Characters often die in anime, but the early death of a main cast member can give the story a whole new perspective. Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer has taken a surprising turn this week with the death of Shinonome Hangetsu, one of its three major characters.
What can Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer fans expect for the remainder of the series, as with Fullmetal Alchemist and Gurren Lagann? The death of Shinonome is perhaps the most significant event so far in Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer. As shown in previous episodes, he had the potential to be both a mentor and an opponent in Yuuhi’s mission to prevent the Biscuit Hammer and destroy the world. Shinonome may not have been around for long, but he appears to have left an indelible mark on those around him.
It is likely that Shinonme’s passing will have a profound impact on Yuuhi’s character development more than anyone else. As such occurrences occur in shonen anime, a well-written narrative will frequently depict the repercussions of this loss on the central protagonist. As a result of their growing camaraderie, Shinonome died saving Yuuhi from a Golem.
Despite the tragic nature of this development, it provides some insight into Shinonome’s past and context for his role in Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer. A half-hearted joke about Shinonome abandoning the title “Hero of Justice” is revealed in episode 5. Unable to rescue a child from an oncoming car, Shinonome lost his dog Noko/Saw when the latter leapt in to push the child away. After being unable to save anyone, Shinonome regarded himself as unworthy of being referred to as a hero.
In spite of this, Shinonome was able to regain his sense of heroism by saving Yuuhi from the Golem, even at the cost of his own life. Yuuhi may be left in a similar position: feeling weak and powerless, but nonetheless inspired. In the same way that Noko/Saw’s death inspired Shinonome to do good, Yuuhi may now be motivated to grow strong. As a result of this growth, he may even gain a new appreciation for life, thereby diverting him from Samidare’s plan to crush the earth.
Shinonome is not leaving only Yuuhi behind; Samidare’s sister Hisame was beginning to develop a small relationship with Shinonome before his untimely death. The supernatural circumstances that led to his death may not be known to her, but she will undoubtedly be heartbroken. Samidare has also lost a member of her circle of friends and family, which leaves her in yet another unjust circumstance, in addition to her short lifespan, which already served as a motivator for her to blow up the world.
When Samidare destroys the Golem assailant in the immediate aftermath of Shinonome’s death, she causes a landslide. Yuuhi and Samidare may be without Shinonome to fight the Mage and his Biscuit Hammer but they have also eliminated the only threat to their plan to date. The death of Shinonome sets the stage for more Beast Knights including the hinted Mythical Beast Knights to take his place as world protector.
You may also read: A review of DanMachi IV: Episode 3 “Parasite”
The best candidate for this position may, however, be Yuuhi. As a result, these events are all the more shocking since he was finally willing to learn from Shinonome. Shinonome was also seen asking Ludo, his Beast Knight partner, to fulfill his Knight Contract wish in his last moments. It was unclear what Ludo meant by this wish, but he seemed to indicate that it had something to do with Yuuhi before disappearing into the ether.
Given the nature of the showdown they found themselves in, any wish to benefit his prospective pupil makes sense. Ultimately, Shinonome’s sacrifice leaves more questions than answers about the future. Before elaborating on his cryptic reference to “last time”, Ludo vanished. Yuuhi and Samidare will have to continue stumbling until another Beast Knight steps in to strengthen their forces without these answers.
The death of Shinonome, regardless of the concrete consequences, creates a significant shift in tone for the anime as a whole. There are now real risks involved in Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer’s struggle. In spite of how absurd the premise may appear at first, the series is set to address some very real issues of loss and tragedy.
The loss of a friend or loved one can be a very difficult experience, and will undoubtedly remain with you for some time to come. At a minimum, viewers will be able to observe the manner in which the series’ characters express their sorrow, each internalizing their sorrow in a different manner. However, the best anyone can hope for is that Shinonome’s legacy ultimately empowers them to fight in his place, thus honoring his memory.