Some of my more astute may have picked up on this, but I’m sort of a kid at heart. And at mind. So, when I watch anime, I tend to experience it like kids do. As an immersive, interactive experience. I don’t simply observe it, vicariously living out an adventure through the characters on screen. I don’t ship them with each other or develop my own fanfiction around the stories. I just bluntly insert myself in them like children do. I create loose avatars of myself in my own mind and explore those fictional realms first person. I play out little interactions with the characters. I try to fit myself neatly in, without disturbing the boundaries of the established fictional universe. Like a documentarian… or a toddler.
As such, anime characters have an unreasonable amount of influence in my life. When I come across one I like, I try to impressed them in my mind which tends to bleed over in my every day outlook. I listen to their council and take their advice. Sometimes, I will be kinder to people that remind me of characters that have gone through a lot. This is a big responsibility to heap on people that don’t really exist. (We’ll get into the existential angst and the possibility of reality beyond personal perception someday… not today…)
Today, I am going to take a minute to thank all those anime characters that have made me a slightly better version of myself. I always gravitate towards the trolls and the victims in my posts, but all of those heroes and adorable sidekicks mean just as much to me, and it’s time I said so.
To all the blindly virtuous superhero types. Your morality may be shortsighted and you’re occasionally rigid to the point of being cardboard. However, it’s thanks to you that I tell cashiers when they’ve given me too much change back. Honestly, I’ve looked within myself, and I can see no other reason I would do such a thing.
To the shy reserved types, whit beautiful minds and golden hearts, it’s because of you that I no longer audibly groan when someone is searching for the right way to say something. In fact, just the other day I listen to someone tell me about their feeling, feelings you guys, you can’t even eat that, for almost twenty minutes. In A Row! The trick is to imagine a shy anime boy or girl gently blushing. Makes every conversation – they best conversation!
To the jaded smart mouths that end up doing the right thing in spite of yourselves. Don’t worry, I still think your cool. Heck, if Spike can put others first then I certainly should try to do that. If Kamina has doubts and fears, it’s ok for me to do so as well. Greater people than I have stumbled. Maybe I’ll never reach those heights, but I’ll keep trying.
As for my beloved determinators, you never cease to spur me forward. Sure you could say that a lifetime of shonen has taught me never to give up, but that would be a silly thing to say. I give up all the time. You need to learn when to let go. But what you guys have done for me, is made me work out every single day for the past decade or so. One more push up – I want to be like Gon. If they can jump around trying to kill Titans on a diet of a single potato a day, I can do a dozen more jumping jacks.
To all the boys and girls, who innocently fall in love and proceed to go through a whole bunch of misunderstandings. Thanks for slapping the jaded out of me. I may not actively seek out your stories, but once in a while your relationships catch me by surprise and melt my cold frozen heart. I really appreciate you taking the time to remind me that life isn’t all about adventures and that adventures aren’t all car chases and magic. Sometimes, those quiet moments are the most powerful by far.
As for those Isekai protagonists. You may have fallen a bit from grace lately, but that doesn’t mean you’re not still special to me. Some of you aren’t. You guys start to all blend together after a while. But still, you are diligently working to make sure I don’t let the wonder and imagination escape out of my life. Thanks to you, possibilities are endless, and I push myself to work hard to be ready when they come. After all, if I am to survive in mu idyllic fantasy world, I need to be fit, wise and maybe able to start a fire with rocks or something. I should look into that. See I’m constantly learning thanks to you!
Ok, ok, so maybe I was exactly the most stellar shining example of humanity to begin with, but that’s not the point. Because of the hard work of my very many anime role models, I’m a little better than I started from. And I think I’m getting better every day. Thank you for always being there for me. I know that you have your own problems, what with saving the world from everything, yet you still show up every day at my beck and call. I appreciate it and I will continue to work hard to make you proud.