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?
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As a single parent to an 11-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: Stop and smell the roses! There are moments in life when we get caught up in a whirlwind of responsibility, materialism and the like. As parents, we have to work, pay bills, make sure there’s food in the fridge, get the kids to soccer practice, etc.
We’re really just trying to instill a positive work ethic in our children, preparing them for when they’re adults themselves. But it’s also important to teach them about the other stuff, the balance between work and play! Without balance, there can be consequences. Just ask the Elric brothers.
This month, we’re taking a look at some anime that reminds kids (and you!) to stop and smell the roses for a bit of that balance. Some of these recommendations do include cheeky moments or serious subjects, so as always, you’re the parent and you know best.
Sketchbook ~full color’s~
Sketchbook ~full color’s~ is a slice of life anime where we get to know Sora Kajiwara as she joins her school’s art club. She also chronicles her life through drawings in her sketchbook, which is kind of like a character of its own.
This series is a perfect reminder that some of the most beautiful things in life might seem trivial: The breeze on a sunny day, the smile on a friend’s face, the whiskers of a chubby cat. But nothing is too mundane to be drawn in Sora’s sketchbook.
In life, we get caught up in prioritizing what we deem important. As parents, we encourage our kids to focus on school or chores, but we should also teach them to prioritize nature, quiet moments, being with friends and making memories. Just like Sora does in this series!
Watch Sketchbook ~full color’s~ on Funimation!
During the transition into parenthood, we might find ourselves disconnecting from the things we enjoyed when we weren’t parents. The weight of responsibility can make us feel like we’ve got no time for ourselves, and that can feel lonely.
In Super Cub, Koguma doesn’t have to deal with being a parent herself, but she does have to become an adult. Left without family and seemingly indifferent to the world, Koguma has to learn to create her own family and find happiness through her friends and hobbies.
Koguma finds solace in a motorcycle—a Honda Super Cub. Through her new hobby, she starts to enjoy life again, develops friendships, and finds a part of herself she thought was lost. We even see this in the color palette changes in the series, as it transitions from greyscale to more and more color.
Being a parent is an important role; we are shaping the lives of children. But you are still a person. You are allowed to have friends, to have a hobby, to be you! When you practice self-love, you are actually teaching your children to love and value themselves. So, go enjoy yourself, you earned it.
Watch Super Cub on Funimation!
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater
As I mentioned in the intro, parents and kids have a lot on their plates. A majority of that probably comes from things outside of our home lives. When we return after a long day, we try to decompress. But when we release stressful kinetic energy, it might make our safe place feel…uncomfortable.
Ever had a bad day at work or school and come home feeling frustrated? So much so that it’s hard to talk to those around you? It might seem like odd advice, but sometimes it’s best to not talk…but move! Go out and do something together.
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater is about a group of friends who enjoy recreational fishing with each other as a way to decompress, release those feelings and feel renewed.
Through fishing, main character Hina Tsurugi is able to find comfort. When you or your children are having a bad day, try going out and doing something together. Sometimes, simply being in each other’s presence is as effective as talking it out.
Watch Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater on Funimation!
Gal & Dino
OK, so this recommendation might feel weird, but ride this thing out with me. As ideal as it is to get out into nature to enjoy simple things, we do live in a modern society. It might not always be the most convenient solution, but “stop and smell the roses” doesn’t have to be literal.
It’s simply a call to relax. Even things in our modern life can be simple! And sure Gal & Dino is anything but simple, but to start, it’s about a woman, Kaede, with a dinosaur for a roommate!
This situation causes Kaede to examine the simpler things in life, as her new roommate becomes fascinated by television, cell phones, shopping and even holidays! Through this, she learns to appreciate the things she maybe takes for granted.
As adults, we often do that too. We get so caught up in how we achieved these things that we forget to appreciate them. Remind yourself to be grateful for what you have and to find time for enjoyment, even in things like phones and TV.
Watch Gal & Dino on Funimation!
I hope this month’s guide helps you find new ways to not only relax, but to enjoy your life as a parent! Achieving balance isn’t always easy, but thankfully there’s anime to help with that.
Do you have a favorite that helps you relax? Share this post and let us know! And stay tuned to Funimation for the latest on all things anime. I’ll see you on the next one.