My husband and I have recently sunk our teeth into the Danganronpa franchise. We’ve had so much fun playing the games (especially fun was being able to lord my overwhelmingly superior deductive reasoning over him) and watching its various anime adaptations. For those of you unfamiliar with the franchise (where have you been?) its premise is this: a class of elite students (all possessing an “ultimate” talent – a prerequisite for admittance into the prestigious Hope’s Peak Academy) are pitted against each other by their mysterious captor in a gruesome “killing game”. They are then forced to unravel one another’s murders in order to escape captivity.
The Danganronpa franchise places a lot of emphasis on its characters’ talents. These form the basis of their identities and factor into many of the franchise’s key events. Whilst the franchise is only ever a hair’s breadth away from becoming utterly ridiculous, some of the implications it makes about talent are quite discouraging. The fact that extraordinary talent is necessary in order to attend Hope’s Peak Academy, that graduation is guaranteed to set you up for life, and that the main course students are hailed as the hope of Japan, whereas the (comparatively untalented) reserve course students are positioned as second-rate, are frequently labelled “weeds” or “parasites”, and whose entry fees are used to fund the main course, suggests that: 1. talent is all that’s necessary in order to succeed in life, 2. is what’s most beneficial to society, and 3. that the untalented should be content to simply act as the talented’s stepping stone to success.
If, like me, you don’t possess any exceptional talents, dwelling on these implicit messages can dampen your spirits. To lift them up again, here are five personal attributes that are just as important to have, if not even more so, than talent:
Before I start I would like to say the following: please, please, please don’t read this blog post if you’ve yet to watch both series of Code Geass, as it contains major spoilers that will ruin the entire franchise for you. For those of you who have performed your civic duty and watched this awesome anime, grab yourself some tissues and proceed!
You may or may not know this about me, but it used to be my policy to never drop an anime, no matter how much it made me want to put out my own eyes! In fact, I hadn’t dropped a single anime in over 10 years – and I’ve seen some real trash! But this week I made the momentous decision to finally rescind this policy and drop my first ever anime: Black Clover. Join me as I discuss what led me to this decision. Hopefully you’ll gain some insight into why it’s not always a bad thing to drop anime.
But first, a bit of background…
Episode 11 of the 3rd season of My Hero Academia was probably its strongest one so far. It was action-packed, exciting, and, most of all, moving. Seeing All Might give literally everything he had to defeat All for One and save the citizens of Camino City reduced me to a snivelling heap. But it didn’t just move me on an emotional (and incredibly snotty) level, but on a spiritual level too.
The term generational curse is a biblical one, it basically refers to the sin of one generation being passed down to the next. This is yet another theme in anime that has stood out to me recently. Magi’s Cassim was a character convinced he was scum, simply because his father was, and Little Buster’s Saigusa was shunned by many of her fellow classmates for having a criminal father. But do these curses exist, do these characters deserve to be treated badly because of the actions of their parents, and do their own actions redeem themselves somewhat?