• Anime Fan Art: Attack on Tarot

    A number of of us on Beneath the Tangles have a passion for fan art, those wonderful pieces that fans like you and me (but with amazing talent and honed skill) create. I’ll be posting illustrations, mostly developed by artists who have accounts on Pixiv, from time and time. Today, I’m introducing some wonderful tarot card pieces for Attack on Titan. I do believe they’re mostly spoiler-free – that is if you’ve kept up with this season’s episodes. illustrations by winni | posted with permission...
  • How Toradora Shows That Loving Others Isn’t Worth It

    angry sad minori kushieda
    Romcom anime is usually pretty simple. You’re introduced to a couple, then to conflict in the form of live triangles, misunderstandings, personal problems that each has to work through, etc., until an eventual resolution is found and the two come together. The supporting characters exist to help the leads grow closer together, so though they’re often hurt in the process of the the protagonists finding true love, we only feel maybe a second or two of pity toward them; they usually move on, anyway, and so do we. It’s easy to forget about the losers in competition for love because generally, these character are archetypes; they have no real personality. The supporting characters in Toradora are archetypes, too, especially...
  • Hachiman Hikigaya and the Ugliness of Something Genuine

    hikigaya crying
    I knew kids just like Hachiman Hikigaya, the ones who didn’t socialize with anybody, nor did they seem to care that they didn’t have friends. Like them, Hikki would rather just be left alone. Or so it seems. Although he loves to extol the virtues of being a loner, it’s easy to tell in OreGairu that Hikki is not completely buying what’s selling, that he’s willing to change. So by the time he gives his famous “something genuine” speech, the shocking display of an intense, tearful Hikigaya doesn’t take us completely by surprise. But the heaviness of that scene is still pretty remarkable. It’s not easy to watch. It’s not pretty and it isn’t even conclusive or clear. But by...
  • Attack on Titan, Episode 32: A Titanic Perspective

    Colossal titan
    Traitors. Traitors! How could could Reiner and Bartholdt betray mankind? How could they start all this destruction that led to so many deaths, including those close to the cadets? Episode 32 starts with a bang (and the animation and CGI stay awesome throughout) as the titan shifters collide. Eren Jaeger is of course especially angry about the revelation that Reiner is the Armored Titan and Bertholdt the Colossal. Their trespasses led to the death of Eren’s mother, which caused him to vow vengeance upon the titans. Eren is further infuriated because he admired Reiner so greatly, almost like he would a big brother. The reveal is not only shocking because of all the evil the two have caused; it’s also...
  • Shinji Ikari: Sinking in Angels and Building on Sand

    As dated as it now feels, it’s worth remembering how different Evangelion was when it first came out (and before the industry started using the series as a mold for so many other projects). I was waxing nostalgic about my first viewing of the the first episode some sixteen years ago and how much of an experience it was: the summertime tone, the jang-jang-jang music when the angel arrived, and the steady, pounding build-up through the entire course of the episode. Episode two was maybe even more peculiar, as we’re brought into the episode after the action has already occurred. There’s also a lot of quietness throughout (a common device throughout the series) and a few odd moments, like...
  • Tsuki ga Kirei Episode 06: Relationship Building 101

    kotaro x akane
    Tsuki ga Kirei is about a romantic relationship between a boy and girl, but even so, episode six was especially full of relationships. Through juxtaposition, we saw what it means to have a good relationship, via Kotaro’s family v. Akane’s, friendship v. relationship, and Takumi’s scolding of Akane v. the editor’s response to Kotaro. And through that, we also see a little bit of what it takes to build a relationship, and how difficult relationship-building can be. When I was middle school, I realize now, I really only had one or two close friends, and they weren’t the friends that I considered to be my best friends at the time. My supposed best friends were those that made me...
  • Ghost in the Shell (2017): We Can Build a Better Discussion

    gits kuze
    There are no stupid questions. Maybe. I know there’s a such thing as a stupid argument, though. It happens when two sides have a conflict that would likely have never started if each side had listened to the other, asked questions, and really understood where each was coming from. I’m very familiar with these “stupid arguments” because I’m all too often knee-deep in them. The idea of “not having all the facts” the basis of the twist, if you could call it that, in the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie. In the film, the Major is hunting down a terrorist named Kuze without realizing that while Kuze’s violent methods are wrong, there’s also a measure of righteousness in...
  • Danganronpa and Divorcing Hope from Theology

    Danganronpa proves Chesterton’s assertion that it is a real shame so much bad fiction becomes lost: we have so much to learn from its mistakes!  Now, Danganronpa is not that bad of an anime (I have not played the video game, though the anime wears its origins on its sleeve), but the hero fights against despair with an inferior philosophy–at once Nietzschean and idyllic.  This article will mainly focus on the final conflict, so you may want to quit reading now if your have not seen Danganronpa and do not want it spoiled.  I myself went into the anime knowing the identity of the final villain, but spoilers–especially within the mystery genre–might vex you....
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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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