the next episode)