Ex-blogger extraordinaire, ghostlighting, ran a blog called “We Remember Love” with other fellow bloggers at the time (a lot of which were mecha and anime fans alike), and the now infamous Digibro (previously known as “Digital Boy”), from October 2008 to October 2012. If you haven’t read his posts, I recommend that you do, as it some of the best anime-related content I’ve ever read.
As made obvious by the name of his blog, ghostlightning primarily wrote about his loving memories of shows he grew up watching, as well as any he revisited (multiple times), and even new ones that reminded him of what he loved about the older ones, throughout the four years of blogging. In it, he brazenly championed many mecha and gundam shows, alongside others outside of those genres, such as Toradora!, K-ON!, Cowboy Bebop, and very often displayed meta-views on his and other people’s attitudes in both the blogging and anime communities.
One of the big appeals about ghostlightning’s way of writing is how he speaks with both sincerity and awareness. He has such a great understanding of his feelings and the perception of others on the works he loves (and hates) that he knows just how to get his points across without pretending to be an arbitrator of what is good, or risk tantalizing others with his remarks on what he does or doesn’t like. There’s this quality of authenticity in his words that once they’re laid out on the table, you no longer care whether or not you agree with him, because of how interesting and earnest he made what he had to say appear.
What I love about ghostlightning and what he brings to the table whenever he deliberates on anime and blogging is his ability to paint a picture of his past experiences in such fine detail, that I feel like an outlier reading his material, as someone who lacks such vivid memory and meaningful childhood experiences. With ghostlightning, remembering love comes natural to him, as a lot of the shows he grew up watching (Choudenji Voltes V, SDF Macross, Ranma ½, Dragon Ball Z, Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell, Slam Dunk, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam 00, and Cowboy Bebop) made such a huge impact on him as a kid (and adolescent) that it’s easy for him to recall those shows with that same love, because the connection was made so strong from the experiences he had watching them the first time.
For me, it’s such a troubling thing to conjure up past feelings and experiences of anything that may have been significant for me as a kid, because so much of my life has been lived through a shy, negative, and frustrated view that it’s becoming harder and harder for me to believe I ever had anything to remember loving in the first place. And it’s sad for me to be drawing such tragic parallels between myself and others, when it’s understandable we all live different lives founded upon different upbringings, but it’s even sadder for me to be left wondering whether I had any such experiences at all, or simply just forgot about them. And if that’s the case, how can they still be considered meaningful if so easily forgotten?
This isn’t to say I don’t have any recollection of my favourite childhood shows. No, I’m sure there’s a select few I remember watching more intently than others, and can still call up as one of the more memorable attention-grabbers for a good part of my childhood. Pokémon, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh being the primary distractors, but not huge influences to my knowledge. But even though there are a few I still hold dear to me and can appreciate more now that I’m older, I don’t remember any of them having any striking revelations for me as a kid, as ghostlightning seems to elicit in his writing.
I can’t help but feel this way. It’s hard for me not to draw comparisons to what others had and are able to look back on passionately, especially since I spent so much of my childhood watching so many terrible shows and movies on repeat for years, that in retrospect they ended being a waste of time with no love to remember them by. So, what I’m left with is this feeling that I’m holding-out for the day I’ll stumble across something that will jog my memory and open my mind to rediscovering my love for a lot more from my childhood than I remember.