Anime and the Journey of Life
What does anime teach us about life’s journey? Many modern anime shows have songs that feature lyrics which talk about the journey ahead. In these lyrics, they discuss how the journey is rough, and there are times of sadness, however if you keep moving forward you’ll get through it. But have you really sat down and wondered what these journey based stories tell us about life? Let’s take a deeper look.
- The journey is on-going.
Many anime and manga go on and on and on. For many of us it becomes a decade plus interest in a show whose episodes continue to come out. In particular one anime that comes to mind is that of Inuyasha. The show went on for quite a while and the journey trope was revisited over and over. It made sense though. The journey of Inuyasha and the rest of the gang was the journey of life, not one particular thread of a journey but a representation of many over.
- You’ll meet friends along the way.
Perhaps one of the scariest things in life is the fear of being alone. This is especially true at stages of your life when you’re moving out for the first time, your heading to college, you’re graduating, and you’re getting your first job. But if there’s anything that’s been true is that you’ll meet friends no matter where you go.
- The hard times will always be there.
One of things that anime journeys highlight in both their theme songs and their shows is the fact that you can’t escape the problems and sadness of the world. You’re going to come to a roadblock. This impending sadness is just part of human nature. But…
- Staying strong is paramount to the success of your journey.
“Jumping high from my dreams /No matter what sort of anxiety clinging upon me, I’ll go ahead and shake it off /Expand and bring out that sleeping, small little thought /I realize that I’m weak and if you’re here.” – Crossing Fields, from Sword Art Online Opening
Understanding the temporary nature of life is meant to help you appreciate it more. Strength comes from understanding that your journey is but a mere blink of an eye in the time span of the universe and therefore should be appreciated for every moment. That means not being overcome by sadness.
- You’re never alone.
Friends, as mentioned above, will come to you on your journey, but even when you’re alone, you’re never truly alone. How many times we’ve seen a protagonist from the opening theme of an anime look up at the sky and we feel a pain of sadness only to realize that he or she is continuing on with their journey because someone is pulling them through? Maybe it’s a friend, a lover, a family member. And it’s in those moments, under that starry sky, that they realize they can’t give up.
- Someone is always waiting for you.
Yes this sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true: the journeys we take involve leaving someone behind in one way or another. But it also means that we’re leading our way towards someone else. Regardless there is always someone waiting just behind that next bend in the road.
- Look up to the sky when you need to be reminded of what’s important in your journey.
Ah, one of the most romantic gestures of all time. Looking at the sky, and thinking about your goals, your friends and family, the journey ahead, it all starts to become clear again. This is an anime and manga trope that we see all the time and it’s one that we can learn to appreciate. For us, we like to recite lyrics to ourselves in these moments. It sounds strange but why don’t you try it.
So what’s our favorite line?
“Round and round, the planets revolve around the sun/And we always seek after love and peace forever more/Growing growing, woe baby we can work it out/Look up at the sky every heart is shining all today.” – BoA, Every Heart, Inuyasha
But most of all, as BoA, we are always looking for that moment of peace between the long walks. Hopefully you find your peace in your journey as well.