I asked a friend if he had ever seen Bakuman. He said that he hadn’t, where as I continued to say that anime like Bakuman are my favorite, right next to whatever genera Ruroni Kenshin Trust and Betrayal falls in. (Perhaps utter emotional destruction?)
I love Bakuman because it reminds me of myself. I have an insane dream of becoming a screen writer for cartoons that takes up most of my life thinking about.
I moved to a new school about six months ago, and it’s been very difficult for me to find good friends. It’s quite easy to say, oh well, and then sit in the corner of your room and write furiously with the time you could be spending with people. This is another reason why blogging has been so helpful for me! I can find people who have the same interests as me while I’m doing my favorite thing in the world at the same time! – Writing!
Bakuman presented me with two boys who had a very similar dream to mine, who put the same amount of work into it as I do. Just like Mashiro and Takagi did over their summer break, I took last summer and pretty much only wrote, and that was completely satisfying for me.
There are however many differenced between the way I work and the way Mashiro and Takagi work, that comes from our worldview. Writing is my favorite thing in the world, and I thank God for giving me such a blessing. My instagram bio is “The two greatest gift’s God has given me are grace and purpose.” Without Grace, I couldn’t have purpose. When I was in forth grade, I decided under emotional circumstances that I would spend the rest of my life becoming the best writer I possible could. That is my purpose, and it was given to me by God. Mashiro and Takagi don’t have that point of view, but none the less, they create amazing art and work just as hard as I do without a God influencing them.
Since I know that this is my purpose in life, I want to put hard work and good time to thank God for blessing me. By working hard in the areas I’m gifted, I’m thanking God for the ability to even function in those areas.
Because God is apart of my worldview, and I believe that he created me, I know that I wouldn’t even have the ability to work hard without him. When we receive gifts, the gift giver wants to see us using the present so that he knows we like and appreciate it. God also wants to see us using our talents and skills productively. Why would you keep giving a person a gifts if they never used them, or acted like they didn’t like them?
When Mashiro and Takagi went to Shonen Jack for the first time, they were encouraged to hear that they had done a good job. The editor gave them some constructive criticism, and they were ready to go back and try even harder. What’s attractive about this anime is the fact that these boys hold onto the passion and excitement of their dream coming true for so long, and at such a young age. Their ability to work hard while still going to school is inspiring. I wish I could see more kids around who are perusing their dreams. It’s especially incredible to watch these boys fight the mold of getting into a good high school/college, get a good job, live happily ever after. Standards are so boring! They’re not as dramatic in the US as they are in Japan, but I still find myself wanting to fight the mold.
Questioning the system and finding a good way to work your dreams into it is a good way to define yourself. Our true character forms under hardships. We grow into strong people when we’re tested, and Mashiro and Takagi proved that their manga was not the only art they created when they worked tirelessly. They made themselves into art, beautiful people who have lived more life then any of their peers because of their hard work.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
When we work hard, God watches us turn ourselves into art. But he doesn’t simply sit by and enjoy watching us push through trials, he’s with us, holding our hand as we create art. He helps us endure the trials that bring character, and he rejoices with us at the finished project. When we allow the Lord to help us with whatever task we have, we are turned into art because of what we learn from hard work, but even more so because we grow closer to God, the creator of the concept of art.
Sometimes, a task we must accomplish seams nearly impossible to accomplish. Mashiro and Takagi saw an impossible task, but were not afraid of it. They spend as long as it took, to accomplish what they promised themselves they would do and endured many trials and failures. Sometimes if life, we can wiggle through problem after problem and find a solution on our own. But that can be a painful process, and an unnecessary one.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Now this is a very cool verse. Especially when I’m creating art, I pray and ask God to give me strength. When I write, I know that God is with me, giving me inspiration. He already has given me the ability to make good art, but with him by my side, I can create art that is more beautiful then I could have ever imagined. When I write, I try to pray at the same time, letting the Lord’s spirit enter me, give me peace, and draw me closer to him.
Why do I have so much confidence in my ability to accomplish my goals?
Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
God knows ever aspect of me, he knows my dreams and my desires, because he put them there! God knows more then anyone about how much I want to be a screenwriter.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
These two verses above tell me that he’s not going to ignore that dream. God can do anything, because he’s God! Any task or dream I have will never be too big (or too small) for him to work with. But If I go on my own path and forget God, the path will be much harder. Luke 1:37 says “…Nothing is impossible with God.” Proverbs 16:3 and Psalm 37:5 both say to “Commit your way/work to the Lord.”
My trust and fellowship- with God sets me apart from I can have confidence because of God. Mashiro and Takagi have only their ability to work hard.
Mashiro said that the three rules to becoming a manga artist were:
“1. Be pretensions. 2. Work Hard and 3. Luck”
I’ve personally got number one and two down, but number three is what makes me a very different artist. What they see as “luck” in my own life I know is God. There is no such thing as luck with God. It’s a lot more satisfying to put your trust in something that you know has gone as far as to tell me that “he loves me” then a force that may or may not be on your side. It’s because of my faith in God that have confidence in his will for me.
One of my favorite lines in Bakuman is at the beginning of the first season. The boys are talking about becoming manga artists together, and the excitement just pours out of them. The first few days after coming up with a fantastical dream is almost like a drug. The pure excitement and hours of daydreaming is the most beautiful part of dreaming big. But dreams are nothing without work to back them up.
“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23.
Mashiro understands this. He sets a condition in his goal to force him to keep working, and his line sounds beautiful to me.
“No matter what it takes I will make this dream a reality. And if I can’t, I’m not a real man!” – Mashiro
Pretty big words for such a small middle schooler. Mashiro thinks he has to prove himself to the girl he’s in love with Azuki, his parents and grandfather, and himself. That’s a pretty big weight to have on your shoulders, but one of the best motivators in the world. Mashiro already has such a big feat to conquer ahead of him, and he gives himself perhaps an even more drastic goal inside that one. His plans are grand and heavy. He’s still in the excitement stage when he says this, so his words haven’t fully sunken in yet.
Now I am not in that excitement stage anymore where I feel empowered to make vows left and right. My dream has sat in my heart for around eight years now. Soon after I make my dramatic vow with tears streaming down my face all that while ago, God showed me this verse:
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
So God not only knows how passionate my little elementary school heart was, he knows what my journey to reaching this goal looks like! – and, his plans are good ones full of hope!
But this doesn’t mean there won’t be hardships. We live in a fallen world, so not everything will go the way I want it to, and not all of it will be smooth sailing. The things in thought, that God is always with me, and these hardships that I am going to face will be opportunities for incredible growth!