As cliché as it sounds, anime has a special place in my life. It has done for a long time and probably will continue to have this place for a long time to come. It’s helped in certain situations and has provided me the chance to belong to a wonderful and welcoming community.
But – clichés aside – I’m not going to be talking about anime as a whole. Today, I’m going to be talking about certain series that have resonated with me for different reasons. The majority of anime resonate slightly with me for positive reasons and then, every so often, I’ll come across one that resonates with me for the bad reasons.
Today, I’m going to be focusing on the positive ones.
As a 21 year-old, the lessons of basic principles of life and society that we have as children have long gone. Despite this, I still manage to have manners – say please and thank you – as well as, for the most part, putting other people before myself in situations to be the selfless person I was raised to be. Sometimes, however, we get taught these lessons again and again, even in adulthood. Just simple reminders every now and again.
This is where Gakuen Alice comes in. The 26-epsiode series follows 10 year-old Mikan Sakura. She’s an optimistic character and the complete opposite to her best friend Hotaru who is quite cold-hearted and distant. Hotaru suddenly transfers to Alice Academy, a prestigious school in the city, causing Mikan to be devastated – especially when she hears of the horrible rumors regarding the academy’s harsh treatment of students. Thus, beset with worry, Mikan runs away to see her best friend.
Mikan is, for a ten-year old, quite remarkable. Selfless, I feel, isn’t a strong enough adjective to use to describe her. To join Hotaru, she leaves home, runs away to Tokyo, and joins the rumoured-to-be harsh school. She goes through countless episodes of bullying from the other students and the show follows her struggle to adapt to her new life at Alice Academy and her journey of learning how to communicate effectively with the other students – namely Natsume, who also struggles to make friendships with those around him.
Gakuen Alice, I feel, is therefore a remarkable story of how selflessness and positivity is needed in order to be the best person you can be. Ever since I finished watching it in 2015, it has always remained a reminder to me to try to be positive to everyone, no matter how they treat you or their personality, as well as being one of my top-rated anime of all time.
The other series that I’m going to be discussing today resonates with me for similar reasons. The next show that I wish to talk about is Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.. AnoHana follows the story of Jinta Yadomi (a recluse, spending his days away from school and playing video games at home) as he tries to collaborate with his group of childhood friends who grew apart after the death of Meiko Honma (another childhood friend) in order try to lay her spirit to rest.
Considering the story of AnoHana, the show already resonates with me due to the emotional factor, particularly shown in the latter half of the 11 episode-long series.
It goes without saying that each of the characters in AnoHana all struggle to come terms with Meiko’s death, but one particular struggle that I always remember is that of Yukiatsu. Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen this remarkable series, his unconventional way of admitting his feelings is definitely something that sticks with you. His strong emotions are prevalent throughout the series, but, despite the fact I somewhat condemn his manipulative actions, what he does in Episode 4 carries over these emotions brilliantly. Sure, he gets hate for it, but I did say we were sticking with the positive side of things, right?
The final point of AnoHana is that I want to mention its ED. What a tear-jerker. Every time I hear the ED, particularly the 10 Years Later version, I end up crying. Honestly, this is probably the main reason as to why AnoHana resonates with me so much. Not only can I not begin to imagine the pain and heartbreak every single character went through, the ED captures every single emotion in this series perfectly. If you haven’t seen AnoHana just yet, give it a watch and you’ll understand what I mean.
I could give many more examples for this post as many anime continue to resonate with me for multiple reasons. Some are quite unusual choices (I’m looking at you, Love Live!) and some are quite typical (let’s think Ghibli), but this post is already quite long, so perhaps I’ll explain these choices in another post if anyone is interested in that. Regardless, the main point is that many lessons are taught via anime and these are probably some of the lessons I’ll never forget.
Until next time!
– Amelia xo
This post was the winning suggestion made by fellow anime blogger Karandi, as part of my 100th Post competition! Karandi is arguably the most dedicated anime blogger I know, releasing episodic reviews on several shows each season, collaborating with other bloggers and is starting to branch out into video-making too! If you haven’t already, make sure to check her out here!