Here is my official entry to the PrOHmote contest for October!
We Remember Love is a decidedly Macross themed blog, and in the spirit of Halloween, we are talking about DEATH. So in Macross, the harbinger of death is PINEAPPLE SALAD. The question is, has OH eaten the salad and is due for certain death so early, so young, and with so much promise left unfulfilled?
OH, Hayaku is a blog that’s making quite the splash – featuring bloggers that have impressive bodies of work outside OH. They are part of the team not as a departure from their own work, but rather as contributors to an ambitious attempt to bring something new, if not elevate anime blogging.
But have they been successful so far? Are they getting the attention they want? Or are they doomed before they can truly deliver on their promise? In anime (as well in other narrative media) we are told when a character is going to get killed through death flags, and Macross has given us one of the unique ones: the pinapple salad. So let us look into the different death flags in anime and narratives in general, and check indeed if OH is headed towards its untimely demise. WARNING: DEATH SPOILERS AHEAD.
The character has critical information to deliver to the main characters. In Death Note Naomi Misora has a meeting with the police to tell them about her deductions in the case of Kira. All of which would point to Light Yagami would the taskforce know about them. However, as this happens in volume 2 of 12 she is killed by Light before she can talk to the police. OH could’ve told us contest participants what the grand prize for all this effort is for. They chose not to reveal it until the contest is over. They’re going to die before they get a chance to.
The character is more interesting than the lead. Fist Of The North Star has a good example in the form of Mr. Heart, the Giant Mook who works for Shin. Despite many of the other colorful martial artists in the series, he got to be a playable character in the PS 2 fighter and has been featured as a boss in other games as well. The series as a whole has tons of these, such as the Mad Colonel (who was a design inspiration for Rolento of Final Fight), Rei (who got his own Spin Off series), and Raoh (who is getting his own series as well and was the focus of an OVA series). Raoh even got the rare distinction of being one of the few fictional characters to have a ”real-life funeral held for him”, in recognition of his incredibly manly death in the series. I’m the lead in this blog, but they’re more interesting than me in this post right now. Oh, and how could I have missed such an obvious example: ANIKI. Certain death is certain.
If a character is the poet, or the really smart guy. Gennosuke Kouga from Basilisk is not only a mighty swordsman who doesn’t even need to brandish his blade to kill you, he’s also a talented flautist and dancer. He DIED. OH Hayaku, too bad they are all writers and at least pretend to be smart. Gruesome end is gruesome.
If the actor has a beef with the executive producer. You know this happens, the actor becomes a star and gets big-headed and causes all sorts of problems. Sure enough, his character gets killed in the story and he gets axed from the show. (Okay this is a stretch) The executive producer (author, from this blogpost) says that what their doing is wrong (I’m exaggerating). Don’t mess with author. Certain kill is certain. Specifically, the Big Bad has decided that they have outlived their usefulness.The big bad (author) is convinced that the magazine format is on the way of the dinasaurs (see Baka-Raptor). Extinction level event by Halloween.
If the character falls below the Bishonen Line. The step beyond One Winged Angel. Describes the tendency of monster creatures (especially evil ones) to become big and disfigured as they increase their power, then suddenly shrink back down to human proportions. Kinda like a human neutron star.
This can be used to indicate that the character has reached a point where he has “full control” of his powers, and therefore can access them selectively — taking the ass-kicking abilities while leaving the giant-scary-monster abilities. The cold hard truth is probably just that this is what happens when the character has become so monstrous that they are no longer physically capable of doing the visually impressive martial arts stuff that the series is built around, so the character needs to become more humanoid again to participate properly in the Kung Fu Fighting – hence the Evil Makeover back into humanoid form.
Frieza’s intermediate states are larger and more monstrous than his boyish final form. I suspect none of OH’s crew look like bishies, nonetheless they are growing in power – and they start looking monstrous (sorry Riex) which just means they’re certainly dead. Soon.
The character who is a mentor who is more powerful than the hero. M-A-S-T-E-R A-S-I-A. Shishoouuu! Again, I’m the hero here, but they’re just so strong – and I am kind of learning the blogging ropes through them (shoutout to lbrevis, Coburn, and Riex). And this means what? Tragic and most certain death.
The character must not mention his family, girlfriend or hope for the future. Oops, they kind of did… You know when a soldier in a war movie talks about looking forward to being with his family again… THEY DIE. Right Capt. Miller? Saved Pvt. Ryan yet?
If the character believes that nothing can stop him now! Death Note: Episode 36, the one before series finale, ends with Light saying “This is my win”, and by that revealing himself as Kira, while thinking the SPK members are going to be killed by Mikami’s Death Note. They did not, as Near had out-Xanatosed him, and we all know how it ended. Interesting to mention, Light is actually the series’ protagonist. Now I can’t put out anything for the record, but Riex told me personally, that everything on OH is going to be interesting. Did you notice the certainty he had about that proclamation? I also notice the clear certainty of DEATH.
If the war involves Humongous Mecha, the character must NOT angst as much as he can about the horrors of what he is facing. Even Shinji made it to the end for that. Nobody on OH is emo and angsts enough – they’re doomed. Even Ozma angsted, right Mikhail?
“If I am British, I will try not to be in the same movie as any Americans”. [Insert war movie example here]. While Coburn and Omisyth aren’t the whole of OH, they’re also British (if my sources are correct). Enjoy your transatlantic trip to your DEATHS!
Okay, the last one was weak but clearly OH’s been eating waaaay too much pinapple salad cake. But as episode 17 of Macross Frontier showed us (Goodbye Sister), the curse of the pineapple death flag can be broken. I mean, OZMA LIVES, and displays his most awesome GAR moments in that episode. We can only look forward to OH’s escape from death, and perhaps enjoy a BRILLIANT FUTURE OF DISCOURSE ABOUT THE THING WE WATCH CALLED ANIME.
Credit to a whole lot of the text in this post goes out to the tropers of the TV Tropes Wiki, and all the bloggers who reviewed “Goodbye Sister”. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!