Gunsmith Cats: The Struggle with Alternative Influence
Preserving one's integrity and individuality through many struggles.
In an attempt to configure the value of preserving one's integrity, and in an attempt to understand the importance of clarifying one's individuality amongst a sea of influence, I have found the precious love of the OVA Gunsmith Cats of great use. Although one of many titles that inquire as to just how clustered or nonclustered an individual is with his society, Gunsmith Cats in particular submits to its viewership three points of interest with regards to the preservation of and maintenance of integrity and individuality when faced with several societal propositions.
A direct-to-video anime release that visualizes one man's particular fondness for guns and cars, Gunsmith Cats is the short story of a chapter in the lives of two female weapons enthusiasts, Rally Vincent and May Hopkins. The lead, Rally, is a gal that does not take things lightly, and as the lead of the anime, she exhibits character motives and moments of decision-making that speak the truth of one who is truly headstrong. Along with Minnie-May, Rally ventures through the streets of Chicago, looking to further her reputation as a bounty huntress, if not her reputation as the attractive (and presently single) gal behind the front desk of her own gun shop. As viewers of the anime will find, Gunsmith Cats presents an ongoing struggle between a young woman and her environment, and the subsequent societal perception that one acquires as a result of enduring such struggles.
One means of enduring personal struggle includes general interpersonal conditions. Any given person interacts with several different people on a daily basis, and it would only make sense to gauge how influential such relationships are, no matter how platonic the affiliation be. If you meet and interact with those individuals of which you are familiar with or can relate to, chances are good that you will pick up a few personality traits from them. When a person finds a particular liking for a particular area of interest, that person will, as a result, associate himself with those intellectual, emotional and symbolic aspects of that certain area of interest. Rally Vincent of Gunsmith Cats keeps the company of sympathetic explosives mastermind May Hopkins, and the company of the intelligence-gathering computer whiz Becky Farrah, amongst other law enforcement officers. Rally's personality is thus geared towards being practical yet brave, as well as being anxious, while at the same time, cautious of potential oversight.
It is not so much as one's environment that supports the carving of one's personality, as it is the other various states of being of which one is consistently exposed to. It is through the impressions of others that we oftentimes find inspiration for the formation of our own mold.
Another means of understanding the particulars of personality and of individuality come through the sieve-like sensibility of which humans are prone to utilize. Sometimes more influential than one's understanding of positive societal variables, it is one's understanding of the negative variables of which any given environment may present. The range of influence from amiable relationships and the range of effects from those relationships that are not so amiable varies; however, I would argue that natural enemies pose an unnatural threat to the self. Pressing an unkind venture or undesirable way of life to one's integrity forces an elemental conflict: a conflict capable of rendering one's integrity so that his decisiveness is not only consistent, but also distinct.
Although I have pointed out that it is imperative for one to not only properly sort those influences--the positive from the negative--as it is for one to craft from them a distinct character that is true for no one but the individual. I must also make the case that perhaps even having the ability to distinguish positive and negative impressions is sometimes enough to push one's integrity steadily on the path of personal growth. Even in the simple developing of this threshold of private influence, even in the consistent management of decision-making, one may find personal progress.
Such is the case with Rally. She maintains her emotional stability by properly gauging a variety of social stimuli. When a certain law enforcement officer asks her out on a date, the young woman casually declines, to which the officer states, "A bullet proof heart, just like I heard." In this example, Rally is forming her emotional center through the withdrawal from private, explicit relational matters, which is the subsequent filtering out of negative influences. (Of course, this refers to a negative influence with regards to the perpetuation of an individual's particular state of being, and is not negative with regards to morality at large.)
Gunsmith Cats offers more than references to the inner struggles of the self via Rally's emotional discomfort; it also presents an intellectual and almost philosophical reference through a certain series of soliloquies from our central protagonist. Most evident in Rally's sharp cynicism, we can find clever rebuttals against the marginalizing of practical thought. The young woman, in a tight situation--such as a close quarters gunfight--reflects on her risk-taking skills and dutifully admits, "I hate to gamble". Her comprehension of a situation and an environment, as visible here, sometimes hinges on her capacity to visualize a successful outcome. The simple distinguishing of this aspect of her personality proves that an individual may choose to make more thorough their threshold upon the consistent recollection of and distinguishing of advantageous and disadvantageous situations, persons, or environments.
Rally's stark cynicism, coupled with her sometime wavering ambition brings forth a useful, albeit humorous, means of organizing positive and negative influences. When pinned down in a warehouse before a massive shoot-out, Rally prophesizes, "I don't intend to wear a halo anytime soon", illustrating her clear intention of surviving the somewhat unfortunate situation. I chose this scene in particular as an example --the scene where she and a local ATF officer sarcastically spar about the chances of their survival-- because Rally, although fully understanding the danger of the situation, presses onward. She distinguished the potential threat of escaping the warehouse of gunrunners, yet also understands that in order for this particular pussy cat to stay grounded and keep from earning her halo, she has to flash her claws. It is sometimes better to challenge enemies head on with the intention of not just survival, but also personal growth. This explains why one may act, with respect to the threshold of personal interest, no matter how amoral.
A third means of interpretation with regards to Gunsmith Cats and the struggles one undertakes while solidifying the foundation of their individuality goes beyond the mere relational encounters mentioned previously. It is one thing to recognize the disparity of usefulness of a certain circumstance to the self; it is another thing to be of the right mind while commanding such judgment. An incorruptible personality does not only come about from the random acuteness of events and of favoritism, but also through the consistent reassurance of a variety of conduct in tandem with the continuous limitation of others.
We have only one form of individuality, and we should have only minimal sway in regulating our integrity, but take note that even in saying such, we are nevertheless influenced by several other identities, each identity with the potential to uproot the foundation of the self. To further illustrate the necessity of the proper management and limitation of certain motives, consider authority figures, overly anxious comrades, the media, and any other institution of knowledge whom asserts that taking any single pill of information will relieve your stress-sickness.
It is only through experiences with personal and societal struggle that one can acquire an accurate understanding of self-identity. That is to say, to identify the elemental aspects of one's individuality, to verify the most crucial aspects of the self, it is only through the experience in finding the verification of these expertises that one can identify their identity.
Rally Vincent's personality was previously defined as being practical yet brave. Rally's practical disposition helps her to clarify the potentiality of assertiveness, while her bravery allows her to challenge, and sometimes humble, authority figures. In mentioning her to be anxious for excitement, yet cautious of ill-favor, I find this young female protagonist capable of shedding off those "too suspicious" in her own words, as well as one capable of avoiding those with an agenda of corruption in mind. Rally does not consider carelessness an impossibly purposeful venture; we choose and seek, but rather an invisible sensibility that any one individual with sound integrity and a developed personality can have the strength to defy.
Gunsmith Cats is an anime that will do more than entertain you; by proposing the intangible through the most simple of character personalities and experiences. It is through the grasping of the positive influences and relationships, the feeding out of alternative affecting sources, the ultimately purposeful distinction of such a threshold, and through the consistent limitation of the motives of the aforesaid influences that one is then given the opportunity to confidently proclaim his own exacting nature. Lest the individual find the grounding for their individuality, any string of opposition would then be capable of manipulating his perceptive nature.