• Something More: GiTS Bible Study, the Passion in FFXV, and Fear in Orange and Re:Zero

    Here we are, another month and almost half way through 2017! It’s unbelievable that time is going by so fast. I continue to do this column because as a Christian who is also a geek, I love that there are others who share my passion. It also confirms that God takes pleasure in all of this, because more and more content keeps popping up every month. I try to bring fresh posts so it’s not the same two or three sites every time. I also pray that you would be encouraged and receive from Holy Spirit as you read or listen to each one. Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this month, or if you want to suggest anything...
  • God as Mangaka (or the Re:Creator)

    selesia yuptiria recreators
    I’ve been having a good ‘ol time with Re:Creators. It’s an eclectic mix of action and comedy and otaku stuff. For those unfamiliar, the premise is that characters from Japanese media are finding themselves sucked into the real world where they are shocked to discover that they are fictional characters. One in particular seems to know more about the goings on, and wants to gather the others for some purpose (a deep and terrible one I assume). Meanwhile, some of the suddenly-living personas are interesting in finding their makers. As Selesia (a light novel heroine) and Meteora (an RPG NPC) discuss their situation, it becomes clear that they are understanding their creators as gods, individuals with immense power to...
  • Examining Light Novels: Direct Access vs. Mediation

    Reading Slayers called to my mind a salient difference between Protestantism and Catholicism: direct access worship vs. mediated worship.  What do I mean?  Catholicism–and Orthodox Churches, for that matter–have an order of the priesthood.  Three levels exist within the priesthood: diaconate, presbyterate, and episcopate.  The bishop has full power to perform any of the seven sacraments, priests can do all save for bestowing holy orders and confirmation, and the deacon is limited to baptisms and witnessing marriages.  (Though, baptism may be performed by literally any person, and the actual sacrament of marriage is performed by the bride and groom.)  Protestant denominations understand all believers as part of a universal priesthood.  So, congregations select ministers for their learning, talents, and piety without...
  • Moral Discernment in Shin Megami Tensei

    A couple months ago I finished Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey for the Nintendo DS. It was one of the most gruelling video game experiences of my life, so much so that I soldiered on through the last few hours less out of a quest for entertainment than out of a demented determination to not be broken by the game. When the credits finally rolled, I couldn’t believe that the whole ordeal was over, and felt so exhausted that I couldn’t bring myself to say anything about it until now. Growing up, the Shin Megami Tensei (SMT) RPG series was something of a holy grail for me. It was a cool-looking Japanese urban fantasy that had never reached western...
  • Tsuki ga Kirei and Superstitious Scripture

    Tsuki ga Kirei is a cute series–not in the traditional moe way, but in the “those awkward kids are so precious” sense. Over on Twitter, Kaze and I discussed it and he mentioned that the series is capturing that awkward middle school stage almost too well, especially through the eyes of Kotaro, an aspiring writer, and Akane, an athlete who is fighting anxiety. By episode three, Kotaro, has plainly discovered that girls are no longer the harbinger of cooties. His affections for Akane are growing quickly, and without the maturity that comes with age (well…sometimes), he can’t really reign those feelings in. It doesn’t seem like Kotaro understands the need to think through the situation a little (see the...
  • Coming Home

    In my youth, the two anime protagonists stood larger than life in my eyes: Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop) and Shinji Ikari (Evangelion). The pair are so contrasting – Spike only wants to look forward even though his past won’t let him, while Ikari should move forward but is continually stuck in the past. I feel like I’m a little of both, especially in regards to Beneath the Tangles. I’m a little bit Shinji, with my heart always attached to the site even as I’ve put my efforts into Anime Pop Heart and other endeavors. But when I left, I was Spike Spiegel. No looking back. Whatever happens, happens. I was confident leaving my home in the hands of Japes,...
  • Newman’s Nook: What Makes us Human

    WARNING – This series discussed has some nudity, violence, and other graphical content which may not be suitable for younger viewers Ghost in the Shell (GiTS) is a Japanese media franchise spanning film, television, and manga. The series has a cyber-punk feel that’s decidedly 80s in many ways. The various components of the various GiTS series involve the main character Major Motoko Kusanagi. Kusanagi is involved in a special-operations task-force (Section 9) and runs some major security operations. She also does not have a physical, organic human body. Instead Kusanagi has an entirely or nearly entirely cybernetic body. Depending on which GiTS variant we’re talking about, Kusanagi has either existed in a prosthetic/cybernetic body for most or all of her life. What...
  • StarStruck: No Friendship Fee

    Have you ever felt like you needed to repay someone for their kindness? The idea that we should show kindness back to those who have been kind to us sounds nice enough. After all, no one likes an ungrateful snob who just takes advantage of people’s kindness. However, should we really think of it as “repaying” someone? Does an act of kindness hold a debt over us that must be repaid? If someone were to be so kind as to be our friend, is there a “friendship fee” that we must pay to keep them as our friend? What would happen if we did not pay that fee? This week, I will be taking another look at Scorching Ping Pong...
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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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