The anime season is wrapping up. Apart from EroManga Sensei, obviously AOTY, some standouts this season were Alice & Zouroku and KADO: The Right Answer. Now, maybe you see nothing similar between a girl who uses magic to make pancakes and an anisotropic (multi-dimensional) being hellbent on helping earth reach full potential. I think though that a key feature of both of these shows is an isolated organism into a world they are completely outside of. A world with culture and structure that we can’t help but be a part of but that maybe to an outsider looks bat-shit insane. These two anime seem to share this characteristic and they also seem to be big hits. This could, of course, all be coincidence, but where’s the fun in that?
Quickly, if you haven’t seen one or either (for shame), Alice & Zorouku features select individuals called ‘Dreams of Alice’ with powers completely unique to the user. Often simplified to just magic, Sana, the protagonist, has the power of ‘Wonderland’ and brings into existence anything she imagines. Born in Wonderland, a universe separate from our own, she has no initial concept of human emotion or society. Similarly, in KADO, an alien (or maybe it’s better to say a concept?) from a universe far superior to earth’s travels to Japan in order to help humans find ‘the right answer’. Yaha-kui zaShunina, I’ll let you guess if he’s the alien or not, attempts to do this by first introducing unlimited energy and then removing the need for sleep. The final episode isn’t out yet so there’s obviously a bit of wiggle room, but I think the main point still stands.
Well, needless to say, it’s a struggle to understand why we do what we do and this idea permeates on every level of society. Why do the customs of a town differ from the state? The state from the country? If we had to describe ourselves, are we a human first and foremost or does that just come after all the other self-descriptors. The reason these anime are popular, can it be with everything going on recently that what is needed is an inward look? If that is what we need, it’s interesting to wonder if entertainment is the right medium for it. By watching several shows that really highlight how fractured we are, do we gain some sort of insight that we didn’t have before or do we just pass it off? Obviously, I’m writing this so maybe it’s better to think of entertainment and media as the starting point from which to jump off.
I’m an optimistic pessimist if I’m allowed to say that. Expect the worst, hope for the best. I could never see an outcome where everyone unites under a single front though. Honestly, if we were given unlimited energy and it was distributed equally to everyone I don’t think we would last a week. But hey, at least for the week I know I’ll never run out of power so that’s nice. I’d be sure to run up my electric bill.
The outcome of the anime in regards to this topic have a prevailing theme. A certain trait that is actually losing favor with a lot of people recently. It’s a virtue. Did you guess it yet? No? It’s alright, I’ll wait…
PATIENCE! Ha, get it? Whatever. But yes, at least one solution seems to be patience. I agree with this actually. Well, maybe I’m just a lazy bastard who wouldn’t leave my bed to save the world but that’s another post. Understanding each other and creeping closer to a unification looks good on paper and seems to be actually happening too. But at what point is this too optimistic? To expect patience and a natural solution to arise from waiting for something that will never happen in my lifetime is something that I could see being frustrating to others. Then again, is this all offset by the exponential growth in technology and population. If we were actually to build a nation off of a common purpose instead of something like race or religion, is that getting closer to the goal? I’m not sure striving for unification is even a good goal, to begin with. It’s all very interesting to think about. Well, as long as you’re fine not getting any concrete answers, that is.