Taiwanese otaku springs into action like Himmel.

On the morning of May 21, a frightening incident took place on the Taichung Metro in the city of Taichung, Taiwan. Shortly after boarding a train at Shui-an Temple Station, a man pulled out a knife and began indiscriminately attacking people.

Thankfully, no lives were lost in the attack, thanks to the actions of brave passengers who were able to disarm and subdue the man. Among the 17 people involved in the response was Hsu Rui-hsian, who required medical treatment for slashes to the face he sustained while fighting with the attacker.

▼ Video of the attack

Hsu has now been released from the hospital and attended a ceremony of commendation held on June 4 presided over by the city’s mayor. In speaking of how he found the courage to stand up to the knife-wielding attacker, Hsu nonchalantly said:

“Even if I had to do it again, I’d make the same choice. It’s what the hero Himmel would have done.”

Himmel, as anime/manga fans will know, is a character from Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, a series which follows the titular elven mage Frieren’s journey through a fantasy realm years after her heroic human questing companions have passed away from old age. Chief in Frieren’s memories is Himmel, a swordsman and archetypal hero, whose selfless bravery helps the emotionally cool Frieren come to a closer understanding of love, compassion, and other tender human emotions.

▼ The fact that Hsu showed up to the ceremony dressed in an officially licensed Monster Hunter overcoat should have tipped people off that he’s a pretty big otaku.

As news of Hsu’s heroic actions and heroic inspiration spread, both the official Frieren Twitter account and the manga’s editor, Katsuma Ogura, posted in response.

“Please feel free to use this [image] for times when someone does what Himmel would have done.”

▼ “Don’t worry, Himmel. The world is getting better,” says Frieren in Ogura’s tweet.

It’s important to note that Hsu had more than just an anime hero-level sense of justice on his side in the confrontation with the attacker. In addition to being an otaku, Hsu, who attended the ceremony wearing the same now-bloodstained pair of sneakers he’d worn during the attack, is also a fitness coach and competitive power lifter, who’d been training for a July competition that he’s now had to withdraw from due to his preparations being disrupted during his recovery from his knife wounds. Still, bodybuilder or not, his actions are commendable, and proof that sometimes on-screen anime heroics aren’t just escapist entertainment, but a source of strength that can spur real-life actions to help others.

Source: Livedoor News, The Straits Times
Top image: Pakutaso
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