Well, aren’t you guys lucky! Two Let’s Talk’s in quick succession! Not so much luck as it was I had sometime to lay down some time for typing our these articles. Still working on an opening let’t talk but, that is for another time. What I want to discuss in this article is the impact and the lessons anime is capable of conveying to a global audience.
As anime has evolved and diversified over the years, so has the subject matter and the delivered message. While probably non-intentional or intentional, life lessons and messages are left in just about every anime we watch, while the slice of life category has a high mark on focusing on one solid and true fact. Take Toradora for example. In my review of it I talk about how the anime explores the two characters notion of falling in love and being in love. It truly is a lesson that manages to hit home for a lot of people. We all have our own quirky ideas about how love should be and often times, those ideas are not what reality gives us. Sometimes it is something completely unexpected; either bad or good. For viewers such as myself, that pursuit of love and what it means will hit a deeper level. When it comes to a sense of what brings us together and binds us as life long friends look at examples from Gurren Lagann or Full Metal Alchemist (Brotherhood). Each have lessons riddled throughout their run and each are meaningful. Whether it is being able to push forward for a memory of someone dear and close or to better yourself in your understanding of all around you. It teaches you that no matter the hardships, you have to keep pushing onward, you have to keep your heads held high.
This is the kind of quality that has come to anime, this is what draws us in and captivates us all. It is always refreshing to take an anime like Toradora or Cowboy Bebop, or any of the above mentioned and show them to a person and tell them to look at the lesson learned or the meaning. It opens their eyes to what anime is capable of. It isn’t a ‘cartoon’ or something that is just flimsy and only attracts perverts. Heck, look at how far story telling in video games has come! Both are on a level that they have never really grasped until this past decade. At least from my young perspective, That isn’t to say older anime like Sailor Moon or Cowboy Bebop don’t lack an impact narrative behind them, rather they have meaningful stories that convey a message to you. Heck, the first anime to ever get me emotionally engaged was Chobits. It was heartfelt and really spoke to me at a time when I needed help standing on my own two legs. As we now push forward, more and more anime are cropping up that deliver class A narratives. Obscure yet delightfully wonderful anime like Kyousougiga and the second season of Mushi-Shi, have a knack fro delivering a story that is full of life and meaning; more so for Kyousougiga as Mushi-Shi is a per episode basis.
With an industry that strives to captivate and draw in more viewers, more believable stories and more characters that we can relate to will draw out those meaningful life lessons. Because if you can manage to create a story that causes your viewer to pause and reflect on their own situation or to take those lessons learned in anime and apply them to life, then you know you did something meaningful in bringing them a product that gets them thinking with their minds and hearts. So, what anime caused you the viewers to stop and think about the lessons learned or the impact they may have had on you? Leave a reply in the comment section below!