I may or may not have occasionally mention it on this blog, but I’m a person with a……sort of a troubled childhood. The greatest thing I hate about myself at the time (but I don’t actually aware) is my own social awkwardness and lack of social skill in general. I stumbled in just normal conversation. I can’t look at people in the eye when talking and….don’t even let me get to girls. I’m nervous as hell around them.
All of that results in me having little friends and not much in terms of social circle. Thankfully, I decided to get myself a therapy in high school and got better, but I still couldn’t socialize with certain types of people.
In those days I’m always longed to be noticed by others, and to a degree, to become one of those popular socialite (despite the fact it didn’t fit my image). But most importantly, to have someone alongside me that could understood me and go into tough times together. A best friend, you could call it. I used to had one (or at least, I think I do) but we rarely speak after sometime.
Of course, when real life aren’t forgiving, I ran into the world of fiction. It was then that I ran into two different characters that has the same problem as I am which I could very much resonate with. Naruto and Hachiman
Looking at it broadly, Naruto and Oregairu are pretty much two different shows with different ideas and themes at plays. Naruto is a shounen battle that tells a coming of age story about a social pariah journey to heroism, while also about reaching dreams, surpassing your predecessor and the cycle of generations. About how histories repeats itself. Oregairu is a romcom drama centered around the psychology of teenager and deals with the idea of self image and by extension, loneliness.
Both of our main protagonist, Naruto and Hachiman, also don’t have a lot of to do with each other. One’s a brash, short-tempered, naive, flashy bright-colored ninja. The other’s cynic, self-depreciating, and precocious high school student.
However, both of our protag starts out the same way. They were both loners. (well, at least one of them used to be)
This is actually what attracts me to these characters first and foremost. But, what’s actually interesting, and one of the reason I’ve decided to write this, is how both of them cope with their loneliness. While both might be aware of their own circumstances, because of their different nature, obviously how are they going to deal with it are going to be different.
Lets start with Naruto. On his case, Naruto actually actively seek connection with others, but because nobody wants anything to do with him, he decided to get himself into a lot of trouble to get attention. Believe it or not, this is actually what I often do to myself. Well, I don’t seek trouble, but I’ll always try to do things that’ll make me stand out during lessons. But of course, that doesn’t really working just like in Naruto. Instead of lasting bonds like I’d expected, its just something that’s passing in the winds, as they said it.
In Oregairu, Hachiman, while aware of his own unhappiness and pain, instead rationalize and validated it. Saying how circumstances around him are just…the way it supposed to be. And he doesn’t want to bond with others because he’s afraid of getting hurt and being disappointed with others. While I don’t share his cynical outlook, where it came from is very understandable, human and real.
Seeing how the two characters grow out of their situation is great joy in me, because its almost like seeing a real life friend succeeding in something and it inspires me to do my best as well. Naruto finally became hero and bond with so many people simply by just being himself and do the best thing he can, instead of trying too hard getting attention. Hachiman finally admit to himself on how he wants to have a genuine bond with someone.
With one of our hero finally reach his happy ending, here’s to hope Hachiman getting his.