Newman’s Nook: A Sense of Regret

In Episode 9 of Sekko Boys, Giorgio (AKA Saint George), ends up in a scandalous situation by the end of the episode. Before I go any further, let me...

In Episode 9 of Sekko Boys, Giorgio (AKA Saint George), ends up in a scandalous situation by the end of the episode. Before I go any further, let me tell you a few things about this show. First, it’s a short form anime series about a Japanese pop idol group. Secondly, the pop idol group (the Rockies) is composed entirely of famous statue busts. Yes, it’s as weird as you’d imagine, but it’s a lot of fun and each episode of very short. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s go back to the plot.

After Grigori's sin, the woman asks him if he regrets what he did.

After Giorgio’s sin, the woman asks him if he regrets what he did. He clearly does

In this episode they touch base on a potential scandal first involving one of the other Rockies, Mars. Mars showed up at a woman’s house during the evening and was filmed there by paparazzi. Nothing happened, she actually wanted to show him a bug. It was kind of cute, but still could have turned scandalous as the band is trying to retain a certain image. Then we get to Giorgio.

Giorgio had been absent most of the episode and when we finally see him, he’s been talking to a woman at a bar. She asks if he really wants this and then slides him a room key. We then find them in bed together with her clearly nude under the covers at the end, with her asking, “Do you regret this?” That’s when it pans around to Giorgio’s face and the statue is weeping.

Giorgio is a Saint in many Christian traditions. He is remembered for a mythical tale of him battling a dragon at Cappadocia, but he was also known personally as a man of great faith in Christ. According to tradition, Giorgio was a Roman soldier who, when they were persecuting Christians outed himself as a follower of Christ. He was then tortured, dragged down the street by horses, and later beheaded when he refused to renounce his faith in Christ.

This statue is clearly a fictionalized version of him, focusing more on his status as a celebrity warrior who battled the dragon at Cappadocia than on his inherent faith, but moments like this show a vulnerability in Giorgio. Giorgio decided to bed this woman (which is physically impossible being he’s a bust statue, but that’s irrelevant) in some sense of creating scandal to boost his career. This is a violation of his faith as well as a violation of the trust placed on him by his bandmates. In short, he’s choosing to sin to further his career. Immediately after committing his sin, we see him weeping and filled with a sense of regret.

But, we have to ask – where did his regret originate? Is it from the Lord or is it a sense of shame for his actions? Is it from within or is it from the One greater than ourselves trying to perfect us and draw us closer to Him? The answer I have is – I don’t know. He feels shame, which comes from Biblical, Godly conviction of our wrongdoing at times, but also from mere human regret. The fact that he feels shame for his mistake does not mean he was convicted by the Lord of his sin. He may feel bad for violating the trust of his team. He may feel bad immediately, but make no long term change in behavior. He may feel bad in the moment because he knows it’s wrong, but never seeks repentance for his crime.

What is the difference? Let’s give a simple human example to make it a little clearer. I have four children. My four year old daughter sometimes takes toys from her little sisters (twins both nearly 20 months old…man, that happened fast). When she does so, and I see her doing it, I scold her. If she has human regret, she’ll feel bad that she got in trouble and will apologize merely because I made her. If she truly repents, truly feels convicted that what she did was wrong – she will apologize sincerely because she realizes she should not have taken from her sisters and that this problem is a bigger one than a mere taking of a toy, but a bigger heart issue. I mean, she’s four – so that last part probably won’t happen, but it’s different to realize you hurt someone and to feel bad because you got caught.

Giorgio weeping privately in the bed shows a vulnerability, shows something the world may never actually see – shows a man who truly feels sorry for his crimes, in my opinion. While I cannot know for certain and I have not seen the next episode to be positive, if Giorgio is the man he is based on then he feels Biblical regret. He will seek the Lord’s forgiveness. He will beg the Lord for mercy. He will ask his bandmates for forgiveness for violating their trust. And he will not do this again being freed from the burden of his sin. If this is human guilt, expect him to dwell upon it – bottle up the pain of his sin, lash out at others as he tries desperately to hide it and when it comes out, boast in his ability to get press. These may seem contradictory, but human’s inherent nature is entirely contradictory. We long to be helped, yet we refuse to help others. We long for love, yet we treat others with contempt and hate. We long for a Savior, yet we ignore Him when He stands before us.

We see it in Biblical examples of shame. We see it in Adam and Eve, following their sin of blatant disobedience to the only rule God laid for them – they hide themselves and feel shame of their nakedness. We see it in Jonah as he tries to run away from God, hiding out in a boat getting out of town after just recently bragging on how evil his enemies were and how bold he was in his hatred for them. We see it very clearly in the story of David and Bathsheba. This is also a tale of sexual impropriety where David sleeps with another man’s wife, Bathsheba. She gets pregnant from the encounter and he tries desperately to hide his sin filled with human guilt. He lashes out at Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, and eventually murders him. David, the man after God’s own heart allows sin to lead to infidelity and murder. Immediately following it, as he chose to ignore the sin – he seemed to feel no shame, marrying Bathsheba and boldly living with his new, pregnant wife. It was not until his sin was called out by the Lord through the prophet Nathan that he felt convicted of his sin and repented truly. We see this most plainly in Psalm 51. David boldly asks the Lord to blot out his sin, cleanse him of his inequity, and make him whole again.

I do not know yet how Giorgio will respond, but I’m hoping in the end he responds like David finally did as his sin was exposed in true repentance instead of acting out of human regret and shame.

Matthew Newman is an environmental engineer (Professionally licensed in Maryland). He’s also a husband, beard aficionado, Dad of four beautiful children, blogger, and all around geeky guy from Baltimore County. When he’s not chasing his kids or working, he’s probably asleep.

6 Comments on this post.

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  • Japesland
    18 March 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Did not expect to see serious themes extracted from this show. Well done, haha.

    Incidentally, I love comparing historical figures to their fictionalized counterparts (both in popular “history” and in media). It’s always enlightening!

    Leave a Reply
    • MRNewman
      18 March 2016 at 2:10 pm

      I do what I can. Thanks! I too find it interesting to compare fictional characters vs their real self. With how interesting Giorgio is in reality, I thought it was definitely worth exploring.

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  • Luminas
    18 March 2016 at 3:44 pm

    This is a fascinating issue you’ve brought up from what’s probably a ridiculous comedy anime! Good job man! Here are my thoughts 🙂 :

    Shame is a rather…complicated emotion. I know a person who hasn’t got it for reasons of a personality disorder, and the effect is generally a frighteningly confident person who, nonetheless, is still capable of love…If not always understanding. I find the distinction between “Biblical shame” and “human shame” rather odd, however. You can definitely feel that what you did was wrong and want to make amends, and not just because you got caught, without ever wanting to make amends to God Himself— Or even wanting to change. Like you said earlier in the post.

    I feel that this is right….

    “The fact that he feels shame for his mistake does not mean he was convicted by the Lord of his sin. He may feel bad for violating the trust of his team. He may feel bad immediately, but make no long term change in behavior. He may feel bad in the moment because he knows it’s wrong, but never seeks repentance for his crime.”

    …but that comparisons to your daughter feeling ashamed only because she didn’t get away with it is a bit of a weak example. That’s at least a possible and common reason to feel ashamed, but the most common reason for adults by far is actually: “I did or didn’t do something that my culture or family has convinced me is something to be ashamed of, regardless of whether or not it’s actually a sin or even a true wrongdoing.” A great example of this I just saw is an article by a woman who ended up in the hospital because she was basically working herself to death, ashamed of not being able to work 60 or 70 hours a week like her parents.

    Basically…Sometimes people feel shame for some really deeply screwed-up and painfully emotional reasons (I.E. Stigma), and I think the difference between Godly shame and human shame may be that with Godly shame it’s not about you. It’s not just about being deeply sorry, although that’s a step in the right direction. It’s about making amends to God, and not to other human beings. It’s about not indulging your self-hatred and putting yourself below other humans, but acknowledging that you’re their equal in sin.

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  • medievalotaku
    21 March 2016 at 10:14 am

    How one feels sorrow for sin is a very complex topic. It essentially boils down to whether one is motivated by pride or humility, and I always like juxtaposing the repentances of Judas Iscariot and St. Peter. The latter weeps with sorrow at denying Our Lord, the former hangs himself for betraying innocent blood. A prideful reaction to sin can take the form of ignoring it, lack of sorrow, to punishing ourselves excessively.

    Then again, repentance out of humility and through the grace of God might be imperfect (sometimes called attrition) or perfect (contrition). It’s imperfect when we repent because we’re going to be punished, and perfect when we’re sorry because of the harm our sin does to our relationship to God and neighbor. In humble repentance, there is always a desire to change our ways and try to right the wrong we have done. King David is a perfect model of such repentance: extreme sorrow for his sin, trust in God’s mercy, and the desire to amend.

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