Lessons from Shojo Anime

Every once in a while, I’ll come across a story that really touches me. It might seem silly to some people, but I can find meaning in almost any place. 

I just finished an anime called Fruits Basket. The show follows a girl who lives in a tent right after her mother dies in an accident, and she discovers The Sohma family, who are all possessed by spirits of the zodiac. Throughout the show, she meets and accepts each and everyone of them, whereas before they had distanced themselves from everyone because of the curse they were born with. 

Honda Tohru taught me that even the most hardened, depressed people can find meaning in life again if you will accept them for who they are. Accept their flaws and love them anyway. What I really love about this show is that even though there are romantic undertones, Tohru accepts and loves everyone equally. Each relationship falls under a different dynamic, some resemble lovers, others uncles and siblings, but she still puts everything into each relationship. 

This is one of the few series that brought me to tears. Even when faced with fear, she still loves. She does not overwrite her fear, or try to brush it away, but rather she admits it. She tells one of the Sohma that she is afraid, but she still wants to be together with them. That honesty is incredibly hard to find, but the fact that she is capable of feeling more than one thing really makes me think that other people understand things the way that I do. 

Personally, I found myself relating to Tohru a lot. Although I don’t think I’m quite to the point where I can love everyone I meet, I have a lot of people in my life that I love equally, though not the same. Some of them terrify me. Some of them, I don’t know how to help or what to do to make their life a little easier. But I love them. I work on accepting them, even if I don’t accept them completely. 

There’s a saying that I’ve heard that goes something along the lines of if you love someone, you accept them as they are, not as you want them to be. That’s what I want to do. I feel like I’m here to ease the pain of living, to remind others (even me) that it’s okay to have these flaws, that they are still magnificent people. 

And besides, there’s more good in the world than we know. The media tends to focus on the bad stuff, but that doesn’t mean that no good exists. It’s just harder to see because the bad stuff is louder and wants more attention. 

Don’t ever give up. I believe in you.

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