Lelouch vi Britannia (ルルーシュ・ヴィ・ブリタニア, Rurūshu vi Buritania)
Age: 17 (first season), 18 (second season)
Birthdate: December 5, 1999 a.t.b. (Sagittarius)
Blood Type: A
Height: 178 cm (5’10”)
Weight: 56 kg (123 lbs)
Occupation: Student, Terrorist, Knightmare Pilot, Politician, Emperor, Prince
Allegiance: Order of the Black Knights
Position: Leader of the Black Knights
Knightmare: Sutherland, Burai, Gawain, Shinkirou
Lelouch vi Britannia is a fictional character from the anime series “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.” He is depicted as a tall, slender young man with black hair and violet eyes.
In his school uniform, Lelouch wears a white shirt, black pants, and a black jacket with gold trim. He also wears a red cravat, a gold pocket watch, and a pair of black shoes.
As his alter-ego, Zero, Lelouch dons a black suit with red accents and a flowing red cape. He also wears a mask that covers the upper part of his face, leaving only his eyes visible.
Overall, Lelouch’s appearance is sleek and stylish, fitting for a charismatic leader and strategic mastermind.
Lelouch is a highly intellectual person, quiet, refined, and arrogant due to his aristocratic upbringing. At school, Lelouch behaves as an outgoing, pleasant, and often frivolous student. However, this is actually a mask that hides his true nature, which is evident in the character of Zero. His charisma and belief in justice win him the trust and respect of many soldiers and leaders.
Lelouch is known for having a very stoic character. He never worries about school, considering it all a trifle, although his high intelligence makes it easy for him. At one point, Shirley, his classmate, stated that if Lelouch tried hard at school, he could get high grades. He likes to look for challenges, often playing chess against aristocrats. In general, Lelouch treats most daily activities with open disinterest, often not even noticing the affection of others, especially Shirley. He has a strong dislike for the nobility, seeing them as pathetic and “over-privileged parasites.”
In battle, Lelouch is very cold and tactful. He is ready to sacrifice both civilians and soldiers if it is necessary to achieve the goal. In the battle of 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 civilian casualties as a simple “mathematical overestimate.” He did, however, hesitate when he learned that one of them was Shirley’s father, but resigned himself to the fact that there would always be consequences for all his actions. He also saw no problem in bringing down most of Tokyo, leading to countless military and civilian casualties.
Many characters note that Lelouch is rather selfish. He wants to destroy the old world to avenge his mother’s death and create a new one just for his sister. In time, however, he realizes that he is pursuing his goal not only for revenge, but also for the happiness of others.
Despite his cold, calculating nature and ruthlessness in battle, he can be quite a compassionate man toward his friends and loved ones. To Nannali he is a loving older brother, and to Suzaku he is a loyal friend, even though they are enemies. At first glance, Lelouch seems to care little for the well-being of his subordinates, but in fact he cares for them, seeing them as valuable allies. Sometimes, though, he shows preference, especially toward Cullen.
As the series progresses, Lelouch experiences trauma and new losses that further strengthen his resolve. However, he also becomes less merciful to his enemies if he cannot apply the giass to them.
History of the character’s creation
When creating the concept art for Lelouch, the original character in the series, CLAMP designers originally intended his hair color to be white. Ageya Okawa, CLAMP’s head writer, said that she envisioned him as a character that “everyone” could relate to as “cool,” literally “handsome.” In the early planning stages of Lelouch’s alter ego, Zero, CLAMP wanted to create a mask that had not previously been seen in any Sunrise series. During the initial stages of character development, Sunrise’s core staff, director Goro Taniguchi, screenwriter Ichiro Ōkouchi and the production team discussed with CLAMP numerous possible influences on the character, such as Kinki Kids and Tackey and Tsubasa.
Lelouch vi Britannia’s character history is complex and nuanced, shaped by both his privileged upbringing and his traumatic experiences.
Lelouch was born as the son of the Emperor of Britannia and a mother from the Empire’s conquered territory. His mother was brutally murdered in front of him, and Lelouch and his younger sister Nunnally were exiled to Japan, where they were taken in by a Japanese noble family.
In Japan, Lelouch witnessed the cruelty of Britannia’s rule and the suffering of the Japanese people. He vowed to one day overthrow Britannia and create a better world for his sister and all those who were oppressed.
Years later, after acquiring the power of Geass, Lelouch adopted the alter ego of Zero and led a rebellion against Britannia, using his intelligence and charisma to rally support from both the Japanese and the oppressed citizens of Britannia.
Throughout the series, Lelouch is forced to make difficult decisions and face the consequences of his actions, leading to moments of both triumph and tragedy. Ultimately, his quest for justice and revenge leads to a dramatic and emotional conclusion.
Overall, Lelouch’s character history is defined by his desire to create a better world and his willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
Lelouch was born on December 5, 1999 from s.b.p. as Lelouch vi Britannia, son of Emperor Charles di Britannia and the late imperial consort Marianne, making Lelouch the eleventh prince of the Holy British Empire. Before his mother’s murder and his sister’s mutilation in the same incident, he was the seventeenth heir to the throne. The ten-year-old Lelouch then turned against the emperor and accused him of leaving his mother defenseless and even renounced his right to the throne. In response, his father banished him to Japan, where he was used as a political hostage in a conflict over sakuradaita.
It was during his stay in Kururugi’s house that he first met Suzaku Kururugi, with whom he did not interact in a very friendly manner at first, but later became friends. However, when Britain invaded Japan to seize control of the Sakuradaita mines, causing Lelouch to cease being used as a diplomatic tool, Lelouch, fearing for his safety and that of his sister, concealed his true identity and sought help from the Ashford family, who were allies of his mother.
His mother’s death and his father’s apparent neglect was a huge blow to Lelouch. He has always felt that it was unfair to his mother and sister, and has made it his goal to achieve a better world for Nunnalee. He is also eager to learn the true cause of his mother’s death, for she was murdered in the imperial palace of Ariès, where terrorists could hardly penetrate undetected, if at all.
Lelouch’s giass, granted to him by S.S., endows him with the “Power of Absolute Obedience,” allowing him to bring commands into a person’s mind through eye contact in a manner comparable to hypnosis. Activation of his giass is visually represented by the manifestation of the giass symbol in his left eye. Commands dictated in the active state are recorded in the consciousness of the assigned targets as soon as the symbol enters their eyes. At first Lelouch could turn the hyass on and off at will, but later lost this ability and by the end of the first season his hyass became permanently active.
In season two, S.S. gives Lelouch a contact lens that blocks his hyass, but indicates that it will eventually become powerful enough to render it ineffective. In episode 21, as a result of Lelouch pushing his giass to its limits while trying to control World C, humanity’s collective unconscious, it has become so powerful that it manifests in both eyes.
Lelouch’s giass is a visual signal capable of reflecting off mirrors.
Of all the hyass abilities in the series, Lelouch’s has been the most researched, and also seems to have the most limitations and side effects of all the hyasses presented:
- Affects only the nervous system.
- Commands must be given verbally.
- The victim must make direct eye contact to give commands. The maximum effective distance is 272 meters. Direct visibility through a reflective surface is sufficient for exposure.
- Commands can only be given once, but any number of commands can be given on the first application as long as eye contact is not interrupted. Since Jeremiah’s Undoing Hyass nullifies all hyass effects, those who have been exposed to it can receive the command again.
- The victim will not perform any action of which he is incapable due to his physical or mental limitations, although he will try to perform the command to the best of his ability. For example, the victim will not be able to correctly answer a question he or she does not know the answer to, but will direct the user to someone who can do so if he or she can. However, commands that affect the mind or consciousness (such as erasing memories or hallucinating) are possible, even though the victim will not be able to force himself to do so. Also commands that ask for something unpredictable and physically impossible, such as ordering a dying person “not to die,” will not make him invulnerable to death. It should be noted that in non-canon cases, Lelouch’s giass can be used to unlock memories (Another Century’s Episode: R) or put someone into eternal sleep (Lost Colors).
- The action will run for as long as its command dictates, or when specified conditional circumstances occur. It is not necessary to maintain eye contact to execute the command. There is no upper limit on the time, but the conditional command Lelouch gave Suzak is still in effect more than a year later.
- The victim’s memories are sealed and cannot be retrieved while the command is given and executed.
- As is clear from Juphemia’s reaction in response to the order to kill all Japanese, the victim may resist the command to some extent if it is completely repugnant and morally incomprehensible to her.
Intelligence and Chess
Even without his giass, Lelouch is a formidable opponent. His greatest weapon is his outstanding intelligence, he has the intelligence of a genius and is able to devise and execute strategies with incredible speed and precision. As a child, he was a brilliant chess player, surpassing any opponent who played against him. He holds the record for winning a game in 8 minutes and 32 seconds. However, the only person he could not beat in a chess game was his older brother Schneisel.
Lelouch used his virtuoso skills in real combat, leading a small group of terrorists to victory against overwhelming odds. He knows how to manipulate people and factions with well-spoken speeches and clever deceptions.
Lelouch’s keen intelligence is demonstrated repeatedly throughout the series, from his superior chess skills to an incident in Episode 14 when Mao says S.S.’s name, Lelouch instantly comes up with fourteen different versions of Mao’s identity, including the correct one. His intelligence is also evident in the fact that he was able to program a Freya counter device in 19 seconds, typing at an incredibly high speed.
In the audiodramas, Suzaku says that when they were children, Lelouch developed a secret sign language containing more than 500 words. In Episode 17, Lelouch proves his tactical abilities by accurately predicting Lancelot’s actions thanks to his study of past battles, allowing Cullen and the Four Holy Swords to almost defeat Lancelot (only Suzaku’s reflexes saved his life). His intelligence is also parodied in a humorous audiodrama, where the members of the student council behave suspiciously and Lelouch goes through possible explanations and cover-ups with increasing speed (though it turns out that they were acting weird because he had some rice from lunch on his cheek). Similarly, when Millie Ashford had a “Masked Confession Contest,” which began with Shirley confessing her love for him (while wearing a swimming cap and goggles, no less), he began going through all the possible options to find the right one. Focusing on it so intensely, without even hearing those around him feel sorry for Shirley, he concludes that there are more than 47 different possibilities, and that “they fooled him from the beginning.”
Physically, Lelouch is not very good. Thus, one of Lelouch’s traits is his inability to run very fast or for any significant period of time. In the series, this is usually played up for comedic purposes, as Lelouch is constantly overtaken by his classmates, and even the simplest tasks requiring manual labor exhaust him before he has time to do anything significant. This joke is brought to its logical conclusion in season two, where it is revealed that Lelouch must attend remedial physical education classes, but misses them as often as possible. This creates problems when Sayoko impersonates Lelouch: she’s a martial arts master, which means she’s much more athletic than Lelouch himself. Lelouch complains about this problem and decides to make Sayoko attend his gym class to solve it. By the middle of the second season, Lelouch seems to gain some physical ability, as he manages to hold Shirley down when she falls from the roof of a building.
Lelouch shows talent in most domestic skills, including cooking and sewing; it has been stated that this is the result of taking care of himself and Nannali for seven years. He has proven to be an excellent cook, and he is usually the one who prepares the food for the Student Council parties because the others (except Millie) are terrible cooks, and no one else can meet his strict requirements (for example, measuring the ingredients to three digits after the decimal point).
Lelouch also has some skill with firearms, usually waving a British pistol when he threatens someone. His skills in piloting Nitmers have been shown to be only above average. If Lelouch uses the better performing Nitters, he is usually overpowered by Suzaku or other experienced pilots with faster models. When Lelouch pilots a standard nytmer, he is usually accompanied by Cullen, an elite pilot and leader of his personal Zero Squad. After capturing the Gawain, Lelouch pilots it with S.S., controlling weapons and command functions, while S.S. handles navigation and flight. After the expulsion of the Black Knights from Japan, Lelouch pilots the Shinikiro, which has the most powerful defense of any Nitmer. Lelouch was able to hold out against the Knights of the Circle during the second Battle of Tokyo, though he could not defeat them.
Lelouch is also ambidextrous, as he can fly both hands from Shinikiro’s keyboard.
Nunnally v Britishness.
His younger sister Nunnally was the reason Lelouch began his journey to overthrow the British Empire, and creating a world in which she can live peacefully is his driving motivation. Lelouch loves his sister more than anyone else (Juphemia’s first love wasn’t even close), and her safety and comfort have always been his number one priority to the point where he abandoned his allies to save her when she was captured. One day he lost his intention to live, deciding that 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 giass on her and making her hate him in order to bring the Requiem to life. The Requiem for Zero was actually planned by Lelouch (the enemy of the world) to be killed by Suzaku, disguised as Zero, to end the cycle of hatred and bring world peace. One of the reasons Lelouch sacrificed himself was Nunnally’s dream of making peace by ending all focus on war and changing it to reconstruction and negotiation.
Suzaku Kururugi is the first and last real friend Lelouch will ever have. Lelouch trusts and believes in him more than anyone else (except Nannali) in the world. He is even willing to drop to his knees to beg him to protect Nannali, because Suzaku is the only person he could trust and find help, even though they were already enemies at the time.
They had many confrontations, and Lelouch often could not bring himself to hurt Suzaku after he found out Suzaku was Lancelot’s pilot, and tried again and again to get Suzaku to join him. Suzaku is also the only person other than Nunnali whom Lelouch is unwilling to use giass on, even when he did, he did not order Suzaku to obey.
As Suzaku once said, “There is nothing we cannot accomplish together. They are able to accomplish many impossible missions when they decide to cooperate with each other. Rising to the throne and the plan to take over the world to complete Requiem for Zero were the best proof of how strong they could be, working together. In the end, Lelouch trusts Suzak with everything, including the final phase of Requiem Zero, world peace after that, and Nunnali.
Lelouch hated the fake little brother he was “slipped” instead of Nunnally. After Rollo sacrifices his life for Lelouch, he forgives him and even buries him in the woods.
Charles di Britannia
Lelouch hated his father for failing to protect his mother and for neglecting Nannali and himself.
Yufemia li Britannia
Lelouch cared for Yufie more than anyone else in the imperial family after Nunnalee. She was also his first love. Lelouch is struck by his sister’s kindness and almost agrees to end the rebellion, but an accidentally used giass forces him to kill Juphemia. Subsequently, to wash away the shame of her name, he focuses the hatred of the world on himself.
Marianne di Britannia
The desire for revenge for his mother was one of Lelouch’s motivations during the rebellion, but he later consciously rejects it.