End of National Blog Posting Month and a Hiatus

Here we are at the end of National Blog Posting Month.  I tell you frankly, my dear readers, that I feel rather burned out on blogging.  Ich brauche eine Pause!  (I’m presently studying German in my free time.)  It doesn’t help that I have been feeling this way since the beginning of this month.  But, I intend to give my time to study and creative writing and should return refreshed in a couple of months.  And, you’ll still see one post from me within that time for Beneath the Tangles’ Twelve Days of Christmas series on the penultimate day before Christmas (December 23rd).

Happy blogging to you all!



Who Is Hanekawa Tsubasa?

Another unique look at the Monogatari series by theSubtleDoctor. This one delves into the character of Hanekawa, and the post reminds us that we should often not take what the characters in this series tell us as the gospel truth. TheSubtleDoctor has some particularly harsh words for those who berated Hanekawa for the way she has lived.



Nekomonogatari Kuro is a prequel OAV that tells the story of what happens during the Golden Week immediately prior to the events of Bakemonogatari.  The focus here is all on Hanekawa Tsubasa and her original synthesis with the cat demon Sawari Neko.  Throughout the final two episodes, the characters (including Tsubasa herself) attempt to suss out her nature and her motivations via a whole lot of expository dialogue.  However, it is my contention that, rather than getting a clearer picture of who Tsubasa actually is, we get a couple of competing ideas of who the characters (including Tsubasa herself) think she is.  I happen to think that these constructed identities ignore crucial information and, therefore, are inaccurate.  In this piece, I will illustrate the casts’ interpretations of her character, and then I will provide my own thoughts on who Tsubasa Hanekawa is.

Spoilers, I guess.


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Media and Propaganda in Concrete Revolutio

I stopped watching Concrete Revolutio after one and a half episodes, but this article on propaganda and censorship in Japanese history and in this particular anime is quite interesting.

atelier emily

concrete revolutio kaijuu propaganda, kaijuu in concrete revolutio, beasts in concrete revolutio advertising propaganda, beasts in the newspaper concrete revolutio

Present day journalism, advertising, and marketing has been forever altered by social media. Breaking news is found through Twitter updates while commentary is immediately broadcast from one’s fingertips into the ether on Facebook and Reddit, among other platforms. Previously, newspapers, radio, and television were the primary tools of broadcasting both breaking news and advertising goods and services with commentary reserved for the dining table, living room, or office water cooler. If you’re at all interested in the ramifications of the former, more immediate and current path for news and marketing, Gatchaman Crowds might be the series for you.

Instead of a social media focus, Concrete Revolutio‘s in-universe thoughts are filtered through an anachronistic setup that harkens back to these days of fedoras with “Press” and rows of desks with rotary phones visible through the haze of cigarette smoke. The Concrete Revolutio twist is that said phones are now flown…

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Peter of Damascus: We ought all of us always to give thanks to God

Enlarging the Heart

peter_of_damascusMen have four different attitudes towards sensible realities.

Some, like the demons, hate God’s works, and they commit evil deliberately.

Others, like the irrational animals, love these works because they are attractive, but their love is full of passion and they make no effort to acquire natural contemplation or to show gratitude.

Others, in a way that befits men, love God’s works in a natural manner, with spiritual knowledge and gratitude, and they use everything with self-control.

Finally, others, like the angels, love these works in a manner that is above and beyond nature, contemplating all things to the glory of God and making use of them only in so far as they are necessary for life, as St Paul puts it (cf. 1 Tim. 6:8).

We ought all of us always to give thanks to God for both the universal and the particular gifts of soul and body that…

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Examining Old School Anime: The Body as Essential to Our Humanity

Here’s my latest post for Examining Old School Anime.

Beneath the Tangles

Looking at Leiji Matsumoto’s treatment of the body in Galaxy Express 999, our dear readers may easily understand my suspicion that Leiji Matsumoto comes from a Christian background or at very least is highly influenced by Christian ideas.  This especially comes across in Galaxy Express 999‘s emphasis on the evil of exchanging one’s body for a machine.  I don’t think one can discover a single pagan philosophy or religion, East or West, which gives the body real importance if that philosophy also postulates the existence of the soul.  In these pagan philosophies, the body is a container for your soul but not an essential part of you.  (Within the extras for the Otogi Zoshi anime, one Japanese historian even said that the Japanese of the tenth century simply threw away the bodies of their dead as if trash!)  This makes the Christian belief in the resurrection very unique.

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Nora and the Demons that Tempt Us

Beneath the Tangles

There’s always been a lot of transition at my church. We were once comprised of about 80% college students, and though there are more older folks (like me!) attending now, it’s still largely a “college church.” Because of this characteristic, year in and year out, I see students leave, finishing their four or five years, and moving on to the next part of their lives. It’s difficult to let them go and it’s draining, a bit, when you’re limited in how much you can build a relationship with someone before they’re gone.

But even more difficult is when I see (usually through Facebook) that some of these treasured friends have turned away from their faith and moved to a dark place, away from God’s truth and love.

nora noragami aragoto art by さとりをひらこう | reprinted w/permission

There are so very many reasons why followers of Christ will cease to practice their faith (and…

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Anime And Video Game Recommendations Pages Are Up

I always knew that Moonlitasteria had excellent taste, and his anime recommendations page proves it. Be sure to peruse it! I know much less about the video games he recommends, but they must be of the same caliber. 🙂


Computer desk Finally cleaned my desk, so it doesn’t look like this any more…

Took me awhile, but I finally finished work on my anime and video game recommendations…sort of. While the video game one is more or less the way I envisioned (yes, it will be more than RPG’s added), the anime one is still lacking…a lot. In the future, I will try to change the format of the latter (when time allows), but the contents will remain the same. Until then, you are free to check it out. I haven’t started on visual novels, but that will be next after I am completely satisfied with the anime one. The review archive is also come along swimmingly, yet need more time on that front. Have a lot of cleaning to get done in two days for company this weekend, so maybe once it is here, more time will fly into my…

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Latin Phrases They Didn’t Teach You in School

This story appeals to my sense of humor. You wonder if the bad bishop even knows what he’s signing.

Aliens in This World

“Valens cartam et calamum e manibus eius violenter extorsit.”

Valens violently wrenched the paper and pen out of his hands.

— Hilary of Poitiers, Liber I Ad Constantium, 8. (CSEL 65: 187, 12-15.)

This is another bad bishop story. Bishop Eusebius of Vercelli (good bishop) found out that his younger colleague, Bishop Dionysius of Milan, had signed a synod statement that was kinda Arian. So he up and went to the synod himself, and ended up presenting the synod with the Nicene Creed to sign. Dionysius thought this was a great idea, and started writing down his name.

That’s when Bishop Valens of Mursa (bad bishop) grabbed the paper and pen away from Bishop Dionysius.

“carta” is literally a sheet of papyrus, and hence a page or a letter.

“calamus” is a reed, and hence a reed pen or a reed pipe. A reed pen basically operates…

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Annalyn’s Corner: When the World Feels like Ergastulum

A very nice article on Gangsta! and the oppressiveness of evil in the world.

Beneath the Tangles

I just watched Gangsta., one of the darker anime to air in the past year. I’ve seen a few anime that center on crime syndicates and corruption, but this is one of the most horrific—up there with Black Lagoon‘s second season. The anime’s setting, Ergastulum, seems hopelessly corrupt, and the anime refuses to sugarcoat it. There isn’t even a redemptive ending—perhaps because the manga itself is still incomplete. We’re just left with a heavy sense of evil and tragedy, with no solution offered.

Worick Arcangelo prepares for battle (ep 12). Worick Arcangelo prepares for battle (ep 12).

And yet, even among all the pain and sin, there is compassion, love, truth. Don’t get me wrong: I would not recommend Gangsta. to very many people. If my 16-year-old self asked about it, I’d tell her to stay far away. But for me, in the place I am now, the anime provides a way to process the brokenness…

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A Second Creative Blogger Award!

Creative Blogger

I have the good fortune to have a backlog of chain blogger awards.  For this one, I thank Fiddletwix of the blog The Anime Madhouse.  Here are the rules:

1 – Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

2 – Share 5 facts about yourself.

3 – Nominate 15-20 bloggers and add their links.

4 – Notify the bloggers you nominated.

5 – Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!


Here are the five facts about myself.  I hope that at least three of them are things my dear readers haven’t heard before.

1) My paternal grandfather could speak eleven languages fluently.  His career of being a plumber and master electrician proves that he learned these languages simply as a hobby; though, I have no doubt that they proved useful in his hometown of New York City.

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About the Devil in the Series Lucifer

A few days ago, I received a curious protest petition against the upcoming series Lucifer, which will premiere in January on FOX and is based on a character from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.  The e-mail highlights how the series would show the devil as a nice guy, solving crimes and being kind and compassionate to all sorts of people.  The e-mail stated how important it was to urge FOX not to air the show, for it’s portrayal of the devil would confuse the ill-informed and corrupt the youth.

Lucifer actor

But, this description of the devil brought an important fact to my mind: the devil never shows himself as the hate-filled and filth-loving monster that he is.  If he does take that aspect, it is only toward people who assiduously resist his temptations and refuse to be taken in by the devil’s facade.  Fulton Sheen appropriately notes that the devil pretends to be a friend of human freedom before a sin, while God, who actively tries to stop us from doing evil, appears as if He were against human freedom.

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Space Fantasia: 2001 Nights Review

Sounds like a very well done old school sci-fi anime. I’ll have to watch it when I get the chance.

The Anime Madhouse

ormdpzlRating: 8.5/10

Plot: Based on the 1984 manga by Yoshino Yokinobu, Space Fantasia: 2001 Nights follows the main Robinson plot of the manga. Humanity is yearning to enter into not just space exploration but also expansion into space. In one of the first efforts to establish human life on a distant planet, the Robinsons are selected to be donors of sperm and eggs that will be frozen and sent to a distant planet where the resulting children will start their lives, starting a centurie’s long glimmer of hope for the possibilities of colonizing in space if successful.

Their parents will never see their faces nor will they ever see the day that their ship even gets close to the target planet as the trip is much too long for them to survive through. However, as the ship nears the planet, the space age continues to thrive back on earth…

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Coppelion – Complete Series Collection

Here’s a balanced review of Coppelion. I really enjoyed the anime; though, the manga is almost head and shoulders better. Aoi actually becomes useful eventually in the comic. 🙂

MIB's Instant Headache


Coppelion – Complete Series Collection (Cert 12)

3 Discs (Distributor: Kaze UK) Running time: 297 minutes approx.

Release Date: November 23rd

The Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster of 2011 was a terrifying moment in recent Japanese history, the effects of which are still being felt to this day. In 2008 a manga by Tomonori Inoue called Coppelion appeared which was scarily prescient in dealing with the subject of a country ravaged by a nuclear disaster.

This anime adaptation from GoHands which arrived in 2013 ironically finds itself turning that notion on its head, offering an idea not of what could happen but what has happened, exploring the extreme possibilities of the results of the fallout. Except with schoolgirl heroines.

It is 2036, twenty years after a nuclear meltdown devastated Tokyo, leaving it as a veritable ghost town with very few located survivors left. The Japan Ground Self-Defence Force have…

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Medieval Tome for October

About a week ago, I finished reading Edward: the Prince of Wales and Aquitaine by Richard Barber.  In researching its author, I discovered that he differs from newer medievalists in having fallen in love with the period through Arthurian romances rather than The Lord of the Rings.  (Yours truly has a children’s book of Erik the Red’s adventures as the cause.)  His vast bibliography reflected this as one can find numerous books on chivalry and King Arthur therein.  The way he brought Edward the Black Prince and the personages of his times to life within the pages of this work is the happy product of his enthusiasm.  At any rate, I am pleased that this enjoyable and accessible volume also happens to be the seminal biography of this English hero of the Hundred Years’ War.


Fans of Braveheart will be intrigued to learn that this book relates the events following the death of King Edward the Longshanks, who, despite the portrayal in the film, was actually a good king.  The wife of Edward II, Isabella of France, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, deposed the king and cruelly assassinated him.  As for how cruelly, in imitation of his supposed sin of sodomy and trying to hide the unnatural cause of his death, they had a red hot iron thrust into his rectum.  (Now, you know the most horrible death ever to have been inflicted on an English king.  Quiz your friends!)  This led to a brief period when Isabella and Mortimer held sway in England, though Edward III, son of Edward II, had been crowned in 1327.  Two years later, Mortimer had angered enough noblemen with his corrupt favoritism that he himself and the queen were deposed by band of angry knights, Edward III among their party.  And England could boast of a real king once more.

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Anti-Magic Academy 35th Test Platoon (Episode 4-5) – Combined Post

Another blogger who is very much enjoying Anti-Magic Academy! Be sure to check out Jusuchin’s detailed episode reviews.

A Journey Through Life

In order to fully catch up to some sort of reasonable blogging schedule, I decided to just cut short the screenshots and do my thoughts on the two episodes. It isn’t something I’m gonna do often, but when you put your own deadlines in place, ya gotta meet em. I failed hard so I can only make it up by ensuring 35th Test Platoon’s 6th episode is done properly.


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Between the Panels: Disciples of e(L) – (Ch. 40)

A very good article on the Christian paradigms in Death Note.

Beneath the Tangles

When it comes to Christian allusions, Death Note pulls no punches.

Whether it’s an artistic replication of The Fall of Man by Michelangelo, Light’s literal taking of the forbidden fruit, or the Gregorian choirs, crucifixes, and god-complexes, there’s a bit of Christian influence sprinkled across every chapter (and episode) of the series.

L biting thumb art by 真希 | reprinted w/permission (Pixiv Illust: 53028441)

Perhaps the most conspicuous allusion, though, is L himself, whose very name harmonizes with el—the Hebrew word for God in the Old Testament. From his self-created trinity, to his seemingly omniscient and miraculous crime-solving abilities, L has the Christ-figure persona down-pat. Death Note director, Tetsuro Araki, even threw an exclusive foot-washing scene into the anime’s 25th episode, just to ensure that the imagery couldn’t be missed.

In the midst of all these iconic allusions to Christendom, though, there’s a subtle reference to Discipleship that gets lost along the…

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Examining Old School Anime: Mindfulness of Death

Here’s my latest post on Beneath the Tangles. I was happy to include some Bushido philosophy in it.

Beneath the Tangles

Time for me to take another foray into the Leijiverse!  Lupin III gave me no ideas for this week’s article, but I remembered the first episode of Galaxy Express 999 held some very important themes on mortality.  Some themes in Space Pirate Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 cause me to wonder whether Leiji Matsumoto might indeed be a Christian.  If not, he ranks as a noble pagan–along with the likes of Cicero and Lao-Tze.  (And perhaps more moderns are familiar with Matsumoto than Cicero.)  The two works above began serialization in the same year (1977) and share a similar theme: remembrance of death drives one to nobility while forgetfulness of death leads to corrupt morals.  Christians believe the same thing, though perhaps no book spells it out as well as Budoshoshinshu, aka The Code of the Samurai, which was written as a guide for Bushido: “As long…

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The Dirty Pair Volume 1 Episode Title Polls

Here’s a fun poll. And do watch Dirty Pair when you get a chance!

Pirates of the Burley Griffin

Having completed the first half of the Dirty Pair TV series, here’s the polls for the best episode titles from the first three discs. The episode titles for Dirty Pair are often part of the fun, so vote in each of the polls, and/or leave your thoughts in the comments. 

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