Saturday, February 25, 2012

Philosophy of Code Geass: Should someone be a leader just because he produces results? Is it alright to have a leader that never wins? Compare Oghi and Zero as leaders.

Ohgi was the leader of the rag-tag rebel group, and then Zero came along and made that group into a strong organization, The Black Knights, taking the mantle of leader. Both were leaders but which one lead better? There are 7 virtues of a good leader according to ethics, self-control, generosity, diligence, patience, compassion, and humility.
Kaname Ohgi
  1. Ethics- don’t have a bad reputation. Zero’s various decisions have come under question. For example, the secret mission to attack the Geass Order. None of the Black Knight’s knew the reason for the attack so when the truth came out that the attack was a massacre instead of a reconnaissance mission as they were lead on to believe, they were shocked and that caused distrust in Zero. Also there is the fact that they never trust him because he wears a mask. We see that the only ones who ever fully trust Zero are the ones who know his true identity and have accepted it. On the other hand, Oghi has nothing to hide. He wears no mask so he is easily trusted. This is the main reason why Oghi is second-in-command.
  2. Self-Control- follow the rules. Zero is a terrorist and never follows the rules. He manipulates and kills people to get what he wants. He believes that the only way to get what you want is to circumvent the rules and plow straight through to the solution without heed to the repercussions.
  3. Generosity- think about what is best for others. Zero never seems to care about what his subordinates think or feel. He is the supreme leader of the Black Knights and tries not to form any personal attachments or relationships with his followers. His job is to create strategies and preform miracles. Ohgi is the one who is more willing to say “good job”.
  4. Diligence- work hard, pay attention to detail, good time management and resourceful. This is where Zero shines over Ohgi. He took a lot of effort to build the Black Knights into a formidable army that can fight Britannia. From various chess games played throughout the series (nobleman in episode 1 of R1 and R2, Mao, and Schneizel), and planning out battle strategies you can see that he pays attention to detail. He has exhibits the intelligence to use his geass to get what he needs. For example, the car that Zero procured in episode 8 of R1. Ohgi is not as intelligent or resourceful a Zero but he is a hard worker, willing to take command of the rebel group when its previous leader died.
  5. Patience- view both sides of argument and solve conflicts peacefully. Zero does not solve conflicts peacefully; he either used his geass to make the opposer agree with him or he uses his military power to forcefully get others to onto his side.
  6. Compassion- offering friendship, kindness and sympathy to others. Zero doesn’t do anything unless it would benefit him or the Black Knights image. He tries to keep his distance so he never creates meaningful relationships with his followers but he ends up having a somewhat romantic relationship with his Ace Knightmare pilot Kallen and even promises to save her no matter what when she is captured by Britannia. Ohgi looks out for his team (worries about Kallen in place of her deceased brother).
  7. Humility- not flaunting your position. Zero boasts about his position and intelligence. He is the son of the emperor and is obviously proud of it reminded others by saying, “Lelouch vi Britannia commands you…”  He gambles by playing high-stakes chess with rich nobles. Ohgi is much more humble, thinking of himself as an ordinary person in a crowd of geniuses.
Even though Ohgi seems like the best leader, Zero is better because he produces results and creates “miracles”. What is the point of fighting something if you never win? Under Ohgi’s leadership, the rebel group never amounted to much, but under Zeros guidance, they started making an impact in history. Zero is the brains and strength of the group, the star, while Ohgi is the backstage stagehand, important, but never in the spotlight.


  1. I think technically Ohgi would be the better leader simply because he follows these guidelines so well. Lelouch displays none of these traits-despite what you say, I don't believe he was "diligent" at all, but instead he had a special gift and used that and his natural intelligence to win, with little hard work involved at all-and he acts like a child when it comes to using his power. He laughs maniacally at the destruction of huge buildings and enemy machines. He toys with people's emotions. Sure, he achieves his ends, but this is where anime may end up differing significantly from real leadership. If the people can't trust the leader that they follow, their performance will be severely detrimentally affected (Dirks, K. T. (2000). Trust in leadership and team performance: Evidence from NCAA basketball. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 85(6), 1004-1012. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.85.6.1004). I think, in the real world, Zero would be a pretty crappy rebel leader.

    1. Well it is an anime so it doesn't apply to the real world. I to believe that Ohgi would be a better leader but not in a rebel group. He is too compassionate and does not have the cruelty to lead a major terrorist organization. On the other hand, Lelouch is smart and ruthless so that makes him the perfect candidate to lead The Black Knights plus he has the charisma that makes everyone follow him has Deidhart puts it.

    2. Plus the fact that Ohgi gave command of this rebel group to a total stranger just shows that he really isn't made for military leadership. He would be a great leader of a peaceful democratic nation.

  2. On a completely unrelated note, have you tried out the anti-bot test for posting comments on audio mode? That is seriously the most horrifying thing I've ever heard.

  3. I also think that Ohgi woul be the better leader in the real world. Your argument is well done, especially when you break down the seven virtues of a good leader. I guess its really up to peoples preferance as to what type of leader they want to have.

  4. I still haven't seen Code Geass yet, so I can rely only on your descriptions of how they exhibit the qualities of a leader to make my decision. I think that Lelouch is a more efficient leader, but Ohgi sounds like he has better qualities associated with being a leader. While, Lelouch accomplishes more than Ohgi, he does so by not caring about who he hurts in the process of getting what he wants. He manipulates his followers for his own benefit. I personally think that Ohgi would be the better leader because he wants to help the people he is leading, instead of using them. The best leader chooses service over self-interest. (
    Also, sorry for taking so long to comment. I have been really busy this week.