One of the few anime series I watched this season was Crane Game Girls Galaxy (Bishōjo Yūgi Unit Crane Geeru Galaxy). This is the second season of a series about…well, it’s kind of nonsense. Season 1 saw the Crane Game Girls save the world from the evil Dark Gorilla using the power of arcade crane games to power lasers. Season 2 saw the girls as the most popular musical idols on Earth. And then Dark Gorilla returns with his own idol group called Dark Cherry. The intent was for them to battle and for Dark Cherry to help Dark Gorilla take over the Earth. Yea, the plot is murky and nonsense. I get it, it always has been.
During the season, Dark Cherry’s three members come to Earth with a day off after quickly discovering the “Crane Game Girls’ Secret.” So, they decide to spend time on Earth seeing what it’s like just to enjoy themselves there. Some of them have different ideas of fun…
In the process of spending time on Earth, the group runs into the Crane Game Girls – their mortal enemies! What happens? The Crane Game Girls take the girls from Dark Cherry around town and spend a day having fun with them. They just treat them like friends. No anger, no hatred, no nothing. Dark Cherry is shocked at all this – they never expected their enemies to treat them so kindly, to be so friendly. To this, the girls respond with a silly comment, “Yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend, they say.” The silliness of this expression reveals a profound truth that confounds Dark Cherry. We are called to love our enemies.
This seems radical at its face. Love our enemies? Help those who ridicule us? Be kind to those who despise us? Why would I want to do that? I know I generally don’t, but Christians are called to do so by Jesus Himself. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus said straight up to love your enemies. He did not sugar coat. it. Why? He said we are to do so in order to prove we are one of God’s sons. In essence, He said we are to do so as a reminder we are different than those who do not know Christ and to shock the world with our actions. When a person displays this kind of Christ-like love, forgiveness and love for their enemies – we take notice. An example was a story in 2013 about Mary Johnson who forgave and provided assistance to the man who had murdered her son. When people display Christ-like love to their enemies, we take notice. It’s shocking, it’s unexpected, and it shocks us to our core.
When Dark Cherry sees the Crane Game Girls’ kindness, it jars them completely. It makes them doubt themselves as idols and give up what they had been doing up until that point.
When we display Christ’s love and show love to those who hate us, we also jar those who disagree with us or hate us. When we hate, we take the easy way out and dehumanize our enemy. When we love, it is far more difficult. Some people seem unlovable – we are to love them anyway. Does that mean we need to condone bad behavior? No, we don’t walk up to a murderer and say, “I love you; therefore, I’m cool with what you do.” We can still tell them they are wrong. The Crane Game Girls don’t tell the girls from Dark Cherry, “It’s cool. Come on and take over the Earth.” However, they still show them love, respect, and kindness. We could use more of that these days.