「希望を求めて」 (Kibou wo Motomete)
“Pursuit of Hope”
I wish this weren’t an adaptation right now, because the answer is out there (no spoilers). The question: Is Meliodas really dead for good? (No spoilers!) This is clearly meant to be the low point in this arc, the part where it seems like all hope is lost and the heroes are trying to slow the bleeding more than any realistic attempt at success. Meliodas falling despite all of Ban’s efforts—up to and including the slaying of one of the Ten Commandments—is evidence enough of that. The question remains, though: Is Meliodas really dead for good? Because they’re already letting him remain presumed dead for longer than they could have, and longer than I expected. No abrupt reversal this time. Everyone is acting like he’s really gone.
To answer the question: No, he’s probably not dead. He’s one of the main-est of main characters, I would be mind-bogglingly surprised if he stayed dead. And not entirely pleased, because while character deaths can alter the texture of a story in big, fascinating ways, this would be frustrating. Character deaths are best used in stories where the death of the character is immediately presumed permanent, not in ones where the tone seems to preclude anyone staying dead for real. I’m still kind of expecting Galand to come back, and I 100% expect Merlin to regain her fleshy form! (Why else is she confining herself to her lab? Tons of reasons, but I presume it’s that.) All of which takes some of the punch out of Meliodas’ presumed death—but it shouldn’t. Here’s why.
Whether Meliodas stays dead or not, as long as he is presumed dead by the characters for now, that will change them. It’s clearly put Elizabeth in a bad way, and the others are grappling with a Meliodas-less world. Yes, that change will be more thorough if Meliodas stays dead, but even without that, the changes are real. The others will struggle without him, grow stronger without him, and face death (and possibly die—many will certainly die) without him. That will change things, even if we look into our trope crystal balls and anticipate his resurrection. The characters’ feelings are still real—even if, yes, his presumed return does dull the effectiveness of this tool somewhat (and if he doesn’t come back, the realization may well come too slowly to have much oomph). Or maybe that’s just me being in denial about his death, who knows.
The other big thing I have to say is, “Dammit, humans.” Really? Angry mobs handing over your best chances at protecting humanity to the demons in exchange for three months? He’s not even lying to them and saying he’ll let them live indefinitely! They’re taking three months and are happy about it! Dammit, humans. Fools, fools, fools to the last. (Also, imprisoning Gowther is so dumb.) Which I don’t believe, honestly—humans are foolish, but this is a cartoonish level of villainous stupidity. It’s almost too simple. But something like this could certainly happen, has happened before. Where there are murderous warlords and tinpot dictators, there are collaborators. Dammit, humans.
In closing, Elizabeth is too good for this world. I hope she doesn’t fall apart before Meliodas comes back,
if when he comes back.
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