Analysis of every single LuluShirley scene on the season.
When the series started, I was supposed to obsess over the LelouchCC pairing, or at least to like it a lot, since I had heard tons of good things about it and I liked both characters.
Still, even though I was already positive that’d be my OTP in the series, I couldn’t help but notice the orange-haired girl that studied with Lelouch, and I wondered: hell, is this girl going to turn out to be a nuisance who crushes on Lelouch?. The question answered itself in episode 2, where Lelouch called the girl in order to ask her something about the tv. When he did that, I wondered: Oi, why did he call her? Why not Milly, Rivalz, or someone else?
It was there I realized that Lelouch and Shirley had to have a good relationship, and that he must be close to her. Something that of course I had already noted thanks to the way Shirley worried and got angry about Lelouch gambling and that sort of thing. And of course, also thanks to the continue spotlight that the series itself gave to her in the most random moments.
And let’s not forget Lelouch’s thoughts while he was with Nunnaly back in episode 3 “If they find out about our identities, Shirley and Rivals will be taken away from us”. That was enough for me to realize that whoever this girl was, she sure meant a lot to him. And so I decided to keep an eye open for any kind of hint of them as a possible pairing.
During the following episodes, we saw Lelouch and Shirley interacting in normal basis, and also saw that Shirley was the only one that called him Lulu, [something that I found to be adorable xP].I found them to have quite good interactions, Shirley reprimanded him quite like a girlfriend would do, and he kinda obliged and explained things to her. Still, Shirley wasn’t your tsundere stereotype, hitting Lelouch when he did something she didn’t like or considered wrong. Instead she and her relationship with Lelouch were portrayed in an extremely realistic way. And I feel that this was one of the main things that attracted me to it.
For example we have the way she struggled with him [and Rivalz] to try and pry the bottle of wine from his hands, or the way she reacted to him, or that all their friends were aware that Shirley had a crush on him and thought they acted like boyfriend and girlfriend. I thought that all these could be easily seen in a day-to-day basis between a potential-couple-to-be in a random classroom anywhere over the world, and this was something I feel shifted my focus towards the pairing.
I also considered highly interesting, the way Shirley’s character changed and developed through the series. First, she was pretty much the best-friend of the character, who probably had a crush on him. Then, when she realized that there might be competition against her for Lulu’s heart in the form of Karen, she became more self-conscious about her feelings for him thanks to the fact that she wanted to act on them. Because like Milly herself had said: When things don’t change, they’re forgotten.
So from then on, we see Shirley’s behavior around Lelouch change slightly. She blushes more around him, is more open about her feelings for him around others, and tries hard to be close to him or to make him realize her feelings for him; tries hard to have a chance. Still, even though she becomes more nervous around him, she still has the courage enough to confront him and invite him to a concert. Or to face Kallen and ask her just what was happening between her and Lelouch.
The reasons of her feelings for Lelouch also made me love her and their relationship even more. They weren’t shallow, or stupid; instead they spoke about slow development and natural evolution of things, that lead to the current situation they were both in. And added to the realistic portray I felt she and their relationship had.
She didn’t really had any kind of particular care about Lelouch at first, so it wasn’t love at first sight; instead it was only when she saw his particular reaction and nature at a car-crash, that she realized him and finally looked at him, really looked at him for the first time. And as she saw him, his bored-expression and lack of general reaction she wondered, just what was he thinking? What was going through his mind?
It was this exact thought the one that made her gain an interest in him; the wanting to understand him and realize just what was under that aloof surface of his, to gain an understanding of this persona that she was starting to consider interesting. And with the pass of time, as she interacted with him, became his friend and started to finally see under his aloof surface, she developed feelings for him.
She developed feelings for him even though she was aware of his tendencies. Of the fact that he was kinda egocentric and that he liked to gamble, that he was absolutely focused on his sister and didn’t really have eyes for anything else. By wanting to know him, Shirley met first hand Lulu’s flaws and antics, and even though she was aware they were wrong and she always tried to get him to leave them; even though she complained about them, she still fell for him.
It was like that, in such a natural and realistic development that she fell for him. With time and interactions, not over a single day. Not for shallow reasons but instead by wanting to understand him. Not because of a life-changing moment when he randomly smiled at her, but by daily interactions and bickering and teasing and working side by side. Not by looking at him from afar, but by becoming a part of his life.
And that, is the way that truly romance is born. That is the way that love is born in a realistic base. And while she fell in love with him, he also started to consider her a friend and got to know her as well. Developed a genuine and deep caring for her, and her opinion.
Their relationship prior to the start of the series was something that developed mutually, and not one-sidedly like happens in most series. And when we met their characters for the first time, it was already established that they had a good friendship, and a deep bond.
But just how deep this bond was? I wondered. Just where would Shirley’s feelings lead her in the long-run, and would Lelouch be able to actually give her the time of a day with all the stuff that was currently going in his life?
The answer to that question arrived in episode 12, with Shirley asking Lelouch to go to a concert with her. Even though he was extremely busy that day, and had important matters to attend; he still was willing to find the time to let Shirley know that he wouldn’t be able to attend. And even before that in the middle of the meeting with the Black Knights, instead of listening to them he was wondering about Shirley and why she had asked him to go with her.
When Shirley called him and let him know that she would be late, he was going to let her know that he wouldn’t be able to attend. He was practically in the middle of an upcoming battle. But instead he didn’t say anything, slightly weirded out by Shirley’s tone of voice I assume. And right then, I wondered: would he actually go to meet her?
And he did. The battle ended, and he went to see her. He was slightly late of course, which had been the problem since the start and the reason of why he was thinking he wouldn’t be able to go with her, and it was also raining like crazy. But still he went towards the place she should be waiting in, ready to go to the concert with her.
I thought this was pretty meaningful, because he had a hard day and he still had thousand of things to thing about, plans to revise and consequences to face. But still he found the time to go and meet her, to spend some meaningful time with her. I thought this said a lot.
Then, of course, comes one of the most important moments in their relationship.
Lulu, who’s walking while trying to contact her through his cellphone and at the same time wondering where she is, finally sees Shirley through the rain. He is surprised of seeing her in such state, and walks towards her, like a gentleman placing the umbrella above her head even though she was already soaking wet, and apologizing for being late.
Shirley doesn’t pay attention to it though, instead asking him a question that surprises him deeply. Lulu, is Zero a good person? Then why did he kill my father? –This, and Shirley’s tearstained face that was just revealed to him strikes Lelouch speechless, and he’s completely taken aback, horrified even. It was pretty interesting to see the effect her words had on him, because that was the first moment he realized that his actions would also affect those close to him, the people he cared about. That revelation was made even worse because he had not just hurt anyone’s dad; his actions had killed Shirley’s dad.
It’s then that while questioning just why her father?—Why when he was such a good man, a good husband, a good father?—That Shirley throws herself in Lelouch’s arms, hugging him and searching for the comfort she so desperately needs, and just in the arms of the person she cares so deeply about. And it’s right then that she kisses him. “Lulu… help me” What stands out to me the most though, was the way he kissed her back. They hug each other with all their might, right under the rain. Both trying to find solace in each other in a stormy night full of sins.
The next day, Shirley feels she was being manipulative during the kiss, and apologizes to Lelouch, who is surprised and tries to stop her when she runs off. Still, she doesn’t listen. Lelouch’s surprise made me feel that he didn’t truly see a reason of why she should be feeling that way; the kiss was mutual. He wouldn’t have had to kiss her if he didn’t want to. Even if he felt compelled to ‘help her’, the way he kissed her back wouldn’t have had the need to be so strong and passionate.
That kiss was mutual, not something born from a request. Lelouch knew this, and Shirley probably knew that as well, but her guilt, grief and pain were too strong for her to care about such matters.
During the funeral of Shirley’s dad, the series also gave us a flashback scene that I thought was particularly interesting. We get a flashback of Shirley and her dad, just when the camera is focused on Lelouch. The flashback tells us how Shirley’s dad told her that there were different types of love in the world, and that one day would come a man who would love her more than he himself did, and that when that day comes she would love him a lot as well, and he would be supporting her.
The interesting thing, is that those words are said as we see first Lelouch, then Shirley, and then Lelouch once again. That cameo implied that we were supposed to relate those words to Shirley’s feelings and Lelouch himself. Which I thought was extremely interesting, because they spoke about mutual love and her dad’s support of it. And since I’ve always given a lot of importance to that sort of things and cameos and that sort of stuff, I do consider this foreshadowing.
Foreshadowing that came to matter in episode 14, and 15.
Anyway, during the rest of episode 13 we’re given a really interesting scene. Where we see just how shaken Lelouch truly was about what happened with Shirley and her dad. Because like I said before, this is the first time Lelouch finally realizes that his actions will end up hurting those close to him, and it was even worse because it was Shirley, who was very precious to him.
In episode 14, we see Shirley learning of the possibility that Lelouch might be none other than Zero, and in order to confirm or deny this, she follows him. All the while apologizing for following him and doubting him even though she refused to believe he had joined the Black Knights, and thinking: ‘Lulu, please, help me to believe in you..’
Lelouch sees her by mistake, and is taken aback. Something that leaves him as the perfect target for Suzaku, who taking advantage of his obvious hesitation, proceeds to attack him. So Lelouch ends up loosing consciousness.
Shirley finds Zero, and picks up his gun from the ground, pointing it at him. It’s right then that his masks falls and is confirmed that it, indeed, was Lelouch; so Shirley is stricken with the thought of, what should she do? The opportunity to take vengeance for her father is right there in front of her, and Lelouch had been lying to her all along. Hell, she had kissed her father’s killer!
But, it was still Lelouch. Lulu.
So when Viletta comes and speaks about taking him to Cornelia, Shirley is still shaking. But she doesn’t hesitate on acting; Viletta turns around just in time to realize the vital mistake she made: ‘Stupid of me to forget. He is your man!’ And right then, Shirley shoots her in order to protect Lelouch.
Lelouch though, doesn’t know this. When he wakes up the only thing he sees is blood and the fact that his gun was missing; two people saw his real identity. And he was positive he had seen Shirley in the battlefield; what had happened to her? Was she alright? Had she seen him? Was that blood hers?—When CC finds him, she’s taken aback at seeing him shaken to the point of not being able to give a proper order.
He then goes to Shirley’s room, in order to try and find something that may tell him if she saw him or not. But the letter a crying Shirley wrote to herself talking about her conflicted thoughts and feelings was lying in a place he wasn’t able to see. During their search on the room, CC tells him that it would be easier if he was the one going through Shirley’s underwear because after all, ‘he was the one in love with her’. He tells her to drop it, and it’s then that he finds a box. The box contents fall on the ground, and CC picks them up, only to tell him that it were pictures of him with Shirley.
[And there were lots of them <3]
Meanwhile, Shirley is on Narita. Right then I wondered just what was she planning to do? Was she planning on leaving or something? After all she had a few things on that bag of hers. Anyway, then Mao comes and reads her mind and knows just how to twist every single thing in order to make her lose control and fall into despair. He tells her that she has committed a sin by killing someone, that she took advantage of the situation to get Lelouch to kiss her, that he didn’t love her, that she was a witch, and so on. Then, he tells her that in order to get ride of hers and Lelouch’s sin, she should die along with him.
Lelouch, who had finally gotten to Narita after finding that direction written in one of her notebooks, is wondering just where is she, was she alright? After all, he still didn’t know if the blood was hers. She could be dead for all he knew. Right then, he gets a call from her cell-phone, and he frantically answers and demands to know just where she was. But it wasn’t her the one calling, it was Mao.
Mao throws Shirley’s cell-phone at him and begins taunting him. Lelouch yells at him and demands to know what has he done with Shirley, did he kill her?!—And Mao meanwhile, laughs and tells him that he adores the expression Lelouch was currently making. Because it clearly expressed that ‘his woman had been stolen and he was out for blood’.
Mao can read minds, and he knows just which things to use to bother someone and get under their skin; I thought this comment was particularly interesting thanks to that. And of course, thanks to the fact that Lelouch, no matter how cold-blooded he can be sometimes, still lost his cool completely when Shirley faced danger. Something that also happened in episode 20, but I’ll get to that later.
Also, while Lelouch and CC were on their way to Narita, CC tells him something that I also found to be pretty interesting, and that would later become a police on Lelouch’s life: ‘You must keep away those who you don’t wish to lose’. If he cared about someone, he would have to leave that person behind in order to not hurt them. Nunnaly though is of course, the exception to that rule. But even then, he did want Suzaku to become her knight so he could protect her and keep her company when Lelouch wasn’t there.
Anyway, so Mao takes Lelouch and challenges him to a match of chess, which Lelouch looses. When Mao starts explaining his ability with his geass though, Lelouch is far more worried and focused on Shirley’s whereabouts instead. “Did you shot Shirley?! You.. what did you do to Shirley?!”. That’s of course, the moment when Shirley shows up and points the gun at him.
“Shirley.. that is..”
“Yes.. Zero’s gun. Lulu’s gun.”
Even though I thought I wasn’t too happy with what she was doing, I once again understood her perfectly because she was still being characterized in an awfully realistic way. Mao had made her believe awful things, and had known just which bottoms to trigger, taking advantage of the fact that Shirley was confused and mentally weak at the moment, to completely break her. Lelouch understood it all as well, and tried to convince her that she hadn’t killed anyone, and to realize that she was being lied to.
But with his words and Mao’s, along with the pressure she had above her shoulders, Shirley was pretty weak right then, not knowing just who was right and not being able to decipher the tons of things that were going through her head and heart. So she fired the gun, in a moment where she lost control of herself, and missed Lulu by an inch. And what happened right there is to me, one of the most interesting and telling things in their relationship.
Lelouch had with himself, some of the pictures Shirley kept in her room. The pictures she treasured so much, he had taken with him. I found it to be extremely meaningful, because it meant he treasured those moments just as much as she did; that they were important to him, and he also wanted to keep them close to him.
The value those pictures and moments had for Shirley became obvious when she starts to regain herself when she sees them, and she also doesn’t hesitate to shot Mao
[in an impressive display of aim, if you ask me xP] when she sees that he’s going to hurt Lelouch. Once again, she’s firing the gun in order to protect him.
Right then, she starts falling because she’s not only weak emotionally but physically as well. She’s emotionally drained. Lelouch doesn’t waste a minute and catches her in his arms, which of course becomes a beautiful scene. Right then, happens my favorite scene with them.
Lelouch hugs her tightly, and Shirley cries that she has shot someone. Lelouch comforts her, and then she hugs him tightly as well and cries that she shot him too. He tells her that he forgives her, and that he was alright. She says that she wanted him to comfort her—she still hasn’t let go of self-blaming herself for the kiss. Lelouch asks her, “and what’s wrong with that?”—what was wrong in wanting his comfort?. And then, he says one of the most beautiful things he has said through the whole series.
He tells her to forget about everything, and that he would carry all her sins. And just before using his geass to make her forget, he apologizes for what happened with her father, and trails off in: “…if reincarnation truly exists… I..”
Right then, we hear Shirley’s pained scream of: Stop!. But it was already too late.
I don’t really believe Shirley would have wanted to forget what happened; it would be a burden, yes. Sins that couldn’t be erased and that she would have to learn how to live with, but I don’t believe she would have wanted to take the easier route. The knowledge and experiences she had gained would have made her stronger, she would have been able of participating in Lulu’s life instead of merely standing in the sidelines. Shirley is a strong girl, and she is mature. Her behavior during her father’s funeral, her words and her reaction to the kiss said it all. I believe that if Lelouch had given her the choice to choose, she would have chosen to remain with her memories, and grow thanks to them.
Still, I understand the reasons Lelouch had to do what he did. He was following CC’s instructions, and leaving behind a person he truly did not want to hurt. He was giving up his bond with her, choosing to face instead the pain of knowing that she did not remember all they had been through together, in order to protect her. In order to carry her sins and free her of a burden she did not deserve. When he did what he did and erased himself from her memory, the only thing he had in mind was her wellbeing; but still, though I understand him, I do believe he should have given her the right to choose.
Anyway, after that comes my 2nd favorite scene between them. The conversation they have that night under the stars; the conversation between a Shirley who doesn’t remember the boy she loved, and a Lelouch who has to endure the pain of knowing that he did not realize what was there until it was too late, and that he had lost someone too precious for him.
His words, the feelings he showed to us that night are something that made me fall even harder for the pairing.