You do not have to be shy and hide it. It is okay to admit it. We are talking about a thought that probably has struck any person’s mind, no matter whether it is because of movies, novels, anime or any other kind media. Heck, it does not even have to be media; it could just be your own imagination or our own history!
The thought I am talking about is naturally, as this post’s title already has given away, in what kind of imaginary world you would live in if possible. And if we are all honest, who has not daydreamed around this seemingly silly thought? Why not experience how life in Hogwarts would be or meet up and become best friends with Sherlock Holmes (who would probably drive you insane)? When it comes to media, we sometimes become so absorbed into the story, what we wish we could take place in it, either by becoming the main characters ourselves or only being sidekicks. Other times, we become so fond of the world itself, that we just wished we lived in it instead of our own.
But why do we dream of this? Why do we think it would be more fun to pew lasers in Star Wars than continue as we live now? This is mere speculation on my part, so do not take anything I say as absolute truth, but the reason might be idealization and a lack of explanatory depth of the stories.
My idea is fairly uncomplicated, if you think about it for a moment. First of all, do we even know anything about the world in, say, Star Wars outside of the creators’ minds? We do not! Our own imagination is depending on how the creator has portrayed the world in that particular work. Even if Star Wars is all tragic and full of conflict, there is bound to be places full of happiness too, correct? But! Because of how the story is told, we do not even have the ability to grasp the world in the slightest. It lacks true depth. Economy, countries, politics, religion, classes and so on… we have no clue of how the world functions at all.
Our idea of the world depends on what part of it we have been exposed to. K-ON! may be the most moe of all moe anime, but who says there are not crazy people running around in the town our four girls are sipping tea in? And perhaps the characters are not always that moe, but sometimes angry? With no exposition, we can only judge by what we do know and what we have experienced. You could call it an idealization, as the characters’ reality only centers around one little part of a massive world, the part only we, the viewers, know about.
Because we are not shown everything, we end up loving what we actually do see. But, at the same time, is that not enough? It is the world we do see that we wish to live in. The happiness in K-ON!, the cool card games in Yu-Gi-Oh! and so on. That is what we want. We strive after what our own world cannot give us, we strive after something we find to be better. And this reflects how wonderful media can be. It truly is something out of this world, cooking up the most amazing ideas and bringing them to life. Sometimes things are even brought to our own reality, as seen with Star Trek. In a way, the border between reality and imaginary worlds is not that big and it is only a matter of time until it is broken.
But before I completely go off the track here, I am going to finish this post. In a couple of days there will be a “Part 2” in which I will post a list of places in anime I would like to live in. In the meantime, why not post your own?