Alternate Code Geass continuity is ruinous for Lelouch’s character

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Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion aired from 2006 to 2008 and totaling 50 episodes, telling the story of a prince in exile acquiring paranormal powers and deciding to use them for a revolution against a colonialist nation which deprived Japan of its freedom and its rights. In terms of genre, the anime is a mix of alternate history, mecha, and drama with a taste of military intrigue. He has received international critical acclaim for his moral issues and conflicts.

The anime also ended in one of the most memorable ways possible, with the main character dying impactfully on screen. However, this was all in keeping with his plan, as one of the biggest lessons in the series is that you don’t have to kill if you’re not ready to die too. But while the original series had its message, the film series had different plans with Lelouch alive and ready for a new season called Code Geass: Z Recapture. For Lelouch fans, this is a big deal, however, not all are happy. In fact, those who love Lelouch love his ideals too, and this sequel seems to throw its biggest moral lesson out the window.

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The takeaways of the death of Lelouch in the original show

Lelouch being killed by Zero.

The original series establishes that Lelouch is a man of strong ideals and convictions from the start. With the power of Geass, he can control spirits, which is a power usually associated with evil characters). Lelouch is aware that he is not a “good guy” in his efforts to liberate the country because his extremism kills people and mind control is morally heinous. He proceeds to a kind of revolution very “the ends define the means”. He enters a path of no return when he accidentally killed Euphemia de Geass to kill Japanese citizens and decides to use the tragedy as a springboard to Zero’s popularity.

At the end of the anime, Lelouch suffers a lot due to his brutal actions and the fact that he even has to fight against his own sister, who he wanted to change the world for in the first place. He fully assumes the role of villain once the revolution is over and he is emperor. He appears to the public as another British colonizer, however, this was part of his final plan, which was basically to suck up the sins of all of Britannia and be killed by Zero to finally free the Japanese people. He became the most hated person in the world so that the British and the Japanese could unite to fight an enemy.

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As for what his death meant morally, there’s a ton to unbox. His last act, called “Zero Requiem”, was a bet in which he decided to trust the will of mankind. He made himself a scapegoat for all of Brittannia’s evil to hate and destroy, allowing them to work themselves towards the future of Japan without his dark actions as a spearhead. With the departure of British leaders, there is no longer a need for a Zero that brainwashes and kills others. Lelouch saw this death not only as a good plan for the country, but also as a great atonement for everything he did throughout the show.

The ending nailed down part of what made Lelouch such a beloved character with anime fans, and that is that he’s a hypocrite but still admits to being. He fights for world peace but does so while making his way through his bloody and traumatic path. Whenever it is pointed out to him, he never denies the hypocrisy of it all and that is part of why he has the courage to end his life.

Alternative continuity and its damage to Lelouch and history

Lelouch with CC.

After the anime show, some anime movies were made in summary of the show but with big detail changes such as Shirley never dying. It was in 2019, however, where this alternate continuity showed that Lelouch actually lives through his requiem idea thanks to the supernatural powers of the Geass. Alongside the film, a new anime show was announced called Code Geass: Z Recapture who will continue the story after the film. Over 10 years have passed since the original show ended, many fans have moved on, but it looks like Studio Sunrise is far from over and refuses to leave Lelouch behind despite his perfectly meaningful demise. .

With Lelouch back, the Zero Requiem has no impact and without that impact the story loses a lot of fan trust and everything feels more like fluff than a real story. Lelouch’s sins, inner turmoil, and intricate connection with characters like Suzaku are thrown out the window for more studio content. In the movie, Lelouch de la Ré; Surrection, even Lelouch did not seem very happy to be brought back to life but resigns himself to an untouchable fate similar to CC. The whole alternate sequel feels like fan service that doesn’t do Lelouch and the original story justice.

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To add salt to the wound, Sunrise could have continued Code Geass story in a very meaningful way by asking Nunnally to take on the role of protagonist and leave Lelouch to her meaningful fate. After all, it was Lelouch’s plan for Nunally to inherit a better world because of her actions. Going from a passive character to an action character would have allowed for great character development for Nunally and would continue the story with respect for her brother’s legacy.

However, Sunrise doesn’t seem to have any intention of letting Lelouch get his deserved rest. While the plot of Z of the reconquest is still unknown, it is part of the continuity of the chronology where Lelouch is alive. If it’s something like Lelouch de la Ré; Surrection, it will be a bummer of what made the original series so special. This shows that while some characters are ready to pass the torch, their own animation studios might be the most hesitant to let go.

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