Monthly Archives: October 2010

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Models and Metaphors

Animekritic’s post today gave examples of the use of metaphors and models in posts.  A number of interesting, past posts, having to do with anime and theology, are analyzed.  It’s a very interesting read and opens the door for a number of interesting past posts having to do with connections between anime and theology. 

If you read some of these past posts, I encourage you to also look through the comments.  Many are thoughtful and insightful, as are Animekritic’s reponse to the comments.

Metapher und Kritik (practical) « Kritik der Animationskraft.

Christ Meets Kenshin: Apostle’s Sword, Chapter 4

Rurouni Kenshin TomoeHere is final chapter of  “Apostle’s Sword.”  I’ve been delighted to present this wonderful story and am sorry to see it come to an end!

Even if you didn’t read the previous installments, I beg you to give this story a shot.  There are quite a few fan fics out there related to both anime and Christian spirituality, and most are poorly written.  However, this is one is good - really good.  “Apostle’s Sword” is a retelling of the first two Rurouni Kenshin OVAs (which are stunning pieces of work, by the way) using a Christian background based in history and the Bible story of Saul’s conversion from a zealous anti-Christian to a follower of Christ.  The story is written by a freelance writer, melcon, who is amazing. It also doesn’t preach, so I highly recommend all readers out there, believer or not, to take a read. Hit the jump for the chapter 4.

OreImo Episode 04: Here We Go…or No?

Everybody and their momma has been commenting on episode four of Ore no Imoto ga Konna ni Kawaii wake ga Nai (OreImo), with many making judgment that the series is now becoming what everyone thought it would become.  Some like where it’s headed (Seanver has been tweeting all day about it).  Others, not so much.  A number of bloggers and others have commented on Kyousuke’s irrational subservient attitude.  Some see the grope scene as more a blip on the radar of gooey goodness.  Shin felt the episode was misogynistic.

Oreimo characters

Stock picture of that crazy cast...

For me, I’m still enjoying it.  Is there a hypocrisy between my faith and enjoying this series?  Perhaps – I’ve been known to be a hyprocrite.  I have a line drawn in the sand…but as with many lines, it’s subject to shifting with the wind and it’s not clear exactly where that line is.  With each week, OreImo draws closer to the line, but it’s still far away.

Here are my thoughts on that “boy falls on girl and gropes her” scene and on the possibly impending siscon relationship in the series: Read the rest of this entry

Angel Beats!! Epilogue Preview is Now Streaming

TK from Angel Beats

Scrambled it trouble down!

While there’s no certainty about an Angel Beats! sequel (makes sense financially? continuity-wise, maybe not so much?), we do know that the final DVD release of the show in Japan on December 22 will bundle the last episode with an all-new epilogue.  A 30-second preview of the epilogue is now streaming.  Besides T.K.’s “Hooh,” I have no idea what’s being said/written in the “next episode preview”-like trailer.  But I know I’m excited.  Even the the episode’s title (“Stairway to Heaven”) is getting me pumped.

Can someone explain what’s being said to me?

Source: ANN

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: John Addresses the OreImo Leak

John of the AnimeNation Anime News Blog is among the most interesting and knowledgeable writers about anime that I’ve read.  Today, he posted a reaction to the recent OreImo leak, and though not about spirituality, his comments bring up some interesting ideas regarding the hearts of anime fans, and really, all of us.  Read the rest of this entry

Christ Meets Kenshin: Apostle’s Sword, Chapter 3

rurouni kenshin TomoeHere is chapter three of the four chapter series, “Apostle’s Sword.”  This is the penultimate chapter, with the final one coming next Thursday.  If you can’t wait, you read “Apostle’s Sword” in it’s entirety now at Fanfiction.net.

Even if you didn’t read the previous installments, I beg you to give this story a shot.  There are quite a few fan fics out there related to both anime and Christian spirituality, and most are poorly written.  However, this is one is good - really good.  “Apostle’s Sword” is a retelling of the first two Rurouni Kenshin OVAs (which are stunning pieces of work, by the way) using a Christian background based in history and the Bible story of Saul’s conversion from a zealous anti-Christian to a follower of Christ.  The story is written by a freelance writer, melcon, who is amazing. It also doesn’t preach, so I highly recommend all readers out there, believer or not, to take a read. Hit the jump for the chapter 3.

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Nerd Religions

One blog that I’ve followed religiously in recent years is Topless Robot, run by Rob Bricken.  Timely and often hilarious, Bricken’s site discusses all forms of nerdery, including anime on occasion, as Bricken was editor of Anime Insider magazine and wrote for Anime News Network for a time.  Religion is only very occasionally discussed, though never deeply. 

Today, James Daniels posted an entry on the site about the world’s nerdiest religions.  Keep reading…

Finding the Invisible God in…OreImo (Episode 3)

OreImoSeries: Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (OreImo)
Episode Title: “
My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute
Related Bible Verses:  Luke 6:27-31

Overview
Judging by early previews in the anime blogosphere, not too many people were expecting much out of OreImo.  But three episodes in, many of those same bloggers have proclaimed that it might be the best show of the year.  I don’t disagree.

Episode 3 was excellent as the others.  In brief, after a conversation with her fellow otaku, Kirino decides to tell her parents about her hobby; unfortunately, she isn’t able to on her own terms, and she is castigated by her father.  But not all is lost, as big brother Kyosuke not only stands up for her, but takes the blows (literally) that come along with claiming her eroge games are his own.

Kyosuke is the brother of all brothers in this episode, and though we as an audience know it’s coming, it’s still spine-tingling to see him risk life and limb to defend Kirino against their harsh father.  Although the confrontation scene is the climax of the episode, my favorite part came in the closing, as Kirino uttered a thank you to her brother, whom she called “aniki,” a term of endearment in referring to her older brother.  Kyosuke is shocked by this, since Kirino has treated him as little more than trash for as long as we know.  And I found Kirino’s reaction found even more startling.  She’s is blushing and clearly embarassed, but instead of saying something to negate what she said, which is what I expected, Kirino stays silent.  She wants Kyosuke to know that she appreciates what he did, and though it’s hard for her to admit it, she does.  The change that has begun in her relationship with her brother all started because of Kyosuke’s actions.  This reminds me directly of one of Jesus’ commands. Keep reading…

You Raise Me Up

The opening of an anime can set the entire tone for a series.  A great one will hook an audience (see Neon Genesis Evangelion); a weak one, and producers might lose viewers before the series has even started.

Beyond that, an opening needs to be appropriate for the series.  One the prettiest and most appropriate opening OP’s in recent memory is the one for Romeo x Juliet, the gorgeously animated retelling of the classic tale.  I lost interest in the story around episode 7 (though not enough to say I’ve abandoned it entirely; it remains on my “on hold” list), but the opening still captivates me each time I see and hear it.  The song is a revision of “You Raise Me Up,” and is sung by Korean-American artist, Lena Park (a favorite of mine during my college days).

Romeo x Juliet

Pictures courtesy of Danbooru

What’s interesting about the lyrics is that they’ve been altered quite a bit to focus more on a relationship between two lovers, rather than a love song to God as it was originally written.  “You Raise Me Up” is one of my favorite songs, so I thought I’d delve into the history of the much-covered song a bit.

Read the rest of this entry

Christmas in October

This week, my wife went Christmas shopping.  She gathered lots of goodies for three packages full of presents, like magnifying glasses, crayons and clothes.  We excitedly wrapped the presents while watching Glee, and explained to our toddler son that these presents are not for him.  They are for children like Gina:

Gina is 12. Her father left when she was young and her stepfather has recently died from cancer. She and her mother, Natasha live in a tiny flat in Belarus. Working as a seamstress, Natasha constantly struggles to earn a living. When Gina opened her shoebox she could not believe her eyes. For there, amongst the brightly coloured gifts was a calculator – something she had often dreamed of owning but never been able to afford. She also found a moving letter that we were able to read out to her. Gina sings in her church and likes playing volleyball and table tennis at the church youth club. Her face shone when she exclaimed, “I like everything in the shoebox – thank you!”

(Story taken from the UK OCC site)

Gina is one of thousands of children who will get Christmas presents this year when they may not expect any.  In fact, through Operation Christmas Child, thousands of children will receive Christmas presents for the very first time.  Some have never even heard of Christmas before.  Operation Christmas Child is a program through Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian charity, in which children receive both presents and learn about the meaning of Christmas.

Haruhi Christmas

Give back this year

Today is Blog Action Day, when bloggers ask their readers to take action for a cause.  While it may be a bit early to think about Christmas, now is the time to shop for this charity if you’re interested.  It takes time to process the gifts so that they may arrive around the world by Christmas Day.  For $15 or so, you can put a huge smile on a child’s face. 

I recommend that you think about the price of the next anime-related product you’re going to buy, and instead use that money for one, two or more shoeboxes.  We do one for each family member.  For me, I’ve decided to skip out on buying volume 2 of Toradora!, instead using that money for this campagin.  And this project need not be expensive – Wal-Mart, Target and even dollar stores have wonderful, inexpensive items that children will love.  We also include hygienic items…and maybe a little candy.  The OOC site gives a list of items for packing and other important processing information.

I’m also using this post as a way to launch my new Resources section, which includes charitable organizations, along with a FAQ page and a Christian anime sites page.

Even if you don’t participate in this ministry, I hope that you’ll remember the world and those suffering in this holiday season that’s upcoming.  The world is bigger than us; it’s bigger than our developed countries.  It’s time we spend some money helping others than on that collectible item.  It’s time we reach out to the world with a big hug…and some Christmas presents.