Why We Watch, Read, Play What We Watch, Read, Play

7 09 2010

Why do we watch Anime? Read Manga, or as many of our type of people are wont to do, read Fantasy or Science Fiction? Or play games?  The truth is, our day-to-day slog is pretty boring, uneventful, and not nearly as vivid or enjoyable as these other activities. Some would say its an escape, but I say these are the means by which we transcend our mundane reality and truly live our lives, if but for a few fleeting hours a week.

Here’s a quote about Fantasy by GRRM that captures very well what I’m trying to say. Of course, it applies to Anime and Manga as well:

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.”




One response

29 09 2010
Pensive Dreamer

Whenever I hear “Sevante du Feu”
Tears come to my eyes
It is a marvelous melody
It tells of wonderful things
The world is full of sorrows
But this gives it an inner beauty
A resilient strength
Come what may, we must still follow our dreams.

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