Of the many positive outcomes that results from a focus on diversity is this: Diverse thoughts and inclusion of many peoples opens individual minds, helping us all to more deeply understand what we probably already know, which is that the world is much bigger than what we personally see and experience. With that in mind, the theme we selected to focus on for this year’s Holy Week involves a group and topic we don’t often discuss on our blog, and in fact, is largely ignored across the anime fandom: individuals with disability. While the idea is no stranger at anime conventions and many articles have been written about the topic, including several of our own, there’s no blog site dedicated to anime fans with disabilities as far as we’re aware, and more troubling, the landscape on this topic is very surface-level; a survey would find that “characters in wheelchairs” is a far more common post than “How such and such character shows us a different way of living.”
This week on Beneath the Tangles, we’ll do our best, then, to tackle this important topic. We’ll discuss disabilities that are more traditionally seen as such and those that aren’t; we’ll look at characters with disabilities that are obvious and those that are invisible; and we’ll experience posts by writers who have disabilities themselves. And in doing so, we hope not only to shine a light on this topic, but to also point toward Christ, whose resurrection we’ll celebrate in just a few days—he who came to love all people across every spectrum imaginable.
To get your minds stirring as we start the week, here are some topics of conversation. We’d love to hear your feedback!
- Are you living with a disability? How does it affect your life in challenging, enriching, or other ways?
- Can disability affect how we experience anime, both on a primary level and deeper secondary level?
- Does anime accurately represent individuals with disabilities? Who is an example of such a character?
- What are some positive representations of disability in non-anime media?
And if you’re a person with a disability and would like to speak with someone about faith, please reach out to us. On Facebook, Tonie, who has been a guest writer for us in the past, is available to discuss. On Twitter, Sorincha, who authored the article that will post on Good Friday this week, is ready and willing to chat. Both ladies live with disabilities and have a great perspective on faith and the challenges they’ve faced. Please reach out to them if you’re in need!
Regardless, please stick with us this week—I think you’ll enjoy what we have coming your way!
Featured illustration by トウマ．トマト (reprinted w/permission)