Some things never change, which includes my spending weekends watching anime in my apartment alone.
Two and a half months since I’ve moved to Oneonta, I find myself curiously identifying with anime protagonists with a target audience of pre-pubescent boys.
People may raise their eyebrows at me, perhaps think I’m crazy, but I consider anime to be one of the greatest things in life. Nothing has the ability to bend reality like good animation.
Although in America, most people seem to feel like animation is kid’s stuff, that opinion is starting to change thanks to the weird rise of geek culture, making something that used to get you stuffed into a locker into something that could land you a date.
Not that I’ve been able to land a date since moving here, but I will say that when I do, I’m sure my extreme knowledge of anime, indie comics and obsessive attention to the price of Dogecoin and foreign news will likely impress them.
For this reason, I’m neither ashamed nor embarrassed by my penchant for consuming unholy amounts of anime, but I do think that maybe I ought to take more cues from anime as opposed to being a passive observer.
One example is Deku from “My Hero Academia,” an anime where practically every human has a special “quirk” that can make them a super hero.
Deku, along with one of the best and largest cast of side characters that I’ve ever seen in any medium, trains to become a hero. It’s kind of Japan’s answer to Western superheroes.
I’m not entirely convinced I have any superpowers, at the moment, but really it’s all about the state of mind.
Like, for instance, the determination not to give up.
Which is probably why I see myself identifying with Shonen (a term for an anime genre aimed towards young boys) battle series because if there is anything I can say is objectively true about my life, it is I don’t quit.
People have always been telling me things I want to do are impossible. I’ve never listened to them, and I’ve reaped the benefits. Because of this, I justifiably always feel like my lofty goals are achievable as long as I put in the right amount of effort required.
My goals as far back as the age of 12 haven’t changed a bit. I always wanted to be a writer. And while being a writer is not necessarily the same as being a reporter, I’ve always been very much concerned about what truth is and how best it can be represented in the written form.
So yeah, it took me awhile but I made it happen.
Deku wasn’t born with a quirk, one of the few in the world of My Hero Academia who didn’t. Yet, he wanted to be a hero. But how can he become one if he’s just an ordinary human?
The answer is he found a mentor, his personal role model All Might, and he was gifted a quirk that was passed down by various heroes throughout the years.
Everybody can learn something from uncompromisingly following their goals to logical conclusion.
It may not be exactly what you’ve envisioned, but if the end result is that you have fun, you do the right thing and you succeed in helping fellow human beings, I can’t think of any harm in that.
It’s certainly better than watching characters on your TV screen have the determination that you don’t have.
So feel free to admire the accomplishments of flesh and blood individuals, but don’t look down on the ability of made-up fictional ones from Japan to inspire you either. We can all learn from the heroic optimism of our favorite animated heroes.