Anime of Tomorrow
Dog Days 2 – The Underdog
I don’t know how everyone’s else’s high school experience was but at the risk of sounding presumptuous I think I can speak for many people among those who are anime fans when I say that there always seems to be someone more talented than you are. Maybe it’s one of those infuriating preppies who appears to be naturally good at everything and is going to be valedictorian or it’s just a friend who has a talent you admire. Either way you lack the confidence or aspiration to hone that skill for yourself.
We often say to the prodigies among us, “I wish I could do that as good as you!” But the wisest retort I’ve ever heard to that sentiment is, “No you don’t, because if you truly wanted to be more like me, you would be already.” I think this is smart because it reminds us to look at ourselves and see that our energies shouldn’t be spent in copying the talents of others, but in finding our own strengths and desires. I’m again mindful of another great phrase, “You are the main character of your own life story.” So don’t live in the shadows of your friends or rivals. Be true to yourself, find your own strengths and achieve victory on your own terms.
This theme plays very strongly in the second episode of Dog Days 2 and continues to be a strong plot point as the series has continued. Cinque and Nanami’s friend, Rebecca admires the athleticism of her two friends who have become heroic representatives for the war games of the two major countries within the world of Flonyard. Although she longs to be like them and participate so they can all share the fun, spend more time together and enjoy everything their hosts have to offer, she hesitates because of her own lack of confidence. What she doesn’t take into consideration is that her strengths lie elsewhere. However, she can’t see the solution right in front of her because Cinque and Nanami shine too brightly. But she finds a mentor in Couverte, the princess of a third kingdom; who is a kind of kindred spirit seeking to stand as an equal alongside her friends Leo and Milhiore.
While deep down this may be the story of the underdog—the friend on the fringe who finds self-confidence—it strikes home very strongly for me because many years ago I detested others for their talent and success. However, I never let that deter me from chasing my dream and I applied myself. After a lot of hard work and determination I realize that I am in fact living my own dream; having become an English teacher in Japan.
I see the premise of Dog Days 2 taking shape as something very motivational for those who spend too much time looking up to others when they could spend more time looking to themselves and realizing their own potential. As weird as this sounds talking about a sequel, I think the second season of Dog Days is going to be a much more interesting, inspirational story than the first.