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I’m definitely not using these posts as an excuse to talk about shows that I like. For July, the topic is Mentor. Let’s see how I can distort this topic…
Throughout our lives, we might have encountered someone that we admired as a role model or has guided us in some life dilemma. This mentor could be a teacher at school, a coach, a boss or team leader at work, or a family friend. Whoever it is that person impacted your life in a positive manner. For this month’s OWLS topic, we will be writing about mentors or mentorships in anime and other pop culture media. Some topics we will be exploring include how a mentorship impacted a main character’s life, the types of mentor relationships a person could have, and/or personal stories about mentors or mentorships.
I had a few ideas for this topic, which made things interesting. In the end, I decided that I wanted to talk about Shoukoku no Altair. The story is set in a time of war between the Turkiye Stratocracy and the Balt-Rhein Empire with hints of historical basis.
Unlike my other posts, I’m going to be pretty liberal with spoilers this time. I hope you still watch the series, as it’s one that I really enjoyed, but there’s no way I’m making my point without setting up some base knowledge.
The main character, Mahmut Tugrul, comes from a tribe of falconers which was wiped out in a previous war. Having lost his family, Mahmut vows to never allow another war to occur again, and joins the government as a Pasha, a high-ranking military officer, to maintain peace.
Growing up, Mahmut largely learns from Halil Sehir, an older Pasha who rescued a young Mahmut from his burning village. Mahmut’s desire for peace is shared by Halil, who feels responsible for the atrocities of the past war.
The main opposition amongst the other Pashas comes from Zaganos Zehir, a Pasha who is seemingly obsessed with turning Turkiye into an empire of its own. As you may expect, Zaganos regularly butts heads with Mahmut and Halil because of his wish to take the fight to the Empire. However, he’s also the person who sends Mahmut on a journey of discovery when Mahmut initially loses his position as Pasha.
Unlikely as it may seem, Zaganos becomes a second mentor figure for Mahmut. His advice directly contributes to the character growth we see in Mahmut through the series. Although he continues to actively reject Zaganos’s ideals, Mahmut eventually comes to understand Zaganos to the point where the two become a powerful team against the Empire.
This was probably an unnecessarily long-winded explanation, but here’s my point. I think it’s great to look up to your mentors as a source of motivation and encouragement. However, I also think that some of the best lessons can come from someone who doesn’t necessarily share your opinion, as we see with Mahmut and Zaganos.
I think that the concept of a mentor is often synonymous with a role model, and you should strive towards being like that role model. There’s an element to truth to this idea, but it’s perhaps a bit unrealistic. Coming across someone who fits that ideal seems unlikely, so I choose to see it in a broader sense.
In my own workplace, I treat pretty much anyone as a kind of mentor, and I look to see what I can learn from someone rather than dwelling on where we might have a difference in opinion. To me, the role model idea kind of implies that I’m just taking in advice without processing it, which is why I tend to deviate from the idea.
But hey…this is just another thing to consider. Maybe I’m just making up excuses for myself to keep actively disagreeing with people. Who knows?
If you think that was interesting, check out the surrounding posts for more takes on the Mentor topic. And if that was super boring, I’m sure the surrounding posts will be more interesting?
Yesterday’s post was written by Jack over at The Aniwriter about Sora and Shiro from No Game No Life.
If you’re reading this in the future, head over to Miandro’s Side for another post.