• Annalyn’s Corner: Rakugo Shinjuu and Life-Giving Love

    Beneath the Tangles | Rakugo Shinjuu and Life-Giving Love
    “No matter how I try to wipe it away, your love continues to cling to me.” —Eight Generation Yakumo, Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu episode 8 Yakumo, formerly known as Kikuhiko, formerly known as Bon, has never been the most cheerful of men. He has a lifelong habit of pushing people away, only letting them into his life begrudgingly. Perhaps this stems somewhat from abandonment issues—he was still young when the only family he’d ever known apprenticed him to the Seventh Generation Yakumo because his leg made him unfit for dancing. The death of loved ones later in his life doesn’t help matters, especially since he blames their deaths partly on himself. But he still longs for companionship and still...
  • Weakness in The Last Guardian

    I’ve lately been playing The Last Guardian, Fumito Ueda’s long (very long) awaited followup to his arthouse PS2 classics, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The game, true to Ueda’s style, is a rather oblique fantasy scenario where very little is explained to the player. You play as a boy who awakens to find himself trapped in some decaying ruins alongside a rather large animal called Trico. Trico looks like an assemblage of feline and avian features, but mostly behaves like a large dog. Although initially fearful of each other, the boy and Trico quickly realize that they need each other to escape their mysterious prison, and eventually come to see each other as affectionate companions on their journey....
  • ACCA: The Slow Revelation

    It’s difficult to tell a good story with a slow pace. It’s even harder when life itself feels like an overly busy slow-paced story where the major events are few and far between, and the only upside is that there’s plenty of delicious bread. But sometimes those moments that seem anticlimactic are the catalysts for something greater, and the everyday events are just a disguise for a story being revealed. All this is to say ACCA continues to surprise me....
  • The Secret Stars of Anime Final: ARIA

    Here it is, my last post for my Secret Stars of Anime column. Don’t worry, I’m not quitting the blog; I just have a new column that I will be starting next time. Before that new column starts, though, I figured I would give this column a nice, big sendoff by covering my absolute favorite anime series of all time, the ARIA series. Based on a manga by Kozue Amano, this series consists of three separate seasons aired between 2005 and 2008, plus an OVA series released within the last year and a half (which has unfortunately yet to be licensed in English, so as per column rules, I will not be talking about it). For those looking to watch this...
  • Newman’s Nook: Getting Away with It

    I never really liked Tom and Jerry. I know that’s a weird thing to say in an article about anime and faith entitled, getting away with it, but hear me out. Something always bugged me about Tom and Jerry. As a kid, I was unable to pinpoint what exactly I had against the show. As an adult, I figured it out. Tom and Jerry at its core is a story about how if you’re cute enough, it’s perfectly fine for you to get away with theft and we should cheer you on. Enter Nyanbo. Nyanbo is a partially animated partially live action Japanese short-form series about a group of anthropomorphic cardboard box cats based on the character Danbo from the manga...
  • Examining Light Novels: The Rotund Angel Physician

    This time, a passage on the culinary excesses of clerics in Spice and Wolf struck me.  It was not remarkable for bringing out how much priests love fine dining.  The joke runs that one thing modern bishops and the apostles have in common is never turning down a meal.  Instead, I was surprised by the following allusion: “There was one famous Church doctor nicknamed ‘The Angel Physician,’ whose belly was so round and stuck out so far that his place at table has a special cutout just so that he could fit,” (Vol. 14, p. 75).  The story repeated here is all too true and refers to St. Thomas Aquinas, the “Angelic Doctor.”  Still, St. Thomas’s size was no blemish...
  • Annalyn’s Corner: Toxic Chocolate, Singleness, and Other Anime Valentines

    Happy Valentine’s Day! Okay, let’s be honest. I don’t actually care much about this holiday. I’d love to use it as an excuse to make and eat chocolatey treats, but I think by the time I get off work, all I’ll have time and energy to make will be dinner. So I’ll just eat my normal amount of chocolate chips and call it good. At any rate, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to list five anime things I most associate with this holiday. This is a totally planned post and not at all a lazy excuse for a column resulting from poor planning, sleepiness, and limited anime viewing. I hope to hear what you think of these romantic...
  • ACCA: A Person Caught Up In Things

    One of the strongest feelings I get while watching ACCA is that none of this can last. The characters are living relatively peacefully for now, but eventually the sinister plots will come to light and everything will turn sideways. None of that has happened yet, though, and even though we don’t know the true extent of anything, Jean takes all his trials with stride; and as we saw in this episode, a surprising amount of calmness. Thanks to Lilium, Jean found out that Nino was watching him. It’s surprising that Jean didn’t figure that out far earlier, as he’s so astute, which indicates that he trusted Nino. This could make Nino the only person Jean trusted besides Lotta. This small...
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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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