alien, emotions, Enoshima, evolutionary trait, Haru, human, human feelings, social construct, Tsuritama, Yuki
The notion of human feelings is one of mankind’s greatest mysteries, at least for me. Oftentimes in literature and media, our emotions are perceived as something complex and inconceivable. It was also said that these sensations are what separate us from other species.
In Tsuritama, Haru is a cheerful alien who came to earth to fish. This high-spirited extraterrestrial may look like a normal teenage boy but what he lacks is the understanding of human emotions. He used to give Yuki a hard time while doing the chores and say sorry without meaning it. But as he spends more time with Yuki, Natsuki, Akira, and the town of Eroshima, slowly he started to acquire emotions.
One of my favourite scenes is when Haru was sad as he tried to heal his chest with a band-aid. He surely is broken hearted! I feel sorry that he’s confused why he feels hurt and why he’s sensing it.
There are lots of speculations of why we have feelings. A Darwinian would suggest that feelings are related to altruism which is an evolutionary trait. Haru started to care and sacrifice for the people around him. Like humans, overtime this behaviour became Haru’s criterion for survival and adaptability in Earth.
But wait… Haru is an alien!
Well, a Post-modernist would argue that feelings are forms of social construct. As social beings, we influenced each other, acquired, shared and developed sets of emotions. If we’re to analyse Haru, it is arguable that he developed his emotional feelings because he hangs-out with human beings.
Some say that having an emotion is a human weakness because it shows signs of vulnerability. And some say the otherwise because emotional feeling is said to be a form of language which bridges people and creates camaraderie.
Having said all of these, what exactly triggered the human feelings is still unknown. Haru is becoming a human because he started to feel and act like a human unconsciously. Why and how did this happen? I am not too sure. Even Koko is puzzled why her brother is changing.
I guess that’s just an inevitable part of human individuality and totality. Without even trying, we truly are mysterious beings who are mystified by our own nature.
I think we all base our beliefs on the people and events that surround us. In the case of someone like Haru, being on another planet would be enough of a culture shock that his experiences would affect him a lot more. Maybe if Koko let herself get more immersed in human culture, she would behave in roughly the same way.
Yeah, I guess the explanation is just really as simple as “because of culture” but it’s really fascinating how we have feelings but we can’t explain how it really embedded us. Pretty much just like Koko and Haru.
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Balloon Thief said:
Haru is an interesting case. He essentially learned a few human emotions. I tend to agree with the idea that emotions are learned to at least some extent. The scene where Haru puts the bandaid over his heart shows a similarity to how children view emotions. Honestly, it makes me wonder if the vulcans were onto something. If society trained us to think rationally and forgo emotion since birth, would we end up like the vulcans? Wether that would be a good or bad thing, though, is something else entirely.
Vulcans… interesting. That’s the first time I heard about the association of vulcans and emotions. I hope you don’t mind but can you elaborate it further or at least give a link where I can read about them. ^^
Balloon Thief said:
From what I understand of Star Trek lore, it seems that the Vulcans started off as an emotion heavy society similar to humans. After periods of intense violence, a philosopher proposed the die of using logic instead of emotions which lead to the way they were presented throughout the series. Then again I haven’t watched that much Star Trek so I’m not an expert.
These articles might help you better understand.
Oh I see. Thanks a lot for the info. I know nothing about Startrek except for William Shatner and George Takei were on the show.
But I remember a bit though, there was this very pale guy part of the crew and he doesn’t seemed any emotion, but I don’t think he’s a Vulcan though. Now, it makes me wonder why humans like to depict aliens as emotionless.
Balloon Thief said:
I have a feeling that the pale character you remember is most likely Data, a robot. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_(Star_Trek)
“Now, it makes me wonder why humans like to depict aliens as emotionless.”
Good point. I have two theories. The first is that humans like to believe that emotions make them unique. It so to speak separates us from the animals. The second theory is more specific. The Vulcans maybe portrayed as emotionless because they are meant to be the level headed older brother or parental figure. Of course, that would make us Earthlings the hot headed younger sibling which is just too hilarious. In conclusion, I believe that the reason for depicting aliens as less emotional than human beings is mainly an attempt to differentiate these fictitious species.
Once again, thanks for the link. ^^
I believe that the reason for depicting aliens as less emotional than human beings is mainly an attempt to differentiate these fictitious species.
Yeah, I agree.
Another way to see the interpretation of aliens as unemotional is due to the fact that everything that we cannot be (e.g. having no emotion) is “foreign” or “alien” to us.