Good evening, friends! Welcome to my very first OWLS blog post! I feel super honoured to be able to partake in this, and I honestly couldn’t think of a better topic to get started with! For may we shall be focusing on the theme of “Happiness.”
Happiness is subjective. We all have different definitions of what happiness means to us and we also feel happiness in varying degrees. This month we will be exploring several questions describing our happiness in our fandoms, communities, and hobbies. Why do we find enjoyment watching anime or reading manga? Why did we decide to join the anime or pop culture communities? Why do we blog about our hobbies or cosplay as our favourite characters? This topic is all about the passions we have for our interests and why they are important to us.”
Happiness for me has always been one person: my brother. Throughout my life he was the biggest source of support and motivation; the one individual whom I could count on to be honest with me and to help shape me into a person with a good heart. When I hear words like “happy” and “joy,” I get flooded with memories of him where we are laughing or cooking or even just having a serious talk about something. Through every experience we’ve ever shared, the one thing that helps me find my way to back to the comfort of happiness, especially when it comes to my passion for anime, is the series Initial D.
I know that I’ve talked about my unshakable love for this seinen, sports anime numerous times. Whenever there is a top five list of sorts, you can guarantee that nearly every single one of them will have an element from that franchise on the list somewhere. Initial D was my very first anime, before I even learned what anime was, and my brother was the one who introduced it to me. It was his way of helping me see that the underdog can be the ultimate winner when it came to racing cars, a sport that he mentored me in, or with any aspect of life.
I think the main reason that anime brings me so much happiness is due to plethora of stories about individuals who have everything stacked against them in life. It could be related to social status, physical or mental disabilities, having no family or friends, and much more. No matter what the obstacles that lay before a person, with enough drive and passion, they can accomplish whatever they set their mind and hearts to. The stories are beautifully inspiring, sometimes even necessarily bittersweet.
Initial D shows us a character—Takumi Fujiwara—who doesn’t know anything about racing cars, or cars in general really, and through one adrenaline-pumping experience, makes a discovery of a lifetime. A quiet, loner type who is aloof with nearly every aspect of life, found a sense of purpose in racing and that helped him become more emotionally aware of the world around him. For example, when a couple of haughty-taughty street racers bully his buddy, Itsuki, Takumi stands up for his friend and kicks their arses. Without the instinct and the different ways that racing opened up Takumi’s mind to other people’s feelings and reactions, he might never have been able to defend Itsuki the way that he did.
Whenever my brother and I would sit down and watch Initial D, we would discuss those kinds of themes. It made me fall so magically in love with racing and with Initial D all over again, each and every time. Racing cars and spending time with my brother taught me to be less nonchalant in life and to recognise that there is a whole realm of experiences and possibilities outside the doors and windows of my bedroom and the grey, squishy confines of my mind. All I had to do was to be willing to step outside and touch it. Without my brother’s presence, I honestly don’t think I would ever would have found the beauty of having a hobby that can inhabit ever fibre of my energy and passion.
That is why anime brings me so much happiness, and that is why I can find comfort in the anime community as well, because we all get something from anime that makes us feel good inside. It allows us to place everything else aside and just relate. Whenever I sit down and watch Initial D, I can think of my brother, everything that he taught me, and take immense amounts of comfort in knowing that joy is always possible to attain in life, especially from the simplest of things, and while it can seem to be fleeting, those small moments of it are truly what makes life so blissful.
May’s OWLS Blog Tour:
🦉 Jack: Anime, Writing, and The Endgame
🦉 Karandi: Finding Happiness In & Out of Your Comfort Zone
🦉 Naja: Finding Happiness in the Little Things
🦉 Matt: Seeking Your Inner Happiness
🦉 Aria: Pushing the Boundaries of the Mystery Genre (and My Life) Through Fanfiction
🦉 Irina: Natsume & the Myriad of Happiness
🦉 Matt Doyle Media