Category Archives: Special Posts

Welcome Our Newest Writer, Casey!

Do you know the saying, “God works in mysterious ways?”  I really felt that to be true a few weeks ago when Casey Covel (Geeks Under Grace) and I started chatting about her taking a role with Beneath the Tangles.  What I haven’t told anyone until now was that her work was at the forefront of my mind the days before she reached out to me, and I wondered if I should invite her to join even before we spoke.  Coincidence, possibly, but I think of it as something more divinely arranged.

In short, Casey has joined our staff here at Beneath the Tangles, and we are thrilled!  Check out our interview below and please welcome her to the community!

TWWK: How did you become a fan of anime and manga?

Casey: Growing up, anime influenced a lot of the media I enjoyed, primarily my video games, many of which had anime-inspired art styles (Fire Emblem, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Ace Attorney, etc.). I always found the anime art style attractive because it captured… something… that American cartoons did not–emotions, drama, original designs, bold storytelling, and other assorted wonders I couldn’t put a name on back then. When I was a child, I began watching Pokemon, but was quickly told not to by my parents (this was back when churches were cracking down on the Pokemon craze, and my parents were likely being cautious). It wasn’t until several years later that I actually began watching anime again, and to be honest I’m grateful that I waited that long. I believe anime is a beautiful medium of entertainment and art, but I don’t think I was spiritually mature enough to enjoy it until a few years ago.

cutsceneaddict cosplay Large e-mail view

TWWK: What are your favorite types or genres of anime/manga? How about favorite series?

Casey: I’m a bit of a psychology/philosophy buff, so I particularly enjoy anime that challenges me to think differently or to question my values. Watching anime that asks hard questions or acts as an animated microcosm for a social issue is like consuming a delicious tray of assorted sushi to me. Death Note–despite its storytelling flaws–is my absolute favorite series thus far. I also enjoyed the examination of dark issues in Attack on Titan and the bittersweet, poetic charm of Your Lie in April. Currently, I’m going on adventures with Vash in Trigun… and developing a craving for doughnuts for some reason. Read the rest of this entry

Your Handy Dandy Anime Blog Building Guide

One of my visions for this blog that’s developed over recent years has been to develop a series of posts that help new anibloggers get going.  Developing an anime blog is fun, but it can be frustrating if you don’t know how to build an audience and how to improve as a blogger.  To compound the problem, there isn’t necessarily a go-to source on the Internet that will take you step-by-step in aniblogging building.  Unfortunately, my posts for this series are sitting in my draft folder, a ghost town of articles in various stages that never come to fruition.

But if you’re a new aniblogger, or thinking about going into anime blogging, you’re in luck!

aniblogLauren Orsini, a wonderful writer and friend to our blog, has just published an ebook entitled, Build Your Anime Blog: How to Get Started, Stand Out, and Make Money Writing About What You Love.  Lauren is a professional journalist and a wonderful aniblogger – she’s the perfect author to guide any of you that have an interest in aniblogging.

Lauren’s book provides the basic ins and outs of anime blogging – it’s a great one-stop resource.  But its value goes even deeper through the twelve interviews she conducted with other anibloggers.  And, you guessed it, she selected me among the interviewees, so if you want to know a little bit about the goings-on behind the scenes here, and the method to my madness, it might be worth a read.

I highly encourage you all to check it out and support Lauren while purchasing a terrific, terrific resource!  Build Your Anime Blog is available now through Amazon.

Requested: Questions About Anime and Religion!

Have you ever heard this one?  Three Christians and an atheist walk into a…

Oh wait.  That’s actually not a joke – it’s our next podcast episode.  At the end of this month, I’ll be joining The Tangles’ hosts, Japes and Sean, and a special guest as we talk about anime, religion, and the intersection between the two.

This is where you come in.  We need your questions to help stimulate discussion for the podcast.  Please leave one or two (or more) below. Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Questions about Christianity, atheism, or anything else related to religion – feel free to get personal if you’d like.
  • Questions religion in anime, whether superficially or thematically

Thanks in advance, all!

Welcome Our New Writers and Contributors to Beneath the Tangles!

Through the years, our website has changed drastically – in tone, audience, message, and design.  Beneath the Tangles is a better site now than it once was, in no small part because of my wonderful team of writers.

That team has now grown to include additional members!  You’ll recognize most of these names – they’ve long been friends to the site, contributing posts, comments, replies, and even lending their voices to our podcast.  And now, you’ll begin to see their names as they post articles, write columns, and participate in features here.

Please welcome our five new writers:

Annalyn – A student and aspiring writer, Annalyn has been aniblogging for four years at her site, Annalyn’s Thoughts.  She’ll bring her very personal writing style to articles and a column here in the coming weeks.

Medieval Otaku – There are few people I know who are wiser than Medieval Otaku, whose vast knowledge and love for classic anime are already displayed on his blog.  He’ll also add a Catholic point of view through his upcoming column.

Michael – The terrific moderator of Gaming and God and a writer at Geeks Under Grace, Michael is fascinated with Japanese video games, which he’ll discuss from a Christian perspective in a new column on our site.

Sean – We’ll all get to know Sean together as he co-hosts The Tangles podcast (he’s our featured guest on the next episode, streaming this Thursday).   I think you’ll feel the same as I have about him, impressed equally by his demeanor and his intellect.

Stardf29 – Like Annalyn, Stardf29 has both guest-written for the blog and been a guest on our podcast.  His unique spin on anime can be found through his prolific aniblog, A Series of Miracles (and now here as well!).

Please welcome Annalyn, Medieval Otaku, Michael, Sean, and Stardf29 to the team! 

Guest Post: Tales of Xillia and Hobbies

Although our focus will almost certainly always be anime, we hope to also delve into other Japanese media here on Beneath the Tangles, such as manga and visual novels. To that end, we’re happy to have gaming blogger Michael of Gaming and God guest for us today, as he jumps into a popular JRPG.

If you’re into JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games), then you need to check out the Tales Of series. They have been making titles for decades, and one of their more recent games (as of this writing) is Tales Of Xillia. The word that comes after “Tales Of” often has nothing to do with the game, so don’t pay it any mind.

Tales of Xillia 1

Milla from Tales of Xillia

Xillia is a game changer in the series. From the story to the battle sequences, it is a game that’s hard to put down! I spent hours at a time playing through this masterpiece, especially enjoying the interaction the characters have with each other.

Character development is always a strong characteristic of most Tales games. The fact that we get to see anime cut scenes (few and far between but they are there) and a lot of voiced over dialogue really helps to connect with them. Instead of reading tons of text, you are treated to many optional conversations throughout the game play and you can see the unique personality of each character come to life. It’s enjoyable to see the two main characters, Jude and Milla, going back and forth with each other. Read the rest of this entry

All You Shining Stars


New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are natural times of reflection for us.  Often against our better judgment, we resolve to make changes in our lives, knowing that our resolutions will most probably fail. But we write these ideas down and commit to them because we know that change is necessary – we can’t live the way we have been.

For 2015, it’s not a resolution I offer you, but a small, digital journey that might help you along with the path you’re on in life.  Artist turtlequeen and I have developed an online blog/devotional that we hope will inspire you to wander “away from the things that pull us down and toward an infinite love that cannot be earned – only received.”

We will periodically post devotionals about love, grace, and other matters of the art, accompanied by turtlequeen’s wonderful manga-style art.

If you feel drawn toward something more and the need to change in 2015, I hope you’ll consider following along with our blog and taking us with you along on your journey.

Check Out Our New Banner!

2014 was a year of transformation for Beneath the Tangles. While our emphasis remains on blogging anime, we’ve looked toward other topics and mediums as we seek to engage our readers in all sorts of Japanese-related topics from our unique perspective.  For instance, you’ve hopefully listened to our monthly podcast and you may have tuned in to our live stream (more from that very soon, by the way).

To reflect these shifts, we’ve added a new banner – our first original one as it were.  I sought assistance from Genevieve of PandaPad.Com, having some familiarity with her wonderful artwork, and she agreed to donate her time and abilities.  The wonderful banner above is the result.  In Genevieve’s words, “It represents the continuous spiritual battle to cut off the sometimes attractive yet entangling sin in a believer’s life.”

Thank you so much, Genevieve!  And another thanks, too, to Marina, who developed the banners we used for so many years.

If you’d like to check out more of Genevieve’s art, check out these her sites below:

website | facebook | twitter | deviantart

Final Day to Donate and Win Anime!

Our charitable campaign is coming to an end.  At midnight tonight (Pacific Time), we’ll conclude our taking of donations for Samaritan’s Purse, through which we’re funding three different causes:

  • Hope for children with disabilities: Your donations will help supply specialized equipment, corrective surgery, or schooling to help a child overcome disabilities.
  • Care for orphans: Your gifts can demonstrate love by providing food, housing, healthcare, and other essentials.
  • Protection for vulnerable women: Your charity can help protect victims of gender-based violence, provide basic education, or meet other needs to ease a woman’s daily struggle for survival.

Thanks you all, we’ve raised over $700 so far, exceeding our goal for the campaign.  Thank you to all who spread the word about it, and especially to those who donated.

We’ve love to make a bit more for the charity – please consider donating in these final few hours.  For every $10 you give, you’ll earn one entry into our anime raffle, which includes these wonderful prizes:

  1. HOTD Pack: High School of the Dead Collectors Edition (Blu-Ray/DVD + bandana, postcards, booklet, short novels, and collectors sticker)
  2. Hanasaku Iroha Pack: Hanasaku Iroha the Movie ~ HOME SWEET HOME ~ Premium Bonus Set (including Blu-Ray disc and artbook)
  3. Prinna Pack: Prinna plushie from NIS, valued at $19.99 (the plushie pictured above may not be the same one given as a prize
  4. Moe Pack: Tari Tari Blu-Ray Complete Collection, Meganebu! Complete Collection, Yusibu Complete Collection, Noucome Complete Collection
  5. Love Pack: Golden Time Collection 1, Ef – A Tale of Memories & Melodies Blu-Ray Complete Collection, Rozen Maiden Complete Collection, Okamikakushi Masque of the Wolf Blu-Ray Complete Collection
  6. Mature Pack: Amagami SS Complete Collection, Infinite Stratos 2 Complete Collection, Diabolik Lovers Complete Collection, Queen’s Blade: Beautiful Warriors OVA BD Collection
  7. Gatchaman Pack: Gatchman Complete Collection (105 episodes + OVAs)

Visit our campaign page: Anime Fans Giving Back

Thank you for giving!

Donate $10 to Charity, Get a $19.95 Crunchyroll Subscription for Free!

crunchyroll 1This holiday season, our staff is intent on giving to the less fortunate, and we’re doing so by running a charitable campaign to raise funds for Samaritan’s Purse to aid orphans, children with disabilities, and women in vulnerable situations.  We met our $600 goal yesterday – hurray!  But with a week remaining in the campaign, we have a chance now to blow past it and raise more funds.

If you donate just $10, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a ton of anime goodies, provided by industry friends. We also have another set of prizes to give – Crunchyroll has been kind enough to donate three 90-day premium memberships, valued at $19.95.  No ads and first run series for three full months!

All you have to do is donate $10.

That’s right!  I’ll hand out a 90-day membership to the first three people who donate $10 from the time of this posting.  A $19.95 value for just $10 plus a good deed done for those in need plus an entry into our anime raffle.

Get to it!  Donate now and win: Anime Fans Give Back — Raffle

Help Orphans. Win Anime.

A week and a half ago, we started a charitable campaign drive to raise funds for orphans, children with disabilities, and women in vulnerable situations.  I’m happy to update that with about two weeks to go, we’re over 75% of the way to our goal of $600!  Thank you to those of you who have donated and to the many who have helped spread the word about our campaign.

But we still need more help.  If you haven’t already donated, please consider giving.  This holiday season, through the Samaritan’s Purse organization, your money can help so many who are less fortunate.  And in doing so, you also have an opportunity win DVDs!

For every $10 donated, you get one entry into our raffle, which is full of great anime collections and items (generously given to us by Sentai Filmworks and NIS America):

  • Pack 1 – HOTD Pack: High School of the Dead Collectors Edition (Blu-Ray/DVD + bandana, postcards, booklet, short novels, and collectors sticker)
  • Pack 2 – Hanasaku Iroha Pack: Hanasaku Iroha the Movie ~ HOME SWEET HOME ~ Premium Bonus Set (including Blu-Ray disc and artbook)
  • Pack 3 Prinna Pack: Prinna plushie from NIS, valued at $19.99
  • Pack 4 – Moe Pack: Tari Tari Blu-Ray Complete Collection, Meganebu! Complete Collection, Yusibu Complete Collection, Noucome Complete Collection
  • Pack 5 – Love Pack: Golden Time Collection 1, Ef – A Tale of Memories & Melodies Blu-Ray Complete Collection, Rozen Maiden Complete Collection, Okamikakushi Masque of the Wolf Blu-Ray Complete Collection
  • Pack 6 – Mature Pack: Amagami SS Complete Collection, Infinite Stratos 2 Complete Collection, Diabolik Lovers Complete Collection, Queen’s Blade: Beautiful Warriors OVA BD Collection
  • Pack 7 – Gatchman Pack: Gatchaman Complete Collection (105 episodes + OVAs)

These collections are brand new and amazing!  You have an awesome chance at getting one of the prize packages if you donate!

For more information and to give, visit our campaign page:

Anime Fans Give Back!


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