Something More: Gaara’s Guilt, Loving Charlotte, and My Beats, Your Existentialism

The more I engage in social media, especially through Tumblr, the more I witness just how deeply connected a lot of anime fans are to their favorite characters – emotionally, physically (dakimakura), even sexually. I have my favorites, too, but besides feeling some empathy toward the characters, and occasionally shipping them, I don’t have a really strong attachment. That, too, applies to characters I most dislike – there’s no deep-seated vengeance I feel toward them. I don’t think of them very deeply at all.

However, JekoJeko makes a really good case that Christians should be thinking more about anime characters, and particularly, how we consider them in our minds. Taking criticism of Charlotte, for instance, the blogger wonders how Christians might be so quick to dismiss or even deride annoying characters (much less evil ones).

At first, I thought maybe JekoJeko was taking this a bit too seriously – this is what otaku often do, after all. But the argument is convincing and I’m now convicted. The way we approach all things in life – anime and anime characters included – is telling about our attitude toward God and others. As we’re transformed, our hearts move toward love – and why shouldn’t that reaction also apply to characters, even if it’s going to be on a more obviously surface level? For the way we react to the world is telling of the condition of our hearts.

What do y’all think? Check out JekoJeko’s post and comment there:

>> Christianime: Love Thy Characters

Our own Samuru1 hosted a panel about Christianity and anime at SuperCon and it received a warm response. [Geeks Under Grace]

Casey Covel, also of our site, had the opportunity to interview Kenneth Bright, Jr., who is developing Prince Adventures, an anime-style franchise aimed specifically at Christians. [2]

Angel Beats’ Hinata has difficulty holding onto the past – that kind of guilt can prevent us from moving foward. [Old Line Elephant]

Speaking of Angel Beats, an interesting of viewing it is as a property about life itself – not just in content, but the show’s very structure, flaws and all. [Mage in a Barrel]

Eren’s transformation into a titan (a wrong makes a right) in Attack on Titan brings about interesting contrast with the Christian’s life (God makes right from out wrong). [Lady Teresa Christina]

Gaara’s purpose and meaning for life in the original Naruto is full of selfishness and self-reliance – and it’s perhaps his the character’s guilt that belies a more significant meaning for existence. [2]

Amagi Brilliant Park takes the common anime theme of relying on your friends for support and offers something more – and something more biblical. [UEM!]

Noragami takes Shinto gods, which have become fairly commonplace in anime, and makes something quite more than common. [Ganriki]

Does the end justify the means? For the boy selling see-through photos of classmates in episode 2 of Charlotte, it does. The answer, of course, is quite different from a Christian perspective. [Christian Anime Review]

Can you find “enlightenment” through aniblogging? Perhaps, and at the very least, you might find a wonderful outlet for creative energy. [Fujinsei]

Although not anime-related, I would be remiss if I didn’t include this excellent, excellent article about Disney’s Pinocchio, which makes strong correlation between the title character and the Irenic version of the first man, Adam. [Res Studiorum et Ludorum]

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. Special thanks to Don of Zoopraxiscope Too for notifying me about the Pinocchio post!

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