Lelouch vi Britannia (ルルーシュ・ヴィ・ブリタニア, Rurūshu vi Buritania), 17 years old (18 at R2), with Lamperouge being his assumed surname, is the Eleventh Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire and the son of the 98th Emperor of Britannia, Charles zi Britannia. He is the leader of the Black Knights which makes him the real identity of Zero.
Lelouch's trademarks are his ebony hair, and violet eyes, which he inherited from his mother, and father respectively. Lelouch is somewhat scrawny, having little muscle, and being rather thin. In spite of this, Lelouch is considerably tall, standing at least a head taller than Kallen, and apparently being slightly taller than Suzaku.
Lelouch is a highly intelligent indiviual who is also calm, sophisticated, and arrogant due to his aristocrat upbringing. While at his school, Lelouch conducts himself a socialible, likable, and often easy going student However, this is a mask to hide his true nature. While as Zero his true nature is expressed, his charisma and beliefs in justice gain him the trust and respect of many soldiers and leaders.
While Lelouch is righteous and noble by nature he is more than willing to do acts that go against his morality; this is due to his belief that he must commit evil to destroy the greater evil.
Many characters have noted that Lelouch is quite selfish as his desire to destroy and recreate the world comes from his revenge for his mother's apparent death and Nunnally's sake however in time he realizes that his goal is not just for them but for the entire world.
Lelouch has a habit of accepting responsibility for actions which he has no fault in. This may be his tragic flaw. Lelouch seems to have an average amount of concern for innocent lives, while he does oppose the concept of terrorism, he does not (or at least not openly) display a great amount of remorse for the collateral of his endeavors.
While Lelouch can be ruthless and often merciless in battle he can be a rather compassionate person to his friends and loved ones. To Nunnally he is a loving older brother and to Suzaku he is a loyal friend despite the fact that the two are enemies. Lelouch, at first glance, seems to have relatively little concern for the wellbeing of his subordinates, but in reality, he does care about them, seeing them as valuable allies. Though he has shown preference on occasion especially with Kallen.
Lelouch was born on December 5, 2000 a.t.b. as Lelouch vi Britannia the son of the Emperor of Britannia, Charles zi Britannia, and the late Imperial Consort Marianne, making Lelouch the Eleventh Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire. He was in line to be the seventeenth heir to the throne prior to his mother's assassination and his sister's crippling in the same incident. A ten year old Lelouch confronted the Emperor afterward and accused him of leaving his mother defenseless, even going as far as renouncing his entitlement to the throne. In response, his father banished him to Japan, where he was used as a political hostage in the Sakuradite conflict. It was during his stay at the Kururugi household that he first met Suzaku Kururugi, with whom the young Lelouch did not interact initially in a friendly manner, before later becoming friends. However, when Britannia finally developed its Knightmare Frames fleet and decided to invade Japan to seize control of the Sakuradite mines, consequently discarding Lelouch's use as a diplomatic tool, Lelouch, fearing for his and his sister's safety, hid their true identities and sought the help of the Ashford family, who were his mother's allies.
His mother's death and his father's apparent lack of concern in regards to it were huge blows to Lelouch. He always felt that it was unfair for both his mother and sister, and therefore made it his goal to pursue a better world for Nunnally. He also seeks to discover the true reason for his mother's death, as she was murdered in the Aries Imperial Palace, a place terrorists would be unlikely to penetrate success fully without being noticed, if at all.
Shortly after gaining the power of Geass from C.C., Lelouch assumes the secret identity Zero, a mysterious, masked revolutionary dressed in a black helmet and cloak. The helmet has a retractable plate over the left eye so Lelouch can use his Geass. In this guise, he forms the Black Knights, initially composed of the members of Kaname Ohgi's resistance group. The goal of this vigilante group is a campaign against powerful individuals who oppress the helpless, which he eventually expands into reforming Japan as an independent nation.
Lelouch is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal, even if it means lying to his followers and using people as bait for the outcome he desires. However, he has trouble putting those he is close to in harms way for the sake of his goal, which is a weakness as a commander but a remnant of his humanity and sanity. His feelings for Nunnally in particular often hinders his plans, particularly at the end of the first season, where he abandons a massive war with Britannian forces to rescue her, and early into the second season, when he has trouble believing Nunnally is willingly waging a campaign for peace that interferes with his plans. Gradually, however, he has come to embrace the fact that he has to destroy before reconstruction can occur, even if it means harming those he cares about.
Originally, Lelouch is motivated by the desire to avenge his mother's death and construct an ideal world where his sister Nunnally can live in peace. After Nunnally becomes Viceroy of Area 11, and her wishes conflict with his goals, his friends help him to realize that his rebellion is no longer just for Nunnally, but for all the people of the world.
Lelouch's Geass, bestowed upon him by C.C., gives him "The Power of Absolute Obedience", allowing him to plant commands within a person's mind upon eye contact in a manner comparable to hypnosis. Activation of his Geass is visually represented by the manifestation of a Geass sigil in his left eye. Commands dictated in this state are written into the minds of the designated targets once the sigil projects from his eye to theirs. Lelouch could initially toggle Geass activation at will, but subsequently loses this control to an affliction known as Geass runaway. In the second season, C.C. gives Lelouch a contact lens that blocks his Geass, but indicates that his Geass will eventually grow powerful enough to render it ineffective. Lelouch's Geass evolves to cover his other eye in episode 21, but he receives a second contact lens to cover it. Of all the Geass abilities in the series, Lelouch's has been explored the most, and also seems to have the most restrictions and side effects of any Geass introduced:
- Only affects the nervous system.
- Commands must be issued verbally.
- The victim must make direct eye contact for commands to be issued. The maximum effective distance is 272 meters. Line of sight via a reflective surface is sufficient for the effect to occur. After his Geass evolves, he can give commands to the victim without maintaining direct eye contact. The effective range has also been increased.
- Commands may be issued only once to any given individual, but any number of commands may be issued at initial application so long as eye contact is unbroken. Since Jeremiah's Geass Canceler negates all Geass effects, those exposed to it may be commanded once again.
- The victim will not perform any action disallowed by their physical or mental capabilities, though they will try to carry out the command to the best of their ability. For example, a victim will not be able to correctly answer a question they don't know the answer to, but will direct the user to someone who can if they are able. However, commands that affect the mind or consciousness, such as telling the victim to forget something, will take effect despite the fact that the victim could not normally force themselves to do so.
- An action will be carried out for as long as dictated in its command, or upon the indicated conditional circumstance. Eye contact does not need to be maintained for command execution to occur. No upper limit has been established, but the conditional command Lelouch gives Suzaku is still in effect more than a year later.
- The victim's memories for the duration of command issue and execution are sealed and cannot be recalled.
- As demonstrated in Princess Euphemia's response to the command that she kill the Japanese, a victim may resist a commanded action to some degree if it is utterly repugnant and morally incomprehensible to them.
So long as the above conditions are met, commands may be issued to anybody besides those that had gained immortality and to any number of individuals at once. Those under the effect of Geass have a red outline on their pupils, presumably a visual cue for the viewer since the characters never point it out.
Intellect and ChessEdit
Even without his Geass, Lelouch is a formidable opponent. He is highly intelligent, possessing a genius-level intellect, and is capable of devising and executing strategies with incredible speed and precision. The series repeatedly demonstrates Lelouch's mental acuity; ranging from his superb skill in playing chess, to an incident in Stage 14, when Mao says C.C.'s name, Lelouch instantly comes up with fourteen different possibilities for Mao's identity - including the correct one. In the audio dramas, Suzaku says that, when they were children, Lelouch devised a secret sign language containing over 500 words. In Stage 17, Lelouch proves his tactical ability by predicting the Lancelot's actions exactly thanks to his study of past battles, allowing Kallen and the Four Holy Swords to almost defeat the Lancelot (only Suzaku's reflexes saved his life). His intelligence is also parodied in one humorous Sound Episode, which has the Student Council members acting suspicious, and Lelouch racing through possible explanations and cover-ups with increasing speed (though it turns out that they were acting strange because he had some rice on his cheek from his lunch).
Physically, Lelouch is underwhelming. He possesses the physical prowess of a teenager who engages in little to no strenuous physical activity. Thus, one of Lelouch's traits is the inability to run very fast or for any substantial period of time. Within the series, this is usually played for comedic effect, as Lelouch is constantly outpaced by his classmates in every situation, and even the most simple tasks requiring manual labor exhaust him before he manages to accomplish anything significant. This joke is taken to its logical conclusion in the second season, where it is revealed that Lelouch is supposed to attend remedial physical education classes, but skips them as often as possible. This creates problems when Sayoko poses as Lelouch: she is a master of martial arts, and hence far more athletic than Lelouch himself. Lelouch laments the problem and decides to have Sayoko attend his gym classes to fix it.
Lelouch is also shown to be very talented at most domestic skills including cooking and sewing; it has been stated that this comes as a result of his taking care of himself and Nunnally for seven years. He has been shown to be an excellent cook, and is usually the one cooking the food for parties held by the Student Council, both because the others (except Milly) are terrible cooks and nobody else can meet his exacting requirements (such as measuring ingredients to three significant decimals).
Lelouch also has some skill with firearms, usually brandishing a Britannian pistol when threatening someone. His Knightmare piloting skill has been shown to be proficient but not exceptional; he is a capable pilot by himself, though he tends to be overwhelmed by Suzaku and other pilots with more advanced Knightmares at their disposal. When Lelouch pilots a standard Knightmare on the battlefield, he is typically accompanied by Kallen, who is an elite Knightmare pilot and the leader of his personal squad, Squad Zero. After commandering the Gawain, Lelouch co-pilots it with C.C., controlling the weapons and command functions while C.C. handles navigation and flight. After the Black Knights are exiled from Japan, Lelouch pilots the Shinkirō, which has the most powerful defense of any Knightmare. He also shows a level of ambidexterity as he is able to control either side of the Shinkirō's keyboard-based controls with both hands. Though he could not defeat them, Lelouch managed to hold his own against the Knights of Rounds during the second battle of Tokyo.
- Many similarities, amongst the fanbase of Japanese Anime and popular culture, have been drawn between Lelouch and Light Yagami, from their connection to the supernatural world, Light having his Shinigami and his Death Note, with Lelouch having C.C. and his Geass ability.
- Considering the Britannian calendar systems 55 year differential from the calendar system of the real world, Lelouch is born in 1945 of our world, co-inciding with the end of hostilities in of one of the most costly wars of human history, World War II.