Main Anime Characters That Die In The Final Episode
June 2, 2012
Not every story ends with a fairytale-like ending, right? Sometimes it is sad that the heroes die at the end of the story but as they say, death is part and parcel of life. One of the 2 inevitable things in life (the other being taxes but that’s not the point). So in this blog segment, I have compiled and listed down several main anime characters that die in the final episode. It is tough deciding the definition of ‘main character’ and thus setting the criteria for them to be put into this blog. So I have opted that a character is considered to be main and in the lead if he/she is what 90% of the anime is about. Without this character, the story won’t flow smoothly. The plot has to involve this character or else that character is just considered a side or minor or even supporting character.
This means that typical villains and bad guys are not included in this list because well, in categories like action or fantasy, the baddie may be the driving force why the hero and his/her group of allies set out to defeat but evil characters are supposed to die at the end, right? So that is to be expected in that sense. However there are shows that blur the line between protagonist and antagonist so it is really hard to see them as the typical villain. Thus I would be using my discretion to see whether they are deemed fit to be put into this blog. So before we kick off, be warned of the following spoilers. Oh heck, most anime fans would already know.
Rosette Christopher & Chrno (Chrno Crusade)
The wild nun’s life and days has been numbered ever since she made a contract with the demon named Chrno, which is sealed inside a watch seal she carries around her neck. Each time Chrno uses his power and turns to his powerful true form, he has to use a bit of Rosette’s life force, something the loyal and kind demon is unwilling to do. In the final fight with Aion, Rosette unlocks her seal to give Chrno the power needed to kill Aion. They both secluded themselves at an abandoned hut and live the remaining bits of their lives together till they passed on with a gentle calmness on their face. There is a picture to show just that but I felt it was too heart breaking to bear. :'(
Sora Suzuki (Mahou Tsukai Ni Taisetsu Na Koto: Natsu No Sora)
A cheerful girl from the country side of Biei in Hokkaido, she is one of those who undergoes training as a mage apprentice in Tokyo. Sora has this condition which she inherited from her late father and this is what makes her dying. Each time she hears loud sounds, her heart will beat faster and a very loud lightning strike has triggered and accelerated this condition. The first time they found out she had this condition, it is estimated she only had a year to live. She returns to her hometown after becoming a mage to perform a magical vision at her dad’s grave that she has become a beautiful bride, a wish her dad wanted to see before his untimely death. After using up all her powers, Sora dies in the arms of her mom.
Yorito Morimiya & Matsuri Shihou (Sola)
Yorito loves taking pictures of the sky and on that fateful dawn whereby he wanted to take pictures of the sunrise, he met Matsuri, a yaka (immortal supernatural being with supernatural abilities). Being a yaka, they can never be exposed to sunlight or it will be their demise so Matsuri yearns to see the blue sky of the day, something Yorito promises to show her. With parties chasing after her head, the climax arrives when Matsuri and Yorito’s sister, Aono clash over that boy. Yorito turns out to be an ‘actor’ made out of paper when he got stabbed by the sword. It was something Aono, who is also a yaka, created when she couldn’t deal with the death of her beloved brother. Prior to stabbing Aono, Matsuri had stabbed herself so as to transfer her yaka powers to the sword and the stabbing stab to Aono would turn her back to a human. Matsuri vanishes when the sun rises. But the deaths of both Yorito and Matsuri aren’t in vain because it allowed Aono to walk under both skies.
The self proclaimed intelligent and genius strategist who teams up with the successor of Kyotouryuu (Swordless Technique), Shichika to hunt down and collect the 12 Deviant Blades forged by the famous swordsmith Shikizaki. At the end of their journey after collecting 11 of the Deviant Blades, Togame is fatally shot and injured by Emonzaemon who possesses the final Deviant Blade. Despite mentioning she was just using Shichika for her nefarious schemes and would kill him off after collecting all the swords, deep down within her she does develop feelings for him. Togame’s death propels Shichika to become the strongest and completed 13th Deviant Blade.
Kikuchiyo (Samurai 7)
Originally a farmer, he subsequently became a mechanized samurai to protect and help others. Due to his temperament, loudness and clumsy ways, he isn’t considered by Kanbei as one of the samurais drafted to protect Kanna village. Despite that, he continues to tag along and help out whenever he can. He is the final samurai to be acknowledged by Kanbei and also the last of the samurais to die. Probably already half dead when the fierce battle is taking toll on both sides, Kikuchiyo uses his final brute force to stop Ukyo’s crashing capital from smashing into the village. All that’s left after that screeching stop are his boots.
Gennosuke Kouga & Oboro Iga (Basilisk)
Both the Kouga Manjidani and Iga Tsubagakure tribes have been fighting each other for 400 years and an uneasy peace pact was brought upon them by Hattori Hanzo the first. However a power struggle to decide the heir of the shogun arises and both sides are once again pitted against each other in a battle royale to determine the succession dispute. Gennosuke and Oboro are lovers torn apart and their love tested by the war of between their clans. Both are the last members standing of their respective clan and are forced to face off with each other to determine the winner. Oboro is unable to kill Gennosuke and stabs herself, dying in his arms. Devastated, Gennosuke also stabs himself but not before writing down Oboro’s clan as the winner of this bloody conflict.
Madoka Kaname (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)
Madoka and her friend made a pact with the mysterious creature called Kyuubey to become magical girls to rid of the menace caused by witches. But everything isn’t what they seem. Akemi’s strategy to go back in time to try a different path to defeat the insanely powerful witch called Walpurgis yielded nothing good. Seeing everything that has happened, Madoka makes her wish of erasing every witch in the past, present and future. The result is that she becomes part of the universe and every memory associated with her becomes void. Some may argue that she didn’t really die and merely became a concept and shifted to another plan but I personally feel that even if Akemi is the only one who retains memories of Madoka and everyone else forgetting who this girl is, it doesn’t change the fact that she is dead because she can no longer smile, play and do stuffs with her friends. She is no longer around.
Misuzu Kamio (Air)
Yukito is trying to find the girl in the sky with wings and befriends the cheerful but clumsy Misuzu. She has been suffering from a mysterious illness that causes her to cry whenever she thinks she has made friends. Misuzu is actually the reincarnation of a winged creature who was cursed by monks before her death. Because a human’s body cannot contain a winged creature, Misuzu is fated to die young. When she and her aunt Haruko are taking a stroll at the beach, Misuzu got up from her wheelchair and tried walking towards Haruko as the goal. However once achieving this, she dies in her arms after accepting Haruko as her mother figure.
Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass R2)
The anti-hero of the series, Lelouch is the abandoned prince of the Britannia Empire and vows to overthrow the Empire by siding with the Japanese rebels (Japan is a colony under Britannia renamed as Eleven). A brilliant strategist and strongly believes that ends justify means, he possesses a power called Geass bequeath by C.C. that allows anyone who looks into his eyes to bend to his will. After disposing of his father Charles and installing himself as Britannia’s new Emperor, Lelouch rules his land with tyranny and at the same time destroying all those who oppose him. As part of his Zero Requiem plan, Lelouch has Suzaku dressed up as the rebel leader Zero to stab him so that the world could finally move on and be free of this ‘tyranny’. Some people still believe that Lelouch lives at the end but to me, that end scene of C.C. was just ambiguous and nothing conclusive. I strongly believe Lelouch sacrificed himself as atonement and for the betterment of the world.
Light Yagami (Death Note)
Some say Light is the antagonist and even though I have not seen this show (yet), I feel that Light though may not be your typical hero, he is just someone with twisted beliefs trying to correct the world by riding the criminals his way. Sure, it may seem wrong but with corruption at high levels and the inept police force that is supposed to protect the people, can you blame him for taking things into his own hands? Light is an intelligent son of a police officer who is bestowed a Death Note in which he can easily kill anyone just by writing his/her real name inside it. Under the name of Kira and in a high stakes game of cat and mouse, Light finally gets cornered and gets shot by Matsuda whom he felt betrayed by Light. After escaping to a warehouse, Ryuk wrote Light’s name into the Death Note, sending him into cardiac arrest.
Makoto Itou (School Days)
Everyone hates Makoto! Sure, we agree he is the villain of the series and even if he did turn into a sex-crazed jerk, that was as the series goes by. Okay, so it won’t help if I argued that he wasn’t such a bad guy in the beginning. The fact that he screwed around with every girl he could get his hands on and paid no attention to his original girlfriend, Kotonoha pitifully left forsaken, was the clincher that made this guy public enemy number one. So what happens when you f*ck around and realizing too late of the one who really loved you? In his case, he deserved what he got when jealous Sekai stabs him to death with a kitchen knife. Though Sekai got her uterus cut open by Kotonoha to proof that her pregnancy was a lie, Kotonoha is seen cuddling Makoto’s severed head on a yacht. Now they can truly be together!
Life After Death…
This list isn’t meant to be definitive as I believe there are there other animes I haven’t watched to find out the true ending of the main characters. Even if the main characters do die in the end, I’m sure they have left us with impressions in our hearts and memories, whether they are the good for the whole or just despicable deeds. So in that instance, you can say they have ‘lived’ even though they are already dead. Well, unless you are an immortal, everyone will one day have to kick the bucket, right?
This list could have been even longer because I did not add main characters that have really died in the final episode but revived. Sure, they do fit the bill that they died but one of my criteria too is that they stay dead. So in the case of Sakura of Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, he dies in every episode but because he gets revived, he isn’t listed. Same case with Hayami from H2o ~Footprints In The Sand~. She may have thrown herself in front of the train but she was revived in the end by the spirit council. Though Jubei of Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls sacrificed herself to defeat Gisen, buying the OVA episode reveals she didn’t really die and descended from the sky back into our hero’s arms. Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn‘s Yuni too sacrificed herself in the last episode but I feel she wasn’t really a main character and if she was, it was just because of the Future Arc that serves as the longest arc in this anime. Same case for Nagi from Deadman Wonderland. He didn’t really appear till halfway in the series. I don’t know if I should have put Yoite from Nabari No Ou in here either.
I don’t want to end this on a grim note but since we are on the topic of death, it is tad sad that when your favourite character has been given the chop. You won’t get to see anymore of your favourite character doing all sorts of things. But the most important factor as someone has said, is not the years in life that matters but the life in years. Who wants to live forever anyway?