This October it will be three years since my Dad suddenly passed away during my junior year of college. When he died, all of my memories of him were haunted by a clock over his head counting down the years, months, days, and even minutes he had left. For me, grief was something that felt like it changed both everything and nothing. I didn’t know how to talk about it with anyone, or even, for that matter, what I would talk about. I just felt empty. And lonely. Really lonely. Watching Mafuyu, one of the main characters in given, navigate his own grief around the recent suicide of his boyfriend, Yuki, I felt understood – two queers in a pod navigating the sad, messiness of grief (lol). While there’s honestly a lot to admire about the show in general, I deeply appreciated how it teased out a lot of that messiness and the difficulty of communicating about grief. I think this show does a really beautiful job of touching on the process of grief for this queer kid and what it means to hold onto someone after they’re gone. Continue reading
For the first few years, at least, the Natsume household goes about its day to day life peacefully. The house is small, but it’s warm. Though his mother passed away soon after he was born, Takashi is happy living with his father. Throughout his childhood they often sit on the porch admiring the flowers his mother planted before she died; they bloom year after year, lighting up the garden with their color, a constant reminder of the love of the person they both lost. Sometimes he misses her presence, but keeps it to himself, silently treasuring the picture of his parents his father gave him.
As Takashi grows older, he starts taking greater notice of the small monsters that have been a constant part of his childhood. His father doesn’t doubt him when he tells him about them; if he does, he doesn’t let on. When Takashi goes to school, his father helps him learn to keep his ability a secret so he can try to live a normal school life; it’s not always easy, but Takashi is content with someone believing in what he sees. Though his father worries when he sometimes sees Takashi come home with his clothes dirtied or when he startles at something only he can see, he always welcomes him back with a smile, no questions asked. Eventually, Takashi’s father tells him Reiko, Takashi’s grandmother, and about her own ability to see what Takashi can. Sometimes, when he feels particularly alone, Takashi will think back to her, wishing that he had had the chance to meet the person who could understand him the most.
Despite his small bouts of loneliness, Takashi has learned kindness and is happy with the people he has come to know, friends and family alike. He doesn’t hate the monsters he sees and will sometimes try to help out the ones that approach him, though he’s also learned to be weary having been attacked more than once. He’s not the strongest person, so he lives his life quietly, treasuring the memories he makes with others, knowing that there may come a day where he won’t come home. He’s afraid of hurting those around if that day comes, but, until then, he’ll try to live happily and return the happiness he has been given.
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May, the season of flowers and fires (if you live in SoCal). It’s also the season of ~love~. The Let Us Remember Love project where bloggers talk about anime that holds special places in their hearts is taking place this month for four Sundays, and I decided to take some (more) time off from studying and share some love for my favorite series.
I watched Nodame Cantabile for the first time about four years ago, way back when I was only starting to get into anime/manga. As the brilliant 12/13 year old I was, chances are I only picked the show because of the romance tag. Though Nodame and Chiaki do admittedly rank among my favorite anime couples, the show definitely goes beyond and succeeds at much more than just the romance. Continue reading
I’ve always been strangely fascinated by the emotion of despair or depression in characters. I think it’s one of the most interesting emotions because it’s one that can absolutely cripple a person, yet it’s one that can provide the grounds for change. The angst, the drama, I drink it all up (not a fan of tragedies though, go figure). Although I know you’re all absolutely enthralled reading about by my love of the depressed, I promise am actually going somewhere with this. Continue reading