Author Archives: Hansha123

I wanna be like you, Tohru!

Throughout anime, there are themes that reflect Christian values. You can see themes of loyalty, service, peacemaking, patience, love and acceptance just to name a few. Out of all the characters in all of the anime I have seen, the one I felt has come closest to what a Christian is supposed to be, or maybe the one I want to be like most, is Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket.

Tohru-honda

From her gratefulness, to her constant service mindset, to her unconditional love and acceptance of those around her, whenever I watch Fruits Basket I find myself wishing I would handle situations the way she handles them. It takes a certain amount of bravery and strength to approach life the way Tohru does.

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The Power of Words in xxxHolic

“Living beings can be bound by so many different things… …But did you know there is only one chain humans can wield themselves?” – Yuko

Talking is such a natural part of everyday life that it’s easy to forget how much our words can affect everything around us, for better or for worse. In xxxHolic, Yuko refers to words as literally living things. As the only naturally occurring “chain” in life that humans can control. In that episode, a girl was chained down by her own words as she constantly spoke and lived out negative, self-fulfilling prophecies. She would talk about failing and it would happen, no matter how likely  she was to succeed before she spoke.

Untitled

I know, in my own life, I can often get trapped in this same situation. I talk….a lot…. and I tend to be a pessimistic person. If I’m not careful, I can create my own complaining mantras that will leave me completely immobilized.  Read the rest of this entry

Perspectives in Servant x Service

Servant x Service  follows five civil servants working at the welfare department of  a ward office. The show is strongly reminiscent of the British comedy The Office. Maybe it’s because college graduation was four years ago for me, but it was kind of refreshing to see an anime set in an office instead of set at school.

Although I’m not a civil servant, my jobs, present and past, usually involve  customer service situations similar to the ones in Servant x Service. I could definitely relate to a lot of them.

Like this one…

nn

Yep.

And this one…

n

Oh yes.

and ESPECIALLY this one….

nnnnn

For all eternity…….

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Staying Awake in Rozen Maiden

Many verses warn us to stay awake, sober-minded and otherwise alert. Consequences of falling asleep are often decay and weakness. Staying awake is very important to staying alive.

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..” 1 Peter 1:13

It’s important to stay awake but, for me, it’s not always easy. The temptation to return to a comatose state and fall into escapes and distractions is great as challenges arise in my faith. It is so easy to put God on the back burner when sin or growth comes up that I don’t want to deal with.

In Rozen Maiden, Jun and the main Rozen doll, Shinku, have a discussion about the long, deep hibernation period Rozen Maidens have periodically. Jun thinks that sounds nice. As someone who spent much of her life asleep, Shinku is passionately of the other opinion.

rm2

Shinku: We merely sleep for a bit when we are wound down, but if no one winds us up we may continue  to slumber and never awaken. That’s the kind of sleep it is.
Jun: That sounds sort of nice.
Shinku: Why?
Jun: There’d be no one who knew me by the time I woke up. I bet that would be refreshing. I almost wouldn’t mind never waking up.
Shinku: You think so? I think it’s better to wake up. Read the rest of this entry

Moriaki’s Love of Truth in And Yet the Town Moves

And Yet the Town Moves (Soremachi) follows the misadventures of a would-be maid cafe called Maid Seaside Cafe. It’s your basic slice of life anime that goes into the lives of the odd people who work in and happen upon the cafe. My absolute favorite character from the series is the neurotic, obsessive, overly logical math teacher Natsuhiko Moriaki.

Let me tell you a little about Moriaki and why he is my favorite. At first, he doesn’t seem very likable what with his blunt, rude observations, rigid adherence to ridiculous rules and being an educator of my all-time least favorite subject, but he grows on you. As I watched him, I started seeing traits I appreciated and honestly wished I saw more of in the current Christian culture.

Trait #1: Moriaki’s unrelenting pursuit of truth.

Morkiaki has an obsessive need to understand and know what is true, moral and otherwise ‘correct.’ He yearns for a complete and total understanding and an absolutely satisfying answer. Even when he was a second grader learning division, he was bothered by the remainder that occurs when a number can no longer be divided because it felt ‘unfinished’ to him.

 

town 1

When he is learning about something, he tries his best to understand it completely and questions when something sounds off to him, even if the teacher says it’s true.

Now, even if someone studied scripture their entire life, they would never come to a full understanding of all of God’s truths. At most, they would touch the very tip of the iceberg within that lifetime. However; this doesn’t excuse us from trying to understand to the best of our ability. We shouldn’t blindly accept what society had deemed as religious, but study and understand these things for ourselves. Are the things you hear truly biblical or are they a product of the more conservative members of your culture. There is a huge difference at times between biblical Christianity and religious Christianity.

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12 Days of Christmas Anime, Day 4: Ghost Hunt

Christmas in Ghost Hunt started the way Christmas probably does for many people: hanging up Christmas decorations and vaguely wondering why they are celebrating the holiday in the first place.

The scene starts with Mai putting up a Christmas tree at the Shibuya Psychic Research Center when Naru comes in, stares blankly at it, and tells her to take it down, because he couldn’t have something as colorful and cheery as a Christmas tree in his presence. The psychic Masako enters and loves the tree. Then Houshou, a Buddhist monk, and Ayako, a shrine maiden, follow in and they all like the tree so much Naru decides he doesn’t want to fight with them and is content with just giving an annoyed look.

Then the Houshou and Ayako ask:

“Ayoko: You’re a monk and you celebrate Christmas?

Houshou: What about you? You’re a priestess, right?”

Ghost

Ha, ha, ha, ha, we don’t know what we’re doing.

After that, Father John Brown comes in and tells them they have a case at a church, and everyone gets excited because Christmas definitely needs to involve a church somehow, but no one is really sure why.

What followed is probably the only Christmas special I’ve ever seen with possessions and an exorcism. Read the rest of this entry

Loving your Enemy in Shigofumi

A Shigofumi is a letter from the dead.

The final thoughts and feeling of someone imprinted in a letter and sent to a person of their choosing. Sometimes the letter is angry, sometimes the letter is joyful, sometimes the letter is sent to a cat.
In most episodes of Shigofumi, the main character is sent off to deliver a letter to whomever the deceased person chooses. Most often, the letter is sent to either a loved one left behind and is filled with love or an enemy and is filled with hate and contempt. The letter that struck me the most in the series was one sent to an enemy but filled with unconditional, radical love. It was given to one character’s murderer.
 l
The victim, Shouta, and the murderer, Asuna, were friends that would often meet and talk about their dreams. After Shouta learns about Asuna’s dark secret, she kills him to protect herself and her family.
In the letter, there is no trace of hate or resentment. There is not really even direct mention of the murder. Surprisingly, there is an apology. Shouta apologizes for not seeing the pain the murderer was in that led to her choices.
“I’m sorry I didn’t notice. All I thought about was myself. I never really thought about what kind of girl you were…”

God’s Pursuit in The 12 Kingdoms

The Twelve Kingdoms is an in-depth anime that explores 12 countries in a parallel dimension to the real world filled with characters from Japanese mythology. The main character, Yoko Nakajima, is sucked into this world after a storm and, through a random series of events, becomes the leader of one of the countries, which is called Kei.

12-map
The anime really goes into the politics in the countries and explores what it means to be a good leader, the consequences of a bad leader, and the way different leadership styles shape each country. One of the most prosperous kingdoms in the parallel world, which is actually just called Twelve Kingdoms, is the kingdom of En.

That prosperity is due in large part to the kingdoms king, Shouryu, a laid-back, confident former feudal lord. Shouryu is always aware of whats happening in En, rarely loses his cool, shows mercy whenever possible and exacts justice when necessary. Out of all Shouryu’s qualities, the one I noticed the most was his desire to make a place for all of his people. Not just some, not just most, but each and every one.

After squashing a rebellion that had risen up in the kingdom, Shouryu met one man, Kouya, who was insistent on the impossibility of himself fitting into En.Young_kouya_(juuni_kokki_

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The 11th Day of Christmas Anime: Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers is a movie that follows three homeless individuals that find a baby in the trash around Christmas time and try to find the child’s parents. When I first heard the plot if the movie, I wasn’t really excited to watch it, but it’s a lot better than the basic plot sounds. The movie delves into ideas of shame, forgiveness, acceptance and belonging.

Tokyo-Godfathers

One interesting thing about this anime is the way Satoshi Kon used Christian elements. Kon really seemed to have a better understanding than most anime creators about Christianity. Instead of using random crosses as decoration here and there or a vampire fighting priest, he actually uses a sermon to set up the storyline that the characters hear while attending a dinner/sermon for the homeless.

“Jesus was born to offer those alone a place in which to be alive.”

And there were not many more alone in Japan than the three main characters. One is an alcoholic man running from debts, Gin, another is a transsexual, Hana, and the third a teenage runaway, Miyuki. Through the adventure of finding the baby’s parents, whom they name Kiyoko meaning ‘pure child,’ they each are forced to confront the reason they wound up on the streets.

They all have a different reason for leaving home, but the reasons are connected by feelings of shame and hopelessness. Each has done something they are ashamed of and are sure their actions mean they can never be accepted back home. I was particularly moved by the scenes with Miyuki, as she sits sobbing after confessing what she did to her father before running away saying that she can never return because of it and her breakdown after trying to call her parents and not being able to speak. Despite telling Gin and Hana she can return home whenever she feels like it, after her confession she says what she truly believes. Read the rest of this entry

The Importance of Unity in Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail is filled with wizards, exaggerated characters and the worst bouts of motion sickness I’ve ever seen, but one aspect of the show I really noticed was the theme of unity. In Fiore, the wizards are split up into guilds that take on jobs. These guilds become strong, tight knit groups that support one another through their lives and hold together with an untouchable unity.

It really made me think about how I need to be treating other Christians. For me, this lesson on unity has been a looong one that God has been teaching and re-teaching over the years. I’m a pretty opinionated person and those opinions have always tended to be pretty rigid. That trait can be good in some situations, but not so much in a situation that requires cooperation, like a church. Read the rest of this entry