Something occurred to me as I watched Manabi Straight. This idea of how important anime is on a personal level. I know I’ve felt this way with anime before; those revolutionary moments when an anime reaches out with a message and it connects with you on a deep level, resonating a (fundamental) change in your perspective or how you go about doing things in your daily life.
Often times, anime was a source of entertainment that made me smile, but it was also a comforting friend in times of need, like when I was feeling anxious or depressed, there was that one anime to help me through it during those troubling times. In those times anime was something I could allow myself to get lost in, a way to escape my troubles, and something that was able to make me feel genuinely happy when I didn’t feel like I had any reason to be.
Other times, anime was a source of inspiration, something to give me a big rousing speech, a sense of purpose and direction, and a push into a more progressive mindset. This was the case when I finished Manabi Straight shortly before writing this, how it managed to deliver a bittersweet and yet heartwarming message about moving forward in life.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had this message delivered to me, and it’s nothing novel even within anime. But something about the way Manabi Straight conveys its message in such a strong and sincere way really struck a chord with me. I know I’ve previously mentioned the show meanders between being fun and boring, but by the end it didn’t really detract from the heart of it all. I’m not here to judge if Manabi Straight is a good show, whether I enjoyed it, or even to recommend it to you. Rather, I am trying to express how its earnestness was a tremendous boost to my current philosophy of “Keep. Moving. Forward.”
Something a lot of people in my life seem to have a hard time understanding is how significant of a change I am trying to make in my work ethic and approach to things. I want to stop saying I’ll do something and start actually doing it. That’s why I’m trying to write as often as I can now. That’s why I’m writing this very post. I want to improve, and the only way to do that is by doing and moving forward. Manabi helped me realize that I can still grow as a person and revolutionize my life if I really want to, and Manabi Straight helped in my reflection on this new frame of mind, and I want to see it through, or at least I really want to try and see what I can accomplish if I do.
(Spoilers for Manabi Straight) Manabi deciding to become a person perfectly content with bouncing between part-time jobs after graduation at the end, and looking just as happy as she was before at school while doing it, sort of made me feel jealous. It got me thinking about where exactly it is I want to go in life, but also whether or not I am truly satisfied with where I am now. I thought to myself “Wow. She’s really happy just working part-time jobs. Could I do that? Would I be satisfied if I decided to drop out of college and let that be my life?” It’s something I’m still wondering about as I contemplate whether continuing with a college degree I don’t even care about anymore is even worth it. Especially, when I could be doing something that I could be more satisfied with doing.
All I know right now, is that I love writing and when I’m not writing I feel like something is wrong, as though writing is when I feel most satisfied in my work, and maybe even in my life. I hope I can make a career out of it, but I can’t depend on that dream either. Despite knowing this, I still want to try. And maybe trying will be enough to keep me satisfied with what I’m doing. Regardless with whatever I do, I hope it’s something I can be satisfied with doing.