The discussion this week is not intended to be taken in any way seriously. That said, I want to use the post today to muse about what life would be like if you were the protagonist in a standard anime. I’m sure other people have thought about this so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Stage One: You would begin life unremarkably. You might be the ordinary guy/gal next door or the ditz or the loner, but you aren’t interesting enough to really make any kind of impact on anyone. For example:
- Look at Serena/Usagi from Sailor Moon. She was just an ordinary, blonde girl with below average test scores.
- Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach? Other than a crazed father and a penchant for violence, his life was as unremarkable as they came. Even his seeing ghosts didn’t really get a rise out of most bystanders.
- Sakura from Cardcaptors? While she’s unfortunately cursed to forever be attached to the 90’s Rollerblade craze her day-to-day life held zero interest.
- Shibuya Yuuri from Kyou Kara Maou. He’s an ex-baseball player with a conscience which leads to his head being flushed down a toilet but otherwise there’s nothing of note about him (something that even other characters in the show remark on at times).
Stage 2: Some person or event occurs that changes your life forever. Maybe it was a preordained act of destiny, or maybe it was just random chance, or it might be some weird combination, but once the change occurs there is no going back. Some examples from anime:
- Serena meets Luna who awakens her as a Sailor Scout.
- Ichigo meets Rukia, who after being injured by a hollow gives Ichigo her Shinigami powers so he can save his family.
- Sakura releases the cards and is then recruited by the guardian to captured them.
- Yuuri is flushed straight into another world where he meets Konrad who tells him he is going to be the next demon king.
Stage Three: You undergo a dramatic transformation while fighting to hold on to your own sense of identity. This transformation is sometimes quite literal as the magical girls of the world know all too well, but other times it is a transformation of purpose and drive. Our examples:
- Serena becomes Sailor Moon, Champion of Love and Justice. Well she has a cute outfit at least. She does eventually evolve into a champion.
- Sakura’s transformation is more subtle as it is more about the direction her life goes in and how she deals with things. The outfits are simply a ‘perk’.
- Ichigo transforms into a shinigami (kind of). While this allows him to fight low level hollows, it’s going to be a very bumpy ride before he reaches his true potential.
- Yuuri transforms literally and metaphorically. He is made the demon king but has to keep working to keep war from breaking out between demons and humans. However, make him mad enough and the maou really will appear and he definitely isn’t a push-over.
By the way, Sakura isn’t forced by magic to wear those outfits. No, she is the victim of an overly nice friend who really just wants to help her capture the cards, and video tape Sakura in cute outfits.
Stage Four: Now you have transformed you must face your destiny. It is nice how destiny always appears just when you are ready to face it. Whether it be an enemy, a politcal ideal, or the saving of a friend, you must rush onward to save the day. And just note, the consequences of failure are too horrendous to even discuss, so don’t fail.
- Yuuri, just save the world for humans and demons and keep a war from breaking out, and while you’re at it, save all of your closest friends from having their various body parts snatched so that they can be used as magic keys to boxes that will somehow destroy the world. No pressure.
- Serena, kill Beryl. She only destroyed the entire Moon Kingdom and your far more talented mother, but you can do it.
- Ichigo, Rukia gave you her power and now they are going to kill her. Fight your way through every single one of the Shinigami until you can somehow save her.
- Sakura, you let the cards escape and now you have to catch them so that the magic doesn’t run amok. Yeah, there is a greater story in here as well but really it’s a magical scavenger hunt.
Helpful Hints for your anime life:
You are the protagonist in an anime. You won’t die (and if you do it won’t be overly permanent) so feel free to wear your ideals on your sleeves and never back down.
Keep in mind, if you insist something for long enough, even when backed up with no actual evidence, somehow your passion and faith will make it a reality.
You are going to suffer pain. Amazingly enough, for every good thing that happens, you will probably have overcome at least three really awful ordeals, or had to save others from them. Let’s be honest, the more tragic your past or present, somehow the more power you are going to end up with and the cooler outfit you will get to wear once you find your power.
And, if all else fails, believe in the power of friendship and your own strength and somehow you will evolve once again into an even shinier version of you who can in fact save the day.
Some final random thoughts:
How many buckets of blood does Ichigo actually have anyway and why does he need to be near death before he manages to win any fight? Wouldn’t being that close to death actual hinder his success?
Why is Serena more powerful when she transforms into a really long, white dress? Surely that would hinder her combat abilities?
So back to the original reason for the post, what if life were an anime? Share your thoughts.