Popular entertainment is inundated with political and philosophical messaging, such as acceptance of others, hard work gets results and so forth. Anime is also chock full of such messages, even when it isn’t evident on first glance.
Some are positive, some are negative, some are intentional and some are expressed through how the story is written rather than on purpose. The majority of anime preach the ideals of individualism, hard work and optimism. But is that all that they have to offer?
There are many instances of often overlooked messages within anime. Heck, sometimes the writing of an anime actually contradicts the message it is attempting to make.
Often, as in any media, anime can be a source of inspiration, ideals to live by, new world perspectives and even harsh doses of reality when they are sorely needed. It can be both wonderful and disheartening.
These are but a few of said anime, as there are thousands upon thousands more that have much to offer. In fact, feel free to tell your favourite life lessons from various anime down in the comment section below.
6. Naruto - Hard Work Is Meaningless
Naruto, a grand tale of a young boy rejected by society, through hard work and persistence gaining the respect of everyone that once despised him. A loser from birth.
Or at least, that is what it seems to be on the surface. Naruto is instead the son of a Hokage, an Uzumaki, a reincarnation of a demi-god as well as the host to half of the most powerful Tailed Beast.
He was not only destined for greatness, but was always more of a genius than every one of his peers. Yes, he is still a social underdog and an inspiration for what he achieved despite the adversity he faced. But talent is everything in Naruto.
This is perfectly emphasised by Naruto’s fight with Neji during the Chunin Exams. In the end, Neji was right: those destined for greatness via natural ability will always come out on top. He simply made a miscalculation on which of them inherited greater power.
Rock Lee, despite training every day of his life, from dawn to dusk, has his efforts amount to nothing. He provides a brilliant fight against Gaara, another person of extreme talent. Naturally, Lee loses horribly.
Because, no matter how hard you try, you can never overcome those predisposed for great things. After this fight, Lee largely fades into the background. The same treatment is given to Might Guy.
The War Arc of Naruto dispels all notions of underdogs achieving their dreams through hard work. At the end the only ninja worth anything are reincarnations of demi-gods - imbued with the power of a god - and a genius ninja given the power of a god from heaven itself.
And thus, Naruto ends on a sour note. Only those born with natural talent or external powers can do anything of significance in the ninja world.
Accept your destiny as is, for you can never escape it.