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Have you ever been that weird kid in school who watches anime? You probably got all those weird looks because you started talking about some anime and nobody knew what you were talking about. Yep, I know that feeling. Of course, I did that when I was younger and decided to hide that part of my life from people (until I met my husband). I am probably the black sheep of my family because I am a nerd who loves to watch animes on Saturday night, but I don’t care. I can personally thank the anime world because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. But what happens when you get married and start a family? Do you keep watching anime or do you start to hide it again? Nope, not at all. You don’t hide it, you embrace it. Anime is a great thing for families and I will tell you why.
You see, when I was younger I used to wake up to watch cartoons with my father and it was the greatest thing ever. But then, it turned into cartoon network where I would watch one of my fave shows, and still is, none other than Sailor Moon. I used to pretend I was Usagi and dance to the transformation scene. Yes, I am weird, but I loved it. Then, shows like Dragonball, Cowboy Bepop, Voltron, etc. came on and I was amazed at all of this greatness. However, my whole world changed in middle school. I did have friends that liked the same things I did when it came to anime, but I still wanted to be in the popular group (I was a girl who dreamed of being popular). Well, I did get into the ‘in’ crowd and it turned out that all they wanted to do was bully me.
That’s right, I said bully and it was horrible. I can remember that one time, I thought that a popular boy liked me and the truth was that the girls from the popular group made up that rumor/note and made me out to be a fool. What did they do? They laughed at me. I felt so out of place, then another friend of my best friend started a rumor and started to tell people that I was a fake person and a ‘poser’. From that, I lost most of my friends and I had never felt more alone in my life. So, I started to hide myself from people and my family. I got so depressed that I did become that emo kid where I would cut myself with a razor and did think about suicide, but here comes the anime that I needed, which was Fruits Basket.
Fruits Basket is about a young girl in high school that lost her mom and dad, her house, and nowhere to go. However, she still smiled and kept going. She ran into the popular boy at school and found out that his family is cursed by the chinese zodiac, so if any member of the family hugs the opposite sex, they turn into one of the animals from the zodiac. The family takes her in and they endure a lot of hardships, but she still manages through it, puts a smile on her face, and she comes out on top.
That anime helped me a lot during that time. And it got me thinking of getting into stuff that I cared about and loved, which was theatre and dance. So, I focused more on dance and started to act in plays in my community theatre. I loved it! I didn’t need friends because I had those things in my life and the people that I met in the theatre and dance understood me and actually took an interest in me. The teachers I had became like second mothers to me and became role models. Finally, after the help of my dance/theatre, my family, and anime, I got up the courage to start feeling better about myself. Even though I wanted desperately to be liked by other people, I had to realize that before that happened, I had to like myself and feel like I am worthy.
Then, here came high school where I felt so good and had some friends that were like me (nerds). It was the best time of my life. I had a boyfriend after I thought I would never get one because of my heartbreaks in the past, but my husband came waltzing into my life. We have had a share of heartbreaks, drama, you name it, in our relationship, but somehow we always came back to each other. At the beginning of our relationship, I hid my nerdiness from him because he liked me. Then, I showed him my true self. My nerd self. And, that’s when we really blossomed. We finally found our lobster (Friends reference).
Throughout these years together, we watch anime and it brings us that quality time with each other. Throughout college, jobs, getting married, becoming a family, and moving, every time we watch an anime, we are so present in the moment that it lets us be who we are. I will admit though that I was scared of letting my daughter watch anime, but she loves it just as much as we do! She loves Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Voltron, Studio Ghibli films, and Fruits Basket. So, here we are, a nerdy family who loves anime and makes time every weekend or every Saturday to have a family night watching anime.
But let me tell you that anime really helped me because ,yes even though it’s an animated show, it’s really great to see the characters go through hardships that we can all relate and be able to overcome them somehow. Like with bullying for example, in Fruits Basket there are scenes that the main character gets bullied, but she pays them no mind, she has the help of her friends, and she shows them that she can still smile. In Voltron, they see different communities going through hardships and tries to use teamwork to show the enemy that there is good in the world. In Dragon Ball, every time an enemy appeared, they have seen the planet get destroyed, but came together to defeat the enemy. Even the Studio Ghibli films show relatable hardships, but the characters show how they work through them. It’s amazing to see these things and it’s great to see your family, especially your child, be so touched by anime.
I know a lot of people give anime crap, but I think that it’s a great source for all of us when we get into those hard times. I know it has helped me.
Well, I need to get going on the next post, so I really do hope that you enjoyed reading. Just know that if you are a child or a parent, you are never alone. Thank you to all of my readers and I will see you in the next post! 🙂