Are OWLS ever going to take a breather? It’s already March (where did the time go???), we have already had three 2018 OWLS tours and they have all been fantastic. Have you all been following them? I’m not the only one impressed right? I should probably stop gushing at the beginning of these posts since it seems very clear that my OWLS compatriots are just going to keep on publishing amazing posts. There’s no use in pointing it out every single time, is there? I’m going to point it out again next month. What can I say..I’m just so proud of these guys.

This month’s topic was a request for our very lovely Lita: Squad

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Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or a misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definitions of a “good friend.”

I realize that the theme description urges us to explore the less idyllic friendships and the downsides of caring deeply about people you have no practical attachment to, but I am going to cheat a bit.

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Life probably has thrown a lot of disappointments your way already. People didn’t quite turn out to be who you thought they were or you didn’t live up to unfair and unspoken expectations of others. Maybe someone who you thought was going to be there for you no matter what disappeared as soon as they got a boy/girlfriend. Maybe you are wondering why you drifted apart from your bestie when they got married.

Friendships are hard work and the rewards are abstract. Most people will drift in and out of your life. These are lessons we all learn over and over again. As I write this, I haven’t read any of the other OWLS posts yet, it’s not March yet, but I assume at least some of them will deal with these realities. I’m going to concentrate on the other side. I want to tell you how I was reminded why I treasure friendships above all.

I know I’m really starting to strain your patience here but if you’ll indulge me once again, let’s all take a tumble down my blogging journey together. This one will be better though, for once it isn’t about me! Ok I’ll probably write like 5 paragraphs about me, I need to work on my humility…

You know that I am constantly impressed with how wonderful the aniblogging community is. You know it because I never shut up about it. I have met so many wonderful people I could write an encyclopedia. Being fairly introverted by nature, I’m used to watching others and I like what I see.

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whaaa? it’s healthy to have hobbies

Namely, I see people brought together by a shared passion, making an effort to brighten the lives of people they’ve never met. I see folks offering help, support, advice, out of their own good intentions. These are heartwarming little acts of kindness but they’re not exactly what you would call friendship. I’ve heard people lament that in this new, increasingly virtual world, true connections are getting more and more difficult to forge. It already seems so much more difficult to make friends once you’re out of school, as life and responsibilities intervene.

So imagine my incredibly pleasant surprise to discover an epic friendship right under my nose, forged among two hard-working women across a continent no less. Some of you may have followed the heartstrings knotting conversation between Mel and Zel over on Mel’s blog last February 22nd. If not go now. It’s going to make you smile.

I have been privileged to get to know both Mel and Zel a little in the past few months. I hope I get to know them better in the future are the experience has been very rewarding so far. They are each absolutely lovely but together, they are spectacular and a charming tribute to everything friendship can be in our modern times.

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awww (furstman)

You see, these two are meant to be. Both are gentle kind souls that strive to keep an open mind. They are disarmingly honest and enviable modest. I’m starting to sound like I’m selling them. Ok I’m not trying to flatter these girls (I do love them dearly but that’s for another post). They have qualities that really align. They react similarly to situation. It’s therefore not surprising that they also tend to have comparable tastes and dislikes. They are also caring and value their relationships, making sure to invest time and effort in them. They are exactly the type of people who would get along really well with each other and there’s not that many of them out there. I personally know a grand total of three people I could describe this way and I’m writing about two of them.

But Mel and Zel live almost a continent apart. They grew up very differently. They took paths that would normally never had crossed yet somehow, they found each other, randomly, in a huge world brimming with people. The number of variables that needed to fall into place just for these two to be aware of each other’s existence is staggering, that they managed to pick up on their affinity is fantastic, that they have nurtured their friendship and allowed it to grow to this state is awe-inspiring.

You see, the truly impressive parts of any great friendships, aren’t that showy. Most of us will never be in a situation where we have to risk our lives to defend our besties from intergalactic dangers. For most of us the sacrifices are small, unremarkable and consistent. They ask that we give out little shreds of ourselves, freely and honestly, no matter how frightening that may be. They ask that we push aside our egos to make room for someone else in our thoughts even when all we want to do is talk about our feelings and our ideas. They ask that we wedge our minds open to allow foreign ideas to get in. Friendships demand to we put the time and effort to get to know someone for who they are rather than who they seem to be, and then determine that our world is better with that person in it.

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sometimes I can get a good line out

I know a lot of you are still in school. You have dozens of friends. Heck, I haven’t been in school in a long time and I’m an anti-social shut in, and even I have friends. There’s nothing unique about it. We’re social creatures that will seek to form groups. I can understand if you are not quite as impressed by the intricate beauty of it all.

But think about it. Two little souls connected without ever meeting and formed a bond that is so strong and so tangible it has real world repercussions. When one is sad, the other worries. When one is happy, the other rejoices. Two minds, that had no reason to recognize each other, that have nothing obvious to gain from expanding energy into a relationship, have created a rapport out of thin air. Maybe they will drift apart but maybe, they will be trading stories about best boys after they retire. The fact that that’s even a possibility seems magical to me.

So as I sit back and marvel at the brave new world forming around me, I am privileged to have Mel and Zel serve as my guides and tutors. They have helped me navigate this community and showed me great wonders. They have made me take the great shipping plunge! But mostly, what these two have taught me is that a great friendship is possible for us all, if we are willing to accept it and work at it. It’s a wonderful lesson that I will never tire of learning.

If you would also like to rejoice in the beauty of friendship (you do, it’s rhetorical), make sure you check out the previous tour posts:

2: Mistress of Yaoi (Yaoi Playground)

5: Matthew Castillo (Matt-in-the-Hat)

8: Matt (MattDoyleMedia)

9: Zoe (Let’s Talk Anime)

and coming right up, we got some more people I would be deeply honored to call friends:

16: Lita (Lita Kino Anime Corner)

17: LynLyn (LynLynSays)

19: Shokamoka (Shokamoka’s Blog of Wonders)

22: Takuto (Takuto’s Anime Cafe)

23: Naja B. (Nice Job Breaking It, Hero)

26: Mel (Mel in Anime Land)

28: Scott (Mechanical Anime Reviews)

30: Crimson (Crimson Blogs)

Now, go call a buddy and have a little chat.

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yeah – that looks like my notes…

35 thoughts

  1. What a beautiful post!! It had me pulling out my address book thinking of re-connexting with some people!!… Ok.. I wouldn’t go that far. 😉 but the blogging community really is a fantastic place with a lot of kind hearted people 👍💖💖🍻

  2. This was poetic Rin-san! And absolutely lovely. I adore the way you described Mel-san and Zel-san, you just made a bunch of people ship a new fluff yuri ^^
    But that aside, friendship is honestly the most important thing in the world.

  3. Yes, yes, yes <3 I love this post, friendship is amazing, it's the family you chose. I can say I have plenty of acquaintances but friends I only have a couple. I think friendship is not abut how often you meet, but a connection. That even when life gets in the way, you recognize each other's soul and feel like you have always been together and time becomes irrelevant. I think the virtual world has only made new ways to form connections, it is not about the platform, but how people use it. Just the same way a meeting at the bar, party or special event can help you get "real world" connections… or just make you feel all alone in a faceless crowd. Same old thing, technology might change but human nature doesn't. Virtual or not, we are still looking for meaningful connections, only now we can search for them in the entire world, not just our neighborhood.

    1. “friendship it’s the family you chose.”
      That’s sooo pretty. I wish I would have written it. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment as always!

  4. Aw geez, yenno when I read the draft I really was thinking man that’s sweet, but reading it now I’m really floored. I’m very honored and humbled by the fact you decided to write about Mel and I! Really happy I got to know Mel over the last what, year and a half now? And equally happy in getting to know you too Irina! <3 I'm planning a Canada trip next year (hopefully), so I hope you're ready!

    Such a beautiful post! I somehow feel unworthy of such praise, but thank you nonetheless. Love you guys! <3 I'm getting all teary-eyed reading half the things you've written about our friendship. I'm with Mel, it's like you had been there as an observer from the start!

    1. Just to be clear, you did NOT find the cameras?
      You’re coming…Really!!! I have to start booze shopping! We are going to have ALL THE FUN!

  5. Wow the way you described how two souls meet and become connected through friendship gave me chills! Friendship really is a beautiful thing… Loved this post! ❤

  6. when I read the draft for the 1st time, it brought me to tears, and reading the final post still make me tear up a little.
    I really feel honored and bless to know you.
    The way you described the friendship with Zel is on spot, it gave me the feeling you watched that friendship blooming from the beginning.

    1. I wish I would have. You guys are one of my favorite SoL! But honestly, it’s really lovely to see how people can still connect – it brings a little sunshine to my day

  7. This post is so lovely Irina (I had to use the real name to convey my sincerity here, Avery)
    Really tugged at the heartstrings, this post. Especialy that line, no- that paragraph: “You see, the truly impressive parts of any great friendships, aren’t that showy …” :”)
    And I sure made the trip to that link you shared and I think I teared up a bit. They truly do have such beautiful friendship one can only be envious to find something like that too…

    1. Thank you Chizue (I used my latest term of endearment as a show of affection), they are very pretty together aren’t they? *I ship them*

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