Hope you’ve all been doing well, watching good anime and reading great manga. I’m here today with another strange observation post.
Afraid of thunder? You aren’t alone in manga!
Whether sport or shoujo, manga always have some strange cliches: being late on the first day, the wonderful window seat, the secret hidden technique and the trap.
But as I was reading a couple of manga recently I just realised something. Aren’t there too many characters afraid of thunder?
Astraphobia, also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia, keraunophobia, or tonitrophobia is an abnormal fear of thunder and lightning, a type of specific phobia. It is a treatable phobia that both humans and animals can develop. The major cause known to develop astraphobia in people are a traumatic experience related with thunderstorms, rain and lightning.
Talking about statistics, it is a common fear, placed in the top 6 most common phobias including arachnophobia(fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of heights), fear of dentists, aerophobia (fear of flying) and triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13).
7 Characters suffering from Astraphobia
All the statistics and data aside, here’s a list of manga characters suffering from astraphobia- the ones I remember at least!
- Hino Aso (FIVE by Shiori Furukawa)
She is afraid of thunder and is very frank about her fear. She reveals later in the story that her house had been struck by lightening several times, hence creating a sort of trauma about thunderstorms and lightening.
Aso-chan finds herself comfortable when there’s someone with her or she’s able to distract herself from the weather around.
- Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran Highschool Hostclub by Bisco Hatori)
Ah, Haruhi. The unshakable, stoic Haruhi.
I’m sure all the OHSHC fans remember that one scene were we witness Haruhi shaken up and terrified and Tamaki-kun comforts her.
Yes, she has astraphobia.
Haru-chan is an example of typical response to thunder and lightening when scared of it. She goes under tables or locks herself into cupboards to suppress her fear as it makes her feel ‘safer’. Researches prove that it is a technique that works for most people and is almost a conditioned response.
For Haru-chan however, the manga provides no reason as to why she’s scared of thunder and that leaves us guessing as to what may have caused the fear.
- Pantherlily (Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima)
Like above mentioned, astraphobia is also prevalent in animals (Though I hate to call Pantherlily just an animal).
One of my favourites in the whole series, the only crack in his tough exterior is his fear of lightening and thunder. (This is starting to become a pattern)
- Tooru Yamachika (FIVE by Shiori Furukawa)
Unexpectedly, even the student council president is scared of thunder. It’s revealed in the arc of test of courage, where he and Aso-chan are paired together. Then the thunder and lightening begins and we are left wondering how such coincidental twin fears are put together on a rainy day and whether it was done only to entertain sadistic readers(like me)… It might have for all we know!
- Elie-chan (Rave Master by Hiro Mashima)
Elie-chan wakes up with amnesia, is attacked by some dude using lightening and immediately falls prey to Astraphobia. Honestly, I didn’t like the manga much, so I discontinued it pretty much immediately. Also, does Hiro-sanhave some particular hatred toward lightening? His characters are Astraphobic, that generally happens when the author themselves is too….
- Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi)
Now then, it’s confession time. I haven’t actually watched Sailor Moon. I’ve only caught a couple of episodes here and there on TV (when they still had anime on it) and I didn’t like the manga’s art style at all, so I didn’t read it.
Still I remember one episode where she loses control of her powers because of some monster creates a storm? Sorry, I don’t remember this one that much, just that she too is scared of thunder and lightening.
- Natsuki Koshimizu (Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyoma)
This is one more of those anime I only caught a couple of episodes and didn’t bother with the manga. But I clearly remember the episode where the tomboy girl detective (whose name I only found out after searching today) Natsuki-chan collapses in terror in the mansion scene where a storm suddenly kicks up outside.
There are actually three more characters, but they’re from manhwa and I can’t remember which ones, so sorry about that!
- Medication. If your astraphobia symptoms are causing you to experience high anxiety or depression, certain medications may help.
- Therapy. If you experienced a trauma during childhood that sparked your fear of thunder and lightning, you will need to address it during psychotherapy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. Learning new ways to perceive the world around you and identifying behaviors that harm you can help you to regain control of your reactions to thunder and lightning. However, it isn’t always that you need to seek professional help, not unless it is severely affecting your daily life.
- Self help. Sometimes, especially if the fear is not crippling, doing things that give you comfort really help. Most manga show hugging people helps, but I’m sure you can’t trust shoujo to that extent….
Most of the time, listening to calming music or distracting yourself by watching/ doing something you love helps too.
Despite all that, I, personally enjoy thunder and lightening so I guess I can’t associate much to this cliche…
What do you guys think? An overused fear or a justified one? Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed someone!
As always, thanks for reading~