Growing up as a kid I never really felt as though I belonged anywhere nor related to the people around me, a sense of belonging was always a constant thought for me. I would imagine myself as a character of some comic book or my favourite animated series.
This fictional world always felt like home to me as I could relate to its characters and their hardships as they walked through life. I watched anime as a way to relax and a way to peep into an adventure that my world couldn’t make possible.
These themes won’t just the day to day challenges they faced, however, the ability for the anime creators to be able to connect the characters to real-life situations.
I was lonely, bullied, scorned and a hopeless loser, at most they went through the same thing. I watched many Anime and cartoons however only one had a greater impact in my life.
Naruto Uzumaki the knuckle headed orphan child who due to him being the Jinchūriki (host) to Kurama the 9 tails Fox which nearly destroyed the village he lives in, the day of his birth, now was faced with contempt and hatred by the villagers of Konoha the village hidden in the leafs, he wanted nothing more in the world than to be acknowledged by both his peers and village, to be noticed he always pulled pranks for people to acknowledge him, all with the hopes of becoming the Hokage (Leader of Konoha)
Naruto was more than just an anime character, the series was not only comedic but it also highlighted real-life issues every loser kid like me faced every day, it tackled stories with deeper emotional and psychological themes such as love, friendships, perseverance, revenge, forgiveness & most importantly when you are knocked down stand up never give up, never let failure put you down. This world draw me in gracefully, it was visually stunning and much more pleasing to the eye… every scene was a hook.
As anime fans, we connect ourselves to the characters and become immensely invested. On the surface, most people view Naruto as just an Anime, but it has deeper themes that I could relate to. It was like none of the things I had seen before and at that time in my life where I didn’t know where I belonged, I found my belonging in the series.
Anime is not just a source of entertainment but it also plays a role in both our childhood & adult lives, for a person who is in his mid-20s I still enjoy sitting down and going to that world, as a source of inspiration, relaxation & for a good laugh in the process.
“If you don’t like the hand that fate’s dealt you with, fight for a new one!”