Project X Zone: The Unified Body | Beneath the Tangles

I know I have been behind on my writing lately! I finally got this short piece up on Beneath The Tangles about Project X Zone and the body of Christ.

When you have several game companies come together to make a game, magic happens. It’s occurred with Kingdom Hearts, King of Fighters, Marvel vs. Capcom, Smash Bros., and an obscure title called Project X Zone. This is one of those Japanese titles that didn’t get much advertisement because of how many uncommon characters are present. It’s also a lot of text to read because of all the dialogue between the characters. It’s a strategic game similar to a board game where you move your players to battle enemies across a battlefield. You have to plan your moves carefully—especially around the end of the game—to win. Too many wrong moves or missed opportunities will grant you a game over. It can get […]

Source: Project X Zone: The Unified Body | Beneath the Tangles

Anime Secret Santa 2016: Space Dandy

Space Dandy

(2014 – 24 Episodes)

There’s a blog called Reverse Thieves which I came across, thanks to my fellow staff members at Beneath The Tangles. Every Christmas they host an annual Anime Secret Santa project where bloggers sign up, are given someone’s MAL list (My Anime List) and are to look at their own to see if there are shows they haven’t seen but might enjoy. So if someone has watched a lot of comedic or dramatic anime, you pick a few that they haven’t seen for them to review.

My own MAL list consists of many varieties of anime, not specific to one or two genres. I like to jump around and try different styles to see what else is out there. I am not a fan of slice-of-life nor violent or very supernatural shows, but I do like comedy and deep stories with characters that you feel for. I was hoping to watch a hidden gem that I had never heard of that would blow me away, but instead I got something…else.

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Dandy in all his glory

Space Dandy! This was a program that premiered on Adult Swim, which is part of Cartoon Network. I was weary of watching it, because presentations that are on that block are often vulgar, silly, or make no sense. Sometimes they have some good anime, like Attack on Titan or One Piece, but Space Dandy wasn’t one I was familiar with. I did not finish all 13 episodes for reasons I will explain below, but I can safely say my suspicions were verified after watching episode 1. It’s about a young guy who thinks he’s hottest and  most amazing person in the galaxy, going to a popular intergalactic bar franchise called Boobies (yes, the name says it all) or other locations looking for unregistered aliens. Once he finds them, he can turn them in for a bounty and get paid, but he’s been pretty out of look lately and only gets in trouble.

His crew is made up of a logical yet sarcastic robot named QT and a cat looking alien, Meow. Very original, I know! They are pretty funny and just going along for the ride that is Dandy’s personality, because that’s what keeps the show going. He is the center of every episode but for me, it got boring pretty quick. Each episode is a separate adventure unrelated to the others in most aspects, except for the enemies that are consistently after them. I didn’t expect much from this show after the first two episodes, except cliche humor or silly comments from Dandy about how amazing he is.

aloha_oe_crew

The Space Dandy Crew

I can see why this show would be aired on Adult Swim, which has programming late at night when most people are pretty tired or falling asleep. In this way, you could watch some weird and dandy show (see what I did there?) while drowsy and you won’t pay much attention to it. At times, I almost felt like this anime was created just for that block of television since it matched so well with their other shows.

I attempted to watch the entire first 13 episode season, but couldn’t get myself to finish it. I will give it another try later on, so for now I can only recommend it to those who don’t mind an anime that takes itself seriously. There are many funny parts, perverted scenes aside, and the animation isn’t that bad. Dandy isn’t someone we can look up to, but his determination to go where the action is, reminded me as a Christian to be fearless and not worry about what will happen next. Fear holds us all back, so I have been repeating this verse to myself out loud whenever I remember:

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Watch if you:
(+) Enjoy silliness and comedy
(+) Enjoy space adventures or anything space related
(+) Aliens.

Skip if you:
(-) Don’t enjoy perverted comments
(-) Want a serious plot with deep, meaningful characters
(-) Prefer your anime making some kind of sense….

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Fan service when Dandy goes to his favorite bar, “Boobies”. Take a guess why it’s called that.

Mega Man ZX: The Light That Remains | Beneath the Tangles

The Mega Man franchise has been one of my favorites ever since I was a kid. I recently purchased a Nintendo 3DS so I can finally catch up on all the Nintendo games and Japanese ports not available on any other system. The list of games that I have been craving to play is pretty long, and one of those is Mega Man ZX. This series starts years after the end of Mega Man Zero 4, which was a fantastic series by the way! The original Mega Man for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was about a blue robot infused with a blaster on his arm. He would battle eight robot masters that were created by the evil Dr. Wily and […]

Source: Mega Man ZX: The Light That Remains | Beneath the Tangles

TangleCast 35: The Final Fantasy Episode! | Beneath the Tangles

I had the privilege to be part of Episode 35 of the Beneath The Tangles podcast where we shared our thoughts on the new Final Fantasy XV game. Hope you enjoy!

Celebrating the recent release of the 10-years-coming Final Fantasy XV,  podcast regulars JP (Japesland) and Casey (CutsceneAddict) join two of our resident Beneath the Tangles gamers, Michael (Samuru) and Josh (JoshW) to discuss the recent Final Fantasy hype as well as the games in the series that have had the biggest personal impact on us individually. As one of the most iconic video game series of all time, particularly from Japan, Final Fantasy has reached many people all over the world with its unique stories, characters, and philosophies. Which game is your favorite? Do any of our podcasters’ answers annoy you to death? Let us know below! As always, every episode of The TangleCast will be covering a different topic, from anime reviews, to discussions on […]

Source: TangleCast 35: The Final Fantasy Episode! | 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

Final Fantasy XIII: Focus on Eternity | Beneath the Tangles

*My latest post on Beneath The Tangles! Hope you can check it out and leave a comment or question below 🙂

Source: Final Fantasy XIII: Focus on Eternity | Beneath the Tangles

I haven’t had a lot of time to game much because of several transitions in my personal life. I have been organizing my writing schedule, starting a new job, completing a video game recommendation guide for Christians, and looking for inspiration from new games to write about. I didn’t realize how many games I had played until I looked at my personal list. This time, Final Fantasy XIII caught my eye—even though it’s been a while since I played it, I knew I could draw some great points from it. Not only does Final Fantasy XIII deal with eternal life, which is the highlight of submitting to Christ and His forgiveness of our sins, but also our purpose and what […]

Source: Final Fantasy XIII: Focus on Eternity | Beneath the Tangles

The Scars We Carry – Geeks Under Grace

Source: The Scars We Carry – Geeks Under Grace

When I was younger–and had more time to watch anime–the classic Fullmetal Alchemist was one of my favorites. Of course, later on the more accurate Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood released with high acclaim. I never watched it (shame on me) because I thought it wasn’t much different than the one I saw years back. Since it was on Netflix, I added it to my queue and got around to it recently, finishing all 64 episodes. It was so much better than the first series!

Episodes 1-13 are basically a refresher for those like me who watched the first series. After that, though, the story takes a very different turn. I was glued to my screen, whether on my phone, laptop or TV (thank God for streaming!). I never did read the manga, but I knew that there were many major changes based on the manga, and I was very happy with them. The new characters, plot twists, higher stakes, and even religious dialogue were well done. One character that I kept thinking about, though, was Scar. I honestly thought he would just be killed off in a random battle. All that he went through resonated with me, not because my race was wiped out in alchemic genocide, but because of how he grew into a better person. I strive to do that, and I believe we all do to some extent. His pursuit of revenge ends up being his only reason for living, until he encounters a more fulfilling purpose.

Source: The Scars We Carry – Geeks Under Grace

Lunar Silver Star Story: Wind’s Nocturne Analysis | Beneath the Tangles

Music is a big part of my life, as I listen to it for hours every day. Mostly it’s for background purposes, whether at the gym, during prayer and worship, or while reading, writing, or driving. I never realized how important it was to my life until several years ago, nor did I notice that video game music (VGM) had made such an impact on me. After discovering OCRemix (a website dedicated to remixing VGM from every era or console) and listening to older tunes from some of my favorite games, I got hooked on the genre. There have been a few touching songs that have left an imprint on my heart, and one of those is from Lunar: Silver Star […]

Source: Lunar Silver Star Story: Wind’s Nocturne Analysis | 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!