For all its repetition, anime can sometimes bring us to our knees when animators, directors, and writers decide to create something unique. Where else would you see a series featuring magical trees, involving the end of the world, and frequently referencing Shakespeare?
Zetsuen no Tempest was a real surprise to me. As I have a habit of doing, I dropped the first episode when it aired because it didn’t connect with me. But when I came upon a discussion ringing its praises, led by Bonen no Max’d of rayout, I decided to return to it. And I’m glad I did.
One interesting component to the series is its focus on fate and the threads that connect past to future. Questions are answered, significance plot points are revealed, and plans of actions are created based on visits from the current time to the past. The protagonists are totally lost and likely to lose their battle (not that they even know what side to be on!) until they are able to see with a fuller perspective.
I’m reminded about my tendency to live in the present, particularly in stressful situations. Once the hard times past, I don’t unusually look back, and rarely do any considerable thinking about what happened.
But when we avoid reflection, we miss out on seeing how God has blessed us.
In Zetusen no Tempest, one particular event in the past changed the entire future, and it was only be delving into that event that a plan could be hatched. Like pieces to a puzzle, answers fell into place once Aika’s killer was revealed (no spoilers here).
Similarly, it doesn’t take a whole lot of digging for many of us to see God’s blessings in our lives. What seemed like a horrific situation at one point in time may have led to another event and then to another, and eventually to the very present we want to be in. But if we don’t connect those dots, we fail to see what God had in store for us and how He knows what’s best for us better than we can.
For instance, when I was in high school, I had my heart absolutely set on going to NYU. Although I was accepted, things didn’t work out. Further, I had to decline my acceptance to my second choice school for an error that turned out to be the school’s fault (they rectified it, but too late). I was crushed and in a typical teenage way, feel into a lull, thinking that my future plans were ruined.
13 years later, I’m born again, married, the father of two children, and living in a city I love, doing a job I enjoy. It’s clear to me that the disappointment of the past had to happen for me to move away from my own plans to greater plans that God has in store for me.
Small or big, Christians can find similar scenarios in their own lives. And I believe the same is true of non-Christians, who I invite to reflect on the past and perhaps see such links as maybe being part of a divine plan meant to draw you nearer to God, rather than as coincidence or happenstance.
Either way, a little self-reflection is never a bad thing.