Carnival Time: Anime Wish Fulfillment, Part I

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).

Totoro
Art by Naru

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.

Seiseki Sakuragaoka
Screen capture from Wonders in the Dark

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.

Digimon Adventure cast
Art by たかな

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.

Jinnouchi Family
Art by MCH/3号館M34a

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.

Art by ライラック40
Art by ライラック40

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?

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

9 thoughts on “Carnival Time: Anime Wish Fulfillment, Part I

  1. I also would love a bigger family as well since I had only one sibling (my sis). I also struggled with a bit of loneliness as well since for some reason, my sis and I had a pretty big age gap, it always felt like she was going further and further away while I’m being left behind. By the time I’m in junior high school, she is already a working adult. I would had love a more closer-aged younger sister or brother to play around with, though of cause, I love my current onee-chan as well xD

    1. Yeah, there’s definitely a disadvantage of being a sibling so far apart in age. Despite all the bickering that similarly-aged siblings do, I bet many don’t realize what a gift they have to be so close.

  2. The friendship demonstrated in AnoHana is something I definitely would’ve liked to see in my own life. I had no close friends growing up and didn’t get out much with other kids, so AnoHana makes me intensely nostalgic for the few summer camps and church outings where I was able to befriend other kids.

  3. The romantic connections depicted between Ayato and Haruka in RahXephon, and to a certain extent Lawrence and Holo in Spice & Wolf, are definitely things that I envy. I’d love to be able to connect to another human being on that level. The feeling that your life belongs no longer only to yourself, but is something you share with your most precious companion… that’s the kind of love I’m hoping to find.

    1. There is a deep desperation and powerful bond between Ayato and Haruka – I agree that it’s a wonderful love that’s demonstrated between the two, and I think one that is forgotten when people discuss the great couples in anime. I haven’t seen Spice & Wolf, but coincidentally, I read an article today that also talked about the connection between Lawrence and Holo. My interested in now piqued.

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