Anime Lessons


February 8, 2021-

My special assignment, of last week and the present one, has given me continued observance of what matters to high schoolers, especially in the area of graphic arts. Several of the students are talented sketch artists and cartoonists. One of the springboards for developing this talent is the popularity of the Japanese graphic medium called anime (AN-ih-may).

Anime is also valuable for the considered life lessons it offers, with myriad examples of both positive and negative life choices, presented in a manner that is attractive to teenagers. There is an atmosphere of group decision-making, with interludes of individual soul searching.

In the four episodes presented during the course of today’s classes, a young boy wrestles with his guilt and desire to make amends, for a series of events that he regards as his own fault, whilst his friends and sister refuse to let him face matters alone. An older man shows that patience and perseverence, in his time of imprisonment, result in his maintaining a robust physique, while his jailers ignore him as a worthless, spent being. An egotistical village leader learns that mocking his suffering village’s benefactors does him no good, in overcoming an invading force of militaristic industrialists. Only cooperation with the group of helpers rids the community of the bombastic invaders, and humbles the elder. Humility is also the theme of a vain sword master’s comeuppance, at the hands of a his seemingly inept pupil.

These character issues were well-conveyed by the lead teacher, and duly noted by the students. Anime is not a replacement for academic rigor, but it certainly does set young people to pondering about what matters.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 49: Following Through


July 19, 2020-

I binge watched Season 4 of a Turkish scifi show, called “The Protector”, after completing a project proposal for someone who has great ideas, but who was finding it hard to get started.

The central character in the series, Hakan, had super powers, which he ascribed to certain talismans. He was engaged in fighting a team of demons, one of whom had achieved economic primacy, in the city of Istanbul. The protagonist had his helpers, who experienced their share of doubts and pain.

Two of the demons were more complicated characters, being primarily motivated by emotional pain at feeling betrayed. The lead female antagonist, Valeriya/Nisan ended up being my favourite character, purposely botching the demons’ plan to take over the world, then covering herself enough to avoid suspicion from the others, while gradually learning the truth behind the trauma that had led her to the Dark Side. In the end, her true Light Nature won out.

Following through is always the best course, and as the seeming torture of this year’s transitional events grionds on, it is up to those of us who can see the light at the end of the tunnel to take up the front of the struggle.