In the very first episode, Nagata sadly looks at a photograph of his family and says his last words: "Long live... Japan!". Cue explosion.
The episode about Kallen and her mother was really sad. Especially when Kallen realizes that her mother stayed not because it would be easy to be a Britannian slave, but because she wanted to stay with Kallen.
That episode marks the first and probably last time you could cry over a hot dog vendor.
C.C.: False tears bring pain to those around you; a false smile brings pain to oneself.
The end of the episode... damn. Having Kallen speak to the still BSOD-ing Mrs. Kouzuki and tell her she's gonna change the world so they can live happily, and even when she's still in her Lotus-Eater Machine, Kouzuki touches Kallen's hand and tells her to do her best.
Every single Refrain user, when you think about it. The happy memories they're reliving relating to their jobs, families and other good things in life are all implied to be what they lost when Britannia invaded. Their lives had been ruined even before they started taking the drug.
"C.C... I don't know why snow is white... But I do find such white snow beautiful." The delivery was so soft yet so powerful.
Perhaps that line is more of a heartwarming moment, but the line that it's in response to this quote.
C.C.: Lelouch, do you know why snow is white? Because it's forgotten what color it's supposed to be.
Episode 13 where Lelouch, Kallen, and Suzaku are all questioning the missions they take part in and the killings that happen. It's quite sad how they all decide the best thing to do is to keep going and knowing how many hard times are still coming for them.
It's hard not to feel for Mao, especially since he seems more like a distraught child than a villain. Especially the end of episode 15. Poor Woobie Mao.
Episode 23 and the aftermath near the end of the first season. Especially seeing poor Princess Euphemia slowly dying next to her bodyguard/boyfriend Suzaku intercut with scenes of the people she was trying to help cursing her name.
Hearing Suzaku lying to Euphemia that it was a huge success and everyone is so happy now.
The sequence on the Avalon seems designed to punch you in the gut. It's actually worse than just having Euphie die, because it shows all of the desperate, anxious struggle to keep someone alive, and then shows it failing.
And in the still image montage the moment after Euphie dies, the images of Suzaku getting dragged out and a close up of him screaming for Euphie while everybody is chanting for Zero are arrows to your heart.
Innocent Days, the song that plays throughout the whole sequence is tearjerking itself.
When Nunnally called Lelouch to ask if Euphie could come to the school festival with them. Mostly because, imagine how Lulu was feeling about that.
During the massacre, even Schneizel is absolutely horrified to hear about Euphie.
After giving the fateful command, Lelouch desperately tries to countermand his order, then chases her down to try and stop her from executing it. Seeing his actual desperation and sadness for her is touching and incredibly sad at the same time.
Lelouch had also just decided that he would throw away all his plans and create Japan with Euphie. Then it gets even worse when Lelouch is the one to kill Euphie, through much of his own despair.
Along with that, you see that Lelouch has floated a candle for her.
The whole thing is saddening. Not only is she dead, but she will always be remembered as a monster who massacred Japanese, which renders her life absolutely meaningless.
No more of a nightmare than it was for Euphie herself. Remember, when most people are compelled by a Geass, they do it without batting an eyelid - even if it's an order to shoot themselves in the neck. But Euphemia? The command is so utterly against her nature that she actually fights it off for several seconds before the inexorable power of the Geass forcibly rewires her mind. She spent the last few seconds of her non-mind-controlled life in sheer abject horror of what she was about to commit.
Worse yet, Euphemia's order is to "Kill all the Japanese". She walks right past the unconscious Suzaku. Even though Suzaku is clearly Japanese, and lying right outside of the room she was in, she managed to convince herself not to.
In one scene, Lelouch as Zero is confronted by a mortally wounded old woman who begs him to help them as Zero is their hero before dying while Lelouch can only stand there in shock, knowing that he's responsible for the whole massacre.
Not to mention that as Euphemia is laying there dying, she can't even let herself be comforted by Suzaku, the man she loves, because she's still having to fight the Geass command telling her to kill him.
Then it happens in Super Robot Wars Z2: Hakai-Hen, despite so many fans hoping for a less violent conclusion.
Although the tragedy still exists, Euphemia at least is shown to have actually survived in "Saisei-Hen".
And then there's Cornelia's reaction to Euphemia's death. She spends the rest of the episode in a near-catatonic state, staring into the fireplace in her office and remembering her childhood days with her baby sister. It's the only time that Cornelia, Lady of War personified, is seen so full of despair and vulnerability. And it's made worse because she never got to the Avalon in time to say goodbye...
The phone call between Suzaku, and Lelouch, that happens after this, especially, since they,re both preparing for battle at the time. Especially when Suzaku tells Lelouch that he's going to become a murderer in the skies over Tokyo. Its obvious at this time, he's passed the Despair Event Horizon.
Shirley. When Lelouch shows up late for his date with Shirley and finds her standing in the rain outside the opera house, and Lelouch learns that Zero killed her father in the Narita battle. Made even sadder by the fact that Lelouch is Zero. Then there's the matter of how Mao took advantage of this situation, and what Lelouch did to ease Shirley's suffering...
Shirley's anguished scream while Lelouch uses his Geass on her.
The second verse of the song particularly sums up her tragic relationship with Lelouch.
Every time I remember A single unconcerned word. The slight fever in my heart heats up And my tears spill over and fall. I'll hide my crying face for you In the summer rain that suddenly fell. Moments change ceaselessly But I won't forget. It will be sunny again tomorrow, won't it? I'll go to see you with a smile. Even if you hurt me one of these days Until it reaches towards you
At the start of the episode involving her fateful encounter with Mao, Shirley is seen penning a note to Lelouch (implied to be a suicide note). What makes it even worse is that the entire note is in perfectly readable English. Some of the note is obscured by her hands and the pen, but there is enough still visible to tell that the poor girl is going through hell.
Two of the picture dramas near the end of the first season are quite sad. The first, 22.25, is quite heartwarming until Nunnally drops her half of her mother's commemorative plate, a memento of Euphemia, just as the radio cuts off at the start of the Euphinator incident. The second one offers a powerful look at Suzaku's despair, especially his belief that killing his father set everything into motion and the implied realization that he will have to face Lelouch.
Mao's death is actually pretty moving, if you consider the fact that everything he did was because of his love for C.C. and desire to save her from her death wish and that his insanity was never truly his fault in the first place. So he's been soundly beaten, in even worse shape than he was at the beginning of the story, and can't even talk anymore, but he's still just so happy to see C.C. and then she comforts him before shooting him. The straightest-played Mercy Kill in the series.
General Darlton's unceremonious death deserves some mention, considering that, much like Euphemia, he was truly a good person at heart; he certainly didn't deserve what happened to him. It doesn't help that in his final moments, he was shocked as to why he had attacked the woman he as meant to protect with his life.
Cornelia when Lelouch revealed his identity as Zero to her. Especially when she brings up Clovis and Euphie.
The scenes set to "Stories" near the end of the Season 1 finale: C.C.'s kamikaze maneuver against Jeremiah (and even his despairing yell as he crashes into the ocean is a bit sad), the Black Knights freaking out as the tide turns against them, Inoue can only react with fearful expression before her Knightmare exploded and killing her, Sugiyama's reaction to Inoue's fiery death, Diethard's utter confusion about what's happening, and Kaguya asking if Zero's abandoned Japan, all set to some serious Soundtrack Dissonance.
The end of season one, where we find how far apart Lelouch and Suzaku have grown and how much they now hate each other. Suzaku finally corners Zero, without the Gawain or any contingency plan. Suzaku walks up, and in the ensuing scene they both aim straight at each other's weak points. At the very end, a gunshot is heard, and all goes black.
It's even more sad when Kallen and Suzaku finally found out Lelouch is Zero, and let's just say they didn't take it well.
Lelouch's Mind Rape scene in R2. As Suzaku holds him down and covers his left eye so that he can't Geass anyone, the Emperor is happily preparing to put false memories into his mind. Considering that he loves Nunnally more than anything else in the world... forgetting her must be a Fate Worse than Death.
Lelouch: You made me forget my mother, now you're making me forget Nunnally?
It's brief, but in episode 2, Kallen basically says she would prefer if Lelouch had used his Geass to gain her loyalty and love. Lelouch looks utterly crushed at those words, and no wonder! For a guy with the ability to mind control others, he values the free will of people and does not use his Geass to gain the loyalty of others, using instead words and deeds to convince them to his side. And Kallen flat out says she would prefer being a brainwashed slave, showing how much she distrusts him.
A rather sad one involving Shirley: when she and Lelouch are shopping for gifts for their teacher, the still mind-wiped Shirley sees some rail cars, and mentions to Lelouch that she's always wanted to take a ride in one of them. Lelouch then recalls his showdown with Mao and is momentarily stunned.
From Turn 5, Lelouch and Suzaku's reflections of how they became enemies in the first season, which then leads to a flashback to them being separated as children. The scene where Lelouch is in the back of the car, driving away from Suzaku, and the two of them are watching each other fade away into the distance. It's even sadder when you realize when they do see each other again, they're both so messed up they'll never be as happy as they were that summer together.
Rather striking is a scene in Episode 5, where Lelouch is pleasantly interacting with his fellow students and he notices the check marks on a wall, which he had geassed one of the female students to make daily as a way to test the duration of his power. While nothing is said, the look on his face when he sees the wall and when he sees Shirley conveys how much he realizes that he's screwed up people's lives through his activities. It's even more depressing in retrospect, since instead of a positive development happening, things just get worse as the series progresses.
Speaking of which, the fate of Carve-tan, by Word of God, isn't a pretty one: Since she was evacuated from Area 11, she was taken away from Ashford Academy and that wall she must carve. After that, every night she would escape from her home to head to Ashford, which resulted in a nervous breakdown. She had to be confined so she wouldn't escape again, but they say she's doing better.
In episode 6 of R2, when Suzaku makes Lelouch speak to Nunnally on his phone. Though Rolo has given them some time to talk without tipping off Suzaku that Lelouch has regained his memories, Lelouch's words are still rushed and frantic — he knows he doesn't have much time, and there's so much to say. The way he desperately shouts "I love you!" to her absolutely heartbreaking.
Later, at the very end of that same episode, Lelouch screams Nunnally's name when he's unable to save her. The way she seems to hear it and jerks her head toward where she thinks she heard such a familiar voice call out her name.
The Fuji memorial. One candle for every person killed in the Euphinator incident. There are a lot of candles.
Even if you hate Nina, it's still extremely sad to see her reaction to Euphemia's death and her breakdown. Regardless of her crimes, this is a young, lonely girl whose life has been ruined because of one mistake.
Rivalz provides quite a few tearjerking moments. We find out in one of the audio dramas that hes become estranged from his parents due to some sort of dispute. He seems to have spent most of his time at Ashford hopelessly pursuing Milly, who constantly rejects him in pursuit of Lelouch, his best friend. Despite this, he seems to be very loyal to Lelouch and considers him his best friend in the world. Then Suzaku rocks up and Rivalz is kicked into the background as Lelouch reconnects with his old friend. Over the course of R2 he loses three of his best friends Suzaku, Rolo and Shirley, fails to save Nina from the Britannians and finally watches from the sidelines as Lelouch, still his best friend, becomes a tyrant and is then assassinated.
While Suzaku isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination and he's as terribly flawed as anyone else, he's also been through so much and he really and truly does want peace for the world, but no matter what he does he can't seem to ever catch a break.
Lloyd: So Suzaku managed to save a million lives and no one will ever thank him for it, eh? Cecile: I think he knew that going in. He's used to it now.
Re-watching this scene, knowing what the ultimate ending of the series will be and Suzaku's final fate.
At the time, unfortunately, he was too absorbed with the idea of becoming Knight of One, which in itself came at the expense of other nations.
It worsens in R2 Episode 13. This entire episode is full to the brim with this.
After regaining all her memories and going through a period of having no idea who she could trust, Shirley accepts that whatever evils Lelouch has committed to further his schemes, she'll always be loyal to him, even when she still isn't sure what's going on. She makes the understandable mistake of assuming that if both her and Rolo are on Lelouch's side, then Rolo must be trustworthy. She declares to him that she wants nothing more than to bring all the happiness back in Lelouch's life. Him... and his sister Nunnally.She has to pay the price for this mistake with her own life.
When Lelouch finds her fatally wounded, she expresses how glad she is to be able to talk with him "at the very end". And when Lelouch trying to call for paramedics, she simply stops him. Yes, she pretty much already accepts her fate by the time Lelouch arrives, before using her last moments to give the mother of all Dying Declarations Of Love.
The real heart-wrenching part of that scene is when Lelouch begs for her not to die, and even tried using his Geass to keep her alive, repeatedly, but to no avail. He repeatedly spams his Geass when he sees how it isn't working, screaming at her to stay with him.
Lelouch: NO, SHIRLEY! YOU CAN'T DIE!
Shirley: No matter how many times I'm reborn... I'll keep falling in love with you, Lulu. I suppose... that it's simply fate.
Shirley: So is that OK then, Lulu...? And as I'm reborn... I'll keep falling in love... with you all over again... I'll keep... falling... in love... with...
Some Fridge Horror: she's invoking Reincarnation Romance when she says that if she's reborn again, she'll fall for him all over again. What makes it really gut-wrenching is that, because Geass can compel a person to follow any command, she's really just doing her best to carry out Lelouch's order to not die. In other words, she's more or less saying, "I'm sorry Lulu, but I can't help but die... the best I can promise is to hope for a second life".
Also notice that she broke into tears after being Geassed for the last time. Just imagine the sheer emotional pain she has to endure in the last seconds of her life, knowing well that she simply can't follow his order and thus, failed him.
Also a bit of a Tear Jerker is, in the fourth ending that debuted after R2 13, one shot showed Shirley as an angel. Perfectly describing both her character and eventual fate.
The next episode. When Rolo walks in and explains to Lelouch that he killed Shirley, and Lelouch turns around and pretends to act pleased and happy. The thought of what Lelouch must really be feeling... that just hurt.
The pain continues with further thought. When it comes down to it, Shirley seemed to be winning Lelouch's affections better than even his partner C.C. and his most loyal soldier Kallen. There was a very high chance he might've picked her in the end. The problem is, being a part of Lelouch's life leads to serious fallout. Kallen is a powerful warrior, C.C. an immortal witch, and, hell, Kaguya is a crafty politician. Shirley... Shirley is just a normal sweet girl. She was never equipped to survive the other half of Lelouch's life.
On top of all of this, her dying smile certainly didn't help. The entire incident ultimately becomes the first nail in the coffin for Lelouch's suicidal mindset.
Narratively, Shirley's death hits as hard as Euphy's, and feels like a deliberate piece of karma for Lelouch to lose one of the women most important to him just as Suzaku lost his love.
It gets even worse. The next episode, during Shirley's funeral, Shirley's mom crying throughout makes the entire scene even more painful to watch. That whole scene, however brief, is one massive tearjerker. Shirley's mom sobbing uncontrollably, Suzaku getting teared up, Rivalz with tears streaming down his face, Milly's more restrained yet still obvious grief. *sniff*
For Shirley's mom, losing her husband is already painful enough, and now she has to outlive her only daughter. It's no wonder that she is crying uncontrollably in front of her daughter's grave.
Also at Shirley's funeral we see that Gino, Anya and Suzaku are wearing black Knight of Rounds cloaks, as opposed to their usual coloured ones. They knights have designated funeral cloaks. Therefore, they must go to a lot of funerals, which in itself is very sad.
Overall, the tragedy of Fenette family, and how it all happened through no fault of their own.
Episode 15 of R2: C.C. has apparently decided to die, giving her life up to the Emperor, and sends Lelouch into her memories so he won't have to watch. Instead, Lelouch learns that C.C.'s real "heart's desire" is just to be loved, honestly and truthfully. Lelouch races back to her and convinces her not to give up, in a scene that makes it look like the two of them might finally stop playing Dueling Tsundere and admit to liking each other...but then it's revealed that instead of dying, C.C. lost all her memories prior to the Geass, reducing her to the level of a ten-year-old slave-girl from the Dark Ages. When she mistakes Lelouch for her new master and, trembling with fear, rattles off her skills ("I can cook and clean and sew, I can handle sheep and cows, I can read a little and I know numbers up to twenty, and I've handled dead bodies before..."), even Lelouch looks like he's about to start crying.
From the same episode, Orange Boy's eulogy of General Bartley, where he admitted even though he hated him for turning him into a cyborg, he was also just as loyal to the royal family and would have probably changed sides if he knew the truth, probably brought tears to some people's eyes.
Equally sad is Lelouch's promise to never hit or mistreat C.C. after she has lost her memories, only for him to turn and lash out at her for offering him pizza, and her cowering against the couch in fear as he realizes what he's just done.
Episode 17 of R2, Lelouch is reduced to tears when he thinks Suzaku has betrayed him to Schniezel's forces.
Nunnally's "death" in Episode 18, made even worse because technically, Lelouch indirectly killed her thanks to his "live" Geass on Suzaku. And if that doesn't get you, Lelouch's final line will... "Don't lie to me!!... Come on, Rolo... just a little... let me speak... with Nunnally..."
It's his face that just makes it. Lelouch is slumped in his chair, and just the look on his face...he just looks so utterly defeated. Lelouch has raged at the heavens and screamed in anguish, but this is the first and only time in the whole series that he's just broken.
When Suzaku shows up to try and dissuade Lelouch from continuing with the attack on the Tokyo Settlement, Lelouch refuses to listen and is eager to have Suzaku killed by Jeremiah or by Kallen. It's tragic how far their friendship has disintegrated.
Also when Guilford sacrificed his own life to save Lelouch's, yelling "Princess! Please live on!" He loves Cornelia that much...
A small one that might go unnoticed. At the end of every episode (minus the very first of season 1), there is a preview with a Lelouch voice over as he discusses his dastardly plans or even reminisces on events of the episode. But after Nunnally is seemingly killed, what happens? The next episode shots play, like usual, but there's just...nothing. The theme goes on and on in the background, but Lelouch says nothing at all. It really underlines how shock has sent him into shutdown, setting up perfectly for the next episode. Lelouch near collapsing in front of his Knights from the shock and his blank expression for much of that episode drives the point home further.
Not really a big one, but the way Marika Soresi (Kewell's little sister) of the Valkyrie Squadron yells out her brother's name the moment before she dies is very reminiscent of Kallen and Nunnally's relationships with their big brothers. Sure, she was working for Luciano Bradley, but she was also a young girl whose brother had been taken away from her. Fortunately, her death is later retconned in Oz of the Reflection where it's revealed that Leonhardt managed to save her just in time.
It starts with Lelouch having completely snapped; yelling, no... screaming to his subordinates to find Nunnally, refusing to believe that she's dead. After Rolo takes him home, he looks worse than he did in the previous episode. He just... sits there only moving his eyes; not responding to anything around him. To put as simply as possible, he's psychologically comatose.
Then he sees the locket he meant to give to Nunnally, and he completely snaps at Rolo.
Lelouch: I was going to give this locket to Nunnally, not to you! To Nunnally! You think you could replace Nunnally in my heart?! You're an imposter! Haven't you figured it out yet?! I hate you! I loathe you! I despise you! I've been trying to kill you but I keep missing the chance! Get out of here! I never want to see you again! GET OUT!
Nina's My God, What Have I Done? when she sees the destruction of the Tokyo Settlement because of the F.L.E.I.J.A. and her conversation with Lloyd about the decision she'll need to make, if she'll abandon her heart to science or abandon science to preserve her heart. Lloyd has a rather somber tone as he says this.
The Black Knights betraying Zero. Schneizel has told them that their leader is an ex-Britannian prince and that his miracles are just tricks. What's worse is that Ohgi takes his, along with that of Villetta's, words for it. When Schneizel presents them with a recording of Lelouch falsely admitting to Suzaku of Geassing Euphemia, a list of his Geassed victims, and notifies them of the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead (Lelouch refused to believe it because of Suzaku's presumed duplicity), they're all convinced and then express their despair. Next, they manipulate Kallen into bringing him in to them, leading them to an ambush where the Black Knights point their guns at them and call out Lelouch for his actions. It really hurts for them, even Kallen trying to reason with them fails as they suspect she's under Lelouch's control with his Geass. They even threaten to kill Kallen if she doesn't get out of the way. Realizing there's no way out, Lelouch acts like the Magnificent Bastard he is by falsely admitting he's using them all, including Kallen. Before the inevitable, he whispers to her "you have to live" just before Rolo saves his ass in the last minute. Even so, it's still sad. So it's goodbye for Lelouch to be with his former team.
The WORST part about it? The Black Knights NEVER BOTHERED to find the reason WHY Lelouch was AGAINST BRITANNIA. Had they done their research, there would be NO BETRAYAL. It was no wonder why this event was the final nail for setting up Zero Requiem.
Even worse is that Lelouch would have been able to argue his way out of the predicament...had he not been completely broken by the events of the previous episode.
Kallen's actions here hurt the most when you really look at them. She's spent an entire arc basically talking to Nunnally and being reminded of how kind Lelouch can be. She's spent two whole seasons getting to know Lelouch and was just about to try to comfort him, knowing some of his pain as she also lost her older brother. Then the Betrayal kicks in. And though she goes to defend Lelouch as Zero...she then immediately asks Lelouch quietly if she can really trust him. Let that sink in. Kallen has two seasons to get to know Lelouch. Has been recently even bonding him a little more simply cause she is in the know of him being Zero. She still doesn't trust him. No wonder Lelouch had no trouble pulling a Shoo the Dog on Kallen; she always was willing to believe the worst of Lelouch, even as she follows Zero loyally. Just more proof that basically no one saw the real Lelouch.
The third Compilation Movie makes it even worse. Here, the Black Knights aren't trying to kill Lelouch, and merely want a lot of questions answered that they don't know the answers to. They sound confused and scared for understandable reasons, and are actually worried for Kallen; they assume that she may be under the influence of Geass, as Schneizel said. When Lelouch takes off his mask and starts laughing at them for being nothing more than his pawns, Ohgi simply refuses to believe what he's saying, and begs for the truth. None of the Black Knights buy it, as they don't want to believe their leader has been leading them astray all this time. So Kanon arrives with some Britannian soldiers, and they prepare to open fire. The Black Knights panic and beg for Zero to explain himself, but they are dismissed with the logic that they're only giving Lelouch a chance to use his Geass again. Tamaki looks like he's about to cry all of a sudden, and Ohgi even screams, "ZERO, SAY SOMETHING!" It's easy to see why some fans prefer this outcome of the betrayal to the original, as here, the Black Knights simply wanted to know what was going on; if Lelouch hadn't been Driven to Suicide in this moment, he might've still been able to convince his men to stand down. And Schneizel and Kanon remove any chance of reconciliation here when the Britannian soldiers prepare to execute him despite the Black Knights pleading to hear Zero out. Either way, Lelouch was being forced to say goodbye to his people, and this time, the Black Knights don't want him gone.
And Lelouch frantically yelling at Rolo to stop over-using his Geass was pretty painful to watch. Especially because it was repeatedly cut off by Rolo's Geass and Rolo's speech about not wanting to be used anymore.
The worst bit? Lelouch was on pause through every word of that speech. He never heard how glad Rolo was that he got a chance to spend a year with someone who didn't treat him like a mindless weapon.
And that song that played through it... the same music played when Lelouch screamed that he hated Rolo and wanted to kill him.
Rolo: It was a lie, wasn't it? What you said about trying to kill me... about hating me and all of that...
When you consider that everything he did for Lelouch, even killing Shirley, was all because he loved him and wanted to be loved as a real person. Rolo is a mentally and emotionally screwed-up kid, like pretty much everybody else in the show.
Rolo's last words. He wanted to be loved so badly that he convinced himself that Lelouch was lying earlier when he screamed at him. However it's heartwarming that Lelouch ended up caring about him in the end as seen when Lelouch includes Rolo in his list of people he cared about.
Suzaku laughing manically after being in the crater he created with the F.L.E.I.J.A. That he used when the "Live" geass activated. It shows you that he gives up his belief of means justifying the end. He is no longer the pacifist trying to atone for killing his father, he is now willing to be in the same mindset as Lelouch. What's worst is Lelouch didn't intend for this to happen in the first place.(Granted if he didn't command him to "Live" both him and Suzaku would have died)
In episode 20 of R2 there's a scene when Lelouch is on the phone to Rivalz and tells him "Could you tell Milly that I won't be able to keep my promise to shoot fireworks with everyone?" and then monologues about defeating the emperor even at the cost of himself. Majorly depressing moment.
Rivalz asks Lelouch where Rolo is, to which he responds "He's here with me."
In R2 episode 21:
After Lelouch geasses God, causing Charles and Marianne to disappear from existence, he then tells them the meaning behind Nunnally's smile and that she knew that, because of her being blind and crippled, there was nothing in the world she could do on her own. So her smile was the only way for her to show her gratitude. That whole speech, along with the fact that their own parents abandoned them, believing that it was for the best but making everything so much worse.
Heck, the entire scene when Lelouch confronts his parents is one. Just count the number of time he says some variation of "You, my own parents, you abandoned us!" This is a feud that's been building for resolution for years for Lelouch. Suzaku obviously has some measure of empathy for his situation, too, as he stays mostly out of it while Lelouch says his piece.
The mixture of grief and rage in Lelouch's voice as he calls Charles and Marianne out one last time before they're left Deader than Dead. Lelouch has angry tears pouring out of his eyes as he rattles them for what they did, and you can feel it in his voice. He's hurt that his own parents cared so little about their children, and that they'd insinuate he's deluded for thinking so.
R2 episode 22:
A fairly brief one, but the death of Monica Krushevsky, the Knight of Twelve. An actually decent person in the Britannian Empire who actually carried a similar Internal Reformist viewpoint than Suzaku did... and she meets her end staring down the barrel of the Lancelot Albion's V.A.R.I.S. Rifle. She doesn't even gets to finish Suzaku's name before her Florence is obliterated.
Another brief one before Monica's abrupt death, but the stunned horror and shock in the face of Dorothea Ernst, the Knight of Four, seconds before she is also killed in the explosion of her Palomides.
Subjective, but even Sir Bismarck Waldstein's death can be seen as a little sad. The surprise on his own face as his Galahad is bisected by the Lancelot Albion, and his last words are towards one of the few people he truly admired.
Bismarck: I've failed you, Lady Marianne...! (BOOM!)
Kallen's attempt to reach Lelouch. It starts off all nostalgic, but once Kallen starts talking, Lelouch just shuts down. As she talks, they keep zooming in on Lelouch's face, making it clear he's forcing himself not to say a word. Then she gets desperate and kisses him, and for a single, brief moment, it seems as if she got through. But no. He closes up again and crushes her heart, so she barely manages to bottle up her urge to cry and marches off with a simple "goodbye." Then it focuses on Lelouch, with his eyes hidden from view, and he sorrowfully repeats the same line.
R2 episode 23:
Nunnally choosing to turn on her brother on Schneizel's words. She ultimately believes that Lelouch has become a monster and it hurts to see that even his younger sister believes the worst of him.
A small moment, but one might be considered justified yelling at Lelouch to knock it off when he goes on about his desire for conquest to Nunnally, who until a moment ago he thought was dead - until you see that his hands are shaking like mad, showing how difficult a time he's having trying to keep up this heartless mask. He more or less falls apart right afterwards in front of C.C.
R2 episode 24:
One of the biggest Tear Jerker scenes in the series was when Nunnally had to fire F.L.E.I.J.A.s during the final battle, and she cried at every shot. It was heartwrenching to see a girl no older than fifteen firing a weapon of mass destruction repeatedly.
R2 episode 25:
When Lelouch takes the F.L.E.I.J.A. detonator from Nunnally by using his Geass on her. As he takes it, he tells her, "Nunnally, you are already leading a way of life with your own set of admirable principles. That is why I can walk my own path now. Thank you. I love you, Nunnally." It certainly doesn't help that he says this right before walking away and acting like he doesn't care, and is made even worse by Nunnally insulting her brother afterwards and the expression he has on his face when she's not looking. Even more si when she tries to pursue him in her wheelchair, only to fall out. She tries to crawl towards him afterwards as he abandons her.
Lelouch says "the path I must take to my destiny" in the dub, which makes it clearer that he knows he's going to die and can do so knowing that she can make her own decisions.
And finally, in the Grand Finale, the famous Zero Requiem: Lelouch, having made himself the most despised man in the world with control over every country, allows his friend Suzaku, now having faked his own death and taken up the mantle of Zero, to publicly assassinate him. As flashbacks explain their plan, the scene cuts to show the people who knew Lelouch best - C.C., Kallen, and even Suzaku - begin crying as the sword pierces his chest and comes out of his back. After Suzaku removes the sword, Lelouch falls down next to Nunnally, who finally realizes his intentions were noble all along and, as he rapidly bleeds to death, begs him not to leave her and tells him that she loves him no matter what. And just to cap it all off, after Lelouch has finally died, Nunnally desperately cries and screams for him, and her inarticulate grief is drowned out by the crowd cheering for the man who murdered him. The music didn't help.
"Continued Story" begins playing immediately after Lelouch's Last Words, at the exact moment he dies. Hearing this song, as Nunnally cries over her brother's body, screaming for him to come back, Kallen figuring out the truth of Lelouch's actions, all while the crowd chants for his murderer, will really put a lump in your throat.
"Madder Sky", which plays as the plan behind the Zero Requiem is revealed while Lelouch prepares himself to be stabbed, is powerful enough to be listed again here. Again, one of those pieces where simply listening to it will evoke ... feelings.
To quote Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Although this is probably more apt than the original use; it was Lelouch's crowning achievement, but Nunnally's broken sobbing over the body of her brother, while the people cheered his own alter ego for killing him, is quite the reverse.
Thank you for your love All those people I've met until today that supported me. Thank you for your love I won't forget you, a person with a strong and beautiful heart. One more chance Please watch over me. So that I can continue down the path of my belief. Yes, one more chance, just one more. I will try to live on, for you too. Even though the war was ended. I cannot let my tears fall, yet Until I can ascend one step On the staircase of our promise
What made Lelouch's death even worse was the flashing to the faces of the Black Knights, who were screaming at Zero, or turning away. Kallen was screaming something as if pleading for Lelouch's life, Tamaki actually looked like he was about to cry, poor little Tianzi actually looked away in tears, Kaguya and Ohgi were shell-shocked... And also the flash to Cornelia and co. in the building attempting to rush outside.
The Compilation Movie also throws in a little something extra. Even if Shirley is alive this time, this means she ends up witnessing what happens to her beloved Lulu, complete with her ducking down in the crowd right before he gets stabbed. There's a bit of tragic Irony in how she now has to see him die instead.
To drive the point even further? This little exchange after Suzaku/Zero kills Lelouch:
Tohdoh: Is that... who I think it is...? Kallen: It's Zero. It's him, it's Zero!
To make it more clear, Kallen figured out the plan, but nevertheless decided to make it sound like Zero, who was declared dead, came back to save them all. It must be taking all her self-control to not explain what Lelouch did to those around her, especially given the feelings she had grown for him.
Kaguya's own post-series character theme clearly indicates that she loves him, grieves him, thanks him, and wishes he would come back. She may not understand everything, she may not realize Suzaku is still alive... but she certainly gets the point. Indeed, this song is a tear jerker in itself.
Why did my precious one Only leave me a dream behind and suddenly vanish? If my wish can be answered Please, come back here
Tinged with a bit of Fridge Brilliance (or perhaps horror), but the way Lelouch's death mirrors that of Euphie's. Not only do they both go down in history as villains, but they both die hand-in-hand with a loved one while the crowd cheers their deaths and chants the name of their killer... Zero. Though for more Fridge Brilliance, it's implied that Lelouch set himself up to be worse so the public can forget about what Euphie apparently did.
After all of that trouble, Lelouch and Nunnally are once again separated, this time on a permanent basis. The last time they had any quality time together was before Lelouch left for his business at the SAZ, which of course preceded the Black Rebellion, and the subsequent time-skip and estrangement from Nunnally. Every one of his attempts to get back to her ended in failure due to Suzaku's interference, especially including the latter's accidental FLEIJAing of the settlement, which rendered her apparently dead. When she reappeared alive and well, it was too late for him to turn back from his Suicide by Cop plan, Zero Requiem, and when they are finally in each other's presence, no longer as adversaries, as Nunnally has just learned his plan, Lelouch is already bleeding to death, the deed already done.
The final words exchanged between Suzaku and Lelouch. Just the way Lelouch held him while he whispered his final wish, both a condemnation and a mantle of honor to Suzaku. And then Suzaku's, "This Geass... I do solemnly accept," with tears running from his eyes. The way Lelouch almost symbolically smeared his own blood purposefully across Zerozaku's mask before he fell was also a punch in the gut.
Lelouch's Last Words. After all the Magnificent Bastard moves he pulled throughout the series, he died proudly yet still with his trademark arrogance.
Lelouch: Yes... I... I destroy... the world... and create it... anew.
With his life on flash-forward in the background, it truly drives home how complex and amazing a person Lelouch really was, and what end he had always wanted in his heart.
Nunnally's idea of a good world was one where she can live in peace with her brother... who died in order to create what he saw as a better world for her.
Nunnally: It's unfair! All I wanted and needed to be happy was to be with you! How can I ever look forward to the future without you...?
It's likely that Nunnally never knew just how bad things were. Lelouch, despite his promise not to lie to her, had been lying to her for about half their lives when he made said promise. When they are sent to Japan he lies about the place they would be staying in, making it seem nicer than it is. A year later, when the two of them and Suzaku are walking through a war-torn village following Britannia's invasion, he tells her than the stench of the dead bodies was caused by a nearby garbage dump. This protection of Nunnally from the truth likely continued for all the years they were in hiding, leading to her not realizing just what Charles had done in sending them to Japan as hostages and launching his war knowing his children would likely be killed in the crossfire, not knowing how Britannia treated the elevens once the conquest was complete, and not knowing about the atrocities which were committed by her own siblings, Clovis, Cornelia, and Schneizel. It is because she is so sheltered that she opposes Zero in the latter half of Season 1, is willing to trust the people who kidnapped her in Season 2, and convinced by Schneizel's lies about Lelouch. Had Lelocuh not gone as far to protect Nunnally from reality she might not have told the student council to leave her to rescue Suzaku in R1, leading to V.V. kidnapping her, and she might not have been so cooperative with the royal family and government in R2. His refusal to tell her he's Zero in R2 continued this pattern. His earlier refusal to tell Nunnally how bad the world is ultimately leads to him being forced to demonstrate how cruel people can be by using his Geass on her and imprisoning her and threatening her with execution (which of course he was never going to carry out. It is only after he has forced her aboard the Damocles to see how cruel the world could be by being the avatar of cruelty that she can become capable of understanding not only his plan when she sees the Zero Requiem but how he shielded her for all those years. And it was also on the Damocles that Lelouch decided that Nunnally no longer needed him to protect her from the truth. It took him dying in front of her for her to realize just how much he protected her since they were little kids.
Just as Lelouch planned, he died with virtually the entire world celebrating his death and remembering him as an evil tyrant, rather than what he really was...
Considering that as Suzaku is being remembered as a dedicated follower of Emperor Lelouch, he won't likely get many other visitors in his grave, and will likely be remembered as almost as much of a villain as Lelouch was. The whole thing is made worse when you consider the "Live" geass is still active and Lelouch's Last Request is to live on while sacrificing his identity and any chance of pursuing happiness.
Lelouch is dead. That means that he let C.C. down by never fulfilling his promise to her.
C.C. learned to accept her immortality, and no longer consider it a curse. By far a better option than to pass on something you hate to someone you care about, certainly. What's a better way to defeat the curse of immortality, than to turn it into a gift?
The last picture drama of the series, which dealt with Lelouch's promise of fireworks among other things, was such a Tear Jerker that you only needed to understand one word of Japanese, "yakusoku," to start sobbing hysterically.
The last scene in the "Kiseki no Birthday" Picture Drama.
Kallen: That idiot... Now I can't forget you even though I want to. Nina: Now I remember, Shirley. There was something I wanted to tell you. Thanks for being my friend. Nunnally: Rolo, we would have been good friends. After all, we both loved big brother Lelouch. Suzaku: Lelouch, I won't thank you. Your sins are that grave. But, just for today... Happy Birthday, Lelouch.
Suzaku as Zero arrives at Ashford Academy with Nunnally, and we're reminded that has to pretend that he doesn't know his friends and classmates, now that he is Zero.
The implication that Jeremiah feels empty in life now that Marianne's children, Lelouch and Nunnally, are either gone or don't need him anymore, in the way that they want him to live free and happily. The only reason why he came to the reunion was to accompany Anya and fulfill Lelouch's final order (to set off fireworks), and he largely spends most of the audio drama alone setting it up. At the end, he asks Anya if she wants to stay here with her friends despite that it would mean leaving him alone, but she declines, choosing to stay with him — likely because they're the only ones that can understand each other.
Also, the image of Jeremiah kneeling to set off the fireworks while Anya stands next to him looks like he's kneeling at a gravestone. It symbolizes him paying respect to the presumably dead Lelouch.
Nightmare of Nunnally
In the part where Nunnally rejects instrumentality, causing her parents to vanish is perhaps even more of a Tear Jerker when you see Charles and Marianne vanishing from existence, largely because they accept it quite peacefully compared to the anime, and their love for their children is more genuine in this version. Nunnally tears up at this point; while she wanted to stop their plan, she didn't necessarily want them to die.
Nunnally in Wonderland
Shirley's casting as the fawn. Nunnally asks her if she's lost something and Shirley replies, "Only everything important." The delivery is so soft that it made me get a little choked up. However, it's sort of ruined by Lelouch's cold remark of: "I wanted you to give her directions, not poetry, Shirley!".
Tortiose!Rolo is sad about having a heart condition, and his heart actually stops beatings at the end of his appearance. It's quite sad given his fate.