Just like any other form of media, anime is world-renowned not only for its unique traits, but for the lessons that it instills in the lives of the millions who watch it on a daily basis. Although one can argue that the sole purpose of anime is to entertain its viewers, one can also reasonably infer that an ulterior motive is to teach some sort of life lesson.
Whether a story wants to teach us to never give up or to press through tough situations, there are definitely many lessons that viewers can extract from their favorite anime shows that they can use and apply in their daily lives.
From anime My Hero Academia | (C)堀越耕平／集英社・僕のヒーローアカデミア製作委員会
10. Hard Work Beats Talent 100% of the Time
This lesson can go both ways, but it couldn’t be any more true than in anime. Reading this, one might retort, ‘Hard work only beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,’ or, ‘What if talent works hard?’ The answer is still pretty straightforward. Let’s take the famous anime Naruto and Naruto and Sasuke’s last battle for example.
Naruto is an example of someone who doesn’t have a lot of talent but works very hard and strives to be the best. Sasuke is an example of a prodigy who also strives for excellence. In their last battle, Naruto proved to Sasuke that he was the stronger of the two. Although Naruto’s techniques were a far cry from Sasuke’s, and despite the fact that he was holding back in an attempt to reach him, Naruto still overcame Sasuke’s hate. It was Sasuke who acknowledged his defeat.
Similarly, this lesson can be applied to those trying to overcome the tough obstacles of competition. Whether you’re playing a sport or trying to be the best in the classroom, this lesson can have a profound effect in your life as a tool for motivation.
G.E.M. series remix NARUTO Shippuuden Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha (c)岸本斉史 スコット／集英社・テレビ東京・ぴえろ
9. Never Give Up On Love
Love is a sacred, beautiful, and very complicated thing. Many things aren’t certain or guaranteed in life, but love is an abstract concept that will plague everyone who exists in this planet. In that case, an underlying message in many anime shows such as Naruto, Sword Art Online, Zero no Tsukaima, and Shakugan no Shana is that love must never be abandoned.
For example, in Zero no Tsukaima, Louise understands the other female competitors of Saito’s love and affection. Although she is bothered that Saito may have feelings for Queen Henrietta, Tiffa, and Siesta, she sticks by his side and accepts his marriage proposal at the end. Therefore, it is always wise to never give up on love, no matter how hard it may be.
8. Self-Sacrifice is Beautiful
Yes, self-sacrifice is beautiful. However, please do not run and get hit by a bus for someone (Kazuma). Nonetheless, life is precious and dear to everyone on this planet. Therefore, it is a very noble thing to sacrifice anything of yours to help someone else. This can be your time, your money, and your love to someone who is in need, and not necessarily your life (Kazuma).
Since it has already been brought up, in Konosuba, Kazuma sacrificed his life on Earth to be in a RPG world with three girls that he didn’t even like. Something as incredible as this can be done on smaller terms in your own life, without you having to jump in the way on a tractor for a complete stranger without thinking (Kazuma).
From anime KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on the Wonderful World! 2 (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2) ©2017 暁なつめ・三嶋くろね／KADOKAWA／このすば2製作委員会
7. It’s Never Too Late to Do the Right Thing
A common misconception among people is that once you are so deep within your own mess, you cannot get out. That’s not necessarily true. For example, if Billy robbed a bank with his crew and people were killed in the process, Billy could still do the right thing by turning himself in and reporting those who helped with the crime. While Billy probably can’t escape his situation and impeding sentence, he can escape the guilt that comes along with it.
In a similar sense, Vegeta from Dragon Ball took thousands of lives when he first battled Goku. However, as time progressed since his defeat, Vegeta became a warrior alongside the Z fighters and helped defeat Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu. Even when he defected in the Majin Buu saga, he still teamed up with Goku to save the Earth again. This should serve as a notice to everyone that it isn’t too late to make the right choices and get your life together.
From our article: Vegeta and Dragon Ball: A Few Trivia About the Prince of Saiyans
6. If You Truly Love Someone You Have to Be Ready to Let Them Go
Many people may not want to admit that this is true. In many anime series, there are instances where one lover breaks free from their special someone because they love them. One notable instance is in the anime series, Zero no Tsukaima. In the last season, Louise struggles with her thoughts of bringing Saito into a war that has nothing to do with him. Therefore, she teleports him back to Japan to keep him safe.
While everyone is upset about her decision, they accept it and truly understand that she loves Saito more than anyone else. This ordeal can definitely be used by any lovebirds who feel that this change of action. Don’t be dismayed. Who knows. That person just might come back like Saito did.
5. Being Humble is a Virtue
While meekness is not generally associated with strength, it is an admirable trait that deserves some notice. In anime, there aren’t a lot of humble characters who are cool or powerful. However, there is one young man from a popular anime series that fits this trait like a glove. His name is Gon and he’s the main protagonist of Hunter x Hunter.
Although Gon is naturally perceptive and talented in many unconventional skills, he is often ridiculed by his peers simply because of his kind and humble nature. Still, all of Gon’s friends and foes can agree that he is the real deal. This is because Gon proved himself to his peers through his actions and not through any haughty shenanigans like Leorio. This goes for anyone who is reading; humbleness is a strength. It’s perhaps the greatest strength.
4. Don’t be Ashamed to Apologize
Many people incorrectly surmise that apologizing is an act of weakness or shamefulness. In fact, this misconception is what keeps many people distant from each other. In the mega hit anime series One Piece, Usopp and Luffy have a falling out where Usopp refuses to apologize to Luffy. This results in a broken friendship and Usopp’s dismissal from Luffy’s crew.
However, in a last-minute attempt to travel and be friends with Luffy again, Usopp puts his pride aside and apologizes to Luffy, who gleefully welcomes him back in brotherhood. Even in the event that your apology is not returned, it could be more pleasant and reassuring to apologize anyway to clear your own conscience.
From Ikebukuro J-WORLD TOKYO | (C)HF/S,H3P,M (C)O/S・F・T (C)B/S・F・T (C)K S/S・T・P
3.You Can Defy All Odds
This lesson is present in all forms in many anime series. Usually, there is some sort of conflict where a character is up against something or someone that seems impossible to overcome, yet they cross this obstacle anyhow. In any case, in Dragon Ball Z, Goku battles Frieza in a seemingly pointless struggle that should have ended in Goku’s inevitable death. However, Goku pressed on and defeated Frieza with a power he didn’t even know he had.
While it is impossible for people to become Super Saiyans (yet), people can still defy the odds in many aspects of their own lives. This anecdote is very different from the human outlook but similar in the fact that people can cross any obstacle they choose with determination and vigor.
2. Follow Your Heart
Sometimes, logic and reasoning can pollute the mind with stagnant thoughts that can’t aid people in very sensible situations. For example, if a person has two people that they love and are trying to pick one to be with, logic and reasoning won’t actually make the choice easier. That is why people should be in touch with their emotions and follow their heart on very important decisions.
In Shakugan no Shana, Shana was conflicted with her duty as a Flame Haze and her developing love for Yuji. After talking to Yuji’s mother about her struggle, Yuji’s mother tells Shana to follow her heart, to which even Alastor agrees. By doing so, Shana eventually becomes satisfied with her decision to love and be with Yuji forever. In this sense, people can apply the same lesson to their lives by following their hearts and not logic on precarious situations.
1. Live True to Yourself
This lesson may not be as profound as the rest, but it’s surely worth mentioning. In the anime series Baka to Test, Akihisa wanted to peek on the girls bathing in order to find his blackmailer so that he could clear his name. However, as the events poured on, Akihisa became increasingly interested in peeking on the girls just for the heck of it. When reprimanded by the faculty and the female students, Akihisa simply shouted, ‘I like what I like! I will live true to myself!’
This retort gave him the support that he needed to press on, even from the boys who didn’t even agree with what he was doing. Nevertheless, this isn’t saying that perverted behavior such as this is acceptable, but it is stating that one ought to live true to his or herself, regardless of what anyone thinks of it. Does this ring a bell, anime fans?
How Do You Live Your Life?
All in all, there are many more life lessons that can be pulled just by watching anime. The most interesting thing about all of this is that if this is the case, then watching more and more anime may just be making you a better person.