Being silly and sentimental

I just saw the last two episodes of SAO: Alicization, and now I’m bummed. I mean, I have been with these characters for longer than most TV shows, and the writing is so much better than most series. One cannot help but to get some level of emotional connection to these fictional characters. Then I see the last episode, “Kirito will return.”

This message is both a good news message, if it happens, and an “in what form” message. I can say this because there is already a retro movie based on the original SAO series. Cool, I guess.

I guess I’m more bummed that this ending has highlighted all that I didn’t do in the last several years. SAO and most anime are very much like drugs for escapism. Like cannabis or alcohol, in moderate use, this isn’t bad. However, have I abused myself with too much canned entertainment? What haven’t I been doing?

This is the same question I put to myself when I broke away from MMORPGs. For a while, I limited myself to 1 hour a day, then 1 hour a day to practice a new skill or read a book, then bed. I would wake up, go to work, and measure my time from when I got home again the next evening. It may have seemed horrible, but that type of regimented life kept me productive and sane. It also kept me from having these feelings when there was another anime where the main protagonist died in the end, called Clannad. The studio got such grief that they had to rewrite the ending and submit it as the “real” ending.

Well, I also get torn up when I write a story where the main character is horribly cheated. I have a short story collection that I plan on publishing as an anthology, in which the main character is “emotionally ran through the wringer.” Then I have a full novel that I am working on that the main character is royally screwed in the end. I also canceled a writing project targeting children, but I could not come up with an ending that wouldn’t get me in trouble with every parent out there.

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