Something More: Winter Anime, the Music of Re:Zero, and Perfect Black and Blue

Hi, folks! TWWK here to add a few comments about an article before Samuru takes it away for the rest of this month’s round-up.

Perhaps the biggest news story to come from the world of anime the last few weeks was Nobuhiro Watsuki’s arrest for possessing child pornography. The impact has been pretty widespread, and I think will continue to affect more and more people. Rurouni Kenshin’s recent revival has gained the franchise new, younger fans, and it remains an important series for many others, including a number of our staff members.

kenshin graves
art by mui | reprinted w/permission

Tony of Manga Therapy dove into the arrest and the complexity of the issues surrounding it on his blog. His piece reminds me of the idea that what we consume has an impact on us, an idea that’s expressed throughout scripture but which is often challenged by those outside the church. I think maybe the reason why there’s a disconnect is because neither side understands the complexity of the relation between input and output. Because there are so many intricacies contained within our experiences, genetic makeup, and cultural identities, it’s maybe best to look at ourselves for an answer. I don’t know what Watsuki feels right now, or how introspective he has been over these years that he’s been involved with such content, but I imagine that for him, a culture in Japan that hasn’t long been protective of children and which sexualizes minors in manga pushed him more toward this evil fetish. In a different situation, in a different place, with different choices, Watsuki may have been able to avoid doing what he did.

In my own life, I’ve found that the availability of some media opens the door for me to go from standing firm to reveling in sin. And because the content for these things is not always obvious (ex. ecchi), I need to be especially  vigilent in what I’m letting into my life—and I’m not always that way, especially when I’m not right in my relationships with God and with others. But the path between doing right and doing wrong is narrow, and we each grapple with different temptations, and so more than anything, Watsuki’s arrest might function as a wake-up call for whatever we struggle with, whether as bad as his actions or something lighter, and encourage us to take seriously how we approach life, lest we become that which we detest, that which we know we can be.

Check out Tony’s full article, and all the other articles we’ve linked below!

Manga Therapy—Scars Larger Than a Cross

Isekai is a genre of anime that has been booming for quite a few years now. It’s easy to think of at least 3 to 4 popular anime that have characters swept into another world somehow. Digimon was one of the most popular to use this concept in anime, and Takafumi describes how it presented the Isekai formula for new series to learn from. (Please No Hate)

When Black Swan premiered to critical acclaim several years ago, many took note of the movie’s similarity to Satoshi Kon’s classic, Perfect Blue. I have not watched either, but the plots are interesting and dive into the dark decisions their main characters make. Nina (Black Swan) and Mima (Perfect Blue) begin to lose their minds as they try to become someone they are not. In Nina’s case, she wants to become the Black Swan so she can be the lead performer in a dance, while Mima wants to achieve new success as an actress instead of being a singer. The comparisons are definitely there. (The Cinemoptimist)

The Answerman from ANN gives some interesting details of Christianity in Japan. If you don’t know some of the history or how the Japanese deal with Christians, this is a short and good read for you! I learned a few things myself.  (Anime News Network)

Chaos Tangent details six beautiful winter scenes from various anime like Mushishi, Ghost in the ShellFive cm per Second, and more. Some are shorter than others but just as captivating. He relates them to his experience living in the eastern part of Scotland. The images he captured were really nice, and I know you will find a scene you didn’t know was out there from his selections. (Chaos Tangent)

I am sure you have heard someone say that anime is a waste of time, and shouldn’t even be bothered with. Eric Perez explains how we need to keep our priorities first and make sure other things are not taking us away from them. He also talks about how anime can help build a relationship with others, even inviting them to church through an article on Inuyasha and sin. It can also add value to your life, but you’ll have to read on to find out how!  (Geeks Under Grace)

As a big music junkie, I really appreciate the music in anime. Many times, it’s not a big deal and is mainly background noise. Re:Zero, according to Cain, has a wonderful OST and he breaks down several of his favorite tracks. For those that haven’t tuned in to this anime or paid much attention to it’s soundtrack, I recommend looking over this one and get some behind the scenes information on the anime and it’s music.  (Cain S. Latrani)

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