By Yali Perez
The world of parenthood is a magical, beautiful and often challenging place. It has its highs and its lows, similar to the world of anime. Of course, that’s without the magical outfit changes. Wouldn’t that make getting ready in the morning so much easier?
As a single parent to a 10-year-old son, I sometimes use anime as a way to connect with him. Anime is something we mutually enjoy and is a great medium to discuss subjects without the pressure of feeling too serious. The aim of A Mom’s Guide to Anime is to use anime to help you navigate the world of parenthood.
This month’s focus: Positive attributes. We’ll be looking at anime that features characters with one of five positive attributes that are important for kids to have. Each anime has a character with a positive trait to help them become well-rounded, good people. Let’s take a look.
Confidence & Self-Trust in Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
The protagonist in Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is Sakura Kinomoto. She’s basically a superheroine with magical cards and probably the cutest sidekick ever. She’s also a student in junior high.
In the previous series, Sakura was clumsy and a bit unsure of herself. Her lack of confidence caused her to struggle with her newfound abilities, and often put herself and others in danger. You can’t really blame her, though. Not every day do you find a book with magical Clow cards.
In Clear Card, Sakura is reliable, independent and more confident. Sakura is faced with new challenges, but faces each with less trepidation. She trusts herself to make decisions even if they aren’t the right ones, and it doesn’t shake her confidence. Sakura is a great example for kids that confidence isn’t about being perfect. Sakura knows it is OK to fail and kids need to know that too. Failure doesn’t need to equal a lack of self-esteem. It helps us grow.
Having a Passion for Something in My Hero Academia
Now, before you start thinking I’m talking about relationships and intimacy, let me clarify. I’m talking about being passionate about something. You know, having a goal and working hard to achieve it.
My Hero Academia is full of passionate characters. Let’s focus on the show’s protagonist, Deku. In a world where 80% of the population is born with Quirks, Deku was born a normal child. His normalcy didn’t deter him from wanting to be like his hero, All Might. To achieve that goal, he needed to get into U.A., a school known for shaping some of the world’s greatest heroes.
In every episode of the series so far, Deku has shown what passion and hard work can achieve. He got into U.A. and is well on his way to becoming a hero, even with some stumbling blocks in the way. What can you take away from this? Encourage your children to express to you what they are passionate about and how they can set and achieve goals around it.
Empathy in One Piece
One Piece has been around for quite a long time! But that means it’s got plenty of episodes for you and your kids to watch together. The star of this iconic series is Monkey D. Luffy, your typical happy-go-lucky, big smiling and food-loving pirate hero.
While he may appear as if he doesn’t take much seriously, under all that pirate gruff is a character that is great at displaying empathy and compassion. Luffy has the amazing ability to make friends with almost everyone he encounters, even if they don’t like him at first.
The future Pirate King achieves this through the ability to understand and share the feelings of others and having concern for the suffering and misfortune of others. He puts himself in other’s shoes and connects with them emotionally, no matter how different they may be from him.
It’s important for kids to learn this, as they will encounter many kinds of people throughout life. If they can learn to empathize and show compassion with others different than them, they will not only have lots of friends, but be able to adapt to many situations.
Courage in Dragon Ball Z
When it comes to courage and bravery, the first name in anime that comes to mind is Goku. Let’s preface this by saying we’re not condoning violence by putting Goku up on this pedestal. And sure, Goku’s bravery has resulted in some tough decisions over the years, but hear me out on this one.
Goku has shown, time and time again, that he’s always brave enough to do what is right. That doesn’t mean he isn’t afraid to do something, though, often sharing just that. But that’s at the core of why Goku is such a great example of courage. The lesson here is that you can be afraid and still be brave. Similar to other characters on this list, Goku isn’t afraid to try something and fail.
He’s brave enough to try and do his best and know that at the end of the day, that can be enough. Fear doesn’t make you weak, so it’s OK to be afraid. As parents, you have to instill that in your children. Doing what is right is not always easy or the most popular thing to do, but if they show courage in trying, they can do anything.
Kindness in Puzzle & Dragons X
Puzzle & Dragons X is a spinoff of the popular mobile game Puzzle & Dragons. The show has everything a kid could love: dragons, monsters, adorable sidekicks, cool transformations and some great action scenes. Parents can enjoy the lessons in kindness their kids will get from watching. The main character, Ace, has it in spades!
Ace was a typical kid until he found an egg which eventually hatches into Tamazo, a dragon. This helps Ace discover his powers and leads him on a journey to become a Dragon Caller. Throughout this journey he maintains his kind and justice-oriented demeanor, helping others without second thought. He’s kind to people, monsters and dragons. Despite some of the other characters not initially being fans of him, his kind heart quickly wins them over.
Kindness is incredibly important for kids to learn. When we’re kind to others, we plant a seed of kindness in them. It’s also important to remind children that being kind isn’t always as easy as it is for Ace in Puzzle & Dragons X. They might not understand the idea of being kind to someone that comes across as mean, but it’s the right thing to do in helping others to be more considerate. Kindness begets kindness. In the social media world of today, we could always use a little more of it.
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