The Motivation of Anime.

A few minutes ago I finished watching the anime, Assassination Classroom. It was a thoroughly enjoyable show, but on a deeper level, it fulfilled a need within me to keep pushing for a better future.

For a show about a classroom of students attempting to kill their super powerful teacher before he can destroy the world, the show had a mix of action and humour, but also of self reflection. Some of the key themes of the show are about the uncertainty of the future, how much your past impacts that future, and how to take your strengths and flaws and use them to the best effect. Take away the flashy assassination backdrop and it is a simple coming of age story. Something we can all relate to. Continue reading

Gurren Lagann Discussion Corner: #1 What makes it special?

This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. Very little in my life has ever inspired me, yet some stupid, over-the-top cartoon has somehow become the foundation of much of my mental wellbeing. It’s crazy to think about really but I know that I am not alone in my passion for the show. As such I intend to write out a series of discussions, each one analysing a different element of what I feel sets Gurren Lagann above most other shows. I invite you to come along with me and to leave your thought, stories and comments.

So for this first post I want to talk in broad terms about why I believe this show is able to affect people so strongly. I will be discussing spoilers so if you haven’t seen it then I wholeheartedly recommend that you watch it. There are 27 episodes but I say give it until the end of episode 8 before you write it off if you are not convinced before then.
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Wonderland Blues

Just like Alice had to awaken from Wonderland

So too do we find ourselves torn from the pleasant fantasy

Of our dearest conventions.

We the weirdos and oddballs who find no peace in life

Who are beaten down and left alone in a sea of reality

Come together to indulge in the make-believe worlds

And form bonds of family that none outside can grasp.

For days we have laughed, loved and lived,

We have belonged.

The music and the voices and the costumes filled our souls

And we donned the masks of heroes and madmen

To patch the holes in our own personalities,

To set aside our own deficiencies and become something more.

The alcohol flowed and we sang together,

Dancing to the tunes of our youth with tears in our eyes

And friends surrounding us in the warm embrace of acceptance.

Our time came.

But,

Now our time has gone.

The halls where we cheered and laughed have closed their doors

They stand empty and grow smaller as we are drawn away from our Wonderland,

By the incessant call of life.

Now the costumes have gone, as have the beautiful bubbles of bliss

That we formed around ourselves to ward away the coldness of the outside world.

We shiver as we remember.

Back we return to being the outcasts.

Back to the judgement of those who do not understand.

Back to the jobs that drain our spirit

And to the all too normal streets.

We will catch glimpses for a while,

People in the corner of our eyes who spark hope.

We turn expecting No Face but instead it is a burkha clad mother.

A flash of colour and strangeness is a man in a sports uniform

And a funny hat and strange clothes is a jacked-up hipster.

Our colours seem to drain as our memories fade.

Another year to persevere,

Another year

Another year,

My dear, dear friends

Another year to keep ourselves alive to once more live again,

A year until these dying embers can once more rise like a phoenix

And blaze in all the colours of our perfect world.