To What Extend Would You Kill Off A Great Character In A Novel?

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right….

Martin Luther


It has been a long time since I reviewed on a manga or anime.
– For no apparent reason actually.
I normally post a topic based on my mood – and yeah, my current mood is NOT HAPPY.
There, I said it.

I got emotional easily when reading a manga or a novel.
This time it was caused by Alderamin on the Sky, a Japanese light novel that was recently adapted into an anime. I sorta like it so when I like something, I’ll look for more information – spoilers in this case.
And what I found was beyond shocking.

I was once a writer but I’m not going to comment from a writer’s point of view.
As a reader, I hate a storyline where the author built-up a main character so much, and then killed it off just to give way to another annoying character to be the protagonist.

Plot-wise, I do understand why some characters need to be killed off. (By the way, the context of this discussion is for the on-going series). Take One Piece for example. When Oda-sensei killed off Ace, that was for the sake of Luffy so he could power up. Even so, he gave us Sabo. Yes, exactly – the equivalent exchange.

Or when Manato was killed off early in Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, to give way to Haruhiro to stand out as their leader (since he’s the main protagonist). Anyway, the point is, neither Ace nor Manato was the main character. They were simply side characters needed for the protagonist’s character development.

But Yatori Igsem in Alderamin on the Sky, the female protagonist, died in the 7th volume, and for what purpose? So Ikta Solork would be a better soldier without his right hand? I’m actually ok if it’s solely for that purpose.

Tenkyou_no_Alderamin_Volume_7_Cover.jpeg

However, killing Yatori and making the annoying Princess Chamille as the main protagonist was unacceptable. It is like killing off Asuna in Sword Art Online so the other females in Kirito’s harem will get a fair chance, or getting rid of Erina Nakiri in Food Wars! to give way to a bland character like Megumi to become the heroin.

Unfortunately, some people do think that way.
Yeah, let the best girl died so the worst girl got to live.
Welcome to the real world.

Does it really worth to have such a plot twist?
Authors write for readers.
Novels only survive if the readers are supporting it.

In the Alderamin on the Sky’s case, a lot of readers are not happy. Some have already dropped the series though many are still hanging on to it. To me, one of the reasons for them to stay loyal is because they are clinging to the hope that Yatori will be revived, due to the fact that her body was actually frozen using the cryogenics method.

If that’s the case, then I’ll say the author has really succeeded in maintaining his readers.

Me? I’ve learnt not to hope too much but I will continue to see what does Volume 11 have to offer.