Blog Archives

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

Read the rest of this entry

TWWK’s Top Anime of 2012

2012 is ending in a whimper, at least for me, as there are few series I’m absolutely loving this fall.  That seems to apply to the year as whole.  Looking back at my list of best anime from 2011, there were a number of series that jumped into select company among my very favorites, including Hourou Musuko, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Usagi Drop, and Mawaru Penguindrum.  I had yet to see Steins;gate or the first season of Fate/Zero at the time of that posting, but they would have been included in the group as well.

Because of the lack of great series this year, I’m not giving as many shows on the following list.  I dropped dozens of series this year, too; they didn’t interest me enough to continue watching, failed to keep my interest for the entire season (ex. Accel World and Eureka Seven Ao), or were dropped for other reasons.  I also want to note that didn’t see a number of critically acclaimed series this year, skipping out the likes of Space Brothers, Jorgumand, Kimi to Boku and the latest Natsume Yuujinchou,and stalling on Psycho Pass.

And because I didn’t complete too many shows in 2012, this end-of-year list functions more to show my favorites than those I judge the best.  Let me know your favorites in the comment section below.

Merely Okay: 3 to 4 Stars

Little Busters

First, the bad: the series has been, well, boring.  It also has way too many girls who act like they have some psychological condition.  Luckily, the show has been trending upward lately, and I’m eagerly anticipating the second season.  There are also some fun characters (mostly male). Read the rest of this entry

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Fairy God Mother, Sinful Anime Characters, and Religion in Haibane Renmei and Kids on the Slope

Processr shares his background with religion as he explains the criticism of the topic in episode ten of Humanity Has Declined. [Anipulse]

A number of other bloggers also touch on “Watashi as God” in this episode, including Tenchi, Draggle, and Guardian Enzo.

Scamp’s post on last week’s episode of the same series examines the meaning behind the “religions are invented” quote from the show. [The Cart Driver]

In his analysis of You’re Under Arrest, Medieval Otaku relates the complexity of characters to human sinfulness. [Medieval Otaku]

Draggle continues to delve into Christianity as he blogs Kokoro Connect, pointing out the idea of repentance as expressed in episode nine. [Draggle's Anime Blog]

Sweetpea participates in the Aniblogger Interrogation Game and includes an answer related to her personal spiritual beliefs.  I wonder who posed the question… [Paper Chimes]

Alexander provides some analysis of the religious theme of Haibane Renmei in his sparkling review for the series. [Ashita no Anime]

Speaking of positive reviews, Sweetpea gives a strong final rating for Kids on the Slope, though she bemoans how religion is used in an on/off manner in the show. [Paper Chimes]

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As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere 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. 

Sakamichi no Apollon, Episode 09: Love Lessons

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

- I Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is the putting of another above oneself.  One interesting thing about the famous verses above is that not only do some of the given definitions indicate the character of love (kindness, hopeful, etc.), but they indicate the heart of the one who is doing the loving.  It’s hard for many of us to be patient, to not envy, to put aside pride, and even to trust.  So in love, we put aside all our faults and all that makes us selfish, and give everything we have (and that we didn’t know we had) to another.

Episode 9 of Sakamichi no Apollon was my favorite yet.  Not only did it tug at the romantic heartstrings, but it defined love as sacrifice, just the way described above.  It’s not easy to love…and that’s what makes the action so great.

Sakamichi no Apollon

Art by マサト

Read the rest of this entry

Sakamichi no Apollon: What Do You Think It Takes to Make an Interfaith Relationship Work?

One the of most interesting aspects of Sakamichi no Apollon is the inclusion of Christianity in the plot.  In episode two, it’s inferred that Kaoru is surprised (and maybe even a little weirded out) to find that Sentarō and Ritsuko are Christians.  Yet, it doesn’t hinder Kaoru from continuing to pursue a romantic relationships with Ritsuko.

Although that relationship may not come to fruition, the question which remains with me is about how the difference in belief would impact that relationship, if at all.

I had a conversation with Alexander of Ashita no Anime (aside: check out his reasons for disliking the show) in which we discussed the wall a Christian may put up when considering whom to date.  Conservative Christians often choose not to date individuals outside of their faith.  I can attest to this.  Right or wrong, I decided not to further pursue a relationship with a young lady during my college years primarily because of the difference in our religious beliefs.

Alexander further commented that conflict involving faith would be inevitable even in a relationship between Christians – how much more so, I wonder, between a Christian and someone of a different faith?

So, I’ll leave these questions to you readers to discuss:

Have you dated someone with a strong faith in a religion other than yours?  Did it cause difficulties?  If so, how did you resolve them?

Would you ever date someone of a different faith?  What concerns would you have, if any?

Would you consider marrying such a person?

Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: In the Garden of Yuri, the Significance of Jesus Cosplay, and Hindu Anime Cola

Ray wonders what would have happened to him if anime had never come into the picture, and ponders about the connection between his Christian faith and that medium. [Anime Diet]

Also on Anime Diet, Monsieur LaMoe laments the lack of nun characters this season, as he graphically explains why is moe for Christian girls, while more seriously explaining a bit about missional schools in Japan [Anime Diet]:

Guilty pleasure is the most sinful! Virgin Mary now becomes a symbol of yuri! If I’m a girl, I would be definitely worshiping our Lady!

Charles Dunbar’s recent post is a fascinating piece comparing religious gatherings and conventions and includes a very interesting story about an Easter service and an individual cosplaying as Jesus. [Study of Anime]

Dliessmgg shares matter of personal faith while emphasizing how anime can be a religious experience. [Inflating the Tokidoki Balloon]

Suburbanbanshee provides some context for the Catholic imagery in episode 2 of Sakamichi no Apollon. [Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber]

Draggle also gives his feedback on episode 2 of Sakamichi no Apollon, including some thoughts on the introduction of Christianity into the plot. [Draggle's Anime Blog]

Bitmap examines some of the mysteries of Mysterious Girlfriend X, episode 2, including a cola can that references Hindu astrology. [The Untold Story of Altair and Vega]

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As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere 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: Jazzy Christians, the Religious Context in Tsuritama, and Holy Spit!

Anime Kritik takes an unusual approach to the spit-filled first episode of Mysterious Girlfriend X, taking about, among other things, Biblical ideas regarding spit (and other bodily fluids) and the freedom of the New Covenant. [Kritik der Animationskraft]

Mira does an amazing job of unraveling the religious symbolism, including Hindu, Buddhist, and Shinto elements,  connected to the opening myth (and therefore the locale) presented in episode one of Tsuritama. [Hachimitsu]

This week revealed that Christianity may play a significant role in the new anime, Sakamichi no Apollon.  A number of bloggers mentioned this, with Tsuki giving more thoughts than most. [Emory Anime Club]

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As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere 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.