Category Archives: Aniblogger Testimony

A Year Ago on Beneath the Tangles

A year ago…I celebrated Father’s Day by talking about Tomoya and his dad.

Ano HanaA year ago…I was finishing up AnoHana (a gold mine for posts)…

…and just starting Mawaru Penguindrum (and even richer mine).

A year ago…Tommy wrote the concluding post in the Aniblogger Testimony series…

…which we wrapped up

…and then added to with a post by Alexander.

A year ago…I profiled a Christian seiyuu.

A year ago…we started a week full of Christian OEL mangaRingo and Himari

…interviewing Manga Hero’s publisher

artist

…and one of their writers

…before ending by reviewing one of their works.

Aniblogger Testimonies: Familiarity of Faith – Where I Connect With Anime

When I first started this blog, a way I connected with bloggers was to ask a number to guest writer for the site.  What came out of that idea were the Aniblogger Testimonies, unique posts where bloggers wrote about the intersection of anime and their beliefs

While the active phase of this project is over, I’m also eager to add to the series.  Today, a frequent commenter on the site and a friend of mine, Sweetpea, is giving her testimony.

Sweetpea is a terrific reviewer.  I recommend you visit her anime/manga blogs, Paper Chimes and Going in Blindly.  Additionally, she recently started a blog about her beliefs, Pagan by the Book.  Sweetpea is also a reviewer for Organization Anti-Social Geniuses.

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I’m a minority in a minority – a Pagan anime fan. Paganism can mean any non-Abrahamic religion, but I’m Pagan as most Westerners imagine it: I worship gods and godesses like Athena and Brigid, I believe I can talk to spirits, and I celebrate Haloween like the day after will never come. However, I don’t wear a lot of black, I don’t own a pet (let alone a cat!), and I don’t dance around naked or cast curses on people. There are a lot of stereotypes out there that mean that even if I come across people that are open to my religion, they still have a lot of misunderstandings and Hollywood-influenced beliefs about it, which can make life both interesting and hilarious as I try to dispel some of the most hilarious and out-there myths. Read the rest of this entry

A Year Ago on Beneath the Tangles

A year ago…I was all about family and anime, releasing our Christian Parents’ Guide to Anime and writing a post about parenting in AnoHana.

Art by 斗波シユ

A year ago…we still couldn’t get enough of Madoka

…or Evangelion 2.22

…or Shikamaru

A year ago…I revisited Kino’s Journey

…Spied out Someday’s Dreamers

…and set anime pictures to George Strait songs (yes, really)….

Kino

Art by 超蛸@中村 弌

A year agoZeroe4, now a blogger here, gave his testimony

…as did prolific blogger and reviewer, Kokoro Hane

…the incomparable Mike Huang of Anime Diet…

…and everyone’s favorite anime academic, Charles Dunbar

…whom I later interviewed

…along with Japanese missionary (and anime fan) Michelle Mikoski.

A year ago…we checked out Christian fanfiction involving Yu Yu Hakusho

…and Christian fanart, both of which are way better than they sound.

crouching at her door by ~Snow-in-Spring

“A Year Ago” is a regular series on Beneath the Tangles which links to posts from the site written around this date last year.

Aniblogger Testimony – Dressing down while dressing up: on being a Muslim anime fan and a one-time cosplayer

In the Spring of 2011, I asked some of the anime blogosphere’s most noted writers to create posts discussing anime and their own personal faith.  Though the main phase of the project is over, I’m always eagerly looking for additional guest posts to add to the series.  Today, Hana, a wonderful blogger from the ever-popular T.H.A.T Anime Blog, gives us a wonderful addition to this series.

It wasn’t the first time that I’d been to an anime convention, but it was the first time that I’d cosplayed at one. Needless to say, it was a rather memorable experience.

Not that the M.C.M. London Expo is strictly an anime con, as it’s more like a trade fair for movies, comics, games and related pop culture. Yet, I knew from the previous two times that I’d been, that many attendees cosplayed in outfits that were just as impressive as what I’d seen in photos of American and East Asian cons.

The first time that I attended the Expo was in May 2009, I went with two friends and I dressed how I usually do, in casual trousers with a matching top and headscarf. As a moderately religious Muslim female who wears the hijab (or headscarf), I usually wear western clothes (I’m Bangladeshi by blood, but born and live in London), otherwise whatever I want, as long as I’m dressed modestly. Sometimes, I’ll wear a hat instead of a headscarf, as long as it’s roomy enough to stuff my hair into it. So, comfy outfit in place, my first con was a positive experience, mostly spent walking around with friends, staring at the cosplayers, avoiding the ‘Free Hug’-ers, buying a few anime related items, buying a tonne of Pocky, and generally feeling very cultured and weeabooish.

The second time I went was in May of last year and it was rather different, as it was more of an excuse to meet up with Ame, a fellow anime fan and blogger who I’d met online (and a couple of another ani blogger friends called Scamp and Hanners, as it turned out) and had been friends with for about a year, also around the same time that I had my one year anniversary as an anime blogger. In short, it was slightly nerve-wracking, as it was the first time I’d be meeting people face to face who I’d previously only conversed with online. However, having already shared photos with Ame and Skyped with all three meant that it wasn’t really the first time we’d met, so it wasn’t a big deal in that sense and turned out to be a lot of fun. In terms of the whole what to wear thing, I decided not to wear a headscarf and to wear one of my Bakerboy hats instead, i.e. like the one in my avatar, the same avatar I use when posting/ commenting on anime blogs and on Twitter. Thus, I wouldn’t say that this was a deliberate decision to downplay the fact that I’m a Muslim, in the highly unlikely event that anyone else’s first impression of me face to face would be that of some kind of religious nut. Rather, knowing that at least one of them had already shared pictures with me and knew me fairly well by that point, and that quite frankly all three of them are simply really nice, non-judgemental, ‘normal’ people, I just thought the hat thing would be a fun way for them to make the connection with my online persona and to help recognise me in the crowd. Read the rest of this entry

Aniblogger Testimony: Why Am I Catholic?

Although the main phase of the Aniblogger Testimony series has come to an end, I always welcome further additions.  Recently, Renato Barros Ezquerro submitted a post for this series.  The only problem?

He’s not a blogger.

Still, I’d be glad to call this post an “Otaku Testimony” if it meant I could fit in his writing.  I hope you’ll read it – I wanted to include it, especially, because it provides the point of view from someone whose native tongue is not English (I implore you to read through it, despite some grammar and word choice issues) and presents a Catholic point of view, one that hasn’t been expressed in the series.  He also addresses some questions I used to have about the Catholic faith and, on a more minor note, writes a little about Ef ~ A Tale of Memories, a series I’ve always wanted to post on. :)

Enjoy.

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First of all, I’ll answer you one question I had to answer myself first:

Why am I catholic?

Read the rest of this entry

Aniblogger Testimony: Anime helped me become an atheist

Wouldn’t you know it?  Two weeks after I wrapped up this series, I received a request to add another post to it.  Ashita is new to the world of aniblogging.  I encourage you to check out his site, Ashita no Anime, and to read his wonderfully-written piece below.

How my religious life (now a lack thereof) relates to anime is a bit complicated.  I promise you I will get to the point, but I feel there needs to be some background introduced first for this to all make sense.

I was born into a Roman Catholic family and went to a private Catholic school for my elementary and junior high years.  But despite this upbringing, I never felt that I had religion forced on me.  Mostly I feel my parents went along with the whole church thing because they wanted me to grow up around a higher class of people and so I could go to a school with smaller class sizes.  A lot of things the church taught me didn’t make sense, even then.  I was encouraged to seek the answers however I saw fit and never met any resistance to questioning my faith, but I was too young to really understand what was going on.  Once I started high school, my family and I slowly stopped going to church.  But at that time I still felt that I was connected with god.

Read the rest of this entry

Aniblogger Testimony Wrap-up

After almost 4 months, the weekly posts in the Aniblogger Testimony project are over!  If you haven’t kept up, each week a guest blogger discussed his or her own personal faith, as well as anime and manga, though it varied widely how much of one or the other was discussed. And through it all, I learned a lot: Read the rest of this entry

Aniblogger Testimony: Works righteousness

I intended to end this phase of the Aniblogger Testimonies project several weeks ago, but I’ve been blessed with recent contributions from writers that I admire.  One of these anibloggers is Tommy of Anime Bowl, whose piece is below.  His is the thirteenth post in the series, joining the others written by Lauren Orisini, R86, Nikko, Arianna, Ed Sizemore, Canne, an anonymous blogger, Annalyn, Zeroe4, Michael Huang, Kokoro Hane, and Charles Dunbar.  

One of the biggest enemies of the gospel message is the message of works righteousness – the idea that we have to save ourselves by our own good works. Sadly enough, despite putting my faith in Christ at a young age and believing Ephesians 2:8-9 (“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”), I found my faith slipping further and further as I was taught more and more works righteousness.

I went to an extremely legalistic Christian school, where maybe only 15% of the students who graduated from there are still walking with Christ, thanks mainly due to the Pharisee-esque pile of rules that was dumped upon us. Following a strict dress code – one where your clothes were measured to the last centimeter –was considered of prime importance. Bizarre teachings – such as one that told us that you could only be saved if you saved someone else by the age of 18 – caused many to become disillusioned with Christianity. Jesus spoke against such very things when He told the seven woes to the Pharisees – “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” (Matthew 23:13) Read the rest of this entry

Aniblogger Testimony: You gotta have faith

Just as I thought this project would end, I was blessed to receive a tweet from Study of Anime‘s Charles Dunbar,  who graciously wrote a final (?) addition for the Aniblogger Testimonies.  Charles has been a great friend to my blog, contributing without knowing and on purpose as well.  This eleventh post in the series joins the others written by Lauren Orisini, R86, Nikko, Arianna, Ed Sizemore, Canne, an anonymous blogger, Annalyn, Zeroe4, Michael Huang, and Kokoro Hane.  Next Thursday, I’ll provide a wrap-up of this two-and-a-half month long series, unless another person cares to join in and contribute!

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“The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but get heaven into him.”

-Thomas Hardy

A lot of people think I’m an Atheist. I don’t know why. While I did try atheism for a few years, it did’t work for me. I was raised in the church, and while I am a vocal critic of Christian politics, I hold none of that against God, Jesus or any of the other figures of the faith. Speaking of faith, I do have it, and in droves. I am one with my spirit, and fulfilled by it. The Sacred plays a huge role in my life, and without it I would feel empty. And yet, time and again, people come up to me and ask me if I do, in fact, believe in God.  Read the rest of this entry

Aniblogger Testimony: Mangaka on a Mission

We’ve made it to the end of the aniblogger testimony project!  This is the tenth and final in a series of Aniblogger Testimony posts, where select writers will discuss their personal faith.  Today’s post is by Katie (Kokoro Hane) of Breaking Metal Windows and Kokoro no Uta.  The previous posts in this series were written by Lauren Orisini, R86, Nikko, Arianna, Ed Sizemore, Canne, an anonymous blogger, Annalyn, and Zeroe4.  Next Thursday, I’ll provide a wrap-up of this two-and-a-half month long series.

You can call me Katie, my real name, but my mangaka name is Kokoro Hane (“Heart Feather”). I remember coming up with that name. I’ve always wanted a really cool, pretty-sounding penname. My favorite Japanese word is “Kokoro” [heart] and I liked to use that as a nickname, but when I was figuring out a last name, all I could come up with was the Japanese word “Hane” [feather]. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but because I am a huge fan of CLAMP’s Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, the name “Kokoro Hane” would spell Tsubasa-otaku all over it! But it sounded so good together that I decided to go with it. Besides, “Heart Feather” does sound beautiful and mystic, even though the first thing that comes to mind might be Princess Sakura’s memory fragments. Currently, I am 18 going on 19. My faith is a Christian – Seventh Day Adventist. Some of my favorite manga and anime are Tsubasa Chronicles, Black Cat, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Kimi Ni Todoke, as well as Inkhana’s “Game Plan!” (which inspired me to make Christian manga). I am learning how to speak Japanese so one day I can reach them. I have two ongoing manga projects, as well as a collaboration. I love reviewing various anime and manga, not only ’cause it’s fun to state my opinion, but also to provide a “content guide” of each individual product to help readers decide if the particular medium would cause them to stumble mentally or spiritually. But wouldn’t it be nice if anime and manga existed with a Christian message? Something with a deep, powerful storyline that could touch someone’s heart and cause them to consider Christ? That’s why, as an aspiring mangaka, I live by this motto: mangaka on a mission. Maybe it’s not much of a “motto” than it is a “title”, but it’s what I live by. Read the rest of this entry