“Before you dispose of me, I’d like you to answer a question – if being powerless is so terribly wrong, then does having power make you right?” -Lelouch, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
You might have noticed, if you do follow me on Twitter, that I would always get ecstatic as I re-watched the series Code Geass. Maybe you would think I was wasting my time to take a glance on this retarded anime series where in fact I already had a background as to the storyline and in such unexpected events, the death of some notable characters. Code Geass was one of those series I used to get hooked up with during its worldwide trending. In preparation for the sequel of the series this coming 2017, I decided to re-watch the series, because yes, several years have passed by (well, almost a decade ago) and honestly, I was lost as to the chronological events in the anime. As the title of the sequel goes, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Ressurection, you might have already guessed how the last season ended if you failed to watch the series or if you don’t care enough of this not-so-overrated series. Forgive this amnesia so allow me to take a vivid reminiscence. I will talk about the spotlight of the series, Lelouch vi Britannia, as I give my quick narrative commentary on this strong character more than what he seems to be. Is he really a symbol of world peace?
Peace is a word that can be easily uttered by any human beings but hard to be fully achieved in this big world where endless conflict arises due to the strong need of absolute power and the varying beliefs, colors and culture among countrymen. The boundless rotation of hope and despair is still a prevalent event that people wish to stop and just live peacefully and make harmonious relationship with one another regardless of social status. Will Lelouch be the metaphor of a peaceful nation? Will his power save the humanity over social, political and economic issues? Is he rather a hindrance to this world full of imperfection?
Lelouch as the abandoned son of the Britannian Emperor
For Lelouch vi Britannia, or rather Lelouch Lamperouge as a total commoner, the world should be a perfect place for his beloved sister Nunally to experience happiness, unity and prosperity with the absence of violence, crime rates and mortality as the major verdicts of the power of absolute Monarchy of the Holy Britannian Empire governed by his tyrant father, Charles vi Birtannia. Lelouch, deep in the soul of his late mother, whom he witnessed from the bloody and inhumane tragedy from his memory, believed that her death has something to do with his father’s authority. At the same time, his sister Nunally got blind due to the psychosomatic event as Lelouch believed it to be. He then chose, without being hesitant, not to follow the path to attain a throne as a part of the imperial family. Thus, together with his little sister, they were sent to Japan as political hostages.
One of the prominent actions that can be evidently seen in Lelouch character in the first few episodes is the deep retaliation he holds which becomes stronger and more intense while seeing the Britannian Empire rule over the world through guns, riffles, armors and highly equipped mobile suits. Every viewers would feel the pain inside him, and I like how the creator portrays his strong character as a young man with grudge inside him as his eyes speak for that matter. I personally think the extreme domination of the Britannian Empire in the series does not contain any justifiable act to colonize every powerful countries especially the invasion of Japan, it’s completely nothing but aggravates political arguments. Moreover, I strongly disagree with Charles vi Britannia’s ideology that the military conquest is to facilitate human evolution. Powerless people should have the right to survive as those fit in the society. Such philosophy is a dangerous act and I think this was Lelouch way of thinking while opposing his father’s act as there’s no such thing as inequality. The world is just wrong and needs a better future. So, I was hopeful, Lelouch would attain his goal to make a peaceful world not just for Nunally, but for the whole world which is almost revolutionized by the arms of Britannian. Sometimes, I also think that Lelouch has selfish act since Nunally becomes his one and only world. Nevertheless, he is my hero I had always wished he would survive at the end.
Lelouch as a Geass User
Those who seek justice seeks power. This is when Lelouch meets CC, a mysterious girl who bestowed upon him the power of Geass, the power of absolute obedience which allows him to command anyone to do whatever he wants through direct eye contact. At first, the special ability of Lelouch brings positive attribution to eliminate those who use power over the weak people, regardless of where they come from, because his close friends in the Ashford Academy are Britannians who are normal beings that Lelouch values the most aside from Nunally. It’s good thing Lelouch thinks a lot of the world as a peaceful place. As a user of a powerful tool, he might attain his goal to achieve world peace. Negatively however, the power of Geass would result to pain and death, and this is Lelouch’s way of justice.
Lelouch as Zero
Living a double life is tough. To hide his true identity is one of the major challenges he has faced in front of the humanity along with the use of his Geass. He organized a group called The Black Knights where he gained popularity among Japanese and even the members of this group didn’t have any idea about the mask behind Zero. Will the mask serve as his weapon for justice? Or rather a seed for a fruitful war? I was in a dilemma whether to support Lelouch as Zero because first and foremost, he lied to Nunally. It was a total irony how he aimed for a peaceful living for his sister, and contrary to his goal, he started to manipulate people like pawns, not to mention the case of Euphemia’s death where thousands of Japanese people died because of his Geass. This is where his actions become harder for him to formulate justifiable decision for his goal. He would feel a strong guilt, but partly confident of what has been done and believed that it was the right action because for him to defeat evil, he must become a greater evil.
However, at the end, it’s sad to think he had to remain alone as his comrades abandoned him after realizing how the Geass became the most sinful tool and the evil roots for the most part of tragedy, the death of loved ones to be particular. The most disappointing part in the series was that, he became Nunally’s enemy, but in the bright side, he reunited with Suzaku at the near finale.
Lelouch as the Emperor
The unmasked Ashford student has been revealed to the world. Here comes the new Emperor, standing arrogantly in front of many people. The moment he finally realized the world was literally meant for the world of people, not just only for Nunally, was the only thing I wanted him to realize deeply and unselfishly. Yes, the whole world in general, for the powerless beings to bring justice. However, being Lelouch as the dictator as I might judge it, had a negative impact to his people as he overused the power of Geass and people didn’t hesitate to follow his selfish command. He became fearsome and merciless, and I asked myself, was he still in the path to achieve his goal in this event? Or just became insane as his sinful Geass? Following then, all the hatred of the world were put onto him, however in a neutral way, it was merely an acceptance for Lelouch to atone his sins, how he turned the world as full of trash. I was surprised when Suzaku who disguised as Zero killed Lelouch, but yes, this was Lelouch’s plan. The Zero Requiem as how this event is known to be, facilitates reconstruction of the world and harmonious relationship among humanity. This is world peace for Lelouch. He destroyed the world and started it anew.
“Perhaps this is what I have always wished for since that day. The loss and destruction of all. That’s right, one must destroy before creating. In that case, if my conscience becomes a hindrance to me, then I will simply erase it. I have no other choice but to move forward…therefore!” – Lelouch, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion