I originally ranted this to a friend of mine to illustrate a point about business. However, the idea behind this lesson isn’t just a business one, it really pertains to anything you do in life.
I think one of the most prominent and also the most valuable lessons anime has to give is the concept of always improving. Getting stronger, faster…better.
Look at how many shows are based on this concept. Goku and his friends in “Dragonball Z” spent all their time training in special gravity chambers and doing who knows what else to increase their power levels. Vash the Stampede in “Trigun” continued to face opponents more difficult than the last. Yusuke and the others in “Yu Yu Hakusho” continue training and improving to meet the next threat to the world as we know it. Inuyasha was totally incompetent when he got the Tetsusaiga, but he learned to master it because that was the only way to survive. Kenshin Himura of “Ruroni Kenshin” started out battling a relatively easy opponent in Sannosuke, who then became his friend, but as the story progressed they had to step up their game, learn new techniques-who doesn’t love deadly secret techniques?!-and even ally with some former enemies to defeat the increasingly dangerous foes coming their way. Ichigo from “Bleach” had to train to learn this, train to learn that, train to get the name of Zangetsu, train to achieve bankai…and even though he’s defeating people that would have been unimaginable in the past, the opponents of the future are even stronger so there’s no time to slack off and quit training, training, training.
This lesson is a daunting one, especially for someone like me who is generally lazy. I want to get to a point where I can rest and say, “This is enough. This is where I want to be.” But anime teaches us that to do so is to lose.
There will always be someone ahead-even if that “someone” is just our own personal goals-that is stronger, waiting for us to try to defeat them.