hijabi: photo of zuko looking away, clearly tired and uncomfortable. (Default)
[personal profile] hijabi
i can see why shounen anime has such an appeal. the themes of adventure, strong friendship, and overcoming trials resonate with pretty much everyone on the planet. there was a time where all i ever wanted to watch was shounen. though i have my gripes with certain tropes and characteristics of the genre (like with any genre) one anime keeps sucking me in over these past few days.

it's hunter x hunter. the 2011 reboot.

at the moment i'm almost done watching the arc with the hunter exam. this show doesn't play around with plot or characterization. it's so refreshing--i think there's only been one filler episode so far. so many moments take me back to the time when i got sucked into the chuunin exams when naruto began airing in the US. i was hooked.

i'm not a fan of violence, cartoon or otherwise. i think revenge is dumb, useless, and a waste of time. but watching naruto was a surreal experience for me as a kid because so many of these characters with their crazy designs had just as ridiculous backstories. but they were relatable. it taught me that people suffer. that everyone suffers, and people rely on vastly different coping mechanisms to deal with their past... whether that's burying your memories, living in denial, isolating yourself, or resorting to violence, trying to recover from trauma, or whatever myriad of techniques one might attempt.

so if i don't like violence then why do i watch these shows fraught with fighting and animated murder? well, there are a few reasons. it certainly isn't for entertainment. gore and blood gross me out. the violence, for me, is nevertheless mostly ignorable. it's fake and the audience knows that. no one in reality is summoning giant frogs and snakes and slugs and using them to fight one another. (i hope so, anyway. keep your oversized animals in the wild, please.) i mostly enjoy seeing people get out of sticky situations. i might learn a thing or two along the way about psychology or other common escape tactics. it's surprisingly enriching. while the excessive explanation sometimes breaks immersion for older audiences as a kid i appreciated the time taken to analyze the situation because half the time i was too young to synthesize that on my own.

hunter x hunter is reminding me of that time. no, not because there was also an exam with overpowered children in a tournament-style event involved. it's moreso the storytelling, character development, and seat-gripping plot twists that get me excited. these are the kinda shows i cherish forever. it's also the reason i'm actually considering reading the naruto manga from start to finish.

i saw the original anime (minus some filler) plus some shippuuden before i got bored and decided to wait until the series finishes, like many other naruto fans who weren't following the manga. i've been spoiled for the end of the manga and other major plot points as the series was slowly wrapping up but there's still so much i don't know. that's the thing about shows you watch when you're young--you get really invested. it's like seeing old friends. you wanna know how they're doing, even if it's too late to see them progress in real time. i also started reading boruto (i know, bad practice) but it honestly made me suck on my pride and decide okay, i intend do it. i'm gonna try to actually read the whole manga series in one go. (more or less)

72 volumes. that's a lot of manga. and a lot of money. but i think it's worth it. masashi kishimoto's art and story make me feel. it forces me look into myself. it silently encourages me to find the same strength the characters do to triumph over the seemingly impossible.

more than anything, it makes me happy. it fills me with hope. and those are the kinds of stories i really wanna write.

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hijabi: photo of zuko looking away, clearly tired and uncomfortable. (Default)
hijabi / hinata

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