Quick Takes from Maria the Virgin Witch

Initially, I was not too keen on watching Maria the Virgin Witch (aka Junketsu no Maria); but many posts on the show inflamed my desire to do so, and Kaze’s comments in the 8th podcast of Beneath the Tangles proved to be the final impetus.  In any event, I gobbled up these twelve episodes in three days.  The show obviously derives from a liberal mindset, but it’s not as unfair to the Church as many other liberal takes on the Middle Ages.  The reason for this lies in the author having a decided interest in the Middle Ages and Church history; though, one wishes that he had added a double dose of Catholic theology to his studies.  But, in this post–presented in the Quick Takes format, I wish to write about how well the show represented the Middle Ages.  I’ll talk about its philosophy another time.




-I: Weapons, Armor, and Battles-

The armor, weapons, and battlefield tactics employed at this period in history are all very well researched by the author.  Not a single piece of armor or weapon is anachronistic or incorrect.  There are problems with the sword and buckler fights and with how well two-handed weapons are sometimes wielded in just one hand.  Also, there is an obvious absence of chainmail, but that can be explained by the difficulty of animating a coat of rings.

Manga's probably the only format you'll see a byrnie in.

Manga’s probably the only format you’ll see a byrnie in. From Vinland Saga.

I like how the anime features primitive examples of the firearms which were first coming into use.  The depiction of Britain’s standard defensive tactic relying upon longbow archers protected by men-at-arms was perfect.   I also can’t remember the last time in an anime medieval soldiers wore gambesons, the padded coat which most soldiers could afford as armor.


Continue reading


I love reading Lee Relph’s reviews of Monogatari. Here is another good one. Be warned that he’s not the franchise’s biggest fan!

MIB's Instant Headache


Koimonogatari (Cert 15)

1 Disc (Distributor: MVM) Running time: 148 minutes approx.

Release Date: March 23rd     

The tortuous piecemeal journey – at least for this reviewer – through the second season of MonogatariSeries comes to an end with this release, covering episodes 21 to 26 under the subtitle of the Hitagi End arc.

Central to this story is, as you may have guessed, Hitagi Senjōgahara the very first recipient of nominal hero Koyomi Araragi’s extraordinary gift for spiritual healing – although the bulk of these six episode revolve more around another rarely seen face in the form of Deishuu Kaiki, the shady con man last seen way back in the second series entitled Nisemonogatari.

Kaiki, under the pseudonym Suzuki, receives a phone call from Hitagi, who despises him, because she needs him to deceive someone. Her target is Nadeko Sengoku, the girl turned…

View original post 864 more words

Toradora and depression

Ephemeral Kraken has written a very interesting analysis of Ami Kawashima’s character. It held me to the very end even though I haven’t watched Toradora.

The Ephemeral Kraken's Lair

I was poking around CrunchyRoll the other day, looking for a new show, when I saw Toradora! I had heard of it through social osmosis, but had absolutely zero idea what it was about.  Half a week later, I’m throwing all my cherished projects to the wind to write an analysis post that doesn’t even involve philosophy!

Lain Araragi?

First off, let’s get this out of the way.  I really liked Toradora.  Probably not top 30, but it’s very good.  Sure, it’s a romance show, but it stands out quite a bit.  The five main characters are each robust and unique as characters.  Their interactions with the world and each other are a joy to watch, and always very interesting.  Even the side characters are great!  Regrettably, you know how the story will turn out within the first few episodes, but that is really not the point of the show.  With all…

View original post 1,160 more words

Anime Report for Winter 2015



As you know, my dear readers, I’ve dedicated this season to watching the classics, with Ashita no JoeAngel Cop, and Urusei Yatsura featuring prominently among the following anime.  But some new shows managed to sneak onto my list due to the good things I have heard about them: Death ParadeAssassination ClassroomRolling Girls, and–most recently–KanColle.  Usually, this kind of post appears in the middle of the season and seems extraneous with the season’s end around the corner.  Yet, I wish to collect my thoughts on various shows and place them before you before writing my final ratings.  The shows are listed in order of enjoyment from least to greatest.

Continue reading

Nihongo no Hon #2: Silencer Vol. 1

There is only one problem with buying manga from Kinokuniya in New York City: the plastic wrappers sealing the book make each purchase of an unknown manga a risk.  The description on the back cover still strikes me as hard to read.  Actually, I only understand “…her beloved gun will today also silently fan [lit. blow] a flame.”  The the artwork on the cover shows a beautifully drawn woman and a well-detailed M1991 with a silencer.  On that day, I was in the mood for a manga featuring a femme fatale.  Perhaps, Silencer by Shou Fumimura could be another Noir?


Continue reading

Examining Old School Anime: The Christ Figure Antagonist

Beneath the Tangles

Ten or so episodes of Ashita no Joe convince one that many Christian themes run through it.  One even locates a Christ figure in Rikiishi and a Marian character in Yoko Shiraki.  Therefore, Joe Yabuki (especially when one considers the slang “average Joe”) might be looked on as an everyman–a representative of graceless humanity needing a Savior.  In this article, I do not wish to belabor Rikiishi’s parallels to Christ: his standing head and shoulders above ordinary mortals, his generally meek and polite personality, how his weight loss reminds one of Christ fasting in the desert, Yoko as a woman who fulfills the role of the Lady of Sorrows for Rikiishi, etc.  Instead, I wish to ponder the curious choice of Ikki Kajiwara to make the Christ figure as the story’s antagonist.  In what ways might Christ, the friend of sinners, also be viewed antagonistically by his followers?


If memory…

View original post 531 more words

The Kantai Collection Conspiracy

This was a hilarious conspiracy post. Take a look at it!

Fantasy and Anime

It would be funny if the punchline to this joke was a bunch of Japanese military officials all looking around in panic and screaming, “Oh no, hesu on tsu us!”

Firstly, for those who have no idea of what the Kantai Collection (or KanColle) is, it’s “a online browser game in which one assumes the role of an admiral, assembles a fleet of kanmusu (“ship girl”, girls based on World War II era Japanese ships and submarines) and battles against fleets of alien enemy warships.”
Or at least that’s what the Japanese want you to think!


Having not just games but Kantai models, singers and dancers, music and anime both of and inspired by it (see character names from Arpeggio of Blue Steel) as well as one of the biggest pushes in the fan-fiction (or doujinshi) community since the Touhou Shinto/Air Force conspiracy of the 2000s, Kantai has a secret agenda. Because…

View original post 482 more words

The Virtue of Bloody and Violent Tales

For this post, my dear readers, I’ll let you into the workings of my scrupulous mind.  You see, for a long time now, I worried whether manga like Akame ga Kiru and Silencer actually carry a benefit to the reader.  In general, a fascination with blood and violence for their own sakes obviously manifests a disorder of the soul.  At the opposite extreme, squeamishness at the sight of blood and the refusal to countenance the existence of violence must also count as defects.  So, do Akame ga Kiru and Silencer fall in the mean between these two extremes?  And if they are in the mean, what is their particular virtue?


A couple of quotes I found recently appear to show the value of such works.  One derives from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Leftism: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse and the second from one of Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries.  After describing a horrific and monstrous scene from the French Revolution. Kuehnelt-Leddhin writes the following:

Continue reading

Go to Saint Joseph

This is a good time to remember that St. Joseph’s Feast Day is on March 19th!

Catholicism Pure & Simple

holy_fam_GutierrezThe Church dedicates the month of March to Saint Joseph. Over the centuries many saints held the guardian of the Holy Family in high esteem and had great devotion to him.

Saint Teresa of Avila in her Autobiography, VI, 11-12, writes of the blessings she obtained from Saint Joseph and implores the faithful to turn to him too:

“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint, for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honoured him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition…

View original post 693 more words

Two of Ewart Oakeshott’s Books Reviewed

Connoisseurs of medieval weapons will instantly recognize the name Ewart Oakeshott.  He stood at the forefront of the movement to create accurate replicas of medieval swords and to understand how medieval warriors really fought.  Many museums now hold antique blades donated from his private collection.  That the stereotype of knights as clumsy oafs bashing away at each other with swords is slowly disappearing owes much to Oakeshott’s work, which included delving into both history and the weapons themselves.  These habits come across very strongly in the two works under review here: A Knight in Battle and A Knight and His Armor from Oakeshott’s “Life of the Medieval Knight” series.

Oakshott's Knight and His Armor


Continue reading

Some Manga maybe?

Chibiotaku has a short list of manga reviews. I’ll second her recommendation of Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari. She recommends an Edo period mystery and action manga. I’ll have to check that one out.


Initially I wanted to make this a post only on shoujo manga, but later realised that I haven’t been up to date with my list of shoujo manga, and hence am expanding this post and including manga from various other genres. Moving on~

Orange – from Takano Ichigo


One look at the cover should be enough to tell you that this is a shoujo manga owo~ The cover may seem all cheerful and everything, but the tragedy and mystery are a few of the genres along with shoujo and romance. Currently, its one of the few mangas which I’m definitely hoping would have an anime adaptation.

The story starts off with 16 year old Takamiya Naho, who recieved a letter from herself, ten years into the future. The letter was very detailed and stated what she should do events that would occur each day pertaining to Naruse Kakeru, the new…

View original post 598 more words

Medieval Otaku’s Second Quick Takes

Well, here’s another set of quick takes for you.  Once again, they have been inspired by Nami’s Quick Takes on The Budding Philosopher.  I feel like I should post, but don’t have energy to concentrate on writing a proper post.  May you enjoy these quick takes!



My laptop adapter broke.  So, I’ve been relying on my smart phone for the past while, which is the least pleasant way to browse the internet.  At any rate, I’m happy to report that the replacement adapter has arrived.  So, I hope to make up for lost time in reading my fellow bloggers’ articles.



Pennsylvania produces my favorite beers.  I love beers from Weyerbacher, Yards, Victory, Sly Fox, and Troegs.  One unpleasant surprise I had in regard to these beers, however, is that the Troegenator doppelbock–at least, the last time I had it–actually tasted pretty bad.  As my friend said, it tasted like malt liquor, which is sad because the Troegenator launched my interest in the realm of craft beer.  Troegs brewery seems to have made up for it in their Cultivator Helles Bock.  The flavor is quite fresh with a creamy mouthfeel and notes of biscuit and raspberry.  Very good stuff!

Continue reading

Examining Old School Anime: Joe Yabuki’s Hard Heart

Here’s my first post for my bi-weekly column on Beneath the Tangles.

Beneath the Tangles

Greetings to our dear readers!  Having accepted TWWK’s invitation to write for Beneath the Tangles, we decided that blogging about old school anime (anime produced in the 80’s and in prior decades) would make for an interesting addition to the blog and introduce fans to some great old series.  This column shall point out and discuss themes in old school anime from a Catholic viewpoint.  Hopefully, the articles will both encourage you to explore older anime and provide ideas which will enrich your meditations on the Faith.

The salient feature of Ashita no Joe‘s plot lies in that it is a conversion story, pure and simple.  All my articles on this show will relate to this major point, and no better starting point for this conversion story exists than in the unfortunate state of Joe’s hard heart.  Diamonds are less solid!  Joe trusts no one, believes in nothing, and…

View original post 707 more words

Fearlessly Devoted

Here’s a great post comparing the attitudes people have toward enthusiasm for fandoms vs. enthusiasm for Christianity. Isn’t it a shame that more people seem to be ready to be devotees of pop culture than devotees of God?

The Drama Llama

I had a sort of epiphany the other day. Someone on Tumblr posted a picture of their new Doctor Who mug. This brought home to me just how far fandom has come, at least as far as comic books, video games, and in some measure anime. Being an otaku, in the mild sense we use it in the States, still isn’t exactly popular, and may be looked down on by some, but it’s garnered much more acceptance now than in past years. And look at Marvel–they’ve brought superheroes and comic books into the spotlight (even if they don’t encourage people to read the comics necessarily).

So now people are shedding their fears and openly, proudly showing their interest in and passion for whatever they like. Doctor Who, Sherlock, Marvel, DC, anime, kdramas, kpop, jpop and jrock–people spend hours reading, watching, listening, staying up late for premieres, going to conventions, lavishing…

View original post 570 more words