Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I have been obsessed with anime lately. It's like I went on a total anime binge, but it's lasting longer than is normal; it's extending into a third series.
I'm currently watching NANA. I think this might be the best one yet. THIS is how drama is done. The manga creator, Ai Yazawa, is pure genius. It's a story about two girls who happen to meet on a train to Tokyo. Although they share the same name (Nana), they are as different as night and day. Nana Osaki is the lead vocalist in a punk band on her way to earn her fame in Tokyo. Nana Komatsu is the girly-girl from next door who is looking for love and happiness. Circumstances cause the two to start renting an apartment together. The series chronicles their lives, development of friendship, love, and individualism.
While the other series I have been watching have been all about cute, innocent, first loves of kids in high school, this one is more about the characters blossoming into adulthood and maturity. There is a scene where Hachi (as Nana Komatsu is nicknamed) realizes that loving someone is not about looking out for oneself and only concerning yourself of your own feelings: it is, in fact, about compromise and looking out for the other person's, as well as the couple's, best interest. I think this is a huge step for anyone to take. I admit that I did spend a lot of time in several different relationships concentrating on how happy or how sad so-and-so made me. I was always missing the point -- "how happy was I making him?" It was always about me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I admit it. I spent the entire day watching anime. I called in sick (but I am really sick!) and watched Bokura ga Ita all day. Yeah yeah. I'm a dork. Don't I know it?
Everything went as I suspected, although I am quite satisfied with the ending (of the anime). It was very open ended and really left me with a light of hope. I was bawling by the end. I am moved to tears so easily. It's been quite awhile since I last felt this sort of connection to anything, especially an anime. I truly believe that the portrayal of first love, innocence, and goodbyes are exemplified in this series. I could sympathize with their emotions because I was once there. I could once again go back to those days and remember what it felt like. After every episode, I was able to reflect back to a moment or a phrase that reminded me of my own past. It was really touching. They say that innocence lost can never be regained, but through this anime, I was really able to go back and relive those moments. That was the beauty of it all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's been quite a long time. I was watching some anime series and I suddenly had the urge to post.
First off, I've been watching a series called Lovely Complex. This series is about a couple of teenagers in high school. The heroine (Koizumi Risa) is unusually tall while the hero (Otani Atsushi) is unusually short. After a series of events where the two find themselves to have a lot in common, Koizumi falls head over heels for Otani. Otani does not feel the same way about Koizumi (or maybe he's just confused) because he has only ever seen her as a friend. The episodes continue with comedic, laugh-out-loud scenes, but in the end, gives a the viewer a heart-wrenching look into a lovesick school girl that cannot reach the object of her desires. The teenage heartache and angst is superbly written and portrayed; I find myself sympathetic and often in tears. Mind you, I am quite easily driven to tears.
Secondly, I've also been watching another series entitled Bokura ga Ita (We Were There). It's another high school series about teenagers making their way through life, romance, and self-evaluation. Again, this centers around a relationship between the two main characters. What intrigues me about this series is the progression of the relationship. It starts off as a one-sided interest and slowly builds the relationship from there. I haven't gone far into the series yet (into about episode 5) so the couple are still in the beginnings of their relationship. I have found this to be sweetly innocent and a beautiful understanding of what it is like to be in those first days of teenage love. From what I understand, the series will continue to chronicle the relationship, fights, drama, and all. I have high hopes that it will continue on a realistic depiction of "first love;" I do feel, though, that if it does continue this way, that I will need to steel myself to a "not so happy ending" for the couple. As much as I am a hopeless romantic and would like to see them have their happily ever after, I do not believe that it will fit in with the message of the show.
I find myself drawn to these shows. I feel myself wanting to experience it all again: the innocence of first love, of feeling your heart skip a beat, and all those silly antics of gaining the attention and affection of the one you're pining for.
There is this scene in Bokura ga Ita where the couple go on their first date to the movies. The boy asks the girl if he can rest his arm on the armrest separating the two. She agrees. Then he tells her that she can also rest her arm if she likes. She seems confused and agrees, although in her mind, she's thinking, "Where would I do that?" Partially through the movie, the boy starts to flex his fingers on the armrest. She notices and he replies, "Oh.. just some finger exercises." She then notices that he has left half the armrest for her to put her arm down. She does and they hold hands for the rest of the movie. It's all just so innocently sweet that I can't help but to smile.
There is another scene in Lovely Complex where the girl visits the boy at his home because he missed school due to an illness. The girl has already told the boy that she likes him, but he does not return that feeling. He tries to explain this to her and uses the current situation at hand to be an example; he tells her that they are alone in his room and that he doesn't feel anything regarding the situation. If he truly was attracted to her, he would certainly feel something, wouldn't he? Nervous? Excited? Anything? She leans in quite close to him and tells him that she is trying her best and wonders if that will ever be good enough. She asks him if it will ever be good enough. It's such a vulnerable moment that I feel this wrenching, heart-stopping pause as I wait with her for some sort of answer. Meanwhile, I've got tears streaming down my face as I empathize with her situation.
Maybe I'm a softie. Maybe I'm a sucker for pain. Who knows? It just reminds me so much of high school drama, first love, and painful goodbyes. Even though these situations are not necessarily the same as I have experienced, the same emotions are there. I am glad I am still able to empathize. I would be more worried if the tears didn't come because it would mean that I didn't understand anymore, that I could no longer feel those emotions.