“Through The Glasses of a Nobita”

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Penulis : Vincent Yoshua Mario | Ilustrasi : Rahmad Jafar Laing

Meet Nobita Nobi, the wimp we all know for being, well, a wimp.

Nobita Nobi is a main character and the protagonist of “Doraemon” manga series, written by Fujiko Fujio and published by Shogakukan. It started off in 1969 as adverts in various magazines and released the first full-story book in 1970. It is one of the best-selling comic series ever and has been referred to as one of the manga and classic anime. In Indonesia, it used to air every morning on various television channels since 1974, explaining its reason of popularity here. Why is my topic revolving around Nobita and not the others?

Nothing really special ever become of him. He’s just an ordinary kid bestowed with extraordinary luck by some twists and turns of fate. Calling the boy ‘ordinary’ might even be a little too much of a stretch. What made a Nobita himself is his clumsiness, stupidity, mischief, weakness, and more of the sort to mention. That’s what we always perceive from the poor boy who’s already living in a bad environment, strict family, and constant bullying. Indeed a miserable life.

But how we came to know and love the character is because of all that itself. Unconsciously, we watch his daily life as a kid to gain a sense of relief for not being himself. We also love to fantasize the god-like capabilities of Doraemon in helping Nobi. Afterall, what humans really wish the most to happen on themselves are the far-fetched and the impossibility. As a kid, we still can’t decide whether to pity or blame Nobita for all the things that happened to him for we haven’t realized how realistic his life is.

Looking back on Nobita, even fate was cruel to him. Since elementary, he’s faced the proves of how he had only two choices of life waiting for him. That is first, to accept Doraemon and led him create the future exactly how his offspring wanted. And the second one could be seen from the comic books (manga), where he never received any help from anybody and ended up with the girl he hated the most, had a broken family, and even worked in a company which he already knew was going to bankrupt. From this we can see that his sole life depends on the help he gets. Never given any choices to work and improve his own life through hard work and effort made the already lazy Nobi, way even lazier.

His everyday life is filled by unsupportive family, day-to-day harassment and violence from people he considered as friends and casually went hang out with, and the worst from all of that; crushing on Shizuka. We never actually thought about how much a Shizuka actually affects the life of our main character. She is the turning point of Nobita’s life. Without her, there’d never be the ‘better’ offspring of the Nobi family, thus leading to the future where there’d never been anyone to send Doraemon to the past and helped our boy out of his life of guilt. She is the start of this whole cartoon, though it might seem too messed up if you think about the proper timeline. “How did she want to marry Nobita in the first place then?”, “How did she know everything’s going to be alright to commit a life with such a man?”, “How does the timeline even look like???”; we don’t know. Again, all we know is it’s clearly proven here that Nobita never decided for himself. He can’t create a better future by himself, he can’t prove the world he can shakes off his bad habits, he just can’t. Life is written for him by his ‘god’, Fujiko Fujio, and he prefers to keep it that way and leaves it on a cliffhanger, just because we never had anything against it. And again, of course, who’d have anything against a fictional story created only for entertainment?

For now, let’s do something childish; let’s put ourselves in his position. Normally, it’d just be sad, right? Though that’s not my point. Let us delve in deeper into his glasses. Despite all the bad things I mentioned about him, he has one admirable personality; he is a true man to himself. He would still play and share his stuff with the same people that abandoned him when it was not necessary to let Nobita join the game. He would still help people even though he realized he isn’t worth anything nor is he capable at all. He knows his heart, and even if circumstances depress him he would still gives in to hope that he is doing an impact on somebody’s life. Let’s say this person is us. Given those circumstances and conditions where you realize you heavily depend your bare life on others to create your better future, would you still help other people? When you realize ‘your god’ is playing with you, would you still believe that you can change anything at all? Do you still want to realize or give in to ignorance of the existence of supreme and unchangable beings? What is ignorance exactly, is it a sin or is it now a bliss? It’s normal to sigh in relief that we were never lived a life as scripted and miserable as a Nobita, but could you face the reality if it was that fake? What is the purpose of living when you know the ending, and it’s a bad one?”

Apparently, living a non-fiction life gives you the privilege but also a neverending burden to bear. It’s called will. Referencing to some beliefs, a human’s will is the only absolute thing we’ve always passed on up until now. Your choice stays being yours, even if you like it or not. It’s the both sides of a coin, a double-edged sword, a blissful curse. In this life, the word ‘destiny’ is nothing more than self-reassurance and motivational word to believe that some things are going to change if ‘it was already decided that it’s going to be yours’. It makes people lazy, it makes people calm under a false hope. At least in Nobita’s case, he’s lazy because it’s written for him to live that way. We are much more of a failure if we try to align our situation with him, who actually have a destiny.

In chaos theory, there is a thing called as butterfly effect, which is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. Meaning that even the slightest act could affect an entire thing. Maybe it’s your words or how you put yourself in a condition or how you look at someone. It’s still a possibility, but a possibility means it’s not something fixed. This is the thing that Nobita always yearns for, to make a change for himself. Doesn’t have to always cry out for help is what we should be grateful for. Nobody decides how your story ends and you don’t absolutely have to beg and need on anybody to change your life for you. We fell from heaven because of a choice and we definitely won’t fall lower if we don’t act rashly.

Is it your family and living environment? Is it your friends? Is it your lover? Is it your job? Whatever it is, you were never meant for bad things nor a bad life. We just have some ‘bad writers’ who put us under that condition, but the moment you were born you carried your will with you. You will have some difficulties, but God knows you are strong enough. You are never meant for anything horrible, but it’s your choice that leads you to the path you’re getting. Nobita’s (self-proclaimed) rival is Dekisugi. He is the epitome of perfection. Good looking, athletic, smart, kind, gentle, talented, proper living condition, liked by everyone; an exact polar opposite of our main character. Shizuka, Nobita’s assurance of a good life is occasionally swooned by the charming Dekisugi. It’s for the writer’s choice that he managed to win her from the impossible hurdle even if Nobita didn’t do anything. Needless to say, special conditions and maximum effort are the substitutes for our ‘destiny’. Think about it for a while.

In the end, want it or not, we will never be completely a Nobita. For some it’s a good thing, but there are also some who envy him. To different minds it would be such a relief or a despair. Some are grateful as they are living their lives and would still decide how it ends by themselves, while there are also who would rather give in to fate, destiny, and many other beliefs. I’m on the other side, can’t make up my mind. Some situations are so full of agony, I’d rather give in to insanity; but some are too good to forget and miss, and made me work myself under the power of determination. To take things for granted, to laugh, and even to love; are the things that inspired me to write this. To be so deep in someone, to never give up, or to believe in myself, either way are the beauty of life. But I guess in the end I still have a bit of Nobita in myself.

And you too, so please never give up no matter how you perceive life.

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