The Benefit of Litanies

This morning, I was reminded of one form of prayer which I have long neglected: the litany.  Some Protestants have qualms about the litany and repetitive prayer in general, dubbing it “babbling like pagans” (Mt. 6:7), who thought that their prayer would be answered when they hit upon the right name for their god.  But, Protestants ignore Psalm 135 (136 in the King James Bible), which repeats “for His mercy endureth forever” 27 times!  Surely, the Bible is not to be judged as having vain repetition!  Then, why ought a prayer form imitating Psalm 135 be judged as vain?

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Another word for worship is adoration.  The virtue of the litany lies in us being able to adore different facets of the same God, whose attributes, though perfectly simple in God, cannot be contained in one human word.  And so, I recommend the Litany of the Sacred Heart to all in order to adore and recall the innumerable excellences of Jesus Christ, Noster Dominus et Salvator.  One can also remind themselves of the excellences of his two parents, St. Mary and St. Joseph, as one begs their intercession.  The Litany of the Saints is also a wonderful prayer, very long and happily so, because it reminds us of the various ways God led a great diversity of persons to heaven and so praises the Most Efficacious Salvation of God.

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But, it is of immense importance to remind ourselves of God’s goodness, because suffering in our lives can cause us to forget God’s goodness, and the world, the flesh, and the devil try to blot out the memory of God.  Rather than the true image of a Forgiving and Loving Father, they try to impose the image of a stern, demanding, and wrathful judge whose standards may never be met.  Then, instead of approaching God with confidence that He will cleanse us from our iniquity, we shall rather run away and seek solace in amusements, which are often occasions of sin.  The devil pounces on our own lack of faith to make us think that there is no longer hope of salvation–even though all that’s necessary is to be sorry and make a motion, even if only mental, to do the right!  I myself confess that this morning, as I said the Litany of the Sacred Heart, doubts came to mind as I prayed verses about God’s mercy and patience, for which I repent in the bitterness of my heart.

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This shows the necessity of constantly learning about God.  One must never forget God’s goodness and mercy!  Remembering God’s mercy allows us to approach Him without fear even if we have blackened our souls by the most vile and scandalous iniquity.  After all, He did die for us, and it was not easy: an ordinary mortal would have died from agony to feel the anguish in Christ’s Heart as He said: “Amen I say to you, one of you is about to betray Me.”  I write this because a certain atheist dubbed the Passion “a rough weekend.”  If one considers the Most Dolorous Passion of Jesus Christ easy, that–as the atheist claimed–anyone might be willing to undergo it to save mankind, is it any wonder that this man supposes the Christ could take him or leave him?  A most vile temptation of the devil!  If we truly understood the anguish which racks the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the loss of a single soul, we would be willing to eat only bread and water for our entire lives to offer penance for them and beg their conversion.  None of us can do that?  Don’t worry: God holds none of our weakness against us even as he tries to make us more virtuous.

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National Blog Posting Month Approaches

Dear readers, the month all bloggers await with anticipation is almost upon us.  November is officially National Blog Posting Month.  It is also NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, where certain people attempt to write a novel in one month.  Now, I have little intention to participate in the latter, but perhaps I should re-write my fantasy novel at last so that I can publish it.  I had lost faith in the work, but recent events have caused me to appreciate it under a new light, and the first 80 pages are really quite nice.  The problem comes in the meandering plot of the other 240 word document length, single spaced pages.  (No, I’m not bragging at all. xD )

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I hope to attempt the same thing that I had attempted for last year’s Blog Month: one post per day.  Sadly, my record for last year was 9 posts by yours truly, 10 reblogs, and 11 missed days.  Quel déplorable! And this month promises to be even more difficult with me having three blogs: Medieval Otaku, Aquilon’s Eyrie, and Aquila et Infans.  Now, I highly doubt that I shall be able to write 90 posts in a month, unless they are all along the lines of having caption contests with pictures of anime girls or something.  So, I shall indeed post once per diem here, I hope to split Aquila et Infans 50/50 with my partner, and only have to write a few articles indeed for Aquilon’s Eyrie.  Thus, only having to write around 55 articles in all.

I'll be like that at the end of November.

I’ll be like that at the end of November.

I’d have so say that my best posts from National Blog Posting Month were Learned Something About Modern Atheism, an amusing manga post which shows to what degree I have changed my opinion of Fairy Tail, an introspective post on religion, and a post comparing Kiba and Cheza’s relationship to Jesus and Mary’s.

Wish me luck!

WolfwoodVash

My Progress This Season

Well, I figure that my dear readers deserve to know how I have been occupying myself recently with anime, so I have decided to write a post on my general progress.  Some older shows with which I have been dallying are Hunter x Hunter, a series of shorts named Sparrow’s Hotel (completed in one evening), Majestic Prince, The Third: The Girl with the Blue EyeSolty Rei, and Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk.  At last, I’ve almost finished with the original Hunter x Hunter, having just watched Kurapica’s major battle with one of the Spiders gang.  It was so pleasant to see the god-like and glorious victory over a certain murdering blackguard–whatever his name is–that I have difficulty putting my feelings to words.  Sparrow’s Hotel is a great comedy about a kunoichi working at a midsized hotel, which I heartily recommend to anyone needing a laugh.  I’m still trying to finish off Majestic Prince, which has to be one of the greatest mech shows of recent years–I place it next to Code Geass.   You might know that two of those last three shows figure on my top fifty list, and hence deserve their own posts.  Tower of Druaga is a great fantasy, and the first episode alone, which parodies fantasy anime in a grand style, suffices to give it a large place in any otaku’s heart.

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But, now onto some brief descriptions of this season’s shows.  I still have to get around to Samurai Flamenco and Coppelion, but I expect to accomplish this soon.  At any rate, my ability to keep up with new shows is much the highest since 2009.  That says something about the quality of this season!

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1) Arpeggio of Blue Steel (aka Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio) – 3 episodes

My long time readers will know that I am a huge fan of submarine warfare, particularly the WWII era.  So, it comes as no surprise that I am digging this show, despite the fact that the show exclusively employs CG animation.  As a matter of fact, I’m surprised in how unobtrusive they render this style of CG, which likely indicates that it will become more prevalent in the future.

It's based on a manga!  Now, I have to read that too!

It’s based on a manga! Now, I have to read that too!

Anyway, this show concerns aliens known as The Fog, who have effectively wrested the seas from humanity.  One of their vessels, a submarine, defects and gives humanity the chance to regain possession of the seas.  I find the fact that each ship’s personality is presented in the image of a cute young lady most amusing–all ships are feminine, you know!  The first sea battle was very exciting, and the submarine’s captain displayed that combination of intuition and sang-froid which renders submarine warfare particularly delightful.

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2) Golden Time – 3 episodes

I was pleasantly surprised by this romance anime.  The dialogue tends to be rather sophisticated, and the characters entertaining.  A very enjoyable watch thus far.

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3) Hajime no Ippo Rising – 1 episode

It feels very much like the prior season.  As long as this show sticks to exciting boxing with interesting characters, I’m going to keep watching.  I’ve only seen one episode so far because I hope to watch the rest of the series with my brother.  He’s a bigger fan of the Hajime no Ippo franchise than I am!

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4) I Couldn’t Become a Hero, so I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job – 3 episodes

This show is hilarious!  Usually I steer clear of ecchi with shows like Freezing being a major exception.  The premise is that a prospective hero is forced to get an ordinary job after failing his exam.  While working in a magical department store, the demon king’s daughter decides to work there with him.  The effort he must expend to try to make this person use polite language and treat customers with hospitality is absolutely hilarious.  I might add that the girls are quite cute too.  Forma pulcherrimae!  When the tentacle monster appeared, I feared lest decency forbid me to watch further, but that scene did not exceed my tolerance, though it did exceed the grounds of decency.  This is a wonderful comedy if you don’t mind some fanservice.

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5) Infinite Stratos 2 – 2 episodes

Hmm…There’s not much to this season yet.  I’m almost tempted to drop the show, but then I should be denied Charlotte’s cuteness.  I’m not sure whether I’m ready for that deprivation.

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6) Kill la Kill – 4 episodes

This is indeed an interesting show.  My last post and the commentary below it make it clear that this is a very thoughtful work.  I’ll definitely be keeping track of this show, and I hope that the animators are able to keep the high action and amusing antics up.

Well, that adequately describes the shows which I have watched.  I can heartily recommend all of them except Infinite Stratos 2 and recommend Golden Time with the reservation that shonen fans might find it uninteresting.  Cheers!

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Defensio Pudoris: Against the Shameless Philosophy of Kill la Kill

Well, I have watched Kill la Kill for three episodes and am not completely sure how to think of it.  The heroine, as with any character voiced by Ami Koshimizu, is incredibly cute and the action rather amusing.  I required the insight of other bloggers to form a more coherent opinion of the show.  With the help of JoeAnimated’s article and the one he links to, I have discerned that Nietzsche’s philosophy, to which I am no friend, imbues the series.  Apparently, this series attempts to attack Japanese notions of shame.  According to the series, shame prevents one from attaining their goals.  After all, ordinary shame would have prevented Matoi from seeking vengeance in that terribly revealing outfit.  Kiryuin, the antagonist, accuses Matoi of allowing “the values of the masses,” i.e. modesty, to prevent her from achieving true fusion with her kamui or power suit and thus from her goal of getting vengeance for her father.  Nevermind that idea of vengeance and vendettas, as with the Viking and Germanic pagans of the Middle Ages, reside in the normal Japanese psyche as well!

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From my title, defensio pudoris, you might understand that I have a hearty disagreement with this view of shame.  My aversion to the idea of shame hindering humanity is so great that I feel like dropping the show right here.  Yet, I have been accused of excessive prejudice in my literary judgments.  That article accuses me of allowing my religious and philosophical prejudices to blind me to the greatness of works written under opposing ideologies.  To which, I respond that people of opposing views can certainly write a good work; but, a great author must have a great message in addition to a knack for memorable characters, great dialogue, engaging plots, vivid settings, and beautiful literary style.  Everyone loves the truth, or at least everyone worth his salt does.  (General Lee referred to one general in the Mexican War who as the only person he met indifferent to truth and falsehood.  May none of us ever gain the same disregard for the truth!)  Therefore, it is no surprise that my top ten list  contains authors who come closest to the truth as I understand it.  And judging from my friend’s top ten list–also on the blog, he stands guilty of the same laudable charge with the single aberration of H. G. Wells.  The noble thought of overcoming my prejudices induces me to continue watching Kill la Kill with all its foolish Nietzschean conceptions of the will to power and of the abandonment of common morality.

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At any rate, shame is essential to developing virtue.  When the philosopher Diogenes of Sinope saw a young man blushing, he said: “Courage, my boy, that is the color of virtue.”  Then again, Nitobe Inazo claimed that the way the Japanese would avert their children from bad behavior would be by telling them that they should be ashamed of it.  Also, we see that shame is essential in the practice of religion.  Who doubts that the ancient Israelites had forgotten shame prior to the Babylonian Exile when they worshiped other gods even around the temple, sacrificed blemished animals, father-in-laws bedded their sons’ wives, and the powerful oppressed orphans and widows?  Their hearts had become so gross that they could not longer tell right from wrong!  The Israelites even told a certain prophet that they have done nothing wrong, and they believed that God did not see their iniquities.  They were shameless, and their very shamelessness prevented their repentance!

Every Japanophile needs to read Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Nitobe Inazo.  It offers incredible insights into the Japanese.

Every Japanophile needs to read Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Nitobe Inazo. It offers incredible insights into the Japanese.

I remember reading about Padre Pio breaking down in the confessional after confessing minor sins.  When the confessor expressed surprise at his tears, Padre Pio told him that it was his infidelity that brought him to tears.  In the same way, a spouse might be filled with shame at enjoying a kiss from someone outside their marriage.  And I am certain that a delicacy of conscience is necessary for sainthood.

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It is also certain that shameless people cannot relate well with others, as we see from the example of Kiryuin in Kill la Kill.  Does anyone find her clubbable?  Rather she is far too superior to care for ordinary mortals or feel ashamed before them.  The best persons to have in authority are those capable of shame, as we see in the example of the best kings from the Middle Ages.  Why did Canute have himself brought to the shore to command impotently the waves to turn back except that he was ashamed at the ridiculous praise his courtiers heaped on him?  Kiryuin surely ought to be ashamed for claiming so many special privileges, casting off feminine modesty, and having all treat her as a goddess!

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Shame allows human beings to remain human.  Without shame, the possession of virtue and the execution of many good deeds becomes impossible.  Without shame, we cannot repent of our failings.  Without shame, we cannot walk humbly with God or our fellow human beings.  Of course, there can be excesses of shame, as when a person refuses to go to confession or to speak where necessary.  However, a well formed conscience works best with a sense of shame: confession produces less amendment and speech becomes too bold without shame.  It is easier to overcome shame on the right occasions than for a shameless mind to act justly and considerately.

My Last Foray into Hellsing

The Hellsing TV series is one of the most enjoyable anime one can watch.  The characters, particularly Alucard, Fr. Anderson, and Lady Integra (I shall refer to her as Lady Integra.  Calling her Sir Integra is too confusing.), display a great degree of panache.  The fights keep the viewer on the edge of their seats as we eagerly await the humiliation of the wicked.  The manga was similarly enjoyable until I read volumes 7 and 8.

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Now, I must state here that Hellsing contains an incredible degree of gore and violence–second only to Berserk among what I have perused.  I could not read through the first volume of the latter nor of the former on my first attempt.  Then, after college and age had rendered my soul a little more callous, I read the first six volumes in a couple of days to discover that the website holding the scanlations deleted the manga chapters on the third day.  And so, it was not until recently that I decided to give Hellsing another try.

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Not only were volumes seven and eight the most gory experience I have yet to be treated to in my short life, but I cannot imagine the fifth circle of hell being far different.  *Spoilers ahead for those who care*  Basically, a horde of Neo-Nazi vampires attacks London as the Iscariot organization steps in to stop the fighting.  The latter are so far from being truly helpful that they shout things like: “The only good Protestant is a dead Protestant!”  That’s flushing ecumenicism down the tubes!  But, the bitter hatred between Catholics and Protestants in the manga, judging by the calls for Pope Benedict XVI’s imprisonment prior to his trip to England, may not differ too widely from the actual situation in Britain!

Don't ask me why Catholic knights should be dressed like the KKK.

Don’t ask me why Catholic knights should be dressed like the KKK.

But, volumes 7 and 8 did have many enjoyable points.  I wouldn’t have missed Seras Victoria dual wielding giant 20mm or 30mm machine guns and bringing down a Zeppelin with incendiary rounds for the world.  Then again, at the death of her latent love interest, she drank his blood to become a full fledged vampire and took down the horde of enemy vampires storming her position.  Lady Integra lit up a cigar in the midst of her innumerable foes and contemned them for abandoning their humanity as she defied them to attack her.  Fr. Anderson with a team from Iscariot came to her rescue.  With lofty chivalry, he accompanied her home and prevented his compatriots’ plan of arresting her.  Lastly, in homage to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Alucard sails up the Thames in an aircraft carrier whose crew had been slain prior to this.

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I only wish that the violence and gore had been toned down.  My conscience forbids me from reading further, despite my love for seeing the exploits of our heroes.  Unless someone tells me that it gets less gory with the advent of Alucard.  Why not concentrate more on the coolness of the heroes?  After all, no one reads a manga to see the effect of metal on flesh!

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The Problem of Evil and Spiritual Envy

I just finished a short modern saga by Felix Dahn called The Saga of Halfred the Sigskald.  It concerns the tragic adventures of a fictional Norse skald, who accepts a challenge to win the hand of a princess by completing a set of challenges.  The action of the saga is very reminiscent of the Nibelungelied, a medieval tragic romance which I highly recommend all my dear readers to read.  Through overcoming all these challenges, Halfred weds the princess, who discovers that he undertook winning her hand for the fame of the conquest rather than out of love.  (When a woman sets up a series of contests to win her hand, might this not be expected?)  In great wroth, she curses Halfred at a feast, and her attempt to strike him leads to setting herself on fire and the slaughter of many of the guests in the ensuing confusion.  This begins a series of tragic events for Halfred which lead to him denying the existence of the gods.  On the whole, the story conveyed that tragic flavor which I love to see in traditional sagas.

Egil's Saga is an especially great read.

Egil’s Saga is an especially great read.

However, I feel that none of my dear readers will be interested in this saga, especially because so many more medieval sagas deserve to be read.  If you are, you may download it for free on Kindle, iBooks, or Project Gutenberg.   I found the work interesting for two reasons: how it dealt with the problem of evil and depiction of spiritual envy.  Feeling no need to avoid spoilers with such a work, here is the sequence of events which leads to Halfred denying the gods:

1.  Halfred is cursed by his wife and forced to slaughter his own kinsman.

2.  His pregnant wife is killed in the scuffle and their firstborn lost.

3.  Halfred finds happiness again with a new wife, but her beauty produces jealousy among his blood-brothers and the crew, leading to a slaughter.

4.  His new wife commits suicide.

5.  Halfred, going on a crusade against paganism, is unwittingly slain by his son, who, as it turns out, survived though his mother did not.

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If such events are possible–Halfred claims, then the gods cannot exist.  However, I would like to submit that perhaps Halfred’s madness at the end of the story makes him being killed by his son and thus finding peace more happy than if he had continued his crusade.  I particularly love how his son, then a shepherd, when asked whether he believed in the gods, responded that he believed in the one, triune God, and mortally wounded Halfred with his slingshot in a fashion reminiscent of King David.

At any rate, I have always found the mere existence of evil insufficient to deny the existence of God.  Look at these syllogisms:

1) If God were omnipotent, omniscent, and infinitely good, he would eliminate evil according to His omnipotence, i.e. completely.

2) There is evil.

Therefore, God does not exist.

But why should not the following syllogism be true?

1) There is good.

2) Without a good Creator, there could be no goodness.

Therefore, God exists.

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As a matter of fact, St. Augustine claims that the mere presence of evil actually shows God’s omnipotence; for, if God were not so omnipotent as to bring good out of evil, then He would never have allowed evil to exist in the first place.  So, I think that the problem of pain or evil is insufficient when arguing against God’s existence.  Rather, people who deny God’s existence on such grounds take to judging Providence because they think that He permitted evil where He should not have.  Perhaps, believers struggle with this question more than unbelievers, but the rewards for perseverance in faith, which in itself is an unfathomably immense grace, are to feel God’s love and goodness again and again.

Now to that most deplorable vice of spiritual envy.  I call it spiritual envy because people who struggle to lead a spiritual life, like the Italian monks in the abbey where Halfred’s son lives, are particularly subject to it.  One feels excessive grief or judgment against people who excessively indulge in the pleasures of life.  One might even rejoice more in hearing the downfall than conversion of sinners!  And yet, one calls oneself an upstanding Christian!  After Halfred’s son leaves the abbey, apostates, and perishes on the field of battle, the abbot actually rejoices in hearing of a vision of how this person has fallen into hell!  (In fairness to Dahn, he does give a positive portrayal of the Algo-Saxon monks and the prior Anglo-Saxon abbot, Aelfrik.  But this might just be due to the prejudices of the author, who seemed instrumental in the movement of German Nationalism prior to WWI.)  How contrary to the example of St. Benedict, who, upon hearing one of his disciples rejoicing in the death of St. Benedict’s clerical opponent, who had even attempted to murder the saint, rebuked his disciple and told him rather to pray for that person.

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The root of spiritual envy lies in a strange form of jealousy: this spiritual person, at the same time as he strives for higher goods and claims their superiority, envies the sinner’s enjoyment of material goods!  Rather than spiritual, this person ought rather to be called carnal!  Any yet, envy is an insidious cancer which most easily infects those who deem themselves immune.  The life of grace involves bitter trials.  Human beings, a combination of flesh and spirit, suffer from concupiscence, which renders physical joys more apparent than spiritual ones, for perception of which the grace of the Lord is necessary.

And yet, how deplorable is envy of all sorts?  How can Christians bring poor sinners into the fold if they see us, who are indeed sinners ourselves, contemning them and also jealous of the very things they enjoy?  Furthermore, how displeasing it is to our Divine Master, the Overflowing Fountain of Love Itself, to see envy in His followers?  But, by prayer for others and charity envy can be uprooted, and we learn the necessity of grace by overcoming these trials.

Created with The GIMPSo, the work provoked some very interesting thoughts, but I still can’t recommend it above other works.  I still imagine that it will be pleasing to some of my dear readers.

Walkure Romanze and Too Many Women in Anime

A few days ago, I watched the preview to a new fanservicey show titled Walkure Romanze.  It must be admitted that seeing bevies of knightly beauties performing martial exercises and stretching afforded pleasure to my eyes.  Actually, the fact that they were knights was not apparent until I saw the women jousting in full plate later in the preview.  Until two other thoughts intruded themselves upon me, I contemplated adding this show to my watch list.  But, these two thoughts killed any desire for me to watch this show: 1) Could they not have animated Tactics Ogre, Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, or any other good war or medieval manga instead? Or remade Ivanhoe, Le Morte D’Arthur,  Parzival, The Mabinogeoon, any other medieval romance, or a viking saga into an anime?  And 2) Why do Japanese shows increasingly or even the greater proportion of the time place girls in roles meant originally for men?

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Here are two of the beauties.

My first complaint is more common: Why do animation studios lack the guts to do something original or unique nowadays?  (See this article for another blogger who piped up on this issue.)  Why rely on fanservice to carry a show when real women are always superior to anime girls?  The most popular anime have always been the ones which were original and unique–those which asked interesting questions and led our minds through undiscovered tracts of fantasy and science fiction.  Of course, the probability of failure is greater when one wishes to create something sublime rather than merely sensual–as reading Longinus’ amusing critiques of ancient poets and orators in his work On the Sublime easily shows.  But, I think that failing at creating a unique high story, as Geneshaft and perhaps Kurenai may have failed, is more respectable than achieving moderate success by way of the bosom.

Yes, another show with mostly female characters, but they have a good excuse.  Society had almost decided to eliminate men altogether until it was realized that men had better decision making capabilities.  So, the ratio of men to women was engineered to be 1:7.

Yes, Geneshaft’s another show with mostly female characters, but they have a good excuse. Society had almost decided to eliminate men altogether until it was realized that men had better decision making capabilities. So, the ratio of men to women was engineered to be 1:7.

Concerning my second point, certain people may claim that a sizable market exists for ecchi.  These people need new scenarios, such as seeing girls dressed up as knights, in order to achieve new highs.  ‘Tis a sad day when the ordinary sight of an attractive women no longer incites interest!  And if one needs to see an attractive woman on screen, why not feed the mind or soul at the same time?  After all, Bleach, Fairy Tail, and others provide plenty of attractive women, but not at the loss of an exciting story.  And often these female characters, like Narvi of Broken Blade, Faye of Cowboy Bebop, and Erza Scarlet of Fairy Tale, are rendered more attractive by their actions, because great deeds and good character render their possessors as attractive as those with beauty.  The combination of these traits proves irresistible.

Mad Bull 34.  The most awesome show I feel uncomfortable in recommending.  There's Sleepy on the left with his partner Daizaburo on the right.

Mad Bull 34. The most awesome show I feel uncomfortable in recommending. There’s Sleepy on the left with his partner Daizaburo on the right.

But, placing large female casts in bellicose roles has become cliche.  There are several old shows like Bubblegum Crisis and Dirty Pair, where the inclusion of largely female casts was exciting and original.  The constant overuse of this trope has rendered it simply eccentric.  I opine that seeing John “Sleepy” Estes of Mad Bull 34 or Dante of Devil May Cry displaying their machismo in defeating hordes of enemies delights my soul much more than even Erza Scarlet wiping the floor with her foes.  (But, I will confess, in Erza’s case, not too much more.)

Don't let that Sunday fool you!  Perhaps the most badass character of recent years!

Don’t let that Sunday fool you! Perhaps the most badass character of recent years!

So, send shows like Walkure Romanze to the trash heap.  Produce more works like Vision of Escaflowne, Blue Submarine No. 6, and Samurai Champloo.  Of course, works with mostly female casts can be quite good: Solty Rei, Dirty PairSoukou no StrainFreezing, and Bubblegum Crisis are some of my favorites.  However, the present trend causes shows with large female casts to be fanservice fiestas rather than attempts at making magnificent stories–so much so that the mere presence of this trope is enough to give me pause.  Enough of the ecchi!

This show has a boatload more of female side characters, but Roy has enough masculinity himself to provide balance to the cast! :)

This show has a boatload more of female side characters, but Roy has enough masculinity himself to provide balance to the cast! 🙂

I remember writing a similar rant earlier in my blogging career.  So, do my complaints go too far or do my dear readers notice similar trends?

#9 Andrew Klavan

A little more advertising for my new blog. 🙂 My friend has written a good piece on Andrew Klavan in the series on our favorite authors. Apparently, Klavan is rather controversial, and you might like this perspective on an author you may not find in a B&N.

On a side note, some of his remarks are friendly jibes against an article on my #9, Rudyard Kipling, which will be posted on Tuesday. I hope that you get the chance to read both!

Aquila et Infans

Here is an author that has every chance to move up the list, since he is still alive, writing, and producing novels like ‘A Killer in the Wind’ and ‘Agnes Mallory’ as well as his past contributions to the true crime genre such as ‘The Scarred Man’ and his excellent thriller-type novels Dynamite Road, Shotgun Alley and Damnation Street . These novels fit very well into my criteria for good and great novels. The language flows, he doesn’t write down to the reader. The plots are powerful. I think good book plots should be like a feast of steak and garlic and olives, maybe some cumin: strong flavors and bright colors. Leave out the drab everydayness of most authors.

Now, Kipling, the other #9 in discussion and much praised by Medieval Otaku, is certainly an author of note. As you read that post, keep in mind that the author, praising…

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New About Page

Well, my life has greatly changed in the year and a half since I have started this blog.  In order to procrastinate further from writing my article on Hemingway, I have updated my About page.  My long time readers may find a few surprises in the updated About page which I have written for this blog.  I think that it is more interesting and less haughty than the prior one.  (But, perhaps I judge myself too harshly?)  Anyway, enjoy!

Viva Kaibutsu Oujo!  (Or Monster Princess or Princess Resurrection vel quodcumque tibi placet.)

Viva Kaibutsu Oujo! (Or Monster Princess or Princess Resurrection vel quodcumque tibi placet.)