The Aniblog Tourney (apologies for originally putting this post up too early – voting is now up for our second match) has been an interesting experience. I love tournaments and I enjoy competition, so it’s mostly been a lot of fun for me. I’ve also been grateful for all the feedback for our blog.
In the first round, among the critiques given us was the following, by Evan, editor of our opponent this round, Anigamers:
The writing on Beneath the Tangles is technically proficient, but the few topics I skimmed through felt inconsequential. Anime characters in hospital beds? Fanfiction about anime characters getting married? It leaves me asking “so what?” That said, Christianity is an interesting theme for an anime blog, so at least you guys are unique.
I certainly respect Evan’s opinion. He runs a very successful, long-enduring site and is a real writer – a journalist whose posts I admire (please read his post detailing the very convincing reasons to vote for his site). When someone like that levies criticism, the wise thing to do is consider it. So I had to ask myself, is our blog inconsequential?
The answer? Quite possibly, though I hope not. I’d like to think that Evan’s assessment is based on his skimming of the blog, without reading our more thorough posts (or the posts he chose more thoroughly).
The truth of the matter is, if we’re being inconsequential, then I’ve made a severe misstep and missed my entire purpose for blogging.
But then again…maybe we’ve been on the right path after all.
More Than Fanfiction and Hospital Beds
We write about series which challenge us to become better people; have the power to transform; cause us to think upon our past actions; and force us to lay a critical eye upon the larger culture, Christian or otherwise, and upon ourselves.
We’re concerned with the people of Japan – their physical well-being as well as their spiritual lives. Further, we’re concerned with how all people, including the defenseless, the bullied, and individuals with disabilities, are treated. We examine depression and guilt, which hurt so many people, as well as the power of forgiveness. We encourage readers to give back.
And we find that even if we approach anime simply for fun, we can’t get away from significant themes that strike at us again and again, like those of sacrificial love, personal transformation and faithfulness.
I’m a Christian and You’re Not. Um…And…?
There’s one more thing we do, and it’s all tangled up in our faith.
All the writers here are Christian. Obviously then, the posts are written from a Christian point of view. We are biased.
But we are also open and welcoming.
Our community here is full of Christians, but is also populated by atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, and perhaps those I don’t know about who are of other faiths. I’ve worked to create a safe place and open environment where we can engage in religious discussion, spearheaded through a project in which an atheist, a ghost-worshipper, and a follower of a personal religion, among many others, explained their faith, while discussing anime.
For many otaku, religion may not often come to mind in our day-to-day lives. But that doesn’t mean the topic isn’t important to us, nor does it mean that’s not significant in general. Here, we’ve created a place where spiritual pavement hits animation road, and we can chat about anime while discussing religion, particularly that which the writers follow and espouse, Christianity.
If all this is inconsequential, then I’ll just have to live with that label. In fact…I’ll stick it on my blog any day of the week.