Warning: SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD!!! (for those who have not watched Angel Beats! yet) Music has a power to it that can be called magical, influential, soothing even supernatural. One thing that's for sure is that music has a way of playing with your emotions. Whether you listen to pop, rock, metal, rap, r&b, jazz or whatever you like, music of all varieties has played with all your emotions at some point or another. My dad always told me that good music was, as he described it, "whatever gets you moving". Today I write this to talk about one of my more favorite anime characters who taught me a valuable lesson in the love of music. Meet Masami Iwasawa.
Iwasawa is the vocalist and lead guitarist for the fictional band Girls Dead Monster. We only know Iwasawa in the first episode as such. It's not til episode 3 that we get to see more of her and her story.
For everyone that knows, Iwasawa grew up in a broken home. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother didn't really seem to do anything to support her or help her as she was constantly arguing with her husband. Iwasawa speaks for the lives of many all around the world who have a similar situation in their lives at home or elsewhere. Iwasawa felt like there was no escape from such a treacherous life.
Then one day, while shopping around a music shop, she comes across this band called Sad Machine. The vocalist, who like Iwasawa, grew up in a broken home. To her, this was a motivation to make music herself... To save others as she was just saved.
Unfortunately for Iwasawa her dream in life came up short when she died from a stroke. Even after death she was able to continue her musical dream even if it was played for people who aren't actually there. In the end Iwasawa found peace with herself and was able to pass on to the next life.
So how does Iwasawa's story reflect on the importance of music? Well ask yourself this... How differently would her life had been if music never existed. Imagine if music never existed in your life. Imagine if we never discovered music. Life would be just bland and borderline meaningless.
Here in the real world, one band made a song that tells exactly how life would be without the influence of music. Rush's 2112 is the story of a futuristic hero who finds a guitar in the caverns beneath the city he lives in. When he comes forth with his discovery, he is disavowed and shamed. His guitar is destroyed and and he is given the long walk of shame home. The hero gets home and begins to have a dream led by an Oracle. He leads the hero to another world where everyone makes their own music with hungry hearts and open minds, the exact opposite of what his current is. Hoping that he can escape to the dream he just had, the hero righteously kills himself in the very same cavern where he found the guitar.
Both Iwasawa and the 2112 hero understood the importance of music. Iwasawa wanted to use music to save people from sorrow and depression by making them feel wanted and human. The 2112 hero wanted to be in a world where everyone could make their own music. In the end both find peace.
To conclude, music is something that no one should ever take for granted. Not everyone can be a great musician like Iwasawa or the trio of Rush. But everyone can feel influenced to do great things because of music. Love the music you have. Keep it close to your heart. The music you listen to can help define you as a person and how you are perceived by others. And most importantly be thankful that we live in a world where music does exist and is for the most part accepted everywhere.