I’ve put off writing the acceptance posts for a few awards, and today seems a good day to rectify that. My thanks goes to Jiraiyan of Otaku Orbit for nominating me. Be sure to pay his blog a visit! Here are the rules:
Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
Share 7 facts about yourself
Nominate at most 15 people
Tell your nominees the good news!
Here are my seven facts. Chances are that I have mentioned a few in awards posts before, but I hope that they shall be new to you.
A reader requested that I review some volumes of the Rurouni Kenshin manga. At present, I’ve almost finished the series and can almost review the antepenultimate volume of the series–i.e. volume twenty-six. (Yes, I could not resist using the word antepenultimate.) Now appears a good moment to look back on the series and why I enjoy it so much. This manga is such a delight that I obtained the complete series in the original language in order to translate it from the original.
After reading the first two volumes in English, I purchased all of the tankobun volumes. I must say that the level of Japanese stood far above Inuyasha, which counted as my first exposure to manga and even to translating foreign works. (Later, I would read Latin poetry, but it required three years of high school Latin before I started reading excerpts of Classical literature. Conversely, two months of Japanese sufficed for me to plunge into Inuyasha.) With Rurouni Kenshin, I soon developed a fear of running into boxes of historical digression written in kanji. Having watched the anime previously, some of the long monologues were much easier to deal with; but, in Rurouni Kenshin, unlike in Inuyasha, most of the fight is cerebral. Cases where one can sit back and admire pages of action with interjections here and there are seldom found in the pages of RurouniKenshin.
Here, I’m going to try my hand at marketing–again. As you see from the title, my dear readers, I’ve self-published a fantasy novel–a medieval, military, fantasy, adventure novel to be more precise. The roots of this novel lie in an old manuscript I created at seventeen years of age and completed at nineteen. The tome, dubbed Ketil’s Saga, stretched for over three hundred Word Document pages, was written in a pompous and abstruse style, and contains one of the most meandering plots never to have been inflicted on the public. I dream of one day polishing it enough to be presentable trilogy; but, writing a new story set within the same world seems an easier proposition.
All Man’s Clotted Clay might be a familiar title, since this book was submitted to Athanatos Christian Ministries’ 2015 Novel Contest and made the semi-finals. As such, it has received extensive editing by one of the contest judges and by yours truly–so much so that I developed a disgust for revising it and an irresistible urge to bring it before the reading public. All Man’s Clotted Clay is set three hundred years before the events of the unpublished Ketil’s Saga. It concerns the struggle of a heroic pikeman to win the love of his life and defeat the enemies of his country. (What can I say? I love romances of this sort–the medieval kind–and am even reading one such tale now: St. George for England by G. A. Henty.)
I just finished watching Ajin and absolutely loved it. If I had watched that show last year, it would have headed my “Top Five Anime of 2016.” Ajin gets five stars from me and places sixteenth on my top fifty list–right in between Princess Tutu and Fullmetal Alchemist. (It was sad to see Solty Rei dropped from the list, but it had to be. Now, Pumpkin Scissors is hanging on precariously at #50.) One of the more interesting points about this series lies in how many grey areas can be found within it. The bad guys are easy to pick out: Mr. Sato and the Japanese government. (For all intents and purposes, the United States government is as evil as the Japanese government; though, the role of the U.S. is much smaller in this series.) Other person in this series align with either Sato or the Japanese governments depending on their interests. Kei Nagai wishes to live in peace, and sees Mr. Tosaki as his best ally in this regard–Miss Shimomura is no different. The Ajin allied with Sato want the same rights as other citizens and see Sato as their best bet in obtaining these rights.
A friend of mine has been extolling the virtues of Ajin for a long time now. At last, I decided to give this Netflix Original a shot. Prior to this, I had watched Kuromukuro on Netflix and played around with the language options. (As my dear readers know, I love foreign languages.) The German voice actors performed decently–not that well, but it interested me enough to give the German dub of Ajin a shot from the very first episode.
Most of you have not heard of this historical novel of Mark Twain’s; yet, he regarded it as his best work. In his own words, “I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. The others needed no preparation and got none.” Mark Twain is known as something of a humorist, and many humorists see the dark side of life and turn to humor as a way to cope with it. For example, many people know that Twain often wrote to underscore the injustice of Southern society towards blacks–both before and after the Civil War. Twain loved fairness and justice above all, and these things shone yet more gloriously when painted against a background of villainy.
Here is a little reflection I made on the role of mediation in religion, noting differences in Catholicism and Protestantism as well as differences between modern and ancient societies. The article does not come to a proper point, but I hope that it can give my dear readers food for thought.
There were three anime left out from my reviews at Beneath the Tangles. Also, I’ll give a couple of bonus reviews at the end, one of which is old school and the other very modern. Let’s begin without further ado!
1) Chaos; Child – ★★1/2
As a fan of Chaos; Head, his show rather disappointed me. If not for the final episode, it might have been given two stars instead. There is plenty of meaning to be found in that final episode. But, the mystery and character relationships, save between Takuru and Nono, struck me as very bland indeed. Overall, the show comes off as a sadistic dating game.
by Junno Arocho Esteves on the CATHOLIC HERALD, posted Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 The canonisation ceremony will be held exactly 100 years since the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima, […]
The founder of a new site for streaming anime contacted me to take a look at his site, Anime Bananas, and possibly write reviews for him. The question of Anime Bananas legitimacy came up on the Crunchyroll Forums. As evidence for its legitimacy, one can’t find fansub versions of anime on the site, and the founder has agreements with the anime providers he connects to. Let me talk about the benefits of Anime Bananas and a couple of its drawbacks below.
Happy Easter, my dear readers! Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit sicut dixit! Alleluia! Today, we celebrate Christ’s double victory over sin and death, a share of which victory Christ offers to all humanity. Though we are yet troubled by sin in this life, we shall one day cease to offend God and men and no longer be troubled by the effects of human wickedness in ourselves and others. Though we all shall die, death has been transformed into the entrance to life illimitable. How great the reward, and how little God asks of us! Even if our malice, weakness, and ignorance frequently cause us to fall short of God’s commands, repentance continually brings us ever closer to God despite many falls.
Recently, I made the happy discovery of another “Dante class anime”: Blood Blockade Battlefront. (See the page “Anime for Christians“ for a description of “Dante class anime.”) Many who have seen this anime might thinks that monsters are the only thing Blood Blockade Battlefront has in common with The Divine Comedy. But, Christian themes are intentionally used throughout the show. I was first alerted to the possibility of this when Mary MacBeth says that people commit the same wrongs they did two thousand years ago when Christ came to earth.
Beneath the Tangles recently finished their reviews of anime from the Winter 2017 season. Three of my own reviews on Onihei, Chain Chronicle, and Little Witch Academia can be found among them. I’ve watched a few other shows this season and hope to write reviews of them and three older anime this weekend. (I’ve been painfully busy this month until now.) Please like and leave comments on the posts below! Enjoy!
You’ve read the title correctly, my dear readers. Medieval Otaku has entered its fifth year of existence! Usually, I would point out my plans for the coming months, but certain urgent matters occupy my attention such that I don’t want to set anything blog-related in stone. Over the past year, I spent too much of my time focused on political matters and the 24-hour news cycle. Happily, the constant one-upmanship that characterizes the news has started to bore me to tears, so I should spend more time on anime and my other hobbies. May this produce more interesting posts for you!
Let me turn to my choices for the spring 2017 season of anime.
In the latest post from my column on Beneath the Tangles, I examine the topic of revolt from the angle of Christian theology, bringing up the examples of “the Rising of the North” under Queen Elizabeth’s reign and the American Revolution. What brought this topic to mind was the plot of the fourth volume of Slayers. I hope to write many more volumes on this series in the future. Click on the link below for the post!
Theological questions are rather muted in Chaos; Child until the depths of Onoe and Takuru’s relationship is revealed at the end of the series. The odd and poorly Englished subtitle to Chaos; Child reads: “If you are God, and the delusion becomes reality. About what kind of noids you get? Is it the sensual world? The despotic society? The destructive sanctions? Or…” Or, will your lust to solve a convoluted and macabre mystery materialize? By the end, I realized that Takuru is essentially a God character and Onoe is his creature, created by his psychic powers during his hour of need in the Shibuya earthquake set off by the events of Chaos; Head. For this reason, Takuru holds himself responsible for Onoe’s murders: they were committed to fulfill Takuru’s subconscious desire for solving a complex mystery and being a hero.
The first thing to notice about Takuru’s Haruhi Suzumiya-esque existence is his intrinsically flawed godhood. The real God does not need His creatures (Psalm 50:6 – 13) and His care of them is for the sake of their happiness, even if God delights in the happiness of His creatures. Conversely, Takuru needs Onoe, and she exists for him to be happy and rejoices in Takuru’s happiness. This reversal must happen whenever one incomplete being takes another incomplete being for its god.
Here is the latest post in my Examining Light Novels column. I talk about the medieval caste system with a focus on executioners, who would have been considered untouchables at the time, and try to compare that to how one’s social status in modern society causes people to view one. What makes for a favored class of persons changes in every age, but people’s desire to measure others by their particular situations doesn’t. Click the link below!
I’ve had a lot of fun talking about Spice and Wolf and how accurately the author portrays the medieval era or the medieval Church. But, it’s time for me to move onto greener pastures. My next post for the column will be gleaned from the light novel series Slayers. Unlike Spice and Wolf, I’ll be reading this one from the original Japanese, which–though more verbose–is actually a little easier than many popular manga.
After dropping KonoSuba, I realized that I was only keeping up with four shows this season. Usually, I manage seven or eight. Revisiting an earlier post made me remember that I had not yet tried out Little Witch Academia TV or Onihei. Having watched the first episode of both series, those two are now on my watch list, and I hope to review them later. I can already say that the animation of these two does not impress me that much, especially Onihei‘s reliance on CGI for figures in the background. At the moment, I can say little more than that.
Why did I drop KonoSuba? I’ve always felt on the fence with this show, though I enjoyed the first season well enough (7/10). The comedy requires me to be in a peculiar certain mood, and the fanservice proves distracting. The more these two drawbacks bothered me, the less inclined I was to enjoy KonoSuba‘s humor. So, I washed my hands of it. All the same, may those of you who enjoy the show enjoy it still more!