Permutations of the Soul

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“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”

— Jedi Master Yoda, from The Empire Strikes Back

 

Souls permeate fantasy. You find them everywhere. In books like the Vlad Taltos series; in movies like Crimson Peak; in television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer; in video games like Jade Empire; in anime like Soul Eater; and manga like Fullmetal Alchemist. Even if souls are not the focus of the story, it is almost always assumed that souls exist. In some universes, all living things have souls, while in others only sentient races have them. In a few, only humanity is granted this unique ability to transcend oblivion.

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A Few Words on Character Deaths

PLEASE NOTE:  

This entry may contain spoilers!  Proceed at your own risk.

I recently watched the anime Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and loved it.  The story was interesting, the characters engaging, even the secondary characters (a trait the early Gundam shows are famous for), and a great mix of comedy and melodrama.  I followed the characters on their journey, through trials, tribulations, daring plans, narrow escapes, joys, sorrows, and maturation through 48 amazing episodes.  Then, the final episodes 49 and 50….everything fell apart.  Within those two episodes, half the cast was killed off and one was left alive, but rendered absolutely flippin’ insane.  And the story ends.  Just like that.  No time for me or the survivors to mourn, just stare at the rolling credits going, “What?!  That’s it?!”

I sent a text to my friend Fullmetal, who had lent me the series, that said:  “Well.  I just finished watching Zeta Gundam. The show was AWESOME…up until the last two episodes.  Those last two sucked.  An unresolved cop-out!”

His response:  “But everyone dies.”

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