Best of BtT: Have You Read These 15 Posts Yet?

New to Beneath the Tangles?  Unsure where to start?

anime computer

While we keep up with new series on a seasonal basis, the posts here at Beneath the Tangles are meant to be lasting, discussing Christianity while in terms of current or past anime and manga series.  It might be with some conceit that I call the articles timeless, but they certainly ring as true now as they did when first written.

Here are some posts to get you started.

1. Wandering Son Episode 02: Graceful Takatsuki

But the power of grace -  giving love to the undeserved – is in motion here.  Her bold move tells Chiba that she knows she may not receive forgiveness (her overtures were rejected just the day before), but even so, she will forgive.

2. Princess Jellyfish and Becoming Who We’re Meant to Be

I guess Kuranoske would represent the Holy Spirit in this scenario. The Amars would have never changed if Kuranoske hadn’t come into their lives and, as Christians, we can’t depend on our own efforts to change us into what God originally intended.

3. Rebuild of Shinji, Asuka, and Rei: You (Can) Hope

Perhaps this shift was no surprise, since Hideaki Anno was dealing with depression during the course of creating the classic series.  Instead, he sends a message that is most unexpected – he tells us that there is hope.

4. Tsuritama episode 5: Finding your passion sometimes takes a little fishing.

I found myself really relating to this episode. In a search to discover what I’m passionate about, I’ve run upon a lot of speed bumps, or rather, experiences about as hard as trying to stand up in a rocking boat for the first time. When all those around you seem so confident, but your legs are still shaking, it can be very discouraging.

5. Princess Tutu: God’s Love and the Gift of Free Will

God could have chose to force us to love him- He definitely had the power to- But like Princess Tutu, he knew that love isn’t real love if it is forced, and that forcing someone to love you isn’t being loving.

6. Finding the Invisible God in…Serial Experiments Lain

Jesus didn’t want to die, but would rather die than disobey His father.  Lain, similarly, didn’t want to be erased.  We don’t know what else Jesus said or what was going on inside His head, but we know there was struggle between what was right and what was convenient.

7. When Bad Things Happen To Good Anime Characters

When we feel moved by an anime character’s death or misfortune, it is tempting to explain it away as quickly as possible, or even to ignore it. (“Come on, R86, it’s just a cartoon. Let it go already.”) But I think we need to resist this kind of reaction. I’ve tried to learn not to be afraid to ask myself questions at those times.

8. These Little Moments

It’s in these moments – these small moments – where we taste some fulfillment.  Where we know perhaps why we’re here, alive, breathing, interacting.  These little moments that get to me the most aren’t ones where I’m alone – they are times when I’m with people.  They are relationship-based.

9. Kokoro Connect 08: The Growing is the Hardest Part

When faced with difficulties, sometimes extreme, we can respond by meeting the challenge.  Iori, filled with pain centered on her lack of identity, grows past it and at this point in the series seems to be the character, ironically, most in touch with her emotions.

10. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: Stepping outside into the cold to see the snow.

Haruhi is a great character; she takes people out of their comfort zones (except Koizumi, who is always comfortable wherever he is). I think there’s something to be said to Christians especially when it comes to being shoved out of our comfort zones.

11. Puella Shoujo Madoka Magica 07: From Adam to Jesus

Sayaka’s answer to Kyoko, of course, doesn’t fit into any mold relating to the Garden of Eden.  It does, however, fit well with another demonic temptation – that of Lucifer and Jesus in the wilderness.

12. For Love of the (Fan)art, And Of Its Subject

There seems to be something special about anime in particular, and the characters portrayed in anime, to capture our hearts and imaginations like this so easily. How is it that anime as a medium can elicit such strong emotional responses in those of us who view it? I’m not certain, but I’ve long suspected that anime is like a mirror, in which we see a part of ourselves reflected back to our minds.

13. Gurren Lagann and Inheriting Vision

Without vision, we can’t move forward. Vision is driven by passion and discipline. Without passion we have nothing to pursue. Without discipline, we can’t reach our vision.

14. Someday’s Dreamers ~Summer Skies~ Episode 01: Washing Feet

Sora doesn’t wash her friend’s feet literally, but she might as well have.  Her last night at home was spent showering love through sacrifice on her best friend.  Who wouldn’t want a best friend like that – one who would give it all just to see you smile.

15. “Shikigami! Descend, O Great One!” Spiritual Gifts Personified in Onmyou Taisenki

Just as the toujinshi of Onmyou Taisenki were granted the privilege of forming contracts with their shikigami, we Christians have been granted all kinds of gifts that God intends us to use for his glory, that do not originate from within ourselves, that we did not earn by being special or strong or good. They are not cartoony or outrageous-looking, in fact they are not visible at all; and they certainly aren’t sentient like Byakko-no Kogenta or Seiryuu-no Kibachiyo.

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About TWWK

TWWK, known to outlaws and lawmen alike as Charles, lives deep in the heart of Texas, where he drives cattle and boot scoots (not really - though he does sport a pair of rattlesnake boots). Somehow in this frontier, he also finds time for his wife, children, and church. Oh, and anime, too.

Posted on 01.15.2013, in Anime, Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I guess I should spend more time going through your archives – most of these posts are new to me, even ones on shows I like. I especially wish I’d seen the serial experiments lain post earlier; I like your take on the last episode (also, the Lain/Jesus analogy would’ve made for some interesting material for my own post on that show’s ‘theology’ ;)

    Anyway, thanks for linking these for us latecomers.

    • Thanks for the kind words. The truth is, I don’t even remember a number of my old posts! :P

      And thanks for the comments about the Lain article. I recently received a review copy of the series, which I haven’t watched in many years. I’m looking forward to going through Lain and maybe hammering out another post or two regarding it.

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