OWLS April “Hope” Post: When the World is in Crisis, Why Not Laugh?
Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
This month on OWLS, our theme has to do with the virus known as COVID-19 that has greatly affected the world recently: Hope
We are in the midst of a pandemic which has led people to live in fear and anxiety over the coronavirus. For this month, rather than seeing the dark side of the situation we are living in, we will be exploring anime and other pop culture mediums that bring hope for humanity and why they have such a positive impact on us.
As always, be sure to check out some of the posts from my fellow OWLS members Megan and Lita as well.
With that said, enjoy the post.
I do not think it is at all an exaggeration to say that the world is in crisis right now. The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused mass panic, spurred on by a flurry of misinformation and fear of poverty and starvation. This in turn has lead to hoarding of important medical supplies and food.
What is worse, in a time when political trust in institutions is already at an all time low, our leaders have failed to provide necessary relief, and in some cases have actively impeded attempts to get said relief. The severity of the situation is beginning to rival even events such as Word War Two, and it seems like there is little to be hopeful about. All the more reason then to…*checks notes*…laugh?
In times of extreme discomfort, pain, and worry, it can be incredibly easy to give into our bleakest of feelings and spend all of our time depressed. However, it is exactly because of these feelings that people should be occupying their time by with things that make them feel good. More specifically, comedy.
If social media apps such as Tic Tok and Twitter have made one thing clear, its that many are predisposed to responding to negative feelings like fear and awkwardness with laughter, and that makes sense. Laughter is naturally elevating process. Not only does it make the person doing it feel good, but one someone else is laughing, it makes other feel like they should be too.
Anime also has a lot of great comedy. I talked a while ago on KawaiiPaperPandas about Asobi Asobase, a comedy anime that focuses on the strange antics of a club of high school girls. Each of the girls seems innocent at first, especially in the opening for the show. However, as it turns, each of them is pretty vulgar and mean-spirited.
Normally I would say this show is not for everyone, and to be honest that still might be the case. However, given the situation the world is in right, this kind of over the top, raunchy humor might be just the thing to lift up someone’s spirits.
“Dog and Scissors” is another show in this vein, although with a much different plot. After being killed in a cafe, high school student Kazuhito is reborn as the pet dog of his favorite author, only to find out that she is pretty much a sadist. While it is not as consistently funny as a show like “Asobi Asobase,” “Dog and Scissors” does manage to knock enough absurdist jokes that make it worth watching at least the first few episodes.
Romance is another genre that often pairs well with comedy, and one of my favorite Rom-Coms, “Lovely Complex,” also happens to be incredibly funny. The show tells the story of Koizumi and Ootani, two high school students who to their friends are known as a comedy duo, but who, as it turns out, have feelings for each other.
One might point out that a lot of the comedy in the show could come off as one dimensional, given that a lot of the jokes in the show revolve around their height, and the fact that Ootani does not realize Koizumi like him until pretty late in the series. In fairness, this is not an unreasonable criticism.
I would however argue to things. One is that I think a lot of the cliched jokes in the show are fairly justified given that both are shown to be socially unintelligent in a number of ways. Another is a point I echoed earlier. Given the situation going on right now, and a heightened sense of awareness about friends and loved ones, I think a lot of the show’s core message will resonate, and the comedy by effect will shine through.
I also know that, like myself, many people go through periods of anime burnout, where they simply do not want to watch anything anime related. In that case, stand up comedy is a great place to get a lot of good laughs. A good place to find a lot of stand up comedy right now is Netflix.
Over the past couple of years, Netflix, at least in the U.S., has built a pretty impressive library of comedy specials. A few comedians who stand out are Ally Wong, whose stories about her marriage and personally life are always incredibly funny, and Trevor Noah, whose backstory makes him incredibly interesting to listen to.
As for comedy movies, well… I got nothing there, sorry.
Whatever it is, Now more than ever is a time to be laughing. Is is not healthy, both mentally and physically, to keep those fears and worries bottled up. So, keep watching the news, and stay informed. Those are also important, but make sure to keep yourself laughing so that it does not get your health down.
Everyone reading this is awesome, and I hope all of you are staying safe. What have you guys been doing to pass the time? Let me know in the comments.
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