What anime has the saddest death scene?
All aboard! This train has started and shows no sign of stopping!
For as much as I would love to fall back on Your Life in April and give even more praise to the beautiful scene where Arima plays in his final performance, I won’t. And this is so hard because that scene could not have been done any better. It was perfection in motion. The animation. The music. The colors. The meaning. The symbolism. Everything about that performance spoke to very fiber in my being, coloring the spectrum of my mind in shades I never knew existed. Hell, the emotional impact of that scene still weighs heavy on me and it has been years since I’ve watched it.
That would be the easy the way out.
Another honorable mention and one that changed my life because of what I was going through when I watched it would be in Toradora on the night of the Christmas party. You won’t have worry about me spoiling for you because I won’t go into the detail but I had to stop watching that show after that episode. It hit way too close to home. Conjured memories and feelings that I had buried deep, resurrecting them effortlessly and brought them to the forefront… and I was not able to handle it. Just know that it crushed me beautifully and from the ashes, I experienced a grow in my character that I probably wouldn’t have gotten if that makes sense.
Amazing what anime can do for the heart, huh? But if we are talking about anime series, these two basically tied.
But no, I didn’t want to fall back on the easy and simple. I wanted to dive deep for this one and there is no other scene that influenced and impacted me on such a basic primal level like the final sequence in Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal.
I believe I very briefly touched on this on the community project Why I Still Love Anime but this was the point when I realized that anime was so much more than just animation action and bravado. More than just throwing punches, funny moments, and overcoming the odds. The final sequence of this movie, much like how I feel about the final sequence in Your Lie in April, was pure brilliance. Perfection in every sense of the word.
I can’t begin to explain to you how much it destroyed me in my freshman year of highschool. Toonami had made me a huge Rurouni Kenshin fan and even to this day, it is one of my favorite animes of all time with Kenshin being one of the three pillars of characters that I have actually gotten some of my values from. Yeah… it was that deep. So when my friend told me that it was a movie about this series, how it covered the time before Kenshin became known for his cross shaped scar and that became known as the battousai, there was no way I was going to pass it up.
But it was so different from the show that I watched. And I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen.
Trust and Betrayal was powerful, beautiful, tragic, and heart-wrenching in the most profound way possible in my eyes.
I watched this movie in total darkness, much like your average movie theater in my grandparents basement which was setup to enjoy movies on large 50 inch television with surround sound. I was totally immersed. No one was home, so I got to enjoy the full effect of the use of sound and the lack of during the movie which was superb!
During that final scene, the tension was built solely off the things happening in the scene. There was no music to drive it forward and it didn’t need it. The sound of rushing watch in the distance, the wind as it faintly howled, and the clashing of swords and other weaponry pulled me unconsciously to the front of the couch where I sat wide eyed.
To avoid spoiling is truly breathtaking scene, I won’t go into details just know that the climax of the scene left me in utter silence. I had one of those moments when a silent tear streamed down my face as expression held strong to that of shock. My hand moved to my mouth as more began to fall and I balled, That scene in combination with everything I knew about the characters in the series, his reasons for not killing, his motivations, and his ideals all collided and shattered me.
Kenshin was fighting for love. To reclaim the woman that he loved from the clutches of the enemy, digging up the ghost of his past that haunted not only him but Tomoe even after finding something real and genuine between each other.
Here was the reason behind the cross shaped scar on his chest. The one that he was infamous for. The one that marked him as one of the greatest assassins in the Meiji era. The Battousai, the man-slayer. This was the event that started his path towards vowing not to kill and taking up the reverse-blade sword.
It was heavy and I couldn’t bare it. I poured out into tears. I thought about how Kenshin was able to be so happy and loving while carrying the lives that he slaughtered during the war and after murdering the one that he loved. Why he was so adamant about not allowing another war to take place and trying to be an advocate for peace… even willing to lay down his sword for the cause.
Man… just thinking back to that moment was chilling. That was the saddest death scene to me. It shook me to my core and literally had me screwed up mentally and emotional for days after. What was the saddest death scene for you? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
As always, thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you guys and gals swinging by and reading. You all are totally awesome.
And until the next post…