Posted by: AceRailgun | December 24, 2011

Why do the interesting anime characters always die?

This is a saddening trend which has hit me hard recently. I have experienced the death of fictional characters in the past but twice this season the minor character I had just started to like dies painfully.

Yes this post will contain spoilers for some anime  but I am going to hide the spoiler text so if you want to see it highlight the blank areas with your mouse.

 

The sadness begins one week after I said Chibi Mummy aka Mummy Maker from C³ was super cute and should join the main protagonist’s group. An episode later she is murdered and I am left to write about it with a single tear on my cheek. 

Introducing a character just so they can die isn’t new and it was a pretty big deal when it happen in Gurren Lagann. By killing off Kamina it provided a hurdle for Yoko and Simon to grow as characters. By killing him at just the wrong time it also expanded the story in a positive way. Plus it is very rare to kill off a main character like that. It is the ultimate example of a trope called decoy protagonist.

 

The same thing happened in Angel Beats and Cowboy Bebop, all the character leave instead of getting killed but it still has the same effect. I think the idea of removing characters from a group until there is only a small percentage of them left leads to some very interesting situations. When Ed and Ein left in Cowboy Bebop it was very saddening and had the same effect as killing them off.

One Piece on the made a point never to kill off characters which was a point in it’s favour because when some characters died it had a larger impact on the story and viewers.

The death in Clannad also comes out of nowhere and is a huge shocker. If I go into too deeply then it could easily be ruined but at the same time the second season wouldn’t have been as effective without death.

They killed off my favourite character from Katanagatari and Shiki too now that I think about it. At least they had the decency to wait until the end unlike C³ which did it straight away.

 

The last big one was Tiger and Bunny. The last 2 episodes involved some near death scenes which were very distressing for me as my favourite character was in some serious trouble. Killing a character in a action comedy like Tiger and Bunny isn’t a smart move and i’m glad everything turned out okay.

So to sum up i’m sure your favourite character has been killed off at least once before and if it hasn’t happened to you then you are very lucky indeed. Be careful though as it will probably happen very soon.

 

Do you think anime should stop killing characters off?

Has your favourite character died?

 

Guilty Crown – R.I.P – Dan – Episode 7-11

C³ R.I.P – Chibi Mummy – Episode 2-4


Responses

  1. When I first stated watching Cowboy bebop (best anime of all time IMO) I was like, Spike is one badass motherfucker. Then, final episode. Manly tears were shed that day.

    • Your not alone, I may have shed some money tears in the finale.

  2. I feel the same way, but about most shounen anime characters. Like Ulquiorra from Bleach is the one villain I really wished didn’t die. Now that I think about it, Gin suffered the same fate. They were both very interesting to me, but we never got to see them progress as characters at all. That’s what I hate. But, my friend says Bleach characters never die XD Oh Kubo, you are such a tease!

    • Killing off a character in Shounen early on or right after they get introduced is a bit nasty. I like to see them develop a lot more before they get killed off. That way it’s more meaningful.

  3. Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan! ç___ç
    Why Dan need to die?! Why?! 😦

    • Saddest moment this season, and the most epic one. His Eagleman punch will not be forgotten.

  4. Kenshin, I weep for you

    • I almost forgot about him. 😦

  5. Long answer short, because Japanese animators have a death fetish. Any question involving death in anime will have that answer as far as I’m concerned.


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