These days, it is so very easy to indulge myself in movies of various genre. (Don’t be so smug, I know we’re in this together #wink). Besides, ever since I saw Naruto, I’ve been a not-so-consistent devotee of anime—especially those stuffed with action and adventure!
At this point, I’d really like to sound a note of advice: Stop seeing movies for entertainment purposes only. It really helps if you have an open mind as regards common stuff; which you may think doesn’t really matter—including movies. Apart from the obvious truth that God can speak to us through any means, movies also have a knack for dishing out lessons, either intentionally, or just through the plot.
Enough talk! Let’s get to it: Shokugeki no Souma (Japanese for Food Wars!), has a cooking-cum-adventure theme that specialises in the ideals of individualism, hard work, optimism, and preparation. In opening my mind to the possibilities, I’ve put together a number of important lessons—that will be useful for you and me—after going through some episodes.
You Don’t Need Talent to Be Successful—At Least Not As Much As You Think!
“In my eyes, Soma didn’t have any special cooking skill…so I thought he’d have enough once I defeated him a couple of times—but Soma never let himself get down. Every time he gets one-step closer. One day, I realised something—Soma lacks something any normal person would have: See everyone wants to believe that it’s normal to do worse than someone who has talent. That way, they lower their expectations and protect their pride, self-respect, and similar sorts of things—but Soma doesn’t do that. He has the strength to face his inadequacies head-on.”
At this point in the series, Soma, the protagonist, was in the final round of an epic cooking competition—large arena, 5000-viewer audience, the works—against two of the most talented cooking geniuses the school had to offer.
Like the excerpt above, most of us—including myself—like to give ourselves excuses: reasons why we may never exceed a certain point in life. We may say that some people are just “born” with extraordinary talent, or that some are born to super-rich parents, or even that others were blessed with the right mixture of circumstances and opportunity.
Either way, we shift the focus entirely from ourselves, and choose to give our attention to things we cannot change. I challenge you to look inward today. Who knows? You could actually have that one talent that distinguishes you from the rest!
Embrace Learning—and Thinking.
“Soma’s cooking inspirations aren’t from natural genius or anything like that. He just thinks things through. He keeps testing and re-testing his recipes. Everyone can do that, but not everyone actually does…”
“’A way to beat them? I wouldn’t even bother thinking one up.’ ‘It’s impossible.’ ‘Of course, the genius will win!’”
“…Why do they want to think less of Soma? Because if they did, it’d mean acknowledging their own lack of effort.”
If there was one thing, our protagonist liked to learn—to see things from different perspectives. He had an open mind! What better way to do this, than to develop a love for thinking?
To be honest, critical thinking is not without its own wahala. I mean, you have to be alone: Away from all distractions. I mean, even Jesus Christ desired it enough that he had to get up regularly in the middle of the night to be alone. This in itself can prove daunting. “However, it is only during such times that you come to understand yourself better, understand God better, and then through such understandings become capable of loving and knowing other people.”1
Even After Experiencing A Setback—Keep Going.
It would probably surprise you to learn that even with all the hype and “build-up” the writers of the series gave Soma, he eventually didn’t win the finals—though he came second, or something.
That’s not the point anyways. The point is that he refused to let that affect him in any way. Rather, he saw it as a chance to embrace his inadequacies once again—even intentionally spending some time out with the winner.
The truth is, at some point or the other; we would eventually face one or two setbacks: Jeff Bezos started his career with an auction site called Zshops, which failed. Ariana Huffington (CEO of Huff Post) and J.K. Rowling (Famous writer of Harry Potter), both had cause to be rejected by publishers a number of times, before finally being picked up. And so on and so on…
It is important to learn that giving up has never helped anybody, and would probably never, too. So when next you face another obstacle, just make sure you’ve not lost that vision—and keep going!
So that’s all for now everyone! I hope I certainly didn’t bore you. Don’t hesitate to comment, rate, share, repost—the works! (I’m sure you know all this by now #wink)
In addition, you can get this particular anime by clicking here, just in case you’re interested!
1. Colin Creel, Perspectives (Relevant Books, Orlando: 2005) p. 102.