One Piece Encyclopedia


The Reaction to Death's Portrayal

There is something that has been bothering me for about a week now, and that is Otohime's death. I don't care how she dies, I don't care who kills her, I don't even care that she dies. What's bothering me is why I am so calm and accepting about it. Any other recent on screen death brought me close to tears, which isn't easy to do, and I've seen Titanic the whole way through and my eyes were dry the entire time. I've been thinking about her death, and I'm not fazed one bit by it. I thought about Fisher Tiger's death prior to it happening and at the very least it had me in somewhat less of a better mood than the moments preceding, but Otohime's didn't do anything. I wonder, is it because she isn't a pirate or a fighter? Is it because dying in battle is sadder than assassination? I was even upset to see Sabo go up in flames, fuck if he's alive or not; yet I was expecting something to happen to him. Ace mentions "the Sabo incident" before dying so either he and Luffy did something involving a cactus that defined who they are today, or there was an accident with a dude named Sabo. Why does Oda seem to not want us to mourn Otohime's death as much as we did with others? We all knew Fisher Tiger was going to die. It was just a matter of time after his introduction. I'd finish reading a chapter and think "nope, not yet," and I didn't give it a second thought. We even knew how he was going to die, from blood loss after a huge battle, and yet emotions were still evoked. I think that even though I knew he was going to die, I didn't want to see him die. Why is that not the case for me with Otohime? Don't get me wrong, I'm not rooting for her to die, I love her as much as the next deceased female monarch (Queen Titi comes to mind).

Why is Oda playing it this way? Why does he not want us to mourn the loss of Otohime as much as the others? I'm not comparing it with the responses to Ace and Whitebeard's deaths. Both of those were completely unexpected, resulting in the loss of two beloved characters. With Tiger and Otohime's we knew the cause of death beforehand. More importantly, we knew they were going to die beforehand. The fighter thing I mentioned above might have something to do with it, I don't know. The only "fight" we've seen her is when she slapped around that burglar and that kid. I know, badass and reason for adoration, right? Does Oda not want us to mourn her in the same way? If we do feel anything, could it be only from a transitive groupthink caused by the shock and devestation emenating from the characters in the manga? If a person dies and no one is around to mourn it, then what? Are people truly sad? The difference with the way I felt about Tiger and Sabo meeting their end compared to Otohime was the emotion. I was expecting Tiger to die, and for something horrible to happen to Sabo, but I wasn't necessarily looking forward to it. Along with my "not yet" attitude about it, I also usually followed it up with "thankfully." With Otohime, my mindset is more like "not yet, meh, is Naruto out yet?" I don't know if that means I have problems, or if I'm thinking how the author wants me to think. Oda builds up the reader's liking of a character before killing them off. He's done so with Otohime, but not in the same way or to the same degree as other characters. I wonder if it's a "don't cry for me" thing he's trying to do. God, I have to be the most self-aware person I know, so much so it's bothersome. As Harper Lee once wrote, "Let the dead bury the dead, Mr. Finch." But how can that be so when the dead have not yet died? I'll end this here before I go off on any more of a tangent.

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