Lelouch vi Britannia begins as an average high school student. An exiled prince of Britannia, he has always sought to change the world for his sister Nunnally. One day fate arrives and gives him the power to due so. He gains the power of Geass, the ability to compel one to submit to his every command. Lelouch finally has the ability to destroy Britannia, the homeland that abandoned him. He adopts the identity of Zero and through his brilliance as a tactician puts his plans in motion. But who is the real Lelouch? Zero? Lelouch Lamperouge, his cover identity? Lelouch vi Britannia, exiled prince of a great empire? This character study makes Code Geass the best anime series ever.

Lelouch is a very complex character. He is a murderer, a liar, but also a loving brother who seeks to create a gentle world that his sister longs for. His intentions are noble, but the amount of bloodshed he spills verges on being irredeemable. The story is not without tragedy either. Geass is referred to as the “Power of Kings.” It isolates people. Time and time again this proves to be true. At one point Lelouch loses control of his Geass power and compels his half-sister, Euphemia, to massacre the Japanese people. He ends up having to kill her and uses the situation and meticulously uses the situation to his advantage, showing his ruthlessness, but not without regret.

Nothing is unforgivable.

– Shirley

The power of Geass also takes the life of Shirley, someone who Lelouch holds dear. She loves him, although it is not revealed whether these feelings are requited or not. While Lelouch is not directly responsible for this outcome, he is clearly devastated by this and takes action to destroy the very presence of Geass from the world. Lelouch is shown as a loving, devoted friend who is compassionate despite his ruthlessness. The ability to empathize with such a complex character such as Lelouch is one of the reasons Code Geass is the best anime ever.

No matter how many times I’m reborn, I’ll keep falling in love with you, Lulu… I guess this is just fate. So it’s all right Lulu… Even if I’m reborn, I’ll fall in love with you. Over and over… I’ll keep falling in love with…

Lelouch vi Britannia takes drastic measures to achieve his goals. He kills, he manipulates, he lies. His best friend, Kururugi Suzaku takes another route and seeks to change the world from inside the system. He was the former son of the Prime Minister of Japan before it was conquered and wishes to die. Coincidentally, Lelouche casts his Geass on him demanding that he live in a life-or-death situation. Kururugi killed his father in order to bring peace to Japan, and constantly seeks to atone for this fact with his death. Despite this, he is able to use the Geass cast on him as a weapon, becoming a formidable oppononent. Suzaku puts on a kind and gentle exterior, but is broken on the inside.

Code Geass is a story of broken people attempting to move forward and live their lives. This is, at its essence, is what every great story is about. People fight, they struggle, they strive to understand each other. They want to move forward despite how desperately irrational it may seem. This is just one of the reasons why this is the best anime series ever.

The Emperor of Britannia attempts to change the world by destroying “God” and bringing everything back to the beginning, making the world an eternal “now.” The collective subconscious, referred to in Jungian terms, is the source of all of human knowledge. Everyone who ever lived, everyone who had died, everyone who lives, will rejoin as one in the Emperor’s plan. This concept isn’t unique in anime and draws from eastern philosophy, but its execution is excellent, one of the reasons this is one of the best anime series ever. Yet Lelouch rejects this idea.

I don’t intend to defeat God! This is a request! That’s right! Now, I know who I really am! God! Collective unconscious! Please, don’t stop the march of time! What I want… is the future!

A world where it’s all right for everything to stay as it is will stagnate! You can’t call that life! It’s the equivalent of a world of memories! A closed and completed world. One I wouldn’t want to live in!

Once again Code Geass is a story of people with a desire to move forward and keep living. Lelouch takes over the world for this purpose and becomes the ultimate villain. For this he pays with his life, willingly. With the world’s hatred focused on him, people are able to move forward and live their lives through his death, as he planned. He atoned for his crimes. The question still remains: Who is the real Lelouch vi Britannia?

This question is never answered but can be speculated. Ultimately, Lelouch sacrifices everything for his sister Nunnally, even his own life. It tugs at the heart strings. It is the only anime series to make me cry time and time again, not out of sadness, but out of catharsis. No form of media has ever done this to me. It is the best anime series ever even for this reason alone.

There is so much quality anime out there, but Code Geass is the best anime series there is due to its deep character study, its commentary on the human condition, and just for the fact that it can make you cry time and time again out of nothing but catharsis, a term that goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks and was termed by Aristotle himself.

Yes, this is how good Code Geass is. I can compare it to the Greek Tragedies.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of VG Culture HQ. He has been writing about games for over four years and has written over 900 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture.

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  • Chetan Gohil

    Dudeee code geass was such a good anime. Yet to find something similar to this, that’s this level of good!!