Author Archives: Hansha123
A Shigofumi is a letter from the dead.
The Twelve Kingdoms is an in-depth anime that explores 12 countries in a parallel dimension to the real world filled with characters from Japanese mythology. The main character, Yoko Nakajima, is sucked into this world after a storm and, through a random series of events, becomes the leader of one of the countries, which is called Kei.
The anime really goes into the politics in the countries and explores what it means to be a good leader, the consequences of a bad leader, and the way different leadership styles shape each country. One of the most prosperous kingdoms in the parallel world, which is actually just called Twelve Kingdoms, is the kingdom of En.
That prosperity is due in large part to the kingdoms king, Shouryu, a laid-back, confident former feudal lord. Shouryu is always aware of whats happening in En, rarely loses his cool, shows mercy whenever possible and exacts justice when necessary. Out of all Shouryu’s qualities, the one I noticed the most was his desire to make a place for all of his people. Not just some, not just most, but each and every one.
Tokyo Godfathers is a movie that follows three homeless individuals that find a baby in the trash around Christmas time and try to find the child’s parents. When I first heard the plot if the movie, I wasn’t really excited to watch it, but it’s a lot better than the basic plot sounds. The movie delves into ideas of shame, forgiveness, acceptance and belonging.
One interesting thing about this anime is the way Satoshi Kon used Christian elements. Kon really seemed to have a better understanding than most anime creators about Christianity. Instead of using random crosses as decoration here and there or a vampire fighting priest, he actually uses a sermon to set up the storyline that the characters hear while attending a dinner/sermon for the homeless.
“Jesus was born to offer those alone a place in which to be alive.”
And there were not many more alone in Japan than the three main characters. One is an alcoholic man running from debts, Gin, another is a transsexual, Hana, and the third a teenage runaway, Miyuki. Through the adventure of finding the baby’s parents, whom they name Kiyoko meaning ‘pure child,’ they each are forced to confront the reason they wound up on the streets.
They all have a different reason for leaving home, but the reasons are connected by feelings of shame and hopelessness. Each has done something they are ashamed of and are sure their actions mean they can never be accepted back home. I was particularly moved by the scenes with Miyuki, as she sits sobbing after confessing what she did to her father before running away saying that she can never return because of it and her breakdown after trying to call her parents and not being able to speak. Despite telling Gin and Hana she can return home whenever she feels like it, after her confession she says what she truly believes. Read the rest of this entry
Fairy Tail is filled with wizards, exaggerated characters and the worst bouts of motion sickness I’ve ever seen, but one aspect of the show I really noticed was the theme of unity. In Fiore, the wizards are split up into guilds that take on jobs. These guilds become strong, tight knit groups that support one another through their lives and hold together with an untouchable unity.
It really made me think about how I need to be treating other Christians. For me, this lesson on unity has been a looong one that God has been teaching and re-teaching over the years. I’m a pretty opinionated person and those opinions have always tended to be pretty rigid. That trait can be good in some situations, but not so much in a situation that requires cooperation, like a church. Read the rest of this entry
I just finished watching Inu x Boku SS and, I have to say, aside from the fanservice and mediocre storyline, I really enjoyed watching the growth in the main character Ririchiyo Shirakiin.
Inu X Boku SS is a 12-episode anime about a group of humans with youkai ancestors that live together in an upscale apartment complex called Ayakashi. Each member is assigned a Secret Service agent to protect them from various baddies from Japanese legend. Ririchiyo is a “throwback,” which means she received a large amount of youkai blood. As a result, she has been treated her whole life as more of a good luck charm than a person. This is because the throwback is believed to be the key to the mysterious wealth gained by families with youkai blood. The status makes her a person either used or envied by those around her.
At the beginning of the show, Ririchiyo’s life, although filled with luxury, has left her lonely and exceedingly guarded. It has caused her to form this bad habit when interacting with others where she puts on an air of superiority and rudely speaks to anyone reaching out to her, regardless of whether they are reaching out in kindness or meanness. She even has difficulties letting down her guard with her agent, Sōshi, who freely, genuinely and excessively compliments and serves her in a kind of obsessive manner.
I adore the characters in Princess Jellyfish, particularly the protagonist, Tsukimi. Their awkward tendencies and feelings of wanting to often hide from the world are very relatable.
The show centers around five hermit-like, NEET otaku that live together in an old apartment complex in Tokyo and refer to themselves as the Amars or “nuns.” Their otaku interests range from trains to Three Kingdoms to traditional clothing and dolls to “gracefully aging” men. Tsukimi is the newest member and fits right in, which is a rare thing to happen for her as we learn, with her obsessive affinity for jellyfish. Although Tsukimi enjoys her life and the people she lives with, she admits from episode one realizing she doesn’t think she is what she was meant to be.
“Mom, I know I was supposed to turn into a princess, but somehow I became a freak.”
On the surface, she is referring to the way she looks, but on a deeper level I think she feels more should be happening in her life, that she should have become something greater. She is not sure what that thing is, she just knows. Read the rest of this entry
Hell Girl is a dark, psychologically stirring anime that explores the desire for and consequences of revenge. In each episode, Ai Enma, A.K.A. Hell Girl, presents a black straw doll with a red string around its neck to those who contact her in search of revenge. If they pull the string, their enemy of choice is sent to hell. However…in exchange, they forfeit their own soul to hell at the end of their life to pay for their enemy’s trip.
I think similar “red string situations” come up constantly in everyone’s life. Now, the concept of being able to send each other to hell is silly and the situations usually aren’t as dramatic as sending someone/being sent to hell, but when we decide to get angry, to lash out and respond with rage instead of forgiveness we make a choice that hurts us just as much, if not more, than the person the rage is aimed at.
A friend says something insensitive, a customer gets snotty with you, a random stranger cuts you off, someone betrays you and a black straw doll falls into your hands. You can choose to respond kindly and let it slide, or you can pull the string and unleash you rage on the offender. I’ve pulled the string 1,000 times over, and I can’t think of one time that I don’t want to take back. What Ai says is true…
“There always has to be a price…” Read the rest of this entry
When I watch Naruto, I’m always in awe of the unrelenting passion and drive I see in the characters, particularly in the ones from the Hidden Leaf. Passion and drive are very commonly seen in characters of that type of anime, but for me, in Naruto I also see the sincere pain, frustration and struggle that make the characters so endearing and enjoyable to watch.
These same traits can also make them very convicting to watch.
I see that passion in my own life for God’s plans and goals much less than I would like. I’ve never had passion as a distinguishing trait and I let challenges not only in my Christian walk but in other areas in my life keep me back or throw me into despair far too often. Read the rest of this entry