Something More: Evil Religion in Shin Sekai Yori, Catholic Context in Angelic Layer, and My Seven Little Deadly Sins

The new season of anime has started!  Each season brings with it a series or two that deals with spiritual, supernatural, and/or religious themes.  Since these ideas are often used simply as a plot device with little meaning, I tend to ignore these shows.  But Shin Sekai Yori may be a little different.  And at the very least, it’s getting a lot of attention from anibloggers:

  • Highway finds the questions it poses intriguing. [Sushi Go Kart]
  • Draggles notes that if it involves “crazy conspiracies with a religious tint,” he’s sold. [Draggle’s Anime Blog]
  • Alexander notices some strong themes involving growing up. [Ashita no Anime]
  • Guardian Enzo compares the series to Noein (<— I definitely agree) and Ghost Hound. [Lost in America]

A couple other bloggers focused heavily on the religious tones.  Tsuki noticed that the creators really emphasized Shintoism in the little details as well as the large [Emory Anime Club], while Cholisose also discussed the religious motifs [Sea Slugs!]:

The rituals, architecture, clothing, and beliefs of the characters all appear to draw from Japan’s traditional religions to some degree–namely Shinto and Buddhism. In the society of this story, purity is strongly emphasized, as is the need to cut off ties to all worldly desires and gain enlightenment. The mysterious power people can gain is a blessing from the gods, there is an acknowledgement that spirits play a significant role in this world, and terms such as karma and mantra are part of everyday vocabulary.

In other news…

Charles Dunbar discusses the history Japan’s youkai, and what makes these monsters unique. [Study of Anime]

Sometimes Catholic characters are thrown in to series with little forethought, but apparently that’s not the case for one of Misaki’s opponents in Angelic Layer. [Aliens in This World]

The Christian Anime Review site has a host of new reviews up, including those for the Bakuman manga and Bleach. [Christian Anime Reviews]

Finally, Fillyjonk discusses the relation between the My Little Pony characters as the Seven Deadly Sins (My Seven Little Deadly Sins!) and, more aptly, to the Fruits of the Spirit. [Fillyjonk’s progress]

Thanks to Don for the links to the Angelic Layer and MLP articles!


As part of the Something More series of posts (formerly Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere), 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. 


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