My dear readers know that I occasionally take breaks from blogging. Essentially, I have a millions hobbies and pursuits, many of which suffer neglect. At present, reading and fiction writing have been given too little attention. To myself, my writing style appears to have ossified of late, and I feel like my articles draw on fewer authors. Reading itself often helps me remember what I have read, which helps me add more substance to what I write. Now, reading books, it pains me to relate, often feels like a chore–a sure-fire sign that I have been watching too much anime!
The worst thing about watching too much television lies in that it is designed to appeal to sentiment more than reason, as Russell Kirk, a 20th century American Conservative thinker known especially well by Hillsdale College graduates, writes in Redeeming the Time. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily: there exist noble and moral sentiments which are good to exercise. For example, we would think a man a poor American who never becomes moved by the Star-Spangled Banner. The danger comes in relying upon sentiment to dictate all our actions. It is possible for the mental muscle of reason to become so weakened that we are unable to judge our sentiments and emotions objectively–just think back to the final episodes of Gokukoku no Brynhildr.
Initially, I was not too keen on watching Maria the Virgin Witch (aka Junketsu no Maria); but many posts on the show inflamed my desire to do so, and Kaze’s comments in the 8th podcast of Beneath the Tangles proved to be the final impetus. In any event, I gobbled up these twelve episodes in three days. The show obviously derives from a liberal mindset, but it’s not as unfair to the Church as many other liberal takes on the Middle Ages. The reason for this lies in the author having a decided interest in the Middle Ages and Church history; though, one wishes that he had added a double dose of Catholic theology to his studies. But, in this post–presented in the Quick Takes format, I wish to write about how well the show represented the Middle Ages. I’ll talk about its philosophy another time.
-I: Weapons, Armor, and Battles-
The armor, weapons, and battlefield tactics employed at this period in history are all very well researched by the author. Not a single piece of armor or weapon is anachronistic or incorrect. There are problems with the sword and buckler fights and with how well two-handed weapons are sometimes wielded in just one hand. Also, there is an obvious absence of chainmail, but that can be explained by the difficulty of animating a coat of rings.
Manga’s probably the only format you’ll see a byrnie in. From Vinland Saga.
I like how the anime features primitive examples of the firearms which were first coming into use. The depiction of Britain’s standard defensive tactic relying upon longbow archers protected by men-at-arms was perfect. I also can’t remember the last time in an anime medieval soldiers wore gambesons, the padded coat which most soldiers could afford as armor.