Blog Archives

Guest Post: Suisei no Gargantia and How One’s Goal Dignifies One’s Life

Medieval Otaku is run by a bookworm inflamed with a desire for learning and for God.  The study of foreign cultures, literature, and history eventually led to him discovering anime, which hooked him with the remarkable richness and beauty of its stories and is likely to remain a strong hobby of his for decades to come.

Suisei no Gargantia stands as one of the more interesting of mediocre mecha shows because of the themes it explored.  For all its failures of plot and containing only a couple of dynamic characters, it attempted to ask great questions concerning human life and dignity.  Of the two prospective societies, we have the plainly Spartan Galactic Alliance, fully devoted to war, and the republican Gargantia flotilla, where each person seeks their own happiness without the undue interference of others.

Suisei no Gargantia 1

Spartan mother saying to her son to return either with his shield or on it

But, what criteria do we use to determine which society stands in the right?  It is self-evident that every man wishes to be happy presently and, for those who avow the immortality of the soul, to be happy eternally.  The way we strive for happiness and what we determine as our end goal that lends dignity and meaning to life.  One can hold it certain that goals which do not lend dignity to life are neither correct nor lead to happiness.

Suisei no Gargantia 2

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Something More: Doubting Homura, Ghostic Haibane, and Ef: A Tale of Theologies

Japes gets into the nitty gritty of the characters’ personal theologies in Ef – A Tale of Melodies in a thorough and thought-provoking post. [Japesland]

Nick Calibey correlates Rakka’s sprouting of wings in the first episode of the series to teachings of the Gnostic movement. [A Rather Silly Blog]

Emily compares Homura’s storyline in Puella Magi Madoka Magica to Doubting Thomas. [For Me, in Full Bloom]

Annalyn compares the Christian God to Striker, the self-declares one, of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. [Annalyn's Thoughts]

D.M. Dutcher finds the Erica Fontaine of Sakura Wars to embody a positive and fairly accurate portrayal of a Christian. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

Tommy ends his review of Anime Expo with an interesting note related to his Christian beliefs. [Anime Bowl]

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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. 

Suisei no Gargantia, Episode 04: A New Way to Be Human

You’re throwing your love across
my impossible space
You’ve created me
Take me out of me into…

A new way to be human
To a new way to be human

I’ve been wavering on Suisei no Gargantia, unsure if I would continue the series.  It’s been pretty to look at, but other than that, I’ve only been captured by certain moments in the show, instead of by the setting, the characters, or the plot in general.  Episode four, however, turned things around a bit, as our protagonist begins learning how to be “more than soldier.”

Ledo begins to search for information, and as he does so, we see his attitude.  He espouses survival of the fittest, the greater above the lesser, and rules over heart.  Ledo finds the ideas of family and friends to be foreign and unnecessary.  He will only help others when it promotes his mission.  And as such, though he fights for the survival of the human race, Ledo’s heart is one filled with selfishness.

But through Ledo’s meeting with Bevel, Ledo comes to see that there is value in kindness and compassion that can’t be measured by his goals.

Humans are at their best when they forget themselves and put others first.  Selfless acts bring warmth to our hearts when we see them on the news, and help bring us happiness and peace when they are personally demonstrated toward us.

I’ve said that our nature is selfish.  It’s what we gravitate toward – this motive to love ourselves above all others.  But we also know that it isn’t right – it isn’t what ultimately satisfies.  Deep down, Ledo knows this, too, as demonstrated through some sort of painful sacrifice, briefly insinuated in this episode, is buried deep in his memory, and by his own selfless actions in the first episode.

I hope (and imagine) this will be a larger theme of Suisei no Gargantia –  Ledo connecting to this loving humanity and he spends time among a people.  And as he searches for a way to return to the battlefront and his home, he’ll find something else as well – a new heart.

Something More: Madoka v. Jesus, Kirino Acts Like a Christian, and Christ the Stampede

It was quite a week for spiritual and religion tinged articles in the anime blogosphere, headlined by Alexander’s still on-going series entitled, Madoka > Jesus.  Here are his posts thus far:

Nick Calibey responded to Alexander’s post with his own article. [A Rather Silly Blog]

Stardf29 reviews episode 3 of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet and makes connections between the importance of “thank you” and life lived less legalistically. [A Series of Miracles]

D.M. Dutcher compares Kirino’s treatment of her otakuness in Oreimo to how Christians often treat their faith. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

In another post, he makes some great comparisons between the humorous hero, Vash the Stampede, and Christ, as well as to scenes in Trigun: Badlands Rumble and the “problem of pain. [Cacao, put down the shovel!]

Dutcher also advises Christians in his reviews of Aoi Sekai No Chuusin De and season one of Oreimo.

Japes, who guest-blogged for us earlier this week, is off and running on his own aniblog, beginning with an introduction of his theology. [Japesland]

Japes also brings his faith into a defense of Vocaloid as an artistic expression. [Japesland]

Medieval Otaku points out Christian theology and themes in his review of several manga, including Superior and Vinland Saga. [Medieval Otaku]

So…the Jesus and Buddha characters of Saint Young Men are now being used to market fashion merchandise.  Interesting. [Anime News Network]

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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.