In the Fall of 2010, TWWK (Charles) started Beneath the Tangles to explore the connections between anime/manga and Christian spirituality. But he hasn’t been the only contributor to the blog. Over the course of 2011, over a dozen other writers contributed guest posts. And late in the year, Beneath the Tangles expanded by adding additional writers. Because I’m sure you want to know all about them, here are the profiles for our bloggers:
I became a fan of anime when: Like most kids with a TV, I watched cartoons. After years of being obsessed with Pokemon and Digimon (never missed an episode), I was finally introduced to anime through 4kids’ One Piece and Mew Mew Power. Since I didn’t have cable, that was my only exposure to this thing called “Japanese animation” and it was only later I found out how much better a lot of the anime series were made. Or rather, how much of this stuff there was and how good it was.
And some of my favorite genres are: I rarely watch a show based on its genre. The story and characters usually give a series its life. I often focus more on animation more than genre as well unless it’s different from the normal (i.e. Cowboy Bebop with sci-fi/western). I’ll watch almost anything, but I have a very soft spot for anime based off of/inspired by legends, literary works (from anywhere in the world), or historic facts or real life events. Also ones based on art and music interest me a lot.
If I had to pick my three favorite anime or manga ever, they would be: Giant Robo (anime), Ouran High School Host Club (anime), and 20th Century Boys (manga).
On the other hand, I have a real dislike for: Too much fanservice or needless sexual content in an anime/manga.
I’m unlike most anime fans in that: I tend to judge a series by its art and animation before I judge its story in reagrds to whether I will watch it or not. As shallow as this sounds, the animation is something that is often overlooked in a series, and even moreso takes a backseat when a series has a deeper and more complex story. Whether it be super-detailed, very simplistic, stylized sketchiness, angular lines, or smooth curves, each anime needs to have a style that suits it and helps it tell its story.
My favorite anime quote is: From Giant Robo from main character Daisaku’s father:
Here, Daisaku, you will save the world with this. [gives him a watch that controls Robo] And let me know whether happiness can be obtained without sacrifice or not. Let me know the answer someday…
My favorite Bible verse is: 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
I became a fan of anime: When I was around 12-13 I began to surf the Internet. One day, when I was on YouTube, I discovered some Inuyasha AMVs. The story and the characters looked so cute and interesting, and I was like “What’s this cool stuff?”. And soon enough, I was all wrapped up in it…
And some of my favorite genres are: primarily shojo, but I also enjoy slice of life and some shounen.
If I had to pick my three favorite anime or manga ever, they would be: (This is a hard one…) Probably Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Clannad, and the Fruits Basket manga.
On the other hand, I have a real dislike for: Anime or Manga that could have been awesome but wasn’t, sometimes because they refused to take the story to a deeper level or because they started out interesting but ended up falling into cliches. It really irks me. Fanservice is also a source of irritation for me, as well as shallow characters, weak plots, and unnecessary gore.
When I’m not blogging, I: Attend high school, write novels and poetry, read, and play the flute.
I’m like you in that: I sometimes try to get my friends and family into anime, and sometimes I succeed 😀
My favorite anime quote is: ”Nothing good can be built by hatred. All that it can do is destroy: Your enemies, and eventually yourself”—Juliet, Romeo x Juliet
My favorite Bible verse is: Isaiah 41v 10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I became a fan of anime: By accident. I just decided one day to check out this anime thing that so many young people my students’ age were watching. I was hooked before I realized what was happening.
And some of my favorite genres are: I don’t have a favorite genre as such — as long as there are at least a few male characters for me to identify with, and the series involves deep learning or character transformation in at least some of the characters (preferably as a result of interacting with other characters), and the character design isn’t too distorted from real life, then I’m in. Sports, space, mystery, adventure, music, and superpower shows are often on my watch list, but I’ve watched and will continue to watch almost anything.
If I had to pick my three favorite anime or manga ever, they would be: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Ookiku Furikabutte, and Clannad (especially the second seasons of the last two)
On the other hand, I have a real dislike for: shows that pretend to be deep, but are really just about gratuitous fanservice.
When I’m not blogging: I am a chemistry professor at a small school in Minnesota. I teach general and organic chemistry to both majors and nonmajors. I also have a research position at Texas A&M University (aka That Other School In College Station, to Austin dwellers such as TWWK), so most years I spend some time in both states.
I’m like you in that: I find anime potentially to be a tremendous expressive vehicle completely unlike American animation, or any live-action show.
My favorite anime quote is: “Mihashi! Just throw your best ball, and leave the rest to us! No matter what happens after that, no one will complain!” — team captain Hanai Azusa, to his pitcher Mihashi Ren, at the critical bottom-of-the-ninth moment, Oofuri season 1, episode 24
My favorite Bible verse is: “Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies! Who is he that condemns?” — Romans 8:33-34a
I became a fan of anime: Because of Toonami. Though I grew up on Voltron and Speed Racer, and has been hooked on Digimon later, it was the strange awesomeness of Tenchi Muyo on Cartoon Network that led me to explore the medium. Four episodes of Evangelion later (my first anime DVD purchase), and I became a lifer.
And some of my favorite genres are: Though I go through phases of liking one genre better than others, like the R86 and Goldy, I don’t necessarily have one favorite genre. It’s about something different. For me, I favor series that include two key elements: characters who grow and develop and characters who I care about and root for.
If I had to pick my three favorite anime or manga ever, they would be: Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal, Toradora!, and Cowboy Bebop.
On the other hand, I have a real dislike for: gratuitous fanservice and shows that forgo good writing in lieu of ridiculous plotlines aimed at pleasing/keep the audience.
When I’m not blogging: I spend time with my wife and two children, work as a
teacher historian state agency coordinator, serve at my church, and occasionally read.
I’m like you in that: I generally hide my love for anime.
My favorite anime quote is: from Spike Spiegel of Cowboy Bebop (but really, I could put one of half a dozen Cowboy Bebop quotes for this answer) – “Look at my eyes, Faye. One of them is a fake because I lost it in an accident. Since then, I’ve been seeing the past in one eye and the present in the other. So, I thought I could only see patches of reality, never the whole picture. I felt like I was watching a dream I could never wake up from. Before I knew it, the dream was over.”
My favorite Bible verse is: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2
I became a fan of anime when: I decided to check a new anime called Code Geass. It was interesting, but when I saw the Knightmare Frames driving around, especially the Lancelot, I was hooked. I started watching every anime I could find and to this day, I still watch anime all the time.
And some of my favorite genres are: Mecha and everything else. I love any anime that has beautiful art and a good story. I love anime that are unpredictable, anime that are unique, and anime that are beautiful. Most of all, I love anime that are hopeful.
If I had to pick my three favorite anime or manga ever, they would be: Bakuman (manga), SKET Dance (anime), and Code Geass (anime).
On the other hand, I have a real dislike for: anime with a boring story, anime that aren’t original, mecha anime that have no depth, stories without hope, and anime with lots of fanservice, sexual themes, or the following genres: ecchi, yuri, and yaoi.
When I’m not blogging, I can be found: mostly drawing, watching anime, reading my bible, tweeting, absorbing information, and studying Japanese. Drawing is one of my favorite activities, but I have lots of difficulty drawing people and sketching real life objects. Nearly everything I draw comes from visualizations of the objects and concepts that I am thinking about. I watch anime every day or every couple days. I read my bible almost every day. I normally lay in my bed reading it for about half an hour to a couple of hours. I am on twitter way too much. I often spend hours reading articles on the Internet or books of many various topics. I absorb conceptual information like a sponge. I am also studying Japanese grammar, in my attempt to learn the language.
I’m unlike most anime fans in that: I analyze ever aspect of an anime. I study the story, the art, the music, and the characters. I dissect every aspect in order to find things I would change. The most important of these, to me, are the story and art style. I will drop any anime if it fails to adequately meet my standards on one of these. However, if an anime succeeds at both, then I will most likely love it. It has to be original and creative. It must evoke a deep set of emotions. Finally, a good anime must make its audience hungry to know the outcome.
My favorite anime quote is: “There is not a problem.” – Sgt. Sousuke Sagara (Full Metal Panic)
My favorite Bible verses are: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” -Jeremiah 29:11