Character death in anime

Discussion of any other anime and/or manga goes here.

Moderators: SMU Staff, SMU Chibi-Mods

User avatar
Neon Heart
ZOMFG 1337
ZOMFG 1337
Posts: 1775
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:08 pm
Location: KCMO

Character death in anime

Post by Neon Heart » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:23 am

How do you feel about character death in anime? Do you feel sad when a character dies, or are you (for some reason) as happy as hell to see them go? Did you think the death was unnecessary, or do you think it actually helped push the story along? What was the first anime character death you witnessed? You don't have to answer all of these questions, and you can bring up other points or questions if you want. You can talk about certain character deaths, or just character death in general.

Okay, enough of my questions... The first anime character death I'd witnessed was Nephrite from Sailor Moon. I was kind of sad to see him die, because I knew he was bad, but he actually had some potential to be good. Infact, I think after a while, he wanted to be good,and wanted nothing else to do with the Dark Kingdom, and just wanted to be with Naru. At least that's how I took it, and I still do take it that way.
The Single Funniest Thread Title Ever
Ian Ziering will not pose nude; world`s sigh of relief causes tornado

^ ^ ^ ROFL

User avatar
SMU Freak
SMU Freak
Posts: 350
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:57 pm
Location: London

Post by nap* » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:53 pm

It depends. If it's a kiddy anime like sailor and a character like zoicyte dies, i'm like thank god, bring on the next victim.
However if it's other anime that tends to have characters with a dark background but come to the light due to the friendships that they have made from the main character and get killed off, I oftern sympathize for them.

Since nephlyte was my first cartoon death (apart from patamon as i knew he was reincarnated) ever I was like woah, how can they show this in the afternoon. I felt for Naru, even in the few episodes that followed and she was still depressed
Febby''''s here, the shortest month of the year, and in London the weather is random, so there

User avatar
SMU Chibi-mod
SMU Chibi-mod
Posts: 953
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:14 pm
Location: Wootbekistan

Post by NameGoesHere » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:04 pm

I'm all for death. It makes for good story telling (when used effectively). Depending on the character, I've cried, cheered, and shouted like a crotchety old man during death scenes. There are even a few deaths I await with great expectations, hoping to celebrate with a jig of glee.

My first anime death was also Nephrite... and yes, I got misty-eyed. Naru's screaming had a lot to do with it, I'm sure. ^^;
NameGoesHere - Now made with 100% more ingredients.

User avatar
Nehelenia's Crazy Fangirl
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:24 am
Location: ...Chicago? (I wish)

Post by Nehelenia's Crazy Fangirl » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:04 pm

Used in the right way, it can be. I'm not sure myself what the "right way" is but I do know a few wrong ways to use death:

1. Death solely for the betterment of the main character's personality. Thank you Princess Ai for volunteering this one. ^_~*
2. Death used only to make a change in a story. In other words, slightly pointless death used only to do something different form usual. Using it as a spice.
3. Repetative Deaths i.e. everything is fine and dandy until a certain part of the story where EVERYBODY DIES! D8 It's like the author is trying to provoke a response that just isn't there.

Other than the above methods of using death in a story, I'm all for death as it really can be quite emotional and add depthto a plot or character.
Congratulations to the lucky winners of the Winter banner contest!=D Better luck on Valentines day to those who weren''t so lucky! ^_~*

We walk in the garden of his turbulence!!! =D- Geoffery Chaucer, A Knights Tale

Nehelenia, one for all. -Teh sloganize website. XDD
(")_(") Help Bunny gain world domination.

User avatar
SMU Newbie
SMU Newbie
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:15 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Post by KKDW » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:46 am

I can't remember what the frist character death I saw in an anime was. The anime I started off watching where basically the kids show ones (Digimon, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, though I don't really see that as a kids show). And in the dubbed version (well in Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! anyway) most of the deaths were edited out/changed to something else so I didn't really notice, of course I'd grown up with kids shows where characters die anyway (Doctor Who, Captain Scarlet, the Animals of Farthing Wood). So with whats been done in the Dubs of some anime kids shows I've noted some differences in the attitudes relating to kids programs between Britain and America.

User avatar
Sailormars Obsessed fan
SMU Divine Fan
SMU Divine Fan
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:35 pm

Post by Sailormars Obsessed fan » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:03 am

this is pretty much what ruined the cartoon transformers movie.

In the first five minutes of the movie almost everyone of the characters I had come to love died, and some by means that should never have killed them. I mean brawn dies from a shoulder wound??? WTF!!!! And dont get me started on how Prime should never have died from those wounds, he had been given much worse beatings in the series several times over.

Anyway I'm ok with death in anime as long as it fits the story and makes sense, and isnt intended as a marketing gimmick or something like that.
"The great library of Willendorf, filled with dull tomes of trite accounts by pompous historians about matters that could not possibly be of interest to anyone but themselves." Kain -- Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain

User avatar
SMU Divine Fan
SMU Divine Fan
Posts: 582
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:25 pm

Post by Jeff » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:34 pm

The deaths in the DiC dub of Sailor Moon never affected me much. I think that awful music dulled the emotions a bit. The first death I actually remember caring about was Hotaru in the dub of Sailor Moon S. Personally, I think the sequence where she destroys Mistress 9, appears as Sailor Saturn to eliminate Pharaoh 90, and is saved by Sailor Moon is the best moment in the whole series. I guess it seemed so powerful because for a good part of the season, the main protagonist's goal was to NOT let Hotaru be killed, and in the very end it seems inevitable and you feel so horrible for Usagi.

User avatar
SMU Divine Fan
SMU Divine Fan
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: South Carolina

Post by Senshi_of_Vision » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:11 pm

I think in most stories sometimes death is needed for the fans to truly appreciate the characters worth. I know when I read Pluto's death in the Time Arc it affected me as if I truly knew the character. I think it pulls a person into a story when someone is killed off, even if it makes you mad or upset. Do I like seeing characters die? heck no specially not my favorite ones, but as a die hard, comic and fantasy fan ive seen plenty of characters Ive grown attatched to die and though sometimes they come back alot of times reading or watching their deaths can be overwhelming. Right now Ive been watching the Full Metal Alchemist series thanks to a friend of mine and I just watched the episode where Hughes dies and I was so worked up after watching that. His daughter who was all he could talk about when she finds out her daddy isnt coming home.. as upsetting as it is it draws me into the series. So as much as I cant stand to see characters die I definately think it gives any story a good edge.
"Have you been half asleep? And have youve heard voices?
I hear them calling my name."
Is this the sweet sound, that calls the young sailors?
The voice maybe one in the same.
Ive heard it too many times to ignore it,
its something that I sposed to be..
Someday we''''ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lover, the dreamer, and me..."

*Being a bad girl is such hard work....

User avatar
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 10:35 pm
Location: The 4th circle of hell (working as a temp)

Post by Gamer8585 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:27 pm

A lot of your questions depend heavily on the Anime and which character dies and how. There are some death's that really open the flood gates of passion for a character and add to the art of the medium (ex. Nephrites death) and others that just seem like a cheap sensationalist stunt that offends everything you hold dear (ex. Optimus Prime's Death).

One death that really got to me when I was young was Roy Fokker's death in Robotech. He participated in a tough battle defending the SDF-1, afterward he seemed fine, but then collapsed while playing his guitar and talking to his girlfriend, Claudia (who was fulling a promise to make a pineapple salad for him. He was rushed to the hospital, but died from wounds.

It wasn't really Roy's death (sad as it was) that caused me to cry, it was the effect it had on the other characters. Claudia lost her lover, Rick lost his mentor (he refferd to Roy as "Big Brother"), and the entire crew of the SDF-1 lost one of their best pilots (not exactly something you want to happen in the middle of a war with an advanced alien war-machine).
The power of love conquers all...except a nuclear hypocenter.

Guess the "Quote of the moment:"

User avatar
Mad Hatteress Belial
SMU Freak
SMU Freak
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:21 pm
Location: Wonderland

Post by Mad Hatteress Belial » Sat Sep 01, 2007 10:19 am

As with mostly everyone else, Nephlyte was the first character death I ever saw; I think I was in the first grade at the time. I often jokingly say at that Nephlyte was my first crush, so I was really sad about it as a kid, and those emotions returned when I finally got the season 1 boxset and saw the Japanese version. It is so much more emotional without Molly's voice wrecking it, making it a fairly powerful scene.

There's two other deaths that stand out in the anime Outlaw Star. I believe she only lasts for two or three episodes, but when "Hot Ice" Hilda was being pulled towards her death (was it the sun? I can't remember). She calmly gave her last words to Gene before committing suicide, taking both her and the pirates out.

The second it Harry's death when he's trying to save Melfina, whom he has unrequited love for. I went back and forth between hating and liking this guy; one moment he was a crazy psycho and the next he was a kind and caring man who just wanted to be with Mel. Despite the many times I've watched OS I've only seen Harry's death scene once because I can't stand seeing that much blood, especially from a character I adore, being killed.

User avatar
SMU Freak
SMU Freak
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:41 pm
Location: Earth

Post by Iced_Cappucino » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:43 pm

I think one of the most emotional Anime deaths I have ever seen was in SM Stars, the scene where the Inner-Senshi die and Rei rests her hand on Usagi's head. I love Usagi and Rei in this scene as it shows us just how close they are. I hate it when Rei apologises to Usagi for not being able to protect her. It's just so sad.

User avatar
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:35 pm
Location: Somewhere in North Carolina

Post by Hobbes » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:11 am

It all depends on the character who's getting killed off. Sometimes I'll cry on the second or third viewing, like Haruka's and Michiru's. Other times I'll just get pissed. Watched Episode 8 of Gurren Laggan and tonight...yeah. It's a mixture of pissed and upset.
-Aino Minako from Suburban Senshi

"Would I rather be feared or loved? Uh, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."
-Michael Scott, The Office

User avatar
Queen Of Hearts
SMU Freak
SMU Freak
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:30 pm
Location: Insane Asylum

Post by Queen Of Hearts » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:49 pm

Negima was such a happy happy and harem-y. It was all laughs....then...[spoiler]Asuna Died[/spoiler]

Well THAT was an uneeded slap in the face. ;__;
God Save the Lolita!
Recent Purchases-
Angelic Pretty lucky pack. <3
Bodyline Fruits Parlor Skirt

User avatar
SMU Freak
SMU Freak
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:41 pm
Location: Earth

Post by Iced_Cappucino » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:19 am

I thought it was quite shocking in Tenchi Universe when we were left with a cliff hanger during epsiode 24.

[spoiler] I really thought Ryoko had died so it was such a shock to me when she survived, a relief but a shock all the same[/spoiler]
Last edited by Iced_Cappucino on Sat May 10, 2008 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ross: You got me a cola drink.
Chandler: And a LEMON LIME!

User avatar
Princess Latona
SMU Visitor
SMU Visitor
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: My Kingdom

Post by Princess Latona » Fri May 09, 2008 12:25 am

For the most part, I find character deaths in anime to be interesting twists to the storyline. I was another one who was blindsided by Roy Fokker's death in Robotech. I literally went "WTF? How did that happen?" So, if it's used in a way that makes sense in the storyline, then it can easily bring me to tears.

With that said, it really irritates me when a character is introduced, only to be killed off as a major plot point, doubly so when it's a female character. The hero can then go into an often several-episode long angstfest, only to further resolve to defeat the enemy by the end of the angst.

My fiance and I were talking about this as we talked about Tekkaman Blade the other night.

Roughly halfway through the series (give or take), the character Miyuki (Shara in the dub) is introduced. She's the little sister of the hero, Blade, and while she can transform like he can, she's extremely weak due to a fatal virus she contracted during her "conversion". Now, when I first watched TB, I thought she would have a pretty big role in the rest of the series, fighting to the best of her abilities, maybe even joining Blade in the final fight of the anime. I was so disappointed when I saw she had six, maybe seven physical appearances in the anime (most of them with her too sick to do much more than be bedridden or barely attempt to fight), with little attempt to characterize her as anything other than the sick, weak little girl whose big brother had to fight for her. Her last appearance, which had her self-destruct in a failed attempt to take out two powerful enemies, ticked me off the most. Needless to say, I thought she deserved much better.[/spoiler]
What is life? What if all it is is God playing a game of The Sims? Or even his own version of Final Fantasy? ~Me

User avatar
SMU Wannabe
SMU Wannabe
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Post by michikodesu » Fri May 09, 2008 12:55 pm

Everyone is pretty much saying the same thing about it depends so I won't go there.

Nephlyte's death was not the first for me (I'm not sure if the drivers from speed racer actually died when they crashed). But it was one of the few I've seen on T.V. and not late at night, so it didn't bother me much.

The first anime that really shook me up when characters died was Fushigi Yuugi. OMG!!! I was bawling like a baby when xxxxxx, xxxxxx, and xxxxxxx died. I literally went through a whole box of tissues for the whole series. Even when some of the baddies were killed off...or...well.....almost killed off. I dunno. That anime was an emotional train wreck for me. That's when I found out that anime was more than cat girls, demon slayers, and magical girls.

Now, as for Dragon Ball Z, that's another story. I was literally cheering when certain characters died!! Why? Because I watched the dubbed version and it took too damn long to get to the end of a fight sequence so once they were gone it was like "about damn time!!!!"
GAZ: I m only thirteen levels away from finishing this game. So I either finish my game or make you wish I was never born!!