Suwa’s Guide to Managing Unrequited Love Jun20

Suwa’s Guide to Managing Unrequited Love...

Unrequited love hurt a lot worse than getting my wisdom teeth removed. When I was a teenager, I experienced unrequited love firsthand. I took classes with this boy I liked, but he was interested in someone else. To him, I was nothing more than a friend—a “little sister” he could hang out with. I watched him grow closer to the girl he liked, wondering how much it would bother me if they started dating. There was little I fantasized of more than his noticing me, especially when I was a part of his life for so long (much longer than the other girl was). It’s strange to me, then, that a twenty-six-year-old man, married to his high school sweetheart and a proud parent, would have regrets about his relationship. But Suwa, from the anime Orange, has a big regret. When he was in high school, one of his classmates, Kakeru, was in love with Suwa’s wife-to-be, Naho; Naho returned Kakeru’s feelings at the time, but Suwa pretended not to notice, choosing instead to tell her how he felt about her on New Years’ Eve after she was vulnerable from a falling out with Kakeru. Then, after Kakeru committed suicide, Suwa proposed to Naho, who accepted the proposal because she had begun to love Suwa for the support he showed her after Kakeru’s death. My unrequited feelings are a burden I have carried for many years. Suwa regretted, not the relationship with Naho, but ignoring the love Naho and Kakeru shared in favour of his own feelings. In order to erase his selfishness, adult Suwa sends a letter back in time to his high school self in order to save Kakeru and pair him with Naho. In this alternate timeline, Suwa purposes to stay quiet...

Knowing What It’s Like to be Weak: Leadership and Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Apr30

Knowing What It’s Like to be Weak: Leadership and Katsugeki Touken Ranbu...

“He’s reckless, rough, inexperienced, quick to fight, and in some ways, he seems very unstable.” That’s an appropriate description of Kanesada from Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, and pretty much any new leader, including me. During my first semester of university, I was determined to lead all my group projects, even though I was inexperienced. I learned the hard way that not everyone was as concerned about making deadlines or producing detailed work as I was. Not everyone could attend rehearsals. Not everyone had the same opinions. Not everyone could speak as fluently as the others. And I made a big error as a leader that hurt others and cost me my pride. Doubts and weaknesses are part of being a respectable leader. Kanesada also makes a mistake. As one of the human manifestations of Japanese swords who are sent back in time to protect history, Kanesada is a captain assigned to five other swords. But his mission goes terribly wrong. One member gets critically injured, and they are all called back prematurely. Although history is preserved, many civilians’ and soldiers’ lives are needlessly lost, leaving Kanesada questioning: “Can we really say we’ve preserved history if we’ve failed to protect so many other things?” Blaming himself for the failure of the mission, Kanesada falls into brooding depression, avoiding his teammates and getting angry when they call him captain, because he believes he failed as their leader. He distracts himself by training intensively or burying himself in excuses. He is unable to forget his failure, replaying it over and over in his head: “Did our mission really end the way it should have?” Kanesada finally seeks out the counsel of the oldest sword, Mikazuki. Mikazuki had sensed something more than recklessness in him, which is why Kanesada...

A Bird-Man’s Strength: Recognizing Potential in My Hero Academia Feb26

A Bird-Man’s Strength: Recognizing Potential in My Hero Academia...

I was always one of the last kids picked for a team when my friends and I played sports. I wasn’t athletic by any stretch, and my straight A’s and creative awards didn’t help me score goals for my team. While watching the Sport’s Festival in season two of My Hero Academia, I was once again confronted by memories of being overlooked. Hero-in-training Izuku is tasked with putting together the ideal team that will allow him to pass the Calvary Battle challenge. His friend Ochaco joins because of their established bond, overly-ambitious Mei joins because of Izuku’s high marks, but his close friend Iida joins another team for self-improvement, leaving one open slot in their four-person squad. At this point, most of the students have already joined other teams. As Izuku scans the field, considering the strengths of those remaining, he realizes immediately who their team needs. My reaction: “That guy?” Don’t get the wrong idea. I have nothing against bird-men (after all, I’ve been crushing on Hawk King Tibarn from Fire Emblem since I was fourteen). I just knew nothing about Fumikage. However, since Izuku’s strategic prowess had not let me down so far, I trusted that this obscure character would be just right for their team. As the Calvary Battle unfolds, it is clear that Izuku has made a wise choice in Fumikage because of the bird-man’s unique defense capabilities. With his expectations more than exceeded, Izuku praises Fumikage’s quirk: “Your shadow is just what we needed . . . you’re amazing!” Oftentimes, the most gifted individuals are overlooked or don’t realize their own untapped potential. He responds: “You are the one who chose me.” Outside of the immediate feels it gave me, this line stuck with me. At first glance, Fumikage...