What do mecha tells us about the Christian faith? Quite a lot, actually. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]
Ty-chama addresses Old Testament generational curses, and how Little Busters and Magi demonstrate that we can overcome our lots in life. [Watashi wa Bucho!]
Tsunderin points out Hindu allusions in her review of the 3 x 3 Eyes manga. [Lady Geek Girl and Friends]
“My Last Day,” the anime short about Jesus, is now available through the YouVersion Bible app. [Examiner]
Inushinde discusses the lack of subtlety in the portrayal of the church in episode 9 of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. [The Cart Driver]
D.M. Dutcher includes notes that my be of particular concern to Christians in his review of Venus Versus Virus. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]
Only a couple of religion-tinged aniblog posts this week – come on, blogosphere! Point out those religious allusions!
Sumairii discusses the church’s accusations (and annoyance with them) in episode 8 of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha [Sushi GoKart]
TWWK (wait…) discusses how his fandom and faith intersect. [Study of Anime]
As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality. If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included.
It felt like a belated Christmas gift to return to anime viewing this week and find that the remaining four episodes of Kokoro Connect had been released. It was among my favorite series this year, and as you can see above, just grew in my eyes with this additional arc.
Nagase’s suffering, which I found to be more adolescent angst than the others until this point, comes full front in the Michi Random episodes. When Heartseed makes it so that the emotions (or thoughts) of the characters are transmitted to various members of the group at random (or not quite random?) times, Nagase, whose whole life is fraudulent, breaks.
Of course, the group is so tightly knit – even more so after their experiences with Heartseed – that they are affected as well. Nagase’s hurts, as Yui states, are their own, if to a lesser extent: Aoki struggles to find how to comfort Nagase. “Every bit of [Yui's] heart is exposed” as she is desperate to come out of shell and assist Nagase. Inaba screams out in her head, “I’m scared! I’m scared!” as she considers disbanding the club. And Taichi…well, Taichi gets his heart handed to him on a platter.
More than that, the entire school is affected. This class and others start rumors, people are hurt and, well, more people get hurt, particularly later on in the show.
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
It’s so much easier when you have someone around who knows what she’s doing.
If episode eight of Sword Art Online emphasized anything, it’s this: Asuna and Kirito need each other. In some ways, their needs are more wants, like Kirito’s desire for someone of Asuna’s cooking skill to whip up some rabbit stew. In other ways, it’s more emotional, as in Asuna’s desire to break free from a guild that appears to have become tyrannical. And as I’m sure will be made clear in episode nine, they’ll need each other to survive the blue bull boss that lies in wait for them.
And will they survive next week? Umm…I’m going to guess yes, even if I’m not sure how the events will play themselves out. Not only are the two our protagonists, and not only do are they powerful as individuals, but they also fight well together. Kirito and Asuna complement each other.
And as Kirito starts to finally feel some stirrings for Asuna, who seems to have felt them for him all along, I’m quite reminded of my own counterpart – my wife.
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.
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
Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Crown Shuu with Crowns and Song, Fan Service in Church, and Rick Santorum Talks Boku no Pico
I grew up singing “Crown Him With Many Crowns,” but never a version like this! The multi-talented Emily of Altair and Vega sings Draggle’s reworked lyrics to the hymn, conveying events in Guilty Crown episode 19 that paint Shuu as a Jesus figure. [Draggle's Anime Blog]
Abilene Christian University professor, Richard Beck, discusses what might be viewed as fan service in the church. [Experimental Theology]:
Because it seems to me that a lot of churches are so beholden to American consumerism that they are almost wholly given over to fan service, if only to attract the ‘spiritual shopper.’
Inushinde pokes a little fun at Rick Santorum and his opinions on homosexuality through a satirical piece involving the presidential candidate and Boku no Pico. [Shinde Iie Anime Blog]
Jay gets a deal on Haibane Renmei and finds the show to be full of interesting commentary on sin. [Jays' Tee Vee]
On his personal blog, our own Zeroe4 completes his “Last Requiem” series regarding death, briefly referencing Eden of the East. [Zeroe4]
Jordan reviews the Jesus anime film, “My Last Day.” [The Otaku HQ]
And finally, though I’ve largely avoided discussion of Asura’s Wrath on this blog, I found Marlon Votta’s article about the game and it’s detractors (on religious grounds) to be interesting and worth mentioning. [INENTERTAINMENT]
As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere series of posts, each week, Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality. If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. Special thanks this week go out to Draggle, who tweeted me about Professor Beck’s post.
If you’re going to be here [at church], I guess I’ll come every week, too.
- Fumiya Ninomiya to Chiba Saori
Hourou Musuko is one of my favorite anime series (I liked it so much that I ranked it number one among those that came out last year). As such, I decided to begin reading the manga and see the story I’ve missed leading up to the series.
Among the many storylines I wanted to read about was Chiba’s involvement in church. The anime mentions that she doesn’t go much, though when she does, she prays fervently (if for something a bit trivial). Why did she start going? Why did she stop?
Christmas in Tokyo, Catholic Schools = I’m Just Being Rebellion, and Christian Filmmakers Decipher This Thing Called Anime
It’s Christmastime! Though I won’t list the plethora of Christmas-related post on the anime blogosphere, I will start off with a picture of Christmas lights at Tokyo Dome, posted by Alafista, and a picture of a Christmas tree made of Santas in Tokyo, off of TOKYOMANGO.
In his first post for the 12 Days project, CyborgCommunist discusses some of his favorite staples of anime, including the common Catholic church settings (beware the yuri pictures!).
I found the conversation interesting on this forum, where Christian filmmakers try to make sense of anime.
Anime Vice mentions the connection between the swastika and Buddhism in an analysis of how the symbol is avoided in anime (though not so much in manga).
As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogsophere series of posts, each week, Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality. If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included.
Draggle presents an awesome analysis of episode 11 of Mawaru Penguindrum, including a discussion of fate (with some mentioning of Christianity).
Speaking of Mawaru Penguindrum, Landon comments on the ritualistic nature of the series, which he compares to Sunday sermons, with somewhat unfavorable views on both (caution: lots of foul language).
Patrick Woodward, the (uncredited?) author of The Manga Jesus and The Manga Bible, talks about the press’ reactions to Jesus in manga form, manga’s theme of conflict resolution, and the potential of his recent project to realize The Manga Jesus as an anime.
Chad thinks Madoka Magica is overrated, and among other things, doesn’t buy into those that see Christian overtones in the series (like me, me and her), instead thinking that the Buddhist interpretations are more accurate (which, to be fair, is true after all).
Christina asks for prayers for her soldier friend and muses on our everyday complaints.
2DT discusses the modern myth of Belldandy.
If you’re like me and haven’t been paying attention to Blue Exorcist (and even if you are), I think the talk about Satan’s babies and the Pope ordering bombings in episode 23 will be good for a chuckle.
Finally, a reminder that Christmas is coming up (it’s only like…80-something days away!) in the form of that Japanese tradition of Christmas cakes, and in these cases, featuring Evangelion and K-On!