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You know the old line, in the most dramatic moment of a dramatic event, someone decides to stay behind or go ahead alone and they tell the only character that matters not to let their sacrifice be in vain. Of course, things don’t actually work out that way, especially when you are not working with all the information at hand (as we often do). Sometimes, a sacrifice can mean absolutely nothing. Here’s all the times that has happened in anime.
Who could forget the initial episodes of Yu Yu Hakusho? Yusuke, a generally terrible thug, throws himself in front of a car to save a small child he believes would be hit by said car. He dies, of course, and this throws him on the journey that takes place in the series. However, much later in the series, we learn that the boy wouldn’t have died. In fact, he was hurt worse by Yusuke than he would have been in the accident. Sometimes selfless action is a bad thing, as Botan would put it.
There are actually quite a bit of heroic sacrifices in Dragon Ball Z, and amazingly, many of them were for naught. Goku dies fighting Raditz which triggers stronger Saiyans to come. Goku dies to a self-destructing Cell only for Cell to come back stronger and with Instant Transmission. Yamcha. However, the truly most pointless sacrifice is Vegeta’s. You all know the one. The one that happens after he goes Majin to gain more power and surpass Goku, only to decide that a Final Explosion is the only way to end things with Buu. Of course, it doesn’t work. Like, at all. But it was a nice moment, I guess?
In the original anime series, not Brotherhood, Scar does himself a heroic sacrifice that even he knew had no meaning to it. He jumped in front of Lust to protect her from a hail of bullets. It is the sensible man thing to do, but as Lust is a Homunculus, it would take much more than a few bullets to end her. He only did so for the feelings he bore for the original owner of her body.
Like Dragon Ball Z, Fist of the North Star is one long string of heroic sacrifices, some than mean more than others. However, perhaps the worst one was Rei. You watch him go on this long tirade about the debt he owes Kenshiro, and then what does he do? He goes to fight Raoh who was really just sitting and waiting for Kenshiro. Everyone involved knows Rei has no chance. Of course, Rei also tries a kamikaze attack that Raoh ironically stops with an attack that kills him slowly. The moral of this story is you can’t pay a debt if you commit suicide by stronger fighter.
While Naruto has its frustrations as a series, to its credit, it does a fairly good job of giving all those sacrifices a purpose. For love or information – they all have a purpose. However, not this one. Deidara’s sacrifice was all about his own pride. In fact, much of his fight with Sasuke was just a series of shit talking each other. This culminates in Deidara proving his jutsu is strong by turning himself into a living bomb. Unfortunately, Sasuke blocks it with Manda the snake summon and leaves, leaving Deidara very pointlessly dead.
Nuriko’s death was one of the saddest and stupidest parts of Fushigi Yuugi. He was seriously injured in his fight with Ashitare. However, while wounded, he still won. Yet, despite his friends heading towards him, one of which with healing magic to save his life, he still decides to try and move a boulder that was blocking their path, only to die in front of their eyes. The truly pointless bit, though? They could have literally walked around that boulder anyway.
Attack on Titan desperately wants you to focus on the characters, but if you look even moderately closely at the organization, specifically the Survey Corps, you will see how silly it is. It is quite the pitch – go out and see the world beyond the wall. I guess you need a good sales pitch when literally every mission is about throwing away your soldiers for usually no reason. Once the truth of the Titans is revealed, you see how truly pointless all of their endeavours have been, but even before then, you will note that most of their mission end in astounding failure.
Do you know any more pointless anime sacrifices? Let us know in the comments section below.