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Something More: Haibane Renmei Reviews, Aniblogging Sins, and Buddhist Bye-Bye in Natsuyuki Rendezvous

The religious-themed Haibane Renmei was released as an inexpensive box-set last week, and a number of outlets have since reviewed it.  ANN’s Theron gives it an “A” and comments on the purposely vagueness of religious aspects of the series, but how many will comment on these themes (us). [Anime News Network]

Stig Høgset, a big fan of the series, mentions that is include “a rather loosely based belief system.” [THEM Anime Reviews 4.o]

Alexander also enjoyed it, and finds that the characters are perhaps not seeking “redemption or spiritual cleansing, but a journey of rediscovering their true selves.” [Ashita no Anime]

Stephanie also comments on the religious themes in Haibane Renmei in her review [Lilac Anime Reviews]:

There are many religious themes involved, however, it’s more of an allegory then a strict following of a certain religion. Because of this, the themes and symbols of this series not only shine, but make you think and question your own beliefs.

Now on to other anime/spiritual links for the week…

Anime reviewer Rocklobster describes his reasons for being a Christian on another of his blogs. [Aspie Catholic]

In Yippy’s response to the Aniblogger Interrogation Game, he asks the question of which of the seven deadly sins does the responder most commit? [Sekijitsu]

Monsieur LaMoe describes burial customs of various religions in his unique dissection of Natsuyuki Rendezvous‘ final episode. [Anime Diet]

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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. 

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Kenshin as Christ, the Theology of Kokoro Connect, and Itadakimuasu!

Some weeks, there are no stories that focus on religion and anime, and virtually none that even mention the topic.  Then, some weeks are like this, where a number of quality posts about anime and spirituality are written!

Draggle goes theological, using Christian terminology to explain a different meaning behind death in episode 5 of Kokoro Connect, as well as Heartseed’s role in the series [Draggle's Anime Blog]:

I’d like to think of Heartseed as the tiller who is growing the kingdom of God, that is caring for the tiny seed that is taking root in Iori and friends’ hearts.

Otakuandrain finds that Keiichi’s response in chapter 287 of Oh! My Goddess! to the manimpulation he’s undergone is quite similar to that of Job. [The Cajun Samurai]

Medievalotaku compares Himura Kenshin to Jesus Christ, bringing up a number of points many viewers might miss at first glance [Medieval Otaku]:

Essentially, this is Eucharistic imagery!  Shishio, like evil, consumes those who fall prey to him; on the other hand, Kenshin is being described as food for the weak, and Christ feeds us weaklings with His body and blood each mass so that we remain in Him so “that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).  If not for Christ offering Himself as food for us, we should all fall to sin.

Lady Saika talks shinigami, examining the types of reapers presented in Bleach, Black Butler, and Death Note. [Lady Geek Girl and Friends]

Charles Dunbar explain how  Dusk Maiden of Amnesia gives insights into how the Japanese view ghosts [Study of Anime]:

The idea of the vengeful spirit, overcome by its anger and swallowed by tremendous regret, is a powerful storytelling tool, often used to terrifying effect. But to humanize it, and give the viewer a stake in the outcome of Yuuko’s tragedy, places Dusk Maiden on a different path than a “typical” ghost story.

Sweetpea reviews “Re:Set,” a visual novel featuring demons representing the seven deadly sins. [Paper Chimes]

John explains what “itadakimasu” means and how its used, and provides information about its Buddhist origins. [Tofugu]

Hyouka Episode 06: Chitanda’s Seven Deadly Sins

Although I dropped Hyouka weeks ago, I returned to the show for one segment of one episode at Alexander’s (Ashita no Anime) recommendation.  In it, wobbly-eyed Chitanda tells the rest of the Classics Club that the seven deadly sins are all necessary…I guess for the growth of society (and for personal growth).

Hyouka

Art by jungon

As a good American Protestant, I apparently know less about the seven deadly sins than a typical Japanese student (ha!).  Most of my knowledge of the sins comes from Seven, so, I thought I’d consult that bastion of always-accurate knowledge, Wikipedia, for more information on the sins:

Theologically, a mortal or deadly sin is believed to destroy the life of grace and charity within a person and thus creates the threat of eternal damnation.

Okay, that makes sense.  I get why they’re called “deadly.”

Of course, Chitanda, as we’re all bound to do almost gutturally, applies her thoughts to a framework that is culturally very different from her own: Read the rest of this entry