Manami Amamiya: The Last Great Visionary

Anyone can have an aspiration and eventually achieve it using hard work and guts. However, making others believe in the same goal is often much harder to do. One has to give the naysayers and skeptics a reason to follow them, a reason to see why they should place their time, effort and trust into that person’s belief. It’s hard to find people that do it as convincingly as Manabi does.

Our fearless leader having some delusions of grandeur.

We see someone who really, really likes their school in Manabi. Joining the student council usually indicates either someone who really wants to help make school better or someone who really wants to pamper their stats for getting ahead in the future. Manabi’s obviously in the former category, as evidenced by her inspirational singing of the Seiou school anthem, the remodeling of the student council office into a place to hangout, and as of episode seven, continually working hard to promote the school festival and make it a success. The overall goal seems to be making Seiou a fun place for everyone, and we as viewers see Manabi try her best to succeed.

At first glance that seems like such a trivial, childish and overly optimistic idea, yet the way it’s promoted by Manabi makes it actually seem that this goal can come true. To others, she gives off the impression that she has the determination, the energy, and the drive (put those three qualities together and you get one-fifth of Captain Planet!) to get it done. She has the charisma, belief in others, and foresight (or so I believe :P) needed to be a competent and reliable leader.

But most importantly, she has the rare ability to connect quickly and sincerely with people I think that trait of hers is most important in inspiring others to quickly join in and lend their efforts to expand on the reality that she’s trying to create. We can see her being the only person you can see as being able to befriend everyone else on the planet, as well as get people together who would not have interacted with each other in any other case. To us and the other character, Manabi seems like she actually has the ability to create a utopia (hence the show’s name, probably :P), and you can see it in her eyes.

We can see her reality.  Can others?

That combination of factors sets her apart from other current anime visionaries such as Lelouch and Haruhi Suzumiya. Unlike the other two, she has no superpowers or unreal abilities to make her world come to fruition, nor is achieving her goal mainly for her personal benefit. All she really has is heart and a group of friends willing to also work hard to make Seiou a happier place, no matter how they have to do it. That’s one thing that helps me appreciate Manabi Straight more than other shows, and makes me almost wish that I was helping her revolution take place. Once again, ufotable is love.

Sometimes achieving reality can take it’s toll on the mind.

6 Responses to “Manami Amamiya: The Last Great Visionary”

  1. 1 Pete Zaitcev March 16, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Downloading the sub now.

  2. 2 thebign March 18, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Episode 7, just from the exchange with Taka-chan, confirmed this view of mine. With a little help from ufotable, of course. The sincerity of Manabi’s wish, and the magnitude it could hold, I think was conveyed in that slo-mo sequence. 🙂

  3. 3 Pete Zaitcev April 3, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Did you see ep.08 yet? I was blown away by plot twists.

  4. 4 thebign April 4, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Plot twists were funny in that episode. I also like how it showed that even though Manabi can instill passion in people, she needs to do more to make them interesting. Often it takes a while for the masses to realize how extraordinary one person can be. 😛

  5. 5 Pete Zaitcev April 15, 2007 at 1:28 am

    But in the end, even her extraordinary drive was insufficient. If not a chance event and disaster, and the need to recover from the disaster, the would’ve not made it.

    The other time when the protagonist is shown the limitations which comes to mind readily to me is Furuba, where Toru was shown the limits of the power of sweet-talking. Sometimes the only way to make progress is to kick someone’s butt.

  6. 6 TheBigN May 13, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    I never did say that she had the capacity to do it alone. Almost no-one who has a vision has the ability to see it through by themselves. But Manabi’s ability to get other people to believe in her and her goal allowed it to be reached.

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