WorldEnd: How Reincarnation Ruins Romance

Here’s my latest post on Beneath the Tangles, in which I discuss a theme which took away from the ending of the show.  Click on the link below!

WorldEnd: How Reincarnation Ruins Romance

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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.

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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.

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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

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BnT’s Winter 2017 Reviews

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Beneath the Tangles recently finished their reviews of anime from the Winter 2017 season.  Three of my own reviews on Onihei, Chain Chronicle, and Little Witch Academia can be found among them.  I’ve watched a few other shows this season and hope to write reviews of them and three older anime this weekend.  (I’ve been painfully busy this month until now.)  Please like and leave comments on the posts below!  Enjoy!

Winter Anime 2017 Review (Part 1/3) – Onihei

Winter Anime 2017 Review (Part 2/3) – Chain Chronicle

Winter Anime 2017 Review (Part 3/3) – Little Witch Academia

Examining Light Novels: On Rebellion

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In the latest post from my column on Beneath the Tangles, I examine the topic of revolt from the angle of Christian theology, bringing up the examples of “the Rising of the North” under Queen Elizabeth’s reign and the American Revolution.  What brought this topic to mind was the plot of the fourth volume of Slayers.  I hope to write many more volumes on this series in the future.  Click on the link below for the post!

Examining Light Novels: On Rebellion

 

Spectacle and Service — Little Witch Academia and the purpose of magic

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How useful is floating a teapot in the air to serve hot tea?

Although both tea and wine have tannins — in varying amounts depending on steep time and prior to separating grape juice from the stems and skins in the case of wine — the former hardly needs to be aerated. Height is not necessary in the pour. And even if it was, a human could do the same with an equal amount of training.

What is the exact purpose of Diana Cavendish floating her teapot over to her teacher other than to pass her exam? Does she offer a service that couldn’t be provided by human hands?

No, she does not. The action is essentially useless.

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Fátima and the Desert Fathers

The three Fatima visionaries: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta The three Fatima visionaries: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta

by Marco Gregory da Vinha, Obl.O.S.B. (Marco and his wife, Isa, are Oblate novices of Silverstream Priory, Ireland)

I find myself writing today about a topic which I never thought I would – Fátima; specifically, the message of Fátima (or, at least, how I have come to understand it). Caveat: for those that came here expecting some comment on “the Consecration of Russia”, you can forget about that. That is a topic I’m not at all interested in touching. Let’s just say that I believe that that request was very time-specific, and is not necessarily what the “message” was all about, though it seems to me that to many it carries an almost messianic weight.

Love it or hate it, every Portuguese knows Fátima and has probably been there at least once in their life. In the minds of not a…

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Nine Years and Counting: The Null Set Keeps Blogging On

Steelbound has one of the longest running aniblogs on WordPress. He just posted on the occasion of his blog’s ninth anniversary. Be sure to check out his posts!

The Null Set

A little more than nine years ago – January 21st of 2008 – saw the first piece of writing published on The Null Set, and, thus, began a slipshod experiment that I’m shocked has continued for as long as it has.

I’ve yet to question my desire to continue blogging because, even in this recent time of diminished output, I still feel like that I get more back from my blog than I put into it. One of the reasons for this comes from the feedback I get from people who take the time to leave comments.

So, to my readers and commenters, Thank you! I want 2017 to be a better year for The Null Set than 2016 was.

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Medieval Book Review: The Wars of the Roses

Dan Jones covers a superlatively violent period of British history: 1420 – 1525.  This period sees the death of King Henry V, the loss of English land in France under Henry VI, a period of Civil War which only ended for good with the ascension of Henry VII, and the reign of Henry VIII before his troubles with the papacy.  Most writers describe the Wars of the Roses as a conflict between two rival houses (York and Lancaster), which only ended when Henry VII married Elizabeth of York in 1486–thus combining them.  Even so, many of the events following 1486 have to do with Henry VII and Henry VIII either dealing with attempts of pretenders to the throne to invade England or killing off everyone with Plantagenet blood in his veins.  And so, it is fair to say that 1525 marks the end of English internecine conflict and the threat posed by people who might claim succession to the throne.

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This history is every bit as violent as the preceding paragraph makes it sound.  Edward IV, Richard III, and Henry VII all won their crowns on the battlefield.  Henry V bequeathed his subjects a stable and prosperous kingdom, but died while his son and heir was a mere infant.  The clashes between aristocratic families over who held the reigns of power during Henry VI’s infancy led to England becoming every bit as turbulent as France during the Hundred Years’ War.  (Maybe more violent.  I don’t think that France can point to a Battle of Towton, which left 28,000 casualties…all killed.)  The usual story of two rival houses needing to unite in order to end this strife, popularized by authors like Shakespeare (Henry VIRichard III, with Romeo and Juliet offering a tragic version of the same), found acceptance among earlier English historians.    Dan Jones challenges this notion by pointing out all the political problems caused by Henry V’s death.  His history shows that England’s civil strife was hardly that simple.

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10 Reasons Why It Sucks To Be An Anime Fan

Fujinsei Kempo posts are always great fun to read. See how many of these points relate to you. 🙂

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FUJINSEI KEMPO
Achieving Enlightenment the Otaku Way
~Cross-shishou

Osu!  Greetings, shokun! It is I, Cross-shishou, back as promised for the last part of this 2-Part Lessons Series. Last week, you learned “10 Reasons Why It’s Awesome To Be An Anime Fan”. But like I always say in my Fujinsei Kempo lessons, everything has a dark side. Today, I’ll be teaching you “10 Reasons Why It Sucks To Be An Anime Fan”. As much as I would like to turn a blind eye to this dark side of the fandom and bury it into oblivion, it is my responsibility as your Otaku Master to inform you about it, so you don’t find yourself corrupted. So are you ready? Let’s start. Osu!


10 Reasons Why It Sucks To Be An Anime Fan

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Excaliber and the Second Meaning Behind Advent

Let Christmas count as the end of this blog’s hiatus.  The cause for me taking breaks likes this lies in the components of my writing, which I have compared to the hurricane cocktail in an old post, being out of whack.  These are still not in perfect proportion–especially the passionfruit ingredient; yet, so many ideas have come into my head during this time that I must open the floodgates of my imagination.

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The present article was one such inspired by my thoughts on THE SCENE in the film Excaliber and the Advent season.  If you have never seen Excaliber, by all means stop reading now and watch this cinematic classic.  Those of you who prefer to pass over this pleasure may get a sense of what I shall write about below by watching THE SCENE and the events immediately preceding it:

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Medieval Otaku Says “Saraba ja!”

Well, my dear readers, it’s time for me to take another break from blogging here.  Also, my column “Examining Light Novels” on Beneath the Tangles will be put on hold for the time being; though, I intend to write one article for their “Twelve Days of Christmas” series.  It’s a shame that this hiatus comes before the end of National Blog Posting Month, but so be it.  Medieval Otaku will return at some point in January.  In the meantime, I might write some articles on my two other blogs which I have neglected in favor of this one in order to keep the writing muscles in shape.

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Saraba ja or Saraba da is an antiquated Japanese term for good-bye which I learned recently.  The closest expression in English is “Godspeed!” and the Spanish “Adios!” might be even closer in meaning.  Apparently, the samurai used to wish each other good-bye with Saraba ja, and, if blogs are to be believed, it’s Buddhist in derivation and wishes “eternal wisdom” on the addressee.  (Kodansha’s Essential Kanji Dictionary gives the kanji in the valediction two meanings “yes” for zen pronunciation and “nature” for nen, but I am certain this is not exhaustive.)

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Happy Thanksgiving and saraba ja!

The Black Cat Takes A Stroll

A great review of a flawed book. Stephen King says that aspiring authors should read bad books now and then to build confidence that one can get published, and this book sounds perfect for that.

Contemporary Japanese Literature

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Title: The Black Cat Takes a Stroll: The Edgar Allan Poe Lectures
Japanese Title: 黒猫の遊歩あるいは美学講義 (Kuroneko no yūho arui wa bigaku kōgi)
Author: 森 晶麿 (Mori Akimaro)
Translator: Ian M. MacDonald
Publication Year: 2016 (America); 2011 (Japan)
Publisher: Bento Books
Pages: 146

Let me preface my review of The Black Cat Takes a Stroll by saying that this book is misogynistic pseudo-intellectual garbage.

I’ve tried to keep my tone sane and reasonable, but I don’t want to mislead anyone into wasting their time reading about something that celebrates notions of male dominance and superiority. If you know this sort of thing won’t appeal to you, it’s probably best to skip this review.

The Black Cat Takes a Stroll is a collection of short horror-themed mystery stories centered around “the Black Cat,” a genius 24-year-old professor. The narrator is a first-year PhD student specializing in Western literature. She became…

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Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 9 Sub/Dub Comparison

Fiddletwix puts up some great sub vs. dub comparisons. This post on episode 9 of Tokyo New Mew is no exception. You’ll be surprised at what the dub took out or flat out changed.

The Anime Madhouse

tmmep9stitle Anime: Because where else can you get a massage from two monkeys in a hot spring?

Plot: Lettuce wins a free trip to a luxurious resort and brings the other mews along for a much needed vacation. However, they find a boy named Aoyamada who looks exactly like Aoyama and has a rough first confrontation with the girls. They soon find out that the free pass to the resort is dated for next year and the resort hasn’t even been built yet, but it’s well into the process. Aoyamada is hell bent on stopping the construction, but things get more complicated when Kisshu decides to use the boy’s pure spirit to make a chimera animal.

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(I apologize that these screencaps are lower quality than I’ve been putting out. I can’t find a copy of the cleaner version. If anyone can point me to a better quality copy, please tell…

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