Abayo! : Time for a Hiatus

My dear readers know that I occasionally take breaks from blogging.  Essentially, I have a millions hobbies and pursuits, many of which suffer neglect.  At present, reading and fiction writing have been given too little attention.  To myself, my writing style appears to have ossified of late, and I feel like my articles draw on fewer authors.  Reading itself often helps me remember what I have read, which helps me add more substance to what I write.  Now, reading books, it pains me to relate, often feels like a chore–a sure-fire sign that I have been watching too much anime!

Cake

The worst thing about watching too much television lies in that it is designed to appeal to sentiment more than reason, as Russell Kirk, a 20th century American Conservative thinker known especially well by Hillsdale College graduates, writes in Redeeming the Time.  Is this a bad thing?  Not necessarily: there exist noble and moral sentiments which are good to exercise.  For example, we would think a man a poor American who never becomes moved by the Star-Spangled Banner.  The danger comes in relying upon sentiment to dictate all our actions.  It is possible for the mental muscle of reason to become so weakened that we are unable to judge our sentiments and emotions objectively–just think back to the final episodes of Gokukoku no Brynhildr.

vlcsnap-2014-09-03-18h53m08s160

To point out a flaw particular to anime, most series make us focus upon externals more than internal factors.  Just think of all the bishoujo and bishounen characters gallivanting around and the omnipresence of fanservice.  (Some of my friends actually love it when an anime has ugly people!)  Doesn’t this focus on externals strike one as worldly?  After all, caring only about appearances is the essence of worldliness–that it is better to seem than to be good.  Our Lord bids us focus on those things that are within, which is what He means by judging rightly. (John 7:24)  The less I read and the more distracted by the cares of everyday life, the more hasty my judgments become.  Of course, some anime does generate some deep thinking, but most focus on style.  So, I’m going to put aside a cherished pastime in order allocate more time for meditating on the interior reality of things–and no, never mind how the preceding statement sounds: I’m not going to become a monk. 🙂

I will be drinking lots of tea during the next few months: "The man with no tea in him cannot perceive truth and beauty," as the Japanese proverb goes.

I will be drinking lots of tea during the next few months: “The man with no tea in him cannot perceive truth and beauty,” as the Japanese proverb goes.

So, am I going to tear myself completely from anime and for how long?  At least until I feel less distracted.  (I estimate two months, but we’ll see.)  I admit that certain new shows caught my interest.  Chiefly the following:

  1. Seraph of the End
  2. Arslan Senki
  3. Danna ga Wakaranai II
  4. Is it Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?
A new work by the mangaka who created FMA?  Count me in!

A new work by the mangaka who created FMA? Count me in!

A few others have my interest to a lesser degree.  At any rate, just what did I think of last season?  Here are my scores for the following:

  1. Assassination Classroom – Dropped
  2. Rolling Girls – Stalled
  3. Maria the Virgin Witch – ★★★½
  4. Death Parade – ★★★★
  5. Akatsuki no Yona – ★★★★
  6. Ashita no Joe – ★★★★★

vlcsnap-2015-01-27-17h13m34s8

Yes, Ashita no Joe aired forty-five years ago; but, hey, I watched it simultaneously with the above shows and more fervently to boot.  After all, it presently spans more episodes than the rest combined (72 vs. 79), and I must include my love of this show somewhere in the last article I’ll be writing for a long time!

Fat chance on seeing a shot like that in a modern anime!

Fat chance on seeing a shot like that in a modern anime!

After Ashita no JoeMaria the Virgin Witch absorbed my intellectual attention most of the shows I recently watched.  At last, I have determined what makes Maria the Virgin Witch deficient in its presentation of Catholicism: the absence of Christ’s Passion.  Actually, it’s not absent entirely: Maria’s trial and near-execution take their inspiration from the Passion!  (It hit me after a commentator recalled that Maria responds “Who knows?” in response to whether she had been baptized–a very near parallel of Christ’s “You say that I am.”)  Just what does the anime intend by this confusing parallel?

vlcsnap-2015-03-31-21h30m29s699

Yet, I have a theory!  During Christ’s life, many Jews looked for a political Messiah–as one sees in the faction of Zealots.  Indeed, Judas Iscariot is often portrayed in film as betraying Jesus so that a riot will occur and force Christ to become the political Messiah looked for by the Jews.  All that needs to happen is another powerful miracle.  However, Our Lord refuses to come down from the cross or even alleviate the slightest of His sufferings–despite the many taunts for Him to do just that.  For refusing to become a worldly king, Christ is deemed a failure by Maria the Virgin Witch–yes, the many references to the other person who tried to change the world refer to Christ.

Maria the Virgin Witch's problem in a nutshell.

Maria the Virgin Witch’s problem in a nutshell.

Conversely, Maria comes down from the stake.  By destroying war, she is hailed as a Messiah who succeeded.  However, has she changed any hearts by snapping all those spears asunder?  No, and this marks the chief difference between Maria and Christ: Christ, unlike Maria, established a Kingdom of the Spirit instead of striving to create an earthly paradise: “The Kingdom of God is within you,” (Luke 17:21).  The show would have been much more accurate in regard to Catholicism if there had been at least one Catholic who lived as a Catholic: greedy not for the things of this world but for knowledge of and a share in the Cross.  And why should there not have been such a man?  Catholics venerate the Passion more than any other denomination, but this devotion was absent from the show.  But,  this would have required the anime to understand the Cross: “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,” (1 Corinthians 1:23).  Ah!  The show brings up the problem of evil, but knows nothing of the problem’s only solution!

vlcsnap-2015-02-22-00h05m09s1

If you want to understand a show which understands the Cross and the grandeur of the Kingdom of the Spirit, you need to watch Ashita no Joe.  And with that thought, I’ll leave you.  Until next time, my dear readers!

Advertisements

4 comments on “Abayo! : Time for a Hiatus

  1. David A says:

    Seraph of the End:

    I was reading that included some senseless killing of children… plus I don’t like the premise of siding with demonsto fight vampires. Not watching it.

    Arslan Senki:

    Haven’t watched it yet, looks very interesting.

    Danna ga Wakaranai II:

    Same complaint from the first season… the incestuous little brother. Not watching it.

    Is it Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon? :

    Surprisingly interesting, for being a show with that focus on fanservice (maybe too much for other people? maybe). The focus on the quasi family relationship between the protagonists is good. Besides the vulgar clothing designs, I disliked that one of the goddesses from another group seems to have a thing for the blonde girl the protagonist likes. They could remove the insinuations the protagonist girls makes towards the protagonist.

    • Well, the person who killed the children is an evil, bloodsucking vampire, so it makes sense that he would do it. Can’t wait until he gets taken down. The series does not seem to be siding with the vampires–especially with how evil the aforementioned villain is. It might pull an “I am Legend” down the road, but for now the humans are definitely the good guys. The series brings up some interesting ideas, but I will confess that it is pretty bloody–not the most egregious example, though.

      I think that you’ll love Arslan Senki. I was hooked after the third episode.

      Now, I’m actually not sure how much I like the Dungeon anime. I’ll probably end up watching the whole thing.

      • David A says:

        Well, exactly children, seems like tey were going for some rather cheap impact. There have been some recent series that focus on putting children through really miserable situations. I was referring to the group fighting the vampires. These aren’t demons? or is just the name of the batallion? because if they are demons, that would be pointless.

        Yes, Arslan Senki seem to have the ingredients of fantasy-adventure series I like.

        I haven’t watched the recent episode of the dungeon anime… while sometimes entertaining, is one of these shows I couldn’t recomend.

      • Well, whatever their intentions, it worked with me. 🙂 Though, I can understand it if someone doesn’t want to watch a show which includes such a scene. Basically, the anti-vampire squadron uses cursed blades, because, you know, only evil can slay evil. One sees that fallacy too much in anime. At least, it also shows that love is the way to prevent the demon in the sword from taking one’s soul. I’m interested in seeing how the show plays out.

Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s