As I wrote about previously, I again made my way through Suzuka, a high school romance anime. Unlike many others in the genre, Suzuka is unique because it features two fairly repugnant leads: Suzuka, who at best is rude to people who are kind to her and worst yells at everyone and anyone and Yamato, a selfish adolescent whose thoughts are entirely focused on how to make Suzuka his girlfriend. Also, he assaults a girl who’s in love with him. Charming.
Unlike these two, I tend to like lead characters who are morally upstanding. They may be boring, but I find in them pieces of who I’d like to be. Yamato and Suzuka don’t represent any of that, so why do they (and the series) appeal to me? Perhaps it’s because they’re both similar instead to who I really am.
Yamato reminds me of who I was (I was certainly girl crazy in high school and college) and who am I now (the whole selfish part). Suzuka may be even more familiar in how she’s cold toward others and how she holds onto grievances. And my son would say we share a frequent disposition (“Dad, why you so grumpy?”).
As I watch each episode of Suzuka, I think about just how annoying these characters are. I see them as almost vile, and that, too, reminds me of myself and my shortcomings, which in turns, reminds me of how loving God is to embrace me despite myself:
All things in me call for my rejection
All things in You plead my acceptance
Suzuka and Yamato deserve each other. It’s the same with me – I deserve the consequences for my sinful action. Luckily, God doesn’t give us what we deserve. And for that, I am forever thankful.