Thursday, October 16, 2014

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, Ep. 2: A good trash collector like a good shepherd

So yeah, I'll be regularly blogging this show. It's a show I'm enjoying quite a bit, for the reasons I mentioned in my last post on the show, and also because there are a lot of fun and interesting character interactions in this show. It also has a cat that randomly speaks Engrish. What's not to love?

How do you say no to that face?
At any rate, it's a show that isn't getting a whole lot of attention elsewhere, with most of the attention it is getting being negative, so I figure I would give it some positive coverage here. Regardless of whether or not you plan to watch the show yourself, the show does have some interesting themes of worth to Christians, so there's that, too.

(I'm keeping with the Japanese title because it's shorter and I already did the first post with it and want to keep continuity.)

In the second episode, Tsugumi kicks off her "Shiomi Happy Project" by helping clean up trash around the academy, and inviting others to do so as well. It's a seemingly small step in her plan to bring happiness to the students on campus, but in many ways, it's a step in the right direction, especially for Kyotaro and the others as they help out.

(More after the jump. Spoilers? They're so minor, I don't think they can even be counted as spoilers.)

Tsugumi decides she wants her "Shiomi Happy Project" group to be a group that students can go to for help with various requests, and that to get the students to trust them enough to go to them, they would help out around campus on their own. While Kyotaro's guy friend Ikkei wonders if something as unglamorous like picking up trash can really help their reputation, they go ahead with their service and even invite others to join them in cleaning the place up.

For Christians, it's a great picture of servanthood, even moreso because of how small and unglamorous it looks. I could go into all the different reasons why, based on the show. Establishing a good rapport with a community through service is always a good thing, serving can be fun in its own way, and you never know what kind of encounters God (or mysterious Shepherds) might have for you  along the way.

But I think the most important thing that can be taken from this episode is that, in the end, it is good to just step out and serve. For Kyotaro, who would normally just be content in just reading books to learn about the world, something is changing inside him as he goes outside the library and into service. He noticed this before in Tsugumi, that there is something that cannot be learned just from books, and he is now starting to find out what that is himself.

Reading the Bible and other Christian books is good and all, but there are a lot of things God can only do if we go out and serve. It doesn't matter how small it is, or even if other people notice or not. Something about the very act of service can be enough to change the heart of the servant. Of course, all sorts of other good things can come from serving others, and we should definitely welcome the opportunity to get to know the people we are serving or serving alongside. The bottom line is, go out and pick up some trash, or do some other kind of service. You'll find, just as Kyotaro did, that if you take it seriously, it can be a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

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