Jump to content

An analysis on Code Geass's Lelouch


Recommended Posts

10qlxt5.png

Preface:  I love this picture from the Picture Dramas of Code Geass with everyone smiling and enjoying school life at Ashford academy.  Even C.C.  looks to be cheerful for once and it's probably because she finally got to be president of the Pizza club.  I can't help but to show a smile on my face every time  I see it.  Truly, its such a sad dream of what never came to be.
 
  Long time no see everyone.  I doubt that much of anyone missed me but I appreciate that you're taking the time to read this.  I was asked by a friend, in real life, why I haven't written another thought piece in such a long time (he didn't realize though I wrote all the Kanon threads here at Fuwanovels though lol)  and from that resulting conversation, here I am again with another analysis.  As for the focus of today's topic, it's about Code Geass.  I hope you all will enjoy reading and will post comments below, if only to humor and say I suck lol.  That said, let's begin.
 
  Code Geass, for those that don't know,  Is a show from the mid-2000's (2006 and 2008 to be precise) that was released in the full swing of the "War on Terror" years phase of American involvement in the Middle East. Despite being an anime produced by a nation that had no real involvement in that theater of the world, I feel that Code Geass is a rather exemplary example of the kind storytelling that dominated that era.  You see in the show huge military interventions, terrorism, masked resistance fighters, and the blurring of the lines of friend and foe.  The differences from the then Western shows, however, would be that the show has Japan be proxy for the conflict of the middle East and has the protagonist be the Hero of the show's resistance group.  

 

 Moving on, The setting of Code Geass is an alternative world where Japan is conquered by the "Holy Britannian Empire" who serves as the stories parallel to the United States of America.  As for why the Britannian Empire does this, Japan is world leading producer of a special energy source called "Sakuradite" and nearly 70 percent of the world's supply is produced there.  This is very allegorical to the idea that the United States really invaded Iraq was for Oil and not for disarming Weapons of Mass Destruction.  In this case though, Britannia doesn't seek to justify its actions outside obtaining the monopoly Japan has for the glory of the empire.
 
  Talking of the Empire, the main character is a discarded Britannian Prince by the name of "Lelouch vi Britannia" and at the start of the story, is assuming the identity of a normal student name, "Lelouch Lamperouge".  In some ways, Lelouch is very similar to the infamous terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, as Osama was a well-regarded Saudi citizen that was considered to be royalty by proxy due to his closeness with the royal family of Saudi Arabia.  In Lelouch case, he's actually is a prince but he's 11th in rank and 17th in succession.  This makes him relative nobody in the royal family political affairs and even more so with his mother's death as she was a common born peasant that rose in rank due to her marriage to the Emperor.  However, what Lelouch and Osama they both share in common is that they are both exiled and disowned by their homeland.  
 
  Continuing on, Lelouch missions, in his life, are to get his revenge on the royal family for killing his mother and making a better world for his sister, Nunnally, who was blinded and paralyzed during the same assassination attempt that took his mother's life.  If I were to sum this up in another way, Lelouch motivations in other words can be summed up as, "This world can be put to rights."  He wants justice to be done for his mother's death and create a world that would allow Nunnally to live freely without worry of being killed like his mother was.  In a sense, he lives to reject his father's creed of, "The Survival of the Fittest" as the current world wouldn't allow someone handicapped, like Nunnally, to live and enjoy what life has to offer.   

 

  I suppose though that this may bring to mind again the analogy with Osama Bin Laden despite my thoughts that the creators didn't quite intend that.  Still, it's eerie to think that if one were to think empathically about Osama, what he wanted was the removal of western influence from the Middle East.  I imagine that in his eyes, conflicts like those of Afghanistan in the 1980's were results of western meddling and would become a formative experience on how to best help his fellow Muslims. This then in turn would escalate to ever amounting violence to achieve these goals despite whatever well-meaning intentions he may have had.  With all this in mind, he's a lot like Code Geass protagonist and it could play to the intentions of the creators for putting Lelouch to be in the moral gray area with the audience.  
 
  However, A better analogy to Lelouch than Osama may be actually Kiritsugu Emiya from Fate/Zero.  Despite the latter being published after Code Geass and having its anime adaptation not be made until several years further, I feel they're concurrent characters in that time of Japanese storytelling as the prologue of Fate/Zero was actually finished before even Fate/Stay/Night.  This would make Kiritsugu as a fleshed out character predate Code Geass's Lelouch but that's story for another time.  The point is here is that both are characters motivated by righting the world's wrong.
 
  In the case of Kiritsugu, he chases a miracle that's the Holy Grail  and would stop at nothing to obtain it.  He does so because he wishes an end to suffering and believes whole heartedly in such an ideal.  Lelouch's wish I likened to be the same way as there is nothing obviously wrong about making a world that's kind outside having to kill to make it happen.  Like Lelouch, Kiritsugu believes that any sacrifice would be worth any cost as the results would outweigh them.   This would be especially true for them because of how unfair they perceive the current system to be.  For Kiritsugu and Lelouch, if the current system is a failure, it would be wrong to accept things as they are without doing anything to change them.
 
  This then brings to mind the power of Geass that Lelouch obtains in making a contract with C.C.  The power of Geass is referred to "The power of Kings" and while it may not be the omnipotent wish granting device that's the grail, Lelouch's new ability gained from the contract is still a miracle in itself.  His newfound capability, of enforcing the absolute obedience of one command, grants him the power to finally be able to challenge his father and by extension, shape the world to his liking.  This of course firmly puts him in the path of challenging the world's strongest Superpower and starts the story of Code Geass in earnest. 

 

   Now to cite another character to Lelouch's situation, Light from "Death Note" comes to mind in how he wishes to change the world too with his new found power.  In Light case, he uses the power of the Death Note to murder criminals around the world and cultures the resulting fear from his action to deter future crime.  This in turn makes Light public enemy number one and makes the world's law enforcement agencies work together to stop him.  Unlike Lelouch though, Light had no prior tragedy or formative experience that would shape his actions other than coming from a family of Law enforcement.  If anything, Light shares more in common with Lelouch's older brother "Prince Schneizel" in both their approach to doing what's right and thinking how's their action is justifiable.  
 
  Speaking of Prince Schneizel, he serves as an could have been of what a possible Lelouch future if he wasn't struck with his mother's tragedy.  Where Lelouch is always thinking of a better future and is constantly reminded of the sacrifices that had been made along the way, Schneizel thoughts operates on the "End's justify the Mean's" mentality.  Having suffered no personal calamities, Prince Schneizel observes everything only through an objective observer point of view and always makes impartial decisions.  This is at odds with the mindset Lelouch, in the course of his life, have come to developed.  The reason being Lelouch, seeing the tragedies around him, always had placed the well-being of those he cared about at the forefront of his mind and, his resulting actions always have been motivated because of this as to avoid the prior disasters of Lelouch's life.        
 
  Prince Schneizel and Light on the other hand, use their cold, calculating brilliance in pursuit of a goal they think will save the majority of people.  They're both always looking to the now and enforcing peace rather than putting trust to the future.   Light and Prince Schneizel also lack the empathy that Lelouch has, despite their same level of prodigious intelligence,  as they're detached on emotional level and feel that this lack of involvement makes them the better objective judge of what's right.  This in turn makes them makes them have a lower opinion of the rest of humanity and in their actions, makes a grand assumption on the behalf of everyone despite voices of dissent.  With Prince Schneizel, it's the use of the Aerial Fortress Damocales, and its Fleija arsenal, to bring fear of annihilation to the world over if anyone one was to resort to conflict.  

 

  This subjugation through fear, however, would be denying of a kinder world and making of life a happy adventure as everyone would be under the threat of Damocales.  If anyone was to step out of line, then obliteration would be the result.  Though then the world then would be without war and bloodshed, the humanity would fall into stagnation as there would be no hope and therefore, no future as you can't have one without hope.  It's because of this Lelouch seeks to stop Schneizel on the same grounds that he stopped his father, the Emperor.
 
      Bringing up the Emperor, his plan was nearly the same as Schneizel in that he sought universal peace but the details lay differently from his son.  Instead, the Emperor had made plans to slay the collective unconscious of humanity and eliminate the walls of separation of everyone thoughts.  In other words, he was taking a page out of Gendo Ikari's playbook in EVA and bring forth Human Instrumentality.  And for those that don't get the EVA reference, the emperor pretty much was going to have Humanity be of one mind and end individual persona's so that there would be an end to conflict.  On a side note though, Gendo and the Emperor share the trait that they're an awful parent to their respective son but I digress.   
    
  Progressing on, the Emperor is also motivated like Gendo in seeing their past love ones again and they're motivated in obtaining what they lost.  They no longer care about the present as Gendo and the Emperor think all will be made right by their actions.  No matter what lives are lost or suffering made, it will be made irrelevant once everyone souls are united as one.  Of course though, in both stories their respective son rejects their plans and while I don't remember Shinji's explanation [Writer Note: I seen end of eva like ten times and I still can't be bothered with Baka Shinji conversation with his Mom/Rei as I stop paying attention at that point] why he rejects instrumentality, I really love Lelouch's dialogue and explanation in rejecting his father's plans.

 

 To quote Lelouch, "I've fought for all the things I've wanted to protect. [To His father] I don't acknowledge you or your way of thinking.  Why do people lie? It's not to just create conflict.  It's because they have purpose.  Change doesn't happened in an exposed world.  That's not called living.  Turning a world full of memories into an equal, complete and closed world.  That's not what I want.  You two believe that's a good thing.  But you're pushing kindness onto people.  It's no different from Evil intentions.  [The Emperor:  The future lies beyond the Ragnarok Connection.  The kind world Nunnally spoke of.] No.  What you're talking about is a world only kind to you!  But I'm sure what Nunnally wanted was a world where people would be kinder towards other.  [Emperor again: Even if that's true, what can you do?.... You can't win against God with the Power of Kings.]  Even so, I want a future!  I still refuse your world."   
 
  I find this to be magnificent reasoning on Lelouch's part as to embrace the future, believe in the people around him, and most of all, rejecting an false salvation that ignores the happiness of people.  This definitively pulled on my heartstrings and I felt it’s a scene, for me, that was only matched by both Kiritsugu decision to reject the "Third Miracle" towards the end of Fate/Zero and, Madoka's wish to give hope to all magical girls by eliminating the concept of witches, at the cost of her existence, in the end of Madoka Magica.   In all three examples, the common theme tying them together is the fact they all reject the idea that only a cruel fate lies ahead of them and they accept the consequences that come with them.
 
  In Kiritsugu's case, he loses his family and eventually his life due to the curse of the grail.  For Madoka, she can no longer co-exist with her family and friends as she turn into a concept that lives to ensure the prevention of witches.  Lelouch on the other hand, has to deal with a New World Order that's about to be instituted by Schneizel and of which, brings the topic again full circle.  This now though finally brings to the conversation of the person that needs mentioning if we're to discuss Lelouch in full, Suzaku.

 

  Suzaku occupies a special place in Code Geass as being the foil and rival of Lelouch throughout much of the series.  He is Lelouch's first friend and yet the same person that would every time come to interfere with his plan.  The reasoning behind this for Suzaku is that they have come to opposite conclusions on how to change the world.  In Suzuaku case, he is the one that actually kills his own father because in his mind, this would save the most about of Japanese lives.  The reason why he thought this was because his father had been the Prime Minster of Japan and he was committed to the idea of Total Resistance against Britannia's Numerical and Technological superiority.  Suzaku logic, in this case, dictated that without his father's leadership, all resistance would falter and a swift peace would come to be despite the ensuing humiliation the Japanese will feel at being conquered.   
 
  This then comes to be true after Suzaku's resulting assassination of his father.  He then up to the start of Code Geass seeks atonement for having committing crime of murder and joins the Britannian army as a Honorary Britannian.  In doing this, he already sets himself apart from Lelouch in that he seeks to change the world for the better by joining hands with the system despite knowing the unfairness of it.  His catchphrase, "The results obtained through the wrong methods are meaningless," is a prime example of his mindset of what he believes to be the correct course of action.  This is the total opposite of Lelouch wanting to tear down the system and rebuild anew.
 
  For Suzaku however, if he had choose to be like Lelouch, that would mean he would be rejecting the point of killing his own father and making that sacrifice meaningless.  To put it another way, the results of his actions would come to mean nothing and rather than forsaking his path, he would rather follow it to its bitter most conclusion if need be.  This is very evident in Suzaku actions as he's reckless with his own life and seeks death often in an attempt to assuage his own survivor guilt from murdering his father.  

 

  However, this starts to change for Suzaku as he would makes friends with Lelouch's childhood love, "Third Princess Euphemia" and in some ways, starts to again believe in himself.  I would say that his development here in his mentality is that, "To have no choice but to kill is the worst way!  No one can be saved like that!,"  to quote Keichi from Higurashi.   You can see the major difference in Suzaku, from Lelouch, is how vastly he holds the sanctity of life compared to his old friend.  Furthermore, you can see Suzaku tragedy had made him an idealist akin to Shirou from Unlimited Blade Works who also wishes to see the everyone happy/saved. They both also happen to share similar cases of Survivor Guilt and their operatus morendi revolve around no one having to suffer like they had to.   This is unlike Lelouch who seeks a more selfish desire of retribution and acts more pragmatically, in regards to the world, but, it's at least not to the extent the Emperor or Schneizel do.
 
  Going back to Suzaku,  I feel he's also a great example of, "It takes pain to know kindness," in action.  Another perfect analogy for him, along with Shirou, would be Yukinoshita from "SNAFU" as she's too a trouble individual that internalizes her pain and seeks to help others out with the empathy of similar circumstances.  Shirou sums up the three in his quote, "I don't want to regret anything.   I want to make all the tragedies that happened into meaningful things by believing my path is right."  Of course, Suzaku and Yukinoshita are on the unbalanced side of things, with Suzaku the worst off of the three, in handling their own suffering.
 
  Still, Yukinoshita serves as a good comparison in understanding mindset even with the comparably less tragic backstory.  All we have to look to is in her debut scene with the main character Hikigaya, of SNAFU, in her conversation when she says, "It's because he doesn't recognize his own problem.  [Hikigaya:  What's with all this telling me to change?  I don't want anyone telling me who to be.]  That's what we call running away. [But changing would be, "Running away from the current situation," wouldn't it?  Why can't you accept someone is now and was in the past?] Because then… Because No worries would get resolved.  No one would be Saved!" 
 
  If we were to tweak the conversation a bit, this could have be construed to be one of the many conversations Suzaku has with Lelouch as Zero.  In some ways, Suzaku and Yukinoshita can come off as self-righteous, which in many cases turns out to be the case in each respective series, but it’s a mindset formed from wanting a earnest desire to help others so they can save themselves despite, never admitting it aloud.  Those that preach of saving others often are the ones most needing of being saved and in Suzaku's case, it's the definitively the case as his memory of murdering his father still plagues him well into Code Geass story.
 
  Unfortunately though for Suzaku,  what overwrites that painful memory for him is another greater tragedy in losing Euphemia and worst of all, it was his best friend was behind her death (Note: we later find in season 2 that it's actually V.V. doing).  This of course has him face off with Lelouch and at the end of it, succeed in capturing him at the end of season one.  I would go on about this development but honestly, Suzaku becomes more of a side character in season 2 as Lelouch comes to bring the world against the Britannia.  The resulting actions there on makes bigger roles for the Emperor and Schneizel that Suzaku role slowly shrinks that of a witness to Lelouch's actions though, he becomes an instrumental ally for Lelouch at the end of the series.  In the end though, it doesn't replace the fact that Suzaku isn't as integral to the development of season 2 as he was in the first and therefore, a lot less interesting to analyze him in it.  
 
  Overall,  I hope you enjoyed my analysis.  I tried my best in making this as interesting as possible by offering as much of my own insight as opposed to just recapping the story of Code Geass.  This in turn though made this Analysis way longer than I originally intended and spent far more time in its creation than I liked.  Still, I'm quite happy with this finished piece and having done so, fulfilled my friends request.   Please if you have any comments or your own analysis to add, please post below.  I'm looking forward to any and all your responses

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmm... to be honest, I think you are over-analyzing... especially since Britannia is straight-out the British Empire, since America just happened to inherit its globe-trotting resource-plundering from them in our world.  That unique combination of colonization by conquest, mercantile excess, and aristocratic paternalism and privilege are... obvious.  The social elements involved are pretty blatant, and when you include later installments, such as the Akito story, this 'countries of the past in the future' theme is also present, with the EU very much resembling post-revolution pre-Napoleon France, lol. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Clephas said:

Mmm... to be honest, I think you are over-analyzing... especially since Britannia is straight-out the British Empire, since America just happened to inherit its globe-trotting resource-plundering from them in our world.  That unique combination of colonization by conquest, mercantile excess, and aristocratic paternalism and privilege are... obvious.  The social elements involved are pretty blatant, and when you include later installments, such as the Akito story, this 'countries of the past in the future' theme is also present, with the EU very much resembling post-revolution pre-Napoleon France, lol. 

 

 

  I'm actually glad that you pointed out that The Britannian Empire is truly representative of the Imperial British Empire if it never ceased to be a super power. I admit to failing to see that in my analysis yet, I feel that Code Geass embraces the alternative history subject matter as to avoid the controversy of making the United States a true antagonistic force.  In this case, I feel it was really creative to run the whole ten yards with the idea and make a thrilling story that at the same time feels very relevant to the time frame it was released in.  
 
  Furthermore, I wouldn't mind discussing the Holy Britannian Empire with you more as I feel myself to be lacking in the department of fully understanding its nuances.  As I wrote this analysis to sort my own thoughts, I still feel that there are things I could touch up on and learn more about Code Geass.  There's also the problem I have yet to see the Akito OVA's or read the Nightmares of Nunally.  I feel it’s a fascinating world that I would like to further immerse myself in and I still have a ways to go before I can feel satisfy with my feelings on it.  
 
Other than that, I also hear that Code Geass has a lot in common with the Legends of Galactic Heroes and one person told me that it did the themes of Code Geass better.  This certainly piqued my interest and I may just have to watch it to find out for myself lol.

3 hours ago, DarkZedge said:

I haven't seen Code Geass yet though I was told to many times, I gotta get to it. :pyaa:

I definitively recommend it on a level of a must watch for anime fans.  I really love the characters in the sense that the vast majority of them actually do act the teenagers they are aged to be and it delves into real interesting themes.

 There's also the cool gimmick of Geass and if you liked Death Note's rivalry aspect, you see it in here too.  It's a lot of fun overall and there's really good mecha fights too if you're in to that.

1 hour ago, solidbatman said:

I like the part where that one girl masturbates on a table 

I'm sure that this is very memorable for a lot of the guy viewers but oddly enough, what Nina did often comes up in Japanese manga/Vn's/anime to where I'm thinking it must be a common occurrence.  At least, something that girls been caught in the act of doing but that's still so crazy to me as you never hear that happen in the West and in my case, the United States.  Maybe its more a hot thing that artist depict as something wrong yet enticing at the same time.
 
  Moving on, the most interesting part about Nina doing that though is not the act itself but she's thinking of Princess Euphemia and makes me think, does Nina have homo to bi-sexual tendencies?  You never though see her interested in another guy or girl other than Euphemia.  On another note though, Code Geass was actually a bit pro-Yuri in that it did show Nina infatuated with  Euphemia and that there was that one extra girl saying she wished to confess to President Milly Ashford.  Maybe Nina does have romantic attractions for Euphemia and I respect Code Geass at least paying some lip service to love outside heterosexual pairings.

1 hour ago, Novel21 said:

I have missed you Yoyo and very good analysis:D

I have just seen little bit of Code Geass long time ago but it was not my cup of tea^_^

It's nice seeing you again too Novel21. By the way, are you part of the facebook group for visual novels too as I swear I seen your name there also.  I’m the guy with Kyubey avatar there if you are. 
 
Moving on, That's a shame that Code Geass isn't your cup of tea as I'm of the opinion that if you don't like Code Geass, you don't like anime in general.  I mean it though as Code Geass is a show that has Mecha's,  Over the Top English Names (Like Lelouch, Euphemia, and Schneizel for example,  Special Power gimmick's, talk of being ALLIES of JUSTICE, Angsty teenagers, and everyday school life all wrapped into one nice package.  Where I do think Code Geass has wide crossover appeal like titles such as SAO does, I would think that not liking Code Geass would be tantamount of disliking 80 percent of the anime out there lmao.  Of course, I'm a bit exaggerating as a fan of the series but I do think you should reconsider to try watching it again.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Yoyo said:

I definitively recommend it on a level of a must watch for anime fans.  I really love the characters in the sense that the vast majority of them actually do act the teenagers they are aged to be and it delves into real interesting themes.

 There's also the cool gimmick of Geass and if you liked Death Note's rivalry aspect, you see it in here too.  It's a lot of fun overall and there's really good mecha fights too if you're in to that.

I am, I really need to get to it. For some reason I always ended up forgetting about it:amane:

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, DarkZedge said:

I am, I really need to get to it. For some reason I always ended up forgetting about it:amane:

Good luck trying to find it legally as I didn't see it on the funimation network the last time I was on it.   Fansubs on the other hand should no problems and I prefer the Japanese voices myself.

 

In this case, I rather take a Lelouch that plays his role straight than have it be played hammy like they did in the English dub supposedly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Yoyo said:

Good luck trying to find it legally as I didn't see it on the funimation network the last time I was on it.   Fansubs on the other hand should no problems and I prefer the Japanese voices myself.

 

In this case, I rather take a Lelouch that plays his role straight than have it be played hammy like they did in the English dub supposedly.

Well there are many ways to go about things like these, all of them legal of cours.....*cough, COUGH*

I wasn't implying anything....put down the phone....don't turn me in just yet!! :conspiracy:

 

You'll never catch me alive pigs!:pyaa:

 

#NOREGRETS 

 

Ps: I never watch dubs, always subs. For me there is no question about it, original voices are the best way to go and the only one as well. :sachi: 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, DarkZedge said:

Well there are many ways to go about things like these, all of them legal of cours.....*cough, COUGH*

I wasn't implying anything....put down the phone....don't turn me in just yet!! :conspiracy:

 

You'll never catch me alive pigs!:pyaa:

 

#NOREGRETS 

 

Ps: I never watch dubs, always subs. For me there is no question about it, original voices are the best way to go and the only one as well. :sachi: 

Well on another Note: I can't imagine Kate Higgins doing C.C. justice.  At least, acknowledge that this is a voice of a waifu lol.  Seriously though,  I don't think of Kate voice as hot sadly and I'm sure if we're to watch it in English, it would probably cut into my enjoyment of C.C. there.   Kinda like how I don't like English Saber voice as they needed a real British Girl to be her voice or something to make her sound hot lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...