“Anime has had influence on your life? Isn’t that for children? That’s lame AF yo!” I haven’t really heard any of these before personally, but they are all perspectives and stereotypical responses that I can totally see people carrying upon the thought of me saying that anime has had profound impact on my life. I get it though, maybe people can think that it’s lame, but it really has affected me a lot. Not in a weebu way of going out and collecting figures of all the best girls of my favorite anime or anything like that, but in a –I love nothing more than getting lost in a really insightful show- kind of way. It’s a passion of mine, and I not only watch it just for the sake of zoning out or filling space in my life, but there is merit to it and something to be learned by each story.
I can remember my first experience with anime. I was about five at the time and my mom was flipping through the channels to find something for me to watch. She passes by something that catches my perceptive/youthful eyes and I tell her to go back. She asks, “Really, this???” I say “Yeah! It looks different and interesting.“ I didn’t know it at the time, but that anime was Sailor Moon. Yes, you heard that correctly. My first anime experience was indeed Sailor Moon. (Looking back now, I suppose her confusion towards a child male wanting to watch a girly looking Japanese cartoon is totally warranted, but hell, I stand by my five-year-old self). It looked cool and opened up a floodgate for other awesome classics. Ever since then, I have always had an appreciation for the form.
Like I said earlier, Anime teaches great messages through immersive and expansive universes, with a wide variety of different sophisticated plots and stories, and all sorts of interesting characters and events. It’s really not so different than any other Hollywood blockbuster out there. The show Steins gate delves into the gravity of ones decisions and how somewhat meaningless actions can have grand impact on the world around you. Parasyte stretches far into the moral and ethical philosophies of what it means to be human and creates a fascinating dynamic between the animals who are logical and reasoning or emotional and feeling. Fullmetal Alchemist is a thrilling adventure about corruption in government and atonement one must go through for breaking the rules. All tell great stories in a very unique manner.
I suppose if you aren’t convinced at this point, than maybe you never will be, but if you are on the cusp on wanting to get into anime, I’d be more than happy to give you some decent suggestions based on your interests. For those who are reading and have no interest in anime whatsoever, first of all, I am surprised you made it this far, but thank you for tuning in, and please don’t read this as persuasive article, but more so as an informative one about following your passions.
There is a saying that goes somewhere along the lines of, “If you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I get it and all, but the truth is that a lot of people will work at jobs they dislike or even hate. It can make you feel miserable and ultimately be a detriment to your emotional and physical well-being, BUT, I think satisfaction can come in many forms. You can work an unhappy job and still be pleased with yourself as long as you do something that makes you happy. Look at how many people hate school, but enjoy their extracurricular activities. It all comes down to growth and fulfillment. We yearn to learn and want to better ourselves, so find an outlet that allows you to do that and try to find lessons from it that go beyond the practice itself. As long as your being proactive and productive, you’ll eventually get somewhere in life.
Like I always say, it’s not about being motivated, but its about being productive. So watch some anime, but learn about eastern culture and philosophy. Learn magic tricks, but learn about focused attention and the art of deception. Hell, you can even take up unicycling, but learn about balance, hard work and dedication. If you fall once, than get the hell up and continue trying. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Live in the moment and deal with conflict as it arises. There’s always a lesson to be learned from every action, it’s up to you to decide where to find it and to decipher what it means to you. So in the end, good luck and have fun.
Tomorrow’s topic: Mindfulness meditation and how it got me through college.
Thanks and peace out.