Anime, especially in the dark fantasy/dystopian genre, thrives on the concept of freewill. Death Note shows the futility of forcing the world into a mold to which it cannot conform. Kiznaiver reveals that shared adversity and duty-driven empathy aren’t enough to keep people (or the peace) together. Psycho-Pass… well… you get the picture. At least as far as anime is concerned, any time freewill is taken from an individual, a society follows suit, and an apocalyptic future lurks just around the corner.
In one of my favorite articles of the month, Alex G. tackles the anime film, Harmony, from which–despite generally negative reviews–he manages to dig up a goldmine of spiritual, philosophical, and ethical discussion points. As you read his well-articulated analysis, consider your own stances on the value of life, the value of freedom, and the value of individuality (and to whom or what you hold their worth accountable).
Read Alex’s full article at The Study of Everything:
And now for a plethora of ponderous posts:
Fullmetal Alchemist doesn’t shy away from the dark side of doctrine, paralleling both the Holocaust and the Crusades; but in exploring religious discrimination, it misses one crucial angle. [Lady Geek Girl]
Is Noragami an elaborate, how-to illustration for curing mental illness? At the very least, the spirit and body must be equally considered in the healing process. [Above the Veil]
At first glance, “pure” might not seem like an appropriate descriptor of Love Live’s Nozomi Tojo, but a deeper look at her spiritual and emotional sides might convince you otherwise. [Apartment 507]
Arguably Zelda’s darkest game, Majora’s Mask challenges players to ask themselves: “How do the masks I wear each day affect my relationships with others (and God)?” [Christ and Pop Culture]
>> If you’re subscribed to CaPC’s monthly magazine, don’t miss their article on Fullmetal Alchemist and the dangers of playing God. (The cover art features a certain trauma-inducing chimera…) 
Maybe there’s not a magical kingdom of beasts hidden underneath our noses (a la The Boy and the Beast), but with the wrong perspectives we could just as easily miss out on the larger-than-life realities around us. [Geekdom House]
Satella’s selflessness in Re:Zero doubles as a fantastical re-telling of a famed biblical parable. [Neighborhood Otaku]
Bakugo has a lot to learn about self-identity and pride in My Hero Academia… and maybe Christians can learn a thing or two from him. [Unsheathed]
Annalyn continues her analysis of anime and religion with a look at the role experience, culture, ideology, and spirituality play in viewing and interpreting the medium. [My Anime List]
Kenneth Bright Jr., creator of Christian anime series, Prince Adventures, recently announced several other projects in the works, including a three-part comic series based on the anime, a video game, and a live action film. [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 contact us to be included.