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Sword of the Stranger ending (warning: spoilers!)

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#1
02-03-09, 9:30 PM

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My roommate and I are having a tough time figuring out the ending. So far, the way we interpret the ending is 50/50 and we need some other opinions. What do you think happens at the end? Does Nanashi die, or not?
 
#2
02-04-09, 10:51 AM
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It's an impossible question to answer, because we're never shown whether he dies or not. It's left to audience interpretation. I personally would say that it looks like he's going to die, but I like to think he's not going to because you just gotta love Nanashi. :P
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#3
02-04-09, 7:00 PM

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You sided with my roommate, she also thinks that. I think he dies because there's no way he could survive with those wounds in that time period. Plus the kid's facial expression at the end leads me to believe that Nanashi died. But hey, it's anime and the biggest lesson you can get from it is that dying is exceptionally hard to do in anime!
 
#4
02-07-09, 7:44 AM

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Well yea I think it kind of sucks to think he dies and to me it appears he did. We go through this epic adventure with this awesome character who conquers most everything- and all he gets is a slow death... Oh and his little buddies life is prolonged somewhat but who knows how long he will live without a guardian or parents. Still I think the director wanted viewers to feel pain for the Nanashi to see him die that way was incredibly powerful closure to an awesome movie.

I think he dies because if you pause the movie at the last few seconds and take a good look at the snow, you see horse footprints, dog footprints, and then what appears to be a few big drops of blood on the white snow just as they are riding off immediately before the credits.

Modified by Alderban, 02-09-09, 6:05 AM
 
#5
02-07-09, 2:15 PM

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I dont think he dies though. I mean the blood that just dripped off was just to show that he was still injured. ..... I guess it can be interpreted either way. I find open endings as a scapegoat from writing a proper ending and bringing real closure.
 
#6
02-07-09, 2:48 PM
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NamariKirei said:
You sided with my roommate, she also thinks that. I think he dies because there's no way he could survive with those wounds in that time period. Plus the kid's facial expression at the end leads me to believe that Nanashi died. But hey, it's anime and the biggest lesson you can get from it is that dying is exceptionally hard to do in anime!


We never actually saw Nanashi's wound though, and he was still standing after he defeated Rarou. Kotarou had a determined look on his face at the end as well, as if to say that he's going to make sure Nanashi doesn't die. Theres a strong chance that someone in Nanashi's position could recover if taken to a doctor in time.
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#7
02-07-09, 7:17 PM

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I think he dies, but I hope that he lives.
 
#8
02-09-09, 6:07 AM

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I agree open endings suck major @$$ i dont get why so many animes choose to end this way its like a half done novel
 
#9
02-09-09, 6:50 AM
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Sword of the Stranger's ending wasn't exactly open. Nanashi saved Kotarou and the Chinese group were defeated. That's closure right there. Nanashi's death was just left for the audience to decide, that's all. It's much better ending it that way anyway. A 'and they lived happily ever after' ending wouldn't have suited Sword of the Stranger and they can't exactly kill off Nanashi right at the end, that would just plain suck.
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02-09-09, 6:13 PM

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Alderban said:
Well yea I think it kind of sucks to think he dies and to me it appears he did. We go through this epic adventure with this awesome character who conquers most everything- and all he gets is a slow death... Oh and his little buddies life is prolonged somewhat but who knows how long he will live without a guardian or parents. Still I think the director wanted viewers to feel pain for the Nanashi to see him die that way was incredibly powerful closure to an awesome movie.

I think he dies because if you pause the movie at the last few seconds and take a good look at the snow, you see horse footprints, dog footprints, and then what appears to be a few big drops of blood on the white snow just as they are riding off immediately before the credits.



I agree. If there was still blood coming from Nanashi at the end, plus the fact that it must of been jarring for him to be riding on top of that horse, I think he died. Plus there was a quick moment of sadness on the kid's face before he shook the reigns for the horse to go faster at the end. It all leads me to believe that he died, even though I didn't want him to. (And I'm being blamed for being a pessimist.)
 
02-10-09, 11:48 AM

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Touka Said
Sword of the Stranger's ending wasn't exactly open. Nanashi saved Kotarou and the Chinese group were defeated. That's closure right there. Nanashi's death was just left for the audience to decide, that's all. It's much better ending it that way anyway. A 'and they lived happily ever after' ending wouldn't have suited Sword of the Stranger and they can't exactly kill off Nanashi right at the end, that would just plain suck.



I agree a disney like happy ending is not suitable for this type of movie, but an open ending in my mind is an ending that just introduces more questions. Does he die? Does the kid make it to the doctor in time? Does the kid die? And so on. I give this movie a 10/10 but the ending was strange to me.
 
02-10-09, 11:51 AM

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Nanashi dies. No question about it. If he lived, then the last shot of the movie wouldn't have been of his blood on the snow, and of him slumped against the kid.

However, they should have been clear about it. Instead, seemed like they were trying to cater to people who only like happy endings with a pretty bow by not completely showing his death.
 
02-10-09, 1:31 PM
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Alderban said:
Touka Said
Sword of the Stranger's ending wasn't exactly open. Nanashi saved Kotarou and the Chinese group were defeated. That's closure right there. Nanashi's death was just left for the audience to decide, that's all. It's much better ending it that way anyway. A 'and they lived happily ever after' ending wouldn't have suited Sword of the Stranger and they can't exactly kill off Nanashi right at the end, that would just plain suck.



I agree a disney like happy ending is not suitable for this type of movie, but an open ending in my mind is an ending that just introduces more questions. Does he die? Does the kid make it to the doctor in time? Does the kid die? And so on. I give this movie a 10/10 but the ending was strange to me.


I get what you mean, but asking questions like if Kotarou dies or not is just like asking 'so what happens after they live happily ever after?' The main plot was over and done with by the end. Leaving us with one or two questions on our minds doesn't mean it has an open ending. Nearly every film leaves you with a few questions in your mind once it's over, despite whether it actually has an open ending or not. Well, whatever though, this isn't really a debate that can be settled. To each his own. :P

naikou said:
Instead, seemed like they were trying to cater to people who only like happy endings with a pretty bow by not completely showing his death.


Well leaving his death up to debate isn't exactly a happy ending anyway, so I doubt they're trying to appeal to people who like happy endings. It's just how they wanted to end it and how it was best to end it.
Modified by Touka, 02-10-09, 1:34 PM
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02-10-09, 2:33 PM

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Touka said:
Well leaving his death up to debate isn't exactly a happy ending anyway, so I doubt they're trying to appeal to people who like happy endings. It's just how they wanted to end it and how it was best to end it.

They wanted to have an artsy ending, but they didn't have the balls to go all the way. Solution? Make the masses and the critics happy by leaving it ambiguous. Everyone is happy!

Except me, because I'm just mean like that.
 
04-21-09, 5:04 PM

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I want to believe he lived, but there are too many hints from the director that he died.

- the often used "let's leave this place" discussion preceding a character's death
- Kotarou's realization that the town is too far away, then his forced smile
- intentionally drawing attention to a blood trail in the final frames
- an emotionally building soundtrack that screams "SACRIFICE"
- the symmetry of having saved a child's life in exchange for his own

There are other leading factors, like having the story end with him remaining nameless, something that surely would change if he lived on with Kotarou, but I believe those 5 are the main ones. I really wish he hadn't died (he really was awesome), but to me, it's a definite that he did.
 
05-25-09, 8:46 PM

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I think everyone is looking too much into this. The "treasure" is supposed to have saved Nanashi, there was only a drop of blood that fell on it. Although the pool of blood that fell just near it seemed to be of Nanashi initially, I now think it was from Rauro's wound.

Firstly, Nanashi was standing in a normal way after the fight. He didn't even try to hold any wound on his left side giving me the reason to think there was no serious wound in that final blow from Raoro, although there was definitely a lot of blood on the left side of his body.

Secondly, Rauro's sword in that scene (originally Nanashi's) had no blood on it. Compare that to Rauro's sword held by Nanashi, it was covered in blood.

Thirdly, the blood on the tracks in the final scene was most probably from the wound on nanashi's hand as it was shown in that scene.
Modified by Sapta, 05-25-09, 8:58 PM
 
05-28-09, 8:28 AM

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Sapta said:
I think everyone is looking too much into this. The "treasure" is supposed to have saved Nanashi, there was only a drop of blood that fell on it. Although the pool of blood that fell just near it seemed to be of Nanashi initially, I now think it was from Rauro's wound.

Firstly, Nanashi was standing in a normal way after the fight. He didn't even try to hold any wound on his left side giving me the reason to think there was no serious wound in that final blow from Raoro, although there was definitely a lot of blood on the left side of his body.

Secondly, Rauro's sword in that scene (originally Nanashi's) had no blood on it. Compare that to Rauro's sword held by Nanashi, it was covered in blood.

Thirdly, the blood on the tracks in the final scene was most probably from the wound on nanashi's hand as it was shown in that scene.


I thoroughly agree with this. +1 Sapta. :)

We would be ignoring the story teller's intention with that treasure piece if we come to a conclusion that he died. Its not that I would want him alive just because the dude rocked. :D

The last scene with the blood drop can also be seen as attention to detail and not just an indication. Because if you make it an indicative proof of his death then as mentioned before the treasure piece loses its own indication. It would be pointless to keep him alive for that short duration and have him die in the end after the dramatic save (because of the treasure).
 
05-31-09, 10:20 AM

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Despite everything, I still gotta give it to the story writers for having the guts to kill off practically all their characters.
 
06-30-09, 11:54 PM

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He wasn't holding on to Kotarou at all, you could see his hands flopped down the side of the horse, and right at the end blood on the snow from his wounds, plus as someone said, Kotatou's facial expression aswell, it's pretty certain that he dies.

He killed a couple kids, never wanted to draw his sword again, but then finds a reason to - to protect, he saved the kid and done his good deed, and now he can die, that's how I see it.

Edit: About the 'treasure', if you were paying attention, it was cut clean in two, it did absorb a lot of impact from Rauro's final blow, but that just means it didn't kill him instantly like nanashi's final blow did to Rauro, it still wounded him badly but able to stay alive long enough for the next 5 minutes of the film or whatever.


Of course, I would prefer if he didn't die, I like happy endings as much as the next guy, but there's too much evidence pointing to him dying :[
Modified by Sunwind, 07-01-09, 12:00 AM
 
08-25-09, 6:05 PM

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I'm kinda on the fence for this one as well.

In my opinion:
- The jade treasure was used to save his life to show that by doing a good deed towards Kotarou he was to live on and be forgiven for killing the boy in his past.
- Nanashi asks, "Are we near the town?" Then Kotarou replies that they are almost there. To me this is a reference to earlier in the movie when they are riding to find a town to treat the dog after being poisoned and Kotarou keeps asking if they are almost there. In that case the dog was saved, why not the same here?
- All the people in the movie were injured far worse than that and still kept on trucking. (Although they did end up dying later on, but this was because they got a few more sword strokes to their body, or a few more arrows stuck in them.)


But on the other hand, who would show all the blood dripping in the snow in such a dramatic way unless he was dying?
 
09-05-09, 10:55 PM

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Actually the blood drip part has double meaning to which he died or not. Base on our observation and assumption, the blood dripping on the snow and the slight expression on the kid's face at the end may lead us to think that nanashi died. However, if you recall the part when nanashi said that "pain makes me feel alive" then we can also assume that nanashi lived. If you pay close attention, this anime has a lot of foreshadows. I'm assuming the end is a cycle of the kid going to town to heal nanashi is similar to the part when nanashi is taking the dog to town to heal him, so nanashi lives.
 
09-10-09, 4:46 AM

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I think the point about the treasure is irrelevant, the final blow did not kill him but the cut on his hand did, so the treasure was just to create a scene where Nanashi had atoned for what he had done and also make the audience realize that, so the point of having the treasure "save" him was to create this scene. And if you think about it that if Nanashi had died on that spot from the final attack then there would have been no resolution, the ending was in a way showing that Kotaro will have a good life do to his sacrifice. So Nanashi died
 
09-12-09, 6:43 PM

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It never really struck me as a death scene. Just from a simple story telling perspective, if he was meant to die, that is certainly not the most dramatic place to put his death. The jade thing served its purpose in the plot by saving his life. It doesn't really make sense to make that allusion, then suddenly kill off Nanashi. It would have made more sense to kill him off closer to when rarou died.

I never noticed Kotarou's facial expression in that last second, but I think it can be explained by the fact that he's moved because Nanashi is finally relying on him, or perhaps he realizes the hardship Nanashi went through given how exhausted he is. He regains his composure way too quickly for that to be a death scene.

I also didn't really notice the blood, but if you look closely, they're actually not that huge (a tiny bit of blood can spread and cause a visible stain on something like snow). The stains stop, which is ambiguous since it could mean that the wounds have finally stopped bleeding, or his heart stopped pumping. I'm more inclined to believe if realism plays a part, that it's more likely the latter, since he would probably be bleeding for a good bit after losing consciousness (especially on something as bumpy as a horse) and losing his heartbeat. I doubt that meant much to the creators, but it helps me believe that he's still alive :p.

I honestly wouldn't mind if Nanashi died in this movie, but I'd be cheesed if that scene was the death scene.
 
10-21-09, 8:26 PM

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Now that I have my hands on the DVD, one of the extra features interviewing the original cast includes an interesting remark by Kotarou's voice actor. He basically said that he liked the final scene with Kotarou and Nanashi "as they went off toward their next adventure."

Now, this is a child who wouldn't have analyzed these last scenes to death the way we have, but the fact that a statement directly saying Nanashi lived was included on the DVD, while nowhere else in the interviews is one made to the contrary, I believe holds significance. This voice actor, who'd been around the production team, director, fellow actors, ect. for months hearing their thoughts and comments on the film and its message, was 100% certain that those wounds weren't fatal. I'd like to think he really did have insight on the matter.
 
11-02-09, 4:50 AM

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I actually suspected that Nanashi and Rarou are going to kill each other - so I were not suprised to see how their struggle ended. But then Nanashi gets saved nicely with the jewel, so - apart from almost all characters getting killed - we get a happy ending. The final scene seems to be suggesting that he bleeded to death, but if so, then the entire story with the jewel makes no sense. Another thing: the amount of scars he had on his body gives a clue about what kind of wounds he already survived. At the end of the movie he has a wounded arm, leg and side (but the last wound is 99% not fatal because of the jewel) - compared to what other characters survived through the movie and the web of scars on his own back, this is not something a healthy young guy can't survive [in anime]. Correct me if I forgot about any additional injuries he received :)
In short, I think he did survive and the final scene was just supposed to arise a bit of doubt so the ending wouldn't be so obviously easy and happy.
 
11-27-09, 3:03 PM

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I want to believe that he lived. He only got stabbed through the arm after all, and had some minor cuts. Blood loss is a problem.. :/
Modified by stAtic91, 11-27-09, 4:17 PM
 
01-01-10, 2:57 PM

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I thought that NoName had died at first too but as others said I think Kotarou was crying for that split second because he realized the guy cared for him. The point of the treasure was to show it took the edge off the killing blow and altered Lo Weu's strike to be non-fatal. He still got cut but not bad enough to die from.

Realistically a wound that was fatal like that would've been dropping a lot more blood
 
01-11-10, 11:17 PM

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remember Lou-Lang wounded Nanashi's feet so the blood that drips is just a minor wound imo
 
01-12-10, 7:19 PM

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If you look, there is little to no blood at all (personally, I saw none.) on Rauro's sword after the "killing blow". The stone did take the brunt of his blade. If anything were to have done Nanashi in it would've been the gaping hole in his forearm.

People have got to keep in mind that the guy had made a mad dash, in what I assume was freezing weather, to reach the kid. Hell, he hardly made it that far before collapsing. And he didn't stop there. It was non-stop go for who knows how long. That he didn't die but just passed out out of sheer exhaustion is not so far a reach.

In my opinion, he lived. Fuck being a ~sacrifice~.
Modified by 305, 01-12-10, 7:24 PM
 
02-11-10, 3:01 PM

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It is pretty obvious he lived. The jewel scene would not have happened if he was going to die five minutes later
 
07-21-10, 3:49 PM

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TwistedChick said:
Now that I have my hands on the DVD, one of the extra features interviewing the original cast includes an interesting remark by Kotarou's voice actor. He basically said that he liked the final scene with Kotarou and Nanashi "as they went off toward their next adventure."


I AM CLINGING TO THIS LIKE BARNACLES TO A ROCK

Honestly, open endings are a surefire way to get the story remembered--people discuss and debate different interpretations more than most conclusive interpretations. And, there can be varying degrees of open endings, some well-crafted and suited to the story, some well-crafted but unnecessary for the story, some completely crap that make the story crap, and so on. At first, I thought this was the case for SotS; that the screenwriter himself didn't really "know" (aka didn't want to decide) whether Nanashi lived or died, but wanted a memorable ending and so let the audience decide.

...but with that comment from the VA, I'm going to assume everyone's reading too much into the ending and Nanashi totally lived, because that's the ending that makes me happy.

tldr; FUCK OPEN ENDINGS I LIKE MAI HAPPY ENDINGS WITH A BOW
 
08-01-10, 10:28 AM

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I don't believe Nanashi died, and agree with a lot of the reasons stated already, especially what ace52387 said.

All of the wounds he received during the battles were superficial - wounds he had received, and lived through before, which we know by all his scars. Someone had said they thought he died from exhaustion on top of that, but a warrior in his prime would be used to fatigue. Nanashi was not noble-born into a clan, and therefore would have had to start as a simple soldier; meaning all his youth he would have had to walk, double time, or run to the battlefields.

As for the end duel, if you watch Luo-lang's blade with his final strike, it slides effortlessly down Nanashi's side and drops with a hollow clang - it didn't go in deep at all because it struck the jade ornament. Luo-lang didn't have to pull it out with fleshy, wet tearing sounds, like Nanashi did with his sword. So I am saying Nanashi's was not fatal at all.

The closing sequence, the blood drops were just that: drops. If there were a river of blood down his side, staining the horse's flanks, I would have been worried. But splatters like that are nothin'. And also someone pointed out that he wasn't holding onto Kotarou - but skilled riders don't have to hold on to anything with their hands. You actually don't use your hands at all save to direct the horse through the reins (and even then, trained riders on trained horses can communicate solely through their seat). You stabilize yourself through your upper legs, thighs and core. So Nanashi was doing what I'd except of a good rider who is worn out, leaning against Kotarou's back with his injured arm braced on the rear of the saddle. That was just to steady his upper body for rest, and not because he was slowly dying and losing feeling.

The biggest affirmation that he lived was the thoughtful questioning of Kotarou's plans for their future. He was alert and responsive. And he never fully closed his eyes at any point; his expression merely softened as he accepted the boy's advice to hold on tightly. I think this goes back to when they first met, and he tells Kotarou that he cannot hope to be tough if he remains dependent on someone else. Here, he is being dependent. Everyone was quick to call Nanashi's efforts a sacrifice, but what about redemption? I think that was the main emotions he was feeling.

And as pointed out, Kotarou's reaction. He kept happy tears at bay and gave a determined smile at the end. After all the poor kid had been through, I think he would have shed sad tears (and not smiled) if he knew Nanashi was dying.

Normally I prefer dark, tragic endings, but I'm glad Nanashi didn't die, and that fact doesn't ruin anything for me. Actually when you think about it, it's not an overly happy ending anyway, because everyone else died (including my favorite character, Feng-wu).

Personally, I love endings like this because they are open to interpretation, and I'm so excited to see others thoughtfully thinking about how the ending made them react. Thanks for the chat! :D
 
08-06-10, 3:20 AM

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You guys are reacting the exact way they wanted the audience too, which is a good thing I guess. Open endings like this are suppose to be up for debate, and for you to simply make your own predicament. In a way it's a cop out, but it's also a way to avoid a very cliche ending.

Either way the movie was fantastic, and probably the best samurai action I've seen(took a while, but Samurai X was finally beaten).
 
08-06-10, 2:02 PM

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I've seen the movie three times. THere was NOTHING open-ended about the ending. He lived and they just went on to the next village with the happy music playing in the background. No main characters dies in a mili-second with happy ending music playing in the background.
I've noticed people on MAL take their anime too seriously. They just have to read SOMETHING 'deeper', even if doesnt really make any sense whatsoever. And some people also have a tendency to misread character emotions and expressions, like Kotaru's expression. Do you honestly believe thats the kind of face he's made if namishi really died, especially seeing how they hardly gave a second to that particular scene with his arms dangling and kotaru looking at him. Thats all you guys saw...arms dangling and kotaru looking back. There's nothing open-ended about that
"...our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone – has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash – together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.” - Joseph Conrad ('Youth')
 
08-31-10, 5:32 PM

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did nanashi died?
 
08-31-10, 5:39 PM

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Of course Nanashi lived. I never thought of it as a dying scene, either. Lots of people here also believe as I do. TwistedChick also makes a great point. There's no way BOTH the kid (the kid isn't even close to dying;nevertheless, hurt) and Nanashi died before their "next adventure."
 
09-24-10, 12:27 PM

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I do want Nanashi to live but most likely he died. Like someone said before, there many hints that he was dying or dead.

And on another note, did anyone notice that the piece of cloth Nanashi used to bind his sword was from the woman he killed/wounded?
 
10-06-10, 6:56 AM

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waterbottledork said:
TwistedChick said:
Now that I have my hands on the DVD, one of the extra features interviewing the original cast includes an interesting remark by Kotarou's voice actor. He basically said that he liked the final scene with Kotarou and Nanashi "as they went off toward their next adventure."


I AM CLINGING TO THIS LIKE BARNACLES TO A ROCK



OH MY GOD SO AM I

At first I sat here crying like a girl because I was convinced he had died, but really when I stopped being emotional and thought about it, the ending scene is very similar to the part where they are taking the dog to the doctor. It really didn't seem like the dog was going to make it. All odds were against him (the dude wasn't even a vet...) I think it's the same for Nanashi.

...although...eh. It's still kind of hard for me to shake the feeling that he died. I'm trying to be optimistic, but it bothers me that he was still Nanashi or NoName at the end.

I want a sequel. I don't care if there doesn't need to be a sequel. I want one.
 
10-29-10, 1:54 PM

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kotaru smiling was the last scene. Go watch it again. I've seen the movie like 5 times. And the musics pretty uplifting too...:P
"...our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone – has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash – together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.” - Joseph Conrad ('Youth')
 
11-04-10, 8:08 AM

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I believe Nanashi lived on too but I have to say. I am SO surprised that the dog didn't die. I mean, they ALWAYS die damnit! I swear in the last scene, I was almost expecting that hawk in the sky to shoot a laserbeam or spit out a kunai or whatever.

Nanashi only got seriously hurt in his arm, possibly that could be a problem but I'd be pretty lame if he died because of an arm injury... :|
Top 5 anime of all time!
Gintama (Awesomely hilarious)
Hunter x Hunter
Eden of the East (Must see!)
Toradora! (Best school themed anime)
One Piece
 
11-28-10, 1:56 PM

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Presmerga said:
And on another note, did anyone notice that the piece of cloth Nanashi used to bind his sword was from the woman he killed/wounded?

Wounded woman? o_O

It was the hair-tie of the little boy he'd slain because the child was the heir to the fallen Lord that Owatari (Nanashi's lord) overthrew.

Anyway, I noticed too. It was very beautiful, even if it wasn't terribly original. But it sent a clear message to the audience, and definitely served its purpose for Nanashi. It made the bind-breaking moment so much more emotional (and oddly exhilerating) watching Nanashi break his vow over the dead children never to draw his sword again, in order to save another child. How poignant!

That's why I loved the tag-line for the film: "For whose sake do you strike?" Most warriors don't question why they draw their sword, but it's a pivotal query for Nanashi...
 
12-31-10, 11:42 AM

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http://www.theanimenetwork.com/component/option,com_myblog/Itemid,64/lang,en/show,A-Word-with-Masahiro-Ando.html/

gives you a lot of insight into the movie and what drove it to be what it was in the end. An interesting read
"...our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone – has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash – together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.” - Joseph Conrad ('Youth')
 
01-10-11, 5:51 PM

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I'm can't decide if he lived or die. Here are my thoughts.

He lived:
1. The sword just grazed his side due to the gem. You can tell because when the antagonist drops his sword it just falls down without any resistance from Nanashi's body.
2. The last time you saw his face his eyes were still open. Usually in any movie (especially animes) you usually see the main characters close their eyes before they die from a slow killing wound.

He died:
1. The stab through the arm might have caused him too lose too much blood. The side wound that I mentioned earlier would help with the blood loss, but I do not believe it would have been enough by itself.
2. The blood drops at the very end in the snow when they were on the horse seemed to be symbolic to his future.

So as you can seee I'm really split on my decision. If anyone has any other reasons for either he lived or died please share them with me.
 
01-10-11, 5:57 PM

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I just read what Eldarien said about the jewel and it makes perfect sense. The jewel would be pointless if it didn't protect him from death or serve any purpose. It would be bad film making to have this element in the movie and it serves no purpose. So now I believe he did live. Even if he was still bleeding on the horse.
 
01-11-11, 12:09 AM

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its only logical that he lived. Note the last image is of kotaru smiling. Why would he smile if namishi died?
"...our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone – has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash – together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.” - Joseph Conrad ('Youth')
 
01-12-11, 10:01 AM

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koreye said:
its only logical that he lived. Note the last image is of kotaru smiling. Why would he smile if namishi died?


To put on a brave face?
I think the ending is left that way for the audience to decide what ending it should be.

Happy ending: Nanashi lived, and they lived happily ever after.

Sad ending: Nanashi died, boy buries his body in the woods and continues with this journey.
 
01-12-11, 11:43 AM

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A brave face is not a smiling face. Thats just ridiculous. Nor does a tragic story ends with an uplifting music. If there is such a thing as logic in story-telling, he did not die. But then again, most anime lack any coherency, which would explain why anime fans have a natural tendency to read more than what was intended. Personally I think If the intention was to keep it a question mark then there are better ways to do that.
"...our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone – has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash – together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.” - Joseph Conrad ('Youth')
 
01-13-11, 6:08 AM

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Well, before he smiled he did show a "worried" face. I personally didn't find the music in the end uplifting, it just kinda felt to me like a... well... an ending of a journey moment.
Hehe, you're right about anime fans giving too much meaning to stuff.
 
01-13-11, 11:04 AM

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hmm I dunno, I just watched the end again. They're both conversing right to the end and the last moment is kotaru saying "Ikuzo! YA" and he's clearly happy. He's also covered their future plan, going off to foreign lands and becoming thieves or bodyguards or whatever (to which namishi says "you're the craftiest kid in the world"). Doesn't seem like there's any doubt that Namishi at the end, at least, was alive before the credits. He had lost some blood from his wounds and looked pretty weak, but I think they ended it with a positive note, implying namishi would live through. If they were really intending it to be a question mark, I'd say then that this ending would be a good example of bad writing.
"...our faces marked by toil, by deceptions, by success, by love; our weary eyes looking still, looking always, looking anxiously for something out of life, that while it is expected is already gone – has passed unseen, in a sigh, in a flash – together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions.” - Joseph Conrad ('Youth')
 
02-28-11, 1:04 PM

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I bet it was horses blood ^^
(seriously speaking, I doubt Nanashi died there)

(Loved the movie, my second 10/10)
 
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