In my eyes the death of Maes signified symbolically that equivalent trade does not exist. Nobody worked as hard as he did and he was the one to take the plunge. as well as he was the most loveable character of them all, the one the audience was more likely to become attached to that any other character throughout the anime. therefore killing him would have a more profound effect on the viewers "with his love for his daughter etc...".Originally Posted by Motoko_san
Thats how i see it.