• Action Heroine Cheer Fruits Episodes 1-3: A Determined, But Narrow Outlook

    What if magical girls were real, not in the sense of actually being magical, but as an elaborate marketing strategy?Action Heroine Cheer Fruits takes place in a world where this has not only happened, but became a trend so popular that most districts already have their own local heroine. An exception is Hinano, a city facing financial difficulty and the possibility of being merged with a different town. A small group of girls band together to save it, mimicking a popular, already established heroine to gain recognition quickly....
  • Gamers, Genshiken, and a Group Where You Belong

    gamers anime opening karen
    While watching episode one of Gamers! one of the first things I thought was, “This feels like Genshiken: High School.” It’s a kinder, softer version of that anime about a club where otaku can share just how otaku they are. On a more specific level, Keita reminds me a bit of Kanji; both are cautious, wanting and even needing community, but unwilling to commit to their respective clubs. For both Keita, the keep-to-yourself-gamer, and Kanji, the shy and awkward otaku, it’s not easy to put their pasts behind them and leap into a warm future. Later in Genshiken, newcomer Ogiue is the same way, but an even more extreme example of one unwilling to commit to a place that...
  • Classroom of the Elite, Episode 2: Think Like Horikita, Act Like Kujita

    I’ve known girls like Horikita – one in particular, actually. She was intelligent, talented, pretty, and unabashedly about herself. No shame, no apologies. If it bothered you, well too bad. It’s not like she cared, anyway. Episode two of Classroom of the Elite shows us Horikita’s goal (to move her class up to A status; they are currently in D status, and by a long shot) and some of her motivation for that goal (a brother who’s very rough on her and perhaps abusive…or perhaps just about tough love). And she’s headed toward it whether you want to come along or not, and even at the expense of others. Just like the young lady I knew, Horikita’s desires are...
  • Newman’s Nook: Love for the Unloved Kuri

    In Episode 3 of Elegant Yokai Apartment Life (Youkai Apato no Yuuga na Nichijou), we learn the back story about the small ghost child we met in episode 1 (Kuri) and the puppy that appears to follow him around (Shiro). It is a sad tale and for those who are not up to date on the series, I recommend you skip this article until you have caught up. Don’t worry, I can wait…...
  • I Might Not Be All-Might, But I Can Be Pretty All-Right

    As kids, we all heard stuff we weren’t necessarily meant to as our parents or others held “adult” conversations (or arguments) in front of us, forgetting that children hear all, see all. I don’t know why, then, I’m surprised when one of my kids mentions something from a conversation that wasn’t meant for her ears. It’s a reminder that I’m neither sly nor calculating enough to present my best side whenever others are around; sometimes the worst of me shines through. I know my kids are watching me, but I’m also aware that people around me are watching as well. I know this because my own experience, how I’ve been influenced by strangers around me. Like the high schooler...
  • When Casual and Competitive Gamers! Meet

    gamers anime karen tendou keita amano
    The new Summer anime Gamers! surprised me with the direction the ending took. The show starts off like a normal romantic comedy: normal guy Keita Amano suddenly gets approached by the most popular girl at school, Karen Tendou. Turns out she’s a gamer, and she invites Keita to join her Game Club, full of highly competitive gaming misfits. It’s the perfect setup for a high school rom-com life… except Keita refuses to join the club. Why would he give up the chance to make some gaming friends and even a romance with a beautiful gamer girl? Because the atmosphere and purpose of the Game Club is focused on the competitive side of gaming, while Keita wants to just play...
  • Koi to Uso’s Marriage System and a Call for Incompatibility

    I was really excited to watch Koi to Uso. The plot summary for the series felt like Minority Report meets moe, where a high school boy wants to be with the girl of his dreams, but is assigned a different match by the Japanese government, which at this point of the future assigns marriages to all students based on certain criteria. Although the show didn’t give me exactly what I was looking for, I still really find the idea fascinating, particularly in an Avengers-Civil-War kinda way – what’s better, freedom that leads to social problems and broken families, or lack of freedom that creates more stable and harmonious homes? The setup is hard to accept, and I think the...
  • First Impression: Gamers!

    gamers keita amano karen tendou
    Keita Amano is an ordinary guy who likes playing video games and has no friends other than those he plays with online. As far as he’s concerned, some people, like the super-popular Karen Tendou, are only to be admired from afar, which is why when Karen approaches him one day at a video game store, he is thrown for a loop. Not only that, but she actually belongs to the school’s Game Club, and recruits Keita to join the club. There, he meets other members of the gaming club, one who’s won major first-person shooter competitions and another who dominates in fighting games, as well as another guy Karen invited who specializes in block puzzles. He gets to play...
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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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