Mob Psycho 100 taught me that sometimes what society deems as a strong power fantasy isn’t really a catch-all dream nor the pursuit of hapiness. Being a good honest and just person is more powerful than any superpower. And using power for fame, money, or even revenge won’t give you what’s happy, but it’s not like the protagonist has to even learn this lesson. He implicitly understands it from the get-go, making the villains the ones that have to learn the lesson. This was a refreshing perspective.
Kill La Kill is perhaps the best facsimile of “friendship is magic” but in a way that tells you, it’s okay to be you. Don’t be embarrassed or shameful of yourself; embrace yourself. Feel good about what makes you feel good and challenge the status quo that says otherwise.
Hunter X Hunter has a lot of lessons but the biggest take away is how difficult, painful, and a struggle it is to be the good natured and stay true to yourself. Also how to be a good friend to others. It has the best anime friendship and not in the typical corny, sentimental way. Underneath its action-adventure core, it gets to some of the most hard-hitting, neither-black-nor-white scenarios that left me seriously reconsidering who I should be rooting for. Also antagonists are just cartoon villains that exist as the foil for the protag’s lofty optimistic ideals but real people that can be humanized and have other things going on in their lives.