How anime and manga combat bullying

Any lover of manga and anime will be aware that its pretty common for the stories to deal with some heavy and sometimes difficult themes. This can be a really positive thing, and for many people it may be what draws them to engaging with these mediums in the first place, as it provides the opportunity for people to explore difficult realities that they may be able to relate to through experience.

It is fairly common for Shojo and shonen series to deal with the theme of bullying given that the target audience is for children around school age, and because of this, a lot of material aimed at this age range actually happens to take place in a school setting. This article will look at some of the most popular anime’s that deal with bullying as a main theme.

The troubled life of Miss Kotoura

Many people can relate to feeling ‘different’ from the rest or struggling to fit in socially, and such is the case for Haruka Kotoura, a young girl who has possessed the psychic ability to read minds since she was born. Her mind reading ability has result in her being left out and marginalised by her school friends. It alienates her from school life and makes her feel abnormal, that’s until she meets Manabe, who isn’t put off by her psychic abilities, despite his perverted mind, and Kotoura likewise is not put off by seeing his indecent thoughts!

From then on, she manages to find other friends that accept her, and she starts to feel more normal and settled as a result. This anime goes to show that having a few close friends that really care and make you feel accepted makes a huge difference to self-esteem and well-being.

A Silent Voice

This anime is probably one of the most popular ones dealing with this theme. It is a very moving and powerful story that really gives young people an insight into just how damaging bullying can be in the short and long term, for both the perpetrator and the victim. The story follows a young deaf girl Shouko Nishimiya that starts at a new school and ends up getting bullied by a group of fellow students after they are coerced into it by Shouya Ishida. Shouya eventually starts to feel deeply regretful of his actions, and after Shouku transfers schools, Shouya is shunned by his classmates and gets a taste of his own medicine, before embarking on a mission to find Shouku in an effort to make peace with her.

Save Me

The protagonist of this story is a young boy called Hyengoh who is picked on for being bright as well as for his disability as he is in a wheelchair. While difficult to watch at points, it is very relatable and eye opening for young people, as it is a sad fact that people do get picked on for these reasons. Hyeongoh feels isolated and alone before he makes a new friend that stands by his side and helps to lift him out of the darkness. This story bears testament once again to the power of friendship and solidarity.

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