Maybe you’re like me – a sensitive (some would say oversensitive) soul. Most of my teenage angst revolved around this one central conceit – I cared more about others than they did about me. I spent more time thinking about my friends (and certainly girls) and put more time and effort into relationships than they did for me. And thus, it hurt me immensely when my affections or care wasn’t returned.
The second half of Zetsuen no Tempest made me reflect on my teenage and college years. If it had come out ten years ago, I would have identified very strongly with Hakaze, the Kursaribe princess, whose love goes unrequited throughout the last half of the series. What’s worse is that Yoshino doesn’t choose the memory of Aika over Hakaze – he simply doesn’t think enough of Hakaze to even consider her throughout most of the season.
Yikes. That is what must hurt more than anything to Hakaze. She means so much less to him than he does to her. They say that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but apathy, and in this case, that’s exactly the feeling (or lack thereof) that Hakaze is dealt.
Now that I’m older, I’m still as sensitive, but I don’t feel the pain of “all give, little return” as much. Certainly, much has to do with finding a satisfaction in marriage and maturing out of adolescence. But much also has to do with a changing of my worldview.
For all its repetition, anime can sometimes bring us to our knees when animators, directors, and writers decide to create something unique. Where else would you see a series featuring magical trees, involving the end of the world, and frequently referencing Shakespeare?
Zetsuen no Tempest was a real surprise to me. As I have a habit of doing, I dropped the first episode when it aired because it didn’t connect with me. But when I came upon a discussion ringing its praises, led by Bonen no Max’d of rayout, I decided to return to it. And I’m glad I did.
One interesting component to the series is its focus on fate and the threads that connect past to future. Questions are answered, significance plot points are revealed, and plans of actions are created based on visits from the current time to the past. The protagonists are totally lost and likely to lose their battle (not that they even know what side to be on!) until they are able to see with a fuller perspective.
I’m reminded about my tendency to live in the present, particularly in stressful situations. Once the hard times past, I don’t unusually look back, and rarely do any considerable thinking about what happened.
But when we avoid reflection, we miss out on seeing how God has blessed us.
Something More: Gods in K, Deism in Future Diary, and When Bad Things Happen to Zetsuen no Tempest Characters
Mira mentions the presence of Shinto and Buddhist allusions in episode six of K. [Hachimitsu]
In Tenchi’s thorough analysis of episode five of Zetsuen no Tempest, she contemplates the role God has when bad things occur and how people find comfort in God during those times. [Tenchi's Thoughts]
Rocklobster compares Deus and Murmur of Future Diary to the Deist conception of God. [Lobster Quadrille]
The Cajun Samurai briefly mentions some of the religious allusions within Eden of the East in his very positive review of the series. [The Cajun Samurai]
As part of the Something More series of posts (formerly Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere), each week, Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality. If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included.