What If Light had Lelouch’s Geass instead of the Death Note?

What If Light had Lelouch's Geass instead of the Death Note

Light Yagami’s ruthless quest to cleanse the world of evil in Death Note leads to a captivating cat-and-mouse battle of wits once the genius detective L starts hunting the mysterious mass murderer Kira. But What If Light had Lelouch’s Geass rather than the Death Note for carrying out his grand designs? Will the outcome of Light’s journey be any different?

Geass vs Death Note

Light Yagami from Season 1 Episode 1 of Death Note
Light Yagami from Season 1 Episode 1 of Death Note (Image via Madhouse Studio)

If granted the psychic power of absolute obedience rather than an untraceable magic murder notebook, Light would likely have enacted a more gradual, covert, and calculating rise to power requiring him to work from the shadows rather than overtly. With the Death Note, he could anonymously eliminate criminals from afar at whim using an untraceable heart attack cause of death.

But Lelouch’s Geass requires direct eye contact to control a person’s actions, forcing Light to get up close and personal in his scheming over a longer period. To avoid leaving behind witnesses to test his power, Light would need to hide his true identity behind an elaborate alter ego at all costs.

Change of Approach

Light would essentially follow Lelouch’s tactical approach of donning a literal mask as the revolutionary Zero to lead a rebellion while also maintaining a harmless public persona as a regular student. The intense mental focus and compartmentalization needed to subtly control multiple influential figures over an extended timeframe without detection would greatly appeal to Light’s arrogance, strategic intellect, and god complex.

With no magic notebook allowing instant death from afar, Light could not rapidly ascend to his self-proclaimed godhood through overt mass murder from his bedroom. Instead, he would be forced to slowly and quietly amass powerful pawns across all levels of society, government, and infrastructure through direct Geass commands during discreet face-to-face interactions behind the scenes.

The God of the New World

Light Yagami from Season 1 Episode 25 of Death Note
Light Yagami from Season 1 Episode 25 of Death Note (Image via Madhouse Studio)

Once obtaining a suitable covert position of authority, Light could then begin to systematically reform the corrupt justice system and society overall to align with his own designs. The enigmatic detective L would have greater difficulty identifying and definitively exposing the identity of someone covertly controlling others in person rather than overtly leaving behind a convoluted trail of inexplicable supernatural killings to piece together.

However, Light’s required physical proximity to people to use his Geass power effectively would eventually allow L to analyze patterns and deduce Light’s secret identity as well as his methods, although Light’s closer-knit inner circle would provide more protection. Their epic battle of wits would become far more directly antagonistic and tense once L finally determined the truth.

Conclusion

Overall, with Lelouch’s Geass power in hand rather than a Death Note, Light’s path to covertly overtaking and enacting justice upon society would need to be markedly more incremental, relying on intense mental focus, patience, plotting, and careful ongoing management of pawns in various spheres of influence.

This cautious approach likely better fits Light’s established highly strategic intellect and penchant for manipulation anyhow. However, in the end, whether by Death Note or Geass, Light’s utter devotion to cleansing the world of evil by any means would inevitably have led to a similarly disillusioned and tragic outcome.

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