Lelouch's death came at no surprise to me, but the method was. A lot of people in the romance thread and elsewhere, shortly after the end of Code Geass, were going "Where the hell are the LuluxShirley fans?" and one of them asked where you were, which was interesting.
I'm not so sure that was Schniezel's plans for Damocles, really. I just didn't get that kind of vibe from him when he went on about his plans for it. Turning Damocles into a symbol of hatred for everyone to direct their hatred at, I think, was Nunnally's desire, and her's alone. And while Schniezel's world, or Charles' world would have been more permanent, I don't think they'd have been better than Lelouch's world. As for the future... well, anything can happen. The nature of the future is always uncertain.
I am not so broken up about Suzaku, because I realized one thing: Suzaku had always been seeking punishment for what he did. Yes, what he did was sad, but in the end, it was what Lelouch desired, and what would bring about world peace. Lelouch's last words to Suzaku about punishment made me think that Suzaku was finally being formally punished for the death of his father, just as he sought all these years. Yes, he'll feel the sorrow and regret. But he'll move on, and probably find happiness. I don't see his actions as murder--while Suzaku was the one thrusting the sword, it wouldn't have happened at all had Lelouch not orchestrated it three months prior.
I did find it interesting that Lelouch was slain by his own sword, both in the figurative meaning (Suzaku) and the literal meaning (the sword he directed his armies with during the initial fight against Damocles).
And if you hadn't guessed, I am of the belief that Lelouch died. I don't really buy into the whole Code nonsense, its never been implied that the Code could work in such a way, and Lelouch isn't that heartless to Suzaku and everyone else.
Mm. Lelouch died, cursing Suzaku. Lelouch's first thought was of Shirley's smiling face. His last was of Nunally and Suzaku's. It was nice, and a little sad.
Shirley always represented, to me, Lelouch's personal happiness. I always thought he just refused to see it, but in the end, it was actually that he had rejected it. I'm not altogether happy about that choice. Kallen's 'the world is a lot better' isn't all that convincing to me, as Schniezel not only had the same idea (well, given what Nunally said), but even Charles' solution would have been a lot more permanent. But I won't deny that it made for a fitting end to the series--Lelouch, more than anyone, desired to atone for his sins.
Or almost anyone. I'm a bit broken up over Suzaku. In the end, Lelouch got what Suzaku had always wanted, and all he was left with was 'Live!'. How it must feel for him to be called the protector of justice, and keep living with the burden of everyone's tomorrow? When I see the tears in his eyes during Lelouch's murder, I don't think he'll escape that 'feeling of sorrow and regret' his entire life.
edit: ahh, I'm always doing this. What were yours?
Yeah, can't blame you for being angry. Lately my favorite pairings in anime tend to be killed off. The one before that was Kira/Flay in Gundam SEED. I need to either be more careful in who I root for, or stop watching anime that isn't like Shakugan no Shana or Zero no Tsukaima. >__> I don't want to be any more jaded when it comes to romance.
And bah. I'm looking for this nice picture of Lelouch and Shirley, but its a magazine scan with a bunch of text and I want it without the text. And whenever I ask, everyone seems to ignore me. Hell, last time I asked, someone gave me +rep for it, but didn't leave a message, and didn't respond to me on the image thread. Its so frustrating.
Hmm. Although I think knowledge of spoilers has affected the way I respond to various anime, I couldn't really say I've ever resented having that knowledge. Being spoiled for episode 13 made me uncertain and somewhat worried, but I think I would have regretted it if I had continued spouting certanties that were on the brink of being disproven.
:P Actually, looking back, it seems like I never responded to you about all that. My apologies. Although I felt some grief at the time, I was mostly filled with anger that Sunrise had uselessly destroyed my favourite character, betraying the standard of respect for its characters which is a mark of good storytelling. As such, my focus went almost immediately to that one thread of hope for the future, which might have restored my faith in Sunrise (or broken it even further)--Shirley's talk of reincarnation.
I generally think the same now, although the emotion has subsided. So although I would agree, that Lelouch's death would indicate a win for Shirley by default, I'd actually be far more satisfied with the real victory of them living together in another life.
Ah, 'k. I'm still staying out of the Spoiler thread for the most part, and I probably won't go through Episode 22's thread until after the subs are out. I've still managed to be (pleasantly, I suppose) spoiled through the Romance thread however, so whatever.
Hehe, I am surprised. Like you said, I feel vindicated. Although, it's pretty assholish of Sunrise to piss off everybody by making Lelouch's love interest the dead girl--that was actually one of the reasons I wouldn't believe predictions of Shirley's death way back when.