This manga and anime left a mark like none other ,for me.
We fall in love with Ash right from the start rooting for him even when he's not rooting for himself.
In this aspect we're all Eiji.
But, despite all the hate this may get me, it's a good thing that Ash died.
That trauma, darkness would've never left him. It's like Eiji was his salvation. Eiji's confession that his soul would always be with Ash set him free of his bonds, his guilt, his burden making one realize that the true happiness he craved for was to be remembered as a loving person capable of giving and not just taking, capable of basking in the sun instead of withering under the moon.
Aah I love Ash. But it was time that he was set free of all those chains that pulled him down.
Like the leopard he'd reached his goal and attained salvation.
Sa-yo-na-ra Aslan Jade Callenreese