A little note before I start on today’s post: I’m considering splitting up my blog, so that I have one devoted to anime, especially now that I linked my blog to Anime-Planet. I’ve noticed that most of the more successful blogs have a main theme. While I don’t want this one to be devoted exclusively to anime, I do want it to be less broad in topic. So, if I ever get around to further studying and writing on secession, that post belongs elsewhere.
Anyway, on to tonight’s post. I considered saving it for another purpose, but I needed something else to write on the blog, and I’d already journaled on the topic… so here we go.
In the past couple days, I began reading the manga Yamatonadeshiko Shichihenge (aka The Wallflower) by Hayakawa Tomoko. I watched the anime several months ago and loved it. Why? A couple reasons. I enjoyed the humor and the four handsome male leads. Yet the four stunning young men pursuing an introverted, socially awkward horror otaku provided the main hook. I call it the “fairy tale effect” – if the creators play it right, they use it to cover up a mediocre storyline and make it a hit among the girls.
I identify with the main character, Sunako. I think my social and fashion skills exceed hers. But, like her, I spend much of my time happily alone in my room. Unlike Sunako, I don’t have a bloody nose whenever I someone attractive. Then again, until a few years ago, I could hardly speak with any male between my age and forty! The more attractive the guy, the more difficult the conversation, and the more my insides fluttered. To this day, I still don’t feel entirely comfortable around guys my own age, as I always wonder how to act. If one of my male friends set out to coax me out of my shell, I’d be pleased. If four of them pursued and cared for me, despite my protests, dismissal, and timidity… well, I’d be amazed and very grateful. Like Sunako, I would sometimes feel frustrated when they pushed too far into my comfortable, lonely box. But if they continued pursuing me anyway, I’d let them in, a little at a time.
I dream of a prince rescuing me, holding me tight, taking me on adventures, and promising I’d be his forever. In truth, the Prince already came for me, takes me on His adventures, and promises to never let go. His name is Jesus, and He rescued me from more than any fairy tale or anime prince could, going to lengths beyond any written in a manga.
Why then do I forget Him? I read manga, watch anime, and dream of young gentlemen to fill a prince-shaped hole. Yet Jesus already came to fill that hole, and I already accepted Him for the divine Prince He is. Do I, deep down, not truly believe that He is enough? Does some part of me think I need to prove myself worthy of His love? Jesus’ radiance outshines that of any manga or anime character. I don’t get a bloody nose when I realize His presence, but I do get overwhelmed. He is far more than a hundred times as great as Kyohei, Tankenaga, or any other character in The Wallflower. In comparison, I feel like Sunako in her most diminutive form. Part of me wants to hide in my room, turn off the lights, and escape into an anime the way Sunako does with her horror movies. But the other part of me wants to venture into that brilliant light, brave my “bloody nose,” and find out more about the dazzling Prince who gave up everything for me, who pursues a relationship with scattered little me.
Incidentally, as I read The Wallflower, I also read the Gospel of Luke. So I take a peek at rather shallow renderings of four “princes” and then bask in the story of my real life Prince. How good can life get?
Note: I just realized that some of this post won’t make complete sense to someone who hasn’t read the manga or watched the anime. Sorry about that. This was originally written in my journal, and I hardly tweaked the entry when moving it here. I’ll try writing a post on The Wallflower with more synopsis/content type and less personal reflection soon, perhaps after another Anime 101. There are some aspects of both the anime and manga that I take serious issue with and want to address.