A while back, I was thinking about what I had accomplished in my life and compared them to the goals I had set in grade 3 and in grade 12. Needless to say, achievements such as “make $1 million by the age of 22″ and “walk on the moon” were destined to lead to disappointment.
I won’t bore you with the details, but I eventually reached a point where I realized that between the time I thought I could take on the world (around 16) and now (8 years later), there were a lot of life lessons that I would not have survived without if I had decided to take on the world at 16. That then got me thinking about all the different places I’ve gained wisdom from, and that eventually led to the question: what have I learned from anime?
Below are just some of the tidbits of wisdom that anime has bestowed upon me over the years and I am now sharing them with you.
1. Never Outshine the Main Character(s)
If you are not one of the central elements of an anime and happen to outshine the main character(s) for even a moment, you might as well kick the bucket. Side characters only ever become awesome just before they die. This is a way of making things seem more dramatic. So if you like living, make sure never to do anything cool or awesome (unless you’re a main character).
Example: Martian Successor Nadesico
2. Get a Childhood Friend
I’ve already explained this in my childhood friend post, but for the sake of your future love life, get a childhood friend of the opposite gender. A childhood friend will create jealousy among other members of their gender, who will then flock to you in hordes. Whatever you do, do NOT get a childhood friend of the same gender. In all likelihood, you will become bitter rivals and end up killing each other.
3. Teenagers Make the Best Pilots
Are you in charge of a top secret, highly advanced, and very destructive military weapon that can turn the tide of war in your favour? Do you need someone who can pilot it for zero wage and obliterate anything in his path? Well look no further than that high school kid that just walked by. Stick any high school boy in the cockpit of any maneuverable weapon, and he’ll be able to defeat all of your enemies without a single training session.
Example: Gundam Seed
4. God is Probably a Cute Girl
We all know that God is an old guy with a white beard, right? Wrong, She is probably a cute schoolgirl that lives in Japan. Time to change the way you pray and worship lest you bring about Her melancholy.
Example: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
5. You Always Have Time For a Special Move
Time waits for no one, but apparently bad guys are polite enough to let the good guys finish their special moves (this also applies to transformations). If you have a special move that you want to use in a fight someday, don’t worry about it being too long because no one will interrupt you.
Example: Sailor Moon
6. She’s How Old!?
Remember that little girl on the park bench you bought ice cream for because she lost her balloon? Well, it turns out she was actually 30 years old. Never judge a book by its cover and never judge a person’s age by their looks.
Example: To Aru Majutsu no Index
7. Befriend Your Enemies
If you’ve ever wondered what the best way to make friends was, worry not, for anime has the answer. If you beat the crap out of your enemies and stop right before they die, they will automatically become your friends when they wake up. There is no need to worry about starting a conversation or giving them gifts, just blast them with a starlight breaker.
Example: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
8. Sit in That Seat
If you are still in grade school, then you have an opportunity to star in your very own anime. To do so, you must first meet two conditions. First off, make sure your homeroom has windows on the left side when facing the chalkboard. Secondly, you need to sit in “that” seat, the one right by the windows and second from the back. If you manage to score the “hero” seat, then congratulations, you’re probably being watched by thousands of people from the next dimension right now.
Example: Card Captor Sakura
9. There are Always Strings Attached
A lot of people have been given magical powers by cute furry animals, but there are always strings attached. Before you sign a contract with the next talking animal you meet, make sure you read the fine print.
Example: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
10. Tentacles Love Young Girls
One of the more interesting things that anime has taught me is that anything with tentacles is instantly attracted to young girls. If you ever find yourself being invaded by tentacled creatures, make sure you have an ample supply of young girls to distract them while you come up with a battle plan.
Example: Every tentacle hentai series
11. Girls that Magically Appear in Your Room are Good Luck
The natural thing to do when you find a stranger in your house is to call the cops, but if that stranger happens to be a beautiful girl wearing weird clothing, you might want to reconsider. More than likely, a girl like that is a magical being that will end up helping you with your love life (or lack thereof).
Example: Ah! My Goddess
12. Only Date a Single Child
When you go on a date with someone for the first time, you might ask them about their hobbies or their favourite colour, but you should consider asking them if they have any siblings. If you’re dating a girl and she has an older brother, there’s a higher chance that she’s more interested in him than you, same goes if you’re dating a guy with a younger sister.
Example: Yosuga no Sora
13. Drills can Pierce Anything
The most powerful tool in the universe is the drill. It can be used to pierce anything, from dirt to the heavens. The next time you need to get something done (like saving the universe), just bring your trusty drill. Sometimes I wonder why the military spends so much money on tanks and fighter planes when they can just buy a bunch of drills from the hardware store.
Example: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
If anime has taught you some other life lessons, feel free to share.
EDIT: I just realized that this was my 300th post. What a coincidence that it involves some reflection on anime :)