TangleCast 46: The Abridged Episode

TangleCast 46: The Abridged Episode

 
 
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Parody, when done well, can bring humor, thought, and heart to a topic that might be lacking in those qualities. In western otaku culture, anime parody has taken off in the form of “abridged series,” which often get to the heart of an anime’s theme in a clever, and as Team Trinity argue, more effective way than the original show (queue SAO Abridged). We invite you to join Aric, London, and Hannah this week as they dive into abridged anime series and tug at the soul of parody.

Here’s this week’s CQ (Cast Question): Are there anime a Christian shouldn’t watch and why is anime often so sexually suggestive?

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Teresa Christina if an infj, college student, cat lover, president of the anime club, and gymnastics coach. One day her life changed when she discovered anime from a friend she was taking a sword class with during high school. Now she use her love of writing and anime to try to create friendships in the anime community.

11 thoughts on “TangleCast 46: The Abridged Episode

    1. Thanks for the thought! You know, as someone who hasn’t seen a single episode of an abridged series, are there any that successfully parody an anime that is a critical darling? SAO, Naruto, and Hellsing are well loved, but each has its detractors and all are worthy of some criticism. What of the award-winning (but still popular) series in this medium?

        1. The first season is iffy on the quality due to using the bad version of DBZ’s DVD’s, but it’s got some good jokes. Quality picks up in Season 2, and by Season 3, it’s practically a dubbing of Dragon Ball Z on par with Funimation.

  1. 1. Yes. But since God didn’t include a list of approved anime in the scriptures, to say more requires us to delve into questions of interpretation, application, and conscience that don’t lend themselves well to making general rules to bind on others (e.g., “No Christian should ever watch THIS show and Imma judge you if you do”).

    2. We might as well ask why Ovid and Shakespeare were sexually suggestive. The answer is because A. sexuality is a major part of human nature and life, and B. humans almost always ignore the will of sexuality’s Creator and mess it up. In the case of anime more specifically, I expect that the sexually suggestive elements reflect something about how Japanese culture deals with sexuality (not that American culture has a much healthier attitude toward sex). Considering Japan’s problematically low rates for births and marriage, I have no doubts that Japan has a serious problem with sexuality, too. I don’t want to infer too much from anime, but I suspect another clue pointing toward a deeper problem with the Japanese perspective on sexuality is the casual presence of pornography in anime. I don’t mean a show itself being pornographic, but rather shows that depict characters having porn collections, or porn being sold in stores, and this being treated as nothing remarkable (actually, IIRC Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku made a joke out of characters assuming the guy had a porn stash and being shocked that he didn’t). If this reflects anything about the presence of pornography in actual Japanese culture, then porn is likely at least as much of a problem in Japan as it is here in America. Ultimately, I would trace all of this to Christianity’s weak influence in Japan – it’s hardly surprising that people who know nothing of the one true God don’t adhere to his intentions for sex.

    1. It means “to shorten,” and is usually applied to creative works. For instance, a lot of kids growing up will read abridged versions of classics—it may be too difficult to read the full text of Moby Dick when you’re 12, but maybe you can read the abridged version.

      In anime, this whole series of abridged anime have come out; they not only shorten the original series, but they also make fun of them.

  2. Tyler (FB): Yes – however, I don’t believe that there’s any one anime that ALL Christians should avoid. Rather, the Holy Spirit knows which anime each of us can watch and which ones to stay away from. This is best assessed on an individual basis. God knows exactly what will hinder you. It’s best to listen to the Spirit. Some anime may be for others but not for you and vice versa.

    George (FB, Patron): I’d say some extreme seinen series are so nihilistic that there’s no moral excuse for them – Berserk is a prominent example. Artistically impressive, but so dark and diabolical that I would consider it actually spiritually harmful to read – and I say that having read a fair bit of it.

    Aside from avoiding series that are given over to moral nihilism, I’d say the judgement of the conscience depends from person to person. If one finds anything that provokes the passions – whether lust, or violence, or despair, or what have you – then it’s harmful and should be avoided. You just have to be morally aware of how something affects you.

    I think Japan has much more permissive attitudes toward sexual material in entertainment, even shounen-age entertainment, because the dominant culture has always been pagan, or simply atheistic. “Chastity of the eyes” is simply not a moral value in their culture, as it would be in a historically Christian culture, as far as I understand it.

    Angel (FB): Yes – however, I don’t believe that there’s any one anime that ALL Christians should avoid. Rather, the Holy Spirit knows which anime each of us can watch and which ones to stay away from. This is best assessed on an individual basis. God knows exactly what will hinder you. It’s best to listen to the Spirit. Some anime may be for others but not for you and vice versa.

    Danny (FB): In my opinion, there are some animes a Christian should definitely not watch. For example: Kill La Kill. Jesus said this: “Matthew 5:27-28 (NKJV)
    27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.“ You are going to tell me you are going to watch a whole anime with women showing off “them goodies” and not lust once? Okay. My opinion: do not lie to yourself. God sees and knows all. You cannot play the fool when you are one and one with Jesus Christ one day. Yes, Jesus forgives us of all sins (thank God), but we should not abuse our Christian liberties too. You can tell there are some things that a Christian should not watch.

    Japan. Sex sells. You see panty shots, big breast, women treated just for “eye candy”, etc. This grew more and more from 2000 and up I believe. You do not see “too much or barely” fan service in old school animes.

    Andrew (FB): That’s part of the Japanese culture. It’s hyper-sexualized and sex really sells there. It’s gonna be impossible to find a super clean anime except the Ghibli movies.

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