I’ve mentioned this before in the past, but watching anime on a weekly basis, following it as it airs in Japan, is quite a different experience than watching a series in a weekend or over the span of a week. There is something about only seeing one episode a week that makes the general viewing experience far different. There is a sort of immersment in the show. As cheesy as it sounds, it becomes part of your life. It’s something that you watch on a regular basis over sometimes a long period of time.
Looking back on a show that has had a long run, that is watched this way, is quite interesting. Taking shows like Clannad for example, there were 52 some episodes of this show, and while it wasn’t back to back, it was still effectively something that was part of my life for a whole year, that’s pretty impressive, so when looking a show like Shugo Chara, that has had over 150 episodes, the effect is even greater, and itâ€™s quite an experience.
Shugo Chara is the longest running show I’ve watched on a weekly basis. Sure there are plenty of longer shows out there that I’ve watched, but I usually always watch even those long ones over the course of a pretty short period of time. I was watching Shugo Chara for over two and a half years, and looking back on it that is pretty damn long. It’s kind of weird, but if someone asked me what I was doing two years ago I couldn’t quite pinpoint anything, but I sure as hell know I was watching Shugo Chara, and I was loving it. Watching a show constantly and consistently like that stays with you.
Looking back on Shugo Chara is quite hard. The one thing I do know is that I can’t think of Shugo Chara and not smile. Itâ€™s not the best show ever made. There are many shows that do so many things better, story, drama, romance, etc but there is something about it that still, after so long of a run, still made me love it. Maybe part of it came from how innocent and cute it was most of the time. It was quite obviously a show intended for a slightly different demographic than I fall into. With many things seemingly obviously pointing towards a younger crowd, maybe even more so than many of Mahou Shoujo shows, but still although it talked about what may be considered cheesy preachy topics like being true to yourself and making friends, and so on I still loved watching it, even when I was shaking my head at the fact I was watching something like that.
Shugo Chara really does tend to focus on these lofty child-like ideals. Over the past almost three years I’ve been to several conventions and usually talk about the shows I’m watching at the time, and Shugo Chara has been going on long enough its come up, and I suggest it to a few people. However I almost seem to have to give them a precaution. “Now…it is slightly child like….With lots of…sparkles and so on” And even when the show does get serious, which it did at times, it was always about something that while a very important point, is a very child like thing. Hell, the basic premise of the show is just so child-like and innocent, worrying about what you are going to be when you grow up and staying true to yourself and so on. The serious points dealt with times when someone perhaps didn’t believe in themselves. That was the main reoccurring bad guy in the show, not this Easter Corporation, self doubt. Most of the fights, before the sparkles, required a lesson to be learned about being honest, kind, and just being yourself. These are very light and fluffy topics, yet somehow made a fascinating show.
It’s hard to say goodbye to Shugo Chara. As cheesy as it may sound, it really was a part of my life for a long time, and seeing it go is quite sad as I will miss it. Looking bad on the episodes, there are so many moments that were just jaw droopingly awesome, along with the regular boring old episode that still focused on that time tested topic of being true to oneself. From some very cool moments, to all the sparkly ones, it was quite a journey. I still admit to every time in the show when someone would say, “My own heart, unlock!” I would do the little hand gesture with my fingers, in the unlocking fashion, and I have a feeling I always will now whenever I hear someone say unlock. Shugo Chara was a great show, for honestly no particular reason. It was everything, it was the general experience, and it was the sense of innocence it had. Shugo Chara, it was one hell of a journey, and so I say to you:
My Own Heart, UNLOCK!