Hourou Musuko Episode 07: A Little Empathy
Hourou Musuko has totally captured my heart. Each episode leaves me wanting more, while reveling in the joy of the what I’ve just seen. Episode 7 (“Rosy Cheeks ~Growing Pains~) was no different. I really enjoyed the pairing of Nitori and Anna; they’re such a weird coupling, which I find wonderful. I’m also a fan of the Anna character, not the least of which is because her VA, Yui Horie, is probably my all-time favorite.
A scene that stuck with me was when Takatsuki tells Chiba about the relationship. Chiba is of course shocked, but Takatsuki, too, seems to be hurt. Is her retreat from Nitori simply because of a girl keeping her distance from a taken man, or could be her attempt to avoid being hurt?
For Chiba, it might as well be the end of the world…part 2. Not only has Nitori moved on from Takatsuki, but chooses yet another girl instead of Chiba. She stays home from school, unable to face another hurtful day. If this were real life and not an anime, my immediate reaction wouldn’t be compassionate. It would be more like this:
Are you KIDDING me? You’re depressed because of middle school heartbreak? That ain’t NOTHING.
Increasingly these days, I’ve come to realize how small many problems are. For Chiba, Nitori asking Anna out is the worst thing that could happen. For some of the young, unmarried people I know, they complain of not feeling “passionate” about God or anything. Others complain about how hard school is. These are all things I’ve been through, and as such, I wanna shake the sharers, sometimes, and tell them, “Get a kid or two. Keep up with the needs of young children. Face the possibility of layoffs. And then get back to me about your so-called problems.”
Even then, my problems are little in light of what’s happening with others around the world, or even in my own neighborhood. Children are being abducted and abused; North Koreans trying to escape to freedom are being gunned down; and women are being brutalized, beaten, and even killed because of their choices. What are my problems in the face of these issues?
But you know what? My problems count. And so do those that are like Chiba’s. We’re all in different phases and places in life, and although some problems are certainly bigger than others, one’s pains are real all the same, whether its over a little heartbreak or an agonizing death.
- Do you remember a few episodes back, when Chiba prayed for a few very selfish items? Perhaps in the unseen moments of this episode, she turned to Jesus with her problems. The writer of “Hebrews” states:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
In other words, Jesus cares about all of our problems because he has been there. Like Nitori, He was probably a pimply-faced teenager. Like all of us, He was tempted to do things He knew He shouldn’t. And so when we’re hurting, He understands.
For followers and non-Christians alike, I think we can learn something here. Many of us aren’t especially empathetic (or you’re like me – a person who thinks he’s empathetic when he really isn’t), but we can emulate Christ and try to be. A person’s pain is real, whether or not we think he or she should be in pain. And when those moments come when we can support those we care about, let’s be like Christ, understanding that we, too, have been/could someday be in a similar situation and showering love upon that person.
Even if she’s a downer like Chiba.