Category Archives: Special Posts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers!

anime thanksgiving turkey

art by Rurutia8 | reprinted w/permission

I hope that you have a wonderful day today (and that you have the day off)!  Most of us, I daresay, live a life of ungratefulness where we don’t give thanks or think about our blessings near enough. Thanksgiving Day offers us an opportunity to do those things and reflect on hopefully what’s most important in life.

I think I can speak for staff when I say we’re all thankful for family and the blessings in our lives, but especially for God, through whom we have life and freedom:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

– 1 Chronicles 16:34

Happy eating!!

cover art by 梅岩 (reprinted with permission)

Patreon: Thank You for Your Donations!

The next few months will be a time of transition for Beneath the Tangles – among other things, you’ll see a heavier presence in social media by us and a redesign in our website. With these modifications come expenses – and here’s where you can help us!

A contribution of $2 a month will help us reach a larger audience through our site.  We of course welcome larger donations as well.  Please visit the link below to find out more information regarding donations:

Support Beneath the Tangles

We’d also like to thank those who have already given!  Please consider visiting our patrons’ sites and accounts:

Tier 2 Partners

Tier 1 Partners

To be listed among our giving partners, please contribute a monthly gift through Patreon.

Happy Five Years to Us!

A pretty significant anniversary for Beneath the Tangles has come and gone. As of September 12th, this blog is officially five years old! We’ve come a very long way since my first post on the site, as I tried to establish a brand new, unique presence on the web.

I’ve reminisced and reflected on changes for the blog a number of times in the past, so I’ll spare you today. However, I do want to thank our readers, especially those who’ve been with us for months or years, whether you comment or not. Your mere presence is encouraging. We write for you here, as opposed to simply getting our thoughts out for ourselves, so you are absolutely necessary to us.

I also want to encourage those who follow us or support our values and beliefs to consider become a patron of our blog. Any donation would be helpful, though we ask for $2 a month. This small donation is multiplied when added to others and under our careful spending to spread our blog to a larger audience.

>> Support Beneath the Tangles Through Patreon

Thank you again, and here’s to another five years!

On Being an Old Hag

We’re doing something fun today with the blog – I’ve swapped writing duties for the day with another editor! This article is a guest post by Allison Baron, the managing editor of Area of Effect magazine at Geekdom House. It’s a wonderful piece that I hope you’ll read (and read more about Allison following the article). Meanwhile, I’ve moved off the trodden anime path to write about one of my favorite childhood movies over at Geekdom House – check it out!

For most people, myself included, getting old isn’t something to look forward to.

Sure, I loved the idea of being an adult when I was ten years old and no one listened to my opinion, but now that I’m getting older? I’m only in my twenties now, but I don’t like the idea of bones cracking when I get up or finding grey hairs on my head in the future. I don’t like getting queasy on roller coasters when I used to be able to ride the loopiest tilt-a-whirl with gusto. And still no one listens to my opinion, so what’s the upside?

To Sophie Hatter, being cursed with old age (literally) is probably the best thing that could have happened to her.

In Howl’s Moving Castle, Sophie is a young woman who works at her mother’s hat shop. She is resigned to working long hours, never speaking her mind and rarely having fun.

Illustration by Robert Neito ( | reprinted with permission

Illustration by Robert Neito ( | reprinted with permission

Then, one day, a witch puts a curse on her. Suddenly, Sophie is an old hag, creaking joints and all. But, after some expected expressions of shock, Sophie doesn’t cry, hide, or let despair take over. Instead, she embraces her newfound retirement and, like Bilbo Baggins before her, sets out on an adventure. Interestingly enough, Sophie seems much freer and happier than she used to be in her new predicament. I guess being transformed from a shy girl into a stubborn old woman who won’t take no for an answer does that to you. Whether she’s ignoring Howl’s whining or bullying a fire demon into cooking bacon and eggs for her, the old lady’s sass is something to behold.

“This isn’t so bad now, is it. You’re still in pretty good shape, and your clothes finally suit you,” Sophie says after being transformed.

Though she does complain now and then (“Why do you get so cold when you’re old? I’m fatter than ever, but the wind blows right through me!”), she finds peace in her old age, something that had escaped her before.

It is Sophie’s selflessness that makes her one of my favourite heroines of all time. Her faults, in fact, lie mainly in thinking too little of herself. Through making friends and adopting a new family, she learns that other people care about her for who she is, not how old she is, and that she has immense value as a person. Old age doesn’t stop Howl, Markl, and Calcifer from caring about her.

Read the rest of this entry

Letter From the Editor: Thank You, Hansha, and Farewell!

Dear Readers,

It’s with sorrow that we bid adieu to Hansha, one of our longest tenured writers on Beneath the Tangles, who is stepping down from aniblogging. I’m thankful to have grabbed onto Hansha and her skills at just the right time, during a period when her interest in anime and manga was thriving. We’ll miss her, but certainly wish her continued blessings in her life away from our blog.

One of the things I’ll miss most about Hansha is her kindness and honesty. I think this warm, Christian voice really radiated through in her writings. It’s hard to select her best from the past 3+ years – all her articles are excellent – so here’s just a random smattering of some of her entries I would suggest you peruse:

Good luck, Hansha, and take care!


Patreon: Thank You for Your Donations!

Last month, we conducted our first ever Patreon Drive for Beneath the Tangles to raise funds in further developing the site and increasing awareness of the blog. We’re currently in the planning process for these projects with some expected transitions and fund expenditures to occur later in 2015.

In the meantime, we would appreciate it if your readers would consider becoming a patron of our blog.  We’re asking for a contribution of $2 a month, which seems small but makes a sizable impact on what we’re able to do with our blog.  We of course welcome larger donations as well.  Please visit the link below to find out more information regarding donations:

Support Beneath the Tangles

We’d also like to thank those who have already given!  Please consider visiting our patrons’ sites and accounts:

Tier 2 Partners

Tier 1 Partners

To be listed among our giving partners, please contribute a monthly gift through Patreon.

Manga Recommendations for Christian Readers

Fruits Basket

While our aim is to reach out to readers of all faiths (or none at all) with articles about anime and Japanese culture that spark discussion about spiritual issues, we also want to serve as a resource particularly for Christian audiences.  As such, we’ve developed recommendations pages for Christians interested in anime series and movies and in visual novels.  And today, we’re proud to launch a new page providing manga recommendations for Christian readers:

Manga Recommendations

As always, our recommendations are not based on series that explicitly talk about the Christian faith, feature Christian characters, or even wholly support Christian values.  We applaud series that point readers toward scriptural truths, even as they are presented apart from a Christian context.  As such, these series feature topics like grace, sacrificial love, and humility.  And with an understanding that many Christians are not as willing to dive into all sorts of manga as our writers are, we’re also cognizant of content that some may find offensive in this material, which helped guide our choices (and which we note in our recs).

Take a look at our page if you’re looking for recommendations, and please join in the discussion by mentioning your own recs for Christian readers in the comments section for future visitors to peruse through as well.

Patreon Drive, Final Day: Tangled Community

Today is the final day of our Patreon Drive.  Thank you to those who have supported so far – your contributions have set the stage for greater development at Beneath the Tangles as we seek to deliver stronger content to a wider audience.

Ultimately, our goal here to establish genuine community on the blog – no small feat seeing as we occupy a very niche portion of the aniblogosphere and face head-on the controversial topic of religion.  But in the years of this blog, a feeling of community has grown, and I know I see our readers – those visible and those not – as vital parts of our site, making Beneath the Tangles work.  It’s through this collective that we’ll be able to move in readers’ lives, using anime as a medium to transform thinking and how we view both what we watch and how we view faith.

If you haven’t given yet, please consider donating – we’re asking for just $2 per month.  And thank you for all your support, financial or otherwise!

Beneath the Tangles Patreon Drive


Patreon Drive, Day 2: Anime, Anime, Anime

When I first began Beneath the Tangles, we were 100% editorial-based – I didn’t do any episode-by-episode posts of series.  In fact, I didn’t even do my editorials on current series.  In 2010, I wasn’t keeping up with current anime.  Instead, I was writing about past shows that I had a lot of affection for, like Cowboy Bebop and Tenchi Muyo.

But as writers joined who were, frankly, far more into anime than I am, and as I got into the swing of watching new series, we began posting articles that were a lot more current.  A lot of you may have joined us, in fact, because of our weekly posts on Your Lie in April, Mekaku City Actors, Zankyou no Terror, or any of dozens of other shows we’ve blog episodically over the years.

So while our focus remains on our unique content, we remain relevant by discussing shows in the here and now.  We also provide preview posts to help you make choices in the jungle of new series each season, and break down completed series through a collection of review posts each season.

Our intent is continue to deliver content that meets our mission, but that also connects with you, the readers, and your interests each season.  Please consider helping us continue to craft great blog posts and build community by donating to our site.  We’re asking for a $2 a month commitment from you.  Check out our Patreon site and please spread the word!

Beneath the Tangles Patreon Campaign

Patreon Drive! Donate $2 to Support Beneath the Tangles

Dear Readers,

When I established Beneath the Tangles almost five years ago, it was with a singular goal in mind – to engage anime fans with a different sort of analysis, bringing in Christian concepts and ideas to how we can interpret anime. It was nothing unique – Christian Anime Alliance had long existed by this point and a number of sites had attempted to do the same in various ways, but there was certainly a gap that a consistent blog delving into this idea might thrive.

As the years have passed, the blogosphere has changed. Many of the old-time bloggers, including a throng of those that began their own aniblogs in 2010, remain (and even thrive). But there are also now a number of blogs with a similar mission to ours, establishing a community that I think is making an interesting impact on western otakudom. It’s been an encouragement to partner, officially or otherwise, with dozens of other writers and editors who are examining anime and manga from a Christian lens.

But the community goes beyond Christian anime fans – and that, too, has also been a primary goal of Beneath the Tangles. While I love discussing anime and religion with those that share my faith, I enjoy it even more when we engage people of others faiths (or not at all), and even better, when they become part of the genuine community we’re trying to establish here.  Beneath the Tangles was never meant to be a blog – it was meant to be a destination where our writers and readers can establish a most unique kind of interfaith community, one in which we bond over Japanese cartoons and matters of faith.

As we continue to push ourselves to deliver stronger content, we need you, our faithful readers, to continue to help.  This week, Beneath the Tangles will be moving forward with a Patreon drive.  Our goals are both modest and powerful – we ask that you consider donating $2 a month to us to help us improve our site and bring it to larger audiences.  We’ll use your funds in those two ways – 1) to aid in developing stronger content by making purchases related to site development and 2) to bring our message to a larger readership through active marketing.

We ask that if you’ve been blessed by our content, that you’ll strongly consider giving.  That small amount can help us greatly, and certainly anything more than that will be helpful as well (and could lead to goodies).  Please follow the link below to check out our fundraiser:

Beneath the Tangles Patreon Drive

And if you’re unable to give at this time, as I know many of you are, I hope you’ll keep us in mind in the future, and for the time being that you’ll help spread the message about this drive and our site by hitting one of those social media icons below and lettings other anime fans know that a community like ours is eager to engage with them.

Thank you!



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