Code Geass is one of the greatest shows of all time. One of the main reasons for that is because of the show's large cast of great characters. Code Geass has so many characters that ranking all of them would be a difficult task, but I've decided to go ahead and rank them all. This article has been one of the hardest that I've ever had to make. It took days of writing and thinking to make, but I believe it was worth it.
Some things to know about my ranking:
I'm ranking the characters based off of my personal feelings. I've been a fan of Code Geass since 2015. Since then, I've developed very strong feelings about the show's characters.
I tried to avoid giving away too many spoilers for the series, but some were unavoidable for discussing certain characters.
The characters are being ranked based off of what they are like in the series. Their roles in the films will not be reflected in my ranking.
Characters from spin-offs will be excluded.
Characters that only appeared in a couple of episodes will only be included if they were important to the story during their brief time on the show.
Some of the sidekick characters from the show are grouped together in my list, because they aren't very distinct from each other.
60. Rolo Lamperouge
Rolo's demeanor and way of speaking and behaving is already hard to tolerate. However, it's what he did to Shirley that easily lands him the bottom spot on my list.
59. Princess Kaguya
Princess Kaguya has the same name as one of my favorite film protagonists (Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Princess Kaguya). However, I'm not a fan of this Kaguya. Her inappropriate crush on Zero leads to moments that are more uncomfortable than funny.
58. Kewell Soresi, Marika Soresi and Liliana Vergamon
These three soldiers did very little, if anything, that made them stand out in any way.
57. Nonette Enneagram and Dorothea Ernst
Unlike the other Knights of the Round, these two received very little characterization and screentime.
56. Hong Gu
This guy is about as unmemorable as humanly possible.
55. Princess Euphemia
A big part of what makes Code Geass so compelling and exciting is how flawed the characters are. Euphemia lacks flaws, so she runs the risk of coming across as too plain and simplistic in comparison to the other characters.
54. Sinchiroo Tamaki
Tamaki may warrant an occasional chuckle, but his hot-headed impulsiveness tends to make him more annoying than enduring.
53. Rivalz Cardemonde
Rivalz has virtually no significance to anything in the story, but that doesn't stop him from constantly appearing in the show.
52. Princess Carine
While Carine was able to have some personality in her very small amount of screentime, she simply wasn't around enough to be a developed character.
51. Princess Tianzi
Tianzi never really does anything bad or annoying. She just doesn't really stand out.
50. Kanon Maldini
As the sidekick to one of the most important characters in the show, it's a shame that Kanon did so little.
Sayoko serves as a useful sidekick to Lelouch. She just doesn't have any distinct characterization beyond her loyalty to Lelouch.
48. Nunnally Lamperouge
Nunnally is one of the most important characters in the series, because she serves as Lelouch's motivation for doing what he does. However, Nunnally is more of a plot device than an interesting character.
47. Naomi Inoue, Yoshitaka Minami, Kento Sugiyama, Toru Toshida, Ayame Futaba, Mutsuki Minase, Ichijiku Hinata and Kizuna Kagesaki
These characters serve as members of the Black Knights. While they are more tolerable than Tamaki, they didn't get much development or screentime.
46. Ryoga Senba
Out of the members of the Four Holy Swords, Senba is given the least amount of distinct traits and memorable moments.
45. Monica Krushevsky
Monica didn't get much screentime, but she was a more memorable Knight of the Round than Nonette and Dorothea.
44. Glaston Knights (General Dalton's sons)
These guys didn't get much to do, but their cool designs and loyalty to their father help them stand out.
43. Zhou Xianglin
She may not get many moments to shine, but at least she's a good friend to Xingke.
42. Nagisa Chiba
Chiba may not do much, but she's an empowering woman that has good chemistry with Tohdoh.
Arthur may seem like little more than a cute cat, but he gets a heroic moment to shine in the finale of season one.
40. High Eunuchs
These guys are about as one-dimensionally evil as possible, but their over-the-top way of behaving makes them entertaining to watch.
39. Atsushi Sawasaki
Sawasaki was only in one episode, but he was the main antagonist of that episode. He was a pretty good villain that was a big enough threat that Zero and Suzaku had to work together to stop him.
38. Kosetsu Urabe
Urabe is notable and memorable for his heroic sacrifice at the beginning of season two. He's certainly one of Zero's most loyal teammates.
37. Li Xingke
Xingke's obsessive loyalty to Tianzi may get tiresome, but he had a cool demeanor and a strong presence.
36. Princess Guinevere
For a character that received very little screentime, Guinevere had an awesome design and personality.
35. Shogo Asahina
Asahina gets the top spot of the Four Holy Swords for his final appearance in the series. A lot of characters were quick to judge and side against Zero, but Asahina had legitimate, sympathetic reasons to start being fearful of Zero.
34. Kallen's mother and Shirley's father
Kallen's mother may not appear very much, but she serves as one of Kallen's main motivations for her actions. Also, she's a very tragic, sympathetic person that desperately tries to bond with her daughter.
Shirley's father was one of the few characters in the series that was unambiguously kind. He was a wonderful father that didn't deserve his tragic fate in life.
33. General Upson
Like Sawasaki, Upson was a one-time villain. His over-the-top abrasiveness and quick-tempered attitude made him an entertaining antagonist to root against.
32. Viceroy Calares
Calares was brought on to be the new Clovis. He even has a name that starts with a C and ends with an A. Calares was quickly defeated, but he was a solid antagonist that helped start the second season on a good note.
31. Alicia Lohmeyer
Lohmeyer is one of the most detestable characters in the series. However, her corny villainy makes her a fun antagonist to watch.
30. Nina Einstein
Nina might be the most hated character in the whole series, yet she managed to wind up in the middle of my ranking. While Nina started off as a character that didn't really stand out, her tragic fall from grace made her a more interesting character. She's a very flawed person, but that's what makes her intriguing.
29. Milly Ashford
Milly's involvement in the show may not be very important for the plot. However, her playful antics and caring attitude towards her friends help make her a good supporting character.
28. Gilbert Guilford
Guilford may be out of Cornelia's league, but he's a very loyal, caring knight that would do anything for his princess.
27. General Tohdoh
Tohdoh might lack people skills, but he has a very cool presence and sense of honor.
26. Luciano Bradley
As the figurative vampire of Britannia, Bradley is a bloodthirsty, vicious, cool villain.
25. V. V. (V2)
V2 might be the least memorable of the main villains, but he cracks me up whenever he says his "Oh, yeah?" catchphrase. Also, does anybody else find it amusing that he has the same catchphrase as the Kool-Aid Man?
24. Prince Odysseus
Despite being next-in-line for the throne, Odysseus is a very unhelpful, unambitious person. His uselessness is one of the show's better recurring jokes.
23. General Darlton
Despite working for the antagonists, Darlton was a well-intentioned, reasonable person who deserved a better fate than what he received.
22. Bismarck Waldstein
Bismarck proves that he earned the title of Knight of One by being a strong, confident, intimidating person that managed to even pose a threat to Suzaku.
21. Empress Marianne
Marianne's far from an ideal mother, but her strong impact on the story and insane way of acting makes her stand out.
20. Rakshata Chawla
Rakshata didn't get as much to do as she deserved, but her amazing design, fun personality and brilliant mind makes her one of the show's better side characters.
Mao served as the villain of a three-episode arc. When you only get a limited amount of time, you need to really leave a mark. Mao managed to do that by being a tragic, yet scary and funny, villain that helped lead to lots of development for the heroes.
18. Prince Clovis
Clovis was a great villain to start off the series with. He wasn't as threatening or developed as the villains that followed him, but his charismatic design, fun personality and strong importance to the story made him a very memorable, effective villain.
17. Cécile Croomy
Cécile's close friendship with Suzaku, playful interactions with Lloyd and kind personality make her a great side character.
16. Gino Weinberg
Gino's kind and helpful, while also being entertaining and amusing. This helps make him a welcome presence throughout the second season.
15. General Bartley
Bartley was a desperate, sympathetic guy that never seemed to get a break. His cowardliness led to a lot of effective moments of comedic relief. Also, his caring attitude towards Clovis was oddly enduring.
14. Jeremiah Gottwald
Jeremiah was an enjoyable side villain that wasn't made to last long. However, he was so popular with the fans that instead of dying, Jeremiah stood around and has gone on to become one of the coolest side characters in the series. He's as loyal and cool as he is smug and fun.
13. Villetta Nu
At first, Villetta seemed like a selfish, smug antagonist. Ironically, her losing her memories made her a much deeper, more lovable character. Her complex relationship with Ohgi is a brilliant subplot that is one of the best romance stories in anime history.
12. Kaname Ohgi
Ohgi started off as the leader of the Black Knights, but he was humble enough to realize that Zero was better fit to lead. As Diethard once pointed out, Ohgi's average-man persona helps ground the series. Also, the fact that he still loved Villetta after all she did speaks volumes of his humanity and heart.
11. Suzaku Kururugi
Suzaku's rivalry with Lelouch is one of the show's most important and compelling plotlines. Even though Lelouch is the protagonist, that doesn't mean that he's always in the right and that Suzaku's always in the wrong. Suzaku's known for being a hypocritical backstabber, but despite that, he's a multi-faceted character that goes through a great amount of compelling development throughout the series. Suzaku regressed a bit as a character in the middle of the series, because of his closed-minded hatred towards Zero. However, his huge change in priorities towards the end of the series helped him ends things off on a good note.
10. Anya Alstreim
Anya started off as a very mysterious girl that suffered from memory problems and a lack of emotions. Anya constantly photographing everything memorable in life, so she can work on her memory problems is an enduring subplot. As the show goes on, a brilliant plot twist is revealed that makes Anya one of the most interesting and sympathetic characters in the series. Also, Anya is the Code Geass equivalent of Wednesday Addams, so I have to love her for that.
9. Kallen Stadtfeld
Kallen is simply a character that screams awesomeness with her mere presence. From her touching loyalty to her mother and late brother to her complex yet enduring bond with Zero, Kallen is one of the more heroic anti-heroes in the series. She's a consistently cool character that is always a powerful presence on the battlefield.
8. Prince Schneizel
Aside from Lelouch, Schneizel is the most handsome and charming man in the series. Schneizel's graceful presence serves as a great disguise to Schneizel's true nature. Deep down, he's the most villainous out of all of Lelouch's siblings. In fact, his ambition and villainy rivals Emperor Charles. He's a brilliant mastermind whose clever subtlety adds so much to the series. He does an impressive job at manipulating others into following along with his deranged, dangerous plans.
7. Emperor Charles
When the series started out, Charles seemed like he was despicable as humanly possible. He showed no remorse when his children suffered tragic fates. In fact, he used Clovis's funeral as an excuse to make a speech expressing his bigoted views. He even made the bold claim that inequality was fair. However, as evil as Charles is, the second season reveals that he thinks what he's doing is justified. This makes his worldview fascinating. Also, his booming voice and exaggerated way of behaving made him one of the most entertaining characters in the series. He tends to say all of his lines in a very dramatic way. This has led to his dialogue being incredibly memorable.
6. Diethard Ried
Diethard is one of the best side characters in all of fiction. A lot of that has to do with the fact that even though he was never a main character, he managed to be as fascinating and entertaining as most of the leads. His obsession with Zero was both a great subplot and a wonderful source of comedic relief. The Black Knights were supposed to be a team of anti-heroes, but Diethard had very few, if any, heroic qualities. Having a bad guy work with the good guys led to a lot of great drama and humor. Also, Diethard leaving Zero in favor of Schneizel was priceless.
5. Princess Cornelia
Princess Cornelia is one of the top 10 coolest princesses in all of fiction. Cornelia was technically a villain, but she was a villain that had very understandable motives. At times, it was hard not to root for her just as much, if not more so, than Zero. She had a design that proves that you can be both beautiful and intimidating at the same time. She's easily one of the most outgoing, awesome women in anime and one of anime's most likable villains. Thankfully, the second season gave her a chance to leave her villainous side behind and become a more open-minded, helpful person.
4. C. C. (C2)
There are very few characters in fiction that are as cool as C2. Everything about her, including her design, backstory and demeanor, is amazing and awesome. Her mysterious nature builds up to a lot of fascinating secrets getting revealed. She also goes through a fantastic amount of development. She started off as somebody who wanted to die, because all of the hardships she's had in life. However, thanks to Lelouch, she was able to develop more humanity and optimism than she had ever previously had. She is Lelouch's perfect counterpart. In fact, Lelouch and C2 are easily one of the coolest duos in all of fiction. They bring out the best in each other in terms of heart, development, heroism and sassiness.
3. Lelouch Lamperouge (Zero)
Very few protagonists in fiction can measure up to Lelouch. Lelouch is far from a perfect guy. In fact, he's a very flawed guy. At times, he can appear to be a sympathetic and likable anti-hero, but at other times, he can come across as a misguided villain. Lelouch does a lot of eyebrow-raising things, but the fact that he always has a reason behind his misdeeds makes him an endlessly fascinating character. On one hand, Lelouch motivates the country of Japan to spend up for themselves and fight back against his bigoted family. On the other hand, as Zero, Lelouch has caused a lot of destruction and chaos. Code Geass doesn't expect you to fully root for or against Lelouch. The show challenges the viewers by presenting them with one of the most complex, fascinating protagonists in all of history.
2. Lloyd Asplund
Lloyd might be the funniest side character in all of anime and one of the greatest comedy reliefs of all time. Lloyd is simply a delight. Everything he says and does is a treat. Lloyd is certainly a comedy relief, but he's a comedy relief that actually benefits the story rather than getting in the way with forced humor. His sassiness towards others, especially Suzaku, is consistently enduring and hilarious. Lloyd's bad attempts at socializing and goofy way of behaving make him a joy to watch. Also, despite not being easy to get along with, he's a caring guy that helps his friends when they need him. As soon as I first saw him, he captured my interest, and he continues to grab my interest to this day.
1. Shirley Fenette
Shirley might be the cutest and most lovable character in the whole series. In a show that's filled with misguided vigilantes, Shirley stands out as a lovable source of adorable charm. Despite having great chemistry, I don't think that Shirley and Lulu belong together. However, that's not Shirley's fault. She deserves better than Lulu. Despite not having the same moral conflicts as most of the other characters, Shirley is absolutely not a Mary Sue. She suffers through shyness and anxiety. Also, even though Shirley is a good-hearted person, the person that she fell in love with, Lulu, is filled with flaws. This leads Shirley down a sad path that leaves her as the most sympathetic character in the series and the one that pulled on my heartstrings the most. Shirley's storyline might not be as exciting as a lot of the other characters, but as a character, Shirley serves as the heart of the series and the character whose mere presence brings me the highest amount of happiness.