Paper heroes, live action heroes, forever heroes. What often uniquely characterizes a particular entertainment work is precisely the protagonist of the same, sometimes led to carry out a specific mission to save not only loved ones, but the whole world.
Apart from this, many secondary characters have however managed to carve out a respectable place in the collective imagination for some of their specific qualities, including for example altruism or a great spirit of sacrifice.
In this special we are going to retrace some of the most poignant deaths in the anime / manga universe, a detail that could inevitably incur showy spoilers anyone who is unaware of certain issues and events concerning the specific selected works, such as Devilman, One Piece , Rocky Joe, Berserk and Naruto. For this reason, we advise you to continue reading only in case you are not particularly bothered by possible spoilers.
Devilman –La morte di Akira Fudo
Go Nagai, with Devilman, has given life to a legendary cult manga, capable of inspiring a truly disproportionate number of artists even during the decades following its release.
The work sees the protagonist Akira Fudo / Devilman fighting hard to defend the Earth from the relentless assault from the hordes of demons commanded by none other than Satan himself. The comic thus transports us to a world where hope does not seem to exist more and where the heroes are slow to arrive. Akira’s ongoing personal struggle to keep Amon at bay (the demon he fused with to save mankind) is just one of the nerve centers on which the entire work focuses, full of insights as multifaceted as it is profound. The long and exhausting final battle that sees Akira opposing the ruthless demons is still today one of the most pathos-rich moments in the history of manga / anime, especially due to the enormous degree of fatalism that permeates the entire work, from the beginning absolutely far from any good-natured or happy ending theme.
The touching moment concerning the death of the protagonist, capable of inducing Satan himself to reflect on his actions following the end of the final battle, probably remains one of the highest thematic and emotional points reached by Nagai himself.
ONE PIECE – The death of Portuguese D. Ace
For any comic book lover, it is really very difficult not to have ever heard, even in passing, of ONE PIECE, the work of Eiichiro Oda ready to enter the final phase.
The manga, which has always been characterized by moments that are both light-hearted and funny and introspective and profound, has decided to undermine the certainties of the readers through numerous tragic moments, among which we can certainly include Ace’s death, pirate holding the Foco Foco fruit. Luffy’s adoptive brother loses his life during the Marineford saga by the inflexible Akainu, who does not hesitate to take him out in the midst of the battle that sees another important character, Whitebeard, die.
Ace’s death thus marks the most dramatic moment of his life for Luffy, a detail that will lead him to despair as never before for the death of one of his closest loved ones but which, at the same time, will make him understand even more that the path of life chosen by him is by no means free from great dangers. often unpredictable.
Rocky Joe – The death of the protagonist
Asao Takamori to the texts and Tetsuya Chiba to the drawings have given us one of the most beautiful sports manga ever, able to focus on a multitude of thematic instances capable of encompassing the concept of strenuously fighting to achieve one’s goals.
The work, deeply anchored also to the theme of the search for one’s place in the world, shows us the protagonist Rocky Joe, in fact an outsider unable to fully integrate into the society in which he lives, dedicating himself body and soul to the noble art of boxing, so as to meet increasingly stronger opponents from which to learn something new every time .
The last table of the work, able to enclose the very essence of the character, shows us a Rocky so exhausted but smiling, therefore at peace with himself, because he is aware of having tried to reach (but also to overcome) his limits, proud of having given the best in every form and in every context without sparing himself.
Berserk – The death of The Hawk Team
In Kentaro Miura’s horror / dark fantasy work, we follow the vicissitudes of Gatsu, a warrior consumed by blind fury towards Grifis, once his best friend. The protagonist’s immense hatred originates in the very beginning from the betrayal of the White Hawk who, following unspeakable tortures that led him to no longer be able to fill the role of leader within his company of mercenaries, decided to sacrifice his whole team to some very powerful demons to be reborn in a new form.
The entire sequence dedicated to the sacrifice of Grifis still remains today perhaps the most brutal and tragic part of the manga / anime (despite the fact that the whole work is studded with conceptually very heavy moments), in which we can not help but watch helplessly the massacre of all team members of which Gatsu is also a part.
The sequence is of great impact especially for the great work done by Miura in terms of characterization of the characters, since before arriving at the fateful moment of the Eclipse we will have plenty of time to get attached to the various team members.
The unspeakable suffering of Gatsu, who will see his companions die one after another unable to intervene even to save Caska, his beloved who after the sexual violence perpetrated by Grifis will lose the light of reason, will also become the engine propulsive that will push him to travel a path made of anger, blood and brutal revenge.
Naruto – Jiraiya’s death
We close this short (how sad) list with another illustrious death that still touches all fans today. The disappearance of Jiraiya, the hermit of the toads who has the merit of making Naruto one of the strongest ninja ever, left an unbridgeable void in all fans at the very moment of his death.
The legendary ninja, in fact, despite an aptitude for joking and easy jokes, has repeatedly shown himself to be a valiant and above all wise fighter, and his touching sacrifice represents a real martyrdom in the name of love for new generations.
And it is precisely during the battle against Pain in which his propensity for heroism comes out once again, thanks to the lucidity shown by the same even on the verge of death, since he was able to leave a precious clue to Naruto to unmask the weakness of the leader of Alba and defeat him once for all.