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: The spirit of the holidays. It’s been a tough year for everyone, and look, I get it, as we approach the end of it, it’s hard not to feel fatigued. So for us, and for our kids, it can be hard to get into the spirit!
Part of our job as parents is to bring about the magic of the holidays, reminding us about the good in the world and in each other! We could all use some of that right now. So I want to talk about some anime to help you feel that spirit with your kids. Let’s jump in!
The spirit of fun in Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is about a 15-year-old girl named Yuna, who is socially withdrawn from normal life and spends most of her time playing an online video game. But when the game gets an update and Yuna takes a survey, she ends up inside of it! Oh, did I mention the game is about adorable bears?
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Throughout the series, Yuna deals with many of the issues that cause her to be so withdrawn, and she addresses them by having fun with the characters she meets along the way! The holidays aren’t an excuse to ignore real-world issues, but an opportunity to recharge our batteries with fun to take on a new day. It’s why kids get a winter break from school!
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear might offer your kids someone to relate to and remind them that it is OK to play. Having fun can help your kids develop a routine of self-care, which we parents know is particularly important!
The spirit of family in March comes in like a lion
If you’ve watched March comes in like a lion, you might be wondering about its place on this list. For those who haven’t seen it, the series follows 17-year-old Rei as a master shogi player. After losing his family in an accident, he becomes reclusive. Hold your skepticism for a second.
In the series, Rei meets three sisters: Akari, Hinata and Momo. They become his family, and this new support system helps him to break down his emotional walls to show who he really is. That’s why it’s the perfect pick for this list.
Sometimes family is our blood relatives, and sometimes it’s the family we choose. The holidays are a time to show appreciation for everyone we love and care for, a chance to spend time together, and a chance to make memories!
The spirit of giving in One Piece
One Piece follows Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat pirate crew as they search for an elusive treasure. And what are gifts if not treasure? Eh? Eh?
In all seriousness, Luffy is the perfect example of a giver, with how he treats his friends. Sure, he’s searching for the One Piece, but he’s found many friends and allies along the way. These friends become his treasures, and he works hard to show how thankful he is to have them!
Support. Laughter. Food. These are all ways Luffy shows how much he cares for those around him. Despite his ambition, Luffy actively goes out of his way to achieve the dreams of his crew members, making for a tight knit group that all believe in him to achieve his dream as well!
While finding the perfect gift for someone might seem like its own pirate adventure, it’s truly about what comes from the heart. And One Piece does a lot of teaching in the ways of goodwill and caring for those close to you!
The spirit of love in Toradora!
When you think of anime and Christmas, Toradora! might come to mind. Why? Well, some of this romantic comedy series’ most memorable episodes happen during the holiday season.
Believe it or not, the holidays are romantic. Think about all of those cheesy movies on Hallmark which I happen to thoroughly enjoy. In my Mom’s Guide about relationships, I talked about celebrating love and the kinds of relationships you’ll teach your child about.
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And the story of Ryuji and Taiga and more is a wonderful case study. Ryuji begins the series with a crush on Minori, but eventually realizes he truly loves Taiga. The two help each other confess to their crushes, but eventually fall for one another!
Whether you follow Ryuji’s and Taiga’s lead or just enjoy the warm lovely feeling of Toradora!, it’s a great show to learn from. Let love help you create memories for your children that they’ll cherish forever!
The spirit of music in Dropout Idol Fruit Tart
Look, there’s a reason why, at the stroke of midnight on the day after Thanksgiving, that radio stations flip on holiday music. It makes us feel good! Music has always been known for its ability to connect with us on a deep level.
For the ladies of Dropout Idol Fruit Tart, music is what they turn to in an attempt to keep their dorm from being demolished. And so, they form an idol group to make as much money as they can to follow through.
The music is lively, fun and catchy, and through their music, the group connects with an audience, and they learn to love their performing beyond its initial goal.
If your little ones are struggling to get into the holiday spirit, turn on some music! Sometimes it takes the kinetic action of music and dance to get us moving too! For Dropout Idol Fruit Tart, just be aware that there’s a good amount of fan service in this one, so it might not be great for super young kids. You’re the parent, though, so utilize accordingly!
I hope this guide helps you and your children get into the spirit of the holidays! I know this year has been a tough one, but there is still plenty of time to end it on a fun and hopeful note.
I hope you and your family have a safe and healthy holiday season! See you next year!