She’s not an anime super-fan, but I can occasionally talk her into watching something with me. Though she’s watched and enjoyed things like Escaflowne, Rurouni Kenshin and Galaxy Drifter Vifam, she has a particular fondness for the works of Studio Ghibli, so it was an easier sell than normal to convince her that a quiet period drama set in 1960s Japan would be something she’d enjoy. And enjoy it she did.
We both did. I had seen (and liked) the film a couple of years prior, but watching it with her and seeing her like it so much upped my enjoyment like a hundred fold. The art was even more gorgeous, the music even more lovely, the rebuilding of the club house even more fun, and the romance even more poignant. The two of us hadn’t watched an anime together in a while, so I had nearly forgotten how amazing and important vicarious experiences can be.
A couple of months later, my wife is on the phone with her mom. She is passing along my Christmas list, which is littered with Ghibli fare. From what my eavesdropping ears could gather, my mother-in-law asked a question about anime. And then my wife begins to speak glowingly of Poppy Hill, both summarizing its story and contextualizing it as a sweet, contemplative film for adults. She tells her about the Miyazakis. Her mom, perhaps reading over Amazon blurbs of items from my list e.g. Princess Kaguya and The Wind Rises, sounds…intrigued!
Well, maybe I’ll be having one of these vicarious experiences next year with my mother-in-law. Who knows? Find someone you care about and share anime with them in 2016. It’s a pretty cool feeling.