A predominant theme in the anime I’ve been watching as of late is facing up to reality. The kids of Shin Sekai Yori, the show I am currently blogging, have spent the large majority of the show running away from the grisly truth: that the Ethics committee eliminate those in their community they perceive to be a threat, and the young male protagonist of Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade (a show I recently watched) hopped from dimension to dimension to escape the reality of his best friend moving away. But during this post I will be focusing on Hanekawa Tsubasa’s plight in Nekomonogatari: Kuro.
To put this post into context, Hanekawa had been living with abusive, immature parents, who were not even her real parents, but simply her guardians. The strain caused by maintaining such an impeccable character, and having these ‘parents’ resent her for it had built up over the years, resulting in her taking a monster cat up into her body, and attacking those around her. The role of Araragi in this messy scenario was to encourage Hanekawa to face up to the reality that her personality will never change, and she’ll probably never be loved by her parents because of that- a difficult pill to swallow, huh? But to the end Hanekawa remained adamant that resigning herself to such a grim fate wasn’t the right thing to do. But is that what’s best for her? Or any of us when stuck in a bad situation?
It’s extremely difficult to say whether or not we should all fight back as Hanekawa did. I can see the logic in Araragi’s argument- there are some things we cannot change no matter what- Hanekawa cannot change her personality, which is what causes her parents to dislike her- but will coming to terms with those things make us any happier? I don’t think so. I just don’t think it’s in our nature to settle for something that makes us miserable! So it’s funny Araragi should suggest Hanekawa is no longer human, because the way in which she fights back against something that’s not even within her control is undeniably human!
So if resigning herself to a hopeless reality won’t make her happy, but fighting back against that reality won’t change anything either, where does that leave poor Hanekawa? Or any of us that do the same? I believe that, even if the situation seems inescapable, in fighting against it you retain something. Not something tangible, or something that can be easily named… Dignity, perhaps? I certainly feel as though Hanekawa can walk away from this experience with her head held high, despite the fact she spent most of Nekomonogatari prancing around in nothing more than her underwear! Or perhaps it’s self-worth? ‘I MATTER!! AS AN INDIVIDUAL WITH WORTH, I SHOULD RETAIN SOME CONTROL OVER MY OWN LIFE!!’, and so on… At any rate, I believe Hanekawa’s resilience in fighting against an impossible situation is something we should, as human beings that do indeed matter, admire, and attempt to emulate.