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Anime that Inspire you to Do Good Things

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What anime have personally inspired you? I was prompted to ask this after reading THIS article. I will copy and paste the most relevant bits here. Please do read it before posting: because this idea of "inspirational" is surprisingly profound, and I believe it deserves to be shared.

 

First, what exactly is meant by inspiration, or as he comes to call it, "elevation"?

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When we see others do morally good things like helping an old woman or donating to charity it can inspire a deeper and different type of happiness. He called it “elevation.”

And it was physically distinct from the ice cream/pleasure happiness. People felt different when they experienced elevation than mere pleasure. They got warm, tingly feelings.

  • In both studies we found that participants in the elevation conditions reported different patterns of physical feelings and motivations when compared to participants in the happiness and other control conditions. Elevated participants were more likely to report physical feelings in their chests, especially warm, pleasant, or “tingling” feelings, and they were more likely to report wanting to help others, to become better people themselves, and to affiliate with others.

Other studies were done around the world. It seemed to be universal. Elevation wasn’t just “feeling nice” — people said it moved their hearts.

 

He also talks about how this effect is observed after people watched movies: 

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Yup, watching movies can cause elevation. (Whoever thought Netflix would make you a better person?)

But not any movie will do -- it's gotta be one that powerfully shows someone helping others or being a moral role model.

Skeptical? You shouldn't be. In fact, this is how some of those studies were performed. Show people a story about Mother Theresa and they feel good and want to help others. "America's Funniest Home Videos" made people laugh, but didn't elevate them.

From Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived:

  • In a second study we induced elevation in the lab by showing participants 10-minute video clips, one of which was about the life of Mother Teresa. (Control conditions included an emotionally neutral but interesting documentary and a comedy sequence from the television show "America's Funniest Home Videos").

And, yes, watching an inspiring film was enough to generate that special kind of happiness.

 

It is also worth emphasizing how this is not just mere happiness; this is kind of happiness that keeps on giving: 

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But here’s where it gets really interesting: elevation didn’t just make people feel better — it motivated people to be better. It changed their behavior. In a study called “Witnessing excellence in action” the researchers reported:

  • Elevation led to higher reports (compared to joy or amusement) of motivations to do good things for other people, become a better person oneself, and emulate the virtuous role model more generally.

And they did go on to help others. A study titled, “Elevation predicts domain-specific volunteerism 3 months later”… well, it showed exactly that.

When your boss gives you a compliment, you feel good. That’s pleasure. But what about leaders that really inspire their employees?

Yup, that’s elevation again. A leader’s actions spoke louder than their words. Another study by Haidt showed:

  • We found that leaders’ interpersonal fairness and self-sacrifice are powerful elicitors of elevation, and that this emotion fully mediates leaders’ influence on followers’ organizational citizenship behavior and affective organizational commitment.

And yet another study showed one group of new mothers a clip of a musician thanking his mentor. The second group of moms watched some Jerry Seinfeld comedy. Both made them happier. But which one made the moms more likely to hug their kids?

The first one. It elevated them.

 

 

And needless to say, there are probably many countless anime that you've watched that have made you inspired enough to want to pay it forward. Which ones were they, and what were you inspired to do? Share them here, and help make the world a better place, one anime at a time! 

 

PS: Probably deserves a similar topic for VNs too...

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it definetely has to be Gurren Lagann.

EVERYtime i hear one of gurren lagann i just feel like doing better, making an effort, go beyond the limits. Break through MAKE A HOLE IN THE HEAVENS WITH MY DRILL. Inspire other ppl to give their best too. You know, I just feel like i still got a lot to do and that I have to give it my all, because at the end it all will be worth it.

I can't hear sorairo days without feeling "elevation"

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For me, considering reacantly watched stuff, I was rewatching soul eater and after a particularly awesome episode, I was so booming with energy that I had to do something. The world and characters in Soul Eater are just so beautiful and well crafted that I wanted to make my own, so I spent the next 3 hours making a short fan-fictionish thing. It was the first I've written in over a year, so I'd definitely consider it to be a moment of exceptional "elevation " as the guy puts it :P

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While I don't buy into most of the core concepts that this article relies upon (and seems to assume are true without providing support), I can certainly relate to this feeling it describes as 'elevation'. Any anime with parents who trust or treat their children gently tends to make my heart metaphorically smile, be the reason Freudian or not. Sawako's parents in Kimi ni Todoke and Nagisa's parents in Clannad had that effect on me.

A bit more than a year ago my sister had a child and had I not been inspired by characters like the ones I mentioned, I don't think I would've been able to build the resolve to be the uncle I want to be. Hopefully I can be an emotional support when things are dark and cheer on when everything is well.

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For me it was back as a kid. "Tao tao - animal stories from all over the world" and "The wonderful travel of Nils Holgersson" were tear jerker animes, back in the 80s. They taught me to be a do-gooder.

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I'm guessing this is about anime that changed you rather than anime that moved you.

For the latter, most things made by Key, or better yet, Shinkai, would probably do the job.

So on one of those days where I should be studying for an exam that's two days away, but instead I'm drowned in the sea of random anime.  Death Note and Baby Steps actually inspired me to get my ass in gear, however subtly.  And while we all know that studying irl is boring af, it just looked that much more convincing in an anime, at least for me.

Something with a bigger impact is probably GochiUsa, it helped me embrace the world, sunshine, moe, and lolis.

So you should all go watch it, and become a better person!

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I'm amused to see Komari Kamikita's Spiral of Happiness described near the end of the article. I always thought there was something to that theory.

Anyway, I have two anime meeting this criterion, which both impacted me the same way:

  • Clannad After Story
  • Usagi Drop

Both made me feel that the experience of raising a child is something I intensely look forward to, and want to do a good job at. And while there's no risk of me having a child in the immediate future, I'll be an uncle in just a few months, and I'm very excited about that, at least.

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@KeadRei I knew it wouldn't be long before Gurren Lagaan got mentioned! Kamina's bombast definitely qualifies for me as something quite inspiring. For me, it's a great example of the kind of leadership described by Iskandar in @babiker's signature: a person who displays behaviour in the extremes lends himself to be followed as a role-model, because he is a tangible standard people can strive for: a manifestation of what their dreams are in reality, an example of what they COULD be, if they committed themselves enough!

Bonus Omake for Gurren Lagaan fans:

 

 

14 hours ago, Fred the Barber said:

I'm amused to see Komari Kamikita's Spiral of Happiness described near the end of the article. I always thought there was something to that theory.

Oh, make no mistake, she might not have understood it fully, but she definitely knew what she was talking about. The phenomenon of transference is accepted as a well-documented fact. Happiness is definitely contagious - but be warned that negative emotions are as well!

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17 hours ago, Fred the Barber said:

Both made me feel that the experience of raising a child is something I intensely look forward to, and want to do a good job at. And while there's no risk of me having a child in the immediate future, I'll be an uncle in just a few months, and I'm very excited about that, at least.

You're gonna love it ;)

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On 7/6/2016 at 8:12 PM, Okarin said:

To confess and be cleansed?

Before watching boku no pico, I was already beyond reddemption.

After boku no pico, I was basically inviting Satan into my home, giving him home baked cookies, blushing nervously and asking if he wanted to see my stamp collection. 

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