Something More: Faithful Fanfiction, Final Fantasy XV, and an Anime Testimony | Beneath the Tangles

My latest Something More post from Beneath The Tangles. I hope you enjoy, there’s lots of good posts here 🙂  God bless.

Shalom my dear readers. That’s “hello” and “peace” in Hebrew! It’s time for your monthly round-up of incredible articles. From anime to video games and others, we’ve got you covered. As always, feel free to submit your content to us via email, Facebook, Twitter, or comment. Regardless of the form of communication, we will get back to you. I had a little bit of a hard time deciding on which post I should feature this time. There were several good ones, but it wasn’t until I read Lady_TeresaChristina’s testimony that I made a decision. She used various anime characters to portray different parts of her life, whether it was something good or bad. Not only are her words transparent and you […]

Source: Something More: Faithful Fanfiction, Final Fantasy XV, and an Anime Testimony | Beneath the Tangles

Berserk And The Nature Of Life

*The following is a guest post from M. Daizen who contacted me via email. He wrote about the manga Berserk, which isn’t one I’ve personally read. It was recently redone in 3D and after checking out the anime, I cannot recommend it as a Christian to other believers. That is just my opinion, but there are always nuggets that can be mined like the ones here. Enjoy the post, and if you are interested in submitting a guest post, just email me! God bless.*

Berserk is an incredible work of fiction that has influenced many future works in gaming, manga and writing, and it is easy to see why. It is a dark fantasy that shows its beauty in every page through the feelings that it triggers inside everyone’s hearts.

From the first page, you can sense a sort of excitement seeing the main character, Guts, angry and fighting in a world of suffering and pain. The series introduces him in the middle of his life, yet you feel the urge to follow him and his vengeful rage everywhere he goes; where did he come from, and why is he torturing himself in order to constantly kill brutish demons with a sword that weighs almost five hundred pounds?

The beginning chapters are an incredible experience to read. The dirty battles, people, and of course, the artwork, only gets better. To anyone willing to read this series, you will understand this straight away.

This series has had multiple adaptations as an animation, but I can assure you that the manga is the greatest and original way to experience Berserk. Another thing you must know is that the chapters did not start getting officially numbered until about 15 chapters in, so the “Chapter 1” is actually much later than where the first few volumes actually begin. Know this, because otherwise it could get more confusing considering that after the first bunch of chapters, it starts the “Golden Age Arc”, which is a flashback of Guts’ entire life since he was born up to where the series started.

Now, this Golden Age Arc shows a truly tragic and incredible life of a human growing up where he is always made to feel like an outcast to the world. Guts is made to look like the abomination of darkness throughout the entire series, yet that is what ironically makes him the hero.

Below are two different explanations of what the series is about.

  1. Guts’ constant turmoil between two feelings. One is revenge toward his former friend, Griffith, who ended up killing almost all of their companions for his own gain. Griffith also raped Casca, the woman who Guts loved, causing her to lose her mind.

This revenge is always in a balance between his desire to restore the mind of Casca. He finds, however, that his revenge on who defiled her always comes to distract him from actually helping her.

  1. This series is also about the opposition of fate. Throughout the entire series, fate is precisely what Griffith follows, and precisely what Guts wages a war against. The glory of this series to me is seeing how fate is always working in Griffith’s favor, yet the one man who disrupts it is Guts, and I bet that any reader wants Guts to be the one to succeed after seeing the tragedies that Griffith caused throughout the series.test

In my own personal experience, the way this series tackles fate is something that expresses my relationship with God in a unique way. I believe in going with the flow and accepting things that I can’t control, but Guts showed me the other side of the spectrum that I believe in more strongly–that the world is your oyster. Life is what YOU choose, and God is within all of us. Every essence of a person came originally from God, thus every part of a person, and everything that they do, comes originally from the will of God, even when people make decisions that God dislikes.

Guts, without even a thought, is always opposing fate, not to mention, opposing it to Griffith, who eventually becomes a God from the power of a necklace that had a power to connect to the entity of fate, crowning him as the fifth ‘Godhand’, which are human beings incarnated into powerful demons that control fate (though ironically, Griffith is often portrayed as hero in a fairy tale). Guts also fights, and beats, a religious pastor who becomes an angel and deems Guts an evil demon. Guts doesn’t give a single crap about who is titled a god or an angel of god, and doesn’t care about how sinful everyone says it is to oppose fate.asdf

By many, he would be considered the most sinful being on the planet, but ironically, this personality makes him sprout out as a true God. A true angel. I felt love, excitement, and sympathy for him, seeing that he fights for good in his own way. You feel these things directly from your heart, and your heart is the heart of God. This whole idea is the glory and genius of Berserk.

It’s also intriguing how the series teaches this considering how desire is treated in it. The Godhands come to people when a person’s ego has met a collapse, then they offer this person the thing they want more than anything; however, they must sacrifice the thing that they can’t bear to give up. This whole situation is the perfect way to show what ego can do to somebody.fdsf

I believe that if you do something that you know is right in your heart, you do it out of a desire, but not an ego-based desire. One’s deepest desires also show a person who they truly are, and when one faces the Godhand, they must face every dark part of themselves before satisfying that ego-based desire, and that causes them to realize how that desire they had wasn’t truly making them happy.

The other main element of this series that I can say stands out the most is sexuality. Casca is raped, but what causes that to be so relatable and sad to Guts is the fact that when he was only a small child, he was raped. The rape in this series shows both the reality of the world it takes place in (Berserk takes place in Europe at the end of the 100 Year War), and most of all, inspires sorrowful feelings within the reader that connect you to the character.fdsfs

I myself have been sexually abused in my childhood, and this series was a gift from God knowing how well I related to Guts. I have even become grateful about my personal abuse because the type of emotional joy and experience that I’ve gained thanks to works of fiction like Berserk. I’m not judging that other abuse victims would feel the same way from reading this series, but I think it truly shows how our inner darkness can bring about light (which this series repeatedly talks about).

There is a scene where Guts and Casca have sex by a beautiful waterfall, and during this time, Guts has flashbacks of the trauma he went through when he was raped. He starts getting aggressive with Casca, but she listens to his feelings and learns what happened to him, understanding what had happened to him and resulting in them both having an incredibly happy experience. Guts actually had a dream about a positive memory in his childhood before he was defiled.ytryrtyrt

When I read this part, it was the one of the couple times that I cried while reading anything. It taught me about the inner child inside all of us, that becomes restricted when repressed through bad experiences. Our inner children are still inside us though, and they never die. As Guts’ came back to life during that scene, mine did a little too.

There are a lot of other details to speak about how sex, family, and other feelings arise in this series, but the author, Kentaro Miura, truly gets it. He understands life. He understands God. He understands why God fills our lives with darkness as well, and I am grateful for every piece of darkness and light that God has gifted us with in this lifetime, because if Berserk is life, then life is beautiful.

~ M. Daizen

12 Days of Otaku Christmas, Day 9: NIGHTS Into Dreams | Beneath the Tangles

This is my first post on the 12 Days of Christmas over at Beneath The Tangles. It was a little tricky finding a game with some Japanese reference that has to do with Christmas. Even though I never played this game, I know of it, and thought it had a nice message that relates to our Savior. Be sure to also check the other 12 days, and enjoy!

This will be my first time adding my thoughts to the 12 Days of Christmas annual series here at Beneath the Tangles. As I am more inclined to play video games than watch anime (though I have watched over 100 anime), I decided to write about a certain game that is pretty short. One of the systems by SEGA that didn’t do too well here in the USA was the Sega Saturn. SEGA released several games that are cult classics today on that console, and one of those was NIGHTS into Dreams. This game was all about dreams and nightmares, in which a boy and girl enter another world to stop the nefarious plans of Wizeman with the help of Nights–the jester-like character that you […]

Source: 12 Days of Otaku Christmas, Day 9: NIGHTS Into Dreams | Beneath the Tangles

Something More: A Hero’s Journey, Grace in Clannad, Anohana, and the Holy Spirit | Beneath the Tangles

A new column that I am doing currently on Beneath The Tangles is Something More. I hope you can check it out as monthly I update it with fantastic articles from around the internet that discuss anime and spirituality. Blessings.

Welcome back to Something More, your monthly round-up of spirituality and anime (among other forms of entertainment!) articles. I do my best to search the internet for posts that fit this feature here at Beneath the Tangles. If you happen to find one and believe it merits being on our list, tag us via Facebook or Twitter, email it, or let me know in the comment section. I promise I will take a look and see if it can be added! God bless, and enjoy. It was a little difficult to find my featured piece for the month this time, but just when I was about to give up and try to figure out what to do, this popped up. I […]

Source: Something More: A Hero’s Journey, Grace in Clannad, Anohana, and the Holy Spirit | Beneath the Tangles

Something More: Ghost Hunting, Spiritual Personas, Suffering from God and Djinns in Final Fantasy | Beneath the Tangles

Hola mis amigos! To all those who have been looking forward to Something More, I hope I meet your expectations. I am Samuru, one of the staff writers here at Beneath the Tangles who enjoys writing on video games and occasionally anime. I used to write a column on Geeks Under Grace called Treasure Chest that was inspired by this very column, so I’m happy to pick it up! Please contact me in whichever way you prefer (article comments are probably better) and leave me posts that you feel should be here. God bless, and enjoy. In my first featured post for this wonderful column, I chose Eugene’s detailed post on ghost busting in Japan. Whether it’s from a Shinto […]

Source: Something More: Ghost Hunting, Spiritual Personas, Suffering from God and Djinns in Final Fantasy | Beneath the Tangles

Dragon Ball Z: The Reason Why Goku Smiles | Beneath the Tangles

When I think about one of the most popular characters in all of anime, Goku from Dragon Ball, the image that comes to my mind is a smile. No matter what is going on, often times he is happy about something even if the situation is dire. Dragon Ball is not an anime that is about sunshine and rainbows. In most episodes, there isn’t much to be smiling about, but here comes Goku, the strongest fighter in the universe and grinning ear to ear. His positive and uplifting attitude is a breath of fresh air when all hope seems lost. When all the Z fighters are down and out, he comes to rescue them with an otherworldly determination. Now, don’t […]

Source: Dragon Ball Z: The Reason Why Goku Smiles | Beneath the Tangles

Patema Inverted: Upside Down Sinners | Beneath the Tangles

Hulu has lots of anime to choose from, including movies (as of this writing). I have not seen too many anime films, aside from most of what comes out Ghibli Studios and the occasional One Piece movie. I recently found a few on Hulu that looked interesting, though I had never heard of them. Patema Inverted seemed cool as it involves people who live upside down. It reminded me immediately of a movie called Upside Down that has the same concept. In the future, scientists perform a failed experiment to harness gravity’s energy, which causes destruction over much of the Earth’s surface. A reverse gravity effect causes most people and objects to “fall up” and go into the sky. Imagine falling into […]

Source: Patema Inverted: Upside Down Sinners | Beneath the Tangles

Treasure Chest: The Church Of Fire Emblem, Geek Communities and Religion in Anime

Here we are again, ladies and gentle geeks, another month has passed and I have got the goods for you once again. This time around, we have lots of great anime articles to wet your appetite. From a Christian anime panel that was done in Hawaii, to a breakdown of lots of religiously-themed anime. Fire Emblem Fates seems to be a hot game on the 3DS, since the series never saw much light of day in the States. It’s good to see more quality RPGs get exposure, especially from a biblical perspective.

If you’re interested in how to interact with or learn about geek communities, you will find a well-written piece fromIntersect Project in the Misc. section. From Geeks Under Grace, there’s a new book out about the Kingdom of God and video games, which I am looking forward to reading!

"League of Legends Fan art - Tahm Kench Retreat!!" | Art by Benlo. Used with permission.

“League of Legends Fan art – Tahm Kench Retreat!!” | Art by Benlo. Used with permission.

Gaming Articles of the Month

  • I am not a big MOBA player, as I have not played too many. LoL (League of Legends) is a popular franchise in the genre that impacted Tim in his walk with Christ. Read his story here –> [Geekdom House]
  • Even though it is primarily an anime website, ChristAnime covered an obscure RPG called Avalon Code and how its book of prophesy relates to the Bible. [ChristAnime]
  • Fire Emblem is all the rage these days with its new 3DS title out. This strategy RPG is compared to the church and how we are all different parts of one body by Joshua Cauller. [Theology Gaming]
  • Here is another post on my own blog, Gaming & God, from Neighborhoodotaku. He discusses symbolism from the bible in Fire Emblem Fates[Gaming and God]

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Anime Articles of the Month

  • Steins;Gate can be seen as a brilliant illustration of the truth that God, in his love for us, lays His plans for our benefit. This is a three-part series so don’t miss it! [Beneath The Tangles]
  • A panel was hosted by TeresaChristina at Kawaii Kon all the way in Hawaii. She writes about how it went, the results, and how God’s grace was over it all. [Otaku In My Veins]
  • One of the most popular anime this year is ERASED. I thought it was great, and so did Charles, who wrote a guest post for Geekdom House. He talks about how we can ask God to help us make the right choices, and how we can learn from the wrong choices we make that cannot be undone. [Geekdom House]
  • Have you ever noticed Buddhist, Christian, or other religious content in anime? Well, Annalyn wrote a guest post forMy Anime List and it’s got examples of these and more. [My Anime List]
  • Medieval Otaku put together a fantastic list of anime that are either overtly Christian, or have strong Christian/Catholic themes behind them. It’s my personal favorite of this month’s anime list. [Medieval Otaku]

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Misc. Geeky Articles of the Month

  • How do geeks in the church build communities? Are there even groups like that out there? Christiopher shares some ideas on how to connect to this niche of people (who are growing every year!) right where you live. There are two parts. [Intersect Project: Part 1] [Intersect Project: Part 2]
  • A podcast on how the church can learn from super heroes and from the recent movie Civil War[Russell Moore]

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Top Geeks Under Grace Articles of the Month

  • A review of a book about the Kingdom of God and RPGs. It’s interesting because there are few books out there that combine video games and Christianity, so if you’re interested, pick this one up. It leans more towards Christian topics than actual video games; instead it uses RPG concepts to convey the gospel. [Geeks Under Grace]
  • Andrew gives four ways fantasy literature connects with God, and how we can learn from this genre as well.[Geeks Under Grace]

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Treasure Chest! If you know of an article that should be featured, please leave the link below or message me @ GamingandGod. God bless you, and keep on geeking out!

 

TREASURE CHEST: CATHOLIC GAMERS, VIC MIGNOGNA, FANS FOR CHRIST, AND GOD IN HYRULE

Via TREASURE CHEST: CATHOLIC GAMERS, VIC MIGNOGNA, FANS FOR CHRIST, AND GOD IN HYRULE   *Click to finish the article!*
Welcome to Treasure Chest, where articles from across the internet intersect the geek and the spiritual. Whether you seek a review on the latest Christian video game, hot anime articles, or other geek-related interests, you’ve come to the right place. I do my best to find the best of the best in articles, videos, and anything else I can find a link to that has to do with faith and geeks for the month. I just got a long list of new sites to look through this time (thanks to our Editor-in-Chief Casey), so I hope to bring more variety to the Treasure Chest column than I usually do. I gave Geeks Under Grace articles their own section just so they are not mixed up with the others. If you have any suggestions, comments, or just want to tell me which post you liked the best, let me know! Any feedback, good or bad, is a big help 🙂

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Gaming Articles of the Month

  • Friar monks made a video game to attract people to their service? Yes they did, and you can watch it here. Also,give the game a try and see if you can collect all the candles! [Fox 5 News]
  • Remember when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a Catholic church? Well, a fellow Christian gamer just put up his 76 theses of being a critic and they are quite interesting. [C.T. Casberg]
VIA TREASURE CHEST: CATHOLIC GAMERS, VIC MIGNOGNA, FANS FOR CHRIST, AND GOD IN HYRULE