So Long, Farewell, We’ll Miss Ya: Eight Great Posts from 2DT

On Tuesday, 2DT, writer-extraordinaire, announced that he was discontinuing his blog.  Although it’s sad to see a popular blogger move on, it’s not unusual, right?  You’d think so – which is why I was surprised at the sense of melancholy I’ve felt the last few days.  2DT has been an encouragement to me, but the reason for the tinge of sadness goes beyond that – upon reflection (and digging through the many past entries on 2-D Teleidoscope which were written before I followed blogs), I realized why: never again would I read a new post by the best blogger on the Internet.

One can separate bloggers into three categories:

  • Bloggers: These writers conform well to the opinionated tone of the anime blogosphere.  They are the largest subset (perhaps 90%), but like all three, there are only a handful of great ones.  I could break this category down further, but I’m too lazy to. -_-‘
  • Academics and Reviewers: I place these two in the same category because their writing is entertaining more on an intellectual level.  Their work often takes some research and isn’t often dependent on the newest, hippest trend or show.  Again, there are only a few great ones.
  • Authors: These writers are a pure joy to read.  Each post is a tiny piece of literature – something to savor and enjoy.  These are the writers whose work I try to set aside for a quiet time, so that I can read and take in every word.  This is the smallest group and every member is a great one.

There are two bloggers I qualify as authors – one is on hiatus.  And the other just retired.

On a less significant (and more selfish) note, Beneath the Tangles’ is the worse off for 2-D Teleidoscope’s end.  I frequently linked to his blog (and he was kind enough to link to me from time to time).  If one thing defines 2DT, besides the wonderful tone of his posts (compassionate? intelligent? clever? whimsical? All of the above.), it’s his willingness to write about any topic, no matter how taboo.  Sometimes, that means his post are a bit not-safe-for-work, and sometimes it means he’ll tackle an issue few do in the anime blogosphere: religion.

It would be too difficult (and off-theme) for me to give a complete list of my favorite posts, but I can mention eight of my favorite 2DT posts that tackle religion and spirituality.  He touches on a variety of topics, from the occult to Christianity to Buddhism.  Have a read – and while you’re there, take some time to savor the writing of a man whose writing will be dearly missed in the aniblogger community:

1. The Hellsing Model of Christianity

2DT’s very first post focused on how religion was portrayed in anime, particularly in Asura Cryin’ and Hellsing – an insightful little post that was indicative of even greater things to come.

In a country like Japan where Christians are stunningly rare, let alone Catholics versus Anglicans, Hellsing and its ilk may be the only education the average Japanese fan gets about this kooky western religion.

I still don’t know whether to be fascinated or to smack my forehead and give up.

Read the entire post

2. Forbidden Faith in To Aru Majutsu no Index

In this post, 2DT discusses the “Hidden Christians” of Japan, relating them to a religious sect in the Index series.  He also mentions Silence, one of my favorite novels.

It’s a fascinating history that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention, especially in anime.  The most prominent example I can think of is one episode of Samurai Champloo, which featured the historical practice of fumie: suspected Christians were forced to step on an icon of Jesus and defame the Virgin Mary.

Read the entire post

3. Thinking about the Gods with Kannagi

Postmodern (or postcolonial?) sensibilities regarding gods and prayer are on display in that addictive little anime about crazy shrine maidens.

The goddess Nagi is rejuvenated when she develops a fan club, and her more powerful sister Zange adopts mannerisms vaguely like that of a Catholic nun, because Christianity is supposedly a stronger religion.  Initially I wondered if this attitude to religion was an import from the west, or if it was possible, for example, that this was just a natural consequence of Japan’s secularization in the 20th century.

Read the entire post

4. Unineko no Naku Koro ni and the Seals of Solomon

2DT often discussed occult practices and ideas on his blog.  His first post on the topic pointed out a seal from a famed grimoire featured on the series, Unineko no Naku Koro ni.

First, an explanation: I’m a bit of a dabbler in the occult.  I don’t do robes and “blood for the blood god” theatrics, but I just find things like divination, demonology and mysticism very interesting and worth studying for a non-traditional perspective.

Read the entire post

5. Heresy and Humanity in Shikabane Hime

In a remarkable post, 2DT discusses the conflict between the Buddhist “sin” associated with desire and that same life-affirming principle.

Japanese Buddhism is a curious beast.  It maintains the basic belief, as expressed by Shakyamuni Buddha, that existence is a state of suffering caused by worldly desire.  But layered on top of that is a uniquely Japanese preoccupation with death and the afterlife.

Read the entire post

6. Sora no Woto and Mudras (Failed Entry #1)

2DT educates us on mudras in a clever posts, the likes of which are why I love 2DT’s writing.

Buddhist mudras moved from India to China, and from there to Japan.  In particular, ninja mythology makes great use of them, which you can see in the special moves of Naruto, and, off the top of my head, when Akira makes her first fighting appearance in Mai-HiME.

Read the entire post

7. Ave Fabulae: Looking for the God of Anime Fandom

I admit, I was a bit excited when 2DT discussed my aniblogger and religion survey in this post, in which he finds a common ground in how both the skeptical fandom and religious types long for something to fill their souls.

Fantastic stories are the bread and butter of the fandom.  Show me walking on water, and I’ll show you a bunny girl skysurfing on an electric guitar.  Shows like A Certain Magical Index will even use religion for the extra flavor.

Read the entire post

8. Our Lady of the Pink Lace: Fashion as Salvation in Madoka Magica

2DT draws a connection I think few of us saw when viewing Puella Magi Madoka Magica – between Madoka’s costume design and her role in the magical girl universe.

“Church of Madoka” jokes aside, she did essentially decide to become the patron saint and protector of magical girls.  And like the blue dress of the Virgin Mother, before they die, all of them see her: The magical girl who made the ultimate sacrifice to save them, the redeemer in frills and lace, buttons and pretty bows.

Read the entire post

Although I joined late, I’m glad to have been part of the ride (in a car jam-packed with fans) to read 2DT’s many wonderful posts (and later, to listen to the only podcast I regularly download).  Good luck and God bless!

19 thoughts on “So Long, Farewell, We’ll Miss Ya: Eight Great Posts from 2DT

  1. I said in twitter few days back that I feel a sense of melancholy when I found out that 2DT has quit. Never thought I would be that greatly affected. Just to show how influential his writing is.

  2. Wow, what a wonderful way to pay tribute to a wonderful blogger. I won’t even say aniblogger, because I find his writing stands equal and even above some of the most successive blogs out there. I love that you link to your favorite posts of his, because it really gives readers an idea of what it is that you appreciate about him, and how his writing may pertain to their own interests.

    I was very surprised when I read about his retirement on the day of, but didn’t know exactly what to say that had not already been said by others. I’m a fairly new fan, only having followed 2DT for as long as I’ve been blogging: 1 short year. And yet I immediately noticed how special the writing was, how easily it pulled the reader in and engaged the thought process. I agree that he easily falls into the author category.

    1. Thanks! With 2DT at least, it felt very natural to do a post like this.

      Oh, and by the way, in case you didn’t already know, you’re also one of my favorite bloggers. 😉

  3. I was also saddened and surprised to see him go. His writing is at once both extensively researched and effortless. If I had talent like that, I would never stop writing. I can only hope he’s quit to undertake a new writing project.

    1. Absolutely – you know that better than I do, having gone to him as a source recently. And I feel just like you do – if I could write like 2DT (not that it’s talent alone – I’m sure he’s mastering his craft through endless writing), I think I would try to make it a career…which reminds me, I really need to get reading the Fan to Pro copy I won on your site!

      1. You SERIOUSLY need to read it. It honestly changed the course of my life. Last January, I was reading Fan to Pro on the commute to my dead end job; this year the author and I are friends who motivate one another to achieve our fandom goals.

        Do you think it would be taking advantage of having 2DT’s email to ask him what his plans for the future are?

        1. I’d say “no, it isn’t,” because I’m planning on doing the same. 🙂

          Maybe I can copy you or visa-versa. 😛

  4. Wow, this post was on par with a requiem. As far as 2DT is concerned, I didn’t know that blog very well due to my recent arrival into aniblogging, but I heard about the blog finishing upI had to check it out. I can say with confidence and in accordance with this post, we have lost a great blog.

  5. 2DT is going to be an influence and model for the community now. He may have stopped writing, but he is not going to be forgotten anytime soon.

  6. I did not have time to check 2DT’s blog these past few weeks, and your post was what broke the news to me.

    Not going to lie, I did not read many of his posts, but that was because those posts required you to sit down and be in a nice state of mind before you dived in, regardless, I am quite saddened by this.

    It was not only his great posts that I am mourning, it was the fact that he was an incredibly nice guy (or at least very good at seeming like one). You don’t meet many people like that.

    1. Oh yeah – he’s definitely a great guy. A really, really good guy – and very genuine.

      I think it’s interesting how your comment kind of makes it seem like he’s passed away – a lot of the comments (and my own words) do. It feels like that kind of lost – that’s a sign of someone not only making an impact through his words, but also through who he or she is.

      Oh, and sorry, I edited out one word from your comment…ya know, just because it kind of doesn’t jive with my blog’s purpose and such. I hope I’m not offending.

      1. Oh haha, absolutely no offense taken. I try to avoid swearing, but I often forget that what I consider to be be a regular word, might not be as regular by the standards of other people. So, don’t worry, I should have been more careful. 😛

        Part of the reason why my comment might have made it seem like he passed away was because I jumped the gun. I assumed that he was totally gone from the blogosphere (but he is still on Twitter, so yay!), however, there is still a good deal of truth in your point.

        Master 2DT was someone that a lot of people respected, looked up to, and in general liked being around. More so than his writing, he was (or is) a representation of what a blogger, no, a person can be.

        Oh, and I totally agree with your author point. I normally dislike it when bloggers call themselves writers in the non-literal sense (so, basically implying they are authors of some worthy writing), but 2DT was one guy that I honestly consider to be a writer in every sense of the word, and the best thing is, he was a humble fellow, so, he never really bragged about it or anything.

        Now,I have another thing to add to my list of online regrets:
        Not getting closer to 2DT when I had the chance. 🙁

  7. >.< I really need to start looking at more blogs before they end. I had no idea this blog existed…will it be left up so that people can read it?

    1. There’ll be an “aniblog tournament” starting up a few months from now – that’s a good opportunity to find some good blogs. I think we’ll be part of it…

      And yes, I do believe he’ll keep it up – at least for the short term, and hopefully indefinitely.

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