Shugo Chara is DEEP STUFF.

Shugo Chara is DEEP STUFF.

Phäzys
Shugo Chara’s approach to life seems to focus greatly on working hard to achieve one’s dreams. I’ve certainly been encouraged by this message–that no matter what kinds of trials, we should persevere.

Now this is an interesting topic (although a bit broad)–Is the nature of success mostly hard work and perseverance or raw talent? I know we might say both, but in reality, we know that one or the other will play the major role (and this becomes increasingly apparent as one goes ‘up’).

In Shugo Chara, characters continually emphasize working hard, but the giant ‘loophole’ would be the fact that each of them can magically transform to another character at their convenience. Need to be good at sports? Done. Arts? Done. Cooking? Done. It seems the only characters we can relate to are the side characters that they meet once in awhile, those that seem to lose all hope. Of course, they too are ‘saved’ by being cleansed of their X-eggs (which might be analagous to some divine intervention by God or Jesus).

Shugo Chara fails to look at what happens to those people after they are cleansed–they go on being ‘successful’ sure, but their success probably pales in comparison to others with the same talents.

Jeka

I tend to lean toward the perseverance side. Myself, I find that I have no “raw talent” for a particular interest group (arts, cooking, building, math, science, etc.) but rather a talent for learning things quickly. I think a lot of people in this day and age are leaning towards that sort of “as long as you work hard, anything is possible”.

To cast ourselves on par with a character like Hinamori Amu is a bit of reality and a bit of surrealism. By this I am talking about the various character changes and the ability to do things that you would normally suck at doing. I do not think that the term ‘loophole’ is correct. Personally, I find Hinamori analogous toward to the Fool tarot card. Which, in case those who don’t know, means Unlimited Potential. While the other characters have set ideals (for example Kukai being the sporty character) it shows that they have a certain dream that they are set on. In terms of a younger audience, Amu is the character that they can identify with. The message that “you have to be yourself” and that “you have unlimited potential to do whatever you want” are, what I think, the main message behind this show.

In a sense, the side characters are like those who already know what they want to do when they grow up. With the exception of a few characters, most of them are realistic dreams that kids dream, and kids who know what they want to be when they grow up can identify themselves with them.

Vendredi

Deep stuff indeed; I wonder if one could draw some sort of faith and works theology from Shugo Chara, something like a moment of divine intervention followed by repentence followed by reformed living? But let’s set that question aside, and also set aside accusations of delving too deeply on what really is just a kid’s show…

I agree with Jeka in that I think the basic message behind Shugo Chara is more one based around potential, with the perseverance message as a more secondary element. I haven’t really been watching the show so much as vicariously skimming it, but the idea of being able to re-invent yourself seems more prominent in what I’ve seen.

Note that X-Eggs seem to occur not really for a lack of perseverance but rather a lack of vision – this crops up in some episodes moreso than the others. Usually the formula goes something like:

1. Amu meets bright young (name here), who wants to be a (occupation) someday
2. Some malign influence plants a seed of doubt in young (name here) about the validity of their future goal of being a (occupation). X-egg get!
3. Amu steps in with an encouraging word (and maybe an application of the devastatingly encouraging Heart Beam) to save (name here) from a potentially dreary future as a cubicle zombie.

Essentially, the kicker seems to be that it’s not about hard work or talent – it’s about how the subject of the episode defines success. The trigger for an X-egg change is a shift in how the character views the current circumstances – when the view changes from seeing the glass half-full to half-empty, then problems come up.

Granted, one might consider this a rather evasive, wishy-washy, postmodern comment: “success is how you define it”. But in a sense that is part of what makes these characters successful – and also why the show, I think, neglects to show them after their token appearance – they’ve come to value their dreams and are working to achieve them, and in that sense, they’ve already succeeded.

FishArson

Not much left for me to say here. I agree with Jeka a bit. All Shugo Chara seems to be telling me is to “be myself.” At most, maybe telling people to just focus on expressing their own personality rather than repressing it and trying to put on a “socially conformed” personality.

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