A Tower of Babel in episode seven of Sonny Boy—that I expected. What I didn’t expect was a tearful goodbye scene.
Near the end of this episode, after earlier departures of virtually every other stranded student, Rajdhani decides to leave, too, to search every single “this world” in hopes of discovering a way out. It’s a lovely scene, as each member of the group that had formed and worked so hard to find a way home all said goodbye in their own ways:
Nozomi with encouragement—
Mizuho with a hug as well, and also tears and a confession—
And Nagara by receiving another gift from the empathetic Rajdhani, before giving a hug as well.
The scene made me realize what an odd group these four are: The optimistic but somewhat stoic genius, Rajdhani; the strong and fearless Nozomi; the serious loner, Mizuho; and the timid and broken Nagara. But in pursuit of a common goal, they grew close.
These kind of groups, where intimate bonds are formed through mutual and sometimes intense teamwork, are relatively common occurrences. While they might happen in exceptional situations, like in combat or with a championship sporting team, they also occur through activities of a lesser extent. You’ve probably experienced similar in school competition, work teams, summer camps, and the like. Most of us have formed intimate friendships that wouldn’t add up on paper.
I’ve often though of the situations that brought odd bedfellows together in my life as gifts, moments that were perhaps God-given since they created such intense connections that would otherwise never have occurred. And as I get older, I miss these serendipitous relationships. They don’t happen as much as they once did in my youth, and I wonder why.
Actually, I don’t need to wonder, for even though some of it can’t be helped—I rarely find myself in situations where I get to be away with strangers for extended periods of time anymore—the rest is mostly because of lack of effort. As a child, I was thrown into such circumstances without much choice. As an adult, with the power of choice, I seldom jump in out of my own accord.
The possibilities are certainly there, though. At work, leisure, and especially church, I see and meet people that are wholly unlike me. And in those moments, when I can choose to engage or disengage, when I can probe a bit deeper or stay on the surface, I’m opening or closing the possibilities of something more profound, like in the friendships that formed between Rajdhani, Nagara, Nozomi, and Mizuho.
Without becoming vulnerable and taking chances, Mizuho would always feel alone and Nagara would have continued to be defined by his hurt. As for me, without such pursuit, what am I missing?
The answer to that might be more than just “the impetus to enact change within me.” I could be missing something more valuable—to join in helping others grow as well.
And in a world that seems more and more about selfish and violent acts—the same as was happening in this group’s reality—is there anything more counter and powerful than to bless others who look and act differently than us through friendship?
What a blessing—to be an oddball among other oddballs, changing yourself, changing each other, and just maybe, changing the world.
Sonny Boy can be streamed on Funimation.
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