Greetings! I guess you could call this post a confessional of sorts. Of late, I have watched some anime with some really emotionally powerful scenes. One of the reasons that I love anime so much is its ability to make you feel a wide array of emotions with it’s characters and it’s storytelling. The ups and downs of a good story are always something that I look forward to. The flood of emotions that a good story can bring breaks the everyday monotony of life. I will certainly admit that sometimes it is hard to feel anything about a typical day to day routine. And that is where anime and the stories that it tells comes in. I find myself laughing at a good comedy, feeling pumped and energized during a good fight, and yes I find myself crying or fighting back tears at a sad or emotional scene.
I know many out there would laugh at me for this admission. Yes, I am a grown man and I just admitted that I cry at TV shows. In my little corner of the world , that is certainly not something you want to admit openly- I live in a community where if you are not a tough guy, you are nobody. I’ll admit I am a bit surprised at this myself. Years ago, before my anime days I would never cry at any form of entertainment. But anime has helped change all that for me.
Years ago, the thought of getting emotionally invested in something for me was certainly a foreign concept. Besides comedies, I never found myself really impacted by much that I watched certainly not the way that I do now with anime. I would never find myself watching anything that would be considered a drama or romance. The stuff just didn’t really do anything for me. I have always been a person who wears my emotions on my sleeves but yet with many western TV series or movies, I just felt nothing.
Now I find myself really emotionally invested in a lot of the entertainment that I watch which of course is primarily anime these days. I cried at the end of Your Lie in April and still can’t get myself to watch it again because I’m not sure I can handle the feels train. I cried at the end of Steins;Gate 0 Episode 8 when Kurisu and Okabe have their sad goodbye. I cried at many points throughout Violet Evergarden with all the tragedy and emotions presented in that series.
So why the change? Well that question is not really easy to answer. It is certainly because of the ability of anime to tell deeply personal stories. I have said this before but anime and manga have mastered the art of storytelling to the point that they can make the audience relate to almost any scenario no matter how fantastical it is. I believe that happens because the focus is more centered on the characters. The characters generally drive the narrative and are not just a tool to progress it. The writers understand that the characters will be affected by the world and the events around them. They understand the joy one experiences when one succeeds or when their life changes for the better. They understand the frustration of failure and the sorrow of loss. The writers of good narratives and characters pour themselves into their work. They have a message they want to convey with their stories.
Besides the narratives, I believe that I changed as well. Of course like everyone else, I have grown older, experience changes in my life, experienced excitement, joy, frustration, and loss. I also still have unfilled dreams, those dreams I have refused to give up on no matter how childish it may seem. It seems that I have changed and matured with my life experiences and can now appreciate the message of such narratives and the experiences of the characters. Because by this point in my life, I have experienced many of the emotions that the characters have experienced. I may not know what it feels like to save the world, but I understand the fear of being responsible for something, the excitement of being successful, and the desire to dream. I remember and still experience the awkwardness of new relationships. I have felt the pain of less of people close to me. I have felt the depression and failure or romantic endeavors that were not successful. Yes, I may not be the age of many of the characters in anime anymore and the experiences of youth are long passed. However, I remember those times and those experiences and I can use those narratives as a mirror for where I was and how far I still have to go. Call me weird if you want, but even though I am no longer the child and teen that I once was, I can still learn a thing a two. I still have room for personal growth. There is still a lot I don’t know. In some ways, I am still like a lot of the characters in anime- I am still trying to find my way through life, I am still trying to find answers to some burning questions.
Anime has helped me to remember the bygone parts of my life and has helped me through some tough times. When I am having a bad day, Anime has been there for me by giving me a laugh when I need it. When I am feeling down, Anime reminds me that that there are people there for you when you need it. And most of all, Anime reminds me that through their stories there are people out there who feel and experience the same things that I do. Anime makes me feel like I can tackle almost any obstacle at times. It does this through the means of entertainment and escape and by providing us easily the best narratives and stories of our time. The stories make me laugh, cry, and reflect. They remind me of where I’ve been and where I still have to go. So yes, I cry when I watch anime. I am man enough to admit that these stories resonate with me. To deny this means denying that I am human and to do that is something that would be truly sad.
This is Railgunfan75 signing off. Thank you for reading.