Happy Easter to All!

Happy Easter, my dear readers!  Christus resurrexit!  Resurrexit sicut dixit!  Alleluia!  Today, we celebrate Christ’s double victory over sin and death, a share of which victory Christ offers to all humanity.  Though we are yet troubled by sin in this life, we shall one day cease to offend God and men and no longer be troubled by the effects of human wickedness in ourselves and others.  Though we all shall die, death has been transformed into the entrance to life illimitable.  How great the reward, and how little God asks of us!  Even if our malice, weakness, and ignorance frequently cause us to fall short of God’s commands, repentance continually brings us ever closer to God despite many falls.

Christus resurrexit

Recently, I made the happy discovery of another “Dante class anime”: Blood Blockade Battlefront.  (See the page Anime for Christians for a description of “Dante class anime.”)  Many who have seen this anime might thinks that monsters are the only thing Blood Blockade Battlefront has in common with The Divine Comedy.  But, Christian themes are intentionally used throughout the show.  I was first alerted to the possibility of this when Mary MacBeth says that people commit the same wrongs they did two thousand years ago when Christ came to earth.

BBB 4

Sure enough, the anime went on to emphasize the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love) and redemptive self-sacrifice.  As with Christianity’s modern struggle, the main spiritual foe is nihilism, which is what William MacBeth struggles against in particular and what the main villains embody.  Klaus reminds one of a priest in two manners: his instrumental role in imparting faith in goodness to Leo Watchman, and the cross on his back recalls the cross worn on the priest’s back.  (A priest’s chasuble has two crosses, front and back.  The one on the front representing the priest’s sins, while the one on the back represents the people’s–for both of which he has responsibility.)  Leo’s special power, a God-like vision, recalls that faith in God’s Word gives Christians the power to judge not by appearances but according to the heart of a matter.

BBB 5

The hints are no longer subtle by the time we reach the final episode.  Taking place inside of a Church in ruins, the last episode includes a self-sacrifice which restores the barrier between the city of Hellsalem’s Lot and Hell.  The barrier, represented as streams of golden light, extend out from both the cross and the statue of St. Mary, both of which are powerful symbols of mercy in Christianity.  And, Leo constantly repeats that all we have to do to be saved is take one step towards the light–Christ can accomplish the rest.  Indeed, contrary to Eastern religions in general, man, however much he repents, cannot reach the divine by himself: he prays and strives to follow God’s law, good actions which fall short of divinity’s infinite goodness.  In His mercy, God makes up for man’s poverty of being and rewards man according to the sacrifice of His Son.

BBB 1

Once again, happy Easter!

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6 comments on “Happy Easter to All!

  1. weekendotaku says:

    Christ’s double victory… I like that line 😛

    I’m not a Christian, but I do enjoy studying religion. Blood Blockade Battlefront sounds very interesting too, as I really like seeing anime that explore faith and theology. I’ll have to try it out sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anime is certainly the most entertaining venue for exploring religious ideas, and I myself enjoy it when I can perceive a religious or philosophical tradition within an anime. You might be interested to know that Yasuhiro Nightow, the author of BBB, also created the classic series Trigun. So, you can be sure that you’re in for a high quality story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. a991807 says:

    I really enjoyed BBB even though it could get really whacky at times. Klaus was definitely my favorite character though. Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • BBB certainly did mix things up. I just checked who the author of the original manga was, and it happened to be Yasuhiro Nightow, the author of Trigun. I’m happy to see that he’s still putting his creative talents to good use.

      Like

  3. Casey Covel says:

    Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Blood Blockade Battlefront! I discovered it about a year ago, though didn’t love it during my first watch-through. I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it the first time (and broken English fan-subs did little to help), but it just wouldn’t let my brain stop spinning until I gave it second chance. And, boy, am I glad I did. It’s moved into my top 5 favorite anime series of all-time (and one I do recommend to Christians, with certain discretion).

    I appreciate your insight, particularly regarding Catholic imagery. Being Protestant, I picked up on the Christian themes of sacrificial salvation (often, in Klaus’ case, accompanied by the shedding of his own blood–which is only appropriate given his leanings toward Christ archetype), steadfast hope in the midst of darkness (sin), and love toward others (even enemies). I missed the nuanced imagery of priests, however, and I’m excited to follow that train of thought further on my own time and research.

    BBB definitely brings to mind the reality of fighting, not against flesh and blood, but against “the rulers of the darkness of this world” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” It’s nowhere near as evident as when the identity of the King of Despair is implied to be Satan himself, which makes his contrast to Klaus all the more interesting as a Christian paradigm.

    I’m surprised how much BBB has been swept under the radar, particularly by the Christian community. Perhaps it just has yet to be picked up and spread around, but I think your post here (and others like it) will help speed that process along. (In a much less serious analysis, I recently wrote about Klaus von Reinherz over at Geeks Under Grace as part of our husbando/waifu collab, highlighting many of his similarities to Christ and his embodiment of key Christian values: http://www.geeksundergrace.com/anime-cosplay/who-is-your-anime-husbandowaifu/)

    It’s nice to see Nightow continuing to integrate Christianity into his works. I look forward to the next season of Blood Blockade Battlefront, and where the storyline will take these fundamentals ideals and themes.

    Thank you for this post. It kind of made my day. I’ve been waiting for a Christian blog I follow to write about this series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blood Blockade Battlefront is one of those unique and very amusing shows. I’m happy to hear that it will get a second season. Yet, the ending of the first season was so well-rounded and powerful that I worry whether the second season will perform to the same level. But, we’ll see.

      I’m pleased that you liked my article and that it gave you new motifs to look for in the show–and, thanks for doing the same for me!

      Like

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