I’m back with another one of these lifey blog posts.
Last time I wrote about how we need to make a conceited effort to improve our lives, that we can’t just sit back and wait for things to change or get better on their own.
This time I had another thought that I wanted to write about that’s in a similar vein, but also offers a different perspective.
Don’t forget about reality.
This is essentially the core message behind these posts that I’ve been writing. That’s what I realized.
At first I just had some ideas about how anime portrays life versus real life, and went along that line of thinking. But now I’ve realized that this really is the essence of what I’ve been writing about.
I was thinking about this today.
Today, more than ever, people are turning to forms of media such as anime for inspiration. We’re currently in an age where people are more connected, and yet, more disconnected than ever before. People see each other less often, and rely on the Internet for not just entertainment but actual social interaction.
It’s strange, isn’t it?
People are so connected to the Internet, that they become disconnected from the reality around them.
But that brings me to my original point, which is that more and more people now are influenced by, and taking inspiration from: anime (and other forms of media).
Is this going to bring on some sort of chuunibyou apocalypse?
I don’t think so! But I do think that it’s possible for people to become too influenced by anime. I think it’s possible for people like this to start viewing the world through some sort of skewed lens as a result.
This skewed lens I mention is a lot of what I’ve touched upon already, and will likely touch upon even more in future posts. Be it someone who feels like their life isn’t good enough because it doesn’t hold up to the protagonist’s life in an anime, or someone who thinks that their life will magically get better if they just wait like it did for many characters in anime…
We can’t let unrealistic expectations cloud our perspective on reality.
The point I wanted to make is just to remember that anime is anime, and it’s not real. I know that there are a lot of impressionable kids in high school or even younger that watch a lot of anime because it’s so popular now… so I feel like this message is important, and will continue to become more important.
Real life isn’t as exciting as anime.
Or at least, it often won’t feel that way.
The thing is, life isn’t easy. But like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, if you want your life to get better, you need to work at it. Unlike in anime, you won’t just be transported to another world where you can live a fantastical life.
I feel like more and more people in the world are going to feel disappointed with themselves, or their own lives, because they watch anime and think that they are missing something, wishing that their life was like it is in anime.
Like I’ve said before, I think that Slice of Life anime is particularly dangerous in that it can lead people to believe that everyday life should be more exciting than it is, and then dwell on the idea that their life sucks in comparison. Actually, I guarantee that there are people that think this way, which is sad to think about.
Anime is designed to be entertaining, to make you feel excited, emotional, whatever it may be. The stories are crafted to make you feel that way, to draw you in and connect you to the characters and their lives. Designed to make the characters feel extraordinary.
But they aren’t real, and we can’t compare our real lives to fictional ones.
If you aren’t satisfied with your life as it is now, the solution isn’t to wish your life was more like it is for a character in anime. The solution is to realize that there are steps you can take towards making your life better. Acknowledge that you want to do something about it, take the time to think about your life, and make the effort. Start small, and work towards your goals.
Life is such an amazing thing. A serious blessing.
But we can’t take it for granted.
Like I’ve touched upon in several of my previous posts, it takes effort and commitment to be one of those people that is looked up to by others. It’s not something that just happens randomly out of nowhere.
If someone is unwilling to make an effort here in the real world, then even if they were transported to another world, I’d be willing to bet they still wouldn’t end up putting in an effort. It’d all be a fun experience only until the new day-to-day reality sets in, and their new fantastical life would become just another grind to survive.
If an extremely unmotivated and socially inept person was suddenly transported to some fantasy world, do you really think they’d all of the sudden become a hard-working, charismatic hero?
Of course not, despite what several isekai anime may like us to believe.
And the type of change we often see in isekai protagonists is often fake anyways. While it’d be great to have all of the attention, being a powerful hero or whatever in a new world, the reality is that the people wouldn’t be looking up to you because of your personality. They’d be looking up to for because of some fake power you inherited.
The Rising of the Shield Hero actually does a pretty good job at showing this, with the other three heroes that become drunk on the power they’d inherited, as we eventually learn that all three are imbeciles. Only looked up to because of the title, not because they are actually people worth looking up to. Just three fakes who never truly earned or even deserved the title of “hero”.
Motivation and the will to change come from within.
Anyone who says “if only I was in X situation, then I’d be more motivated” is just making an excuse. Certainly, your environment can contribute to a lack of motivation. But if you’ve identified your environment as a problem, then the solution isn’t to complain about it. It’s to take steps and work towards removing yourself from it, or changing it for the better.
Acknowledge that you want to change, take the time to think about your life, and make the effort to change.
If you truly envy the lives of anime characters, then maybe you should seriously look at what it is about their lives that appeals to you, compare it to your own, and seriously think about what you can do to change yourself.
Anime is a lot of fun, it’s an amazing form of media that is only getting more popular by the day. But it’s fiction, and we need to remember that, lest we begin to judge ourselves unfairly.
Don’t forget about reality.
Don’t ignore it, and bury yourself in fiction, either.
Anime is anime, and life is life.
Your life should always come first, even if it gets hard at times or you don’t want to think about it. Sometimes we just have to grit our teeth and get through the hard times. Let’s not put things off anymore and distract ourselves, but instead start making progress towards a better future.
We can still enjoy anime along the way.
I promise it’ll be worth it in the end.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.