I Learned Something This Week... (in Which I Relate a Long, Personal Story)
I'll admit it... I relented.
I don't normally watch shows (a word which here means "anime") just because of the hype. My typical method of discovering new shows is either the occasional recommendation or the random button on Crunchyroll.
This time, I changed my game. I decided to look up Yuri on Ice because of all the Victor/Yuri pics on here. I reckoned I'd check it out and see what the fuss was all about.
I'm glad I did. This show saved my life this week.
I'll tell you how in a moment.
But first, a story. Okay, so, aside from anime, another thing I like is music. I'll listen to pretty much anything, but my favorite is rock music. Especially punk and it's ilk. I myself am a bit of a goth.
I'm also Black.
Partially because of this, I didn't really get along with my peers in school. I got bullied a lot. Which brings me to the present.
I met a guy while at a job I was working. We had some stuff in common, and we got along pretty well. Until I told him my music taste. He was, let's say, none to agreeable about this. He tried to force me to stop listening to rock. He said some pretty harsh things about me because of it. The last straw came when he tried to get another of my coworkers in on making fun of me. In front of me. Like I wasn't there. I cut him off, and I haven't spoken to him since.
Still... it hurt. See, I have a bad habit of getting attached to people too easily, and I had really started to consider this guy my friend. On top of it all, at the same time I was dealing with some homophobic remarks from my mother (I'm bi). The whole debacle led to a bad slump. A really bad slump. I was having some terrible thoughts about myself, and even music wasn't helping.
Usually when something like that happens, it means you need something new. That something new came along the other night. Let me first say that I think this anime is just really, really beautiful. I may write a proper review sometime in the future, but for now let me say that this has become one of my favorite shows. And not just for fujoshi reasons... the story and the animation and the music and everyone is just ADORABLE... I could go on and on about the things I love about this anime. Let's just say everything.
About that "saved my life" bit... this anime has galvanized me in a way that nothing else could all week. I found myself inspired by it.
My question was: why?
Usually I find inspiration in things that remind me of my own situation or mindset. This is why I like pop-punk/emo bands so much... the things they sing about in their music mirror my own thoughts and feelings. Same with the singers themselves. And with the shows I love... for instance, I find a lot of myself in Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Gaara, Annie Leonhart, and Armin Arlert.
Now, this show on the other hand... aside from the lack of self-confidence and loss of inspiration, I don't have a heck of a lot in common with this protagonist. Or any of the other characters, really. I like them, but I don't really share anything with them. So why do I feel so good?
Tonight I figured it out. (Yes, that is a bad screenshot. Moving on...)
It's just positive.
That's it. It's reassuring in itself. It's vulnerable. It's a story of how there's always someone out there who's willing to pick you up, no matter how hard you fall. Of going after your dreams no matter how hard it is, or how old you are. It doesn't need to be anything else. I guess that's all anyone wants, really... to be encouraged. Listened to. Made to feel that they're not alone and that they don't have to be.
That may be one of my New Year's Resolutions next year... to get out more and encourage someone. Care about them. Get them going. Okay, so that was incredibly wordy and now that I've finished it, I'm not really sure if I got my point across. Or if I even had a point, apart from venting. But I still hope whoever reads this gets something out of it.
Specifically... stay positive. Keep your head up. Chase your dreams, and don't care too much about what other people think. Sure, constructive criticism is a good thing. But if someone feels the need to disrespect you or who you are, who needs them? You sure don't.
After all, you, me, all of us... we were born to make history.