Category Archives: interview
As anime grows increasingly popular and etches its place in popular culture, more and more individuals and groups have focused on what we do here – finding an intersection between anime and Christianity. Besides the multitude of blogs that now explore this arena, artists, writers, and entrepreneurs are developing products that bring together anime and faith, crossing creativity with a mission mindset. Inside Surrendering is one such venture, offering “entertaining and purposeful products, art and stories that best represent what the true Gospel is all about: Love, Grace, and Truth.”
I recently interviewed Tim and Yavanna, the company’s founders:
Tim: We originally came up with the idea for Inside Surrendering back in October of 2013. Yavanna and I had met earlier that year in April, and we almost immediately knew we wanted to do ministry together – we just weren’t sure what kind of ministry it would be. I myself was very familiar with the anime convention scene and already had a desire to one day start a convention ministry. Once I learned about Yavanna’s own desire to minister to people through her art, it just made sense to start something like this.
Yavanna: Tim and I originally had a lot of ideas of how we wanted to go into ministry. We were kind of all over the place, and maybe a little too ambitious about wanting to reach EVERYBODY in the world. We even had the idea of starting a church at one point. In the end, what it came down to was focusing on what gifts we had, and who we could reach with those gifts. We love Jesus, but we’re also huge nerds, and combining those two passions is what led us to wanting to go into a ministry of reaching out to fellow nerds, geeks and otaku.
TWWK: Did you have any hesitation about diving into this venture?
Tim: I wouldn’t say that there was much hesitation in the beginning, but there was a lot of doubt. Christianity is very misunderstood among our fellow young people today, maybe even more so in the otaku community. So we weren’t sure how to go about presenting the Gospel to them, or how well it might be received, if at all.
Yavanna: There was a little bit of hesitation. I mean, personally, I questioned and doubted myself a lot. I wasn’t sure if I could bring glory to Jesus with my art, if it was good enough, or if it would even help people. And there were quite a few times where Tim and I were discouraged by the world we live in, and wondered if we could even make a difference. But, thankfully, Jesus has always been there to pull us through.
Periodically, I like point back to some of the more than 500 posts we’ve written here on Beneath the Tangles. Besides the “A Year Ago” series I began several months ago, I plan to occasionally post about blogging milestones – those little breakthroughs when posts hit certain numbers of significance in terms of hits. Three articles recently hit such mileposts.
Katawa Shoujo and a How to Guide for Referring to Individuals with Disabilities
Milepost: 5,000 Hits
The informational article discusses how to use person first language to refer to individuals (or VN characters!) with disabilities:
Rin is a character who was born without arms. Don’t refer to this as a “birth defect.” “Congenital disability” or “developmental disability” is preferred. Further, remember to again emphasize that individuals have disabilities instead of saying that they are disabled, which emphasizes the disability, and avoid use of the word handicap.
This was a fun post to craft, because unlike many others, I had to do quite a bit of research. I’m glad that this was my contribution to the blogosphere’s posts on Katawa Shoujo, a game that I actually never played.
A year ago…I saw the androphobic Inami as representing us…
A year ago…I was really into Eden of the East, reviewing the film, “Paradise Lost”…
…and finding Jesus symbolism all over the series.
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.
Last fall, I was blessed enough to have three wonderful writers accept the challenge to make this site a better blog. Months later, one of my best friends and among the most gifted people I know, R86; amazing writer and all-around encouraging and beautiful person, Goldy; and the young one, the ever-cheerful and wise Murasaki Lynna, have indeed changed the blog. It’s of higher quality and is so much more interesting than when only this old man was writing for it.
As such, I was happy to keep our writer count at four. But sometimes, a serendipitous turn of events occurs; well, in accordance to what this blog is all about, it’s more like a blessed intervention. A fellow Christian blogger who I’ve closely followed over the past year (and who guest blogged here once) has accepted an invitation to join. As I said, I didn’t intend to add another writer, but everything just felt right, and again I was blessed when Zeroe4 agreed to join Beneath the Tangles. He’ll be dabbing a bit into episodic blogging, but will mostly be doing editorials – and we also have a wonderful series of posts in the works that he’ll be authoring in the future.
Please welcome him! And get to know him as well, as I grill him below on his faith, his taste in anime, and his…bankai. :P Read the rest of this entry
From Ouran High School Host Club’s Haruhi to Fullmetal Alchemist’s Winry Rockbell, Caitlin Glass has voiced some of anime’s most beloved characters. She’s also funny, personable, and great to her fans. Back in August, Caitlin was kind enough to answer a few questions about voice acting. I was able to catch up with her at IKKiCON 2011 and finish our interview; this time, I asked her about her Christian faith.
TWWK: I found out about your faith through an interview you did on the Fans for Christ website. I admired how vocal you are. Could you quickly tell us your testimony and how you became a Christian?
Caitlin: Sure! I only vaguely remember it because I’m one of those that grew up going to church, so as far as I recall, it was just a situation of being in children’s church and at the end of every Sunday, they always ask if there’s anybody that wants to invite Jesus into their heart and one Sunday I said, “Yeah, I want to do that.” [laughs] And that was it. So, I don’t have some really immense rags-to-riches kind of testimony. I guess my testimony is just that I followed Christ my whole life and I fell that I am blessed and protected because of that.
TWWK: Have you ever taken a role in acting or voice acting that you’ve questioned because of your faith? Or have you ever turned down a role because of that?
Caitlin: Yes. Mainly, it’s more a whole show and less a particular character because to be honest, you can’t have the heroes without the villains and I can’t just say because I’m a Christian I’m only going to be playing the hero. Read the rest of this entry
When I sent out a call for co-bloggers a few weeks ago, I was very happy to receive applications from my friend R86 and from Goldy, who has hit the ground running. At the last minute, however, I received another application that also floored me. And so, starting today, Beneath the Tangles adds a fourth blogger – murasakilynna. And like the others, she’s being initiated through an interview. Please welcome our newest co-blogger!
TWWK: How did you become a fan of anime?
Murasaki Lynna: When I was around 12-13 I began to surf the Internet. One day, when I was on YouTube, I discovered some Inuyasha AMVs. The story and the characters looked so cute and interesting, and I was like “What’s this cool stuff?”. And soon enough, I was all wrapped up in it…
TWWK: What are your favorite types or genres of anime? How about favorite shows?
Murasaki Lynna: My favorite genres are primarily shojo, but I also enjoy slice of life and some shounen. My favorite shows are Clannad and Clannad After Story and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I also enjoyed the mangas of Gakuen Alice (never watched the anime), Aria (also never watched the anime), Fruits Basket (the manga was much more in-depth) and Shugo Chara (the Anime got quite side-tracked at the end). Read the rest of this entry
Kathleen Kern is a part of Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization which seeks to transform areas under occupation or war through non-violent methods. She is also an anime fan, and brought this interest together with a passion for her work in Because the Angels, a novel featuring a protagonist who is Blood+ obsessed. She was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.
TWWK: Kathleen, your main character is a woman who is obsessed with anime, particularly Blood+. What compelled you to create such a character and to use anime as such an important part of the novel?
Kathleen: I had insomnia one night and was looking through the channels. The name “Samurai Champloo” just struck me as funny for reason, and when I tuned in–somewhere in the middle of the series, I thought it was funny and liked the fluid drawing. I liked the way that Mugen and Jin kind of looked semi-realistic, but Fuu looked like big-eyed anime characters. I’ve always been a sucker for stories that mix humor with pathos (I pretty much learned to read, by reading Heidi over and over again), which Samurai Champloo does. I think Blood+ was playing after Samurai Champloo, which has more pathos than humor, but the story line and the music drew me in. In hindsight, I realize that I started on shows with a more artistic bent than most anime series. If I had started on Inuyasha, for example, I don’t think I would have gotten sucked in (but I actually ended up watching the whole Inuyasha series, as well as some other “lessers.”) Read the rest of this entry
When I sent out the call for co-bloggers several weeks ago, my excitement was high, but my expectations low. I wondered if I’d get any applications, and with my stringent requirements, I felt that even if I did, I might have the unenviable task of rejecting applicants. But God absolutely blessed me by sending three wonderful applicants my way, all of whom I believe will be wonderful additions to Beneath the Tangles.
Today, I’d like to welcome the first two – each of whom I personally knew or knew of and respected greatly before I even knew they’d apply. The first, R86, has been a co-blogger of types by function, if not by name, up until this point – he’s posted quite a bit on Beneath the Tangles in the past and I’m glad to call him my friend. The second is Goldy, whose interest in applying excited me to no ends! She’s a knowledgeable and strong writer who’ll bring a different viewpoint to what would otherwise be a boy’s club.
To officially bring the two in, R86 recommended that we do a Q&A – I couldn’t think of any better way to introduce my new co-bloggers! Read the rest of this entry
Kathleen Kern, who works for a Christian peacekeeping organization, writes about her absorption with anime and how it developed into a novel.
David Gilman-Frederick shares the wonderful story of an elderly Japanese man’s transformation in the months following the Tohoku earthquake.
Canne talks about her spiritual retreat from the busyness of the world, including media like anime.
Ghostlightning discusses how the plots of Infinite Ryvius and School Days can be seen as descents into hell.
AniManga Confessions, a Tumblr blog that takes confessions and places them against graphical representations, posted one particularly about Christian representations in anime.
And finally, I didn’t mention it last week as I should have, but Justin of Organization Anti Social Geniuses was so kind as to interview me as part of his Thursday’s Lab Report series.
I love to feature art that is influenced by anime and which has some Christian theme. A number of artists have been gracious enough to let me feature their art on Beneath the Tangles. I recently came across an artist, Keiko, whose work I adore! In fact, I couldn’t pick just one work to show here, so I thought I’d display several, while also interviewing Keiko. Enjoy!
TWWK: Thanks for agreeing to the interview! I’m a big fan of your art – I haven’t seen anything like it. How would you describe your style?
KeikoKup: Thank you!! I’ve always wanted my art to have its own original touch, with a style that’s inspired by anime and manga, colorful, detailed, and full of energy and my passion for God and Christ. I want to create art that’s fun to look at but that also has a message behind it. That is what I aim for in my style.