It’s been a particularly busy week in spiritual stories related to anime, specifically involving organizations. Let’s get right to it!
Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) is beginning distribution of Risk Ride, a manga purposed to address those filled with hopelessness upon the one-year anniversary of the massive Japanese earthquake and possibly thinking of suicide. Illustrated by a mangaka who lost her infant to SIDS in the months before last year’s quake and written by a member of CCC staff, the manga follows two motorcyclist friends on a journey. Missionaries will distribute the manga and open conversation using the piece, which points readers toward Christ. [Christian Post]
Pluralistic Japanese religious group, Happy Science, announced plans to release an anime film, “The Mystical Laws,” in October. Directed by Cowboy Bebop set designer, Isamu Imakake, the movie will be based upon the book by Ryuho Okawa, the religion’s founder and Messiah-figure. The plot is interesting and certainly very anime-like, so I’ll be interested in seeing the ratio of entertainment to propoganda in this feature. [Anime News Network]
Akira mentions the prevalence of Christian schools in anime, providing historical background and drawing connections between missionary schools and the elite in Japan. [Moe Fundamentalism]
Zeroe4, one of our bloggers, continues his series “Under the Mask of Lies” on his other blog by comparing Puella Magi Madoka Magica to living the Christian life [Zeroe4]:
When someone first becomes a Christian, everything is amazing and wonderful. Their hearts are on fire, but soon after the enemy tries to wipe out that fire. They then learn to fight.
In analyzing episode 22 of Mirai Nikki, draggle discusses the heavy topics of free will, rules of the universe, and the omnipotence of God. I was about to respond to one point in regards to omnipotence, but of course, draggle mentioned much of what I said just a little further down the page [Draggle’s Anime Blog]:
The second answer (and the one I find more interesting) is that God can create a rock he can’t lift. And God can lift the rock which he can’t lift! An omnipotent God created the laws of space, time and nature, but these laws do not bind him; only his creation. So it seems plausible to assume that God also created the laws of logic, and is not bound by them either. He’s omnipotent, after all.
Draggle also continues with his neat series of posts on Guilty Crown featuring his revision of a hymn (in this week’s post, it’s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”) as sung by another blogger (this week it’s Anya). The lyrics and his commentary analyze some of the (over-the-top? too obvious?) religious symbolism in the show. [Draggle’ Anime Blog]
Wikketkrikket analyzes Absolute Boyfriend and Ai Love You, examining the nature of humanity, taking a Christian point of view. [Wikketkrikket]
Marina reflects on an episode of Natsume Yuujinchou that revolves around a Moon Splitting Festival. [Anime B&B]
Sweetpea reviews Osamu Tezuka’s masterpiece, Buddha, and comes away thinking she need to adjust her ratings of other manga a little lower. [Paper Chimes]
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.