Category Archives: Personal

Mileposts: Claymore Prophet and Letting Go of Faye Valentine

Periodically, I like point back to some of the nearly 500 posts we’ve written here on Beneath the Tangles.  Besides the “A Year Ago” series I began several months ago, I plan to occasionally post about blogging milestones – those little breakthroughs when posts hit certain numbers of significance in terms of hits.  Three posts recently hit such mileposts:

Finding the Invisible God in…Claymore
Milepost: 10,000 Hits

Part of my “Invisible God” series, I compared the indomitable claymore, Teresa, to the great prophet, John the Baptist:

John is born to “prepare the way” for the Christ.  Teresa, meanwhile, prepares the way, unwittingly, for Clare.  Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the law and the central figure of the Bible.  Clare, certainly, is the heroine of Claymore, and as her power and abilities grow (or rather unveil themselves), the manga is setting the stage for her possible role as the claymore that will change everything.

My second post ever, this one remains dear to me because I do believe the connection I argue for is strong.  It has also consistently brought in hits (and hopefully a few conversions, borrowing both a blogging and religious term) due to the image I used of Teresa.

Read the Entire Post Read the rest of this entry

Two Sides to Every Coin: Ashita no Anime Turns One

While the last two weeks have been desolate in terms of religion-related posts across the anime blogosphere (hence my lack of typical Friday linking posts), one important related item popped up today.  Ashita no Anime, a blog whose author (Alexander) often gives a view quite divergent of that typically provided in aniblogging posts, turned one year old today.

Happy anniversary!

For those that don’t know, Alexander is an atheist and as outspoken about his belief as I am about mine.  We’re quite the opposites in the that way, which is why it may be a little strange that we’ve become friends.  While I’m glad to call a number of anibloggers my friends, it’s he, along with R86 (of this blog), that I correspond with on the most consistent basis.

Our relationship is a model of one of the things we hope to do on this blog – create a place where people of all religious backgrounds and beliefs can discuss their views.  While all the writers here are committed Christians, we aren’t fuddy duddies – we want to engage others and see them for who they are, instead of labeling them and moving on with our lives. Read the rest of this entry

Star Tangled Anime Blog

Welcome, readers of Star Crossed Anime Blog!

Your favorite read is competing against mine during this round of the Aniblog Tourney.  Of course I use the term “competing” loosely. -_-’

I want to encourage you all to take a break, sip your beverage of choice, and browse through this blog.  It’s summertime – where’ve you to go anyway?  Spend a few minutes to look at the unique content of a sites that dives into anime from a Christian perspective.

Wait.  Don’t close that window!

While all the writers here are outspoken Christians, one important goal of this site to create an atmosphere that is friendly and open.  Westboro Digital Church, we ain’t.  We hope to promote discussion and understanding as we examine at ideas like grace, sacrifice, hope, and greed in anime and manga, old and new.

Look, I’ll even make it easy on you.  Here are five posts that’ll give you a good idea of what we do:

I hope you’re captivated.  Heck, I know you are! :P

If you’d like to keep tracking us, click on the Follow button on the right side of your screen or add us to your reader.  We’d love to see you join in the discussion.

Post Rating:  * (Good)

Welcome Our Newest Blogger, Hansha!

Faithful readers of this blog may have noticed that in recent weeks, a new writer has started posting pieces on the site (check out her articles on Princess Jellyfish, Hell Girl,and Naruto).  Although we’re packed full of bloggers here, I couldn’t deny the application from Hansha, a professional journalist who is a terrific writer.  We’re blessed to have her join the team!

To commemorate, here’s a little Q&A to help you get to know Hansha a little better (also check out the same form filled out by R86, Goldy, Murasaki Lynna, and Zeroe4)

TWWK: How did you become a fan of anime?

Hansha: I saw Sailor Moon when I was little. That was also the first manga I read. I thought the art style was so beautiful and so different from normal cartoons and comics. Then, I started watching Robotech, Outlaw Star, DBZ and other ones that came on Cartoon Network. Read the rest of this entry

Aniblog Tourney: Categorically Religious

Welcome, Aniblog Tourney voters!

For those who have visited before, you know our writers examine anime through a Christian perspective.  While new readers might now be thinking, “Vote for anybody else but these guys,” I want to emphasize that while our faith is part and parcel to who we are, that doesn’t mean we’re here to thump you over the heads with our King James bibles; instead, we hope to explore themes in anime which are fundamental to our faith, while also creating a community that is open to readers of all beliefs.

If you want to get a better grasp on what this all means when it comes to posts, I suggest you visit the post I wrote for our last round.

Otherwise, here are the types of articles we post at the Beneath the Tangles:

Editorials

This is the heart the blog – the posts which examine ideas like sacrifice, grace, character, faith, and love.

Read the rest of this entry

Clannad Family Sharing Time

It’s now been several years since Clannad completed its run, and even longer since the visual novel was released.  Yet the series remains popular, largely because of the memorable characters, pretty visuals, popularity of the parent source, and the depth of the story.

Possibly the most important theme of the series is connected to its title* and relates to the significance of family.  Apparently, Jun Maeda misinterpreted the word “clannad,” which is a portmanteau created by the Irish band of that same name.  One part of the portmanteau is “clann,” which is specifically connected to kinship groups sharing a surname (Wikipedia).

The series demonstrates an important reality – families come in all different forms.  Nagisa’s family is fairly traditional and very tightly knit (as is Tomoyo’s similar group).  Later, the family formed by Tomoya, Ushio, and the in-laws is only slightly less traditional and it remains full of love.  Tomoya also has another family – that of the friends he builds in the first part of the series, which is instrumental in changing his life for the better.

dango

Art by ペィ・ページ例大祭つー25b

In my life, I have multiple families – my blood-related one, my church family, and my friends, including the community developed here on the blog and through the connections I’ve made in the blogosphere.

The first family in that list is the most obvious and one I’ve written about before.

The second has to do both with bonds of friendship and with the community of believers  – the idea that all Christians are part of a universal (catholic with a small “c”) church.  I’ve often complained about a lack of that bond in my own church, though I’ve certainly seen my community respond to our needs in the times when we need them most.

The last group is an unexpected one that I’ve developed over the past two years.  But as part of my “family” now, I feel I should share with you a blessing in my life that I’ve already shared with the first two clans. Read the rest of this entry

Aniblog Tourney: Inconsequentially Yours

The Aniblog Tourney (apologies for originally putting this post up too early – voting is now up for our second match) has been an interesting experience. I love tournaments and I enjoy competition, so it’s mostly been a lot of fun for me. I’ve also been grateful for all the feedback for our blog.

In the first round, among the critiques given us was the following, by Evan, editor of our opponent this round, Anigamers:

The writing on Beneath the Tangles is technically proficient, but the few topics I skimmed through felt inconsequential. Anime characters in hospital beds? Fanfiction about anime characters getting married? It leaves me asking “so what?” That said, Christianity is an interesting theme for an anime blog, so at least you guys are unique.

I certainly respect Evan’s opinion. He runs a very successful, long-enduring site and is a real writer – a journalist whose posts I admire (please read his post detailing the very convincing reasons to vote for his site). When someone like that levies criticism, the wise thing to do is consider it. So I had to ask myself, is our blog inconsequential?

The answer? Quite possibly, though I hope not. I’d like to think that Evan’s assessment is based on his skimming of the blog, without reading our more thorough posts (or the posts he chose more thoroughly).

The truth of the matter is, if we’re being inconsequential, then I’ve made a severe misstep and missed my entire purpose for blogging.

But then again…maybe we’ve been on the right path after all.

Read the rest of this entry

Not So Fast, My Friends: Fasting from Anime and Other Concerns

One of bloggers here, Zeroe4, recently completed a “media fast” in which he abstained from the Internet and other carriers of media for a week.  It’s an interesting concept.  After doing some research, I found others who’ve fasted from media and more specifically, anime.

Art by poo

Fasting is especially topical in light of Easter, when many Catholics and others broke their Lenten fast.  The idea of the fast is obviously not limited to Christianity and is practiced to some extent by all major religions.  There are also a variety of reasons for fasting, though a main spiritual one is this: to purify oneself, possibly from a distraction or something otherwise harmful for an individual, so as to better focus on some other goal.

I don’t feel the need to have an anime fast at this point in my life, but I do understand addiction. Read the rest of this entry

Hello, Aniblog Tourney! Goodbye, Pride!

Man, I love tournaments.  I fondly remember the Street Fighter 2 tournaments I played in as a kid against the other Korean kids at church (and subsequently lost in the first round – Dhaslim, why must you always let me down!) and in college, playing in Madden tournaments (and getting blown out).  And every year, I fill out brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament and…do really badly.

Hmm…is there a pattern developing here?

Despite my poor track record, my thoughts when it came to the Aniblog Tourney were quite…optimistic:

  • Maybe we’ll get a high seed!
  • We should make it through the first round easily (note: this was before the brackets were released)
  • Maybe we can be this tourney’s Listless Ink and go deep into the tourney
  • We’ll be getting a bunch of new subscribers!

And this is from someone who just wrote about being humble. -_-’

It's okay, little blogger - after all, how could you expect to compete with psgels? (Art by 黒子と白子)

Read the rest of this entry

The Art of Being an Anime Girl (or Boy) in a Hospital Bed

Sekirei Chiho

No hairbrushing in my room…or giant dog costumes. (Image from Sekirei Wiki)

Since we know that everything we see in anime accurately represents Japanese culture, I can make this statement with confidence: long hospitalizations are far more common in Japanese health institutions than in those in America.  I bet most anime fans can count off the number of shows featuring characters who are on bed rest in hospitals.  In America, though, we generally try to get people out of hospitals and back home, unless they’re in critical condition.

The thing is, this trope is quite charming.  Bedpans, IVs, and injections be darned – there’s nothing more pleasant than a teenage girl or boy quietly reading a book in a hospital with visitors in tow.

Of course, it’s a little different when you’re the one in that situation. Read the rest of this entry