I didn’t manage to take part in last month’s OWLS tour as I’ve always struggled discussing music and I’m sort of glad I sat out. My OWLS companions’ posts would have put me to shame…
Mind you, the fact that I’m surrounded by intimidatingly talented boggers has never really bothered me before. Which is why I am once again risking making my shortcoming obvious by taking part in a tour full of talent and creativity. And you know, challenging yourself is the only way to get better, and these guys certainly challenge me.
But not these prompts though. Such great topics basically write themselves! As usual we have a theme that is brimming with possibilities and interpretations: MOVEMENT
5th Monthly Topic: “Movement” (AuroraAcacia’s Request) We join movements, organizations, and systems that align with our own personal values and beliefs. Sometimes we join these groups because they believe in doing good and making positive changes in society. However, these movements can turn sour when a dictator arises or behind the good intentions, there’s a hidden agenda of oppression. It is in these groups that individuals start to shape their identities by questioning their values and beliefs or conforming to the system. This month, we will be examining “real and/or fictitious” movements, organizations, or systems in anime and other pop culture mediums, and the positive and negative effects they have on individuals and society. Examples: Psycho Pass Mayoiga Kiznaiver KADO: The Right Answer Code Geass X-Men Suicide Squad
For a self-professed lover of rules, I sure do like to bend them a lot… From the prompt and examples, it seems we were encouraged to explore what happens when ideological movements slip out of bounds. Probe the murky moral depths to which good intentions can lead. Even without malevolent intent, single mindedness can be terrifying. You would think that I would jump at any excuse to once again prattle on about Psycho Pass but nooooooo – I go to go and be a contrarian….. Swimming against the flow! I have a water theme coming up, give it a chance…
I have complete faith in our OWLS members. They will take this theme and magically turn it into essays and posts that delve into the fascinating implications of large scale moral imperatives, with all the grim possibilities these imply. I will thoroughly enjoy reading all these posts and I think you probably will too. However, I’m going to concentrate on the very beginning of that slippery slope. The starry-eyed start of the movement, all naïve and full of hope! When possibilities are still endless and aims are still pure!
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think Sket Dance is rather underrated. It’s a genuinely heartwarming series that tackles some pretty deep issues with a smart and measured approach. A show written with nothing but respect for its audience.
Sket Dance follows a group of misfits who come together to from the questionable Sket Dance school club. A very loosely defined club, their purpose is ostensibly to offer support and help to anyone on campus, but they often end up doing janitorial tasks no one else wants to take care of. So why would I choose a show like this, a comedic slice of life, for this month’s theme. To me, Sket Dance is clearly the roots of something that, if nurtured properly, could become a sweeping gentle rebelion.
Bossum, Himeko and Switch, the only three members, are all there because they needed a change. They are misfits who all carry deep scars of their pasts and don’t quite fit in. Under normal circumstances, the traumas that Himeko and Switch both went through would have buried them. They would be isolated and ignored. Keeping to themselves and trying to survive. Bossum himself was rudderless and at risk of losing himself but by luck he managed to create a positive movement that swept the other two along and gave them all a chance.
You see Sket Dance isn’t a simple school club, A place to go to kill a few hours and an activity to add to your resume when applying to colleges. It’s an idea, a wish if you will. Bossum, Himeko and Switch want to help. Just help. No questions asked, no rewards expected. They are all kids who have known serious hardship and pain and are trying to pull themselves out of it by making other people’s lives just a tiny bit better. It’s an altruistic cure. A kindness revolution.
They are fighting back against the depression and nightmares that threatened to take over their minds by actively trying to be nice and decent people. What a concept! On the surface, it seems simple enough. Sweet and maybe a touch cheesy. What’s so special about helping some random student get a bit of confidence or cleaning out the school shed. But see, these little things are insidious. Before you know it, those droplets have coalesced and created a wave.
Whenever Sket Dance helps one individual student with a personal problem, that student becomes happier, more relaxed, likely to offer help in turn to another. Whenever they take on some unglamorous task, they allow someone else a bit of leisure which will make them more pleasant in general. Whenever they mediate some inconsequential misunderstanding, they harbor a sense of community.
By the end of the series, the school is no longer the same place it was at episode 1. You can clearly see the bonds that have formed, the benevolent mood that dominates the place. Everyone there is happier, more relaxed, better connected to their fellow students then they use to be, just because of the positive atmosphere. This in turn affects every new student that comes in. It spreads out as every person carries that bit of happiness and joy with them and shares it with everyone they meet.
It’s the start of something grand. The idea of favoring cooperation over rivalry. Of assigning value to goodwill. Bossum is clearly someone who has a gift for inspiring others. With the foundations he’s laid down in Sket Dance, he could easily go on to hold a position which will influence the lives of multitudes and sway the direction of nations. If not him, then someone from the student council or the other countless clubs they’ve helped. Or he could still stumble and fall. Lose his way and his drive and squander the good karma he’s collected. But surely, someone will rise to take his place. He has started a movement that won’t easily be stopped.
Movements don’t always have to be violent or explosive. They’re not necessarily dramatic shifts that immediately throw everything out of place. Some movements are slow, calm and steady. They build up momentum quietly, drop by drop swelling to a tsunami. And they all start somewhere. Usually with a scared and lonely soul desperately wanting to change an unfair world through bold action. For Bossum, that bold action was a simple act of kindness and that movement, was a dance.
I hope I didn’t get too lost in what I was trying to say. You guys are really smart, I know that for a fact, so I’m sure you get it. I really like this show, it was nice to write about it again and even nicer to share it with you.
Now though, onto bigger and better! If you’ve missed it (*gasp*) catch up with Miandro compelling post about Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra. Man Avatar was spectacular, wasn’t it. I loved Toph. It was so great to read about that sow again.
And coming up next we have Matt Doyle Media with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…You read that right! I can’t wait to see this post. I’m so curious.
O.k., I’ve stirred myself into one of those all loving, friend to humanity, moods now and I need a good dose of dystopia to bring me back to earth. Trust me, I’m insufferable right now!