Noragami Aragoto isn’t a graphically violent anime, but in episodes five and six, gruesome events are occurring (though off screen). In episode five, these horrible deaths are affecting Bishamon; in episode six, they affect us.
While one of Kugaha’s phantoms is being fought off by Yato after the god of calamity attacks the doctor, the other phantom continues to run amok among Bishamon’s regalias, devouring them and chasing a band of survivors into a holy spring, where they seek refuge.Two young female regalias are the last to arrive in the safe haven, but before getting there, they have a conversation that felt very real to the moment. The younger girl has lost all hope as the carnage continues, knowing that her friends have been torn apart and feeling that her master, her god, is about to die. She is brought back to her senses by the older regalia, who reminds the other that Bishamon gave them a name.
Their god loves them – she’s shown it through her words and deeds. And for her, they must carry on.
Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
– John 12:27
Violent scenes are commonplace in anime – in fact, they’re much of what anime is known for among the general public. But for some reason, the scenes tonight, though cast in shadow and covered with screams rather than blood and guts, stood out to me. I think it’s because the episode hammered home the relationship between the humans and the gods of Noragami – they each were suffering seeing the other in pain and near (or in) death. Bishamon’s suffering we’ve known of since she’s gone through this before, and it reminds me a bit of how God might feel in his love and patience, “not wishing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9).
But in episode six, continuing from the scene with the two regalia, we see see the opposite more clearly – the humans’ relationship toward their god.
Draggle sees Momoka of Mawaru Penguindrum as a Christ figure with disciples, including Tabuki as Judas. Roghek responded to that post with one of her own, discussing the episode in terms of the Biblical ideas of sin affecting future generations. Draggle then wrote another post focusing on our attitudes toward victims and again quoting scripture.
Continuing with Mawaru Penguindrum, Vucubcaquix sees parallels between the characters in episode 18 and similar individuals in the Bible, writing that Tabuki resembles a different disciple, Simon Peter, when he cut off the servant’s (the Takakura children) ear, after which Jesus (Momoka) rebuked him.
Zeroe4 has been accepted into a YWAM program which will send him to Tokyo. Congratulations!
Alafists posted a beautiful night time picture of a Buddhist templte, the Kiyomizu-dera.
Ard Vijn of Twich reviews Angel Beats, emphasizing the religious framework of the story in his review. In fact, Angel Beats! is getting a lot of run this week, with Miette-chan posting about a Tenshi figure, and the Seventh Style website discussing OST themes from the show and detailing Tenshi’s guard skills.
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.
Pope Benedict XVI…in manga style…on a t-shirt or hoody…need I say more?
Seinime waxes nostalgia, with some talk about faith and prayer, in his narrative-driven post about Usagi Drop.
Taylor concludes her series on Christian symbolism and themes in My Little Pony.
A youtube response to an
troll? otaku-hatin’ Christian.
Zeroe4 reminisces about his grandfather’s death and his conversion experience after watching Sket Dance.
And a few weeks late, the beautiful couple of The Untold Story of Altair & Vega discuss the St. Peter figure in episode nine of Mawaru Penguindrum.
With a plethora of new shows on my plate this season, and in the middle of The World God Only Knows, Witch Hunter Robin, and Ookiku Furikabutte, you’d think I’d have plenty to watch if I was in the mood for anime. And so, which of these did I pick last night?
I started a new one, of course. ;)
Someday’s Dreamers is one of those shows I’ve long wanted to watch, despite knowing little of the premise. The title of the show is about as nostalgic as it can get. It makes me think there’ll be lots of grassy hills, blue skies, forlorn looks, and school friendships in the story (I’m always looking for a tone emulating that of The Place Promised in Our Early Years).
Unfortunately, I accidentally started watching the second anime series instead of the first. Woops. Not the first time I’ve done that.
One episode in, I’m encouraged by the possibilities of this story (and will eagerly anticipate returning to it). But more than that, I’ve quickly connected with the protagonist, Sora. She is both very much still a kid (in ways, reminding my of one of my very favorite characters, Shizuku of Whisper of the Heart), while achieving a level of maturity that most adults don’t have (perhaps because of a wonderful mother and probably similar father). Her maturity is best expressed not so much through words, but by actions which reveal her character. We might get caught up in the plot of the first episode, but the real purpose behind it is not to present a major plot point (though it certainly provides context for the series), but to show us just who Sora is.
Characters: Vash the Stampede and Nicholas D. Wolfwood
Occupation: wanted gunslinger and faux priest/assassin
Bible Twins: Jesus Christ and the Apostle Peter
On Tuesday, I linked a post to an article entitled “The Gospel According to Wolfwood.” The author of that original piece makes several comparisons between Wolfwood and Bible characters, and I’m expanding on one of her allusions – to Simon Peter, in relation to Vash/Jesus Christ.
In the Trigun anime, Nicholas D. Wolfwood first appears as a traveling priest who is raising money for orphans. But we soon find out that’s he more than he seems as the literal cross he carries becomes a devastating weapon called a Punisher. Wolfwood is a sure shot and a dangerous man, unafraid to kill when the situation calls for it. Read the rest of this entry
And now we’re grown-up orphans
That never knew their names
We don’t belong to no one
That’s a shame
But you could hide beside me
Maybe for a while
And I won’t tell no one your name
And I won’t tell ’em your name
When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we flipped through books and clicked through dozens of webpages to find the perfect name for him. It had to sound right – together with our last name, together with a middle name, and in context of what was acceptable today. We went through a similar ritual with our second child. Most importantly for us, the name had to mean something.
In western culture today, the meaning of names has lost much of its importance. For instance, my name means “strong and manly,” but I would never use those adjectives to describe myself, except in jest. In certain homes in the west, and in other countries around the world, name meanings are considerably more important. For instance, names in Asian countries like Japan and Korea have long held significance for the individual and his or her family. Read the rest of this entry
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.
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