Quick Takes for June 2018

Three weeks is a long time to go without me writing on Medieval Otaku.  The Muse has gone quiet on me, and I can’t but think it has something to do with how preoccupied I have been with work and everyday cares.  I am reminded of the one whose faith is sown among thorns: “And he that received the seed among thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choketh up the word, and he becometh fruitless,” (Mt. 13:22).  My writing has been anything but fruitful of late.  Deo iuvante, this will change in the near future.

Steins 1

But, human beings are mutable  The curious thing about the states Christ describes in the Parable of the Sower is that a person might go through all four conditions in his life: that of having his faith taken away by the devil’s blandishments, withered by persecution or fear of man, choked by the cares of the world, or bearing fruit many times over.  What matters is for us to become good seed in the end by constant renewal.

Dances 10

Having written that, let me begin my seven quick takes, which may be described as seven random items of interest.  Use the search bar to see just how random my quick takes can get.  What’s written below will be no exception to that rule; though, perhaps less random than my ABC Award.

 

-1-

Divine Comedy

I’ve never read Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Sure, I’ve read The Inferno, and I hated it thoroughly.  Part of the reason, no doubt, derives from my hatred of hell.  Ignorance also plays a part of my dislike.  The verses are abstruse, and most of the damned count as personal enemies of Dante whom the world has forgotten.  It is hard to make a simple translation of Dante’s verse.  Prior to now, I had not gone further than ten cantos into The Purgatorio–no matter how many attempts I made to read it.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Finding the Culture of Life in A.I.C.O. Incarnation

Here’s my latest post on Beneath the Tangles. It’s about A.I.C.O. Incarnation, the best anime you never heard of from winter 2018.

Beneath the Tangles

A.I.C.O. Incarnation found itself on my watch list very late in the season.  Netflix is one of the last video streaming companies I look at—especially since they sometimes stream an anime after it’s aired.  One nice bonus with Netflix, though, is that it has interesting options for a lover of foreign tongues like me: I can stream an anime with a English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, or Portuguese dubbing.  (That said, I still watch 95% of new anime in the original Japanese.)  Subbing purists may be horrified to learn that I gave the French dub of A.I.C.O. a try and loved it enough to watch the entire series in that mellifluous tongue.  Somehow, the anime of a biohazard threatening to destroy civilization and a girl trying to regain her lost family does not suffer from listening to the French dub—perhaps because the plot and setting diverged so sharply from stock…

View original post 798 more words

Tu-tu-ru! Okarin and Mayuri’s Better-Than-Romance Friendship

Beneath the Tangles

If I learned anything from anime, it’s that a childhood friendship is basically an invitation to future romance. This is a truth gathered from Love Hina, Skip Beat, Nisekoi, and…just about every other anime in which there’s a road toward such a relationship.  But in the Steins;gate anime series, things work a little differently. While it’s true that the childhood friend doesn’t always end up with the MC (see most of the above examples), Steins;gate goes one further: there’s barely a even a hint of romance between Okarin and Mayuri; the focus instead is on a relationship often neglected in anime: friendship between the sexes.

And the special relationship between Okarin and Mayuri is expressed in Steins;gate… as much as the original (spoilers ahead). Mayuri is always on Okarin’s mind. He values his other friends immensely, too, but Mayuri is on a different level. In…

View original post 654 more words

A Call for Help – Guest Posts for Deluscar

I want to help spread this post around. Deluscar is a nice little blog, and Kai and his readers would surely appreciate anyone willing to help add some vitality to it. I am thinking about offering to write a guest post myself, but this opportunity is great for anibloggers just starting out.

deluscar

There’s no denying I’ve been slowing down. I’m… uhh… getting a little bit on in years. And as I age, I find it’s harder and harder to get into the right mood to write. A long time ago, you can see a new post every few days or so, but nowadays you would be hard-pressed to even see a new post per month.

View original post 451 more words

Violet Evergarden 13 – Letters Written, Burdens Lifted

A very nice discussion of the final episode of Violet Evergarden. It points out that though most of the conflicts introduced by the series may be resolved, a few still remain in Violet’s heart.

The Backloggers

Violet Evergarden’s final episode is an episode largely of catharsis, and it is one that I, and many others, have wrestled with. In many ways, it brings us to the logical conclusion of the show, or rather to the stopping point for this portion of Violet’s story that we receive. In truth, I have watched this episode numerous times over, mulling its events over in my head, and it has been a process of numerous revisions to how I have come to finally view this last piece of Violet’s story (for now, anyway). Through this, I have found that my thoughts have changed significantly in more recent viewings. This final episode, depending on your reading of events, can be quite clear-cut on the surface, or somewhat more muddied as you dive deeper into it. It does give Violet a great sense of closure, a lifting of burdens, a renewed…

View original post 2,406 more words

Winter 2018 Anime Thoughts

Check out what my fellow writers at Beneath the Tangles had to say about their favorite shows from the Winter 2018 season.

Beneath the Tangles

With the close of the Winter 2018 season, the staff at Beneath the Tangles have decided to look back at the previous season and ask the following questions: What was the biggest surprise of the Winter 2018 season? What was your favorite series?

With all that in mind, we have an amazing and varied staff – so I can’t wait to see what everyone enjoys! Check them out below:

View original post 1,661 more words

Gasaraki: the Collective, Conscience, and Freedom

Here’s my latest post on Beneath the Tangles. It’s on the mecha classic Gasaraki.

Beneath the Tangles

Gasaraki is one of the classic mecha anime.  “If it’s a classic,” you ask, “why have I never heard of it before?”  Despite the great animation (at least, to a connoisseur of 90’s anime like myself), many layers of intrigue, a unique plot, and great mecha battles, the dialog can be very abstruse–so abstruse that I switched from the Japanese to the English dub after four episodes.  Esoteric anime generally don’t enjoy much popularity.

Gasaraki 3

After four unintelligible episodes, the dub is a great improvement.  The person who wrote the English script must have worked with the same translation, but he elevated the translation from “translationese” to proper English.  Some of what occurred still went over my head, but the enigmatic nature of some of the dialog made me meditate longer about what the show was about.  The show juxtaposes the individual against collective or group structures to highlight the…

View original post 975 more words

Reblog: The Real Place of Phos’s People in Fractured Humanity

Yesterday, a post I wrote for Beneath the Tangles was released on the site.  Therein, I wax philosophical on human nature and the place of the will, using an interesting myth given by the jellyfish-like character King in the anine Houseki no Kuni.  I hope that you enjoy it–or that you will at least enjoy my lengthy quote from St. Catherine of Siena’s famous dialogue with God.  Click on the link below!

The Real Place of Phos’s People in Fractured Humanity

Western Civilization Exists for the Mass

This article makes a very interesting point, and it also brings up a famous petition signed by none other than Agatha Christi to preserve the original Latin mass. Their efforts gave England and Wales special permission to use it in addition to the modern mass within their parishes.

IMG_0861

Many are stunned today at the speed in which western civilization is collapsing. Coinciding with this is the post-conciliar crisis within the Church, the fourth great crisis of Christendom as it has been described by that great defender of orthodoxy, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan. What may not be as clear too many is the connection between the destruction of the Mass and of the collapse of the Christian west.

One man who understood this connection was Dr. John Senior, professor of English, Literature, and Classics and co-founder of the very successful Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas. Dr. Senior taught for decades at the university level. He was also a convert to the Catholic faith, devoted to the traditional Mass and an attendee of Immaculata Chapel (SSPX) in St. Mary’s, Kansas.

Senior has been credited with inspiring a generation of young men and…

View original post 1,096 more words

Which ACCA-13 District Fits Your Personality and Career Goals?

Here’s an interesting post. If you remember the districts from this fascinating show, you can likely figure out which district I picked before reaching my comment. My runner up was Dowa.

Read the post and see where you’d like to reside if it were possible!

JAPANime Talks

We all have things that we want – things we desire.

And while those things require different degrees of effort, time and resources, there are factors that play crucial roles in the realization of one’s desires.

They are things that become your foundation before embarking on a much bigger and exciting journey ahead. For instance, the place where you grew up. 

Birthplace, of course, is not everything. But it does, at some point, give birth to your beliefs and influence your actions.

And when it comes to associating one’s birthplace with current societal status, nothing defines it better than the anime series, ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (ACCA:  13 – Territory Inspection Dept.)

So let’s go visit Dowa Kingdom and see which district will make you feel at home while at the same time help realize your life goals!

PESHI – The Port District

This district is home to the kingdom’s best…

View original post 1,133 more words

Reblog: Girls’ Last Tour Episode 5

This post by Karandi has me reconsidering whether I was right to drop this show.

Review: Normally I would be the first to describe something like Girls’ Last Tour as dull. The plot does not exist other than two girls travelling around seemingly deserted world occasionally looking for food but mostly without any kind of direction. The two characters, while charming, aren’t anything particularly note worthy. Even the setting, post […]

via Girls’ Last Tour Episode 5: Beauty in Simplicity — 100WordAnime

Kino no Tabi -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series (Episode 4)

A Journey Through Life

Kino no Tabi -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series (Episode 4)

Since mass combat rolls didn’t need me, a ground pounder, while starfighters and starships in orbit are doing things, I decided to watch (with lowered volume) to watch Kino no Tabi’s fourth episode. This writeup was then delayed for a few days. Thank Goodness I don’t have a predetermined release schedule.

View original post 2,422 more words

Perfect Blue and Black Swan: An Homage to Insanity

Wow, it’s not often that one finds an anime post which quotes from scholarly journals! This is a very fascinating look at how Black Swan (2010) is a remake of Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue.

The Cinemoptimist

Alright kids. Let’s get a little pretentious.

I would love to publish some of this more formal work every once in awhile, when I get a chance, sometimes I find it fun to get a little deep and show off how much of a literal genius I am.

So. Without further ado, here we go.

Perfect Blue and Black Swan: An Homage to Insanity

In a dark city, a young artist driven to insanity as a result of the intense mental strain given to her by the performance art that she partakes in. The description above is a plot synopsis that might cause a film to jump to mind, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010).  But, this synopsis also describes the plot of the 1997 Japanese animated film Perfect Blue, directed by Satoshi Kon. Both films share many comparable features: main characters whose names are eerily similar (Nina and…

View original post 2,176 more words

10 Japanese Superstitions

November is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), and I always try to post something every day during this time. Here’s a reblog from the Otaku Lounge on Japanese superstitions. This post will have some which you’ve never heard of.

OTAKU LOUNGE


One of the most interesting aspects to me about visiting another country is hearing about common superstitions. No matter how logical people may seem, no matter how grounded or rational the culture, there are always things that people will do or not do, say or not say, that are rooted firmly in myth and folklore. Some, like seeing a black cat cross your path, are common to many countries, while others are much more location-specific.

View original post 1,129 more words

Anime to Tryout for Fall 2017

Nine shows strike me as promising this season.  Two of these, Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond and Kino no Tabi, derive from original shows I rather enjoyed.  I’ve yet to write an article on the original Kino’s Journey, an immersive and introspective work.  On the other hand, Blood Blockade Battlefront inspired one article.  Naturally, the main motivation for me watching the sequels lies in how much I enjoyed the originals.  The seven other shows which caught my eye will be described below.

CR 1

1) Code Realize: Sousei no Himegimi (aka Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth)

The plot concerns a young lady named Cardia who is afflicted with the curse of poisoning whatever she touches.  Naturally, she is shunned by society.  Yet, Arsène Lupin–the original, i.e. the grandfather of Lupin the Third–decides to lead her out of her seclusion into turn of the 20th century London on a journey of discovery.

Continue reading

Berserk’s Occult Theme

Before I get into why I dropped Berserk, let me talk a little bit about a fantasy series I used to enjoy: The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.  I really enjoyed the struggles of Richard Rahl, the Mother Confessor Kahlan, and the Wizard Zedd.  Like Berserk, it had some unsavory moments–some very unsavory moments indeed.  Yet, I felt that the great storytelling outweighed the bad.

Steaming Guts

 

Then, I ran into Goodkind’s full-blown Objectivist philosophy in book eight, The Naked Empire.  Few moments in my reading life have depressed me as much as Richard Rahl inveighing against self-sacrifice as an evil.  Apparently, people should always act in their self-interest, and any sacrifice of one’s self-interest is immoral.  Never mind that the heroes frequently risk their lives and suffer quite a lot.  Also, many good people had sacrificed their lives for good causes by this point in the series, and the fantasy world’s universe includes God, who no doubt rewards the righteous.  The idea of self-sacrifice being a moral evil simply did not compute in my mind.  Despite having read 6,454 pages of Goodkind’s work–the equivalent of reading War and Peace about four and a half times, I put down the series and never picked it back up again.

Continue reading

Wishing You a Happy Independence Day!

I just wanted to wish all of my dear readers a happy Independence Day!  Please, enjoy the video put out today by the channel Lord Drako Arakis.  He has some great anime sketches set to old military songs and sea shanties.  His sketches for “The Invalid Corps” are perfect!

Tomorrow, check out the blog Beneath the Tangles in order to check out which show surprised me the most this season and which was my favorite.

No One is Saved Alone: Farnese’s Journey to Virtue

Too few articles have come from me in the past month, my dear readers.  My hope is that July will prove more fruitful as I renew my acquaintance with my favorite religious writers and essayists–G. K. Chesterton in particular.

May you enjoy the post linked to below, which touches on some interesting issues present in Berserk (2017)!

No One is Saved Alone: Farnese’s Journey to Virtue

Berserk 9