Usagi Drop, done. Aishiteruze Baby, done. Now, I only had one more anime to complete in my slice-of-life, young-man-ends-up-caring-for-young-girl trifecta – Kure-nai.
Or so I thought.
I had no idea that I was about to enter into an anime that was more Moriboto than Bunny Drop, featuring fists-for-hire, supernatural powers, and a family of assassins.
Actually, scratch that last trait. It should be “family descended from assassins.” Yuno, the protagonist’s love interest, is part of the Hozuki family, whose command of martial arts and mysterious power enabled them to work as killers for generations. They no longer partake in the murderous art, but Yuno still feels the weight of her family’s history on her shoulders, conversed about in episode five.
The weight of sin – generational or not – can be very heavy. The residents of Old Home in Haibane Renmei, another critically acclaimed series, know this too well [Spoilers ahead]. All are born into Glie with some unresolved issue (which is partially why the setting is frequently compared to purgatory) weighing on their hearts. The issues can be interpreted as sin, and certainly if one believes all the Haibane committed suicide (I do not) in their previous lives.
At the very least, the Haibane are weighed down by failures; to overcome, they fight to come to terms with their pasts, receive their real names, and take flight.
Sin can become a heavy burden for us real people as well. アレクザンダー, who co-wrote a mini-debate with me before, once told me something to the effect that Christianity was a very negative faith. And to be sure, guilt can tear people apart. The significant question is, of course, does the weight of sin is really carry the evil that the Bible says it does? Are our sins really that bad? A pastor’s son who moved away from God thinks so. So does a murderer (<– this is obviously a more…obvious case).
And to be sure, sin can become so heavy that we are limited in our movement, even to the point where we are unable to advance at all. This could be said of both Reki and Rakka, and maybe even of the Communicator, who has been hypothesized as a Haibane who didn’t achieve flight.
But sin isn’t a terminal condition. Forgiveness, a word like a jackhammer, is able to obliterate the heavy stone on one’s back.
A close friend once shared with me about an experience he had where he felt the physical weight of God’s glory on him. “God’s glory is so heavy,” he repeatedly told me. But instead of a painful event, it was an empowering experience for him. God showed His strength – nothing, not even festering sin, is stronger. Or bigger. Or heavier.
Grace is an ally that is both heavier and lighter than sin. In the end, as was noted in a favorite series, you’re gonna carry that weight, but it’s you that decidesfor how long.