Nahhh, I don’t think anime itself is falling or failing, but perhaps my ongoing time and energy (and thus need) for anime is fading into my own personal “downfall of anime”. Let me explain…
Ever since the end of January 2008, with the annual company meeting at Las Vegas headquarters, my role has been infused with a new purpose and passion, not felt since I joined in November 2005. Coupled with my new look and risky search for a new house, my invigorated outlook has filtered into more confident, even outgoing, interactions with colleagues and friends. Which is quite bewildering. Consequently, while I still love anime and admire the artistry it symbolizes (and will continue to symbolize) in my life, I no longer feel an overwhelming need to “escape” into it for hours, days, or months at a time. Funny how I didn’t really see anime as a “psychological escape” or “social crutch” until I somehow found myself standing outside it.
“[I] occasionally write posts on how important it is to have a destination in life and remain focused.”
~ Danny Choo, popular blogger of Japanese culture. See Wookieepedia archive.
Danny Choo and his blog still represent a significant part of that artistic admiration. But I also admire him enough to respectfully disagree with his views, as they apply (and don’t apply) to me. I guess that’s the mark of becoming less of a follower and more of a traveller setting out on my own path. With respect to his quote above, perhaps not everyone can find his “true destination” in life. Some may be “lucky” to find one. But others may be just as “lucky” not to find one. For myself, the journey itself holds more meaning than any destination. Which naturally entails many destinations, whether they’re willfully sought or unintentionally found. Here’s a quote below which still strikes a chord in me.
“If you knew where you came from and where you’re going, it wouldn’t be a real journey. On a real journey, you’ve already forgotten where you came from, and you have no idea where you’re going. That’s what I think it’s like. Yeah, everything is just coincidence on a journey. It’s nothing but a string of coincidences.”
~ Yukito Kunisaki, traveling puppeteer from the anime film “Air” (2005), directed by Osamu Dezaki and written by Makoto Nakamura, based on the visual novel of the same name by Key. See Wikipedia article.
While I don’t think “everything” is comprised of “coincidences”, the idea that a “real journey” holds no “true destination” carries a ring of truth. I admit this could be interpreted as an excuse for sloth or indifference. Then again, focusing on a single “destination” could be interpreted as restricting yourself to a limited path and view of life, right? What do you say to the mother who willingly gives up her life-long dream to care for her first newborn son? What do you tell the successful executive who has painstakingly reached all of his goals to find emptiness at the top? Not everyone can find their purpose or goal in life, or even be assured of happiness if they do find it. Some are destined to find purpose or happiness through hard work. Some are lucky to find it by chance. But for those who don’t, maybe they can find their meaning simply through the search itself. Not a careless or heartless search, but perhaps a more mindful and heartfelt one.
On rare occasions, I wonder what my life might’ve looked like had I found that one unshakable purpose. And other times, I’m happy where I am, whom I’ve met, and what I’ve accomplished just because I wanted to… But don’t worry, I haven’t given up on my anime figure photoshoots yet, lol.