Translated from the Japanese by Polly Barton
The woman dies.
She dies to provide a plot twist. She dies to develop the narrative. She dies for cathartic effect. She dies because no one could think of what else to do with her. Dies because there weren’t any better story ideas around. Dies because her death was the very best idea that anyone could come up with.
‘I’ve got it! Let’s kill her off!’
‘Yes! Her death will solve everything!’
‘Okay! Let’s hit the pub!’
And so, the woman dies. The woman dies so the man can be sad about it. The woman dies so the man can suffer. She dies to give him a destiny. Dies so he can fall to the dark side. Dies so he can lament her death. As he stands there, brimming with grief, brimming with life, the woman lies there in silence. The woman dies for him. We watch it happen. We read about it happening. We come to know it well.