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What Anime Has Taught Me #1

by MissJ1genz about a year ago in tv
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Lessons through animation - Naruto

Firstly, I would like to address the elephant in the room. The fact that many day 1 anime lovers (often referred to as weebs) were thought weird because of our respect for the art form that is anime. But over the last few years anime is now all over the place.

So to those of you who have only now jumped onto the bandwagon, as a day one weeb I just want to say...

I TOLD YOU SO!

So Naruto is full of lessons but one that really stuck with me is the lesson I learnt from Pain/Nagato Uzumaki. It's a lesson about pain, a lesson about justice, a lesson about the truth of conflict.

It may be an anime but this lesson has very real life applications as Nagato explains that reason for his attack on the hidden leaf is no different than Naruto's for fighting him - the pursuit of vengeance in the name of justice. Nagato's speech made me more aware of other peoples perspectives because no matter the dispute, "everyone feels the same pain in losing someone dear".

The reason I call this a lesson is because it can not only be applied to large situations like wars but also smaller, more personal disputes. Pain's ideology gets to the root of conflict itself! As "if one comes to call vengeance justice, such justice will only lead to more vengeance and trigger a vicious cycle of hatred". Madara Uchiha's speech further cements this as he states that "as long as there is a concept of victors, the vanquished will also exist".

When applying this to smaller disputes I realized that I actually need to empathize with my opposition in order to heal the rift between us or at the very least come to some sort of understanding. You can't always think your point of view is the only right one.

Meet My Hatred

The second lesson that Naruto taught me, one that I'm still struggling with, is not to give in to hatred. It seems obvious but unlike the image above, emotions aren't as simple as being black and white.

Naruto was treated like an outcast and a something to be feared his entire life for reasons he was unaware of and had no control over. I feel like most people would have been overcome with rage and resentment, but Naruto strove for acceptance. Once he did discover the reason for his ostracism, the fact that he was a jinchuriki, he used his power to better the village that had previously forsaken him.

Now, normally I would deem Naruto's approach was just because he was that kind of MC and unobtainable for me, a regular person. But then it was revealed in the waterfall scene that he did have hate inside him. Hate for the village that he was trying to protect, hate for the fox inside him for making him different, hate for those who caused his miserable childhood. This made him so much more relatable and is why his resolution was a lesson to me. Everyone is capable of hate, but you can choose to do something in spite of it instead of because of it.

Self Reflection

In order to overcome your hatred, you need to first acknowledge it as Naruto shows when he admits to himself that he had been suppressing this part of himself in order to keep moving forward.

At first, you might think that hate is something you have to beat to get over, but that's not the case. When confronted by his darker self, Naruto tried tirelessly to defeat it in a mental battle but time after time he failed. Then he realized that his hatred wasn't evil, his hatred was born from pain, the pain his isolation caused him. And it that moment, upon that realization, he knew that he what he had to do.

Reconciliation

Pain left unprocessed becomes hatred, but it's that same hatred that can get you through hard times by acting as a source of direction or a force of motivation. In Naruto's case, its the latter as its because of this pain that he was able to strive so hard and for so long. Once you accept this, you say let go of the hate because you don't need it anymore.

Why you need to look at all perspectives in a dispute objectively and how to process negative emotions are only two lessons that anime has taught me and that's just from Naruto. It may seem far fetched but these really are relatable to real everyday life issues.

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MissJ1genz

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