Gothic lolita wear as armor? Sure, why not?
Episode 16 of Shirobako uses the metaphor of battle in terms of dealing with a difficult situation, and more significantly, with fighting against the things which weigh you down when facing challenges. Iguchi doesn’t completely fall apart when all her hard work is rejected, time and time again, but she does begin to wear down, until she receives encouragement from Ogasawara in the form of advice. Gothic lolita-kun explains to Iguchi, Aoi, and Ema that they must put on their armor.
There’s a lot of truth in Ogasawara’s words. When we’re faced with obstacles that are overwhelming, there comes a point where we either sink or swim. And to swim, we have to reset our minds. Adversity requires conscious effort if it is to be pushed through.
In Shirobako, Iguchi finds her armor and weaponry in various places. She renews her strong mindset, which was already a strength, but one that had been tested since she accepted the role as character designer. She uses her creativity – her talents and skills – to do that which she already knows she can. Iguchi puts on the armor of support from her colleagues, who provide advice and encouragement after Ogasawara gives them a talking to. And finally, she uses relaxation to help in the form of Ema’s “angel exercises” and batting practice.*
Those tools are very specific, which begs the question, is there “armor” that can be used in any adverse conditions? The Bible says yes (Ephesians 6:10-18):
- belt of truth
- breastplate of righteousness
- feet of readiness
- shield of faith
- helmet of salvation
- sword of the Spirit
Unlike Iguchi’s armor and weaponry, the Bible’s demonstrates this to us – there are always forces at work against us, both worldly and spiritual in nature. For the Christian, we know this well, as even when things seem to be going fine, the unexpected happens and we’re challenged. And when we respond with faith, the word of God, truth, and so forth, we find that we are able to beat back adversity, and even grow through it.
The real challenge, then, is the same as Iguchi’s – it’s knowing that we have armor and actually taking the step toward putting in on.
* I loved the batting practice scene. This was the way I blew off steam during my college years. And coincidentally, I’ve been teaching my son how to bat a ball lately – just yesterday, in fact!
4 thoughts on “Shirobako, Episode 16: Put on Your Armor”
You get Iguchi’s name right at the beginning and end, but it’s Igushi all throughout the middle. What’s up with that xD?
The point about faith as a source of strength is good, though. Teachings often concentrate on the idea that we should constantly be making sacrifices for our faith, but it’s no less true that we should constantly be benefiting from that faith. Faith isn’t “dead weight”, after all.
Personally, I’ve always thought about this idea in terms of buff/debuff magic rather than outright armor, but I can see why Christians might wish to avoid that particular comparison xD.
Well, that would be what we call, “Trying to get this post out in 10 minutes before I have to leave for the night.” Thanks for pointing out the error. 🙂
Hmm…and that’s definitely an interesting comparison – “armor” for this day and age, I guess!
Whenever I picture this particular Biblical metaphor, I always see my sister and her husband wearing an implausible set of pure white full plate mail armor with anime-esque touches. I do this for the same reason I’m constantly picturing myself wearing a Gundam Wing Oz-esque military uniform. I cannot help but make the figurative literal.
Someone once said that makeup, despite its actual purpose, could be interpreted as a kind of war paint. It’s laborious to put it on, and people do it when they are ready to face the world of adversity and hardship with a smile.
Faith can often act as a kind of sanity reassurance in a world that is constantly threatening to destroy it. It is the internal proof of the non-meaninglessness of one’s actions, the heartfelt belief that one’s soul has some relevance to someone other than oneself. That the state of one’s soul is actually all-important, rather than just one’s actions or successes. Mankind cannot live on bread alone because bread just keeps them going. It doesn’t actually fulfill their deepest wish.
People don’t wish to be important because of pride, not fully. I think we also wish it because somewhere back there, we think that this state of affairs— Where no person fully knows the weight of our actions and the scope our sins— Is unnatural. It may be sinful to think oneself greater than others, but we all need to be heard.
We all need to worship.
I think you hit the nail on the head here – the absolute need for people to feel that they matter. The expression of this thought can come out as pride, certainly, but it’s not sin in and of itself. Of course, I believe this need is fulfilled through God’s love, through the idea that the creator would die for us no matter how much of an enemy we’ve become toward him.