Blog Archives

A Year Ago on Beneath the Tangles

A year ago…Hana of T.H.A.T. Anime Blog guest posted about how her religion affects her cosplaying…

…and I guest posted at Anime Instrumentality about Fractale and Japan’s love for Irish music.

Kanba and Shouma reindeer

A year ago…I wished everyone a Merry Christmas by analyzing the finale of Mawaru Penguindrum

…and a Happy New Year by discussing Gilles de Rais of Fate/zero.

A year ago…Goldy talked about Guilty Crown and being yourself…

…and “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” and getting out of one’s comfort zone.

A year ago…I visited my first con…haruhi-movie-182

…where I sat down for a second interview with Caitlin Glass.

A year ago…I scattered thoughts about the Toradora OVA episode…

made a judgment about our reasons for going to church (according to Hourou Musuko)…

saw four “faces” of God in Chihayafuru

…and gave thanks for Don and others for their various gifts.

Wandering Son

Guest Post at Anime Instrumentality: Fractale and Japan’s Link to Ireland

ZZeroparticle at Anime Instrumentality was so kind as to let me write a guest post for his amazing blog.  For months, I’ve wanted to write about the fondness the Japanese feel toward Irish music, using one of my favorite EDs, Fractale‘s, as an example.  Please go have a read:

Fractale’s ED and Japan’s Nostalgic Drive Toward Irish Music

I hope you enjoy the post – it was a chance for me to write something a little more academic in tone.  And while you’re there, please look around the rest of the blog – it’s one of the best-loved in the anime blogosphere for good reason.

While we don’t write about music much on the blog, we do have a smattering of music-related posts, so take a look if you’re in the mood.

Top Blog Posts About Anime and Religion in 2011: #1-6

Jesus and Buddha

Art by はっさく

New Year’s is often a good time for retrospection – personally, professionally, even regarding one’s hobbies and interests.  On Beneath the Tangles, that means looking at the two major items we discuss: anime and religion/spirituality.  Though all of the writers here are Christian, I’ve also been sure to link to posts that discuss anime and manga in relation to other religions, particularly through the Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere posts, which appear here every Friday and on other occasions.

Though I’d love to talk up my co-bloggers, I’ll leave out any of the posts written by staff (well, you can find a few of my favorites here, here, and here).  Instead, the list below is of posts written by other anibloggers involving anime/manga and religion/spirituality.  Numbers one through six are listed in chronological order (seven through twelve to follow tomorrow):

1. Fractale 01: The Looming End of Our Fantasies
written by Ghostlightning

If the Fractale system removes the problem of suffering due to privation entirely, it is arguable that it has done more than God would do for creation. This is why it presents itself (or perhaps there are those who present it as) the operational God of this world. If your most basic needs are taken care of (an income to survive, to participate in the market), then aren’t you free to pursue your dreams?

Read the entire post

Read also: The Ascent into Hell: Infinite Ryvius and School Days (yeah you heard me)

Read the rest of this entry

A Guide to the Guides: Spring 2011 Anime Series

Every three months, the anime blogosphere becomes filled with anime viewing guides for the upcoming season.  It’s an exciting time for anime fans, as anticipation is at its highest and not yet sullied by disappointing series.  It’s also the time where instead of creating my own guide, I do something which I think would much more handier – create a guide to the guides!  Below are some of my favorite winter 2010/2011 anime preview guides.

Preview Guides

  • T.H.A.T. Anime Blog
    Without fail, the writers at T.H.A.T. Anime Blog deliever excellent previews each season, including information like trailers, summaries, genres, and nifty additional details.  The shining spot, though, is the quick series of one-liners given underneath each listed series, which are often funny and written by some of the best and most knowledgable bloggers in the anime blogosphere.
    Grade A for great info and great fun
  • Random Curiosity
    This site provides a unique experience among preview guides.  In addition to giving necessary information about every series, it’s all the extras that make this guide stand out.  Divine includes additional season information (ex. how the disaster in Japan is effecting the schedule) and categorization and commentary about the shows in the concluding section.  Most importantly, the page features a table that shows when each show will air, and one for release dates of OVAs and movies.
    Grade A for being tabletastic and full of insightful and interesting reading
  • Emory Anime Club
    While the information about each show in this preview is no different from other sites, what stands out here is the commentary about each.  Tsuki and Steve write plenty about each show, providing the potential (given in percentages) for each, as well as other information, including comparisons to other series.
    Grade A for one-stop shopping and expert analysis
  • Sekijitsu
    The writers for this blog are energetic.  It’s fun to read their commentary about each show.  But maybe even better than that is how pleasing the preview is to the eye – the page is really attractive and each series is accompanied by a nicely-designed picture/information cube.  The bloggers are also smart in hiding the long commentary and trailers, which only show up when clicked.
    Grade A for design and blogger moeness

The above-linked guides were each mostly created by multiple bloggers.  I also appreciate the in-depth guides made, heart and soul, by singular bloggers.  Blogs that fit in this category (check them out!) include Otaku Life, Hashihime, Yuri no Boke, and Banana Muffin.

Charts and Other Preview-related Sites

  • The Cart Driver
    I’m not sure if Scamp was the first to create an “anime season preview chart,” but his may be the most prolific.  Frequently linked to and resposted, Scamp’s charts provide the basics of each show for the upcoming season in a clean and attractive format.
  • Moetron
    Moetron’s visual guide is very stylish and contains information about each series, as well as this spring’s OVAs and movies.  The site also gives a great TV listing schedule.
  • Countdown Anime
    This fun site provides countdowns for each of the new anime this winter.  It’s a neat way to get even more excited about the upcoming season.


I’m also looking forward to previews by Rabbit Poets and Major Arcana.  Each has excelled with their past previews, but I’m unsure if either or both will create such posts this year.

What I’m Looking Forward To

It’s always fun to look back and see what we planned to watch and how it turned out.  Last season, I mentioned that I was looking forward to Hourou Musuko and Fractale.  I’m still enjoying the first greatly, while I dropped the latter after just two episodes.  Instead, I picked up Infinite Stratos (for better or worse).

Typically, I only want to watch about two series each season, but this spring, I’m looking foward to four.  I’ve been waiting for Moshidora ever since I first heard about the concept last year – if nothing else, it should be fun and interesting.  Nichijou is the type of series that is usually hit-or-miss with me, but it’s director’s association with Key productions means I’ve got to give it a shot.  Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai has a storyline that captivates me and again, the director, who did work on Honey and Clover and Toradora!, two of my favorites, has me intrigued.  Finally, I want to check out Sket Dance, since I’ve nearly started on the manga a half-dozen times.

Enough of me, though.  What are you looking forward to this spring?

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Fractale System as God

Fractale just started airing in Japan (lucky for us, Funimation is simulcasting the series, with episodes appearing just hours after premiering!).  The first episode was nothing at all like I expected, which isn’t entirely a bad thing.

One surpring element in the first episode had to do witht he idea that the Fractale system had become a god in society.  Not only reminiscient of organized, state-required religion (there are similarities to Islam in religiously conservative countries like Saudi Arabia), the system also reminds me of North Korea, where the divine leader is even projected as part of a triune God – Kim Jong-Il is the “son,” his father (and the first leader of North Korea) is the “father,” and the state is the “holy spirit,” if I remember correctly.

Ghostlighting of We Remember Love goes into further detail about the religious ideas (and other themes) from the first episode.  Take a read!

Fractale 01: The Looming End of Our Fantasies

A Guide to the Guides: Winter 2011 Anime Series

Every three months, the anime blogosphere becomes filled with anime viewing guides for the upcoming season.  It’s an exciting time for anime fans, as anticipation is at its highest and not yet sullied by disappointing series.  It’s also the time where instead of creating my own guide, I do something which I think would much more handier – create a guide to the guides!  Below are some of my favorite winter 2010/2011 anime preview guides. Read the rest of this entry


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