Ruby’s Original Life Makes Oshi no Ko’s Big Twist Much More Tragic
Warning! This article contains spoilers for Oshi no Ko #120!The first episode of Oshi no Ko shocked and saddened its viewers with the brutal murder of their favorite idol Ai in front of two fans who were reincarnated as her children. The latest chapters of the manga by Aka Akasaka and Mengo Yokoyari have added even more depth to the tragedy by exploring the backstory of one of the children, Ruby.
The latest chapter #120, translated by Felicia Sumali, reveals Ruby’s past life as Sarina. Her mother’s indifference towards her despite her illness was not just her imagination, as Aqua’s modern-day encounters with Tendouji confirm that she never cared for her deceased child. Ai thus becomes a better mother figure for Ruby than her actual mother ever was, making her brutal murder all the more heartbreaking.
Ruby’s Backstory Adds to the Tragedy of Ai’s Death in Oshi no Ko
Warning! Contains spoilers for Oshi no Ko #120!The shocking and tragic twist in Oshi no Ko‘s first episode has just been made even sadder by the manga showing what Ruby‘s original life was like. The manga by Aka Akasaka and Mengo Yokoyari follows two fans who are reincarnated as the children of their favorite idol Ai only to see her get brutally murdered in front of their eyes. This is already a tragic twist, but the manga has somehow made it even more depressing in its latest chapters by diving into a flashback of one of these children’s previous life.
In chapter #120, translated by Felicia Sumali, Ruby thinks about her past life as Sarina. She remembers her mother’s general indifference to her despite her serious illness. This indifference proves to be not just Ruby’s imagination, as Aqua’s encounters with Tendouji in the modern day prove that she still doesn’t care about her child who died. This in turn makes Ai a much better mother to Ruby than her original mother ever was and thus makes her brutal murder even more tragic.
Ruby’s Backstory Makes Ai’s Death in Oshi no Ko More Tragic
This backstory also recontextualizes Ruby’s devotion to Ai and proves that Oshi no Ko‘s use of reincarnation is no gimmick. As Sarina, she was the one who turned the doctor that would later become Aqua into a fan of Ai’s. Also as a child Ruby was easily the twin more devoted to Ai taking her fangirling to an uncomfortable level. Before Ai’s death, Ruby also had some bonding time with her new mother, learning how to dance with her in an intimate moment that she never would have gotten with her original mother. All of this makes Ai’s death even more impactful for Ruby and will likely play a major role in her portrayal of her new mother’s murder in the movie Aqua is creating.
While some fans may complain about the timing of this flashback, these new revelations actually come at the perfect place. Ruby is currently preparing to play the role of her mother in a biopic of Ai, and so she needs to get into Ai’s mindset. Ai apparently had issues with her mother and Ruby is having trouble with this aspect of her character. But by remembering her original mother she can portray this more realistically. Also on a meta-level, Oshi no Ko is recontextualizing Ai’s murder for readers while its characters are reframing her death for their own world, which is a beautiful piece of symmetry.
Oshi no Ko is Using Ruby’s Backstory To Deepen the Present Story
Given Ruby’s backstory, she likely won’t react well if she ever meets her original mother in person. But with Ruby’s original mom working on the movie, it is likely that the two will meet at some point. This may actually be helpful for getting Ruby more into character, renewing the hatred she had for her mother. It will likely also cause her emotional turmoil, however. So by revealing Ruby‘s original life, Oshi no Ko has simultaneously made Ai’s death more tragic and created more tragedies in the future as well.
Oshi no Ko Chapter #120 is available to read from Manga Plus.