Well yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Pokemon, and normally I wouldn’t have really thought twice about it if it wasn’t for a certain Youtuber I’m subscribed to. Her profile name is TamashiiHiroka and she does mainly lists about Pokemon and rarely talks about anime and other video games. So naturally I suspected she would do something to commemorate this event, and she did. What she put out however is mainly the reason I felt utterly compelled to write this article. In her video she talks about how Pokemon as a whole helped her through tough times and helped her feel a need of belonging. It’s a real emotional video and I implore you to go watch it even if you don’t care about Pokemon.
Anyway this video got me seriously thinking about if any form of media has ever really impacted me on such a level that Pokemon seemed to impact her. Naturally because Anime is my passion I looked straight to that and didn’t even have to think about it because I knew instantly. So today I’m going to be talking about the three anime that changed my life and consequentially reign as my current three favorite anime of all time.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
After about ten years of watching anime I was confident that no show would ever be better than Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. Code Geass had everything I thought I wanted from a show and for five years had unquestionably been my go to recommendation and talking point whenever Anime came up. Then in 2011, shortly after I was done scraping off the shell of high school life and finding out what I wanted to do for my life, I came across Puella Magi Madoka Magica. A deep and emotional show about the choices we make in life and the consequences that arrive with them. Madoka both provided a path to avoid and follow when it comes to fulfilling your dreams/destiny. It was the first time in Anime that I ever thought of its subject matter as, not only relatable, but important.
It was Madoka that taught me what I really wanted from my entertainment. And if fate so happened, this was around the time that I discovered my passion for writing and Madoka also helped me realize what kind of stories I wanted to write. It was a story that fit my empathetic nature so perfectly that I couldn’t help but feel what all the characters were going through. I love all the characters like how you would love your family. A love that doesn’t need to be questioned because it feels natural and unyielding. It was a story of growth and perseverance which was what I needed at that point in my life and can still think about today. Madoka taught me that fulfilling my dream would be worth it, no matter the hardships that come with the path to reaching it.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
From the realization of shows more akin to Madoka I finally watched a show that I had ignorantly been ridiculing for years. In 2012 I finally watched Neon Genesis Evangelion and it was almost comedic at how well this transitioned from what I got out of Madoka Magica. If what I got out of Madoka was the nature of others, then Neon Genesis Evangelion taught me about the nature of myself. It delved deep into my psyche and brought all my insecurities to the surface and dragged them across the screen in the form of the main character, Shinji Ikari. I am so much like Shinji to the point where when I talk about him I sometimes get mixed up and relate it to how I would feel or react to things because they’re so similar. Literally the only real difference between me and him is that for the most part I’ve had a healthy support system in my family and God. Honestly I think without the strength of God I would’ve felt the same as Shinji, but that’s a thought better left out of an article about Anime.
Evangelion brought the dreams I had realized from Madoka and showed me the main road block that I would come across achieving those dreams, me. Sadly Evangelion doesn’t provide a good or healthy solution to the problems its characters face in the show but it was enough for me to realize those faults in myself and slowly begin to delve into why I feel the way I do, and how that way of thinking can help other people with similar feelings. This yet again helped me in my writing and gave me a unique way to write characters that’s more in line with my empathetic nature.
Kill La Kill
While I was working on fully understanding myself after watching Evangelion I really struggled between the lines of fixing myself or accepting who I was. Then in 2014, three years after opening my world to a higher level of Anime, I watched the first Studio Trigger TV series Kill La Kill. While Madoka and Evangelion both sort of had happy and uplifting endings, it was Kill La Kill’s upbeat and go getting attitude through out its whole run that made yet another benchmark on my life. It was as if they had brought the world and situation from Evangelion and thrown in different characters to deal with those situations, and it was enlightening. It was exactly what I needed after years of wondering if who I am was acceptable and then Kill La Kill came along with a megaphone and shouted into my ear “Who Cares”! Kill La Kill is about being who you are and making connections with others regardless. A trait that I had for a long time but never really considered that it worked both ways.
For a long time I would be the person that was overly accepting of others but never really thought I was deserving of the same acceptance. It was a big self-worth issue and after watching Kill La Kill I realized that my self-worth comes from the connections I make with others and not solely on myself as a person. This was a huge pick-me up. I could be selfish, moody, and down right depressing sometimes, but people would still reach out to me and love me because I would reach out and love them. Now I didn’t have to be afraid of myself anymore for the sake of others, I could be myself so that other people could be themselves around me as well. We could carry the weight of the world together instead of alone and we would make each other stronger because of that. Again this was something so simple that I knew on a conceptual basis but never really knew how to execute it until I watched Kill La Kill.
Time to wipe away the tears and close this thought
Of course there are other Anime that really taught me some important things. But what these three shows gave me at the time was so necessary, the emotional impact was its strongest. Even since watching Kill La Kill only two years ago there have been shows that I have learned from and hope that I will never stop finding shows that enrich my life.
Again as much as these shows helped me realize and take positive steps in my life I can’t express how much of a factor God was in the grand scheme of things. Without him the meaning to all the concepts I learned and work towards seems mundane and pointless. In a way I like to see it as God helping me grow by presenting these shows to me at times in my life where I would benefit the most from them. And I know I said I wouldn’t mention God anymore in this post, but lets face it, he’s the one that’s impacted my life more than the hundred of shows I’ve watched or ever will watch.