I get excited whenever I see Christ and Pop Culture publish a piece qualified for the “Something More” column, and this one is certainly an original. I never imagined that the JRPG airship trope could convey so many spiritual truths about freedom and responsibility.
Looking back on my memories playing through the Final Fantasy series (especially that first Final Fantasy–talk about plot-stopping, randomized battles), I distinctly remember sighing in relief when I finally took the wheel of that elusive airship. Suddenly I could soar over those annoying enemy swarms, going anywhere a landing pad allowed me (and at thrice the speed, too). Side-quests? I had access to all of them, whenever I wanted. All that freedom empowered the open-world gameplay that JRPGs promise, and yet more-often-than-not completely derailed the main quest with all of the opportunities for distraction that an airship provided.
At the end of the day (60-100 hours by JRPG standards), the airship is a vehicle of responsibility–a tool granted to aid the player in their world-saving quest. In much the same way, the freedom Christians find in Christ is not an excuse for laziness, but a spiritual “power-up” to be used in the service of an almighty God.
Read Chris Casberg’s full article at Christ and Pop Culture:
And now for a plethora of ponderous posts:
Goku has a humility level over 9,000, and maybe that’s the secret to his accomplishments. Could the real key to the Dragon Ball hero’s Super Saiyan power be his ability to find strength in meekness? [Geekdom House]
>> Why do humans have the ability to “regret,” and why does forgiveness not permanently “erase” (pun intended–wait for it!) our past mistakes? Erased and Haibane Renmei reveal spiritual truths about the roles that love and experience play in coping with the regrets of ourselves and others. [Geekdom House]
>> Zack Fair lives life (and sacrifices it) with eternity in mind. If there’s any truth to Crisis Core’s vision of immortality, then our noble ambitions echo in eternity, alongside our souls. [Geekdom House]
Could the overwhelming popularity of Attack on Titan be due to its use of archetypes and symbols innate to the human subconscious? At the very least, Eren Jaeger embodies the narrative of a (Gnostic) Christ figure… and the rest of the series seems to follow suit. [The God Above God]
Gamers have a life-changing decision to make in Fire Emblem: Fates–to pursue conquest or birthright? The choice might be made easier for Christians, who will see something nostalgically familiar in Corrin’s predicament. [Gaming and God]
Mike Peckham, director of the anime short My Last Day, reveals the challenges, motives, and applications in adapting the story of the crucifixion into anime form. [LogosTalk]
Yoshitoshi ABe didn’t intend for religious themes to override Haibane Renmei’s narrative, but with the anime’s heavy Christian influence it can be tricky to see that forest for its trees. MAL takes a deeper look at the symbolism of wings, names, rebirth, sin, halos, and more. [My Anime List]
Despite its parallels to Christianity, the gospel of Evangelion implies a much more humanistic reality. Christians might cringe at the Creator’s displacement, but Voltaire would certainly be proud (warning: contains profanity). [Ruthless Culture]
Japanese fans mourning the loss of their favorite anime characters can soon have memorial services performed for their “deceased” anime figurines. Currently in the process of hiring shrine maidens, the Akihabara Shrine is expected to open before the month’s end. [Rocket News 24]
Last, but certainly not least, congratulations to Medieval Otaku on four years of aniblogging!
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.
Featured image by Moni158