As you take into account the dark and tragic nature of Nihon Chinbotsu 2020, not only will there be disturbing images, the loss of some of the cast members throughout the duration of this anime are undeniably heartbreaking. You see these characters bond, you see them be of assistance to one another, and poof, they’re gone before you know it. For this particular list, we thought it would be best to share with you readers some of the most heartbreaking deaths that Japan Sinks 2020 has to offer.
-- Spoilers Ahead! --
5. Daichi (Episode 6)
While Daichi is a secondary character during the Sham City arc, his death is a reminder to our heroes and the audience that natural disasters don’t discriminate with who they kill, and that includes Daichi, a mute child. As an earthquake devastates Sham City, you see falling debris crush his head instantly killing him. Yes, we can’t deny killing an innocent child on-screen adds shock value, but his death affects many of the characters in the community such as his mother, Kunio, and the rest of Daichi’s mother’s followers. His passing reminded us that his mother (despite her alleged abilities to talk with the dead) was only human and she only wanted what was best for him and that her followers were grateful for allowing them a chance to be part of something.
4. Kouichiro (Episode 2)
Kouichiro’s death upon the end of episode 2 reminds the audience that even when we think we’re safe, we never know what may happen. While harvesting yams behind a fenced area, a sign is discovered that there are still active landmines from World War II, and before he could be warned, he accidentally detonates one, making his body fly over the place. What makes Kouichio’s death heartbreaking is that despite the severity of the disasters, he always maintained a positive attitude because he had his family with him. And the fact that his death didn’t come from anything related to the disasters adds an element of unpredictability that really gut wrenches the viewer. Lastly, we can’t deny that it negatively affects his own daughter’s conscience in the following episode, and for understandable reasons.
3. Nanami (Episode 3)
Nanami, being only a teenager, just shows that ANYONE can die at ANY TIME! As the Mutoh family is still struggling to deal with the loss of Kouichiro, Ayumu wishes to take a potty break as they approach Mt. Fuji. Nanami goes with her and chooses to take care of her business in a lower part of the hill. However, Ayumu notices she has fainted and out of nowhere, a young man in a paraglide tells her that the gases are poisonous, and they instantly kill upon contact. What makes Nanami’s death heartbreaking is that like Kouichirio’s, it just happens out of nowhere! You think she’s taking a piss, and next thing you know, she’s dead before anybody knows it. What also makes her death heartbreaking is that whatever scenes she has, she plays a major role and you feel that there’s so much development with this character. Sadly, despite surviving an earlier rape attempt, she succumbs to the cruelty of Mother Nature.
2. Daniel (Episode 6)
What makes Daniel’s death more heartbreaking in comparison to others on this list is that he chose to remain at the Sham City commune as it collapses into the sea. While it is never really stated directly, it is mostly shown that he wants to reunite with Emily, his sister who he lost in the Kosovo War in the late 1990s. After the loss of Kouichiro, it was Daniel who became the optimist of the cast. Whenever Mari was feeling down, he was always there to support her. He was always someone who put others before himself, and despite his harsh upbringing as a whole, he never complains or frowns about what’s going on. And the saddest fact is, he was one of the characters who deserved to live the most due to what he went through and what he did to help others. On the other hand, in addition to Kunio, he is also one of the few characters who also managed to die making peace with his life.
Mari (Episode 8)
At number one, we have Mari. As the Mutoh family and Haruo find a speedboat, they’re unable to move since the rope is still tied. Due to Mari’s background as a competitive swimmer, she volunteers to swim down and untie it. However, Ayumu, her daughter, knows that she recently had heart surgery and the demand could kill her. However, she chooses to do it. In the end, she manages to save her children, but at the cost of her own heart. What makes this death heartbreaking is that not only do the Mutoh children have to lose their own father, but their mother as well. You see Ayumu trying in vain to give her CPR. The fact that she sacrifices herself for her children regardless of her condition is undeniably heartbreaking, but also noble and what a true mother is all about.
What these deaths in Japan Sinks 2020 teach us is not just that life is precious, but so are friends and family. We never know when we’re going to lose them, or whenever our time is going to be up, so we need to cherish the time we have on this planet. When it comes to certain friends, they can be lifelong friends like Nanami, or a friend for a day like Daniel. Either way, these people can have such an impact in a positive way. When it comes to family, you have to be willing to do anything for them, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice. Putting aside the series’ technical problems, the losses we see from beginning-to-end gets its point across as we lose these characters in a heartbreaking way to remind us of the important things in life.