Hello, Daters! I hope your romance is sizzling up like summer. As for myself, I find myself at a pivotal point — it’s time for me to either get vulnerable or get going. I mentioned in last month’s column that I don’t like being vulnerable. Yet, I’m highly aware that if I want things to progress, I have to let my walls down.
Letting down your walls is not easy, it’s something I briefly mentioned before in Anime & Dating. It’s not only a sign of emotional readiness but a commitment to let go of your hurtful past and start something new, something better.
Still, everyone's walls were built to protect their hearts, and bringing them down isn’t easy. You can’t just come at it with brute force, it takes a labor of love and patience. To do so, you have to acknowledge what they are keeping out, so you can let love in.
So, for this month we are going to talk about some common reasons we build emotional walls. We are going to focus on some anime protagonists who have guarded hearts. Hopefully, we can learn from their experiences and gather the courage to be emotionally vulnerable. Or at the very least, create a window in the walls.
Outside Influences/Society – Love After World Domination
Love After World Domination is a new anime on the scene, but it deserves a watch. In this rom-com, a superhero, Red Gelato, falls for a villain, Reaper Princess. As you can imagine, this couple can not simply be together. They are on opposing sides and it is part of their duty to defeat each other. However, that narrative comes from the agencies they work for. In addition to how society views them. Aikawa (Red Gelato) and Desumi (Reaper Princess) are a very sweet couple who enjoy trying new things together and making each other smile… when they are alone. If anyone catches them together they begin the bad guy/good guy song and dance.
The pressure of what society will think of them often plagues this couple. The same thing happens IRL. Sometimes we allow the pressures of outside influences like society, our culture, friends, and family to influence our decisions. We consider everyone else Instead of worrying about what we want or what's best for us. When it comes to love, all that should matter is what will make you and your partner happy. Don’t let the walls others create keep you from your chance at love.
Infidelity – School Days
It is normal to create a wall when you get your heart broken. When that heartbreak is caused by infidelity, the walls are more like a fortress. In the anime School Days, the hurt caused by the emotional betrayal of a lover caused the characters to react irrationally and aggressively. That’s me putting it lightly. Makoto Itou appears to be your average high school student who finds himself in a harem situation. But things aren’t exactly as they appear. Makoto manipulates several girls' emotions so they will have sex with him. Once he gets what he wants he bounces onto the next girl.
If this was real life he would probably be exposed on TikTok, but this is anime. Makoto’s womanizing ways get him murdered. I DON’T recommend murdering anyone. Instead, think about the emotional turmoil the girls must have felt. They not only trusted their hearts to him but their bodies as well. That level of infidelity can cause insecurities and trust issues. Both make strong material for emotional walls. Taking time to regain trust is the only thing strong enough to remove this wall. Therapy or a good support system is best when healing this kind of broken heart.
Users/Ulterior Motives – Peach Girl
Image via Funimation
Similar to infidelity, trust can be broken when you’re dealing with someone with ulterior motives. They use emotional and mental manipulation to get you to do something you wouldn’t normally do. In Peach Girl, Ryo Okayasu likes to use his looks and intelligence to get girls to “invest” in a pyramid scheme. Ryo has no interest in having a meaningful relationship, he’s only interested in what he can get from the women and nothing else. He is not man enough to break up with Misao and instead acts cold so she’ll break up with him. I’m not giving Ryo any credit for “seeming” like a good dude when Sae thought she was pregnant — that doesn’t change the fact that he hit her. That’s a topic for another column.
No one likes being used, it causes us to feel violated and we become fearful of people and their intentions. Next thing you know, you find yourself in a Rapunzel-style castle. And nobody has time to grow 12 feet of hair. As previously mentioned, it takes time to regain trust. In this situation, do your research and ask questions. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Inexperience – A Couple of Cuckoos
Usually, my columns have a controversial pick. A Couple of Cuckoos may be that one. As always, I ask that you hear me out. Trust, ya girl! This anime is like its name, it is pretty cuckoo. Erika and Nagi find themselves in a crazy situation. Their parents decided the two will be arranged to be married. Then they get the brilliant idea to have the young betrothed live together! These are 17-year-olds! They are still kids in high school, they don't know each other, and they are skipping the lessons we learn from dating and jumping straight into engagement and marriage. Throughout the series, Nagi and Erika, do try to get to know each other better but that isn’t something you do with your fiance. Bear in mind, these are kids! They are still figuring themselves out. Inexperience is an easier wall to conquer than others on this list, you just have to go out there and live life. That doesn’t mean it will be all mochi and cheesecake, but to grow in life and love, we have to try.
As you find yourself thinking about the walls in your life, remember that it is ok you have them! They are meant to protect you. But in love, you must allow your heart to be fully open, and that can’t happen if it is hidden behind a wall. Unless you’re dating a Titan shifter, they gonna knock that right down. Just take your time and deal with it brick by brick. And if for some reason the wall needs to go back up, that’s ok too. You will know when you’re ready and when the right one has come along. And if you’re ever in doubt, there is anime and there is me.
Hey, I'm Yali! When I'm not being your friendly neighborhood single mom, I'm also a producer! Kids ain't cheap and mama has to get the bag. I'm a producer for the DB4L Podcast. It's a podcast that breaks down the Dragon Ball Manga but in a real way. It's like barbershop talk but without having to tell the barber you don't like the haircut. Give it a listen. Dragon Ball 4 Life – Fandom Spotlite | Podcast on Spotify