A Certain Anime-Oriented College Essay

I’m in this hell where I can barely squeeze in time to watch anime and play video games during lunch break called school.  I thought that I would never be able to write about anime until the school year was over.  By a twist of fate, I received an assignment to write a college essay on whatever the fuck I wanted as long as it was within 400 words.  CARPE DIEM! I took the chance to write about anime.  Before all of you laugh thinking that the essay would probably be mocked by peers and colleges alike.  The former actually handed back my paper during feedback and told me it was good.  One actually felt hers was completely incompetent after reading my essay and began another one. (Ok, OK I’m being an obnoxious bastard.)  So, I present to you the essay written on the manga that changed my life, Honey and Clover.  Enjoy. ❤


Read a Work Twice

In my youth, I had a voracious appetite.  There was always an abundance on the dining table.  Even when it was time to clean the table, I reluctantly made my children’s books into a neat column and scuttled to my room to continue satisfying my hunger.   During blinding Californian summers, the columns became rows on the chilled, bathroom tiles.  Whether by daylight, lamplight, or flashlight, I raced through books, always challenging how fast my eyes could scan the pages. I read always looking to the next word, never glancing back. Until I read Umino Chica’s Honey and Clover, that is.

How a Japanese comic series could have such an impact puzzles me more than those who ask. The novel consists mostly of impoverished art college students angsting over juicy meat, love triangle drama, and friendship.  From an art critique’s perspective, the artwork is sloppy and there is an intermittent absence of background art.  As my classmate pointed out, all books attempt to present a microcosm of human life and themes full of depth.  So what makes Honey and Clover any different?

Although I have a never-ending list of why-I-like-Honey-and-Clover, there is only one reason as to why it is different.  From brandishing a wand along side Potter to begging Oedipus to call off the search for the murderer who is ironically himself, I have visited many worlds.  When I first stepped into the world of Honey and Clover, I found a world very much like ours only funnier. And by the end of the first volume, I realized that I had stepped into my own mind.  In each struggle and character, I saw a part of myself reflected off these characters.  For the first time, I felt like a character in a story surrounded by foils to which I could relate to.

And much like the story of me, Honey and Clover doesn’t really have any theme.  It tries to depict life in the eyes of a young adult coming of age with all its cuteness, hurt, humor, loneliness, and love like vanilla ice cream topped with salt.  Whether it failed or succeeded, I , out of admiration, put away the final volume and picked up the first.  It was warm from being next to the floor heater in stark contrast to the cloudy Michigan winter, and for the first time in my life, I read a work twice.

9 Responses to “A Certain Anime-Oriented College Essay”

  1. 23 May 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Hmm, nice essay! I want to try reading Honey and Clover now, at least. And hey, they’re in college… not high school! Revolutionary.

  2. 2 Cage
    23 May 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Oddly enough I may just try it out, i looked it uP before but it didnt seem interesting, but after reading this ill give it a shot.

  3. 3 Harry
    26 May 2012 at 10:57 am

    It is crazy and heartbreaking how different essay writing is in America compared to Australia.

    I want to write an essay where I don’t get criticised for writing in a way that acknowledges what I am writing is personal and subjective. 😦

    Also, thank you for the essay. It was an enjoyable and heartfelt read.

    • 26 May 2012 at 11:17 am

      I don’t know what difference there is between American and Australian essay writing. I looked up “Australian essay format” on google and found the University of Southern Queensland’s suggestion for essay format which supports a essay format which is standard in all American essay writing. If you look at my essay carefully, you’ll find I have a similar although heavily modified format. I start broad from my reading habits and childhood and zoom into Honey and Clover along with my experience with it. Then, I zoom back out. I’ve never been criticized for writing in a personal or subjective manner unless I have 1. deviated from the topic. or 2. didn’t express my emotions/opinions properly. I am really glad my essay managed to communicate what I wanted to say in an enjoyable manner. You can’t imagine how many times I’ve pored over that essay perusing it over and over. If you keep trying, I’m sure you’ll be able to do the same as I have done to you. Good luck. – Poro

      • 5 Harry
        27 May 2012 at 1:29 am

        It’s not an official format as such, but at least in New South Wales (not completely sure about the other states) if you are writing an essay on a text, they heavily recommend that you don’t use subjective language. You are supposed to refer to what you think as what you think the bare minimum of times. In my university tutorial (face-time with people higher up in the hierarchy) I have been told not to introduce my thesis as me arguing the point, but as “this essay will argue [something]”. It frustrates me enormously, because I think it weakens the idea that whenever you analyse a text, the analysis will be subjective. It is important to keep that truth clear and prominent in analysing events, texts or anything in life. I feel that your essay, though on a subject that does encourage its informality, also embraces and is thus strengthened by its subjectivity. This makes it engaging, interesting, and in my opinion more honest.

  4. 28 May 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Great tone. Simple and nostalgic. Effective writing. A+ \(*.*)/

  5. 29 May 2012 at 1:06 am

    Get your anime on! Fuck them haters lol. I’d rather get an A writing what I want, then Struggling on something boring & getting an A. So shake n bake!!!! What grade you get?

  6. 29 May 2012 at 9:01 am

    I actually want to know if this essay works. If it does, I’ll buy you a drink anytime you come to chicago/Korea

  7. 9 John Paul Wang
    10 November 2013 at 10:23 pm

    You are an awesome person.

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Welcome to Bokutachi no Blog. That's "Our Blog" in Japanese. Our Anime Blog, to be exact. And if you landed to this page by accident, probably in search for ecchi stuff, then you should regret to have hit this page. Don't worry, this blog is children-safe and no misdemeanor acts here. Sorry, you bald, middle-aged perverts. But thanks for the hit anyway.

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