Something More: Redeeming Kenshin, Protestors at Fanime, and Plastic Memory Moments

The title character’s quest for redemption in the Rurouni Kenshin OVA’s contrasts sharply with the Christian idea of our own lack of power in redeeming ourselves. [Lady Hannah Beth]

I’m a few weeks late in this linking , but since you’ll see Anime Reporter on this blog later today, it’s relevant to post a recent editorial he wrote about Ireland’s marriage equality referendum. [Anime Reporter]

The importance of living for the moment, as emphasized in episode 8 of Plastic Memories, reminds of the immediacy of salvation. [Christian Anime Review]

Is OreGairu’s Hayama a Pharisee? Perhaps… [2]

Speaking of OreGairu, the Bible warns of people like the collaborating student council’s crazy hands man. [3]

The Droid’s FanimeCon 2015 experienced started as many conventions do – with religious protestors at the event’s entrance. [AniRecs]

Casey Covel enjoyed volume 2 of Attack on Titan: No Regrets, and also finds that Christian readers may be able to relate specifically well to it’s diminutive lead. [Geeks Under Grace]

As part of the Something More series of posts, 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 to be included.


14 thoughts on “Something More: Redeeming Kenshin, Protestors at Fanime, and Plastic Memory Moments

  1. I find it hard to believe that anyone involved with this blog thought Anime Reporter’s opinions on Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum worth anyone’s time. A polite, well-considered argument in its favor would’ve been worth reading, whether one agrees with it or not. What I read on his website was nothing more than the angry ravings of a spoiled child, passed off as morally superior wisdom. But then again I oppose the blessing of same-sex marriage, which in AR’s estimation reveals me to be a savage, hateful demon from the uttermost pit of hell.

    I started following this blog because I enjoyed the high level of conversation and the respectful exchange of ideas. One more like that, and I abandon this blog for good.

    1. I’m sorry you dislikes his article so much. The idea behind “Something More” is not to present links to articles that I personally endorse – it’s instead to link to articles that have some connection between anime/manga and the broad topic of religion and spirituality. As such, I frequently link articles written by authors that have differing viewpoints from mine. And in that way, we hope to begin some dialogue that might bridge gaps, whether on this blog or another, or just within the readers’ minds.

      1. May I tell you what I see when I come here? I see thoughtful, subtle, clever connections made between the animation and comics offered by a culture as strange and as alien as any to practically anyone in the West, and the Christian faith we hold so dear. I see ordinary people, inspired by such connections, share their own insights on what anime and faith mean to them. Sometimes I see readers and writers struggle with faith and doubt, with sin and forgiveness and the reality of redemption; I see commenters share their interior battles with sexual preference and identity, with addiction and obsession, who fight their battles with such dignity and courage, whose words and feelings are so raw and honest and painful that I never fail to be warmed and edified by them. In short, I see some of the very best that anime fandom on the Web can offer, and I commend you and everyone else at BTT for making this possible.

        I apologize for being so miserly with my praise in the past; you really have put together something extraordinary here–which is why I was so profoundly disappointed by Anime Reporter’s silly rant. There was nothing special about it; I can go anywhere on the Web to find that sort of self-important chest-beating and robe-rending–on EITHER side of the question. I wasn’t offended by it so much as surprised–shocked, really–to find such a thing linked here, given the uniformly good quality of this blog’s other offerings.

        If your editorial policy on this is changing, so be it. But I want to be part of, and share in, everything on the internet that is good, true and beautiful, particularly that which touches upon the Christian faith. I have found much of that here, and have never been disappointed–until yesterday.

        1. Thank you for the kind words and for sharing. Once again, I want to emphasize that this particular column never was intended to link solely to articles related to the Christian faith. In fact, in its early years, almost all the articles were related to posts involving religion that were most definitely NOT from a Christian angle. We have always and will continue to invite Christians to look at how non-Christians view ideas about belief (and then perhaps take the step, as JekoJeko did, as respond), and visa-versa. One way we do that is to become a bridge between vastly different audiences who sometimes ONLY have anime in common at a surface level.

          In the last year or two, “Something More” has become increasingly Christian-focused, but not because of an editorial change. This has occurred because a) there are fewer articles out there relating both to Christianity and anime from a non-Christian perspective (or else I’m aware of fewer) and b) there are far more aniblogs these days developed by Christians who discuss their belief in their posts. This environment has changed the content of this column, but the purpose remains the same.

          I’m sorry that the linked post disappointed and angered you. That’s an entirely valid reaction. Please be wary as you click on links to “hot-button” topics in Something More in the future, though to be honest, these are far and few in between.

          And most importantly, thank you for following along all this time. You’ve been an invaluable contributor through your always-thoughtful commentary, and we hope you continue to help our blog develop by adding your insight, as you’ve done all this time.

          1. Sigh. You shame this old man with your gracious response–and I deserve it, every ear-burning, bright red blush-sticker moment of it. I thank you for thinking me a worthy part of this community, despite my off-the-handle tendencies. I think I’ll stick around, if that’s okay with you.

            1. Don’t worry about it – the topic is a hot-button one, and I would lie if I say I hadn’t had similar reactions to commentary like that in the past (and I’m sure I will again in the future). Please stay around as long as you’ll have us! 🙂

    2. I’m sorry that you feel so negatively about my viewpoint and I’m impressed at your insight that I must surely be a spoiled child with delusions of morally superior wisdom.
      I did say quite clearly at the beginning of my article that I was only presenting my own opinion and that I certainly didn’t want to offend anyone’s faith, only anyone who might be using the words of a faith as something to obscure their own prejudices. I also made it very clear that I don’t think an evil action automatically makes for an evil person, so, no, I certainly don’t think of you as a hateful demon or even a bad person. I couldn’t possibly pretend to evaluate you as a person based solely on your opinion of this one matter.
      If I have offended you, and it seems I have from your response, then I apologise for it and I genuinely hope it doesn’t dissuade you from reading more here at Beneath the Tangles.

      1. I apologize in turn for overreacting and insulting you. But this subject, same-sex marriage, really does merit more thoughtful commentary and criticism. I don’t think it’s as destructive as its opponents make it out to be, nor do I think it is the sine qua non of being GLBT. But amidst the current (low) level of internet discourse on the matter I have become accustomed, perhaps too accustomed, to seeing others of like mind so savagely slandered and demonized that I was tempted to return the favor to a complete stranger–and gave in. Oy. Again, my most humble apologies.

        1. Thanks very much, I appreciate your words and your apology.
          I agree that the internet has become a place where tempers flare all too easily and, like you, I’ve seen too many people ready to demonise those who disagree with them on both sides of most major arguments. If my words seemed to be of that calibre then I must again apologise because that was never my intention. I realise that the title of my piece seems very provocative, but this was due to the urgency that I felt in the run up to this referendum in my country and my honest sense of disgust at some of the tactics employed to promote the “No” side.
          I understand that this issue seems very complicated, particularly when taken from a religious standpoint. I do, however, firmly believe that, just as I would not try to force anyone to live according to my beliefs regarding God, a country’s laws shouldn’t necessarily have to reflect those of a particular religion, because the followers of that faith should surely already be following their own laws. I suppose this topic struck a particular chord with me because I’m quite sure that my deceased grandmother would have had a serious problem with my current relationship with a woman outside of my race. I also know that many of the arguments currently used against same-sex marriage were once used against mixed-race marriage and I know that we would today consider a law forbidding two people from being together because of their races to be highly immoral.
          At no point was I trying to offend anyone’s religious beliefs. In particular, and I apologise as it seems that I did a very poor job of representing this; I was stating that I saw it as very immoral for people to try to use the words of religion to disguise genuine bias. That is, people who don’t necessarily believe in the teachings of a religion but are happy to call upon it to justify intolerance of homosexuality. I also had a problem with people who would try to twist the words of religious texts to push a hateful agenda. My main issue was not with the genuinely faithful, whom I only asked to consider that to those who do not necessarily share their faith, denying equal opportunities for marriage truly seems like an act of oppression.
          I truly do respect a variety of beliefs and stances and I can only apologise again if any of my words offended or angered.

          1. I think you’ve identified the problem, or at least a significant part of it; the language of religion and the language of politics have been conflated to such a degree that believers of a particular faith see that faith’s belief’s about marriage in something purely secular when they should not, and those of a secular worldview might see what they consider more of a contract between consenting adults as being denied and interfered with by people of faith who oppose it on religious grounds–or for less savory reasons, as you know all too well. (At least I think that’s part of what you’re saying.) Our heated rhetoric tends to obscure this further–which is what I responded to, rather than the more objective intent of your piece. And I definitely agree that Christians have been far less charitable and understanding than we could be on this matter.

            And please don’t apologize; the fault was entirely mine, borne of too much time on the internet and too much time to think about what I’m reading. I seriously need to get out more!

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