I'm reading a manga titled LIFE, by Keiko Suenobu. Have you read it? (I spotted some fanarts of the series here
) From wikipedia I have just known that the manga won an award for shoujo manga in 2006.
I'm following Iijime series by Kaoru Igarashi, but compared to LIFE, LIFE has more intense story and strong graphics (maybe because it's a long series, while Iijime series are consisted by one shots).
Seems like bullying (iijime) is one serious issue in Japan since many cases had led to commit suicide action (jisatsu). I think it happens in every country in this world (even in mine, though I haven't spotted a comic writer from my country that concern on this issue just like in Japan). However, reading LIFE makes me think, how terrible it is to have a life in Japan??? Are their juvenile delinquencies really that horrible??? If you read LIFE you'll find that the antagonists are real evil, even worse than the antagonists of mature dorama (at least what I've watched so far). And to have such a rotten soul since youth... (sadly I read newspaper or watch news on TV, some cases happen in my country and thanks God I never get real touch with such atmosphere)
Sometimes I take some quick browsing on DA and find many arts depicting bullying, either the effect or the survivor... I even surprised that how many artists here confessed themselves to be the victim of bullying (some mention really serious cases), and how creating arts and posting them here have helped them to regain their living spirits and continue their lives...
Now that I'm sure most of us agree that bullying isn't supposed to happen (and that is including cyber bullying also
), I wonder if any of us once bullied someone... Yeah, I'm not talking about whether some of us once been the victim of bullying, instead I wonder if we once been the doer of bullying itself... (and that is including cyber bullying also
When I read LIFE, some of the minor characters thought that bullying is the mistake of the victim (who was so weak to let themselves to be the victim or even having some flaws that make them becoming the target of bullying). Some said that bullying is fun and could relieve their stresses (especially during the tension peak of the final test)... Some said that what they have done is not bullying but rather to the act of joking, to show friendliness (unfortunately the victim didn't think so)...
And...for what I've remembered during my childhood time, some kiddo seemed have "bully gen" flowed in their bloods. Well...children should be innocent, but some of them could be really "pain in the ass" and uncontrolled, be it something wrong with their upbringing, their environments, or it's just they're too innocent to realize that what they are doing towards their friends are the form of bullying.
Now that I played the backward button on my record, I recalled a girl named KIREI (it's a code name, her real name means the same anyway). She was my classmate in kindergarten. I wonder if I still remember her face or not. I really want to apologize to her if I have the chance to meet her now... I only remember that she is a frail and small girl with a long black hair that I like to play with. I like long hair. And I couldn't remember how we two could be so attached.
Strangely I only have vague memories about my childhood... It seems like I have many incomplete puzzle pieces of them I don't know why. I just remembered of being totally hyper-active (LOL...typical sanguine). I had a strange habit to tie people's hands when I was a childhood. I dunno why, but rope and rubber bracelets were really intriguing for the little me. I liked to experience with knots (though I totally lost interest just when I joined scout LOL). The hands of my uncle friends were the victim of the experiments, and sadly, KIREI's hands were also my test subjects -_-
I remembered once she dropped some tears, but without crying at all... Totally voiceless. The teacher tried to separate us, but I insisted to keep "playing" with her. Now that I'm being adult and getting my total consciousness, I wonder how could I was so cold? So heartless? Why people around didn't do anything to make me realize that it was wrong? Why the teacher said nothing to me? Why she didn't tell my parents so they could teach me that it was not a good way to treat a friend? Why didn't KIREI's parents did some act? Did they ever know? And now I start guessing, did KIREI have a parents??? 0_0 (Coz it feels like I just freed without any consequences)... Did it leave a deep scar inside KIREI's heart? Did it affect her badly even after she graduated from that kindergarten?
Seriously I think I was not an evil kid. I just clueless of how to deal with other kid around my age. Especially because I was the only child and living in a certain neighbors where I did not have any neighbors around my age. So yeah I think I just followed my wild instinct to behave around people. I was 5 if it wasn't 4. And I didn't hate KIREI. I liked her long black hair. And I thought she was cute. Do some children have weird ways to treat some people they like??? I still keep wondering until now... How the pedagogy experts or children psychologist think about this phenomenon?
What have become of KIREI nowadays? Have she forgotten about me? Have she met some new and better friends in her new environments? (coz she deserves it) Have she been happy now? Have she met someone that could make her happy?
It took long process for me to finally be more emphatic towards other people's feelings. It took long (and sometimes painful) period of times for me to understand how to deal with something named "Friends". Though sometimes I remain oblivious of my surrounding, I do try to learn, even until now.
I dunno when I could really start, but I wanna to pour this feeling into some works of arts. The story of how a child could be so clueless and clumsy about her surroundings. Maybe I'll make it in between time I'm working with Harukaze no Sekai. Maybe it's just my expression of guilty of hurting a girl named KIREI in the past... It's my way to say "I'm sorry"... I wonder what will she say or what will I say if we do really meet in the future. Or will I even have courage to say something to her.
Luckily for what I've remembered she's "my only victim", coz after that I think I never bully someone again for real (though I did some physical fights with other kids, mostly I don't remember except from what my Dad told me). Now I like to support friends around me, to appreciate them, to show them my respect and supporting. To encourage them even if sometimes due to certain limitations I could only do that by using words... (if I could help for real, I'll be so happy)
That's what I wanna say...
Have you ever been a bully?
And how did you feel at that time???
How do you feel now?
Do you regret of being a bully?