To stay memorable and relevant more than a decade after its original run, an anime needs a strong ending. The ending of Code Geass is arguably one of the most complex and enduring in recent anime history, establishing Lelouch as one of the most beloved anime characters ever made. But fans love to debate about the true meaning of the ending and Lelouch's character arc. So, is Lelouch still alive in Code Geass?
The answer might be a bit complicated, and, obviously, spoilers can't be avoided.
About Code Geass
Code Geass is a mecha anime that follows Lelouch, an exiled prince of the futuristic Brittanian Empire, which has conquered many known nations, including Japan, where he now lives with his sister as an elite student.
Secretly, Lelouch despises Britannia and wants to destroy it, as the empire has killed his mother and crippled his sister before exiling both siblings. His dream is to create a better world where his younger sister can be safe and happy, but he feels powerless to achieve this goal.
This changes when he receives the Geass, a mysterious and dangerous power that will allow Lelouch to change the world - if he doesn't destroy it first.
Is Lelouch Still Alive In Code Geass?
Part of the beauty in the ending of the original Code Geass anime is that it let the viewers make up their minds about Lelouch's fate. The events suggest he's most definitely dead, though there are hints about the opposite.
The movies, though, take a different approach altogether, eventually deciding that Lelouch is still alive and thus undoing some of the ending's brilliance, according to some.
Lelouch is clearly seen wounded mortally by Suzaku after they agreed that Lelouch's death would stop further bloodshed. Then again, there's the post-credit scene, with C.C. speaking to Lelouch, while being driven around by a masked coachman.
Is the coachman Lelouch, who still lives because she passed the code of her Geass to him? Or is she simply talking to him internally, the way she used to talk to his mother, Marianne?
The original anime chose to leave this unclear, allowing the viewers agency in choosing what really happened to Lelouch. The movies that came after, however, have always taken an alternative universe approach, changing some main events and, eventually, through the latest movie, Lelouch of the Resurrection, confirming that Lelouch is, indeed, alive.
There are mixed opinions about this decision and its implications for the continuity of Code Geass. Some fans like what the movie did and might even feel validated, while others, even fans of Lelouch, might think his death was an appropriate ending.
Ultimately, of course, fans are free to choose; disregard all movies that came after Season 2 of Code Geass, or accept their story as canon?