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Not sure about you but to me, it's obvious that in the chapters of late Oda is trying something new regarding the DEATH concept. There are two recent (supposable) deaths, Kinemon and Monet. Let's analyse the death concepts for those two respectively:
On one hand, we were told that Shinokuni is a successful biochemical weapon with a quick kill property, Caesar Clown's proud accomplishment. Many underground brokers are very much interested in this weapon of mass destruction, almost equal to those of the ancient superweapons. Such facts gaves us readers a sense of how devastating this stuff is, to be feared and respected.
Then on the other hand, we have this old fart whom we have been exposed to over throughout the whole arc. Comical, interesting, having a bit of background why he's in the same island as the protagonists, we have been exposed to quite a lot of this man (by a lot, I mean a lot of manga panels). While not exactly "love"-able, this character is still a significant one to be reckon with (to us readers, that is), despite not being a major character but not one to be simply discarded at the snap of finger (unlike those G5 soldiers).
Then of all the sudden, Oda did the unexpected (as expected of him, ironically), he made two significant things go head on against each other - Kinemon vs Shinokuni! We saw how Brook came in tears holding a shinokuni-ed Kinemon while his kid, finally reunited with daddy, looks on in horror.
Initial thoughts of veteran manga readers would have discarded Kinemon's death to be false due to:
- the lameness of his death presentation - Kinemon's shinokuni-tion happened off screen and so short-briefly flashbacked (period)
- the "unfinished business" that he still had - reunion with his son, leading the Straw Hats to Wano (speculation)
Here's where the "problem" is. If Kinemon is to be revived in near future, that would make the Shinokuni a less fearful weapon (to readers), therefore falling into the usual cliche of a weapon "said to be very powerful, deadly and scary" was reduced to just an another weapon without a major worry because there is a solution to it. It matters not the way Kinemon is revived (some potion, haki, DF, etc etc), the fact remains that Shinokuni will be become just a "meh".
However, if Shinokuni is to remain as chillingly fearful as a weapon worthy of the same recognition as the ancient superweapons (which I think it should, so to carry on with the plot about the brokers and all), then Kinemon MUST DIE! Oda will need to tie up the loose ends with regards to the "unfinished business", thus leaving readers (at least it will be for me...) dumbstruck with the feeling "That's it for Kinemon??? All those (manga) panels and that's the end of him? Can't be right, right?"
Summary: Kinemon vs Shinokuni, there is more than meets the eye. Two significant (manga) things going head on, which feeling will we be given in the end? A "meh" feeling of a significant weapon becoming insignificant, or a "WTF" feeling of a casual off-screen and permanent death of an increasingly-significant character?
I think I don't have to say much about how significant and popular Monet has become since her introduction, from the reaction of the people in wikia all these while, you all know it yourself. So I'll just skip to the chase.
Her death was portrayed ON SCREEN in REAL TIME with a stab at the heart by CC. How horrific, we have kids around... Correct me if wrong, isn't this the first obvious death / killing act in OP, unlike the ambiguity of death of Sabo's, Pell's or Bentham's?
A direct stab to the snowman's ... snowwoman's heart by (ironically) a piece of what looks like sharp solid ice / snow definitely means instant death, right? Surely nothing of any haki or logia can do anything about it, right? If in the near future she was found to be NOT dead, due to any circumstances that Oda may throw at us, then its safe to conclude that Oda seems to be having issues in pronouncing death to major characters (note: this is not applicable to canon fodders and random extras).
I have to say, as of right now I feel really REALLY good about the two deaths above. The best feeling is NOT when one finally got the truth but is when you are floating in between of two outcomes.
- Will Kinemon survive and us (readers) giving the boot to the "oh so scary" weapon Shinokuni?
- Or will Shinokuni prevailed, leaving us with a sense of "empty hollow" death?
- Will the fan-favourite snow-bird-woman die a cheap horrific death in the hands of a person who does not even know who is he killing?
- Or will she survived it and give us the middle finger salute sarcastically say "IN YOUR FACE! Even a direct stab to heart will not kill. Nah na na na na naaaaaa!!!"
All in all, will DEATH be taken seriously after this (especially Monet's) or will Oda really have trouble to pass death to his children (since all major characters are his creation, hence his children)?
Its poll time: