TL;DR Chase your dreams, get frustrated, figure it out, push to the goal. Unless someone innately talented comes along. Then you’re fucked.
I’m wayyy too much of a sucker for any anime that has ‘improving’ as a major theme. If you have ever watched more than 2 anime, you know that’s what most of them are about. Maybe it was because I was about to be shipped off to college and in a major transitional period, but Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo left a mark on me I really wasn’t expecting.
Following Sorata (and Jin, but more on that later), the path I saw him take in that show really resonated with me. At the time, I was actually considering being a game developer like he wants to be. Being a game developer has become like the millennial version of being a firefighter, except a firefighter saves lives and making games are incredibly difficult and easy to give up on. The first time Sorata pseudo tries to make a game, it bombs. And this is him starting completely from scratch. The second time? He gets an interview for a competition and gets so flustered he freezes and drops his note-cards everywhere. The third time? Nails it, but still doesn’t get it because a similar game was going into development too close together. And that’s just life. Get fucked and pick yourself back up. A perfectly depressingly inspirational catchphrase.
Now, watching someone lose all hope in life is great and all but that’s only 1/2 the reason the show stood out to me. The conflict for Sorata and Jin (Sorata’s roommate) wasn’t their own failures. It was the fact that they were both comparing themselves to geniuses, prodigies of their fields. Mashiro and Misaki exude talent. They don’t need to try, they don’t need to practice. It just happens. And what ‘just happens’ is master-level material in art and animation, respectively. The frustration for Sorata when he lashes out at Mashiro and the refusal of Jin to write for/date Misaki until he can be her equal is downright inspiring. Then you fucking throw in Aoyama who is trying to be a voice actor without the support of her parents. I hear the voice acting world is not particularly forgiving…
Every character, except fucking Ryuunosuke, is going through this strange yet exhilarating duality with their roommates. For Sorata and Jin, acquiring the talent to compete with Mashiro and Misaki is the number one goal. For Mashiro and Misaki, there is an emotional component to it. Mashiro is most likely autistic and can’t even get dressed by herself for half the damn show.
She doesn’t understand how to practice and really doesn’t understand Sorata’s frustration at failing. This leads up to climactic scene where Sorata flips out on Mashiro after failing to get the green light for his video game.
Misaki is head over heels for Jin. Jin is head over heels for Misaki. ‘SO WHY THE FUCK WON’T HE GET WITH ME’ (is what I imagine Misaki is thinking)??? The reason is that he doesn’t think he’s worthy. He wants to write for her animations but knows his writing skills are completely amateurish next to her godlike animations.
So put all that in a fucking show and what you get it is an ultimate guide to life (at least from middle school to college). Pursuing dreams, getting frustrated, lashing out, and slowly moving towards success is as good as it’s going to get. Everyone is lacking in different areas (some more than others) and that’s fine. Maybe you can stand on the platform with the geniuses one day but that’s not a guarantee AND, on top of that, you’re going to have to work your ass off just for a small chance. It’s a really efficient way to pick out the weeds in the group. Talent vs work ethic (Nature vs Nurture) has been a debate for a long time. My question is, what happens then when the talent starts practicing?