(Code Geass R1, R2 spoilers)
On foot against the crowd. Lelouch’s immunity to other’s emotions. R2 episode 03
Lelouch Vi Britannia: a much admired and respected character known for his reasonable behaviour, stable mindset and incredible acting skills; a character that we can look up to.
Deep inside, many of us may wish to be as tough as him when it comes to emotional situations. Reality, however, is often disappointing. One personal failure after another seems to prove otherwise: “sorry, but you just weren’t born with a poker face”. Nevertheless, to those whose strong spirits refuse to accept such cruel fate, there is way forward. A classic strategy: “think like them in order to become them”, asks us to make a careful observations about that which we wish to become. Similarly, we can take time to analyse Lelouch, in order to figure out the secret behind his immunity to provocation and emotion.
And it all starts with Lelouch’s secret hobby.
Part 1. Lelouch’s secret hobby.
Lelouch has a hobby. It isn’t one that we would consider ordinary, and it certainly isn’t one which we find as a part of an everyday routine; he has a surprising desire to save others. Throughout the series Lelouch never ignores a person in distress, leaving out neither street incident nor traffic accident. At first glance, this trend may not appear obvious to us, let’s look closer at the facts:
The first encounter (episode 1)
An early example can be found at the beginning of the show. The first episode (R1) starts with the cheerful crowd observing a crashed truck. No one in the crowd seems to care about the injured even one bit:
“Look! The student rescue has arrived!”
“Ahaha, but why wouldn’t someone call for help, you know?”
Episode 1, season R1
Despite this, Lelouch is rushes to help and ends up in trouble with terrorists. Initially, this simply appears to us to be a nice plot moment. This is also an instance where a kind side of Lelouch’s character is being revealed. However, we notice this sort of interference with some consistency throughout the show.
Britannian nobleman (episode 22)
“A trash like you should simply die someplace where no one…” — Lelouch in an argument with Britannian nobleman. Episode 22, R1
In a similar instance, Lelouch takes action on the street. He notices a Britannian nobleman hitting a Japanese child with his cane, while relying on the support of a policeman. Lelouch doesn’t think twice about stepping in and a scandal begins, with both Britannians belaying the student. Lelouch begins to reply: “Trash like you should simply step aside and die someplace where…” His wrath calms down, however, as soon as he realises that his Geass is still “on”. Rivalz breaks up the remains of the hassle and wraps it up.
This is the moment when Rivalz’ words from the first episode begin to make much more sense:
“Yeah, yeah. I know it’s the right thing to do, but I wish the guy would quit flaunting his pride and give it a rest for a while!”
Rivalz is a rare friend of Lelouch. He gets a peek into how Lelouch spends his free time. The annoyance in his tone clearly shows us that Rivalz is having trouble with Lelouch interfering with the Britannians, clearly not for the first nor the second time. The situation seems like a part of routine, one which Rivalz sees little sense in and therefore finds bothersome.
Drug dealers (episode 7, R2)
Episode 7, R2
Evidence of this trend also appears in the second season. Lelouch is exhausted and slowly reaching a catharsis of his conflicted situation. In this state, he bumps into local drug dealers beating up another Japanese man, who doesn’t have money for their wares. Even in the moment of self-despair, Lelouch doesn’t let the situation slide, stepping in to rebuke the wrong-doers. Yet another example of Lelouch’s habit of interfering with the world around him.
“Japanese feeding on other Japanese, what a picture!” — Lelouch Vi Britannia.
Hotdog seller (episode 9)
Kallen wants to step up for the Japanese seller, but Lelouch stops her. Episode 9, R1
Only in Kallen’s presence does Lelouch present himself as an indifferent person, ordering her not to interfere in a fight. Yet, even this was said for the protection of a young Japanese seller: had she interfered, the poor guy would lose his job right the next day.
These are all examples of Lelouch’s confounding desire to save others. And, in all of these situations, he seems to navigate them with a rare coolness, even indifference. We see that Lelouch’s ordinary life is filled with highly emotional situations, that not only have no effect on him, but also attract him for some reason. This tension provokes an obvious question: “How can Lelouch stay calm in such emotional situations, why isn’t he affected by others provocations and feelings?”
But this is a question to be answered in the next part. To be continued in: “Part 2. How Shirley understood Lelouch”.