• Revisiting Ghibli, Genshiken, and Hosoda

    Even when you’re in the work force and don’t get a three-month long break, summer still works differently from the rest of the year. It’s a time for vacations, reflection, and though less-so than in years past, reruns. This summer, I’ve been churning through a number of anime series and shows that I’ve seen before. Almost every one has struck me differently – sometimes wildly so – than it did in the past. Perhaps my love of nostalgia has colored those shows, or I’d reinforced opinions about these pieces through the years. All the more reason for me to revisit some classic anime of the past! Here are most of the anime I’ve rewatched this summer. We generally score...
  • Mamoru Hosoda and God’s Unconventional Family

    kyuta bowing
    Never turn your back on family, even when they hurt you. Sakae’s final words in Summer Wars reminds the Jinnouchi clan of the importance of family. It’s a significant message, both in how most of us can connect to that idea and its complexity. The quote above, and the longer message it accompanies, instructs her clan to show grace, which is the primary instrument of family. Think about it: the bonds of family are strong enough to carry us through the intimacy that family entails, and all the hurt, scars, and pains that come with it. Though none shows it perfectly, family is an institution that carries the message of grace, which is I love you anyway. Mamoru Hosoda,...
  • Surrendering is Day by Day — For Otaku AND Christians

    saki kasukabe kujibiki unbalance
    When I was first introduced to Genshiken, I was told that the series was really good, but that the content might not be for me. It was a good way to prep me for the series, which follows a group of otaku in the Genshiken club, a college organization in which the members revel in their otakuness. The original series is heavy on discussion of eroge, hentai, and yaoi (and in the more recent series, Nidaime, an even further focus on being a fujoshi), with a number of episodes dedicated toward those topics. But the series is also a real genuine, funny, and often touching look at what it means to be an outsider and how submitting to yourself...
  • Thin Line Between Jeanne and Alter

    jeanne d'arc fgo
    Last week, I fell into a rage during a stressful moment at home. I railed on and on, and screamed a number of things I’ve since regretted. That tirade later led me to reflect on Paul’s admission, “I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15b). It’s almost like I have a dual nature, tearing me in two. With that struggle in mind, it’s been very fitting that I recently completed the Orleans Quest in Fate/Grand Order, in which Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc), summoned as a heroic spirit, seeks to stop her evil alter ego, Jeanne Alter, from conquering France by use of other heroic spirits...
  • Sasahara?! Can’t I be Kousaka, Instead?

    This past week, I’ve been sharing one of my favorite series, Genshiken, with my wife. She’s been enjoying it, primarily because of the characters. The one that she most gets, I think, is Sasahara, whose anxiety and trepidation are on display from the beginning of the first episode. When he demonstrates just how shy he is by not being able to approach representatives of the college clubs to chat, I was going to remind my wife that I used to be like Sasahara, but before I could, she exclaimed, “That’s you!” Wait, no, that used to be me…right? I’ve come a long way over the years. My biggest fear growing up and into my young adulthood was embarrassment. I...
  • Totoro, and Faith, is Life

    totoro magnet
    A few days ago, two of our agency interns began their day-long tour of my division by visiting my office. I explained to them our division does and what I do, and as I usually do, mentioned that they are welcome to pop in and chat whenever they’d like. Sometimes interns will take that opportunity and sometimes they won’t, but I think that day was the first time one came to talk to me mere hours after the invitation. More surprising was the question she had for me – not a “What can I do to get a job in your field?” or “How did you get your start in the agency?” Instead, it was this: “Do you like...
  • Chain Chronicle: When Hope Isn’t Enough

    A fellow blogger I respect, Medieval Otaku, wrote a post on an anime called Chain Chronicle. He mentioned to me that I may enjoy it, since it has fantasy and is based on a game (and everyone knows I’m a gamer!). The main character, Yuri, was an interesting fellow. He’s a typical hero who wants to save the day, along with his faithful band of travelers. Just like most good vs. evil anime, his plan is to stop the darkness from spreading and overcoming the world. To do this, he must fight powerful foes, including his own self. Well, I was able to complete the series and overall it wasn’t that bad and enjoyable, just not memorable. Yuri though, had...
  • Call for New Staff: Artists, Designers, and Bloggers

    Beneath the Tangles has undergone many changes since it first began in 2010, not least of which is in what media we explore with our site. While this blog will always center on writing, media has become more and more a part of what we also develop and post. To meet these needs, I’m putting a call out specifically for a resident artist and for a graphic designer. I would also love to have a third staffer join, a blogger who is focused on the frequent grind of analyzing one or more popular shounen series. Adding any additional staff is a big change for a blog. Any new staffers will need to very good at their craft; I’m looking...
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Beneath the Tangles is a blog that seeks to demonstrate the connection between anime (and related media) and religion from a Christian perspective. We hope to foster an open community where Christians and non-Christians alike can engage in conversation about anime, all things otaku, and belief.

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