Q&A with Our New Staff: Josh, sleepminusminus, Joseph, and Paris!

Over the last couple of months, we’ve brought in four new staff members to join our ministry. A couple of them have been running our social media accounts for weeks now, so you may have been reading their work without even noticing a change, while the remaining two are brand, brand new!

With this being our 10th anniversary year, it felt very appropriate to throw back, as we’ve done all year, and introduce you to them in the way we once did: through a Q&A! So here we go—introducing Paris, who will be covering conventions and doing cosplay content for us; sleepminusminus, one of our writers, who just dropped a guest post for us last week (like I said, brand new); Josh, who helps run our Twitter account and also contributes to the blog; and Joseph, our Instagram admin and the podcast team’s video editor.

Question 1: How did you become associated with Beneath the Tangles?

Paris: Funny enough, Charles found me on my personal Instagram—not my cosplay Instagram! He saw that I went to Dallas Theological Seminary and wanted to recruit me onto the team, but at the time I was still in school and an active member of of another group, so I didn’t have time to make any commitments. Now I’m graduated and excited to be a part of the team!

sleepminusminus: It’s been so long… I must have looked something up about Christianity and anime and found BTT in the results. I’ve kept up with the blog on and off ever since.

Josh: Charles and I were `both members of the Christian Anime Alliance forums. Years later, when I started up my own blog, Charles was so welcoming and so encouraging. A true inspiration. Fast-forward a couple months and I’m coming off a really, REALLY stressful time due to a blog article I wrote that was not received well by some. Charles helped me out of that dark time and when all was said and done and my brain was no longer a quivering mass of goo, he asked if I would like to join BTT. I had to think and pray about it for a while before I said yes and, well, here I am.

Joseph: I met Charles in college and we went to the same church for some time. I always thought it was cool how he used something as secular as anime to evangelize, but it didn’t cross my mind that I could do the same thing until I saw some of my classmates working for BTT too. Then after I graduated, I asked if I could join and here I am.

Question 2: How did you become an anime fan?

Paris: I guess I was kind of born into becoming an anime fan—being half Asian. On my birthday each year, my uncles would take my brother and I to this anime store back when VHS was still a thing, and we could rent as many anime VHS tapes as we wanted! Some of my first anime included Ranma ½, Kodacha, and Yu Yu Hakusho (we weren’t sensored as children). I related so much to Sana Kurata that I literally wanted to change my name to Sana, haha! (I think I still do relate to her lol)

sleepminusminus: At first, Youtube clips of visual novels served as the gateway drug into a deeper obsession with anime. After some personal struggles with pornography, I took a break from anime for around a year. When that year ended, some close friends started watching Nagi no Asukara and invited me to watch along. I’ve been riding the slice-of-life train ever since.

Josh: Okay, first of all, Paris is awesome because I have heard very few people talk about Kodocha and the fact that was one of his first is amazing. Second, SleepMinusMinus is awesome because…well…Nagi no Asukara is awesome, and I also am a happy passenger on the Slice-of-Life train. But I digress. My anime switches were flipped one night in around 2002-2003. I was up late and I was channel surfing. I came across this show that ended up being Yu Yu Hakusho. It was so cool as I had never seen anything like it before! Then…then Cowboy Bebop came along and that’s when I realized there was this whole bigger, wider world of those funny Japanese cartoons than Digimon, Pokemon and Monster Rancher. I came back the following Saturday, and the Saturday after that. Before I knew it, I was writing fanfics and joining online forums. Then I was buying DVD’s and Newtype USA magazines. Next thing I knew I was going to cons and meeting other fans. My ascendance into the world of anime has been quick and amazing.

Joseph: I grew up watching all of the classic kid’s shows like Pokemon and Yugioh with my brother. At night, I remember we would always be excited to watch Inuyasha because of how much more actiony it was compared to American cartoons. I don’t think I realized that I was watching anime until in middle school though, when one of my friends asked me if I watch anime, citing Inuyasha as an example. Then he recommended I watch Code Geass and after I watched that, I realized that there was more to anime than just really cool fight scenes and have been watching since.

yu yu hakusho cast
YYH is an important starting anime for Paris and Josh (art by つ ゆ / reprinted w/permission)

Question 3: How would you describe your place in the fandom?

Paris: I think my place in the fandom would be a cosplay enthusiast and entertainer. I love Instagram and Tik Tok right now but I’m also hoping to start doing Visual Novel walk throughs on Twitch.

sleepminusminus: In public, I’ve mastered the art of the lurker, only peeking out to mark my completed shows on AniList. Most of the time, though, I watch anime with IRL friends and make fun of bad CG. I also spend excessive hours on rhythm games while procrastinating work.

Josh: I think my place in the anime fandom right now is as a mature anime consumer who has just enough writing talent to put his opinions, thoughts and ideas to a word document or in a 240 character tweet and have it make some kind of sense.

Joseph: I don’t really take part in online discussions, but I know most of what they talk about and the references usually (even the memes). I also try to keep up with the actual industry itself too, like what studios are up to or what the directors are doing. Fandom wise, if anyone mentions the Monogatari series, be ready to listen to me rant for an hour on how it’s a masterpiece.

Question 4: What anime or manga are you excited about these days?

Paris: Right now I’m most obsessed with Re: Zero and My Hero Academia.

sleepminusminus: Kyoto Animation has been consistently good recently. I just finished the Haruhi series and I’m thinking about picking up Lucky Star (but only for the Haruhi references). Beyond that, I’m hoping the new Higurashi remake is better than the original. Oh, and the new Made in Abyss movie had better not disappoint.

Josh: Of course, I’m beyond excited to see where Digimon Adventure (2020) is going to go. It’s been a fascinating watch so far. Seeing these characters who I know but don’t know has been a real prodigious experience. It does feel like we’re moving pretty fast though. Sticking with Digimon, I’m also excited to FINALLY get to see Digimon Adventure Last Evolution Kizuna. I grew up with the Adventure ‘99 crew, and knowing this is their final curtain call is bittersweet, but I’m interested to see how this whole thing plays out. Getting away from Digimon, I’m really excited to see the Stone Wars arc of Dr. Stone. I’m completely caught up with the manga so I know what’s to come, but I still want to see it play out in anime form.

Joseph: I’m really excited for the new Maeda Jun original next season: The Day I Became a God. Re:Zero has got me on edge every week and probably will until next year. The Violet Evergarden movie was just released in Japan and hopefully it finds its way here soon. Oh and Haruhi is back in print with the next light novel coming out soon, so that’s been a long time coming.

Season two of Re:ZERO has us all excited (art by 茕榕 / reprinted w/permission)

Question 5: QUICK FIVE

Best live action anime adaptation?

Paris: Ghost in the Shell
sleepminusminus: I’ve only watched Detective Pikachu
Josh: Death Note (2006). Chairman Kaga is Light’s Daddy.
Joseph: Alita: Battle Angel

Digimon or Pokémon?

Paris: Pokémon
sleepminusminus: Pokémon
Josh: Digimon
Joseph: Pokemon

My first cosplay was…

Paris: Ken Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul! I was really into Facepaint and FX makeup in High School so I literally just painted the mask onto my face.
sleepminusminus: Lurkers don’t cosplay
Josh: My first cosplay was supposed to be Izzy from Digmon at MechaCon this year, but COVID happened and…
Joseph: Kagamine Len from Vocaloid. I like make easy and not hot outfits to wear at cons.

If I could meet one person in the anime industry, it would be…

Paris: Laura Bailey! She’s my favorite voice actress.
sleepminusminus: Honobu Yonezawa, the author of the Hyouka novels
Josh: Amanda Winn-Lee. I’ve interacted a lot with her on Twitter and she’s so nice.
Joseph: Yamada Naoko, director for A Silent Voice and K-On! The Movie.

This anime character would be my best friend:

Paris: Tomo Takino from Azumanga Daioh
sleepminusminus: Kyon from Haruhi, for his continual complaints and stream of grandiose allusions
Josh: Mimi from Digimon Adventure. She’s an awesome character that needs a good friend to tell her to “hush” whenever she goes ditzy.
Joseph: Chitanda Eru from Hyouka because she always wants to do something

oreki x chitanda
Our staff is curious—at least sleepminusminus and Joseph are! (art by ちゅんころもち / reprinted w/permission)

All-time anime crush?

Paris: Kyo from Fruits Basket. For some reason, I always end up loving the angry boys… 😂
sleepminusminus: Mayaka Ibara, our tsundere queen from Hyouka
Josh: Hinata from Naruto. How can you NOT like that lavender-eyed cutie?
Joseph: Holo from Spice and Wolf because of course she is.

Favorite food to eat while watching anime:

Paris: Pho Tai w/ an order of eggrolls and Thai Tea
sleepminusminus: Instant ramen (no crumbs!)
Josh: Nice cold Muscadine grapes.
Joseph: Fruit Basket 😀 (Preferably strawberries)

An anime that more people need to watch:

Paris: Kodacha; the manga is good too!
sleepminusminus: Hyouka (notice a theme yet?)
Josh: Planetes. It’s a great space slice-of-life show that gets little to no love.
Joseph: A Place Further than the Universe. Very well rated but I don’t think enough people watch it because of its silly premise.

An anime that is way overrated:

Paris: DANGANRONPA. It’s horrible. Change my mind. Other than the Fate series, I haven’t had much luck with Visual Novel anime adaptations— (let’s not talk about School Days)
sleepminusminus: Madoka Magica: watch Steins;Gate instead
Josh: My Hero Academia. Come on guys, it’s the same old comic book superhero “I wanna be the strongest ______ ever!” shounen show we’ve seen over and over again.
Joseph: One Punch Man. The title tells you what the show is going to be about you guys.

madoka kaname pretty pink
Poor Madoka… (art by 薯子Imoko / artist allows reprints)

Do you like gore / dark anime?

Paris: yes. It’s my favorite.
sleepminusminus: Sure
Josh: Depends on my mood, but not really.
Joseph: Gore for the sake of gore (Another), not really. But everything else I can enjoy!

Shonen or slice of life?

Paris: Shonen
sleepminusminus: Slice-of-life
Josh: Slice-Of-Life all day everyday.
Joseph: Slice of life

Best Ghibli movie:

Paris: Spirited Away
sleepminusminus: None yet… recommendations please 😀
Josh: Ponyo. It’s just so freaking adorable.
Joseph: Princess Mononoke

Ever been to Japan?

Paris: I was supposed to go this Summer, but Covid…
sleepminusminus: No 🙁
Josh: HAHAHAHAHA…on my salary? Heck no!
Joseph: Yes two times now!

Question 6: Where can our readers find you other than here on the blog?

Paris: Instagram / Tik Tok / Twitch / Facebook / YouTube: Pariscosplays (in progress) / Email

sleepminusminus: You can find me on Twitter. If you’re fortunate, you might catch a tweet once a year.

Josh: Blog / Twitter – Heads up on my Twitter, I tend to get very political and I sometimes go off on tangents. I give fair warning for both. But overall, I’m pretty chill! I do have an Instagram but I don’t update it too often, and I do have a Facebook, but I keep it on lockdown. Sorry!

Joseph: I don’t really use any other social media actively 😛

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