Pro Deo et Patria & What is Your Country?

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading TWWK’s post “For God or Country? Violet Evergarden and Divided Allegiance.”  It was a very good post meditating on Violet Evergarden’s relationship to her country and also about the relationship between piety and patriotism.  However, “For God or Country?” is a question which one should never have to ask.  In that regard, it’s like the question “Liberty or Equality?”  In these times of egalitarian extremism, we might be tempted to say “Liberty!”  But, the fact of the matter is one cannot throw out either liberty or equality without the end result being tyranny.  A society needs the proper balance of these two things to thrive: let’s say 70% liberty and 30% equality–if one can so quantify the two ideas!

Violet 5

In regard to God and country, the problem is not one of balance but of order, as TWWK avers: “…I understood the idea that my allegiance to God trumps all other allegiances, meaning I could still be loyal to my country, still treasure it, but not above all, not above God.”  This is a very satisfactory answer and recalls the fact that some people reverse the order.  America is such a great country that one does find Americans who seem to worship–worship in the archaic sense of to praise and to serve–their country more than God.  This kind of patriotism exists as a vice rather than a virtue: love of God ought to come before love of country.

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The House of the Wolfings: A Review

William Morris’s The House of the Wolfings will stand as my medieval book of the month.  Though published at the end of the 19th century and set prior to the Middle Ages, it reads very much like a Viking saga–even if the prose is more ornate than the saga writers tended to use.  William Morris numbers as one of those forgotten pre-Tolkien fantasy authors.  I first became interested in him when I heard of how Tolkien borrowed the name Mirkwood from the book under review.  The House of the Wolfings has not disappointed me in the least.

Wolfings

The story appears to be set around the first century AD and concerns the Roman invasion of Germania, but the clans of the Mirkwood are fictional.  The hero of this epic, Thiodolf, leads the Men of the Mirkwood against the invading Romans, and some fantastic elements include the prophecies of the goddess Wood Sun and the Hall Sun, who is the daughter of Thiodolf and the Wood Sun, and an enchanted dwarven hauberk.  The prophecies of these two women and the Romans history of conquest leave the reader guessing up until near the end what the final outcome of the war will be.

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Winter Season 2015: A Season for the Classics

Of late, my interest in anime has grown less as I’ve turned more to history and literature–especially fantasy fiction.  Anime used to be the last thing I did before hitting the hay.  Now, I find myself devouring Frank Herbert’s Dune, Douglass Hulick’s Among Thieves, or The Lord of the Rings.  It’s the fourth time I’m reading the Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien never gets old.  In the near future, I’ll probably pick up E. R. Eddings The Worm Ouroboros and Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin, which one of my friends tells me has inspired him to finally start writing fiction.

Book before Bed

 

And so, Caraniel’s Winter 2015 Preview delighted me by revealing that the upcoming season is as bland as steel cut oatmeal.  You ask why I’m delighted?  Because only two new shows, Rolling Girls and Aldnoah.Zero 2, have sparked any interest in me, which encourages me to catch up on my backlog.  In particular, I find myself excited for the following three shows:

I have never heard of Colorado-style shooting.  Anyone else?

I have never heard of Colorado-style shooting. Anyone else?

1) Angel Cop

This very violent and anti-Communist show was recommended to me by my brother.  I usually don’t care as much for the style of animation seen here, but episode one was exciting and pleasantly diverged from the tone, characters and plot lines we see in contemporary shows.  Essentially, our heroes belong to an anti-terrorist force which tries to foil the leftist Red May terrorists.

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2) Urusei Yatsura

A friend of mine in college frequently recommended this show to me.  He would always say that recent stories from the pen of Rumiko Takahashi paled in comparison to shows like Ranma 1/2 and earlier.  I have been enjoying manga from the Rumic Theater, so it seems like the time is ripe to try Urusei Yatsura (literally, “Noisy Guys”).

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3) Ashita no Joe

Man!  What a great opening set of episodes!  The male protagonists actually have character!  The animators actually know how street fights work!  It’s amazing!  Concerning the fighting, I was shocked to see out main hero, Joe Yabuki, actually run away in order to gain a more favorable position in order to deal with large groups of opponents!  How often do we see our hero standing in the middle of a mob and somehow managing to deal with all of them coming from all sides rather than positioning himself so that he only has to deal with one or two at a time?  And the fights are hard-hitting to boot!

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You can tell that I’m all in on watching the transformation of Joe from a roguish thug to a world class boxer.  If Ashita no Joe continues to be so entertaining, the show shall surely enter my top ten.

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In the meantime, I need to finish Denno CoilEl Cazador de la BrujaHyouka, and Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water.  Once that happens and I finish all the shows which I think will end this season, my watch list for the first quarter of the new year should look like this:

  1. Akatsuki no Yona
  2. Aldnoah.Zero 2
  3. Angel Cop
  4. Ashita no Joe
  5. I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying
  6. Psycho-Pass 2
  7. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
  8. Urusei Yatsura

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Of course, I could not find accurate information for the projected length of certain of those shows.  So, if any of my dear readers notices that certain shows of the present season which will not run into the next, please tell me.  If I find more time or if any of the above shows have a shorter broadcast period than I thought, I’ll add The Flying Ghost Ship and Captain Harlock to this list.  What winter 2015 shows grabbed your attention?  Anyone else so disappointed with the upcoming season that they will end up watching shows on their backlog in preference to new shows?