Guest post by Vics.
Being an anime that grants its main character the power to make others do what he wants, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of somewhat hysterical laughs.
There are many reasons to laugh in a show like Code Geass. Rivalz or Tristan could have told a funny joke, someone like Suzaku could be laughing because they’ve just done something atrocious, or someone like Lelouch & Schnizel could’ve just outplayed their opponent on the battlefield and are relishing the victory.
So, out of all these laughs, who has the best laugh and at the same time, best reason to laugh?
Note: ranked according to English Dub
Mao is a Geass user, like Lelouch, Marianne, Charles, and others. His ability was that he could read minds and it made him extremely condescending and view everyone as inferior.
When he goes after Lelouch, he makes elaborate plans based on the way Lelouch’s mind works and the way he thinks.
So, while Lelouch is trying to scheme his way out of Mao’s tricks, Mao is doing the most condescending laugh you have ever seen. He’s clapping, he’s moving closer to Lelouch’s face, using his Geass and calling out exactly what Lelouch is thinking. However, even with all the pizzazz to make up for the lack of boom in his voice, Mao’s laugh falls to the wayside compared to the others.
3. Suzaku Kururugi
Suzaku was all for following his morals and sticking to the rules to make Japan a better place until Lelouch ordered him with his Geass to live on. That changed everything for Suzaku. He disregarded orders for the sake of his own life and murdered thousands of people with the FLEIJA warhead.
After becoming a mass murderer for the benefit of Britannia, Suzaku is driven to a mental breaking point. He’s become, in his eyes, as low as Lelouch, and while facing the destruction, he laughs hysterically at all the pain he’s caused. This laugh encapsulates where Suzaku is heading towards as a character, he is no longer following by-the-numbers rules. He knows how far he has gone, and now he will do anything for the sake of Japan.
2. Charles zi Britannia
Emperor Charles zi Britannia was the 98th emperor of Britannia, and he had one of the strictest ideologies in the anime. He believed that humanity would always resort to their natural instincts, struggle & conflict. And thus, he decided to form a plan spanning over decades to destroy the collective human consciousness, therefore bringing together the whole of humanity as one singular mind. Britannia has started promoting social inequality based on this ideology, which sparked the revolution of the Black Knights.
When Euphemia Li Britannia conceived the Japan Special Zone, Lelouch & the Black Knights agreed to join it.
So, while Euphemia and Lelouch are discussing his identity as Zero and her reasoning for this Special Zone, Lelouch makes a joke to explain his Geass power saying, “If I wanted to, I could make you kill all the Japanese, and you wouldn’t be able to refuse!”. Unbeknownst to Lelouch at the time, his Geass had grown too strong and was active even though he was not trying to give an order.
During the Britannia massacre of the Japanese people, Emperor Charles zi Britannia is laughing, and yelling that Lelouch is finally worthy to be his son.
Charles’ laugh is booming and carries an intense echo that stretches all the way through the Sword of Akasha. This laugh not only goes to show who Charles is as a character, it shows his ruthlessness, while also further illustrating what it is that he believes in.
1. Lelouch vi Britannia
Lelouch is the main protagonist of Code Geass and the most engaging character in the show.
He gets his cold, sophisticated, and arrogant nature in battle from his father Charles, but at school, he is sociable & outgoing.
During battles, he views it all as a chess game, and sees civilian casualties as what he calls “mathematical overestimation.”
His main goal is to make the world a more kind & more peaceful place for the sake of his little sister, Nunnally. Lelouch’s resolve is unrivaled, as he sacrifices so much, to achieve his dream.
The sacrifices Lelouch has had to make came with benefits and downsides. His resolve is strengthened, and he pushes further and further to achieve his desire. But at the same time, he suffers countless traumas, that come in the form of depression, and losses of those closest to him. And a lot of the time, when these traumas come, Lelouch tends to laugh in the face of them losing a part of himself in the process.
His first laugh, which is the most iconic, is not actually an “evil” laugh like most people classify it as. Lelouch laughs after finding out that his best friend, Suzaku Kururugi, has been the same person causing him issues in countless battles. He laughs at the irony of the situation, that his best friend is also his worst enemy. It’s an almost painful laugh as the more he continues on, the deeper he’ll fall into the abyss. As he puts it, he must become evil to conquer a larger evil.