Anime Quote: Fune wo Amu

This is a continuation of my << Tonegawa’s Speech [Kaiji] >> post. In that post, I talked about how I realized that I am living my actual, real life at this very moment, at all times. For more context, read the post…

However, when I finished writing that post, I was still confused because I didn’t have enough information. What does living a fulfilling life look like? Did Tonegawa follow what he preached?

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Then I watched Fune wo Amu. It’s a highly underrated anime and I don’t have anything negative to say about it. Go check it out.

Fune wo Amu follows the life of Mitsuya Majime. Majime dedicates his life towards creating The Great Passage, a dictionary that will always remain incomplete. Why incomplete? Because words are alive and are constantly changing, so the dictionary will need to be continuously revised and edited. It is Majime’s life’s work. The Great Passage will help people better understand one another and make society a better place.

This line is from the last episode. I feel a lot of respect towards people who have something to live for, people who dedicate their entire lives towards something they are passionate about. When people pour their hearts into a piece of work, it’s very admirable and honourable. Perhaps this is an answer to what I’ve been thinking about.

Foolish or Not? The Most Foolish Traveler in The World

There are parallels between the story told by Momiji in Fruits Basket, The Most Foolish Traveler in The World, and Oscar Wilde’s short story, The Happy Prince. 

The Most Foolish Traveler in The World: About a traveler who is tricked by a goblin and gives up his legs, his arm, more and more, and finally his eyes. The only thing left is the traveler’s head. The goblin gives the traveler a “present,” a piece of paper with the word “FOOL” on it. Because the traveler cannot see, he is so happy to receive a present for the first time. 

The Happy Prince: About a statue of the late Happy Prince who learns that there are many poor people suffering. He asks a swallow to give the townspeople the ruby from his tilt, the sapphire from his eyes, and the gold leaf from his body. The swallow, who delayed his flight in order to deliver these gems, dies from the cold weather. The townspeople then think that the statue is shabby and melt it. The swallow is dead and the Happy Prince is heartbroken, but they are taken to heaven for their good deeds in the end. 

It’s interesting how one story has the word “foolish” in the title while the other has the word “happy.” You could argue that both stories have a happy ending. The traveler is happy to receive a present for the first time, and the swallow and Happy Prince go to paradise.

So, was the traveler foolish? Was the Happy Prince foolish? Was the swallow foolish? 

My thoughts: I think that the traveler was foolish. How long will his happiness last? What will happen after the story ends? He cannot walk, cannot see, and does not have other people to help him. The goblin won’t help him, that’s for sure. It’s good to receive presents from people, but at what cost? If one action of “kindness” from the goblin costed you everything, that kindness was conditional. It’s fake. 

I think the Happy Prince statue was foolish. Even though the story has a happy ending, he begged the swallow to deliver the gems even though winter was approaching. He is responsible for the swallow’s death. The Happy Prince “died” with a broken heart. The same townspeople that he helped are the ones who melted him in the furnace. They were going to replace him with a statue of the mayor. Sure, the townspeople were unaware of the Happy Prince’s good deeds but does that really matter? If you’re only going to keep the “shabby” statue because he helped you first, I question what’s going on. 

Although… I like these stories. While I think that the traveler and the Happy Prince were foolish, they are rare to come by. I would like to meet someone like the traveler some day. 

What do you think? 

Food for thought

Nobuyuki Fukumoto, creator of Kaiji and other series, has a spin-off manga about a man who craves for Instagram likes. It’s called Legend of a Strongest Man Nakane, a spin-off of Saikyou Densetsu Kurosawa. At first, I found it hard to believe that there is a series about this topic. Instagram?? What??

Nakane’s colleague explains that he buys cakes and other cute-looking sweets just for Instagram. After the post is up, he trashes the dessert because he doesn’t like sweet foods.

This page made me think. I think this is a really good point. With so many people in the world, I understand the desire to stand out from the rest.

The counter argument. Seeking approval. Craving the spotlight. “Celebrity” wannabes. Running around like idiots. WILL YOUR WORTHLESS SELF GET SOME PEACE OF MIND?

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I don’t think that posting on Instagram is that serious. Nakane and his colleague go to great lengths for likes and there are surely many users who do the same. I would believe that most users are not like this.

I frequently post on Instagram. I don’t think my intention is to “stand out” because I don’t think this is realistic for me. Maybe this is pessimistic thinking on my part, but there are so many users.

I don’t think I am looking for approval on Instagram and I don’t think I am a celebrity wannabe. Am I running around like an idiot? Maybe to some people. Will I get some peace of mind from getting likes? I wonder…

I hate this. It’s fun to take pictures and post. It’s nice to have a backlog of the good times and shared memories. Sometimes you feel more connected to others by using Instagram. At the same time, I hate it. Society feels superficial. & you know what? I will not stop using Instagram…

Buraiden Gai – Suffering Originates from Desire?

Buraiden Gai is a short manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. Fukomoto is well-known for creating Kaiji and Akagi. It’s a really interesting and intense manga. I recommend checking it out! One page in particular stuck out to me and it was about desire (Remember to read right to left).

This page reminded me of the following quote by Edgar Allan Poe:

“All suffering originates from craving, from attachment, from desire.” — Edgar Allan Poe

What do you guys think?? Do you agree with this notion or the quote? It makes sense to me, but I would love to hear what other people think. This makes me feel negative because of the bottom panel that says, “There’s only a few people who do achieve their dreams … the world has more people who failed.” Is this even true? At the same time, I feel relief from having a greater understanding about suffering.

I’ll leave you with this final quote from Buraiden Gai (Chapter 31)…

“Isn’t dream the same thing as desire?” — Nobuyuki Fukumoto

Deceiver’s Distrust in Psychological Anime & Manga

I was studying for an exam and the term, deceiver’s distrust, came up.

Deceiver’s distrust = When people lie to others, they often begin to perceive the recipients of the lies as less honest and trustworthy as a result.

I thought about it, and it does happen in a lot of psychological and gambling anime. Two examples of deceiver’s distrust in anime and manga are Kaiji and Liar Game. Deceiver’s distrust plays out often in these two series, but I’ll outline two specific scenarios. Spoilers ahead!

1. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

Kaiji is the best psychological anime I’ve seen. I highly recommend it. In a match against Middle Manager Tonegawa, Kaiji trusted Tonegawa. Tonegawa, who was cheating the entire match, believed that Kaiji had switched the cards for his own benefit. Because Kaiji trusted Tonegawa and because Tonegawa thought that Kaiji had switched the cards, he lost… bitterly.

2. Liar Game

Liar Game is a psychological manga. I highly recommend this series as well, but the ending was extremely disappointing. During the Contraband game, Nao and Akiyama promised to save everyone, even though it meant that they had to move onto the next round. Yokoya, who was secretly smuggling money into his own account, did not believe Nao and Akiyama’s good intentions. He called them losers, stupid, and foolish. Spoiler alert: he lost the match.

There are many more examples of deceiver’s distrust in anime and manga. Can you think of other examples? What about in real life? Perhaps believing that others are less honest and trustworthy reduces their own guilt. What do you think?

Toxicity in Spirited Away’s Bathhouse

Toxicity in place is one of the themes I found most prominent in Studio Ghibli’s film, Spirited Away.  I believe that No Face is the embodiment of a person’s personality and desires. The characters in the bathhouse are toxic because they are driven by greed, so when No Face eats the characters in the bathhouse, it becomes this monster who acts and consumes food in a very uncivilized manner.

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When No Face later goes to Zeniba’s cottage, No Face acts very different. Now that No Face has a purpose and is in a place with kind people, it can be the best version of itself. No Face doesn’t need to “eat” anyone because it can be itself.

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I think this theme is very important in our lives because I’ve seen people change both in personality and appearance – in the clothes people wear and how they resemble the people who inhabit those shared spaces. A place can be the home environment, school, the workplace, the community, your friend group – it can be a lot of places. If you feel that the environments you are currently in are not good for your mental health or are impacting you in ways that you don’t like, I urge you to think about if the place is fit for you, and if leaving the toxic environment is an option. Some food for thought.


I wasn’t sure of No Face’s gender (I don’t believe it’s identified in the film) so I’m not sure if I should use he, they, or another pronoun. Please feel free to enlighten me and I can change the post to make it better. Thanks. 🙂