Blog Archives

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: iDOLM@STER Theology, Tamaki’s War Angels, and Hidamarimpermanent Sketch

A_Libellule discusses the idea of mono no aware and the related Buddhist principal of impermanence in relation to Hidamari Sketch. [The Untold Story of Altair and Vega]

Sean Gaffney wasn’t overly impressed by volume one of Nozomu Tamaki’s work, Angel Para Bellum, which focuses on an apocalyptic battle between the angels of Heaven and demons of Hell. [A Case Suitable for Treatment]

Pete Zaitcev presents some unexpected lyrics from iDOLM@STER, including several lines in which Haruka Amani tells why she believes in God. [Ani-Nouto]

A Day Without Me gives her entertaining take on Superfortress Romanesque Samy: Missing 99, “one of those sad 80′s-era OAVs that is pretty bad, but not bad enough to be entertaining,” and contains just a bit of religious dialogue. [GAR GAR Stegosaurus]

EVE reviews volume four of A Devil and Her Love Song, which features the Catholic protagonist, Maria Kawai. [Anime Radius]

And finally, I hope those of you who attended Otakon got a chance to check out Charles Dunbar’s panels! [Study of Anime]

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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. 

Maria Kawai’s Amazing Grace – Part II

Laura of Heart of Manga concludes her guest posts on the Christian heroine of the manga, A Devil and Her Love Song.

Maria Kawai

Maria Kawai is the heroine from A Devil and Her Love Song. Her actions in the series profess an inner grace that she has gained through her attendance at a Catholic school. While she struggles with her faith daily, she still strives to believe in the goodness of others and the belief that even she who seems to be hurtful to others can be loved.

While singing to console herself on the first day of school, her beautiful voice attracts the attention of the two most popular boys in her class. This in turn just fuels the anger of the other girls in her class who have been bullying her. They set up an elaborate scheme to try to make it look like Maria is hurting another student. They invite her to a karaoke place after school as a welcome party.  They manipulate another girl from class, Tomoyo, to play the victim to frame her and bring Maria to the party. After observing the girls call Tomoyo by an unwanted nickname, Maria confronts the girl to find out why she tolerates it. Not wanting to consider the social stigma of going against the flow, the girl panics and reactively pushes Maria down the stairs. Maria falls and sprains her ankle.

After tolerating the hatred of my classmates, I personally would have been fed up at this point. After being rejected so, I would have gone home and wallowed in self-pity. But Maria shows the patience of Christ. She turns the other cheek, and gives the girls another chance. Knowing they are probably up to no good, she decides to go to the party anyway, swollen ankle and all, and try to be friendly with the girls. Remembering that the nuns taught her not to doubt others before she gets to know them. Deciding to show grace instead of retaliating. Read the rest of this entry

Maria Kawai’s Amazing Grace – Part I

Laura of Heart of Manga has been a terrific friend to the blog, supporting almost right from the beginning.  She’s also a terrific writer, and I’m proud to present the first of two guest posts by Laura on a manga she also recently reviewed on her own site.

A Devil and Her Love Song

It’s highly uncommon in any Japanese media to find a Christian protagonist. That’s why the most recent Shojo Beat series from Viz struck me so strongly and moved me to write a series of posts that don’t draw Christian analogies, but showcase the actions of a Christian influenced main character.

A Devil and Her Love Song debuted in February 2012, and so far we have three volumes published in North America. The heroine of the series is Maria Kawai, a second year in high school with a blunt personality. She had been attending a Catholic Private School, but at the beginning of the series we discover that she has been expelled for a violent action against one of the nuns and is now attending a public high school.

She has difficulty relating with others because of her unbridled honesty.  Her first day at the new school, the girls in her class already bully her due to her reputation of coming from the prestigious Catholic school and her attractive looks. They steal her Catholic school uniform while she’s on cleaning duty, destroy it, and hang it outside the building like a flag.

Maria Kawai

Instead of getting angry and confronting them, Maria handles their actions with grace. She already feels lost and struggles with her personality trait that hurts others. In sadness she stops to sing “Amazing Grace” as a reminder that even though she’s a wretch to everyone else, God still saved her. She wants to love herself as God does.

Please return next Tuesday for Part II of this pair of guest posts.