Saturday, June 14, 2014

Why the title?

As you've no doubt noticed, this blog has both a peculiar title and an odd image at the top.

What is that all about?

Well, there are several reasons and I'm perfectly willing to do a post dedicated entirely to it at a later date, but for now I'll give a simple explanation.

The image is from an anime titled "Trigun" produced by Japanese studio Madhouse based on a Japanese manga by Yasuhiro Nightow. The title of the blog is from the same and is from the eighth episode of the show when the story radically changes. Now why would I choose this as the general theme of my blog? Again, there are many reasons, so I'll give the short answer for now.

The title is one of many aspects if Trigun that is about more than what it appears on the surface. Episode titles include "Murder Machine", "Sin", and "Under the Sky So Blue" which have multiple meanings for those have seen the show in question. The title to the episode my blog title was taken from has a bit of history to it on top of the multiple meanings.

At the end of every episode one of the characters would narrate a short preview for the next episode and the one for this particular episode struck me hard.

A few years ago I was in a very bad place and saw no way out of it. I had been depressed for a long time and had begun climbing out of it thanks to my then-recent conversion to Catholicism. Not long after my conversion happened and my world-view widened, I re-watched this series and caught many things I wouldn't have caught before. There were many things in the series that stuck out to me, but there is one I want to talk about in this post. Specifically, I wanted to mention this speech from the next episode preview which was referring to the episode this blog is named after:

People who sin, say this:
That they had to, to survive.
People who sin, say this:
That it's too late now to stop.
The shadow called sin dogs them steadily from behind silently without a word.
Remorse and Agony are repeated, only to end up at Despair in the end.
But the sinners don't know that if they only turn around, there is a Light there.
A Light which keeps shining on them ever so warmly.
A Light that will never fade.

It was simple, but it caught me off guard. It was about the darkest moments of the soul and how where and when you least expect it the light is waiting for you to turn around and find it. To find it and escape the pain the only way you can. Considering that this is a series that started as an action comedy about a wanted fugitive who was known for leaving massive amounts of destruction (but never death, oddly enough) in his wake, it hits as a bit of a surprise.

And it was also totally right.

It was an anime I had seen dozens of times since I was an overeager teenager and I had never noticed it before, but it made me think. What else had I missed? Not just in this show but in all the stories I had come across in my short life. You see, all stories have themes and morals whether they want to or not, but do we always see them? I don't think so. I know I didn't. There is much out there between the shining blue sky above and the crumbling earth below us that we can sometimes not see the truth staring at us right there in the face, and I found out from experience that it was true not only in stories, but in life as well.

Basically, this random event in my life struck me at the perfect time and helped me to see the whole world in a deeper and more rewarding way.

And it always comes from where you least expect it. In my case, it was from somewhere between the wasteland and the sky. The cracks of light hidden in the cavern. The eyes that watch from around the corner of it all. And that's why I'm here writing this.

Marc Bolan was right. Life is strange.

Link to the Complete Series of Trigun (Not recommended for younger viewers)

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