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Is Eren ‘Pulling A Lelouch’? Comparing Anime’s Villainous Heroes

AOT

With the ending of the beloved anime series Attack On Titan approaching fast, fans are speculating whether the end of the series will be different than the manga because of the large number of negative responses it received. Even though the premises of Code Geass and Attack On Titan are very different, people could not help but notice the similarities between the two series when the last chapter of AOT dropped in the month of April 2021. Fans were also discussing how similar Eren and Lelouch were – two legendary protagonists who turned the tables on their own fate.

Code Geass ended with Lelouch choosing to draw all the world’s hatred on himself and Eren seems to be doing the same, taking in all the hate people have for Eldians. While the plot is working in a similar manner, there are many things we need to keep in mind as well, so we have made a full analysis of the situation to decide the vote. Let us have a look at whether Eren Jaeger is similar to Lelouch vi Britannia.

Comparing Similarities:

We shall look at the similarities between the two characters first. The main reason why people compare the two is because of their initial motivation, which leads them to take decisions in a common manner as well.

1. They Both Are Motivated After The Death Of Their Mothers

Both our protagonists have to witness the death of their mothers at a very young age, which becomes the core of their motivation to win against the system. Eren’s mother is eaten by the Smiling Titan during the fall of Shiganshina and Lelouch’s mother Marianne is thought to have been assassinated, resulting in both Eren and Lelouch swearing revenge for their deaths.

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Eren’s Mother Getting Eaten By The Smiling Titan

Both have an unwavering resolve towards fulfilling their goals – Eren’s being to kill all Titans who have taken away his freedom and Lelouch’s being to destroy Britannia in order to create a world where the powerful do not destroy the weak.

2. They Both Have OP Abilities Which Lead Them To Their Destruction 

Eren and Lelouch are GOAT characters for a reason – they both have powers that both help and destroy them. Eren’s titan powers grant him the ability to take things into his own hands – to the point that the survival of humanity depended on his orders. At the same time, he had to carry the burden of knowing the world’s destiny, and how the same humanity he tried to protect was his greatest enemy.

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Lelouch vi Britannia After Getting His Geass

Similarly, Lelouch’s Geass of Absolute Obedience, in an unfortunate accident that could have been avoided had he been more careful, leads him to kill his sister who was his only motivation for living. We see the mental health of both the characters deteriorate at an alarming rate as they start isolating themselves and decide to be the sole people who carry the burden of the world’s destiny. 

3. They Both Change Their Sole Motives

It is not often that we see the core motives of protagonists in anime change in the future. Maybe that is what sets Eren and Lelouch apart from them – they both were forced to change their motives after they learn that what they thrived for, was all in vain. 

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Eren After Kissing Queen Historia’s Hand

When Eren kisses Historia’s hand during the ending episodes of season 3, he comes to learn the truth about the world after coming in touch with the royal blood. He learns that all that he strived for, was a mistake because the titans he hated so much were the victims of the cruel world, and he too was part of them. We have seen something similar happen to Lelouch when we discover that Marianne was alive the whole time. On top of that, she had been so invested in the Ragnarok Connection along with his father, that his presence and rebellion were meaningless to her. Lelouch is deeply affected by this as he realizes that the mother he sought revenge for did not care one bit about him or his sister.

Both our protagonists may be victims of their worlds and their goals, but both take the courage to win against it using drastic measures, taking the weight for justice. 

4. They Both Plan The Ultimate Sacrifice (AOT Manga Spoiler)

Now, this is the main reason people believe that Eren is pulling a Lelouch – the ending of AOT seems to be following what happened at the end of Code Geass. Both of our protagonists know that their common enemy is the world they live in and the hideous system of humanity. They are also aware that something as big as this cannot change without getting their hands dirty. For this reason, both plan the ultimate sacrifice – becoming the enemy of the world – Eren with his Rumbling and Lelouch with his plan to take all the hatred in the world within him.

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Death Of Lelouch – Assassinated By Suzaku Dressed As Zero

In what can be compared as a similar end for both heroes, Lelouch and Eren are both assassinated by their loved ones. Lelouch chooses to be killed by Suzaku, his first and last best friend and the one who trusts most in the world. Eren on the other hand is killed by Mikasa, who has been with him throughout his entire life. 

Comparing The Differences

Now that we have discussed the similarities – which are mostly based on plot, there are ways in which these characters are very different and why people who loved Code Geass can also consume Attack On Titan with the same interest and energy. 

1. Their Different Personalities Make Them Different Protagonists 

Lelouch was an extremely intelligent character. His lack of physical strength and energy was compensated with the brain he had. His high intellect also caused him to be arrogant at times and he can be cold and self-centered at times. Eren, on the other hand, was our typical shonen protagonist – headstrong, angry, and highly motivated. He has also always been extremely kind, despite how scary he could be about doing the right thing. 

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Lelouch As A Child, 11th Prince Of Britannia

Upon analyzing both anime, with all their themes and metaphors, we can see that Lelouch’s character story leans more towards him breaking the bubble he lives in by discovering the harshness of the world, and him finding a purpose to better it, rather than just doing it for his sister. He learns about suffering and due to his intellectual mind, his higher purpose is truly for the betterment of the world. 

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Eren Jaeger As A Child

While both go through traumatic events, AOT is more about a tragic hero whose destiny was thrust upon him without his knowledge. All Eren had was a simple dream of wanting to see the world outside and to be free of living in hiding. We see this hopeful and motivated character be destroyed as this dream of his is snatched away and he is forced to resort to a fate of mass murder and genocide. 

To conclude, Code Geass is centered around our protagonist learning about the brutality of the world and daring to change it with the power he was gifted and AOT is about a protagonist who is prey to the same sort of vicious world. 

2. Their Motives For Their Sacrifice Is Different

Lelouch, who is wittier than Eren, has everything planned out according to what he wants. Though he had been cold and uncaring in the past, he ultimately becomes an amazing character as he decided to end the world’s suffering by taking it all on himself. He does it purely to see a better world and his goals are extremely noble and selfless. 

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Lelouch As Zero

Eren, on the other hand, is just following his destiny. Multiple times, we see him checking if fate could be changed – the time he asked what Sasha’s last words were or the time when (manga spoiler ahead) he tries to make Mikasa confess his feelings for him. Since everything happens according to the future he saw when he kissed Historia’s hand, he learns that no matter what he does, his fate is inevitable and nothing changes. Hence, his sacrifice does not really spring from his love for freedom or humanity, but since he sees that it’s the only way his loved ones can have a long and healthy life, he goes along with it. 

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Eren After Sasha’s Death

In conclusion, Lelouch’s sacrifice is clearly for humanitarian reasons and Eren’s motive for his sacrifice is debatable (the inevitability of his fate or the love for his friends). 

3. Lelouch Had More Control Over His Situation Than Eren

With his high intelligence and calm nature, Lelouch is far more in control of his situation than Eren. Our Code Geass protagonist wanted to destroy Brittania because he felt like it was the greatest evil. His fight is against one nation and his actions and sufferings lead him toward redemption. 

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Lelouch As 99th Emperor Of Britannia

Eren is a psychological mess with a lot of issues due to his unfortunate fate. He was never in control when his power was given to him, never had the choice to not see the future that messed with his mind every day for years, and was never in control of the fact that the whole world was against his race. His choice to give in to his fate was also partially because he was never in control of it. 

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Eren Starting The Rumbling

While Lelouch had to go against a whole nation which was also despicable to the rest of the world, Eldia is pitted against the entirety of the Earth who had garnered years of xenophobia and racism against it as well. Therefore, we see that the situations they were in, are completely different – which is why Lelouch was more in control and a fighter of destiny while Eren has lost the control that he thought he had

4. Lelouch Is The Winner Of His Story And Eren Is A Victim (AOT Manga Spoiler)

At the finale, Lelouch is able to achieve what he strived for. His sacrifice leads to the betterment of the world as they all decide to go against the one common enemy. Though he had died tragically as the enemy of his world, it was all worth it due to the fact that he was able to restore order. 

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Lelouch Dies With A Smile On His Face Cr: Funimation On Twitter

Eren however, was pulled into the unfortunate mess by his father and till the end, is suffering by becoming the common enemy. His actions may look like they are at his own will, but Eren, who frees even Ymir, is not free himself. He is chained to the shackles of an unchanged fate that he already knows of. The only time he was truly free as he wanted to be, was after his death – when he had served his purpose. Not once was he free even as he lived. 

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Eren In Jail

In the end, it is hinted that the cycle of hatred could continue, with a person happening to come across the giant tree – which means that peace was never an option for the Eldians. Since Eren saw the future of all the lives connected, it is speculated that he knew of this too, and still continued to play his part.

Hence, Lelouch won against the fate he decided to challenge and Eren simply became a victim of it.

Final Thoughts

We would not say there are no differences in the plot – the basis of both Code Geass and AOT seem to follow a similar diagram. However, they do differ a lot in the themes they cover, the hidden messages they send, and the sheer contrast in their protagonists. If the reasons we listed above are enough to say Eren is pulling a Lelouch, then so be it for you, and if you agree that the differences seem to be overpowering, we are with you there as well. In the end, both Eren and Lelouch have made a significant mark in anime history with their great stories.

Also Read: Armin Vs. Erwin: Who Deserved The Power of Colossal Titan?

Written By

Hi, I'm Topi. I love writing, analysing and all weeb related stuff. So, with the power of God and anime on my side, I'm here as a writer at OtakuKart. Hope my articles interest you.

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