Family means everything (or does it?) This month, we will be discussing the importance of family relationships in anime and pop culture. Family relationships include a child and his/her parents, sibling rivalries, adoptions, and etc. Some questions about family that we will be contemplating on include how one’s family shapes his or her identity? How do we define family? How does a broken household influence a person’s view on family? We will be exploring these questions and types of relationships in this blog tour—so enjoy!
(May contain spoilers from the video game but I will not be planning to spoil the entire movie)
Family is teamwork
Family, in my opinion, is something we all want to have in life because family is having a group of people that treat you with respect and they give you unconditional love. In the dictionary, family is having the same people by blood and being part of a group and it usually consists of a mother, father and some children. Whether you are a single parent or same-sex parent, they both sacrifice their time for their children and offer love. A good example of what family looks like is the classic American sitcom Full House. Full House is a show about a single dad named Danny Tanner (played by Bob Saget) who has to take care of three daughters. In the beginning of the show, he gets help from his brother-in-law Jess Katsopolis (played by John Stamos) and best friend Joey Gladstone (played by Dave Coulier). In the first season, these three men has to deal with babysitting and fatherhood while also keeping their daily life routine at work. As the show progresses and reaches the last season, these guys go through a lot as the girls grew up; Danny had many dates in hopes to find a new wife, Jesse got married and became a dad for twin boys, Joey along with Jesse started a career in the radio business so they can spend time with the family. Overall Full House is a good example on what is a family and how does a family operate.
Unfortunate Families: “Where is mommy/Why did daddy leave us?”
Unfortunately, not all families are perfect and some are broken. The cause of a broken is family is when a parent (a mother or father) fails to fulfill their duties of a caretaker and help lead the family. Sometimes it goes even worse when the parent abandons the family and go off living only for themselves. A good example is in the another family sitcom show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a family show starring Will Smith who lives with his uncle and aunt in Bel-Air in order to have a good life and avoid trouble. In the episode “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse”, Will’s father returns and hangs out with Will and reconnect as father and son. At first, Will is happy that his dad came back after all these years without him, but he show suddenly goes from good to bad when his dad decides to leave again. In a chat with his dad and Uncle Phil, Phil makes a comment that being a dad is not like wearing a jacket, you can’t take it off easily and think you wear it again anytime. After the dad leaves Will, Will gets angry and tells Phil that he will be a better dad. The show ends with him crying and hugging Phil and asking him “How come he don’t want me man?” Even though the show is all acted, most people have had a similar situation and kids are the most hurt. If you watch this episode, notice that Will calls his dad by his name Lou and not dad.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, family is much more than being closely together by blood. Family is teamwork and cooperation, no one is the lone wolf. Family means working together.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: What is it about (background information)?
To begin this blog tour, let me tell you about this movie and what is the story in a “short long a story” style passage without spoiling the movie. Basically, Advent Children takes place two years after the events of the video game Final Fantasy VII. The heroes (Protagonist Cloud Strife and his party, Tife, Barret, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Yuffie, Vincent, Cid and formerly Aerith) have defeated the evil warrior Sephiroth and stopped his powerful Meteor from destroying the planet. However, the movie of the story begin as depressing and grim when an unknown virus called the Geostigma infects children and even Cloud and causes them extreme pain. To make matters worse, three mysterious strangers show up and threatens Cloud and in hopes of reviving Sephiroth and avenger their “mother”, Jenova. Once again, Cloud must stop these villains from taking over the planet and find the cure for the virus.
Cloud: The lone wolf of the family
Cloud is the protagonist of the movie and past game and hero of Midgar. Previously mentioned, Cloud gets infected by this mysterious virus and he tries to find a way to help the kids. To add on to the situation, he doesn’t respond or ask help from any of his friends and decides to do things alone. After losing Aerith and failing his best friend Zack’s legacy, he secludes himself from others and decides to disconnect from people At first, he may look like he doesn’t care for anyone, but underneath that “emo” face lies, a man who wants to be forgiven and wants to help and protect everyone as well. Even after seeing Denzel, a orphan kid he found hurt and infected, he can’t help but feel helpless to do anything.
Kadaj: The “Brother” of the family
Kadaj is the vessel of Sephiroth and antagonist. With him being the leader, he and his brothers, Yazoo and Loz, he kidnaps the infected children and persuade them to follow Jenova. Kadaj tells them that the infection is a blessing in disguise and tells the children the adults are evil and Jenova will protect the children. Kadaj uses his dark magic on the children and it causes them to do his bidding. With his control, Kadaj can even command the kids to go against Cloud and reject parents.
Cloud vs Kadaj: Absent Parent vs Cult/Social Group
In regard to family, Cloud and Kadaj can both be represented as what is a family in essence. First I will talk about Cloud.
Cloud could be viewed as a father who is not always available in the family and doesn’t always seem to be here to help while Tifa is the mother who sticks to the children and stays with the husband. In the movie, He and his childhood friend Tifa opens up a delivery service business and becomes the guardians to Marlene (Barret’s daughter) and the orphan Denzel; Tifa spends her time at the bar 7th Heaven and raises the kids on her own while Cloud is off and spending his time in isolation and even staying at the church where Aerith planted her flowers. Even after Cloud leaves her alone, Tifa just accepts it and does nothing about it. However, after finding out the kids were kidnapped, Tifa’s attitude changes when Cloud decides to handle these kidnappers on his own without help. Tifa steps up and tells him that they should work together and stop arguing, but unfortunately let’s Cloud go and comments that maybe this would be better if they were a real family. Now let’s get going and talk about Kadaj.
(This is the only thing I can find)
Kadaj can be seen as either a “cult” in a family or just the world raising kids. I mentioned this already, Kadaj kidnaps the children and controls them with his powers. In his speech, he tells them that they should come as brothers and sisters and serve “Mother”. In a creepy way, Kadaj could be viewed as cult or religion-based extremist group; they both stick together like family but their actions reject involves rejecting society and performing obscure actions. I never been to a cult but if they are like Kadaj, I wouldn’t want to be part of that family but I have heard of Christian cults that can be seen scary.
Christianity: We come together by love in free will! (Warning, I am declaring my faith here! I am not bashing!)
To those who do not know, I am a Christian and I believe that God sent down His Son Jesus to save all sinners from death by being crucified and rising from the dead in 3 days. Whoever believes in God and Jesus’ Resurrection and His commandments will be living in paradise in Heaven. It is written that we as Christians must love each other and this includes our neighbors and enemies. We should love each other like brothers and sisters and love is free. God’s gift for us is free and is up to us to accept it IF we choose it. The reason why I am saying this is because there are other Christianity out there who makes things complicated and even manipulate God’s word and make it seem impossible to get to Heaven. Christian groups like Christian Science is a cult that supposedly bring you close to God but once you join the cult, the members watches over you 24/7 with no privacy. Some groups try to set new rules and rituals (like performing deeds, praying to saints or being “gifted”) that says you need to do the following in order to be accepted into Heaven. However, if you are a Christian who reads the Bible, love one another and believe in faith that Jesus took your sins, you do not need to do anything because you are saved! Hallejuah, you are saved and you will be with Jesus in Heaven with a new body and enjoy an everlasting peace.
Sorry if I sounded preachy…
Final Conclusion: What does a family mean?
To answer this long, extensive question, what is family and what does it mean, family is a group of people (related by blood or not) and working together and the motivation is by love. Love and family needs teamwork in order to stay together and always look on bright side of life. Whenever you have a bad day or feel lonely, family will stay by your side and comfort you. Don’t be like Cloud and have to be alone in this cold world, learn to be with others and ask for help. Don’t fall and bond with people who will only advantage on your. I am sorry that I got preachy back there, I take family seriously and I come from a close family. This is not a means to offend religion. Here is my advice to family, love each other and stay together because there is no place like home where you feel most important.
I hope you like this post and as I conclude this post, I hope you will like my other OWLS member posts.
God bless you all!