Can Anime Save Us by Helping Us Deal with Personal Issues? Sure!
There are just two days left to J-List’s Black Friday and Cyber Instant Discount Sale! Get up to $40 off orders you make for the rest of November, which is this Thursday. Start shopping now!
Can anime save us? I know from my many years running J-List and talking with fans via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages that a lot of fans are drawn to anime because they identify with characters who struggle realistically with various personal issues. It seems there’s something special about watching characters dealing with anxiety, social awkwardness, depression and full-blown NEET situations go on a personal journey and end up in a better place at the end. Also, interacting with other fans brings great social benefits to all of us, whether it’s joining a university anime club, discovering like-minded friends at anime conventions or getting into cars through the Initial D anime.
Some anime characters who give us inspiration include:
- Hifumi from the New Game anime is introverted and shy, yet over time she gets more confidence and becomes the team leader for her group.
- Himouto! Umaru-chan is an anime about a girl who has the perfect otaku life, but also about the journey of her friends Kirie and Ebina, who overcome their social awkwardness through the power of friendship.
- One of the best shows you’ve never watched is ReLife!, about a service that lets people re-live their high school lives as part of a social experiment. A big part of the story is Chizuru getting past her problems interfacing with others and learning to smile.
- Watamote! is an anime about an otaku girl with various social issues. This picture always gives me hope that she’ll be okay in the end.
- The currently running Imouto Sae Ireba Ii is a study of characters doing their best to work through their issues. By far the most interesting girl is Nayuta, who was bullied in school until she discovered the novels of the main character, which helped her cope. Now she’s a novelist herself.
- Characters who gambarimasu (do their best) no matter what problems they’re facing personally give me a lot of inspiration in my own life, and maybe to others, too.
- One thing I love is the trend of “anime gym rats” who use the positive energy of their favorite anime character to get ripped, whether it’s Dragonball Z or One Punch Man or Sailor Jupiter. Positive role models are always great, even if they’re 2D.
So can anime save us? I believe it can certainly help a lot!
I write a lot about how the Japanese like to assign special meanings to certain days. October 10 has been designated “Moe Day” because the date in kanji (十月十日) looks like the character for moe (萌) when written vertically, and February 22 is National Cat Day because the number 2/22 can be read as nyan nyan nyan. November 28 was an auspicious day known as いいニーハイの日 or Good Knee-high Socks Day, a day to celebrate cute girls in zettai ryouiki socks. Today is almost as good: 11/29 has been designated いい肉の日 or Good Meat Day, a day to enjoy some amazing steak, Korean BBQ, nikudon beef bowl or other forms of meat, and restaurants and shops are all too happy to promote their products with discounts. So if you’re a fan of meat, go enjoy some today!
Our Black Friday and Cyber Instant Discount Sale is live! Here’s how it works: through the end of November, get $5 off $40 or more, $20 off $100 or more, or $40 off $200 or more. Make a big order of awesome figures, traditional items, snacks of “naughty products” and save.