10 Reasons Lelouch Is the Most Popular Anime Character

Reasons Why Lelouch Is the Most Popular Anime Character
Credit: Sunrise

Reasons Why Lelouch Is the Most Popular Anime Character
Credit: Sunrise

For more than a decade, Lelouch Lamperouge has dominated the first rank among the most popular anime characters. The second place, Levi from Attack on Titan, doesn't even come close. So, why is Lelouch the most popular anime character? We explain all the reasons below!

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  1. He's a Brilliant Mastermind

    Lelouch is no action hero. In fact, stamina is his weak spot. Thankfully, he more than makes up for it with his intelligence.

    From defeating much more experienced chess players to managing an actual battlefield like his chess board, Lelouch is a great mastermind and definitely one of the smartest anime characters of all time.

    Viewers are naturally drawn to clever protagonists who make them stretch their own minds to keep up.

    For all its cool mecha action, you have to really focus to appreciate Lelouch's mind games in Code Geass.

  2. He Has One of the Best Voice Actors

    Code Geass started off as an original anime, so people first fell in love with Lelouch on the screen, and Jun Fukuyama's performance definitely helped. 

    The voice actor has an amazing range and has taken a diverse range of roles, many of them completely different from Lelouch, such as Assassination Classroom's Koro-sensei.

    You can really tell that Fukuyama had a lot of fun portraying Lelouch. His authoritative, and sometimes entertainingly over-the-top voice will stick with you.

  3. His Character Design Is Unique

    Those wondering if Code Geass is worth watching in the 2020s might need some time to get used to the animation. That being said, Lelouch's design is quite unique and memorable.

    The overly long limbs and occasionally absurd facial expressions in the anime are occasionally jarring, but there's an odd charm about them, too.

    Lelouch might not look as conventionally handsome as characters in other anime, who are drawn in more realistic styles. Even so, his color scheme with the characteristic purple eyes looks really cool.

    Moreover, the quirky animation style of Code Geass means that he's immediately recognizable.

  4. He's Flawed

    Flaws are an important part of every well-rounded character. Lelouch has a few to work with, which makes him all the more realistic and engaging to watch.

    He is young and physically weak, so he has to make up for it with his intelligence. He is often the smartest person in the room, but this makes him arrogant.

    His goal to create a better world for his sister is noble, but he often uses less-than-noble means in his quest for revenge.

    Overall, Lelouch is an anti-hero who will do almost anything to achieve his goal.

    He has a complicated past, and his good qualities are mingled with flaws that hold him behind, making for an interesting viewing experience.

  5. He Knows How to Put on a Show

    Lelouch is very charismatic, which in itself is reason enough to make you want to watch as much of him as possible.

    It isn't just that his plans are smart, but they also unfold in many memorable ways. I'll always remember the orange incident even if I don't 100% understand it even after five rewatches.

    Even before getting his Geass, Lelouch had a fair share of charisma, but this is taken out to eleven when he gets the power of coercion. His over-the-top mannerisms are simply too entertaining.

  6. There Are People He Cares About

    A character who exists in a void isn't all that interesting. A big part of a character's journey consists of the people who accompany them, and Lelouch has several.

    The most obvious one, of course, is his sister, Nunally. His love for her is one of the many motivators behind his actions, but she isn't the only one.

    While Lelouch might come off as cold or uncaring at first glance, he has friends in the student council. He comes to care about his half-sister, Euphemia, when they reconnect, and he has a complicated relationship with Suzaku.

    On several occasions, Lelouch must make hard choices that involve other people.

    To complicate matters, his plans sometimes go out of hand and end up endangering those he cares about.

    When a character has loved ones they wish to protect, they immediately feel more human and engaging because viewers know what the character has to lose should they fail.

  7. He Fights Against a Corrupt Empire

    As viewers, we're drawn to characters who fight against injustice. Lelouch does questionable things himself, but the Britannian Empire's cruelty means that fans justify what he's doing, as no rebellion is completely non-violent.

    Of course, Lelouch's reasons for fighting against Britannia are at least partly selfish, inspired by his thirst for revenge.

    However, the fact that he first shares his wish to destroy Britannia as a child, after they have bombed Japan and turned it into Area 11, goes on to show that he does have a sense of justice.

    As Zero, Lelouch empowers many other characters to fight, and despite his selfish interest in crashing Britannia, you can't help rooting for him.

  8. He Stands By His Belief System

    There's nothing worse than an inconsistent character who develops unseen-before traits and skills when the plot requires it. Lelouch is dynamic and develops, but most of his core values and overall personality remain consistent.

    In the first few episodes, we learn two important things about Lelouch.

    Firstly, he has a strong sense of justice, believing that no one should kill unless they are prepared to die and, secondly, he will stop at almost nothing to achieve his goals, embodying an "end justifies the means" mentality.

    These core characteristics come full circle in a beautiful and heartbreaking way in Code Geass' ending.

    In it, Lelouch sacrifices himself to unite the world, showing that he didn't exclude himself from his philosophy about killing, and proving that he would, indeed, stop at nothing -- even if it means his death.

  9. Few Characters Are Indifferent to Him

    An interesting character isn't shaped just by how they protect, are motivated by, or fail their loved ones. The way other characters engage with the protagonist is also telling, and we bet every character in the show has opinions about Lelouch by the end.

    If a protagonist leaves others indifferent, they're likely boring. A cast of well-rounded characters will inconvenience each other because of understandable yet conflicting goals.

    This is definitely the case with Lelouch and those around him. Under his Zero alias, he becomes many people's champion and symbol of hope. At the same time, he becomes Britannia's worst nightmare.

    Suzaku, who is both Lelouch's friend and antagonist, demonstrates that perfectly.

    Their goals are not so different as they think, but their choice of different means complicates their relationship and creates conflict throughout.

  10. He Shows Character Development

    One of the most essential elements in every character arc is growth and change. By the end of the story, Lelouch doesn't become a completely different person, but he definitely has some development.

    Throughout the series, Lelouch makes mistakes and hurts others. While his fight against an unjust, colonizing empire seems like a noble goal, this is largely inspired by his quest for revenge.

    By the end, Lelouch understands that his actions have brought the world to a breaking point.

    He knows that his revenge was rooted in a lie, and he decides to create a new world in an unorthodox way, even if he isn't going to be around to see it.

Discover more of our insights and the latest anime news by following us on Twitter @epicstreamanime.

READ NEXT: Is Lelouch Still Alive in Code Geass?

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