Recently I started reading some feel good Korean manhwa and Chinese manhua, which basically means comic in their respective languages. I generally do not read or watch this kind of stories, but will do so occasionally for some light-hearted moments. In recent trends we also see more and more feel good stories on the screens. From anime to drama to movies, the feel good aspect has intensified over the past 2 years.
Feel good anime or comics generally have the following settings – an overpowered main character who happens to be a good guy and going around fighting for justice or building up a happy family. Family in this case need not necessarily be related by blood. One such example anime lovers may be familiar with will be ‘That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime’. For those of you who are more familiar with Korean dramas, ‘Reborn Rich’ will be another good example.
Feel good stories appeal to our hearts because for most of us, we either crave to be or to know someone insanely strong or powerful yet stand on the side of justice and on the side of the weak. To give evil a good beating and to let them know that evil will never triumph over good. Another aspect of a feel good story is that the main character always have a lot of support from other rich and powerful characters, who acknowledge him and will do everything they can to help him.
These are feel good stories because they appeal to our inner desires and make us feel happy after reading or watching them. The very desires which we know will never come true in real life are portrayed in the stories through a main character we dream to be. We will never be insanely strong, never enter the eyes of the rich and never receive help from the powerful, let alone have their support. Above all, we know that in this world, it is evil which triumphs over the kind and the innocent. There will be no last minute appearance of a hero to stop any rape, murder, kidnap or any harm, big or small to the people.
However feel good stories are necessary for a few reasons. First, it gives people a consolation to the dark reality of their lives. Second, it gives people a fantasy and a false hope to continue living on. Lastly, it serves to sink and reap them off.
In real life we often have feel good stories too. The first type have been covered in earlier articles – chicken soup for the soul, being contented and living a happy life, celebrating small successes etc. We already know the purpose of such feel good stories is to make you feel it is alright to be a lower mortal till the day you die, so I will not elaborate further here. By now you will also know for the commoners, we are just cheap labour at the bottom of the food chain for the upper class to make use of, squeeze dry and thrown away. For as long as you are living, you will have some value, contributing directly or indirectly to them. This is one of the reason why the first type of feel good stories is needed. To ensure people continue to live, work hard for small successes and be reaped off.
The second type will be more similar to what I have described above in the opening – an overpowered good main character taking down evil, fighting for justice and achieving a happy ending. What is one striking example in recent times we have seen?
Wall Street Bets vs Hedge Funds in the stock market, of which GME and AMC are the most well-known battle grounds.
The battles between the commoners and the hedge funds were hot news which makes people all around the world excited because finally, retail investors who had been playing in an unfair battlefield finally grouped together to stand up against those manipulative, blood sucking fund managers who mercilessly reaped off the life savings of the masses. Revenge was served. The collapse of Melvin Capital and heavy losses from multiple hedge funds was a testament that finally, one of the many evils was taken down. It gave hope that it was not the end, but a new beginning as retailers finally found solidarity and gave the fund managers a taste of their medicine. It was to be a start of a new era where retailers will no longer be at the mercy of the big monies.
Does the above story make you excited? But behind all the hype, behind all the good vibes and positivity, was a dark truth. That the biggest shareholders of these companies were still fund managers. They merely sacrificed one of their own, probably someone not part of their inner circle. As retailers jumped into the boat, buying at record high prices for a shit stock, they were once again beaten down without mercy. But this time, as the hype died down, so were the voices of the losers. This whole Wall Street Bets saga were orchestrated by the masses, for the masses in order to bring down the big corporations. One of the evil fell. But many more retailers died as a result. Yet this time they could not pin the crime onto the fund managers, because they could not find any legitimate reason to. The feel-good story came to an end with heavy consequences for those who could not get out in time, for those too greedy and insisted in holding on. There were a few lucky ones yes, but that is like striking a lottery. They too serve a very good material for encouraging more retailers to join in the fight and to buy the shit stock at sky high prices.
Feel good stories usually has one more aspect – good people usually do not die. In the anime ‘That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime’ which I mentioned above, even the dead can be resurrected to have a happy ending. In ‘Reborn Rich’, the main character travelled back in time to a wealthy family with much resources to achieve his goal. Of course in life, time travel is a wish many of us have in order to undo the regrets made in the past, and as time goes by there will be people whom we wish can be brought back from the dead.
‘Miracles may happen, but they will never happen to me’ – such is the mentality we should have as we deal with reality.
Read the feel good stories if you need to, so that you can destress your mental state as you face reality each day. But for the feel good stories in life, be very careful about them. Contrary to stories on the screen, feel good stories in life often has a much darker intention that you would know.