The classic mecha Code Geass is best known for its incredibly popular male protagonist, Lelouch vi Britannia, and its shocking finale – which remains among the best anime endings in history. But throughout its two seasons and associated additional content, the series introduces many other characters, many of them interesting in their own right.
Unfortunately, in a brutal world like that of Code Geass, it is not uncommon for people to die left and right. Lelouch’s larger-than-life presence also tends to take up all available screen time. This is why many characters in the series, despite their plot, fail to do much and waste their potential.
ten Rivalz Cardemonde has virtually no influence on the plot
One of the first characters to appear in Code Geass, Lelouch’s friend Rivalz seems to be an essential part of Lelouch’s life at Ashford Academy. But it soon becomes apparent that his importance is relegated to the fact that he is Lelouch’s occasional driver. He has virtually no influence on the plot and could have easily been removed from the story.
It’s quite unfortunate, because other characters in Lelouch’s civilian life make a huge difference in his journey. Rivalz is more or less left behind, perhaps as a sad reminder that Lelouch was pretending to be someone he wasn’t all along.
9 Shirley’s Character Arc Is Completely Erased In The Movies
Shirley Fenette may not be the most popular female character on the show, but she could very well have one of the most interesting arcs. Her romantic feelings for Lelouch collide with the desire for revenge she feels upon the death of her father, an incident for which Lelouch is responsible. When pushed into a corner, she chooses Lelouch and even shoots Viletta Nu. Mentally abused by Mao, she nearly hurts him but ultimately cannot bring herself to do so.
Her memories are erased twice—once by Lelouch and once by Emperor Charles—but when she finds them, her loyalty to Lelouch springs back into place. In the anime, she is tragically killed by Rolo, and her death has a huge effect on Lelouch’s approach to the Geass Order. Unfortunately, the movies take a different approach. While she survives, her character arc is completely erased.
8 Most of Lelouch’s siblings die in one fell swoop
Lelouch’s most notable bond is perhaps with his sister Nunnally, but he has around a hundred other siblings. Notable examples include Crown Prince Ulysses, First Princess Guinevere, and Lelouch’s younger sister Carine.
Most of the British Royal Family are killed in one shot after Lelouch’s older brother Schneizel bombards Pendragon with the FLEIJA missile. It seems like a waste, but it’s certainly not the only time Code Geass ruthlessly mows down his characters.
7 Diethard Ried’s betrayal of Lelouch seems out of place
When Lelouch begins his rebellion, he creates the Black Knights, recruiting Japanese resistance groups under his banner. But the Japanese aren’t the only ones drawn to Lelouch’s charisma. Among those drawn to Lelouch’s magnetic personality is Diethard Ried. The British journalist is so fascinated by Lelouch’s debut as Zero that he is demoted for his desire to document it.
He eventually joins the Black Knights, and even after the failure of the Black Rebellion, he is convinced that Zero is still alive. Her devotion to Zero makes her ultimate decision to join Schneizel all the more irritating. Although he’s fueled by the betrayal of the other Black Knights, it still seems out of place for him to abandon Lelouch so quickly. This squanders Diethard’s potential as one of Lelouch’s most valuable allies.
6 Monica Kruszewski and Dorothea Ernst are killed in the blink of an eye
The Knights of Rounds are the most powerful warriors in the Holy British Empire, a special unit answerable only to Emperor Charles zi Britannia. Introduced in Season 2 when deuteragonist Suzaku Kururugi becomes the Knight of the Seven, the Rounds include a number of intriguing characters. Unfortunately, not everyone has a fair chance.
While Gino Weinberg and Anya Alstreim are getting a lot of development, some of their fellow Knights aren’t so lucky. The most notable examples are the Knight of the Twelve Monica Kruszewski and the Knight of the Four Dorothea Ernst. Both warriors are killed after speaking a single line. Their deaths illustrate Suzaku’s wickedness and skill, but they deserved better.
5 Kosetsu Urabe sacrifices himself for Lelouch in shocking show of loyalty
Lelouch has an unusual relationship with many of his Black Knight subordinates, especially with the Four Holy Swords who mostly answer to Kyoshiro Tohdoh. Most of them are quite suspicious of Lelouch and his motives, which is, in part, Lelouch’s fault. A notable exception to this dynamic is Kosetsu Urabe. During Season 2 of the anime, Urabe is part of the mission that restores Lelouch’s memory to him.
When Rolo Haliburton attacks them in the Vincent, Urabe does not hesitate to sacrifice himself for his leader. This is especially more significant as Urabe is aware that Zero is just a British schoolboy. The incredible display of loyalty and trust is rather unique among the Black Knights and makes Urabe a valuable character who left too soon.
4 Marianne’s true motives ruined a potentially promising character
Lelouch’s desire for revenge is strongly linked to the death of his mother Marianne. Near the end of the show, he learns that Marianne isn’t really dead and managed to cheat death using his Geass. Not only that, but she doesn’t care in the least about Lelouch and Nunnally’s suffering and is completely obsessed with her husband and his Ragnarok Connection plan.
Before these revelations, Marianne is described not only as a great mother but also as a very talented warrior who manages to overcome her position as a commoner thanks to her skill. It’s understandable that Lelouch’s perceptions are skewed by his love for his mother, but the truth behind Marianne’s motives still ruins a potentially promising character.
3 CC doesn’t do much compared to its importance
The anime’s main female character, the CC Witch changes Lelouch’s life after giving him the unique superpower Geass. In reality, their contract has the ultimate goal of finally allowing CC to free himself from his immortality. CC’s gray morality, dark personal history, and connection to Lelouch make her incredibly intriguing as an individual.
Unfortunately, there are many times in the anime where she doesn’t do much. She’s a capable leader and an all-around fighter, but it’s not uncommon for her to blend into the background. Her stint with amnesia in Season 2 doesn’t help, leaving her out when Lelouch needs her most. Although she remains one of the best female characters in the series, she could have been so much more.
2 Nunnally is constantly relegated to being a damsel in distress
CC may have had the potential to do more, but Nunnally’s situation is infinitely worse. For much of Season 1, Lelouch’s little sister is relegated to damsel in distress, both his foil and his conscience. She only gets real agency and initiative in season 2, showing that she and Lelouch are very much alike and that she had a lot of potential as an individual.
In fact, she was originally set to become the Empress of Britain and, in a particularly impressive twist, manages to smash Charles’ Geass out of sheer willpower. Unfortunately, Resurrection Lelouch is a big step back for Nunnally. Although she has an official political position, she is nowhere near as important as she could have been, and she is once again reduced to someone who needs rescuing.
1 Julius Kingsley is a version of Lelouch who becomes a wasted opportunity
As difficult as it may seem, one of the characters who really squandered his potential is Lelouch himself. Captured by Suzaku after the failed Black Rebellion, Lelouch is brainwashed by his father Charles into assuming the identity of strategist Julius Kingsley.
Kingsley appears as an antagonist in the Akito the exile OVA alongside Suzaku, who acts as his guard in his capacity as Knight of the Seven. Lelouch’s genius and destructive potential shines even when under the thrall of his father’s Geass. Unfortunately, Kingsley gets very little screen time in the OVAs, a wasted opportunity to explore this darker side of Lelouch’s character.
NEXT: Code Geass: 10 Most Powerful Mechs In The Franchise (And Their Pilots)
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