There have been a lot of studies on the relationship between human behaviour and the media. Most of them are usually concerned more with negative effects such as causing violence or some other behaviour disorders like eating disorder to name at least one. Today, I’d like to talk more about positive effects the media can have on human being. I’m not somebody who has degree in Psychology (so take the word “study” in headline with a pinch of salt) and thus I’ll be using common sense and myself as an example for my points. More importantly, as this is anime related community, the media will be narrowed to anime only. So, in other words - this is all about how anime affected me and how I grew with it as a person.
Almost everybody I know, regardless their age or if they are watching anime, will be able to name at least one anime series. Yes, I’m speaking about the international hits, which were big not only in Japan, but also all around the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pokémon, Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece or Fairy Tail - all of them have more than few things in common.
The very first thing you can recognize is the commitment to follow their dream. It doesn’t matter, if you want to be the very best Pokémon master, Hokage or you’re looking for your dragon foster father to know who you actually are. Each hero is willing to sacrifice everything to fulfil his dream. Each time you take a step forward, you’re closer to reaching your goal. But having the dream is not enough, you have to be determined and dedicated to be able to do what’s necessary to reach the end.
Here, I’d like to take Naruto as an example. When you first meet him, he seems like nothing more than spoiled kid, who is good for nothing, only causes problems and fails in everything he does, but it cannot be further from truth. In fact all his mischief are only the way of seeking recognition and acceptance. Same goes with his dream of becoming Hokage (the village leader), but nobody believes this will ever happen and they are making fun of him for it. Against all odds, he never gives up. Every time he’s nailed to the ground he gets up. He raises his head and continues on the path he chose for himself.
Although both having a dream and determination share the same value as a life lessons, the most important message of all is the emphasis on friendship. These bonds are something which will get you through difficult times. If you have somebody who’ll be supporting you on your way, it’s easier to get up and continue. It’s important to talk to your friends about your problems, as they might have experienced something similar before and will be able to help, or at least offer some counsel. Usually, just getting some things off your chest is halfway towards victory. Have you ever noticed that things sound different, when you are thinking about them in your head or if you are trying to put them into words and tell it to yourself out loud or to somebody else? By putting it into words problems are receiving shape and you’re more likely to find the side of them you’ve never seen before and it might help you understand it or even find solution.
Let’s make a clear cut here and move on from action adventure shounen anime to slice of life as something more closely rooted in real world we’re living in. The genre itself is described as the depiction of mundane experiences, seemingly arbitrary sequence of events in a character’s life often lacking plot development, conflict, and exposition. Shows like March comes in like a lion may help you to realize, that your life has a meaning, despite you’re not doing anything extraordinary. You don’t need to be strong, beautiful or smart; sometimes just kind words are enough to brighten the day. It’s the same with love – it’s not necessary to buy expensive gifts to your significant other. Just spending the time together or expressing your feelings is enough. Both of those things deepen the bond between you and create memories, which can be recalled in time of crisis to help you cross the bridge over problems together. The light speed style of living these days give you not much time in the beginning of relationship and everybody is taking it way too quickly. I can only admire the way anime does it. Almost everybody in romance anime is so shy, so afraid of the rejection or exposing their feelings, they take it super slow. This makes it a surprise, if they kiss before the end of the season.
Finally, there is one really special to me. I didn’t like neither disliked kids. All of them around me were simply there and if they weren’t a nuisance they didn’t matter to me that much. I thought that I’ll probably never have my own. How surprised I was, when I started to thinking about it after watching shows like Poco’s Udon World, Barakamon or Sweetness and Lightning. The idea of raising a kid wasn’t terrifying anymore and I even looked forward to it from time to time. It’s strange, how much influence the things, you surround yourself with, can have on you.
In the end I don’t know, if I managed to get my points across and resonate with you as I wanted, but if, by any chance, the article made you feel better, I guess my work’s done. Before I’ll say my goodbye, you can tell me how anime or manga affected you in the comments below. See ya…