• Annalyn’s Corner: Who Pulls Your Strings?

    Beneath the Tangles | Who's Pulling Your Strings?
    Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) is one of the more ridiculous shounen anime to air in the past few years. In it, a bunch of middle school students are tasked with assassinating their teacher before he destroys the world. The assassination assignment gives this class of outcasts purpose and confidence. And the teacher, despite his plans to destroy the world—and his strange octopus-like appearance—provides the best instruction and encouragement they’ve received in a long time. Think GTO meets Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. With guns, bombs, and assassination training. The combination is ridiculous, yes. But still, the students learn and grow in valuable ways, and some of those ways are actually worth reflecting on. Terasaka, a bully with no aspirations beyond...
  • The Importance of Being Digi-Destined

    digimon adventure digi-destined
    I loved my group of friends in high school. We bickered a lot, but we were also always cracking each other up. We were also a bunch of nerds, so we pushed each other to excel academically and had similar pop culture interests that we shared (The Matrix is the best movie everrrr adlkjalcjvaoeiw!). But one thing we rarely talked about was our personal lives. It was uncomfortable territory for us. And soon after college began, we drifted apart. These days, though I have a tendency to remember school with too much fondness, I realize that the friendships I had were only skin-deep and easily broken. Anime, which I dived into during college, gave me idealized versions of friendship...
  • The Lesson Lost in One For All

    As much as I love Boku no Hero Academia, there was something about the series that irked me right at the beginning, which I’d conveniently forgotten about until now. Midoriya started out as someone so desperate to have a quirk, who longed for it in a pure, childlike way, and who proved worthy of it by putting his life on the line to save Bakugou. If the story ended there, with All-Might telling Midoriya something like, “You don’t need a quirk to be a true hero,” the series wouldn’t have gone anywhere, but the lesson would have been encouraging. Instead, All-Might basically reiterates the idea that you have to have a quirk to be a hero, no matter what’s...
  • Management of the Elite

    Suzune Horikita
    The desert island episodes of Classroom of the Elite have been a chance to step back, reset, and look at the students individually as well as the structure of each of Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School’s four freshman classes. Of course, D-Class takes center stage, and especially of note is how the class is managed by its leadership. Like any typical classroom, D-Class is full of disparate characters, and their differences come to light during this excursion. It’s a time of intense activity and stress, making it an interesting case study in how to manage a group of kids with different abilities and different goals in a time of crisis. The week on the island is an immediate challenge...
  • Berserk: Manliness and the Importance of Person

    At first glance, Berserk seems to have all the bells and whistles of an edgy teenage boy’s daydream. It sports an incredible amount of violence, almost every one of its leading female characters appear nude on screen at least once, and the majority of actual sexual encounters in the series are either violent rape or attempted rape, both of which dare you to look away. In effect, Berserk could be called the Game of Thrones of anime. And while my description thus far might make you think that the show lacks substance, strangely, I found that the show taught mature and complex lessons on manliness. While its grittier aspects have likely, and understandably, caused some people to drop the...
  • The Watery Card and a Time to Wait

    In episode three of Cardcaptor Sakura, our heroine is in a tough spot. She wants to capture the Watery Card, which nearly drowned a trainer and penguins at the local aquarium. But Kero tells hers that Watery is very strong and aggressive; the three cards she has attained so far aren’t strong enough to capture it. Sakura’s not able to accept the certainty of this so easily. She loves love loves those penguins, and can’t bare that they might be hurt, so she brainstorms, but to know avail. And she trusts Kero’s assessment – he knows much more about the Clow Cards than she does. What can she possibly do? It’s a frustrating situation. Sakura wants to solve this...
  • Five Favorite Anime Films (from Five Different Directors)

    mitsuha x taki your name
    When asked about my favorite anime, I usually stick with television series, because if I include movies, that list becomes very movie-centric. It’s even less varied if I give my favorite anime movies, since it’s top-heavy with Studio Ghibli. But oh how I love anime films! So in the spirit of including them among my favorites, while also creating a list with some diversity, I’m giving my five favorite anime films with the caveat that each film on the list has to have a different director. Sorry, Hayao Miyazaki. Apologies, Mamoru Hosoda. While you peruse my list below, why don’t you give yours in the comments? What are you five favorite anime films from five different directors? Also, be...
  • Gamers! and the Games We Play

    After reading some of Stardf29’s initial thoughts on Gamers, I checked it out and likewise found it to be very engaging. The series had this weird sense of humor about it, and the director and writer approached the material in an unusual manner, as if to say, “We’re going to make a very typical story into something really interesting.” I guess that’s why I’ve been disappointed since then, as the show has lost almost all of its weirdness and devolved entirely into a series about simple miscommunication. Instead of eight episodes of this nonsense, it could have all been ended if the characters would stop making so many assumptions and instead choose to be open. We could move on...
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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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