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.
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.
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.
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.