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

My Favorite Things (2012)

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Christmas songs are ubiquitous during the holiday season.  In my household, we have Michael Bublé, Martina McBride, Andrea Bocelli, and MercyMe playing constantly.  The music of the season has become part of the holiday tradition for many families.  A lesser tradition here on this blog is my rewording of a song that has become a holiday classic – “My Favorite Things.”

Chihaya is only a few weeks away;
Anime tropes even if they’re cliche;
Saber rises above the other kings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Art by スロウス@ついったは住み家

Art by スロウス@ついったは住み家


Mawaru Penguindrum
coming on Blu-Ray;
Kiritsugu finally fights against Kirei;
Rikka to Yuta with a pinky clings;
These are a few of my favorite things.

Yuta and Rikka

Art by 鳩

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Trial by Juri: Revolutionary Girl Utena and Believing in God v. Believing in Yourself

Seven episodes into Revolutionary Girl Utena, and it seems like the series still hasn’t begun to show it’s depth.  I expected to know more about the Rose Bride and the world revolution by this point.  But as with Mawaru Penguindrum, though only the most analytical found meaning early on in the series, I was (and am) discovering some ideas I think are worth exploring.

In the episode featuring Juri’s duel with Utena, the idea of miracles plays a significant role.  The characters’ definition of a miracle is a little different from my own, focusing more on an event that seems to be more than coincidence rather than a happening that breaks the laws that govern the universe.  That difference was brought up in my small group meeting several weeks ago, when we discussed events in our own lives that we might consider miracles.

Revolutionary Girl Utena Juri

Art by みきろんてぃる國吉

In that small group meeting, I shared the idea that in my prayer life, I’ve unintentionally drifted away from asking miracles, or at least asking for blessings out of my control, of God.  As I pray, I share with God, and as I do so, I’m often convicted of things I should do in my own life.  As such, if there’s a spectrum, my prayer life has moved away from asking great things of God to simply sharing and figuring God wants me to do things on my own.

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A Year Ago on Beneath the Tangles

A year ago…Murasaki Lynna joined our crew

…and immediately mused about Clannad‘s Yukine Miyazawa

…and later about finding joy in ARIA.

A year ago…Goldy examined Guilty Crown, wondering what route the hero would take…

…found him to be a character worth rooting for (at least at this point in the series)…

…and discovered a correlation between the characters and prayer.

A year ago…I found connections between Chihayafuru and the idea of divine appointmentsClaymore Miria

Chrono Crusade and silence from God

…and Mawaru Penguindrum and the problem of pain.

A year ago…R86 discussed the devotion many have toward anime fanart…

…and how Kin’iro no Corda demonstrates the idea of how the “despised” may shame the strong.

A year ago…I compared Phantom Miria of Claymore to Jesus Christ.

A Year Ago on Beneath the Tangles

Kamba, Shoma, and Himari

Art by mg

A year ago…I was watching (and loving) Mawaru Penguindrum…

…as well as Usagi Drop, about which I wrote one post

…no, two about the fourth episode.

Wandering Son

Pixiv Member #3267074

A year ago…I was stirring debate when talking Hourou Musuko and homosexuality

…and finding a Christ figure in Eden of the East.

A year ago…R86 was sharing some of what he enjoys about his favorite show at that time, Ookiku Furikabutte.

A year ago…Chelsea Machiella guest posted about Christianity in anime.

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: CCM Artist (and Close Anime Geek) Cait Plage, Angel Beats Heaven, and Haruhi’s Five Proofs

In M.E.X. Magazine, Christian musician Cait Plage (who previously interviewed with us) mentions the extensive anime dubbing she and her friends did in the past [M.E.X Magazine]:

Well, I am a true nerd at heart.  In middle school, I was a closet anime/video game geek….I would spend hours upon hours every day recording lines, auditioning, and ‘hanging out’ online with my VA friends.

Our newest blogger, Zeroe4, continues his “Last Requiem” series on his other blog by comparing heaven with the afterlife represented in Angel Beats! [Zeroe4]

However, in Angel Beats! and heaven there is love and camaraderie. In Angel Beats! and heaven everyone has a place they fit and everyone finds where that is. In heaven and Angel Beats! there is value placed on every person.

SnippetTee, who has sneakily become one of my favorite bloggers, explores the pneumatic side of dreams in relation to Mushishi. [Lemmas and Submodalities]

Tom Langston was disappointed that the “Philosophy in Anime” panel at SacAnime was cancelled, so he briefly discusses what might have been presented, particularly relating Haruhi Suzumiya to Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs. [Nigorimasen!]

Jonathan Tappan posts an excellent and helpful timeline for Mawaru Penguindrum, which largely revolves around events (true and fabricated) involving the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult. [FunBlog]

RocketNews24 reports that makers of traditional Japanese swords will be commissioned to cast replicas of weapons from Neon Genesis Evangelion.  The first is that of the Lance of Longinus, a weapon in Evangelion that shares a name given to the spear that pierced Christ’s side. [RocketNews24]

Monsieur LaMoe begins his post on Aquarion Evol by quoting Jesus on eunuchs, and goes into detail about the three different kinds that He mentioned.  From there, I’m really not sure where he goes (I admit it – I got lost). [Anime Diet]

And to conclude on a cheery note, Steelbound wishes us all a Happy (February) Christmas. [The Null Set]

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As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogsophere 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. 

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Pokemon and Priests, Dreams of Crusading Anime, and Superflat Artist Tackles Buddha in Qatar

It appears to be Catholic week here at Beneath the Tangles, emphasized by a couple of blog posts relating Catholicism with anime:

I am not arguing that the Church is a lot like the Pokemon world. (Alright, I am.) But more than that: The natural cry of the human heart — as best shown in the desires of children — is answered by the life of the Church.

You read it right – a post at Bad Catholic connects Pokemon, of all series, to the Catholic Church.  But the blogger doesn’t stretch to fit a point – Marc’s post is a thoughtful one about order and hierarchy, which makes the argument given in the quote above.   He is an excellent writer and I encourage you to read the entire post. [Bad Catholic]

Ghostlightning tells his readers what kind of anime he’d love to see produced (and invites us to to join in with our suggestions) – his would heavily involved Catholicism.  If you know Ghostlighning, you’ll know that he’s knowledgeable about a world of things, including the Catholic Church.  [We Remember Love]

Ash Brown, a librarian, reviews Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, an English translation of noted Japanese account of the Tokyo sarin gas attack predicated  in 1995 by the religious cult, Aum Shikryo.  Ash is a terrific writer and his site is well worth a visit.  Also of note is that this book was frequently referred to in The Untold Story of Altair and Vega’s excellent colloquium series on Mawaru Penguindrum. [Experiments in Manga]

The always entertaining Monsieurr LaMoe definies chuunibyou and gives a variety of examples of chuuni, anime and otherwise.  Among his models are a number related to religion, including Christ himself, with the writer modifying scripture with the following verse [Anime Diet]:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a chuuni will never enter it.”

Artnet reports that famed artist, Takashi Murakami, who is known among other things for artwork that explores “sexual complexes of otaku culture” (Wikipedia), explores Buddhism in a new show in Qatar, just in time for Buddha’s birthday (February 15). [Artnet]

Zeroe4 introduces a series of post on death, in which he’ll muse on the subject from a Christian point of view while also relating anime to it. [Zeroe4]

Finally, although I’m a few weeks late on this one, it’s worth mentioning Cytrus’ post on a Yui-centered episode of Angel Beats.  He discusses a bit about the joyful aspects of the afterlife. [Yaranakya]

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As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogsophere 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.  Special thanks this week to Don of Zoopraxiscope for the link to the Bad Catholic article.

Top Blog Posts About Anime and Religion in 2011: #7-12

Yesterday, I gave numbers one through six on my list of the years top posts regarding anime and spirituality.  It’s been difficult selecting the top posts of the year, though I’ve found again and again, they’re written by my favorite writers in the blogosphere.  These wonderful bloggers seem to be adept at writing about a variety of subjects, religion included.

Art by 泉水真琴

Below are the remaining six of the year, listed in chronological order:

7. Apples and Devil’s Deals: A Religious Analysis of the Apple Scene in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
7.13.2011
written by A Day Without Me

Kyouko herself gains knowledge, too, and likewise comes to unhappiness, although unlike her father she is capable of adapting. But she herself takes on the guise of the Snake, at least as things develop, for she offers a literal apple to Sayaka while also holding forth an apple of knowledge as well. Sayaka’s already dealt with one Snake in the grass, and made the mistake of taking the apple from Kyuubey, but tosses the apple back at the second she encounters.

Read the entire post

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Fate/Zero’s Blasphemy as Praise, Gnosticism Among Penguins, and Snowy Weather Yokai

I took last week off for Christmas, which means there is a plethora of links to share on Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere today.  I’ll return to the regular Friday schedule starting next Friday.

I was surprised that although this week’s Fate/Zero included a lengthy discussion of God’s sense of justice and His nature, few bloggers discussed the scene.  Draggle examines the idea of blasphemy as praise, while Chikorita157 and Hisui, among other bloggers, summarize Caster and Ryuunosuke’s discussion about God.

Another finale that aired this week was for Mawaru Penguindrum.  Draggle concludes the show with a thorough analysis of Gnostic elements.  Chaostangent discusses certain ideas in the series, particularly the religious element of sin.  Nopy demystifies some of the show’s symbolism, which included some religious elements, like the apples.

Zeroe4 provides his otakucized version of I Corinthians 19-23:

To the Otaku, I became as an otaku (even though I serve Christ first) in order to win otaku.

On his other blog, Zeroe4 brings up Genesis when talking Chobits.

Charles Dunbar profiles the Yuki-onna yokai.

In the way of reviews, Sweetpea dislikes the religious-themed manga, Testarotho and Kuuki found Happy Science’s Rebirth of Buddha confusing.

Bobbierob’s Secret Santa show was Haibane Renmei, and befitting of the series, he writes a bit about the themes of sin and salvation in the angelic series.

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As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogsophere 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.

Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 24: Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Kanba and Shouma reindeer

Art by さちゅ

I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas Day.  I love Christmastime and I can’t deny that a big reason for is because I typically take vacation from work during this time of year.  And the very first thing I did after waking on my first day off was to watch the series finale of Mawaru Penguindrum.  And befitting of the season, it was a religious experience.

While the Buddhist overtones of the episode were strong, as in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, I saw something additional – again as with Madoka, I saw Christ all over the series finale.

How appropriate, then, that my final post on Mawaru Penguindrum is all about the One whose birth we celebrate today.  And although I couldn’t tell you what everything in the episode meant or the how’s and why’s of all that happened, I can tell you that in the end love won out in an episode befitting of the power of the Christmas message. Read the rest of this entry