Log in

08 October 2008 @ 07:43 pm
Lelouch, Shirley, and the End of Code Geass  
Hello, fellow LuluxShirley fans. <3 This is my first time posting here, but I have been a long-time lurker. I was surprised to find so few reactions to the end of Code Geass in this comm but wanted to share my thoughts on the end with those who might appreciate them. :)

So, without further ado (please beware that there are spoilers for the end within):

I must admit that I find the shipping fandom of Code Geass highly amusing. I see people fighting for the idea that Karen was Lelouch's intended girl, or that CC was, or that Milly was. I think that the answer, when one steps back and looks at the work as a whole rather than through shipping glasses, becomes perfectly clear.

Lelouch has relationships with three main women (excluding his obvious love for his dear sisters Euphemia and Nunnally--I do not support EuphiexLelouch mostly because I'm an avid EuphiexSuzaku supporter ;D). He has feelings for all three of these women, although these feelings are, for the most part, ambiguous. These girls are of course CC, Karen, and Shirley.

Thematically speaking, there is only one girl who is Lelouch's "true love". Only one has enough impact on his life (disregarding almost kisses or hand touches or physical moments that are prevalent in the other two pairing choices) to help him change his outlook on his actions and the things he's received.

I look at the girls quite simply. Each one "represents" an aspect of life, much as Charles, Schneizel, and Lelouch do. CC is the past. Her character is entirely geared toward "the past"--it is her greatest hurdle as a character, one that she must overcome (and does so by the end, through Lelouch). Karen is the present. Her character is geared entirely toward "what is happening now"--this is embodied in her inability to see through Lelouch (not for the lack of trying) and her inability to look past the immediate present, which is the largest hurdle for her character to overcome. She, like CC, does so in the end, because Lelouch teaches both of them the meaning of "the future".

Only one girl is the future. That girl is Shirley.

Shirley represents not only this very integral part of Geass and Lelouch's philosophy. She also represents other aspects.

Lelouch's wish, to "return to Ashford with everyone and watch fireworks next time", stems directly from Shirley's own wish, which she placed in a blue crane, to watch the fireworks with everyone. Lelouch takes Shirley's wish as his own in Turn 7 of R2. This is the first glimmer of Lelouch's new idea that "everyone strives for happiness" and "I want a tomorrow".

Shirley helps him realize another key part of his later philosophy during his reign as the tyrant Lelouch. In Turn 11 of R2, it is her words that make him realize that "a person's will can change the world", which resolves itself directly into Lelouch bearing all people's hatred on his shoulders in order to change the world at the end of the series. It also is shown in his arguments against Schneizel and Charles--that people have the right to decide the future for themselves (and thus why he fights the "forced honesty" of Charles and the "forced peace" of Schneizel in favor of people determining their own peace and happiness). Had Shirley not brought this epiphany to light for him in Turn 11, we might never have seen the Lelouch that exists at the end of R2.

She further pushes these themes by bringing up another integral theme of Geass--that of "there is nothing that cannot be forgiven". This plays directly into Lelouch's ability to move forward and his return to friendship with Suzaku.

Shirley, above all the people in Lelouch's life, embodies his new ideals of "striving for happiness" and "wanting the future".

When Lelouch loses Shirley in Turn 13, he loses his own future. Shirley, the symbolic representation of his future, is lost to him. This comes into play at the end of R2 as well. It is interesting to note that in Turn 19, Lelouch specifically tells Rolo he "has nothing to live for", despite the fact that both CC (representative of "the past") and Karen (representative of "the present") are both still alive.

It is not until Lelouch realizes he's lived a lie (fighting for a mother who was never truly dead to begin with, and who had abandoned him) that he realizes there is one last thing he can do.

The Zero Requiem.

Lelouch, who has lost his own future, decides to work with Suzaku in order to ensure that everyone else will be able to enjoy the future.

Thus, his death enables Karen, who was entrenched in the present, to accept the future and CC, who was entrenched in the past, to walk forward with a future.

Lelouch, thematically, could never have been with Karen or CC, just as he could never have agreed with Schniezel or Charles. This is one of the main reasons why Euphie (who had the same message as Shirley in the first season) was also effective against Lelouch. Lelouch's goal was "tomorrow", and only Shirley could have provided him with that.

Thus, at the end of Code Geass, I am content that Shirley was the girl of Lelouch's heart, and that his change in mindset and his growth as a character stemmed directly from her words and her death and her life. It is fitting for the girl who died when she, of all the characters, had never done a single thing wrong, and the girl who did not get a happy ending while everyone else did.

I do want to mention, as an aside, that I was incredibly happy when Lelouch had his final flash of memories that Shirley was the only one shown out of chronological order, and that she was the first to appear in his mind and that during the scene in Turn 24 her death scene and Lelouch's presence were the first things he thought of when he thought of "those wishing for tomorrow". These, along with her embodiment of the main themes of his final days and the amount of care he was actually shown to visibly reciprocate in the relationship (she is the only one he said he liked verbally, as well as the only one he jumped off a building and threw himself in danger for), are more than enough to make me a very content LelouchxShirley fan in the end.

I wish them a happy rest, and that they might be reunited together in their next reincarnation in a peaceful world that they both wished for.

Thank you, everyone who decides to read through this (rather lengthy) post. My apologies to all of you who are also fans of the other pairing choices for Lelouch--my intent is not to slight them or the lovely scenes they are in, but rather to show why Shirley is really the primary choice. :)
i hurt the flower.: CG → be strong #2 彡 lelouch+shirleysnoozy on October 8th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
Man, was these some awesome points or what?
Wow, thanks for taking the time to post a total useful post like this. ^^
You summed up some of my thoughts as well. ^^
interwork: airinterwork on October 9th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
Haha, thank you so much for reading through all of that mess. <3

Sometimes I just really want to go on huge rants about these two, but the places to do so are few and far between. ;_; It's hard when Shirley's the most unpopular of all of Lelouch's love interests, which is something that has always boggled my mind.
i hurt the flower.: CG →  ok! 彡 ginosnoozy on October 9th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
Nope, thank you for writing it. ^^

And do not get me started at how underrated this couple is. I pretty much like all the pairing in CG to be honest, but i can't understand how CCxL or Kalulu are more "canon" than ShirLulu. Honest.

Edited at 2008-10-09 09:12 am (UTC)
Antica: Dont leave meanticagirl on October 9th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
*claps hard* thank you for writing it .. very valid points and convincing ones at that .. been a shirley fan every since i saw her complain about Lulu's habbits in the 1st season of ep 1 .. which is another way of putting it that shirley is the future .. she wants to help him break his bad habbits (gambeling) so he can have a better future
interwork: waterinterwork on October 9th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading it. It was definitely a bit long. ;_;

Oh, I totally agree~ One of the most endearing things about Shirley is that she accepts Lulu for who he is, but still is willing to work with him to change him for the better. She's not just going to let him get away with things a la CC. ;D A lot of guys probably would consider that meddlesome, but I think for Lulu that's just the right kind of girl.

She accepts the present but hopes and works for change. Best kind of girl. :)
Akari Kanagawa: shirleyakari_k on October 9th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
Awesome post, I love this. <3 Great points about the parallels with past/present/future. I think Shirley's really the only girl Lelouch has shown any romantic interest in. His relationships with Kallen and C.C. can be perceived as plantonic, but with Shirley, it's different, with stuff like:

"Did you love her?"
"I don't know anymore."
"Why did you kiss me?"
"Because I like you."
"Liar, you're not serious."
"You're wrong!"

So much love<33
interwork: goldinterwork on October 9th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
Seriously~~ <3 I have a really hard time viewing Lulu's interactions with the other girls as romantic on his end. (On their ends, I can totally see where it can be viewed as romantic.) I think he's only had one or two moments with the other girls that I thought to myself "well, gee, maybe there is something there". But generally that's mixed in with other possible motivations, where as with Shirley everything is crystal clear.

The parallels in his relationship with Shirley between seasons one and two are definitely embedded into the story. I, for one, feel that was deliberate on the part of the creators. <3

Hee hee, thank you so much for reading through it. <3
baka_neko21: pic#76883644baka_neko21 on October 9th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
Ahh.... you should write a manifesto <333

This was just lovely. You pretty much put all my thoughts about these two into words.
Another thing that always got me about their relationship is that it was so *innocent* compared to the other two girls. They both were such fumbling dorks around each other at times, it was just too cute XD
interwork: woodinterwork on October 9th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
Haha, you know, I actually considered writing a manifesto. But I thought that might be too much for an introduction post. ;D I will probably do one up later--there are a lot of points I still want to address. <3

I totally agree that their relationship has a more innocent feel than his relationships with the other girls. Which actually suits him more, because he's very innocent himself, haha. Unlike Suzaku. :P When she asked him if he wanted to do things after kissing and he was like "no! That's wrong!" I thought "so cute". :D
baka_neko21: pic#76883644baka_neko21 on October 10th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
X3 X3
I loved that scene, he is very innocent... despite how much he tries to appear not to be. >.>

Shirley is also the only girl in the show that he treated very much the same way he treated Nunnally, which I find to be one of the most defining points to their relationship. He also *always* was trying to keep Shirley totally uninvolved in his affairs, and went completely out of his way a few times to protect her. The only other girl he's done that for is Nunnally.
Ah, I could discuss LuluShir for hours =D

And I do hope you write more about LuluShir again. XD The points you bring up are damn fascinating and totally renew my love for this pairing. <333

interwork: airinterwork on October 10th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
Actually, there's a lot of similarities between Nunnally, Shirley, and Euphie in regards to Lulu. They're also the only one's he's said some form of "love" toward. ;D They all have similar personalities, they're all working toward "tomorrow" or a "future" where people are kinder to each other. It doesn't make any sense to me that Lulu should love (almost obsessively) women like Euphie and Nunnally and then choose someone like Karen or CC instead of Shirley, who is the only one of his three "appropriate" choices that is like the women he tends to fall for (and who, thankfully, is not his sister).

Err, minor tangent there (I could discuss them for hours too, seriously ;_;), but you are so right. He does go out of his way to protect her (my favorite thing to say is that the only girl he's jumped off a building for is Shirley), and she is the absolute first girl with whom he started the philosophy "keep what is precious to you far away".

I will definitely write more again. It's nice to be able to share the LuluShir love and, for me, to have other people's comments. ;D
baka_neko21: Shirleybaka_neko21 on October 12th, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
It doesn't make any sense to me that Lulu should love (almost obsessively) women like Euphie and Nunnally and then choose someone like Karen or CC instead of Shirley, who is the only one of his three "appropriate" choices that is like the women he tends to fall for

I don't understand it either D:
Especially when you've got scenes like the one between Lelouch/Kallen in Turn 7 which seems to be almost a direct parallel to the scene between Lelouch and Shirley back in season one, when she seeks comfort from him after her father is killed.

And despite all this our ship is still so underrated and "un-canon"

interwork: airinterwork on October 12th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
Lol, I have have a lot of problems with Turn 7's Lulu/Karen scene. As a girl, I found his treatment of her deplorable in that scene, and she was more than right to slap him. I think that scene was, in a way, worse than the one with Shirley in Season 1, because Lulu wasn't viewing Karen as "Karen, who he loves, who he wants to comfort him" but rather as "a woman" whose "role" was to "comfort him". When I saw people trumpeting that that scene is one that shows how Lulu loves Karen or how he's attracted her, I was horrified. In any other story, that would be a negative for a pairing, not a positive. Karen had some other good scenes with Lulu, but that one was not one of them.

Haha, I think our ship is "uncanon" merely because it has the most traditional romantic development, and that doesn't sit well with fans of other pairings. In any other story, if a main character was developed in a relationship similar to Lulu and Shirley, it'd be seen as the undisputed official pairing. Plus, people came into this series (especially R2) with expectations. They'd already decided, before it started, who the final girl was. Whether it was CC, based on heavy Lulu/CC promotional art, or Karen, based on vague comments from the creators whose quotes (which were never stated in combination) were combined: "Karen's story has been moved back", "there will be romantic developments for Lelouch in R2", and "Karen had a kiss in Season 1 that was removed because it interfered with the story". So people, when they enter a series with expectations and decisions already made, close the door and deny the possibilities of other choices as they've already made up their minds.

It's kind of sad really.
isuzuchan44 on October 9th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
Good read, I enjoyed it. 8D You brought up some points I hadn't thought about.

I personally think C.C. and Shirley made the best matches for Lelouch overall...they had the best development with him, the most growing up and changing.

Shirley was his second love - next to Euphie. He truly cherished her and what she meant. God, Turn 12 made me so fcking happy. Flustered!Lulu with assertive!Shirley was GREAT. It was even BETTER that she didn't kiss him - so adorable~! GAH.


Lelouch's harem remains, even in the afterlife
interwork: goldinterwork on October 10th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
Haha, in Season 1 I really thought that the creators were going to make CC the one Lulu loved. I was surprised in R2 when Karen began to push really hard for Lulu's body, CC fell more to the background, and Shirley really took to the foreground. If Lulu has to be paired with any girl besides Shirley, my own preference would be CC, as his bond with her is very strong.

Haha, I almost have to go with the "he's dead" theory because that way he can be reunited with his girls. ;D
isuzuchan44 on October 19th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
It was weird. When I watched Code Geass, I was just a LuluC.C. fan because of a friend. When Stage 12 turned up, and I watched the Mao arc, I feel SO HARD for Shirley and LuluShir. I still loved C.C. and LuluC.C. (and I still do), but LuluShir held a dear place in my heart.

Honestly, I was never worried about Kallen and Lelouch ending up. They were one of those pairings that felt kind of shallow and didn't have a mutual development.

I finished season 1 wondering - "What's going to happen to Shirley? C.C.? Lelouch? Suzaku?" I was surprised by all the Kallen and Lelouch interractions at the beginning of season 2, but when Shirley had her moments, there was just more and more proof - Turn 12, and finally Turn 13 - the most tragic death was hers, IMO.

SuzaEuphie was the first canon pairing, followed by LuluShir. Nothing else is truly canon, but IMO, the rest of season 2 locked LuluC.C. in pretty hardcore.

And actually, just a thought, I think LuluShir is more popular than LuluKallen. In the English and Japanese fandom 8D
larkspurple: peacesuu~ - otani / risalarkspurple on October 11th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
this is really splendid.♥ a well-written piece, i'd say.
i love how you expressed your view regarding Lelouch and Shirley's relationship. i can't find any better words to describe it. :)

it's good to read anything LelouchxShirley once again since i felt devastated and actually stopped tuning in to Code Geass after turn 13. ;____;

sorry, i don't have any LuluxShirley icon atm to go w/ this comment. (>_<)
interwork: goldinterwork on October 12th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
Your current icon is ridiculously cute anyway. <3

I think most of us were devastated after Turn 13. ;_; I was horribly affronted by the pretty death they gave Rolo as well, after they'd had him murder my girl. (Although I did forgive him because his life was a pathetic failure based on a delusion.) But then they started to stick her in during the following episodes, showing how integral she was to the whole process, and I felt very relieved and mollified. ;D Her life had a legacy and it was not forgotten, much as Euphie's before her. ;D

tezuka_zone_pottezuka_zone_pot on October 16th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
Well said! I also can't believe the popularity of C.CxLulu or KallenxLulu (could it be that Shirlulu supporters are the minority?) and have been such a huge Shirley fan that I stopped watching at R2 episode 13 XD

Kallen is one of my least fave characters anyway because I have the feeling that she is only there for fanservice (no matter which episode, she is always shown in somewhat...scarce clothing or drawn from "below" >_> it's really a nuisance when you see girls being reduced to skin and flesh) Kallen has the "riskiest" situations with Lulu (like accidentally falling on top of him) but they are nothing compared to those cute innocent ShirleyxLulu interactions (too bad that the majority think otherwise).

As for C.C, I can't get used to the thought of her and Lulu being together because she has paranormal abilities, has lived for hundreds of years and should be much older than him >_> (there's sth inhumane about the relationship) And of course, the official C.CxLulu pictures also disturb me ^^;

Anyway! I thank you a thousand times for this wonderful article!!! *_*
carlemb on October 18th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
I'm a long-time lurker (hence no icon), but I just had to comment and say thank you for writing this because I'm such a big LelouchXShirley fan (it wasn't too long at all!). I'm always happy to read stuff about LelouchXShirley so I would love to read a manifesto if you do end up writing one~

Ever since the ep where he erased her memories, LelouchXShirley has been one of my main reason for watching Code Geass... I was depressed for days after Turn 13 (I still kept watching for Lelouch himself though).

I'm a 'Lelouch is dead' supporter so it makes me happy to imagine them in heaven/Jupiter/wherever together with Euphie, Clovis etc. In the next life, I'm sure they'll be together, it was meant to be...

straaaau ♤: code geassazuyama_chan on November 8th, 2008 09:31 am (UTC)
Faine-chan! I've always loved these posts of yours! They are just a delight to read. I'm a LelouchxShirley fangirl, and your posts has some very good and convincing points. I also love how in the episode with the Tianzi, the person he called for was Shirley and he listened to her advice. *sigh* LuluxShirley moments. I was really sad when she died.
tamzinconquistadora on January 21st, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
Well written, I do agree. However, there are a few points that I have a different take on. The first discretion I have is with Turn 19--it is at this point that he still thinks that Nunnally's is dead, doesn't he? Nunnally, or "Nunnally," is his reason for existing, the reason he fights for tomorrow/the future. So, the reason he says this is not due to Shirley imo.

I would also argue that placing the three girls in different categories of Past, Present, and Future is a little misleading. If anything I see them more as Shield, Sword, and Spirit. CC is a shield to Lelouch, as Suzaku had stated later on in R2. Kallen (which is a Celtic name; her name isn't Karen like in Naruto/Bleach) is more his Sword (like Suzaku later becomes when Lelouch 'turns evil.') Shirley I see as more of a spiritual guidance towards Lelouch. He trusts her in matters of the heart. She understands human relationships in a way that is honest and true, where Lelouch can only use lies and manipulation. But most importantly, they ALL live for the future. And all of them have their different reasons to seek tomorrow. Shirley's sole reason is to share that tomorrow with Lelouch.

I agree with the other things that you said though, especially the part of Shirley having the gift to forgive others where Lelouch can't. I don't think she would have wanted all those people at the Geass camp to be assassinated in her name, nor do I think she would begrudge Rolo for his feelings (Btw, the situation in which she was stabbed/shot was eerily just like the one with Villetta--Rolo thought Shirley was going to out Lelouch, where Shirley thought Villetta was going to out Lelouch). He spirit was very much like Euphemia's, and that's why I believe she would have been the most suitable person for him to be with. After all, he said, "Euphemia... my first love" if I remember correctly, which, to me, means he would have found happiness with someone akin to Euphie's spirit.
(Anonymous) on November 29th, 2016 11:45 am (UTC)
OMG!! i agreed so much! at last there's people who really could interpret this relationship. i hope in new CG 2017 they will reincarnate since that what both of them wanted.. i really touched when lelouch said that "if i could reborn.. then u and i will be.." and same as shirley when she asked lelouch if she could still love him when she reincarnated. i hope this will be a hint that both of them can be reborn..