Having a 3 year old in the house – I am constantly subjected to juvenile animation programs on TV – now-a-days bordering on the delinquent. Quite a lot of things on TV shouldn’t really be watched by children, whom we wish to grow up into unbiased solid human beings. Or maybe I am just being conservative and prude. Today’s mantra seems to be – bombard them with all – they will figure out what is good and what is crap. Maybe it really works. Nevertheless, I forbid my son from watching something like Power Rangers – which really glorifies mindless violence. Which brings to mind hentai. That japanese brand of fantasy animation where every girl has humongous eyes and wears super-short schoolgirl uniforms – undoubtedly feeding the pubertal fantasies of millions in that island nation – and beyond.

Which was the single reason that I attributed, for explaining its popularity among people of all ages. Of course one changes perspectives everyday… The kid was watching something called Mirmo on TV. I came in – and decided to give it 5 minutes before switching to Mr.Bean on the other channel…and before I knew it, I was hooked. Mirmo – along with others of its kind – are miniature magical pets which a bunch of Japanese kids possess. These pets hang around their respective owners like fantasy alter-egos. Because they possess magical powers – they help their owners in their lives with stuff like doing well in school, impressing and winning over any objects of their affection, fight forces of evil (like the football team from the neighbouring village)…etc. In this particular episode I was watching – Mirmo’s rival pet (the pet of Mirmo’s owners real life rival), as an act of retribution, captures Mirmo inside the pages of a magical book – by drawing its picture on one of its pages. Now captured, Mirmo’s rival can subject it with various forms of inconveniences by drawing a hammer which smashes Mirmo on the head, drawing a pail of water which empties its content on Mirmo…you get the picture. One thing leads to another and all the main characters of this series get trapped inside the book with various drawn monsters chasing them around in a crazy papyrine world. Now to get out they have to travel through the book to the last page and then get out…

Brilliant imagination eh? Now this is stuff I don’t mind my child watching… in today’s media-crazy world stories like Hansel & Gretel’s chocolate house or Rapunzel trapped in a high tower are just not potent enough to introduce kids to fantasy and imagination. Programs like Mirmo are the fairy tales of today – replete with monster trucks that transform into robots and alien civilizations which threaten to destroy the local kindergarten. The world has changed around us…and parents like me will have to change our perceptions with it. Or else we will lose touch with our childrens’ reality. Right?

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