Aside from its epic story and plot twists, among of the major factor that makes Code Geass one of the best animes out there is for its characters. All the characters found in the series contributed a great impression in how the story developed. And even though it’s undeniable that it was Lelouch who had undergone a lot of character development (and stress), in the end, all the characters in the story have grown in their own different ways.
We’re not going to discuss much further about these characters and how they’ve matured (although it would be nice to do it some other time), but rather, we’re going to talk about the most underrated character in the series: Suzaku Kururugi.
A lot of people might relate the word traitor to his name. (Don’t deny it, I did it too.) Why? Because of these following reasons:
#1 Suzaku was an Eleven who became an honorary Britannian. Apparently, Suzaku was not only an ordinary Eleven as he was the one and only son of the Japanese Prime Minister before the whole country was made the colony of the Britannian Empire. Of all people who would practically flaunt themselves to become an “honorary” Britannian, (for the reason of honor and patriotism) it did not occur to the Elevens that Suzaku would basically volunteer himself to become one, given the fact that he was “the” son of the former Prime Minister. But by enlisting himself to the military and by becoming an honorary Britannian, it seemed that Suzaku has completely thrown all his honor, loyalty and morals right off the window and has given his full-fledged loyalty to the enemy party of his own race. Thus, making him appear as though he has forsaken his own country.
#2 He murdered his own father. Do we still need to elaborate more about this?
#3 He became the Knight of Princess Euphemia. Becoming an honorary Britannian is one story, and becoming the Knight of a Britannian royalty, a princess utmost, is also another story. Apparently, by being Euphemia’s Knight he has chosen to serve his life to Britannia rather than his own state. (Didn’t I say this, already? Oh well.)
#4 He became the Knight of Seven. It seemed that our dear Suzaku will never run out of every reason to be called a treacherous murderer. Many must have considered Suzaku as a power hungry person who didn’t become contented in becoming a Britannian Princess’ Knight as after the death of his princess, he later then became one of the Knights of Rounds, the most elite Knights of the Empire, which will take us to the last reason on the list.
#5 Suzaku sold off Lelouch, his own best friend, to rank up his knighthood. Okay, I almost also went hysterical when he did this. But this is probably the extent of his traitorous undertakings.
The 12-year-old that I was, 7 years ago, viewed Suzaku Kururugi as nothing but a treacherous murderer who will resort to selling out even his own friends to get his revenge and to disrupt our protagonist’s plans. (Not far from our Lelouch, eh?)
But come to think of it, what has gotten inside the mind of Suzaku Kururugi to turn his back on his own countrymen to pledge his full allegiance to a tyrant empire such as Britannia? Apparently, there is more to Suzaku Kururugi than the image of the person the above-mentioned reasons want him to become. All his treacherous actions will take us to his one and only motive which is, “to change Britannia from the inside.”
If Code Geass wasn’t the epic anime we know that it was, with its crazy hero who relies only on nothing but his wits and power, Suzaku Kururugi may have become our protagonist. After all, under his traitorous inhibitions, Suzaku was a kind, righteous, brave, strong and virtuous character. These traits (which are most commonly seen in lead characters, but well, we’re talking about Code Geass here) were showcased by Suzaku. The only difference was that he exhibited all of these to the opposite party, which was downright wrong given the fact that he’s Japanese by blood.
Also, his aim to “change” Britannia from the inside was (in my opinion) nothing but wishful thinking. This is categorically impossible especially with an antagonist like Charles Zi Britannia. (But this might happen on Disney Fairytales, who knows?)
But despite the names and labels he’s been getting from both Britannians and Elevens, Suzaku has stood firm with his beliefs and methods. Underneath these layers of what people may call as disloyal deeds, Suzaku was a good person. And he was loyal to whomever person he served. The only time that he failed in executing his knighthood duties was when he failed to protect the people he loves. All the more, he was a chivalrous Knight.
And I think that his character is equally unique with Lelouch’s character. I mean, he was Japanese by blood and yet he became a Knight of the Britannian Empire. If that’s not interesting for you, I don’t know anymore.
Plus, let’s not also forget the fact that he has become one of the Knights of Rounds to request Emperor Charles to give him Area 11 as a province. It seemed that all his actions, despite how unfaithful they are for the Elevens themselves, is still trying to tell us that all this time, he’s always been thinking of his own country. And he wasn’t merely a traitorous Eleven who turned his back from his countrymen to save his own life.
In the end, Suzaku did the things he did for his own reasons. And even though many would have argued that he’s just being a jerk, his motives weren’t bad at all. In fact, compared to Lelouch, he played fair on his part of the bargain, sort of. (Except when he ratted out Lelouch, of course). But what makes Suzaku special and different from all the other characters in the series was the fact that he was the most human.
Suzaku exhibited the most realistic characteristic of a person. And if you’re going to ask me, the sacrifices he made were just as equal with the sacrifices Lelouch made to gain the peace they’ve been striving so hard to achieve. (Plus the fact that he’s lost a girlfriend for life. RIP Euphemia.)
He has also grown so much throughout the duration of the story. Ultimately, he has thrown all his beliefs, views, and knighthood principles the moment he agreed to team up with Zero/Lelouch to attain the future they have been striving so hard to get. And this is so much of a development for a supporting character such as him.
It took me years of re-watching the series to realize that Suzaku Kururugi was a really interesting character worthy of my notice (and fangirling). And I definitely love everything about him.
Now, what do you think about Suzaku? Write your thoughts in the comment thread below.