OK, so far, I’ve chosen quite a few fun/silly topics for my “12 moments of anime 2009” posts, so it’s time to get serious with my eight post in the series by choosing to look at the banality of evil in Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ (Sea Story).
In many anime where evil is involved the evil tends to be an outside force or creature that threatens our world that needs destroying, so train hard and destroy the threat, case closed. But, in the anime series Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ (Sea Story) the evil (Senda) is us; our fears, our weaknesses, our pain, our loneliness, our jealousies, our self-loathing, and our inability to accept, transcend, and forgiven our own flaws.
If this had been a typical anime Sedna would have just been a evil creature that needed destroying, but in affect Sedna is the child of every islander who ever went to the little shrine and tossed their loneliness and sorrow into the sea. That’s why Marin felt the same pain from the eclipse when the heart of darkness attacked her, in the previous episode Marin tossed her sorrow into the sea and now it’s returning home to roost. Kanon now understand this because she can feel her mother’s pain, and Ooshima’s suffering. Senda is the creation of everyone who had ever tossed away something to hard to deal with, and now I think both Marin and Kanon understand that Sedna can’t be killed as long as people can’t come to terms with their own emotions.
Throughout the entire series the Turtle Elder has been driving Marin and Kanon forward in an attempt to make them soldiers of light in a battle with their mortal enemy, darkness. It turns out that until now the Turtle Elder and the girls were only operating with half knowledge, I had wondered throughout the series why Sedna couldn’t be defeated for good in the past. The island’s shrine priestess had been trying to drop them hints about the nature of the darkness affecting the island and he refused to listen.
Since Sedna was a creation of every one’s abandoned feelings the only real solution was to embrace all those hurtful and scary emotions, we don’t throw them away, we allow ourselves to be transformed and changed by our life experiences.
If anything, Sea Story was a tale about growing up and learning to accept all the scary emotions that come along with being an adult. Kanon’s fear of being rejected, Marin’s fear of the darkness, Urin’s fear of loneliness, we shouldn’t hide these emotions, we need to share them with others who care for us, and forgive the weakness inside our hearts.
While our nature might be good, we all harbor some darkness inside our hearts, it waits, quietly, until we become fearful, uncertain, lonely, and depressed, then it slowly grows, and can cause us to say cruel thing, and to be unkind to others. But, with the knowledge of its existence we can fight to keep it in check, and when we do slip up, we ask for forgiveness.
The key to dealing with Sedna is that the girls will have to embrace her and love her breaking the cycle of self-loathing, self-isolation, and come to terms with all of our painful emotions. This is a message that we’ve seen in many popular anime like in Sailor Moon when Usagi says that you can’t kill chaos but you can keep it in the recesses of our hearts, and also in fruits basket when Tohru tells Momiji that we must learn to live with all our painful memories and feelings, we must transcend them because they make us who we are.