Something More: Sexualized Shipping, Islamic Anime, and the Love of Asuna, Ackerman, and Ashitaka

Tangles is no stranger to tough topics, and the sexualization of anime by fans is one we’ve delved into at length. As a cosplayer and massive fangirl myself, I’m often directly in the middle of the otaku community and consistently surprised by how far characters and narratives are stretched in order to sexualize them. Especially for those of us who have biblical convictions against this sexualization, it can be difficult to make a rational case for our perspectives within a community that does not always accept theology as “evidence.”

Kelly’s article is a lengthy apologetic piece, detailing the harms that befall not only the characters and the author’s intent, but also those within the fandoms themselves when franchises are needlessly sexualized. Incorporating personal experience, cultural context, and a theological view of the subject, Kelly makes a solid case for the lost value of real, unconditional love in one of the most thought-provoking pieces of the month.

Read Kelly’s full article at Geeks Under Grace:

>> When Shipping Goes Too Far

And now for a plethora of ponderous posts:

In Princess Mononoke, Ashitaka’s efforts to “see with eyes unclouded by hate” brings to mind grace’s ability to heal–not only our persecutors, but also ourselves. [Geekdom House]

>> Sword Art Online asks some rather spiritual questions about the meaning of life. Can all the answers be found in love? [Geekdom House]

>> Levi Ackerman may be a rude, crude, bad little dude… but his ability to grasp others’ emotions and respond to their needs echoes a Christ-like love. Could he possibly be the most selfless character in Attack on Titan? [Geekdom House]

Finding a solid anime series without too much objectionable content can be tough for a Christian. Here are four recommended anime picks for Christians–especially those wanting to avoid fan-service. [Neighborhood Otaku]

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final is turning Hindu heads with its “trivializing” portrayal of Lord Krishna, and religious statesman Rajan Zed has petitioned SEGA to remove the controversial character from the upcoming roleplaying game, saying that “No faith, larger or smaller, should be mishandled.” Could this case affect future portrayals of religious deities within gaming and anime? [Rajan Zed]

Biblical truths can be found in the most unexpected places, even in anime centered in Shintoism like Spirited Away. Chihiro and Queen Esther actually have a lot in common. [Lady Teresa Christina]

There’s plenty of Christian imagery in Neon Genesis Evangelion, but that’s certainly not the only religion Hideaki Anno drew inspiration from. [My Anime List]

If you follow a religion, people are going to judge you superficially–that’s a given–but maybe a look at perceived “deviancy” is also warranted (warning: contains profanity). [Fantasy and Anime]

Despite its heavy fan-service, Myriad Colours Phantom World brings to mind the importance of putting God’s family above all others (fantasy rabbits included). [UEM!]

Young Black Jack tackles major historical events in episode 7, while advocating the importance of being a peacemaker in a time of violence. [Christian Anime Review]

The Shizuoka Muslim Association recently ran a campaign for mosque construction using an anime advertisement created by Sakura Takagi (Kill la Kill, Parasyte -the maxim-) and Kana Kono (Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods, Gingitsune). [Anime News Network]

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 contact us to be included.

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