This year was the first year that truly experienced living alone. For one reason or another, my family had left and wouldn’t be returning for about three months (as anime as that sounds). I was super excited at the prospect of finally living by myself. To me, the freedom to do whatever I wanted outweighed the downside of having to do everything myself. I actually wanted to do things for myself to learn how it felt to be totally self-sufficient.
But I soon learned that living alone came with its own challenges.
Something that I really didn’t expect was the feeling of loneliness that set in a couple hours after my parents left. The house suddenly felt a lot larger and was eerily quiet. The shower I took that night was probably the least relaxing one that I’d ever taken in my entire life.
It was a weird feeling being alone. The world suddenly became a lot scarier and what was once my warm, cozy, home became cold and lifeless without the people I was closest to. I really didn’t realize how much of a difference the presence of my family made on my comfort levels. Living alone lost a little bit of its glamour for me that night. As the days past though, I grew accustomed to the life style. If I ever felt a weird silence or pangs of loneliness, I called up my friends or blasted music throughout the house to distract myself. The feelings I felt on the first day stayed at the back of my mind for a little while before I got used to them – by the end of the first week, I was okay with being alone.
My solitary experience ended shortly afterwards with the arrival of my sister. She had given me a legitimate reason for coming back, but I get the feeling that her sudden return was because of me. I had told her how I felt on that first day and she was naturally concerned. I’m pretty close with my sister so I was perfectly fine with living with her. We hang out a lot whenever she’s home so this felt just like an extension of that time. The weeks that followed were pretty fun and the feelings of loneliness faded away quickly.
On a whim, I suggested that we watch Kyousougiga, a 2013 anime directed by the talented Rie Matsumoto. I hadn’t watched the show before, but I heard good things about it so I wanted to give it a try. My sister’s interest in anime is more or less the same as mine so she was willing and happy to watch through the first few episodes to see if we liked it.
And boy did we like it.
Right from the first episode, we were hooked. The story of the Myoue family was engaging and heart-wrenching. The characters were lovable and the show itself was endlessly beautiful. We spent a large part of that evening watching through as much of the show as we possibly could. We finished the series within two days and loved every moment.
I don’t think that I would have nearly enjoyed the show as much if not for what had happened the weeks prior to watching it. While watching Koto and Myoue Jr’s individual struggles, I was reminded of the feelings of loneliness and the longing for familiarity that I felt after my family had left. This made their family reunion at the end even more resonant for me. It made me realize how much I missed my family and how relieved I felt after my sister had come back. Kyousougiga was an unforgettable experience for me and I’m glad that I got to watch it with someone so close to me.
Living alone is an inevitability for me and hopefully some time down the line, I’ll be more prepared for it. Kyousougiga and my sister taught me though that I’ll never truly be alone.