Trying to Find One Anime to Represent You is Too Hard!

Inspired by Zainou’s post and the subsequent anecdotes.

Meta context: This incident in this anecdote – and most of the text being written up – happened pre-COVID, so you can kind of date it based on that. The scheduler says it’s from late July 2018.

Imagine, if you will, a building inspired by Japanese architecture. It’s got stone walls, a roof covered in black tiles, glass doors that lead to a manga library and a wooden L-shaped platform with a few steps. On your left, there’s a bunch of trees that separate it from other buildings and in front of you, there’s patches of grass. Distance yourself from this place, populate it with mingling people along a stone path that leads to the building.

It’s near this path, at a table under one of the trees, that we begin this post, with the question:

What’s your favourite anime?

The building is one of the oases of my anime club, as you can probably guess from the words “manga library”. Apparently this question was the club’s idea of an ice-breaker to be written on sticky labels.

After a bit of shooting suggestions at me, the guys who run the anime club eventually settled on Boku no Hero Academia for mine…but to be honest, I don’t think I have an anime I would truly say “represents me”.

I admit even my top-rated show at the moment, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Sukeroku Futatabi-hen, is flawed – it made the 100 spot on my list because it’s the closest thing I can think of on every possible front, even with those flaws. At the time, BnHA was chosen because it was a series I knew pretty well, but in 2021 as the 5th season goes to air, my faith in the series is starting to wane…especially when the series always has the audacity (?) to start with a recap episode. Every. Single. Season.

This brings me to a point Zainou brings up in their post – people don’t know why your favourite anime is so-on-and-such-forth, and so asking “what’s your favourite anime?” as a snapshot into you brings to mind an entire laundry list which has the habit of changing over time as new anime come out and you forget why old anime got there, or you even “disown” some series due to controversy surrounding their creators. As much as you can think, “This anime was made for me!”, with all this anime coming out, it’s easy to forget that feeling when it finishes airing and you move on to the next season. You, a single person, are a combination of a bunch of experiences which cause you to resonate with certain series, or even cling to them, and that cannot be summed up with one series…

…unless you make a series about your life, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms…

This post came out a bit more of a prattle than I’d like it to be, but this old post from the depths of my drafts folder showed up at just the right time to feed into thoughts from this season.

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