On Friendship and Magical Girls
After getting our yearbook senior portraits taken, my classmates were gossiping about the latest movies. I fidgeted and played with my black, braided hair; I had no one to talk to. A thought struck me: If reincarnation exists, I will like to be born as a friendlier being — not as a tsundere but a cheery, amiable optimist. I had no idea how to make friends; people shy away from me all the time.
I didn’t know why: was it because I had glasses; watch anime; and wasn’t as fit as most people? It didn’t help I was afraid of conversing. They were also jealous of my grades — and three-size measurements. I felt uncomfortable with myself, let alone other people.
In the midst of those lonely, depressing days, I stumbled upon an anime genre dealing with friendship, respecting individual identities, and the concept of understanding each other. I said to myself, “Maybe, this is the genre that will show me the way to make friends — the strong, lasting type you see in slice-of-life anime. This isn’t slice-of-life though.”
But it was better — this genre taught me how to make friends:
My days of loneliness were over!
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, one of my favorite shows from the genre, is an ardent advocate of befriending — to behave as a friend to. Takamachi Nanoha is a sprightly girl whom I admire: she’s cool, brave, and straightforward. If she wants to befriend someone, she’ll show it. With her Divine Buster.
Take Fate Testarossa for example: a dark magical girl who listens only to her abusive mother. And not even to her furry pal. By chance, Nanoha meets Fate and decides to befriend her; she calls out to Fate for numerous showdowns before finally hitting her with the ultimate attack: Starlight Breaker — this pink beam of friendliness; of affection; of pure love obliterates Fate literally and figuratively. Today, Nanoha and Fate are bringing up their adopted daughter, Vivio.
Now, that’s what I called friendship.
The problem was applying it to reality: I had not been contacted by a ferret or Kyubei yet; I’m just a normal girl with red glasses and long black hair; plus, I watched anime. I called the hospital and they said that when I was born, I “did not hold a pink wand with a star on top and looked like it came from Toys R’ Us.”
I was pissed: God did not make me a magical girl.
I walked outside for a while, cursing everything: from my heritage to my personality. Everyone avoided me in the streets because I was mumbling a lot to myself — I mean, I don’t blame them: I was going insane; everything went wrong.
Friendship, I concluded, didn’t exist. It was tough for me to find people with the same interests as I do. And when I did find some, they didn’t like my taste on anime; how I’m not that easily understood; and how I looked prettier than them.
I sobbed and broke down, crouching on the floor like a small frog. This question surfaced in my mind: What’s the point of trying to be friends with people when it hurts so much to find one? I started laughing — nervous, sinister laughter and tears trickling downwards warped my face.
“To everyone here,” I articulated my repressed thoughts, “I hate all of you.”
So with ominous Kajiuran music playing — specifically, “Mezame” from Mai-HiME‘s excellent soundtrack — my body felt like it was being stretched and my height increased to the level of skyscrapers.
My arms rotted into something that resembled more like tree branches than anything and purple smoke came out from the ridges; the pain that I cannot express fully in words nor images soared more and more and all I could do was scream. Everyone around me was frightened, scattering around like the cowards they were. My chest sprouted a Rafflesia — the largest flower in the world and also, a disgusting, odorous beast; my legs transformed into spiky green stems and I heard someone shouted, “Her face — her face — she’s a MONSTER!”
A monster? What the hell was he talking about?
I’m not a monster — you are!
Humans: you are the real monsters! You are devious creatures who called yourselves ‘social animals’, but that was just a pathetic excuse. I’m stupid enough to believe your excuses; I heard myself saying, “I’m…
Despair welcomed me and I accepted its invitation.
I let loose my body; I didn’t give a damn anymore. My fingers, now turned into vines, flew into windows and doors, crushing property left and right. There wasn’t anything to live for. Nobody liked me since the day I was born — even God looked down on me. Everyone’s onto me — the tanks just arrived and tried to blast me apart. The bullets did not lodge an impression on my composure. My arms — branches, I mean — swooped and sliced the tanks into halves. Life has become a hassle especially when no one is there to care for me.
“No, it isn’t! I care about you!”
A girl with a pink hair stood alone on a rooftop in front of me; she was about fifteen years old (though she could be eighteen because anime’s like that), wore a sailor uniform, and had a pink wand with a star on top; I laughed at that outfit: what was she, a magical girl? Will she save me from the ruins of despair and enlighten me with hope?
What a joke.
She closed her eyes and her clothes transformed into a skimpier outfit — a pink t-shirt barely covering her flat bosom and a pink skirt — in a matter of minutes.
She aimed her pink wand onto me, crying that she would save me. Gigantic pink circles appeared and blasted out beams. I avoided most of them, but some of them entered my body.
They hurt, but for some reason: my despair lessened and I felt better. My mind wasn’t as convoluted as it used to be. She attacked with more beams and pierced through my body; my mind became more lucid.
For the first time, I realized what I did: the destruction of the city, the damage I caused towards people, and more. My eyes started tearing up and I tried to hold it in. But of course, I couldn’t.
“It’s okay,” the girl said, “people do stupid things at times. That’s why friends are here for: to help you through the worst possible situations. Consider me a friend and I’ll help ya~.”
I stopped crying and said, “Thanks, I appreciate it.”
She chanted, “I hear thy request for salvation.” Heart Waves were forming and they started becoming bigger and bigger. I looked at it: it was beautiful. She cried, “Despair, begone!”
And the pink beam engulfed my body; I felt alive now.
Today, she invited me to lunch at a diner’s. She was a bit frustrated over our Creative Writing class — my teacher was a professor of poetry and he was strict about good work — and asked me what I was typing. “Whatever you’re writing right now,” she said, “it looks like you’ve put a lot of effort.” — she paused and gulped down a glass of water — “Tell me — no, give me what you’re writing right now, please!”
The problem was: the work you are reading right now — yeah, you’re getting the picture, right?
I went for the “Ah, it isn’t done yet” excuse and she sniffed something was wrong about it. Sighing, she gave up and ordered an ice cream sundae. I smiled because love to hear those cute rambles of hers (“Pfft, what does the professor think he is? He’s in school and hasn’t even written one damn good poem! Are professors that stupid?”).
Although she bars me from helping out, I secretly cheer for her everyday. I make sure I don’t get noticed and view her heroic deeds from a distance. She always dresses up in that weird costume of hers, saving people from despair like the time we both met. No matter who the person is, she wants to understand them as fellow human beings.
To the public, what she is doing may look stupid, retarded, and idiotic. However, it’s impossible to not like her: she’s a heroine no matter how you see it and she taught me the value of true friendship — something I will never forget.
I love her.