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Suzaku Kururugi (枢木 スザク Kururugi Suzaku?) is the deuteragonist of the Sunrise anime series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. He is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai, while his child self is voiced by Akeno Watanabe. In the English dub, he is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal and his child self is voiced by Laura Bailey. In the 29th Anime Grand Prix, he was sixth place with 143 votes,[3] then 19th and 13th, respectively, in the following two.

Character outline

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Suzaku is the son of Japan's last prime minister, Genbu Kururugi. His existence was kept a secret from the public until after the war. Suzaku met Lelouch Lamperouge and his sister Nunnally when they moved to the Kururugi residence as a diplomatic peace trade. At first, Suzaku despised Lelouch because he thought that he was a prince who didn't care about anyone. As time passed by, however, he came to know Lelouch better, and they soon became best friends. They become separated when Britannia invaded Japan, but are reunited in the Shinjuku Ghetto.

When Britannia began its invasion of Japan, Suzaku was mortified by the violence and his father's belief that resisting to the bitter end was preferable to surrender. Unable to change his father's mind, Suzaku murdered him during a heated exchange. The incident was covered up and Suzaku's life was spared, while the government was thrown into disarray and surrendered to Britannia. Lelouch believes that, had Genbu lived, Japan would have likely been torn apart by war once the other major powers decided to intervene. His guilt over the incident causes Suzaku to constantly place himself on the frontlines in the hope of atoning for his actions with his death. It also inspires his belief that the ends achieved by using the wrong means are meaningless, since he created peace through murder. However, after firing the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead, under the command of Lelouch's Geass, he decides to achieve his desired results regardless of the means.

Character history

First season

Suzaku is introduced in the first episode of the series as an Honorary Britannian soldier.[4] While searching the Shinjuku ghetto for poison gas stolen by resistance members, he finds Lelouch standing next to it. He refuses to carry out an order to kill Lelouch, and is shot by his superior officer for his insubordination. However, the bullet is stopped by a broken pocket watch belonging to his deceased father.

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While recovering from his injuries at the command center, Suzaku is approached by Lloyd Asplund and offered a chance to pilot the experimental Knightmare Frame Lancelot, since the pilot that Lloyd had originally been looking for was already on the front lines.[5] The Lancelot's advanced systems combined with his unprecedented piloting skill allow him to almost single-handedly dismantle Lelouch's plan to rout the massacre of Shinjuku ghetto, but he finds himself under arrest afterward for the murder of Prince Clovis; though Lelouch was in fact responsible for this, the military used him as a scapegoat since they had no suspect, citing his Japanese heritage as motive in spite of his Honorary Britannian status.

Lelouch rescues Suzaku from his impending execution by assuming the identity of Zero and taking credit for Clovis' murder, forcing the military to acquit Suzaku due to lack of evidence. He asks Suzaku to join his cause, but Suzaku refuses. While he agrees with Zero on the latter's assertion that the Britannian Empire is corrupt and not worth serving, he wants to change and improve the Empire from within, to show that his father's death was not in vain.

From this point on, Suzaku remains the pilot of the Lancelot. He is reunited with Lelouch and Nunnally after enrolling into Ashford Academy at Euphemia's suggestion. His rank within the military is initially Private, but he is promoted to Warrant Officer by Cornelia li Britannia when she first arrives in Japan.[6] He is appointed as Euphemia's personal Knight, granting him the rank of Major, after a televised battle with the Black Knights makes his occupation public knowledge. This ruins Lelouch's plan to have Suzaku protect Nunnally once his role as Zero took him away from Area 11. During the battle on Shikinejima Island, in which Suzaku is ordered to sacrifice himself to kill Zero, Lelouch is forced to use the power of Geass on Suzaku in order to escape destruction, and commands him to "live," forcing him to survive by any means from then on.

Suzaku falls in love with Euphemia, and thus is emotionally crushed by her murder at Zero's hands. He is visited by V.V., who explains Zero's power of Geass to him, which drives him to find and kill Zero at all costs. He follows Lelouch to Kaminejima and confirms his identity. Lelouch tries to offer Suzaku a truce in order to rescue Nunnally, but Suzaku is too swept up in his grief to care. Enraged, Suzaku insists that Lelouch's very existence is a mistake, one he intends to correct. Lelouch draws his pistol and both men attempt to shoot one another, at which point the screen fades to black and the season ends with a gunshot.

Second season

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In the second season, Suzaku receives a promotion into the Knights of the Round, the most powerful order of warriors in the Britannian Empire, as a reward for capturing Zero. He intends to become the Knight of One, which will allow him to rule Area 11 by his choosing. He still holds his desire to kill Zero.[7] However, he seems to still have some faith in Lelouch, and looks forward for a chance to clear his doubts about his friend by asking him about the incident with Euphemia.

Suzaku and the other Knights of the Round watch as Zero announces that he will continue his plans to create the United State of Japan. Suzaku returns to Area 11 as a student in Ashford Academy to discover if Lelouch has regained his memories of being Zero. Unable to find any sort of sign, Suzaku lets Lelouch speak to the new Viceroy of Area 11, Nunnally, which also ends in failure thanks to Rolo Lamperouge using his Geass to freeze Suzaku temporarily. When Lelouch attempts to kidnap Nunnally as she is being brought to Area 11, Suzaku steps in to rescue her.

Zero later unexpectedly announces that he will accept Nunally's offer in exchange for exile; this is revealed to be a clever ruse when Zero has all one million Elevens participating dress exactly like him, leaving Suzaku no choice but to exile the entire group to prevent another massacre.

Suzaku is deployed to the Chinese Federation's capital, where the First Prince of Britannia and the Empress Tianzi are to be wed; however, Zero kidnaps the Empress during the ceremony. Britannian aid is requested in recovering the Empress, and Suzaku personally has Kallen Stadtfeld transferred into Britannian custody before heading into the battle.

In the aftermath of Shirley's death, Suzaku investigates Shirley's supposed suicide and comes to the conclusion that Lelouch murdered her. He decides to question Kallen about Zero's true identity, threatening to use Refrain if she does not cooperate. In the end, Suzaku does not use the Refrain, realizing that by doing so he would be no better than Lelouch. Frustrated, he goes to confront Lelouch personally and discovers that the Intelligence Agency is under the effect of Geass, confirming that Lelouch has regained his memories.

After the creation of the United Federation of Nations is cut short by the Emperor's appearance, Suzaku is contacted by a desperate Lelouch, who asks him to protect Nunnally from the Emperor. Suzaku agrees to his request, but only if Lelouch meets him alone at the Kururugi shrine. The meeting goes well at first and Suzaku decides to help him if Lelouch ends his war, but Schneizel's unexpected attempt to arrest Lelouch makes him believe Suzaku went back on his word. During the second battle of Tokyo, Suzaku is attacked by Jeremiah Gottwald and Guilford under the influence of Lelouch's Geass. Though both are drawn away from Suzaku, he is forced to battle Kallen in her improved Guren. Driven to the edge, Suzaku realizes he cannot win and comes to terms with his death as an atonement. In doing so, Suzaku's Geass command activates and forces him to use the F.L.E.I.J.A. bomb. Kallen dodges and the bomb instead hits the government complex, wiping out the entire government building and most of the surrounding area.

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Realizing that he has been naive, Suzaku decides that the ends are more important than the means used to reach them and takes a more active approach to becoming Knight of One, offering to kill the Emperor for Schneizel. Schneizel agrees and Suzaku heads to Kamine Island to complete his mission, as well as kill the one responsible for the chain of events leading to Lelouch's actions and Euphemia's death. However, Suzaku is derailed by the Knight of One, Bismarck Waldstein, eventually submitting to his Geass and falling back. He later enters the Sword of Akasha with C.C. and agrees with Lelouch that the wishes of Charles and Marianne are selfish, even stopping Marianne from approaching Lelouch. After Lelouch defeats his parents and stops the Ragnarök Connection, Suzaku considers taking revenge for Euphemia, but doesn't follow through. One month later, he assists Lelouch in taking the throne, becoming his "Knight of Zero."

When the surviving Knights of the Round attempt to remove Lelouch from power, Suzaku easily defeats them with his new Lancelot Albion. He also assists in taking the U.F.N. leaders hostage. During the battle against Schneizel and the Black Knights, he joins Lelouch in boarding the Damocles, holding Gino off while Lelouch goes ahead. Suzaku comes out victorious, but Gino's last attack opens the shields and allows Kallen to take over. Kallen manages to land a fatal blow on the Lancelot while his last attack disables her Knightmare. The Lancelot explodes shortly after Kallen is rescued by Gino. Despite being nearly defeated in the duel itself, Suzaku is the one to attain the goal of the fight: to prevent Kallen from going after Lelouch, thus winning him final victory and keeping Zero Requiem on track.

Suzaku is believed dead in the blast, but reappears before the world as the new Zero to kill Lelouch, now the despised tyrannical Emperor of the world, as part of their plan for world peace. With the Zero Requiem complete, Suzaku weeps silently as he impales Lelouch and watches him die. Part of their agreement is the understanding that he will be forced to relinquish the right to happiness and exist as Zero so long as he lives. Suzaku becomes Nunnally's protector in the following months, aided by Schneizel, who is still under a Geass command to obey Zero.

Abilities

While Suzaku possesses no outwardly superhuman powers, such as Geass, his physical prowess is top-notch. He possesses superior hand-eye coordination and has extensive military training in both firearms and hand-to-hand combat. He is also strong enough to lift both Lelouch and Shirley on his own with one arm. Before Britannia's invasion of Japan, Suzaku was trained by his instructor, Kyoshiro Tohdoh, in martial arts, and has spent most of his time training to become stronger. He is also skilled in the art of kendo. His trademark is a spinning kick first used on Lelouch in the first episode, which he is able to replicate in his Knightmare. His sensorial perception is likewise above normal: he is able to detect Kallen trying to sneak up on him twice and stops a dagger in mid-air without even turning to face it.

Suzaku's physical prowess is sometimes exaggerated to unrealistic levels. In episode 16, he manages to destroy a ceiling-mounted remote machine gun while unarmed by running up a wall and kicking it (the gun's motion tracker was said to have a lag time of 0.05 seconds). He has also dodged machine-gun fire from Knightmares on multiple occasions. In the light novels, he is depicted at ten years of age as being able to defeat several adult men with a wooden training sword used in kendo.

Suzaku is an extremely skilled pilot, rated at 94% operational efficiency by Lloyd based on his performance at the Shinjuku ghetto. Cécile also notes that his simulator scores were the highest of his class. His lack of any tactics confuses Lelouch, as he fights with reflex instead of strategy. The Lancelot's superior abilities also help, as few other Knightmare Frames can match its astonishing speed or overcome its considerable defenses. Even when Lelouch manages to predict his movements, Suzaku's reflexes allowed him to narrowly escape what would have otherwise been certain death.

Despite not possessing a Geass power, Suzaku has the peculiar ability to detect C.C. and others who grant the power of Geass. C.C. speculates that this is either due to her having previously used her abilities on him, or another unidentified factor. Following episode 18 in the first season, Suzaku is also placed under a command by Lelouch to "live." As this command gives no time or event limitations, it activates every time Suzaku feels suicidal (or otherwise accepts his death as an inevitability) and forces him to survive by any means. It also activates to a lesser extent when his life is in immediate danger. He is the only character on whom Lelouch places a permanent Geass ever to become aware of it, having been told so by V.V.. Suzaku eventually learns to intentionally trigger his Geass command to help unleash his full potential during combat. He used this ability to defeat Bismarck Waldstein and to deploy a countermeasure to the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead in tandem with Lelouch, which contained a program that had to be executed within 0.04 seconds of detonation to have an effect.

Appearances in other media

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Lost Colors

In the video game spin-off, if the player uses Rai's geass on Suzaku to make him join the Black Knights, Suzaku joins and brutally fights off the Britannian forces. He also participates in the Black Rebellion, which has the Black Knights winning the war. However, in forcing Suzaku to join, the player angers Lelouch, who wanted to recruit Suzaku without using Geass. Lelouch puts Rai into an eternal sleep, resulting in a game over.

The player may choose to pursue Suzaku as a friend by joining the Britannian military. In the All Hail Britannia route, Rai becomes Suzaku's partner in battle and receives a Knightmare Frame of his own similar to the Lancelot. He may use his own Geass to stop Euphemia from ordering the infamous massacre portrayed in episode 22-23 under Lelouch's accidental Geass. After ordering the Princess to stop and then ordering the crowd to forget her order, Euphemia's plan to create the Special Zone of Japan succeeds. Rai and Suzaku are then known as the new country's two White Knights.

In the Black Knights path, if Rai stops Princess Euphemia from following through with Lelouch's accidental Geass (an alternate version to episode 22-23), Suzaku (who is standing nearby) will catch the princess as she suddenly collapses. She wakes up in his arms without any recollection of being under the control of Lelouch's Geass.

Nightmare of Nunnally

In the manga spin-off series, Suzaku's appearance is changed slightly. Some parts of his hair are down, and his eye color is blue instead of green. Both his knight outfit and his pilot outfit are also customized with a blue samurai arm gauntlet. Suzaku also owns his own Ōkatana with a custom Britannian hilt.

Suzaku first appeared in chapter 7 of the manga series, and has received approval from Schneizel for Euphemia to have Suzaku as her knight. In the manga, Suzaku is shown to have an ability to sense the power of other people with Geass. When Suzaku first fought against Lelouch as Zero in his Lancelot Knightmare Frame, Lelouch notice that his powers are negated, hinting that Suzaku might have another ability. This is further hinted in chapter 14, when he meets Alice; she notes it's impossible for anyone to sneak up on her, and when she shakes his hand, she notes later she felt a chill. However, Suzaku doesn't appear to be aware of this, or indeed of Alice's abilities. In Chapter 13, it's revealed that in this timeline, Suzaku did not kill his father; C.C. did in order to protect Lelouch and Nunnally. Later, Suzaku is revealed to be a being known as a 'Wired' a being who can access the power of Eden Vital without entering into a Geass Contract and thus having the qualifications to become a 'Demon King' like Zero, but was shocked when the identity of Zero was revealed to be Lelouch.

After the Mark Nemo pilot was captured, Suzaku was approached by Lelouch, who was shocked when he revealed the pilot was Nunnally and had no choice but to help him, and later passed the information to Euphemia. Suzaku, along with Lelouch as Zero, arrived on time to stop Nunnally from being executed by her twin brother, Rolo Vi Britannia, on Euphemia's orders and proceeds to fight Rolo and his knight, Anya Alstreim, only to be defeated by Anya's Tristan Knightmare Frame. After Alice flees with Nunnally and Emperor Charles zi Britannia declares the Holy Nation of Eden Vital, Suzaku is arrested along with Euphemia, Cornelia and Guilford (who had also attempted to stop the execution). He is rescued by Zero and, despite his mistrust, helps him make Euphemia the Empress of Britannia. Having lost his original Lancelot, Suzaku deploys the Lancelot Albion with Zero in his Gawain against the Emperor's Knights of Rounds (who are revealed to be decease but resurrected as undead zombies). Suzaku and his Albion are almost defeated, but are saved by Charles' defeat. Suzaku remains as Euphemia's knight but also have met Lelouch for the last time before he bid farewell.

Suzaku of the Counterattack

In the manga spin-off series shows Suzaku as the main protagonist, wearing a bionic combat suit and going by the alias Lancelot. Suzaku also develops a close friendship with Lloyd's assistant Mariel Lubie, and later meets her father, Lenard Lubie, who requested Suzaku to take care of her.

After a renegade Black Knights faction had attacked the Lubie automobile, which killed Lenard and injuring Mariel when the wrecked car was destroyed, Suzaku was fueled in anger as he seeks to defeat Zero. Fulfiling Lenard's request, Suzaku is taking care of Mariel until she gets better.

It is revealed that he had killed his father Genbu, but it was done when Suzaku found out that he and the Emperor of Japan were willing to collaborate with Britannia and kill off anti-occupation Japanese officials and civilians.[8] In a fit of anger, he stabs Genbu in the chest.[9]

When Suzaku meets Schneizel, he is moved by his words that he wished to create a world were everyone is equal, and offers Suzaku a position as his knight. Suzaku accepts, believing that Schneizel can end the fighting.

When an Art Gallery, with the Emperor Charles, was in control by the Black Knight, Suzaku was sent by Schneizel to try and prevent any civilian from getting hurt and was surprised to find that Kallen was a member and revealed that she is half Britannian-Japanese, but left her when he realised that Zero is after the Emperor. When he arrived he saw not only the Emperor dead but saw Schneizel being shot by Zero, which caused him to pick up his gun and shoot at his mask, which craked and was shocked to see that it was Lelouch as Zero. When he demand why he did it, Lelouch replied that he only did it for the both of them. Suzaku find it hard to believe as the two point the gun at each other and fired, with Lelouch missed the shot and Suzaku shot away Lelouch's gun, but later one of the Glaston Knights shot at Lelouch and leaving him injured. Schneizel praises Suzaku for his efforts, but mentions the event that happened 7 years ago, which he shouldn't have known about. Suzaku is torn over the decision to execute Lelouch, since it will take Nunnally's brother from her.

Later Suzaku discovers C.C., who reveals that it was Schneizel, not Lelouch, who killed the Emperor. He plans to take C.C.'s immortality. Realizing that he's been serving the wrong man, Suzaku frees Lelouch to help confront Schneizel. Suzaku and Lelouch infiltrate the Government building and confront Schneizel, who has already absorbed some of C.C.'s powers, allowing him to easily dispatch them. With Schneizel about to fully gain C.C.'s powers and her immortality, Suzaku reveals himself as a Regulator, negating Schneizel's ability and then kills him with his sword. With Schneizel now dead, C.C.'s powers are instead transferred to Suzaku

Five years later with the Black Knights supposed victory, an immortal Suzaku went passed a 22 year old Kallen, still a member of the Black Knights, and arrived at a house, where Lelouch and Nunnally are now living, and happily greeted a surprised Lelouch, now 22 and his right eye covered with his hair.

Code Geass: The Manga

Suzaku is present in the manga adaptation with many differences. He was already a student at Ashford Academy from the start. He was not present with Lelouch when C.C. was revealed to be in the capsule. Finally, he met Euphemia while at the Academy and not on the streets. He still believes that he can change the system from within.

Another Century's Episode R

The forth instalment of the Another Century's Episode series, Another Century's Episode R will feature Suzaku with his Lancelot.

A brief plot was revealed in the second promotional video in the official website and a short detail of the event set in the A.C.E. R main planet, Eria [10], revealing Suzaku, like most of the characters from different franchises, while in a midle of a battle in his respective world was sucked in with Gino and Anya by an unknown black energy and suddenly transported in Eria, were they appeared in a ruined city. Later Suzaku was prepared to fight an unknown enemy.

References

  1. Yomino, Atsuro (2008). Suzaku of the Counterattack, Volume 1. Bandai Entertainment. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-1-59409-977-9. 
  2. Nighmare of Nunnally manga only
  3. Favorite Male Character, 29th Annual Anime Grand Prix
  4. "Official Suzaku Kururugi Profile". Bandai Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  5. "The Day a New Demon was Born". Code Geass. Mainichi Broadcasting System. 2006-10-05. No. 1, season 1.
  6. "Attack Cornelia". Code Geass. Mainichi Broadcasting System. 2006-11-16. No. 7, season 1.
  7. "The Day the Demon Awakens". Code Geass. Mainichi Broadcasting System. 2008-04-06. No. 1, season 2.
  8. Yomino, Atsuro (2008). Suzaku of the Counterattack, Volume 1. Bandai Entertainment. pp. 132–133. ISBN 978-1-59409-977-9. 
  9. Yomino, Atsuro (2008). Suzaku of the Counterattack, Volume 1. Bandai Entertainment. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-1-59409-977-9. 
  10. ACE Sequel Announced for PS3
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