Death in Anime
This is an ever so slightly more morbid blog than I usually do, but hey, Death starts its course as soon as we pop out. Death, however grim and morbid, is also used as dramatic technique to create an emotion or feeling for the viewer, this is usually well received because as Humans this is something that most of us have encountered and as of consequence is easy to relate to.
Shock Factor of Death
Yes, in this situation the death was not predicted or at least viewers and readers were uncertain or in denial that the death would actually occur. A perfect example of this would be in Death Note, where possibly one of the most well known deaths occurs, the scene was product to a lot outcry and outrage, but to be honest it was well put to use if I had to put forth my opinion.
His death was one that made you sit back for a few minutes to actually stomach it in and it also raised questions as to how the plot would then proceed, Light and L were regarded as rivals and balanced in terms of intellectuality, and if this was the case, we get the connotations of the scales, L never found out Light’s true nature and this was the fun of it. If we again refer back to the image of the scales, if L had found out about Light’s true nature then the scales would tip, but as he died, the whole weight of his character disappears, as reader and viewers his whole character is gone, we are left with questions and the what ifs. The scales where L and Light balanced each other are gone, instead there is no weight on one side, and as a result we get a giant climax.
Furthermore, I personally believe that his death was a shock because of the fact that it allowed the author, Tsugumi Ohba so many more opportunities to develop the story, L’s death was a great technique it had the chance to act as a fabulous turning point. Another reason why I believe that L’s death was able to be such a shock was because it was simply the way that his character was developed.
Ohba and his co-creator Takashi Ohbata were able to together create a character that was eccentric but yet so memorable and lovable that it makes L one of the most unforgettable anime characters, yes I may be exaggerating, but there is a reason, why Death Note has such a popular audience.
(I have literally just written a memoir for a anime character =.=, huh)
To develop this thought slightly further, and sticking to the use of L’s death as an example could the death of L be implying that even the most intellectual and important people are victims of this greater power know as death? I believe so, L, as a classic example of the temptations of human nature. The manipulation that a human or in this case, Light/Kira, could have the ability to end a life with a single sweep, although he wasn’t the direct killer of L, he was certainly the prime causer.
Analyzing this thought even further, if we look at this on the whole, Death Note is essentially about a book that has the ability to take and kill human lives, disregarding who that individual is. Taking this further, it is common knowledge that by taking any humans life by choice or anything similar is a sin, and an offense, this implies that Kira/Light is essentially playing God, he obviously pays for this later. However this notion detaches him from the norm.
But it was the tension and rivalry and possibly glimpses of a possible friendship that made it seem as though a story that revolved around the two main characters, was something that could change kira’s personality. And L’s death heralded the great change in Kira, almost conveying that L was the anchor that was still grounding Kira before he went too far.
So yes, I believe shock factor and using the example above, is one that makes you sit back and just try to rethink the scene that just occurred because maybe it was unbelievable, unpredictable or just merely because a character that you never thought would disappear from the plot did so, and as a viewer you have felt over time that the characters were good enough that you as a viewer are compelled to love them.
Ginny T. UK.Surrey based/AnimeAmino Original blog.