The Titles That Changed My Life… Part 1
People use their leisure time differently depending on moods, upbringing and many many other factors the hobbies we end up sticking with to the end vary from person to person. I happened to enjoy the visual side entertainment i.e movies, cartoons, video games etc. Many of these I watch purely just for fun but every once in a very long while you hit that one show/movie/game that just strikes home. Im going to use this post to give you a rundown on some of the titles have completely changed the way I look at life, it situations and even people. Grab a nice warm cuppa this one is going to be serious folks..well kinda.
Ill give you a bit of a background on myself and beliefs first. I was raised in a Christian home went to and still go to church every Sunday, Yes I do believe in a God something quite rare in my fandom I might add. I went to an all boys convent High School and graduated without ever being in a “proper relationship” with any female. This quickly changed after I graduated. I was re-introduced to anime right after I completed High School I was 18 years old at the time so I had to start making serious decisions in my life ones that would stick and be my moral foundations forever.
I remember borrowing a DVD of the anime movie Full Metal Alchemist: Conquerer of Shamballa from one of my best friends for a weekend. I saw it with his younger brother and it must have clearly left a visible impression on me because a few months later I recieved the entire series of the original Full metal Alchemist from him.
The basic synospsis of the show was that these two brothers who were orphans had learnt how to use alchemy and tried to bring their dead mother back to life. This act was taboo and incredibly difficult to pull off and because of the basic law of alchemy which states “In order to obtain or create something, something of equal value must be lost or destroyed.” The older brother Ed lost his right arm and the younger brother Al lost his entire physical body. In a fit of panic Ed somehow managed to tranfer Als’ soul into the nearest inanimate object he could find, a metalic suit of armour. These boys must now journey the entire world in order to find the philosophers stone which will enable them to by pass the law of Equivalent Exchange and possibly gain their bodies back.
The similarities to my family situation were more than obvious. Just like Ed I was an Older brother and I was raised most of my life by a single parent My Mother. The thought of losing my brother or my Mother like that was just too strong and resonated with me a lot. But more importantly was the theory of Equivalent Exchange. All my life I had been “the good boy” I did well at school, I listened to My elders in other words I was rather diligent. I noticed that because of this I had attained a certain level of respect from the people around me. Any time I did something awful i would recieve an equal punishment sometimes not in a direct form but I would always reap what I sowed. In a dog eat dog world this philosophy looked simply like a fantasy I mean people work hard all their lives only to die in poverty where is the fairness in that? This series if even just a little rgained my faith in the fact that good deeds to reap equal rewards most times in the most unexpected of ways. I still to this day believe in Equivalent Exchange and still experience it and will forever trace it back to Full Metal Alchemist.
The relationship between the brothers was another thing, I only have the one brother and even though we do occasionally get into squabbles here and there I dont think there is any other piece of fiction that can demosnstrate just how strong brotherly love is. FMA is quintessential for any fan of animation, if you havnt already seen it please do give it a go. Its 1of the only 3 Anime to actually make me shed those manly manly tears.
Many a moon would pass before I would find my next life changing piece of entertainment. My first year of college, in a foreign country away from family and learning how to cook edible meals. While talking online about anime with one of my best friends she discovers that I havnt seen one of the many popular shows to have recently aired. she insists I will like the show because of my “radical” political and moral beliefs so i give it a go. That series was Death Note
Basic Synopsis; Young High School genius Light is bored with his monotonous life and one day “by chance” discovers a note book that has the ability to kill someone if their name is written in it. Light decides to liberate the world from eveil by killing all the criminals he could fit into that thing and ends up declaring himself the god of this new perfect world he will soon create.
Brilliant I said to myself I would most likely do the same thing. But as the series progressed we got to see just how gray or dark depending on your moral stance this act was. Now Im not going to get on a high horse and claim to be righteous or anything but before waching this show I certainly thought every single criminal might as well be killed. Th irony of doing that is that you end up becoming a killer yourself, the one thing you are trying to destroy. Is it worth it? must we dirty our hands just to create a world we believe will be cleaner and better? Its the same arguments politicians give for starting wars where innocent people get affected the most. The fact is the world is much bigger and more complicated than criminals and civillians and killing people is just wrong.
I love this show because to this day you can still find people firmly standing on opposite ends debating wether what Light did was right or wrong, just goes to show how gray our morals are on a subjct as massive as killing.
In my little efforts to see all the “classic” anime shows that would appeal to me I came across a review of Evangelion 1.0 ofcourse I talked about this in my other blog post. This lead me to watching the original Neon Genesis Evangelion
As I have already stated multiple times this is my favourite anime show of all time. The basic synopis is that the 14 year old boy Shinji is forced to join his fathers organisation and pilot the prototype robot called EVA:01 to protect the world from the onslaught of Angels. There is a lot to be said about this show but i will stick to what mattered to me. The character interaction and development. The first shocking moment in this show for me was when Shinji outright refused to pilot the EVA right in the begining. I had never seen that before, a reluctant hero? are we supposed to root for this wimp? he’s always whining about everything!
However, it was those exact reactions that made me like his character even more. For once I felt real danger whenever he was piloting this thing, he had real problems with women, he grew up on his own so his interactions with his father were very complicated; he wanted to be recognised by him but also despised him for leaving him alone all those years. Shinji was a mess of a human being and the idea of forcing the burden of the entire world on his fragile little shoulders is just scary. But isnt that how all 14 year olds feel? You are suddenly growing up gaining new responsibilities, recognising the opposite sex for the first time while dealing with thos hormones and on top of all that High School. ugh teenage life is rough.
In the End Shinji is given the “privelage” of choosing how the new world will be created. This is the question I asked to myself, given the opportunity to create a world anew what would I change? would I even change anything and why? This show made me appreciate the world i have now and what it has given me, problems will always exist but as long as I continue to believe in my abilities and in the ones around me it really isnt that bad. atleast Im not forced to fight Giant aliens to the death every week Am I?
In The next part I will talk about how these particular shows changed my life, so look them up first if you want you just might fiind it changes yours too.
Horou Musuko, Toradora!!, Welcome to the NHK and more!!!
See you guys next time.