Here’s my latest post under the Column Examining Old School Anime.
Originally posted on :
Episode 15 of Space Pirate Captain Harlock features, after Queen Lafresia, the most interesting Mazone we’ve yet met. Aurora been posted inside an ice palace at the North Pole, where she waits for Captain Harlock to investigate the curious pattern produced by an aurora borealis. Her only purpose in life is to kill Captain Harlock, and Aurora has meditated on him and their fateful meeting for years. However, her long contemplation has brought home to her how good Captain Harlock is, and she quite naturally falls in love with him. (What woman can resist the manly bearing of Captain Harlock?) Unfortunately for Aurora, she tries to trap Captain Harlock inside the palace and picks a fight with Miime, an alien woman who owes her life to Captain Harlock. The Mazone’s attack is cast back on herself and brings about her demise.
Miime, surprisingly powerful for a soft-spoken woman
Matt Easton of the YouTube channel Scholagladiatoria recently posted a video thanking those who’ve spread the word about his channel to bring the total number of subscribers up to over seventy thousand. Those of you who’ve clicked on my Guide to Becoming a Scholar of Swords and Swordplay page know that I place this channel above all the rest in terms of the accuracy of information one finds there and the breadth of Matt Easton’s knowledge. But, let me do my part here by sharing some awesome videos of his with you, and I hope that many of you who have an interest in the Middle Ages or fencing will subscribe if you haven’t already.
The following video explains how to accurately grip a Viking sword. More people grip a Viking sword incorrectly than any other blade. While one can often get away with a wrong grip in the case of other blades, doing so with a Viking sword will cause the pommel to jab into one’s wrist when cutting, which leads to the user hating a perfectly good sword. One cannot but admire the facility with which Easton shows that he can wield the blade when gripped correctly.
As I started the final five episodes of Rose of Versailles, a friend warned me that I was in for a “rollercoaster.” Having come off the ride, I think I’d have to say that, as thoughtful as the caution was, it was unfortunately understated, as the conclusion to this magnificent series wrecked emotional havoc on me like it had not in 35 episodes prior. In considering why, I of course ended up at some of the easier conclusions for explaining my emotional wreckage—character investment, Stockholm Syndrome, lack of sleep, an exceptionally doomed ship—but I found myself unsatisfied with those answers. However, in considering the show as a whole, rather than simply a five-episode excerpt, I came to understand that I had, to continue to metaphor, been on a rollercoaster the whole time. On a terrifying and exhilarating ride known as “life.”
I have often commented that for a blog to be successful the blogger must read more than write; so, one can only expect that yours truly has broken this rule many times. This season of anime, my opinions feel rather isolated despite at least three popular shows appearing in my lists. Yet, I think that I have read plenty of blogs over the past few months. Perhaps I have not read the right blogs? But, I thought that I only followed like-minded people! Shikata ga nai. Angryjellyfish has six of these shows on his watch list (just missing Danna ga Wakaranai), but I cannot find another blogger with as similar of a list. The end result is that the following opinions of mine feel more shallow than usual, as there are fewer sources of opinion from which to glean ideas. Well, there is always next season, and my dear readers can satisfy my curiosity as to which of the following shows wound up as their favorites this season.
Occasionally, I find myself writing posts like this, where I ramble on about a vague idea. They have the virtue of giving my dear readers an insight into how my mind works, though I can’t claim the following as a polished article. In this case, the condition of Captain Harlock’s world in 2977 A.D. reminds me of Our Lord’s complaint to St. Faustina about how many modern souls are lukewarm with respect to religion. This lukewarm attitude may be traced to the Enlightenment. (Actually, some trace it to the late Middle Ages, but the symptoms became obvious after the Renaissance.) More and more people questioned the validity of religion: didn’t religion lead to eighty years of continuous warfare during the Renaissance? Isn’t faith purely irrational? It became popular to cleave to a deistic model of the universe, and devoutly following the precepts of an organized religion became associated with the…
Goya is known for portraits of horror, war, and nightmare.
But he did paint a series of humorous paintings about a story of raw heroism… and earthy comedy.
Maragato was a notorious bandit. He wasn’t even ashamed to steal a family’s dinner and eat it all himself. But when he accosted a barefoot Franciscan, Friar Pedro Zaldivia, and held him at gunpoint, the friar cleverly took his gun away and pointed it back at him. Maragato ran off, and the Friar gave him a parting gift of shot in the backside. The bandit gave up and the friar tied him up until the authorities could come. Then… he protected the bandit from the many people willing to beat up a disarmed bad man!
Goya liked these good-natured paintings so well that he kept them.
‘Tis safe to say that my goal of writing fourteen posts in fourteen days proved a bridge too far. But, there is often value in setting goals higher than one can accomplish. Such is especially the case with me: if I strive not for the moon, I have no hope of landing among the stars. Nevertheless, I met the two goals of feeling confident once again in my writing and making writing a pleasant habit once again.
Speaking of setting impossible goals, reviewing Philo’s Allegorical Interpretations I-III in a complete sense would require more than the single post I’m willing to allot to it. One stares agape in wonder at the wealth of information Philo provides and his facility of bringing forth relevant passages of Scripture and parsing Greek philosophy. The three books draw interesting allegorical interpretation on the Story of Creation and the Fall of Man for discussing virtue and vice. Treat the following post as notes to topics I found most interesting. “But, can’t you be more thorough? I know you: you’re just being lazy!” you say? Well, to paraphrase G. K. Chesterton, anything really worth doing (as sharing what I gleaned from Philo surely is) is not only worth doing well but also worth doing badly, an adage I hope the present article proves in spades.
Usually, I have more manga than this to recommend. However, good manga is hard to find. This will be a very short article indeed, but I hope that you’re willing to try out one of the following two recommendations. For a change, I’ve given ratings for content after each review.
No! I promise that I really did find only two manga worthy of recommending!
A little over a week ago, I had the pleasant surprise of receiving the Dragon’s Loyalty Award from Josh W of Res Studiorum et Ludorum. Apparently, this award may be given to loyal followers of one’s blog whether they have a blog or not. The rules are as follows:
1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and a link back.
3 You must share 7 things other bloggers may not know about you.
4 Nominate up to 15 bloggers for Dragon’s Loyalty Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
5 Copy and paste the award somewhere on your blog.
A short ramble on how Captain Harlock seems to demonstrate the best attitude for a Christian soldier.
Originally posted on :
Episode eight of Captain Harlock features a rare act of mercy: a captured Mazone is permitted to depart peacefully from the Arcadia. However, Harlock’s decision does not please Daiba, whose father was murdered by a Mazone. Part of his reason for joining the crew of the Arcadia was to get revenge on these aliens. Daiba demands to slay the fleeing Mazone, and Captain Harlock bids him to do as he pleases. The upshot of this event is that the Mazone is killed and Daiba, due to the damage received to his craft in the fight, suffers temporary insanity from oxygen deprivation. Daiba’s desire for revenge almost led to his own death.
The obvious message behind this event lies in how lust for revenge can destroy oneself. A Christian would hardly disagree. Yet, I wonder what opinion our dear readers have of Captain Harlock’s general ruthlessness toward the Mazone. After discovering…
I have never played this game, but I love how Josh W shows how Final Fantasy IX asks several philosophical questions. Also, he describes it as the most Chestertonian RPG, which I find fascinating. The title of this series should instantly remind you of Chesterton’s most cryptic novel.
(Note: I am going to spoil a fifteen year old game)
Final Fantasy IX is the most Chestertonian RPG game. That, I think, puts its finger on why I find this game to be so compelling as an adult. I feel that, having lived to see them, the corpulent man of letters would have dismissed electronic RPGs in favor of their pen and paper origins; but short of uncovering the manuscript of a high fantasy novel penned by the man, this is about as close as we’ll get to a G. K. Chesterton RPG.
My dear readers, unfortunate gravity and perfectionism have seized and bound my pen of late. The desire to write well has stymied me from writing at all. As the Italian proverb has it, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” The only solution, since I cannot convince myself that I write well, lies in writing badly. After all, Theodore Roosevelt advises that the best thing to do in any situation is the right thing, the next best is the wrong thing, and the worst is to do nothing at all. This advice may actually be false in regard to politics, but in the realm of writing it bears certain truth. And so, I have proposed to myself to write one post per diem–not necessarily on this blog–for a fortnight.
The title of this post, “De Hilaritate,” is the closest I could translate “On Levity” into Latin. If I had written “De Levitate” instead, the present article would be praising fickleness or changeableness, which deserve no praise at all. When I speak of levity, I speak of that virtue related to cheerfulness and humility, which all the saints have and often reveal in the most dour of times–as when the martyr St. Lawrence, as he roasted alive over a grill, said: “I’m well done on this side. Turn me over and eat!” At the same time, the excess of gravity, rooted in pride and despair, is shared by all the citizens of hell. This might strike many of you with surprise as many religious types, myself included, have a tendency to face life with a serious countenance, as seems reasonable considering an eternity of heaven or hell awaits us depending on how we have lived. However, the devout always carry joy in them–the joy of being united to Christ, and extra seriousness at the beginning of conversion must give way to levity as our faith in God’s goodness and salvific will increase.
The twenty-third volume of Rurouni Kenshin forms part of the Jinchuu Arc and distinguishes itself for its two duels: Saito vs. Yatsume (Literally, “eight eyes,” but typing it out in English makes it look like “the damn guy.” xD) and Kenshin vs. Enishi. Yatsume is one of the assassins who originally tried to kill Kenshin in the trap set for him by the Tokugawa gov’t during the last days of the Shogunate, but Yatsume fled after Kenshin thrust a wakizashi through his hand. He felt disappointed not to fight Kenshin first, but you can be certain that Saito was more than a match for him–a very exciting duel indeed. We learn about the origins of both Yatsume and Enishi’s prowess; though, I could not help but feel underwhelmed with the “pirate martial arts” of which Enishi boasts. After all, English pirates beat Wakou in one famous encounter. Perhaps, George Silver’s English martial arts is superior to both Watou-jutsu and Hitenmitsurugi-ryu? Anyway, you can tell that I’m annoyed with this made up martial art. Let me continue with the article.
Saito, the most awesome character in manga, levels insults almost as well as Alucard.
A little post I wrote about the 8th Beatitude and Captain Harlock.
Originally posted on :
In thinking about a Christian theme to pick out from Space Pirate Captain Harlock, the image of Mayu standing determined before the crucifix in her school’s chapel continuously comes to mind. Mayu is the orphaned daughter of Captain Harlock’s friend, whose final wish was for her to be raised on Earth. Because of his promise. Captain Harlock refuses to let Mayu join him in his ship, the Arcadia, despite the many hardships she is forced to undergo. In episode two, the villains demand that she write to Captain Harlock in order to draw him to Earth where he might be captured. Mayu refuses and is forced to repeatedly clean the chapel from dawn through night of the same day in order to break her will.
A combination of factors leads me to write this Quick Takes article: 1) it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here; 2) I’m rather ill; and 3) because I am rather ill, my ability to focus has gone down the tubes. Some of these points deserve their own article. At any rate, let me begin.
Arslan Senki reminded me of the curious fact that non-believers often try to paint God like Allah. What brings up the comparison? The high priest of the Lusitanian religion decides to torture the captured Lord Shapur to death and remarks how unbelievers deserve this. Then, Lord Shapur gamely defies the high priest by saying that he hopes to see him burning in hell with his evil god. I am forcibly reminded of a scene from Muhammad’s life, where he kills all the pagan Arabs he captures after a battle–the last pleading for his life for the sake of his only daughter–and then burns the bodies of the slain. Muhammad then remarks that the smoke of burning heretics is pleasing to Allah.
Hey guys, Samurai here once again for Day 3 of the Anime Challenge! Today’s topic is something that is both stupidly easy to answer yet tragically complex to explain–favorite anime character! I seriously took all day to figure out who my favorite male anime character is. It’s not an easy question–I’ve come across many, many, many male characters in anime that could qualify; characters like Akira Takizawa from Eden of the East, Soul “Eater” Evans from Soul Eater, Ginko from Mushi-shi, Hachirota “Hachimaki” Hoshino from Planetes…Mutta Nanba from Space Brothers…the list goes on and on! But, thankfully, I managed to lock down on one guy who rocks my proverbial socks over all of them. Who did I pick? More after the break.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Seraph of the End besides its scenario–a post-apocalyptic world with man vs. vampire (Well, that was done in Trinity Blood, but this setting feels different.)–is its emphasis on human relationships. Our hero, Yuuichiro, loses his parents to join another family in an orphanage. He loses this family while leaving the vampire held city were he was taken following the plague which broke out. The head of the anti-vampire unit, Colonel Guren, demands that Yuuichiro gain a friend or a lover before he may join this unit. In the last episode, Yuuichiro is forced to pair with another person having trouble forming human relationships. One might list more examples of how this show focuses on the importance of relationships.
However, a few remarks of Shinoa’s I found particularly fascinating: “Virginity is evil” and the above comments. (Just seeing the words on screen does not do justice to Saori Hayami’s delivery.) In another article, it might be worthwhile to compare the idea of virginity and loneliness, but I want to focus on her hearty exclamation above. It seems to me that Shinoa states two mutually opposed ideas: breeding and illicit sexual realtions. It is important for the decimated human population to repopulate the world, but that can in no way be accomplished through illicit sexual relations.
Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of April 19-25, 2015, according to the New York Times.
1. Akame ga Kill! Volume 2 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro
2. Log Horizon Volume 1 by Mamare Touno and Kazuhiro Hara
3. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
4. Citrus Volume 2 by Saburouta
5. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
6. Attack on Titan Volume 15 by Hajime Isayama
7. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
8. Akame ga Kill! Volume 1 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro
9. Assassination Classroom Volume 3 by Yusei Matsui
10. Assassination Classroom Volume 2 by Yusei Matsui