Medieval Otaku refers to Wolf’s Rain as “essentially a Christian allegory,” focusing particularly on the symbolism of Kiba and Cheza as Jesus and Mary. [Medieval Otaku]
Foxy Lady Ayame digs deep into Sora no Woto, discussing ideas like the spiritual and healing aspects of a festival depicted in the series. [Anime Diet]
Regina Doman blogs about the process of writing Habemus Papam, Manga Hero’s OEL manga concerning the life of Pope Benedict XVI. [Manga Hero]
Zeroe4 discusses the “necessity of hope” on his personal blog, referring to his time in Japan. [Zeroe4]
As part of the Something More series of posts (formerly Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere), 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.
I just recently arrived in Tokyo after going to the Tohoku Prefecture for a week and a half with the organization International Hi-B.A. as part of their Gospel Team ministry. Hi-B.A. stand for Highschool Born-Againers, and is an organization that allows high schoolers to meet together and share their faith. Gospel Team (GT) is a ministry that is run by Hi.B.A. every year for two weeks in which Hi-B.A. students and staff are split into teams and sent out around Japan to minister to high school students. YWAM Tokyo partners with Hi-B.A., so all DTS students were placed on teams with high school students.
My team was sent to Tohoku after we finished three days of training camp in Chiba. Our team traveled for eight hours by van to Tagajo, which is right out side of Sendai. We stayed there for three nights as we did manual labor in Ishinomaki during the day. We worked on people’s houses. We shoveled and moved hedoro (contaminated dirt which in our case was full of petroleum and lime from the tsunami) out from under houses, so renovations could start. We also helped with bleaching the inside of the houses to kill mold and pulling up floors, in order to prepare the houses for renovations. Then, we held a barbecue at the end of the last day for the entire neighborhood. Many people showed up and we had a wonderful time meeting everyone. Read the rest of this entry
For many around my age, Neon Genesis Evangelion was an important series. Not only was it addicting, but it was breathtaking in so many different ways. For me, it sealed my love of the medium. Yet, I wasn’t terribly excited for the Rebuild of Evangelion films. The first movie was good, but instead of enjoying it, I longed for the depth of the series and became too caught up with comparisons.
Evangelion 2.0, however, is a different story.
Departing significantly from the series, Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance not only brings us new characters and situations, it also changes the tone of the series somewhat. Despite Justin Sevakis’ comments to the contrary, I found the movie to be brighter and happier than the original. What struck me was that the characters were no longer almost entirely helpless, victims of circumstance and doomed for their destiny. 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.
Suffering. Death. Hope. Life.
These themes pervade Magica Madoka, particularly informing the final two episodes. They are also important ideas in religious traditions, namely Christianity and Buddhism. The Buddhist principals expressed in Madoka Magica are so pervasive, that I’ve started to think that the Christlike imagery I immediately saw when viewing episode 12 wasn’t at all planned by the show’s creator. After all, while the burden of sin on the Christ figure in the story is obvious (as are ideas like God living out of space and time and Madoka’s visit with Akemi resembling Jesus’ visits with the apostles and others before his ascension), other actions are harder to reconcile with Christianity. Maybe I’m just being euro centric, applying western thinking to an eastern medium.
Not that I have a problem with that – this is what I do on this blog (spoiler below). Read the rest of this entry