Justin’s failed attempt to avoid a “wish fulfillment anime post” led me to Iso’s latest proposal for the Blog Carnival series. Though I love my life in the here and now, it’s still fun to think about the little things I would have liked to add to my life, and certainly anime is the tops, man when it comes to having us put ourselves in place of a character who is thrust into something we might dream of doing.
Here are my “wish fulfillment” anime:
The Childhood – My Neighbor Totoro
Some of my best memories of childhood had to do with nature – walking through the woods, playing in old wagons, and somersaulting down green hills. But those instances were few, as I spent most of my life living in an urban setting. It would have been nice to get away and live a childhood of imagined adventure, chasing down totoros and finding trouble with a sibling (I’m an only child).
The City – Kanon/Whisper of the Heart
I thought my hometown (El Paso, TX) was a delightful place growing up. As soon as I moved away, however, I realized how much I’d been missing. Nestled in the mountains, I enjoyed the scenery, and I treasured the times I spent wandering through the sprawling desert that was literally just a street away. But I would have preferred a beautiful city of interconnected paths and pretty backdrops, like Seiseki Sakuragaoka. Or a wintry wonderland that evokes sad, nostalgic, or mystical tones, as Osaka is portrayed in Kanon.
The Friends – Digimon
I was kind of a terrible friend as a kid, particularly from middle school onward. Most of my friends, with the exception of a wonderful few, were the same. I wish I could have surrounded myself by those precious few people who really cared about me, and likewise, that I would have been a more loving person myself. Digimon isn’t really different from any series with a large group of friends, but the fandom I joined in when I first watched created connections between the animated group that were far deeper – through art, website shrines (remember those?), and most particular to me, fan fiction. These imagined bonds were what I wanted those characters to share, and what I wanted in my own life.
The Family – Summer Wars
My family was small – only the two parental units, myself, and a beloved dog. I wasn’t particularly close to my dad’s side of the family, and I’ve never met my mom’s Korean relatives. And though I didn’t particularly feel lonely growing up, I did wish for a brother or sister, and further, a big family. The Jinnouchis certainly fit that mold – vibrant, loud, fun, obnoxious, and close. They are the model of a family I’d like to develop. We’re working on a larger clan right now – my two kids have an adoring uncle and aunt who live a few miles away and plan to have a number of children.
The Melancholy – Voices of a Distant Star
Maybe I’m just strange, but two of my very favorite feelings to have are nostalgia and melancholy. I like that feeling of sadness that comes with remembering the past, even if it hurts a little. Shinkai conveys melancholy as well as any director I know of (really, I could’ve put any of his works here, right?). I think I would have liked to have some great loss (short of death) in my life to reflect upon, and perhaps learn from.
I’ll conclude these tomorrow by moving on from childhood a bit and into some more fun stuff! In the meantime, why don’t you tell us some of your wish fulfillment anime?