Friday, February 4, 2011

Reflection on The Wallflower

Time for a break from Anime 101!

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.


  1. Hey there - great post! :)

    I've only seen the first episode of Wallflower - it didn't IMMEDIATELY catch me, but I know I should go back, especially because I'm a HUGE fan of My Fair Lady and Pygmalion, upon which the anime is loosely based.

    And again...I'd really like you to consider joining my blog. You're writing is excellent, and it doesn't have to be PERFECT for you to join. My writing evolves all the time, and in just the past six months it's improved, knowing that I have a specific audience I'm writing to. Your posts match perfectly well with my audience, and joining my blog might give you a larger audience (though not by any means REALLY large...but still...).

    Plus, then you could use this blog as more of a personal one! :)

    Anyway, just more food for thought! :)

  2. Thanks!

    I think more seriously about a guest post all the time, and have a topic idea I want to try when I have a chance. We'll see how things go. I definitely think blogging helps me improve my writing - any practice does, especially when I know people read it.

  3. Beautiful post.

    I think in path of Christianity, no matter our domination, we struggle with that. We keep on searching for something we don't have, and then come back to our faith and realize that our faith gives us what no person could.

    -Janette, BBS

  4. Janette,

    Thanks for the comment! What you say is so true. It's amazing how much we sometimes put off coming back to our faith, even though we know it offers fulfillment in Jesus as nothing else (including anime and anime princes) can.

  5. I agree with your post. I know that many of us christian try to seek something that we don't have but really what we need is already with us. He(Jesus) said that he will never leave us nor forsake us. So why do we also tends to feel lonely? We should always believe and trust in his words.

    1. Thank you for commenting. ^_^

      It can be easy (and convenient) to forget Jesus is there. Even when I remember, I can feel lonely. We are social beings. Even those like me, who need a lot of alone time, crave companionship. Sometimes, I want a "prince" or best friend to fill that need for relationship. What I have to trust is not only that Jesus is with me, but that He is enough; and not only that He is enough, but that He will provide for all of my needs - including my social/relational needs. I've learned that it's okay to feel lonely; I just need to go to Him with my loneliness, instead of trying to pretend it's not there.


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