Tuesday Terminology: Event Flags – Death

Tuesday Terminology is a weekly segment to enlighten the masses with words, phrases, and ideals usually tacked on to today’s anime/manga scene.

This week’s topic: Event Flags – Death

Last week, I briefly went over the concept of Event Flags and started off with how Friendship Flags trigger.  This time, I’ll be going over the other most common event trigger, Death Flags.

You’ve probably noticed them a lot in shounen manga before.  Some characters are in heated battle or making a huge speech about something and there is a flashback or they begin talking about their past.  Suddenly, next chapter, they are killed or die in an accident.  The best example I can think of for this type of flag in a manga is Kubo Tite’s Bleach.  Before Ichimaru Gin’s death is confirmed, we are shown a glimpse of his childhood past with Matsumoto Rangiku.  This revelation of the past, at least to the audience, is much akin to the idea of seeing one’s life flash before their eyes.

Other frequent fliers of this trope are when a character claims that they will be alright before heading into a battle/dangerous place, and when a character claims the idea of “if things go well, I’m gonna do this.”

In anime, you’ll likely notice a lot of cliche scenes that usually end a certain way.  Next time you watch the beginning of a show, try and notice some of these things.



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