Blog Archives

Something More: Faithful Mangaka, Lessons from Summer Wars, and Anime Reviews from a Christian Perspective

Kendall Lyons uses Summer Wars to illustrate his own yearning to use his spiritual gifts. [Cartoon Daily News]

D.M. Dutcher makes recommendations for Christians viewers, per usual, as he reviews a variety of the series this week:

Dutcher also wonders about Madoka Mako, a Christian mangaka whose worked centered on Christianity. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

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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. 

Something More: Gods in K, Deism in Future Diary, and When Bad Things Happen to Zetsuen no Tempest Characters

Mira mentions the presence of Shinto and Buddhist allusions in episode six of K. [Hachimitsu]

In Tenchi’s thorough analysis of episode five of Zetsuen no Tempest, she contemplates the role God has when bad things occur and how people find comfort in God during those times. [Tenchi's Thoughts]

Rocklobster compares Deus and Murmur of Future Diary to the Deist conception of God. [Lobster Quadrille]

The Cajun Samurai briefly mentions some of the religious allusions within Eden of the East in his very positive review of the series. [The Cajun Samurai]

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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. 

A Year Ago on Beneath the Tangles

A year ago…I saw the androphobic Inami as representing us

Art by M.M

A year ago…I was really into Eden of the East, reviewing the film, “Paradise Lost”…

…and finding Jesus symbolism all over the series.

“Spirit Sword”

A year ago…I pondered on a violent event in Adachi’s Touch

…and on how the show demonstrates how the ordinary can be extraordinary.

A year ago…I decided to rewatch Angel Beats, discussing Yuri’s beliefs in episode 1

…and the role of God in causing pain, as seen through the lens of Yuri in episode 2.

A year ago…I interviewed voice actress, Caitlin Glass, for the first time

…as well as artist, Keikokup.

 

“A Year Ago” is a monthly series on Beneath the Tangles which links to posts from the site written around this date last year.

A Year Ago on Beneath the Tangles

Kamba, Shoma, and Himari

Art by mg

A year ago…I was watching (and loving) Mawaru Penguindrum…

…as well as Usagi Drop, about which I wrote one post

…no, two about the fourth episode.

Wandering Son

Pixiv Member #3267074

A year ago…I was stirring debate when talking Hourou Musuko and homosexuality

…and finding a Christ figure in Eden of the East.

A year ago…R86 was sharing some of what he enjoys about his favorite show at that time, Ookiku Furikabutte.

A year ago…Chelsea Machiella guest posted about Christianity in anime.

Review: Eden of the East – The King of Eden

Eden of the East DVD cover

Eden of East – The King of Eden
Funimation Entertainment
82 minutes

Summary

It’s been six months since the attacks on Japan failed, and Takizawa is nowhere to be found.  Saki travels to New York to find him, but meanwhile, time stands still for no Selecao.  The game to become Japan’s savior is still on-going, and Selecao from the past and ones unfamiliar are hatching dangerous plans, all involving a certain amnesiac.

Review

It’s almost inevitable that with a strong, multi-layered series, there is going to be a section that is heavy on plot and character development, but not so much on action.  In the Harry Potter series of books and films, the fifth, Order of the Phoenix, fit right into this category.  But you know what?  Despite a lack of excitement, both the book and the movie were darn good.

The King of Eden is exactly in the same mold. Read the rest of this entry

My Favorite Things

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Christmas songs are inescapable during the holiday season.  But in the midst of typical musical fare, there are gems that don’t get played all too often in December.  For instance, a favorite of mine is “My Favorite Things,” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, and made famous by Julie Andrews.  I thought I’d take this beloved song and break it down, ~Anime Dance Style (<— non-sensical subtitle):

Azu-nyan playing a wicked guitar riff;
Naru carelessly giving out Christmas gifts;
Angels complete with halos and gray wings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

angel anime halo wings

Konno’s falling number as she does time leaps;
Nausicaa flying over valleys and peaks;
Toradora! volume two tied with strings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Makoto Kanno

When the kids cry,
When the bills come,
When my wife is mad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

5 cm per second

Androids and humans, no discrimination;
Solemn meetings at a wintry train station;
Takizawa becomes Japan’s first king;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Takizawa and dog

Pixiv Artist: 4713223

Girl in the snow with winged backpack and “ugu”;
A club kendo-fighting with blades of bamboo;
The first Bleach OP and the rush that it brings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Ayu Tsukimiya snow

Pixiv Artist: 11253328

When the kids cry,
When the bills come,
When my wife is mad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Finding the Invisible God in…Eden of the East (Part 3)

My final selection for this weeklong series on analyzing Eden of the East characters through the lens of Christian spirituality will come as no surprise, nor will the the comparison I make.  Akira Takizawa is unmistakably similar in character to Jesus Christ.   And while the savior motif is extremely common in anime, Takizawa’s connection to that savior in particular is uncanny, on both surface and deeper levels.

Akira Takizawa Eden of the East
Source: Pivix Member 4713223

In Eden of the East, this theme begins with Juiz’s words:

I pray for your continuing service as a savior. Read the rest of this entry

Finding the Invisible God in…Eden of the East (Part 2)

 

Continuing my mini-series on parallels between seleção in Higashi no Eden (East of Eden) and Biblical individuals, the focus of this post is on Daiju Mononobe, the primary antagonist of the series.   Mononobe is Lucifer himself.  While it’s easy to compare almost any villain to the Devil, Mononobe makes a more interesting parallel than most.  He isn’t over-the-top and maniacal.  In fact, he reflects the often-sly Devil that’s presented in scripture.  Well-dressed, well-spoken and very intelligent, Mononobe is a Lord of the Flies in a business suit.

 

 

Daiju Mononobe
Source: My Anime List

There are three ways Mononobe fits the role of Satan in particular: Read the rest of this entry

Finding the Invisible God in…Eden of the East (Part 1)

My “I’ve been meaning to watch that…” list is growing weekly, it seems.  There are so many good series out there, and so little time!  But one anime that has intrigued me for months and which immediately topped my list was Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East).  I started watching it a couple of weeks ago, and for the first time since viewing Suzuka (ehhh…let’s not dwell on why is what this mediocre series that had me addicted), I pulled very late nights to finish the series in a couple of days.

Simply put: I was blown away.

There’s so much to enjoy about the show – it’s mysteries, mix of goofiness and seriousness, terrific characters and wonderful animation designs among the reasons.  Further than that, I found it interesting how strong the series ran with Christian parallels.  The series name might be a dead giveaway, but I don’t intend to go into detail about the overall plot and the idea of Eden; instead, I want to focus on particular characters and their parallels to roles in the Bible.  In particular, I want to discuss three seleção – one each today, Wednesday, and Friday.  First up?  Everyone’s favorite sexy businesswoman/serial murderer, Kuroha Diana Shiratori.

By the way, the following posts are full of spoilers for the series.  I haven’t yet watched the films, so any further conclusions and connections from those will obviously be left out. Read the rest of this entry