Category Archives: Personal

Fly Me to the Moon: A Child’s Lullabye

I love to sing.

I’m practically tone deaf, but that hasn’t stopped me from singing dozens of songs each day, out loud, to the horror delight of my wife and kids.  And as we rear our children, I frequently sing with them, as we join together to bellow out everything from kid’s Bible music to Beyonce (complete with finger-wagging as we declare that “if you liked it, you shoulda put a ring on it”).

Most of all, all this singing carries over into the night.  My children, and my son especially, had a lot of difficulties sleeping and napping as infants.  To help them along, and to keep my sanity, I would sometimes begin singing marathons that would last up to half an hour.

Doing all this singing made me realize that there are very few songs for which I know all the lyrics (How can I declare the Goo Goo Dolls once of my favorite bands when I only know 30% of the words to “Slide”?!).  But one song that I do know well is “Fly Me to the Moon,” and not just the chorus-only versions.  As I pushed a stroller or gently patted a baby, I would sing the Utada Hikaru version – complete with her inflections.  Cause I’m just that cool.

Evangelion song

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These Little Moments

I’ve been on a Genshiken high lately.  I’ve been enjoying the adventures of the new club members (and old) in Genshiken Naidame.  I’ve also been revisiting the anime series regularly.

Genshiken Puyo Pop

Screencap from Unmei Kaihen

Each episode of Genshiken ends with a shot in the clubroom during the closing credits.  The member’s actions are a little different each time.  Episode six has Kasukabe and Sasahara playing Puyo Pop.  That specific ending, along with the lyrics to the closing song, “Biidama” by Saori Atsumi, are very nostalgic for me.  They remind me of doing the same with friends when I was a teenager playing Street Fighter 2 at the house of my pastor’s son.

We took no detours or shortcuts
And we weren’t afraid of what tomorrow would bring
As we kept walking down Inogashira Street late at night
Only vivid dreams extended deep into the shadows

I love these small moments between friends.  Read the rest of this entry

The Blogger Interrogation Game Strikes Back!

Although I previously posted my answers to the wonderful Aniblogger Interrogation game that’s going around, I’ve been tagged back as well, by both Cajun Samurai and Alexander.  So, here we go…again!

The game was created by Iso and his rules are as follows:

Introduction

  • Each person is supposed to follow the rule of fives. You are allowed to ask 5 questions, after which you can tag up to 5 bloggers by hyper-linking to their blog; 5 questions because it’s not too many to flood another blogger and occupy too much of his/her time, but yet a large enough number to ask your most important questions, and 5 bloggers to avoid spamming. Hence, prioritize your questions, and who you wish to ask!
  • Those tagged are obliged to answer the questions in a blog post, and after which, they are entitled to create their own 5 questions and tag 5 other bloggers, so on and so fourth. You should answer your own 5 questions as well. You are allowed to tag the person that tagged you in the first place. Also, copy and paste this section on your blog so others can understand how the game goes.
  • In the case where a blogger strongly refuses to answer a question, he/she must instead post a nice anime image, wallpaper or cosplay picture, et cetera in response to that question.
  • To make things interesting, a blogger can include wildcards in his/her 5 questions by placing an asterisk, (*), after which those tagged are obliged to reveal something interesting about themselves that others did not previously know. There is no limit to the number of asterisks one can place (which means there can be up to 5 wildcard questions).
  • Anyone can feel free to start the game; you don’t necessarily need someone to tag you. Just create your 5 questions and tag your 5 people of choice. However, the catch is that you must answer your own 5 questions as well.
  • To potentially prevent an endless game, this round of games will end on the 8th September 2012, 12pm JST (GMT +9). After which, no more bloggers can tag others to answer their questions.

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Blogger Interrogation Game!

I really enjoy these chain letter type posts, where a blogger answers a bunch of anime-related questions about themselves.  A blog carnival one has been making the rounds, and I also like the survey-style one Yumeka created.  But I almost never participate because I don’t feel the content fits will with this blog.

Lucky for me, Sushi GoKart tagged me in another such series that I think does fit a little better with BtT, and I’m more than happy to participate (Marina has already started).  The game was created by Iso and his rules are as follows:

Introduction

  • Each person is supposed to follow the rule of fives. You are allowed to ask 5 questions, after which you can tag up to 5 bloggers by hyper-linking to their blog; 5 questions because it’s not too many to flood another blogger and occupy too much of his/her time, but yet a large enough number to ask your most important questions, and 5 bloggers to avoid spamming. Hence, prioritize your questions, and who you wish to ask!
  • Those tagged are obliged to answer the questions in a blog post, and after which, they are entitled to create their own 5 questions and tag 5 other bloggers, so on and so fourth. You should answer your own 5 questions as well. You are allowed to tag the person that tagged you in the first place. Also, copy and paste this section on your blog so others can understand how the game goes.
  • In the case where a blogger strongly refuses to answer a question, he/she must instead post a nice anime image, wallpaper or cosplay picture, et cetera in response to that question.
  • To make things interesting, a blogger can include wildcards in his/her 5 questions by placing an asterisk, (*), after which those tagged are obliged to reveal something interesting about themselves that others did not previously know. There is no limit to the number of asterisks one can place (which means there can be up to 5 wildcard questions).
  • Anyone can feel free to start the game; you don’t necessarily need someone to tag you. Just create your 5 questions and tag your 5 people of choice. However, the catch is that you must answer your own 5 questions as well.
  • To potentially prevent an endless game, this round of games will end on the 8th September 2012, 12pm JST (GMT +9). After which, no more bloggers can tag others to answer their questions.

My Responses

And here are my responses to the questions from Sushi GoKart:

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I Like Your Blog Post! And Your Facebook Comment. And Your Tweet. And…

Ty-chama’s recent post about her desire to see more comments on her blog made me reevaluate the communal interactions here on Beneath the Tangles.  I’m very happy with how readers chime in with their own opinions, stories, and additions.  Like a call-in radio show, this blog is strengthened by the reader interaction.

It’s not like I REALLY like your post, baka!

Even further, I’ve noticed a definite trend here the last few months.  It’s something I’ve seen on other blogs as well (though I don’t know if it’s been consistent in sites other than my own) – the heavy use of the Like button.

There are a lot of reasons why someone might hit “Like.”  First and foremost, a reader might, well, like your post (fancy that).  Readers might also want to connect with you in some way, but could be too shy to enter a comment.  Or they might not really have anything substantial to say, but want to provide some input.

When I look at my own “like” habits, and I’m an habitual liker, I often press the magic button to let bloggers know that I read your article, even if I didn’t have the time to comment.

Of course, some readers hit “like” because they want you to follow them.  WordPress users, at least, know this to be true.  We get a “like” from someone out of left field and visit their page to find that it has a gazillion followers.

But my favorite reason for liking a post is as a source of encouragement.

It’s the same with a Facebook comment or making someone’s tweet a favorite – we’re giving our stamp of approval.  That might not mean much in terms of authority, but it does tell the writer, “Hey, I really like what you wrote here” and sometimes by inference, “Hey I like what you do.  I like YOU.”

On blogs and social media, where oftentimes our communication is judgmental and harsh (even by those of us claiming to follow Christ), a simple click offers affirmation and warmth.  So go ahead and do it, even if it seems lazy and impersonal.  Go let someone know you enjoy their writing.   They might just like it.

Note: John Sato wrote a related piece recently on the purpose of blogrolls.

Mileposts: Claymore Prophet and Letting Go of Faye Valentine

Periodically, I like point back to some of the nearly 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 posts recently hit such mileposts:

Finding the Invisible God in…Claymore
Milepost: 10,000 Hits

Part of my “Invisible God” series, I compared the indomitable claymore, Teresa, to the great prophet, John the Baptist:

John is born to “prepare the way” for the Christ.  Teresa, meanwhile, prepares the way, unwittingly, for Clare.  Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the law and the central figure of the Bible.  Clare, certainly, is the heroine of Claymore, and as her power and abilities grow (or rather unveil themselves), the manga is setting the stage for her possible role as the claymore that will change everything.

My second post ever, this one remains dear to me because I do believe the connection I argue for is strong.  It has also consistently brought in hits (and hopefully a few conversions, borrowing both a blogging and religious term) due to the image I used of Teresa.

Read the Entire Post Read the rest of this entry

Two Sides to Every Coin: Ashita no Anime Turns One

While the last two weeks have been desolate in terms of religion-related posts across the anime blogosphere (hence my lack of typical Friday linking posts), one important related item popped up today.  Ashita no Anime, a blog whose author (Alexander) often gives a view quite divergent of that typically provided in aniblogging posts, turned one year old today.

Happy anniversary!

For those that don’t know, Alexander is an atheist and as outspoken about his belief as I am about mine.  We’re quite the opposites in the that way, which is why it may be a little strange that we’ve become friends.  While I’m glad to call a number of anibloggers my friends, it’s he, along with R86 (of this blog), that I correspond with on the most consistent basis.

Our relationship is a model of one of the things we hope to do on this blog – create a place where people of all religious backgrounds and beliefs can discuss their views.  While all the writers here are committed Christians, we aren’t fuddy duddies – we want to engage others and see them for who they are, instead of labeling them and moving on with our lives. Read the rest of this entry

Star Tangled Anime Blog

Welcome, readers of Star Crossed Anime Blog!

Your favorite read is competing against mine during this round of the Aniblog Tourney.  Of course I use the term “competing” loosely. -_-‘

I want to encourage you all to take a break, sip your beverage of choice, and browse through this blog.  It’s summertime – where’ve you to go anyway?  Spend a few minutes to look at the unique content of a sites that dives into anime from a Christian perspective.

Wait.  Don’t close that window!

While all the writers here are outspoken Christians, one important goal of this site to create an atmosphere that is friendly and open.  Westboro Digital Church, we ain’t.  We hope to promote discussion and understanding as we examine at ideas like grace, sacrifice, hope, and greed in anime and manga, old and new.

Look, I’ll even make it easy on you.  Here are five posts that’ll give you a good idea of what we do:

I hope you’re captivated.  Heck, I know you are! :P

If you’d like to keep tracking us, click on the Follow button on the right side of your screen or add us to your reader.  We’d love to see you join in the discussion.

Post Rating:  * (Good)

Welcome Our Newest Blogger, Hansha!

Faithful readers of this blog may have noticed that in recent weeks, a new writer has started posting pieces on the site (check out her articles on Princess Jellyfish, Hell Girl,and Naruto).  Although we’re packed full of bloggers here, I couldn’t deny the application from Hansha, a professional journalist who is a terrific writer.  We’re blessed to have her join the team!

To commemorate, here’s a little Q&A to help you get to know Hansha a little better (also check out the same form filled out by R86, Goldy, Murasaki Lynna, and Zeroe4)

TWWK: How did you become a fan of anime?

Hansha: I saw Sailor Moon when I was little. That was also the first manga I read. I thought the art style was so beautiful and so different from normal cartoons and comics. Then, I started watching Robotech, Outlaw Star, DBZ and other ones that came on Cartoon Network. Read the rest of this entry

Aniblog Tourney: Categorically Religious

Welcome, Aniblog Tourney voters!

For those who have visited before, you know our writers examine anime through a Christian perspective.  While new readers might now be thinking, “Vote for anybody else but these guys,” I want to emphasize that while our faith is part and parcel to who we are, that doesn’t mean we’re here to thump you over the heads with our King James bibles; instead, we hope to explore themes in anime which are fundamental to our faith, while also creating a community that is open to readers of all beliefs.

If you want to get a better grasp on what this all means when it comes to posts, I suggest you visit the post I wrote for our last round.

Otherwise, here are the types of articles we post at the Beneath the Tangles:

Editorials

This is the heart the blog – the posts which examine ideas like sacrifice, grace, character, faith, and love.

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