Category Archives: Buddhism

Something More: V-Day Chocolates for Anime Jesus, Hell in Hoozuki no Reitetsu, and Yuri for Christians

Using Sakura Trick, Frank probes the question, “Is it good for Christians to watch yuri?” [A Series of Miracles]

Jesus of Saint Young Men places third among characters that women would give chocolates to on Valentine’s Day.  Here’s how D.M. Dutcher sees it [Cacao, put down the shovel!]:

“D-dont get me wrong Jesus,” she said, twirling her twin-tail nervously in one finger, “It’s not like I made this for you or anything…”

Dutcher also takes a look at Rescue Me, Mave-chan, from a Christian perspective. [Cacao]

In a third article, Dutcher gives Christians warnings against the trap trope. [Cacao]

John Samuel just watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion, and offers some great analysis, including a mention of one character circumventing free will. [Pirates of the Burley Griffin]

The Medieval Otaku looks to the gospels to help explain the character of Esdese from Akama ga Kiru. [Medieval Otaku]

Jonathan explores the mythology of Hoozuki no Reitetsu. [FunBlog]

Meanwhile, among othres, Rob reviews recent episodes of The Pilot’s Love SongChuunibyou, Nobunagun, Golden Timeand Engaged to the Unidentified.

As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Something More: Pupa for Christians, Religion in Inari Konkon Koi Iroha, and Adventure Time at the Sisteen Chapel

Rob has taken the mantle of “Christian anime reviewer” and run with it, posting lots of episode reviews on his new site, with recommendations specific for Christians.  Among the reviews this week are Pupa (Episode 1), Nobunagun (Episode 4), and Magical Warfare (Episode 1). [Christian Anime Review]

D.M. Dutcher reviews Fortune Arterial, with some notes for Christians. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

He does the same for Freezing. [Cacao]

Annoying Dragon reviews the OEL manga, White Devil: The Life and Legend of Hudson Taylor, based upon the life of the famed Chinese missionary. [Living. Loving. Learning.]

The always entertaining Monsieur LaMoe breaks down Inari Konkon Koi Iroha, including some information about Buddhism, Shintoism, and even Aum Shinrikyo! [Anime Diet]

And though it’s not anime-related, I just had to link to Taylor’s awesome post discussing how a piece of Adventure Time fanart based on “The Creation of Adam” has some real spiritual depth to it. [Taylor Ramage's Blog]

As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Buddhist Detachment in Shikabane Hime vs. Christian Charity

Today’s article is a guest post by a friend to both me and the blog, Medieval Otaku.

Those of you who read my blog may be familiar with my article Un Programme d’Articles pour Novembre.  (Why French?  Because most things sound better in French, obviously.)  Therein, I promised to write an article on Corpse Princess and my history with horror films and anime, but a more interesting topic came to mind.  I became curious with the way the show presented Buddhist ideas of detachment, which ultimately led to me contemplating on how detachment differs with Christian charity.

Anime Buddha Corpse Princess

Those familiar with this delightfully action packed and soap opera-ish anime called Corpse Princess, a. k. a. Shikabane Hime, know that the heroes are affiliated with a Buddhist sect.  This sect uses certain undead young women, known as Shikabane Hime, to eliminate undead monsters.  They boast that their monks have reached enlightenment, and therefore have no attachments to this life.  This makes it impossible for them to become undead themselves, since the undead enter that state because of intense regret and attachment.  The hero, Ouri, resists Buddhist principles of detachment, particularly in regard to Makina, his role model’s Shikabane Hime.  He does this despite both Makina and others telling him to treat Shikabane Hime as tools and aberrations—not as people.

Corpse Princess

Corpse Princess

How different is the Kougen sect’s attitude from Christianity, whose essence is charity!  Charity, at its heart, desires to unite all things and make them whole.  The more charity enters one’s heart, the more one wishes that broken relationships heal and the more one’s own happiness depends on others being happy.  We have the example of Christ: “’I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!’” (Luke 12:49-50)  This baptism is His Passion and Death, by which He would free the world from sin and death.  Because He saw that the whole of humanity would be consigned to hell without this baptism, He felt agony in this baptism’s delay—Jesus did not wish to be happy without humanity being happy.  Read the rest of this entry

Something More: The Dao of DBZ and Gingitsune’s Guide to a “Godly” Friendship

Amelia Pang interviews Derek Padula, author of “Dragon Ball Z: It’s Over 9,000!”, about how he’s devoted much of life to exploring the connections between that series and Buddhist and Daoist philosophies. [The New School Free Press]

Frank digs into Gingitsune and finds parallels between the main relationship of the series and a Christian’s relationship with God. [A Series of Miracles]

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As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Something More: Stella Zen Academy and Grace on Kirino

After having earlier spoken of his disappointment with the series, Frank tells of the many things he enjoyed about Oreimo, focusing especially on the show’s theme of grace. [A Series of Miracles]

D.M. Dutcher gives his first impressions of Stella Girls’ Academy C3, including some discussion of Buddhism toward Christian viewers. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

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As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Something More: God and Soul Eater, Anime and Serving, Madoka and Salvation

Frank dives into episode 13 of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, examining that episode’s ideas about servanthood, as well as that topic in relation to God. [A Series of Miracles]

Annalyn begins to watch Soul Eater, and draws comparisons between God and Lord Death, reminding us of God’s nature. [Annalyn's Thoughts]

Cytrus responds to Nick Calibey’s comments about Puella Magi Madoka Magica and salvation by expressing his beliefs about how Madoka’s gift of salvation works through a Buddhist perspective. [Yaranakya]

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As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Something More: No. 6 Relationships, Inoffensive Saint Young Men, and More Religion Data Girl

Medieval Otaku discusses homosexuality in terms of nature v. nurture as he investigates No. 6. [Medieval Otaku]

Guardian Enzo analyzes Shinto and Shugendou elements of RDG: Red Data Girl in his review of episode 2 of the series. [Lost in America]

D.M. Dutcher uses an example from Little Busters in his plea for mention of the sacred in media as something good and normal. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

Mr. A finds the Saint Young Men OVA to be humorous and inoffensive. [Deremoe]

Something More: Shinto Shinkai, Moe Jesus, and Religion Data Girl

TheSubtleDoctor believes Makoto Shinkai is offering some criticism of certain aspects of eastern religion in his film, Children Who Chase Lost Voices. [rayout]

Vivi really enjoyed the Saint Young Men OVA, though offering the manga as even better. [Sekijitsu]

D.M. Dutcher offers recommendations to Christians in his dissection of the “community over individual” theme in Onani Master Kurosawa and Koe no Katachi. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

In his first impressions of RDG: Red Data Girl, Guardian Enzo gives some context about the Shugendou religion, which plays a role in the series. [Lost in America]

Guardian Enzo also talks a bit of religion in his review of episode 21 of Psycho Pass as he wonders how the series will end. [Lost in America]

Stilts introduces the idea of free market Christianity in his article on episode 10 of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. [Random Curiosity]

Finally, if there are by chance any New Yorkers who frequent our blog, you might consider attending a discussion about religion in anime hosted by Baruch College’s anime club. [Baruch College]

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As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Untangled: What Religion Does Cowboy Bebop Convey?

Perhaps the most important aspect of this blog is connecting with you.  And as such, we encourage you to send us questions and comments through the “Ask the Staff” tab along the site menu.  One such response we received was the following, from reader Res:

So, I’m a huge Cowboy Bebop fan. So, my curiosity is what religion does the show represent. You can interpret that as what religions do the characters practice or what religion does the show convey?

Thanks for the question, Res!

When I first read the question, my answer was immediate: the people of Cowboy Bebop probably practice the same religions that we practice today.  The show occurs in 2071, a mere 73 years after the series first aired.  So, it’s like asking, “Were there Christians way back in 1941?”

Of course, the answer, and Res’ suggestions of how to answer it, are more complicated than that.

Art by 半三行

Art by 半三行

Religion in Cowboy Bebop

We never learn the specific religions (if any) of the show’s main characters.  However, religion does find its way into the plot, if minimally.  If you connect geomancy to religion, “Boogie Woogie Feng Shui” might count.  But certainly more significant is episode 23, “Brain Scratch.”  The group seeks a bounty on a cult leader (Londes) meant to resemble Marshall Applewhite of Heaven’s Gate (though Simon Abrams rather finds a connection to a group more familiar to Japanese audiences – Aum Shinrikyo).  Ghostlighning explains Londes’ philosophy: Read the rest of this entry

Something More: Shinto Sasami-san, Oreshura Allusions, and Ramayana = Journey to the West = DBZ

Jonathan Tappan does a wonderful job of explaining context necessary to understand the Shinto conventions in Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. [FunBlog]

Tom Pinchuk ruminates on the importance of religion and spirituality in Dragonball Z. [Anime Vice]

Pinchuk also mentioned the topic in a previous post I missed, commented on how DBZ related to the Hindu epic, Ramayana. [Anime Vice]

And speaking of articles I missed the first time around, Kylaran last week discussed the connection between Buddhist/Hindu conventions and both the title and show structure of Oreshura. [Behind the Nihon Review]

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As part of the Something More series of posts, each week Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included.