When anime hits home

We all have that anime, the one that changed things for you. There is something that I always see on social media, quotes on an anime gif about anime being there when no one else was or how anime and manga has given valuable life lessons or have completely changed you. When I saw this stuff I never really understood it. I grew up on Disney life lessons and pop up books. So when I saw this stuff I wondered if I would be able to experience what others have. I can count on one hand how many anime have changed how I see the world and how I interpret my life.

Here are some lessons I learned:


  1. The world may not revolve around you but your life does

I first started to realize this when I watched the finale of the first season of Tokyo Ghoul and was later solidified when I finished reading the manga. For anyone who has seen the final episode knows what is said, “Rather than a person who hurts others, become the one getting hurt” and “There are times when you have to give up on one thing to preserve the other”. I watched this right after it finished airing, I didn’t know much about the series but I loved it enough to binge it in a weekend. I finished the show at like 6 am before my morning classes started that day. The episode itself bothered me because of the cliffhanger the season left us with but it wasn’t until I re-watched the episode again to fully understand what happened that I really connected with what was being said. During this time I was in a struggle of picking my major (and my family definitely likes to voice their “correct” opinion), being constantly worried about being fired from a job I used to love, and in a very awkward relationship. I felt like I was always the one being hurt in everything that happened and the other party was gaining from my pain. The second quote made me really think about what I wanted to happen and what needed to happen for me to move on and succeed. I was so wrapped up in what I needed to do to smooth out the situation or make someone like me when I messed up on something that I didn’t stop to realize that it doesn’t matter. If they don’t like me, nothing I do will make them like me so I no longer wish to waste my time.

Ultimately, things worked out and I was able to move on from that rough time, but I never forgot what I learned. Don’t let people run what you do, you know what is best for you, and what others say is merely a suggestion. After watching this episode, decisions that used to take me hours of stress and anxiety now takes me no more than 15 minutes. What happened? I changed, I stopped being a victim and let others control me mentally, I stopped letting other sway my decisions. I started understanding myself and realizing what my passion and purpose is. I’m no longer interested in being liked by everyone nor do I have the time to make everyone happy. This is my life and I alone will determine my happiness, not someone else.


2. stop holding back

I learned this lesson when I watched Plastic Memories while it was airing. To be honest I don’t think I would have gained this lesson had I not watched it weekly. The reason is that each episode felt like it got more and more tense and you knew what was going to happen but secretly hoped it wouldn’t. My personal life was changing constantly as well, I started to relate to what was happening. Isla in this show personifies what it means to stare death in the face and truly come to terms with it after running from it for so long. She is a programmable robot that needs to be deactivated after a certain amount of time. Her lover, Tsukasa, finds love in Isla and when this happens, the rest of the show revolves around their love life. What really hit home with this anime was that it showed the awkward sides to relationships, the beginnings of relationships where you both don’t fully know how to act around one another. Tsukasa reminded me of myself, he is new to this environment he is in and he has trouble asking women out. Although, somewhere along the lines he made the decision to stop letting fear hold him back from pursuing what (and who) he loves. During this time in my life, I was struggling with keeping my grades up and balancing a stressful work schedule and personal life (or lack thereof). So after watching this I started to stop letting fear dictate where my love life goes.


3. Understand what reality really is

There was a lot of things that Neon Genesis Evangelion taught me. This was the most important one. This is not something that everyone has a good experience with. Just like Shinji and the others, they all lived in their own little world of depression. But, as the episodes went on, Shinji Started to realize what was going on and why his father called for his help after essentially abandoning him. What I got out of this anime was substantial. Reality can be dangerous, what we perceive and what we want to perceive are constantly fighting each other. Sometimes what we want wins and the results can be traumatic. Watching this show helped me identify where I stand on things and gave me self awareness to realize when I was being used and gave me the courage to stop being a doormat and begin my life again. This was a turning point for me in my life since this was also one of the first shows I had ever watched, this show was able to take me to a depressed state of mind and let me wonder and decide why I let myself stay in that state of mind. During my time watching this show, I was hating myself. I watched this over the summer which is supposed to be the best, happiest time. Not for me, I hated that summer. I was in a state of complete denial and depression about what was going on around me. I felt useless at everything I did. For those who have suffered from depression know exactly how I felt. It was a true feeling of helplessness and detachment from the society I lived in. My life, I was no longer living for me, I was living for someone else, helping them out, making their life easier at my own expense. Once I finished the show and the movie. I felt empty, like what I watched help drain the problems from my life and give me the ability understand what really is going on.


4. Plans change

For everyone who has seen the series knows what happens at the end of Zankyou no terror. Leading up to that event was a series of re-plans. What I mean by that is the plan changed but the mission did not. It took me a while to let this sink in but what I gained from this was the ability to be more fluid. I’m a very on-time, strict kind of person, or at least I used to be. Because of this, when plans changed I was bothered by it and was unsure how go from there. After watching this show, I was able to understand that not everything will go as planned. It sounds clique but it’s true. I was able to better plan for unexpected turns of events and sort of prepare myself for what could end up happening, this meant I was planning for events where something bad happening meant anywhere from a participant ran out of clothing on a canoe trip to a bear coming into camp to eat our food. As drastic as it sounds this was very valuable for me at the time. I was working as a guide for canoers at my university, this means you must think of every possible scenario that could happen and plan accordingly to each. While I no longer work there anymore I transferred this knowledge to my daily life as well.

This is something I have been working on for a couple of weeks now. I finally found the courage to write about all these feelings I have about myself. I don’t know why but this was something that I wanted to talk about. Now that my life has taken a turn for the better, I wanted to let go of the negative feelings I had locked up. This is me letting go of those angry, aggressive, depressed emotions that ruled my life for the first two and a half years of college and almost all of my high school career and holding onto the lessons those emotions have taught me.

I hope you enjoyed! Have a wonderful day!


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