Author: Link015 PM
We always wish for stuff that isn't real, right? I mean, we've always wanted stuff that we could never have. It was part of the human psyche. In anime, people often possess qualities that we shall never have. Is this the same thing?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 1,308 - Reviews: 4 - Published: 05-22-06 - id: 2179021
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chris: I'm back with a new essay. Amazing. Now, enjoy and read.
Have you noticed a couple of things in anime that don't exactly ring as being real to life? I mean, one thing you could notice is the hair color. After all, from what I know, the uniform hair color in Japan is black. But why then, in all those Japanese school-type animes, are the hair colors brown, blond, and red? Why are some of them obviously outlandish, in colors that you can't even find naturally in the real world? Don't get me wrong. I don't hate anime at all. In fact, some people might refer to me as an anime fan (although I know people who watch a lot more than me). But sometimes, it bugs me. I mean, however cool it may seem, I realize that I will never see a girl or a guy with dark-green hair. Why? Because it doesn't exist.
But let's go into the 'normal' hair colors first. Namely two of the most popular ones, brown and blond. I don't know if it's true, but there will probably be a blond girl in any anime, even if the anime occurs in Japan where the only blond girls or guys you will see are tourists or transfer students. You could obviously say that all the blond girls in the anime are transfer students, but seriously, anyone can see what a weak argument a statement like that makes. Same with brown hair. Brown hair is a rare, if at all, occurrence in the region of Asia, including Japan. So why do some anime (Maburaho and Sister Princess as examples) have brown-haired people in them?
You might say that I'm just being way too nit-picky about this stuff and anime isn't supposed to be a real depiction of life anyway. I'll reply by saying that you are absolutely correct and that what you just said is leading to my main argument. Why do people watch anime anyway? Obviously not because they're realistic. Honestly, can you imagine some of the plotlines actually happening in real life? If so…You have a strange life. So if they're not realistic, that must mean that almost all manga and anime in the world has to do with stuff that is pure fantasy, pure dreams made into art and vision.
It is my belief that anime and manga not only exist, but excel in this world because they do provide this escape from reality. After all, it is human nature to become bored of things that you see day after day. It should be no surprise that our lives are exactly the same way. No one would read a story about a guy who wakes up, goes to school, does his homework, and goes back to sleep. That's boring. We've all done that.
As such, we like to read works that are fantastical; things about events that could not possibly happen in our lifetimes. I mean, aliens from outer space coming to invade? Probably not. A guy getting lucky enough to become a manager of a girl's dorm? Uh huh, I wish. Cards that come to life and being placed in the position of secret defender of the whole world? I think I've seen that in a children's book somewhere. Tiny animals that can speak their names and are used for battling and making friends with other people? Well yeah, if my fish could actually say something and squirt water out of its mouth.
So why are we so interested in this stuff if it could never happen in real life? Maybe the fact that it can't happen in real life is the reason we are so drawn to it. We are naturally drawn to things we cannot possess or have. After all, have you ever bought something you've really, really wanted for a long time, only to find out that the thing you bought isn't all that its cracked up to be? I know it's happened to me. The anticipation of actually having the item, owning it, using it…That is what controls your desire. I know that magic doesn't exist and will never be discovered in my life. That doesn't stop my hope that one day, I might actually find it. But like I said, the anticipation is always greater than the moment of ownership.
You could easily go back to the notice that many anime characters do not possess hair colors born to the Japanese. Maybe these people are created to fulfill the desire to see someone with something unique from the rest of the population. Seriously, it's probably really boring to look out in a sea of hair and find out that the uniform color is black. So maybe, these characters were created to relive the monotony. If we cannot have it in real life, why not create it in a fantasy?
But is that not the problem? If we create too many fantasies, then what will happen when the world forces us back into the harsh nature of reality, where the things we've dreamed of do not exist? If we desire everything that we cannot get, how will we understand when what we get is nothing like what we want? Maybe I'm just being paranoid or something. After all, not everyone is an anime freak and not everyone dreams of things that don't exist. Still…It's just something to wonder about.
After all, in the webcomic Megatokyo, the female character Kimiko remarks on how many of the games in Japan are nothing more than cheap fantasies created for lonely people (usually guys). Is that the same for everything? Is the fantasy created because we are lonely, that we miss something that we can never see? I don't know, although sometimes is certainly seems like that. Whenever we miss our loved ones, when someone important goes away from us, do we not wish they were back with us? Do we not wish that they would come back? So is this the same? Maybe.
So, how can we, as human beings, get as we want, if what we want is often so far out of reach it is impossible? Do we keep giving into accepting other people's visions and accepting them as our own, making our own wish that these events would somehow come true? Do we just hopelessly believe that magic exists in a world where there is none? How can we make our fantasies come true? Maybe…Maybe the answer isn't in achieving our fantasies…Maybe the answer is making our current situations as wonderful and fantastic as possible. I might just be a boring high schooler in America…but I do have something amazing that the characters in manga and anime will never have. The ability to shape my world in the way that I want it, the way that I dream about it. After all, the sky is the limit and one day we shall all fly free.
Chris: That's it for now. As you can obviously tell, it's not an extremely well-formed argument or essay thing. I will probably make this larger when I have more ideas to add to it. Anyway, hope it gave you some things to think about (Even if that thing is that I'm a biased jerk who hates anime). Any reviews would be appreciated.
Note: Remember, I enjoy anime as much as the next person. I just wonder about these things. And Megatokyo is property of Fred Gallagher. Go visit his site. Seriously, I mean it. Praise him and his awesome manga. NOW.