Of all the places I expected to find some interesting thoughts about life and my relationship with God, Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3, aka: the cute girls playing airsoft anime, was not one of them.
But while my eyes are still sparkling too much over Free! and my mind is still trying to sort out all the symbolism in Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family), Stella C3 offered an unexpected and interesting outlook on someone trying to change, but realizing that there’s more to changing yourself than just getting into the right circumstances and hoping for the best; it was something I could relate to pretty easily, actually (as with most of my blog posts, it seems. They do tell you to write what you know!).
The main character of Stella C3 is Yura Yamato, an introverted girl who hopes that her debut at the high school of her dreams will be one full of social circles and fun high school life things.
Problem is, she’s not very good at talking to people nor is she very confident in herself. Thus, as expected, she fails within the first few minutes of arriving at her new, palace-like school as she sees everyone around her making friends instantly, but she remains left in the background and ignored.
Already in the first episode, my high school life was flashing before my eyes, it was horrifying. But that aside, even in her mopey-ness, Yura seemed more lost than reluctant to change. She wanted to change herself and be within the social crowd (cue Cinderella parallels), but she had no idea how to start. Thus, I wanted to root for her since she didn’t seem like a total lost cause yet.
Then she finds a gun under her room mate’s pillow and it all goes from there.
Long story short, due to a series of events that include cake, Rambo, and using an anatomical model as a decoy, Yura joins the C3 club (girls who play airsoft survival games!) and starts to feel as if she is changing already from her shy self.
Though when under pressure, true natures are revealed. Soon after Yura joining the C3 club, they all participate in a high school airsoft tournament. While things go great for a while, Yura resorts back to her lack of confidence in her abilities and ends up surrendering to a rival team instead of going down fighting like the rest of her team mates.
Being scolded by her teammates leads her to mull over her actions and finally realize she needs to take bigger steps in changing herself.
But this still seems off the mark from the ultimate goal.
I had been pondering over this post for a while now, but hit a speed bump when the most recent episode came out just a few days ago. The recent episode dives into a spiritual realm of some classic Shintoism that, while interesting, left me pondering if the show was still worth as much to me as it had been previously. It threw a wrench in my thoughts of the show up until then and left me dazed.
So how did I come to a connection between this spiritual journey Yura was taken on (and she was…through an airsoft gun, no less) and my own relationship with God?
Both are quests to “find oneself”, I think. Now, that sounds really new age-y, but don’t run away yet because there’s a pretty big contrast between the two as well. Shintoism and Christianity are two very different sets of beliefs at their cores, least we be confused.
A interesting quote mentioned to Yura in episode 4 by Sonora (the captain of the airsoft club, as well as Yura’s room mate and someone she looks up to) is making airsoft “your own airsoft” in your life. Find your reason for enjoying it, grasp that as a support, and move forward.
So Yura goes through this spiritual journey, saves a 15 year old warrior, changes history, and ends up being able to hit the dead center of a 5 yen coin. All very fantastical.
In the end, instead of trying to change herself completely, she learns to accept herself and not be self conscious about what she can and cannot do, but just keep advancing with something driving her forward (in this case, a special airsoft gun).
Even Christians feel lost sometimes, though. Just because you are in the “correct” circumstances doesn’t mean you will change magically and know your purpose in life and never stumble. A relationship with God is not as easy as joining an airsoft club, though.
In the show, Yura finds a guiding light in the Škorpion vz. 61, but in the end, it’s only a gun.
Yet having Christ as a support in your life and finding yourself through Him requires much more trust. But since it’s a relationship of grace and love, having Him as your support has a lot more power to drive you forward in life without fear.