One of my goals as an ani-blogger is to write about each and every anime I watch by season, especially if I think it’s worth recommending. Sweetness and Lightning is one such anime that I’ve failed to blog about thus far, but is definitely up there in my long list of endorsements.
The story centers around the unusual main character, Tsumugi Inuzuka, a kindergardener in love with life, her hardworking single parent, and the yummy food he’s been learning to make alongside his enthusiastic young student, Kotori Iida.
The series pushes common standards not only in the age selection of its main characters, but also in the potentially-romantic relationship between teacher and student. While many may see nothing wrong with Kotori’s obvious yet harmless crush, continual encounters beg the question as to what will really become of it.
When it comes to my opinion on this matter, I find my heart very torn and very troubled. On one hand, I find myself rooting for Kotori and her love interest, hoping for her sake they’ll end up happily ever after. On the other, I don’t really see the relationship developing romantically at all, but realize the potential danger in this student-teacher relationship if things keep progressing as they already have.
The situation all-around goes against social norms, and only time will tell how things really pan out. While left to anticipate next week’s episode, I was reminded of another teacher who was marked deviant in terms of his society.
Since birth, Jesus Christ was “going against the flow” so-to-speak. He was the Son of God, born to a virgin, and had a stable as a room and a trough for a bed. He led a life more innocent that Tsumagi’s, and died a death more painful than we could ever imagine. He was tempted by Satan, but he quoted scripture. He was prodded by Pharisees, but he replied with much the same tact. He ate with the very ones that nailed him to the cross and drank with the ones that would betray him before the day was done. He was the One Who Knew No Sin, yet he became sin for us.
All this the Father allowed, so that we might become different in the eyes of the world too. After accepting Christ’s free gift of eternal salvation, we can begin to live a life of love for the Lord, marked with the same divergence and irregularities that believers of the early church once stood by. They perplexed spectators with their strong faith, kind words, and encouraging examples. Likewise, believers of this day and age can stand out through their desire to forgive, stay pure, and seek after a book and a God thousands of years old. These acts of the Lord, ever-so-contrary to the flesh nature, can show others the true love of Christ and point them to the cross.
It was Jesus himself who encouraged believers to stand out in this very way. In John 13:55 he said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” And then of course, there’s probably the most quoted verse on this topic, Romans 12:2. Its command to not “conform to the pattern to this world,” gives us the in and not of mentality needed to live a life for Christ and against the typical standards of society.
So I may not approve of the presumably illicit behavior between Kotori and her Sensei, but I do endorse the controversial acts of Jesus Christ and his true followers. Sure those who abide in Christ will probably get prodded and persecuted just as he did, but the reward is not in the life that’s found on earth, but the one that’s waiting beyond. To me, there’s beauty in this never-ending cycle of conforming to Christ and the cross; as one believes and changes his ways, so another drawn to do the same. This process continues on and on until a date we do not know of –the day he comes again. While we’re waiting, I say we might as well live for Christ, so that more and more people will turn against the social norms and join us on the day when all believers are taken to his Almighty Kingdom.