Think quickly, what is the first you know about Gen Urobuchi? Is it the things he writes? Is it his fame? Have you not heard about him before? Or is it the reputation that he is known for as “The Urobutcher”? Probably the last one if you have heard about him at all because reputations can precede people. Man, it’s so funny that he is known by that name now even when he was traumatized as a young kid by Zeta Gundam when he was growing up. That “Kill Em All” Tomino does a person dirty or interestingly right? Well, he did follow in Tomino’s footsteps in someway if we go by reputation and nothing else. But here is the thing, I think there is so much more about his writing death scenes that is just killing people.
I say this because it is really easy to just kill off a character. Especially with anime considering that so many deaths happen at obvious moments. I mean, when an anime shares a character’s backstory with you with their thoughts and having some sort of catharsis in the end, you know the character is going to die. It’s a trope that anime likes to do for I’m sure a wide variety of reasons. It would such a divergent thing for anime to not kill people when that is happening. I know that how a death effects a person depends on how much a person likes a character, but I always felt like those deaths felt so hollow and unfulfilling. You know they are going to die and you are just waiting for it to happen. It’s so frustrating.
So, what makes a Gen Urobuchi death stronger or at least feel like it has more impact? People just die. There is no flashback, it just happens. Boom, dead. Now, I don’t think that there is always a surprise factor in their deaths all the time. I feel like there is always a sense of when it may happen in an anime series no matter what it tries to do. It’s a similar problem as not finding a character’s bones or remains after they fall down somewhere. A death seems to always have that some of lead up. It can be wrong, but it also can be right on too. A very complicated thing to process and think about, I think. Though all of this is pretty surface level stuff. A death in an anime is a death no matter where or when it happens or who wrote it. What matters is the end result or how it changes people to better themselves.
If there is trully something that shows what an Urobuchi death does or how it happened, most of the characters that die in an Urobuchi series come from karmic deaths. Or it comes from a character serving their purpose until they are meant to die. Gen Urobuchi is a very utilitarian writer after all. It comes from a lack of knowledge or understanding of their current scenario. One could say a character in an Urobuchi series should never walk into a scenario blindly or a singular point of view. It is all that alternative point of view or the reality the world of an anime is constructed that gets them eventually. They didn’t have the thought patterns to achieve their dream, they only wanted to achieve something because they were stubborn and selfish. There is no turning back from the path they were a chosen. I feel like a lesson in his writing, always be visualant. Learns about your flaws and the flaws of what is around you to survive.
A main character almost never dies in a Gen Urobuchi series. I say almost because Phantom and Fate/Zero exist. What gives a Gen Urobuchi protagonist so special or unique? They are far more worldly and open people then those around them. I mean clearly, they represent their own worlds, right? They are usually Gen Urobuchi’s thoughts made manifest in some way and want to better the world around them even if it’s impossible right now. They have all the options and tools available because they have seen all the other characters act and react to certain situations and see what does and doesn’t work while still trying to find a way to get a better outcome. They know the odds are stacked against them and they will keep trying anyway until it comes to them. Then finally, the best solution to a situation will come.