In 2009, I was introduced to anime at five-years-old. More specifically, the Shonen Jump Series Dragon Ball Z. It was all thanks to my father, and more importantly, it ignited a burning sense of wonder in my life.
I related greatly with the main character Son Goku. Goku was always doing what he loves most in life while happily helping and protecting anyone he could, He would even forgive villains at times, giving them a second chance to redeem their actions. Embarrassingly enough, my toddler self was always studying his moves and copying his attacks. I still do this today. The show was captivating and gave me such strong emotion such as striving to be better and helping those in need. The show is a staple in my life and it has definitely made me wonder, ever since I was a five years old to the present day today, how could a team produce such an impactful experience that still inspires people to this day.
The Dragon Ball Z animation and story made me wonder about how the world building will proceed, what new adventures and techniques will be introduced, how such animations were achieved, and how I can see more of this amazing series. This feeling, the feeling of excitement yet being completely oblivious to such questions that it makes you want to find the answers… That is the sense of wonder that I enjoy every time.
This sense of wonder sparked again later in my life when I was 11 years old in 2015. I developed more awareness as I grew up, such as social skills, studies, and understanding content more accurately such as stories and concepts. I was bored one day and decided to play one of my old video games that I couldn’t beat when I was younger due to my lack of understanding. It was a rpg game called Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. The game was extremely fun but due to my lack of experience as a kid I could not understand the story or gameplay mechanics.
I played the game once more from the beginning and actually understood what was going on this time around. The story was compelling and goofy the whole way through and I made it to the end of the game due to me understanding how to play the game better; by dodging attacks and landing my own more efficently. I completed the game and was stuck for a while thinking how they achieved such a product that made me feel like I was in the story with Mario and Luigi. Then the familiar feeling arose again: My sense of wonder. It was hard to go to sleep with these burning questions lingering in my head so I decided to use my iPad to research how games are produced. Finding answers just feeds into the feeling of wonder. It was exhilarating learning there’s a writing team, and coding team that all handle different aspects. From this point onward in my life, video games such as Sonic, Final Fantasy, Persona, and many other game series conducted that feeling of learning more and creating wondering questions with each experience.
The amazing aspect about this however is that this feeling and drive that wonder creates inside me, occurs in others around me in different ways as well, and it’s amazing. A friend of mine was brought to tears by a show and was inspired by its story and messages. The show was called One Piece and my friend was inspired and wondered exactly how the show started from the ground up and what it took to get its name on the big screen.
A sight of wonder also appeared in another friend of mine as well. She was introduced to K-pop by her group of friends, she fell in love with the music and dances and was curious on how they were choreographed. She was so inspired that she learned the dances of her favorite songs and groups and continues to, even to this day, as a passion.
The sense of wonder and feeling that it creates in us, is so powerful and such a driving force that it can even help us mold into new people. From my personal experience and from what I’ve seen from my close friends, Wonder inspires and causes new ideas and questions for us to follow and answer. It truly is a blessing in disguise that this feeling can occur to anyone with the little things in our day by day life. Whether it’s music, entertainment, a book, or even a hobby, anything can cause a powerful sense of wonder in us all.
This issue of Mildsauce, we invited young journalists to reflect on the theme “Sense of Wonder.” Click here to follow the stories coming up in our “Wonder” issue. For more podcasts, check out our Podcasts archive.