Time and Changing Perspectives, Part 2

This is the second part. Forgive me for giving you a dose of sap.

I am an anime junkie since childhood. Anime shows were actually a thing in our country during afternoons and early evenings. However, I totally stopped watching these shows when I was in college due to my reading intensive school requirements as a part of being an accounting student.

I chose to teach in a university after passing the board examination. It seems like I already forgot the experience an anime show can bring until one of my students gave me a copy of the first cour of Sword Art Online two years ago. For a profession with lots of free time, I chose to watch episode one at 8:00 pm. The next thing I knew, it was already two in the morning and I was bawling due to Yui disappearing while Asuna seemed to lose all of her hopes that time. The ending scene of episode fourteen was also permanently burned in the back of my mind. I blabbered the euphoria I had the following day in my class. I don’t want to bother stating my experience with the Alfheim arc but Sword Art Online reacquainted me to the amazing world of anime. While this is certainly not the best out there, it made me realize that this medium reignited my imagination as well as my desire to push my creative limits.

As others may say, the rest is history. I went to discover many great ones that somehow changed my life about three hundred shows later. Clannad will forever struck me as the sole show which left me bawling for episodes. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and Baka and Test reaffirmed my faith with comedy while shows like Shiki and Shin Sekai Yori showed me that anime is not just for kids and can be a thought provoking medium. The Tatami Galaxy taught me that I should enjoy the ride this crazy life brings without much regrets and The Count of Monte Cristo reminded me that revenge is a big no as far as redemption is concerned.

On how I was able to immerse myself more in anime, I think it roots from a more dramatic reason. It was during the wake of my late father and I was tasked to guard his remains in the wee hours of the morning. I was all alone at those times and I want to have some sort of diversion from the fact that I am actually seeing my father’s lifeless body in a coffin. To escape from the fangs of solitude and loneliness using a portable tablet, I thought that maybe watching anime shows at 3 am would at least ease what I felt. These were Fate/Zero, Haruhi Suzumiya and Psycho Pass and boy, I was right.

Although I still cried a lot during the funeral, I think it was lessened by the fact that I have those shows. These characters (or the writers) felt what it is like to lose someone important and it’s not a fairy tale where everyone will just say that it is okay. Especially in the case of Fate/Zero, the ending where Kiritsugu finally found peace through death was also the moment I was left devastated yet relieved. There is something in me that hoped to feel a resolution akin to what he felt that time.  Since then, watching animes has been a staple for my daily life even after I am now an employee. It was as if it saved me from a certain risk of not moving forward. I still stumbled, of course, but to a lesser degree. I was practically reduced to a hikikomori except for the fact that I have to work. I ceased creating connections with new people and I almost shunned my heart to my current girlfriend. Who knows what might have happened if I didn’t see these shows?

I know I said in the first part of this post that my perception towards appraising shows is changing. I realized that the ‘objectivity’ I sought for a long time is nothing but a myth. Maybe people will see my taste getting worse through time, but I am much happier watching things that make me smile rather than examining a medium whose merit is based on something even I am not sure of. For as long as the execution and the visual are within my tolerance limit, I am going to love the series regardless of the genre.

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10 thoughts on “Time and Changing Perspectives, Part 2

  1. Sap is good, sap is great.

    Out of curiosity, where are you from? Your anime story is similar to me (the ‘discovering it through television during childhood days, getting back to it as an adult and falling in love all over again’)

    (I’m an Indonesian, by the way)

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    1. I am from the Philippines, so we’re practically neighbors. 🙂

      It seems like we don’t have much time to take a look at these shows back then. In my case, I live in the dormitories when I was a student and my roommates are totally hooked with One Piece. As for me? Readings piled one after another so… I didn’t have the liberty to see anime in my free time.

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      1. Yeah, I stopped consuming animango during high school and college days, but to be honest that has less to do with me being busy and more with the fact that at the time I thought I’ve outgrown them and that they’re childish hobby, haha. Long story short, something happened in 2010s that make me want to re-visit the medium and.. yeah, it’s an important part of my life now.

        I’ve just read your post by the way, the one before this, and… I think it’s always important to remember that we came into this as a fan first, and critic second. You don’t need external validation to recognize that a show moved you, got you through difficult times, or whatever. That’s always more important than arbitrary rankings or whatever constitutes a consensus opinion. If you feel burned out trying to socialize and reconcile your opinion with Internet People over this hobby, do take a break from the ‘Net and just watch stuff on your own terms. Getting different perspective is useful and all, but I mean, there are reasons why I avoid certain corners of anime fandom for my own sanity. Real danger of spending more time thinking about people’s opinion on a show rather than the show itself.

        FWIW, I love that enthusiastic and intimate tone you always carry on your anime writing, man. Getting harder to find that kind of thing these days.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Silly me for thinking watching anime series also involves a level up similar to RPG games. You know, you got to move to a higher rank after watching this much. Uhh… In any case, are you a member of any groups in Discord or in other circle?

    I just released myself from minding the general consensus as far as shows are concerned. Well, room for discussion will always be there – yet I think I got to prioritize enjoying these. I want to recapture that fun. That’s what I am going to do from now on.

    Lastly, aww.. Thank you for the kind words.

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  3. so I guess it’s time for part two (thank you samui for inspiring me)

    First of all, it’s great that you mention SAO. This proves that, really, we can’t decide whether a show is worthwhile or not. (This, I believe, is because you can’t just “watch a show”. Ultimately your experience is always influenced by the circumstances; what’s your mood at the time? at what point are you in your life? what about your convictions then? and all these little things which we can’t even really understand shape our experience.)

    The fact that you stand here talking about how SAO helped you reconcile with your anime hobby is really great. This is what matters ultimately; when approaching fiction, we look for works that shape us, in a way that *are* us. This is something entirely personal, and it’s by far more important than any notion of objective quality. If SAO is you, then so be it; it’s what matters, and it’s something to be proud of. Finding this inner peace is far, far more rewarding than having “”good”” opinions and getting the approval of others.

    And that’s the whole problem with communities. Now I’m less into the idea of being in a “community” and more into that of being with “people”. Y’know, the community surrounds you; it gives you a place to be, but that place is, well, limited. But people are everywhere; you can keep moving forward and catch them along the way. Limiting yourself is the worst. Don’t do that.

    It’s funny because I was just writing a lengthy message about pretty much the same subject. I guess I’ve just been obsessed with the subject as of late, so you come in at the right time lol. Anyways, thank you for this.

    And by the way, your taste isn’t going to get worse. The more personal it is, the better it is! That’s the rule.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Limiting yourself is the worst. Don’t do that.”

      – Well, I am trying to meet new people and I am (somehow) succeeding. Looks like this is going to be a fun journey. No problem, your words are nothing less than encouraging. Thank you.

      BTW: Here’s my reaction 5 minutes after posting this article.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anime is life, anime is love. I’m a tad tempted to share my own experience here seeing that we both hail from the same country but I guess I’ll save it for later (:

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      1. lol nothing to be embarrassed about. I have similar post in my blog and now it kinda like became a funny thing worth looking back into after a couple of months

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