Author Topic: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss  (Read 26133 times)

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Offline RemSaverem

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Hi! This will be our 3rd Kumoricon Religion in Anime and Manga panel!
I'd love to know what anyone has noticed and what you'd like to discuss!
Personally, I've been thinking about this topic along the following outline:
--where religious items, terms, places, themes, or people are anecdotally present in the background of a story;
--where characters are clearly portrayed as members of or leaders of particular religions
--where characters, plot, or dialogue overtly reference or overtly are based on religious figures;
--where characters, plot, or dialogue are informed by, reflect, or **embody** religious precepts, but if the viewer / reader isn't familiar with the particular religion, they won't recognize this;
--what we've seen or read that has **inspired** us, as members of particular religions;
--what we've seen or read that **makes us uncomfortable or feel disrespected** as members of particular religions;
--and what we've seen or read that has made us **curious about or want to learn more about** any religion.

I'd love to hear from anyone on any of these subjects, about any religion, here and at the workshop!

There will be panelists with backgrounds in and/or having studied  Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Paganism/witchcraft, and Buddhism.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Well, it hasn't been addressed in the anime *or* any of the manga yet since it hasn't been officialy revealed yet (we know of it because people have gotten into the game programming), but the fourth generation of Pokémon games introduced a creature presented as the creator of the universe. It's been interesting seeing fan interpretation of Arceus, given that the game data says only that it created things. People banter about if it would have other properties associated with dieties such as omnipotence or even overseeing anything. It has an attack specific to it called Judgement, but it's merely a strong attack--certainly not unbeatable or unsurvivable.

It's an interesting topic, especially since we know so little about it, to see people project properties of "real life" dieties onto it, ie, it has A, it must also have B.

I suppose this could fall under "when a series has a made-up religion, how do fans interpret that via religions they're more familiar with?"
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 11:19:48 pm by BlackjackGabbiani »

Offline tofutakeout

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well I find it confusing that buddism is a religion from japan yet so many anime/manga series strongly proclaim Christianity. I understand a series possibly being about a religion not practiced anymore but it's a bit shocking to see common ones used. I don't feel strongly about this it's just a little opinion of mine.

I was actually thinking about coming to this panel too. :3
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Offline RemSaverem

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Well, it hasn't been addressed in the anime *or* any of the manga yet since it hasn't been officialy revealed yet (we know of it because people have gotten into the game programming), but the fourth generation of Pokémon games introduced a creature presented as the creator of the universe. It's been interesting seeing fan interpretation of Arceus, given that the game data says only that it created things. People banter about if it would have other properties associated with dieties such as omnipotence or even overseeing anything. It has an attack specific to it called Judgement, but it's merely a strong attack--certainly not unbeatable or unsurvivable.

It's an interesting topic, especially since we know so little about it, to see people project properties of "real life" dieties onto it, ie, it has A, it must also have B.

I suppose this could fall under "when a series has a made-up religion, how do fans interpret that via religions they're more familiar with?"

Fascinating info-- and brilliant question! You should really come to this panel and bring up that topic and this example!
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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Offline RemSaverem

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well I find it confusing that buddism is a religion from japan yet so many anime/manga series strongly proclaim Christianity. I understand a series possibly being about a religion not practiced anymore but it's a bit shocking to see common ones used. I don't feel strongly about this it's just a little opinion of mine.

I was actually thinking about coming to this panel too. :3

It will be wonderful if you do come and bring up this topic. I've wondered about the same thing.
Only like 1% of the population of Japan is Christian; why are so many of the protagonists Christian and/or the motifs used to explain how magic or the end of the world etc. happens in their universes derived from what they think they've seen of Christianity and/or Qabbala (esoteric Jewish mysticism)?

I'm wondering if it has to do with a combination of who they think their paying audiences might be; who their influences were in prior animation; who they and their audiences find exotic and intriguing precisely because they're rare in Japan; somehow an attack on or commentary on the themes from Christianity that pervade the paradigms of countries with predominant power in the world; or some combination thereof.......

Any thoughts on that, anyone?

Though to clarify, if my understanding is correct, Buddhism started in India, spread to Tibet and around there (Nepal, Bhutan), then came to Japan from China. Just as there are three major subgroups of Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant), and then many denominations in each, and as there are multiple variants within Judaism (from Chassidism to Reform), there are multiple schools of Buddhism. They are classified into 3 major "vehicles," or Yanas:
Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.

Hinayana, you could think of it as the main aim is for each individual practitioner to try to reach Nirvana, a state of peace beyond desire and aversion.
A main school of that is Theraveda. You'd find that in places like Thailand (where the oldest existing Buddhist teachings exist, referred to as the Pali canon), Cambodia, etc.

Mahayana, you could think of it as the main aim is for each individual pracitioner to become enlightened or attain the state of Buddhahood (perfect enlightenment beyond ego), for the benefit of other (or all) beings.

Vajrayana, you could think of it as the main aim is for each individual practitioner to realize that they already have Buddha nature (a very complex concept I could go into detail about it you want, but suffice it to say it has to do with being free from ego, attachment, desire, aversion, seeing clearly the nature of reality as defined by this branch of Buddhism, being altruistic, peaceful, and compassionate, etc.), and that they just have to purify themselves of obscurations (things that prevent them from seeing their true nature and living in accord with it) and purify their intentions (to want to work for the benefit of all beings), to go back to living in that nature. It's way more complex than that, but that's a short hand.

Anyway, Tibetan Buddhism is mostly Vajrayana. Japanese Buddhism is largely Zen, which came from Ch'an from China, which is usually Mahayana, for some Hinayana.

Hope that's not too confusing........

Anyway, one character I've found to resonate with Vajrayana and Mahayana Buddhism is Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind from the awesome Miyazake film.

What else has everyone noticed, from any religion or about any religion?
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline tofutakeout

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and it's probably not completely Buddhism. I mean they have all those anime's with priestesses and what not in them. perhaps the reason why so many series seem Christian is because that 1% works in animation and comics? that'd be weird if that was the case.

there is a lot of series that have a form of catholic in them where a main character is dressed like a nun. like trinity blood or black lagoon. and theres 'Trigun' where a guy carries around a giant cross. lol

and when you look at even the series with older religions will still of course be watched and loved. and most people that like a certain series usually practice the religion in the anime. even in a series like 'Loki' some people still believe in that. I mean I'm not a very religious person so I'll watch any anime but I usually won't pay attention that much to the religion itself because to me it's just a factor in the story. but then I will start to think about it and how some characters are like 'I'm an angel 8D' or 'I'm a demon D8<' and yada  yada. this is such a complex topic to talk of. I know the panel will be very interesting .
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Offline Antares

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From Carl Horn, one of the panelists who will be at this panel:

"...one of the manga I edit, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, deals with (Buddhism) in an interesting way. So that's something I'll definitely talk about."

Ellen, I believe he emailed you on this.

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Offline RemSaverem

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and it's probably not completely Buddhism. I mean they have all those anime's with priestesses and what not in them. perhaps the reason why so many series seem Christian is because that 1% works in animation and comics? that'd be weird if that was the case.

there is a lot of series that have a form of catholic in them where a main character is dressed like a nun. like trinity blood or black lagoon. and theres 'Trigun' where a guy carries around a giant cross. lol

and when you look at even the series with older religions will still of course be watched and loved. and most people that like a certain series usually practice the religion in the anime. even in a series like 'Loki' some people still believe in that. I mean I'm not a very religious person so I'll watch any anime but I usually won't pay attention that much to the religion itself because to me it's just a factor in the story. but then I will start to think about it and how some characters are like 'I'm an angel 8D' or 'I'm a demon D8<' and yada  yada. this is such a complex topic to talk of. I know the panel will be very interesting .

Yay! Looking forward to your questions there!
Trigun, LOL, Wolfwood with the mini confessional to go onto people's heads, brilliant!
Loki, that's Nordic? Odinist? I've actually met some people who are into that (I think they call it Atreyu or something). Mostly people who role play in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). I don't know anything about the anime though. I know there's one called Ragnarok, which would be Norse mythology. I know also there's a manga of the Rg Veda, which is think is a Hindu text? I have seen a graphic novel version of the life  of Milarepa, who was a murderous black magick practitioner but then converted to Buddhism and wrote a bunch of famous Buddhist songs and became enlightened.

I don't think that there is a disproportionate number of Christians who make anine and manga, but that definitely would be fascinating if it were true. It might be that what portion of anime and manga we see make it over to the U.S. is shaped by Christians working in the U.S. in importing and publishing--that I have no idea. But, it would be a great question for Carl Horn, who edits manga for Dark Horse Comics, including Neon Genesis Evangelion (rife with religious implications) and Kurosagi (spelling?) Corpse Delivery Service, which is about Buddhist students who help dead people.....and he's going to be one of the panelists at this panel!
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline RemSaverem

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From Carl Horn, one of the panelists who will be at this panel:

"...one of the manga I edit, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, deals with (Buddhism) in an interesting way. So that's something I'll definitely talk about."

Ellen, I believe he emailed you on this.

Yes, he did. And I emailed him back at great length, because of the differences in conceptualization of what it means to be dead, what it means to be a ghost, and how one moves forward into a better next life, within Tibetan Buddhism vs. what he described as the content of the manga. So I'm not sure how much that manga reflects differences in Japanese Buddhist cosmology or the influence of Western shows such as Tru Calling and Ghost Whisperer..........stay tuned for my clarifications and his answers at this panel!~
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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Offline tofutakeout

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and it's probably not completely Buddhism. I mean they have all those anime's with priestesses and what not in them. perhaps the reason why so many series seem Christian is because that 1% works in animation and comics? that'd be weird if that was the case.

there is a lot of series that have a form of catholic in them where a main character is dressed like a nun. like trinity blood or black lagoon. and theres 'Trigun' where a guy carries around a giant cross. lol

and when you look at even the series with older religions will still of course be watched and loved. and most people that like a certain series usually practice the religion in the anime. even in a series like 'Loki' some people still believe in that. I mean I'm not a very religious person so I'll watch any anime but I usually won't pay attention that much to the religion itself because to me it's just a factor in the story. but then I will start to think about it and how some characters are like 'I'm an angel 8D' or 'I'm a demon D8<' and yada  yada. this is such a complex topic to talk of. I know the panel will be very interesting .

Yay! Looking forward to your questions there!
Trigun, LOL, Wolfwood with the mini confessional to go onto people's heads, brilliant!
Loki, that's Nordic? Odinist? I've actually met some people who are into that (I think they call it Atreyu or something). Mostly people who role play in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). I don't know anything about the anime though. I know there's one called Ragnarok, which would be Norse mythology. I know also there's a manga of the Rg Veda, which is think is a Hindu text? I have seen a graphic novel version of the life  of Milarepa, who was a murderous black magick practitioner but then converted to Buddhism and wrote a bunch of famous Buddhist songs and became enlightened.

I don't think that there is a disproportionate number of Christians who make anine and manga, but that definitely would be fascinating if it were true. It might be that what portion of anime and manga we see make it over to the U.S. is shaped by Christians working in the U.S. in importing and publishing--that I have no idea. But, it would be a great question for Carl Horn, who edits manga for Dark Horse Comics, including Neon Genesis Evangelion (rife with religious implications) and Kurosagi (spelling?) Corpse Delivery Service, which is about Buddhist students who help dead people.....and he's going to be one of the panelists at this panel!
I can't wait! my friend might even be dressed as esther when I come to this, if she wants to come with me. she could play along with that.
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Offline RemSaverem

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and it's probably not completely Buddhism. I mean they have all those anime's with priestesses and what not in them. perhaps the reason why so many series seem Christian is because that 1% works in animation and comics? that'd be weird if that was the case.

there is a lot of series that have a form of catholic in them where a main character is dressed like a nun. like trinity blood or black lagoon. and theres 'Trigun' where a guy carries around a giant cross. lol

and when you look at even the series with older religions will still of course be watched and loved. and most people that like a certain series usually practice the religion in the anime. even in a series like 'Loki' some people still believe in that. I mean I'm not a very religious person so I'll watch any anime but I usually won't pay attention that much to the religion itself because to me it's just a factor in the story. but then I will start to think about it and how some characters are like 'I'm an angel 8D' or 'I'm a demon D8<' and yada  yada. this is such a complex topic to talk of. I know the panel will be very interesting .

Yay! Looking forward to your questions there!
Trigun, LOL, Wolfwood with the mini confessional to go onto people's heads, brilliant!
Loki, that's Nordic? Odinist? I've actually met some people who are into that (I think they call it Atreyu or something). Mostly people who role play in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). I don't know anything about the anime though. I know there's one called Ragnarok, which would be Norse mythology. I know also there's a manga of the Rg Veda, which is think is a Hindu text? I have seen a graphic novel version of the life  of Milarepa, who was a murderous black magick practitioner but then converted to Buddhism and wrote a bunch of famous Buddhist songs and became enlightened.

I don't think that there is a disproportionate number of Christians who make anine and manga, but that definitely would be fascinating if it were true. It might be that what portion of anime and manga we see make it over to the U.S. is shaped by Christians working in the U.S. in importing and publishing--that I have no idea. But, it would be a great question for Carl Horn, who edits manga for Dark Horse Comics, including Neon Genesis Evangelion (rife with religious implications) and Kurosagi (spelling?) Corpse Delivery Service, which is about Buddhist students who help dead people.....and he's going to be one of the panelists at this panel!
I can't wait! my friend might even be dressed as esther when I come to this, if she wants to come with me. she could play along with that.

Awesome!
 (Though you'll have to fill me in on who Esther is...though I did a little Jewish Chibi-version of cosplay in that I dressed as Queen Esther for our holiday of Purim!)

Now as for something you mentioned earlier:
I imagine there are some Catholics who find it offensive when people who are portraying (either in live action or animated films or in cosplay) priests, nuns, monks, etc., are doing so derisively (making fun of them), vituperatively (with spite), or erotically (as a fetish). Personally I have no problem with satire or eroticism, but I do with vituperative misappropriation of religious/spiritual symbols.

Also my honest personal belief is that there can be danger in even certain types of roleplay. Call it superstitious or whatnot, but there are things that I certainly would not want anyone to try to mimic, that people try to do in some anime or games, including some of the LARPing I've known about it, I wouldn't go there. Everyone has different extents to which they believe in various things, including whether or not there is evil in the world and in what forms it arrives and how vulnerable one is to it. Personally there are things I would never even role play doing (such as invoking or inviting a demon or selling a soul), specifically because I believe and/or deeply fear that those are things that someone could actually do, that could cause irreparable harm to themselves and others; so I fear that they could do them even by accident......In fact, my initial interest in joining Guy, who founded this panel, came from what I observed that I thought of as misappropriation, of actual (or attempts at drawing or pronouncing actual), Hebrew or Jewish mystical letters, words, or symbols, that are frequently (in my biased opinion, misused) by people who practice, for example, Crowleyan black-magick for potentially dangerous ends--it's better that I not go into too much detail, but.......I imagine that I can't be the only person who's ever seen something in an anime or manga and thought, 'Woah, that would be really dangerous if a real person did that!' or 'Woah, in my eyes, that's blasphemy!'

That's among the kind of stuff that people might want to talk about at the panel.......
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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Offline tofutakeout

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Esther Blanchett from trinity blood. one of the main female characters. I'm also perfectly fine with eroticism. if its what people like then its what people like. (off topic I love maid outfits XD). yeah there are somethings people shouldn't do when dressed up. I can see why certain groups would get offended. like in certain cases the character is suppose to be dressed some what religiously yet they're drawn really slutty like. I understand anime is about cute girls in skimpy outfits but this is a nun or some sort of religious figure. they shouldn't be showing bare legs to their but and cleavage. even though it's nice.
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Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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That may depend on the religion involved, and if it's a real-world religion vs one created for the series, and even if it does have roots here, it could be practiced completely differently there. Perhaps a nun who bares all is displaying the body that God created for her while those not in service to the religion cover up because they're not as close to the divine.

Granted there's probably no series that has this, but if they wanted to come up with an explination other than "the character designers are horndogs", it'd be interesting to hear what they had to say.

Offline RemSaverem

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That may depend on the religion involved, and if it's a real-world religion vs one created for the series, and even if it does have roots here, it could be practiced completely differently there. Perhaps a nun who bares all is displaying the body that God created for her while those not in service to the religion cover up because they're not as close to the divine.

Granted there's probably no series that has this, but if they wanted to come up with an explination other than "the character designers are horndogs", it'd be interesting to hear what they had to say.

LOL!
Even in forum posts, you remain one of my favorite writers!
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Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Haha, I endeavor to please.

Weren't a lot of Greek religious rites done in the nude? It could also be a reference to that...or they could say, anyway, if they bothered.


On another note, and *almost* tying in with what I mentioned earlier, in a lot of the "collectable monster" shows, there's vast species but with some being special examples. Such as in Digimon--there's Seraphimon, who's a powerful warrior in Adventure, but in Frontier he's a diety (the season arcs aren't connected, so they start all over again), even though it's assumed that they reached their level the same way (Digimon can evolve to different things, and since both Seraphimons are shown to have been Patamons at some point, one can assume safely that they followed Patamon-Angemon-Magnaangemon-Seraphimon).
Or in Pokemon, in the background for the second movie (although sadly never mentioned in the movie itself, in any language I've seen), it's stated that the Legendary Birds of the elemental islands are special individuals of their species. We see other examples of their species throughout the series--even Lugia, the "beast of the sea"*--and none of them posess the world-shaking powers the ones in the movie had, even though they're all presented as Legendary.

(*yes, I know there's debate about if the real Beast was Lugia or the undersea current, but I say it's Lugia because the Guardian's Song worked on it just like the legend said it would, while the current was almost secondary...but I digress. Just a preventive measure in case I had any debaters here)



The "shining example of a species" story was also used in the American/Chinese series Jackie Chan Adventures, when the Talismans found the perfect examples of the animals that bore their symbols...although it's been years since I watched that.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 04:40:28 pm by BlackjackGabbiani »

Offline RemSaverem

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Actually some modern pagan/witch rites are undertaken "skyclad" :)

Your points actually suggest a separate, future topic for a panel: Understanding and contextualizing the
Cosmologies created within anime, games, and/or manga.


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Offline murder_of_raven

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2008, 03:32:52 pm »
In relation to religion, two things have stood out to me about this year in anime:

~Christian symbolism seems to be becoming less popular in anime. Take Gurren Lagann for example, an anime by the people who did Evangelion, not an ounce of Christianity. Has anybody else noticed this?

~"Haruhi type" anime seem to be taking their place: Kamichu, Haruhi, Kamichama, etc. Basically anime in which one of the characters realize they are a God and everybody is forced to deal with the consequences of such. Does anybody have thoughts on the social/religious connotations of this or perhaps socially what the new draw to this subject is? XD Hopefully that doesn't sound too much like an essay question.

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2008, 05:18:42 pm »
In relation to religion, two things have stood out to me about this year in anime:

~Christian symbolism seems to be becoming less popular in anime. Take Gurren Lagann for example, an anime by the people who did Evangelion, not an ounce of Christianity. Has anybody else noticed this?

~"Haruhi type" anime seem to be taking their place: Kamichu, Haruhi, Kamichama, etc. Basically anime in which one of the characters realize they are a God and everybody is forced to deal with the consequences of such. Does anybody have thoughts on the social/religious connotations of this or perhaps socially what the new draw to this subject is? XD Hopefully that doesn't sound too much like an essay question.

Wow that's fascinating. I would hope that Carl or Cassie or someone else from KC who is directly involved in the manga publishing industry might be able to comment.

One possibility is that it could be a political statement about theocracies or other politicians who consider themselves immune from/ exempt from the norms of morality....you know, such as people getting "elected" through fraud, or waging coups....expecting to be treated like gods?
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Offline murder_of_raven

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2008, 07:29:14 pm »
Wow that's fascinating. I would hope that Carl or Cassie or someone else from KC who is directly involved in the manga publishing industry might be able to comment.

One possibility is that it could be a political statement about theocracies or other politicians who consider themselves immune from/ exempt from the norms of morality....you know, such as people getting "elected" through fraud, or waging coups....expecting to be treated like gods?

::blush:: Well not /that/ fascinating. Still, I'd hoped to ask this year but things were going so well I didn't want to interrupt XD

Oh? I hadn't considered that... That fits for Death Note but anime like Kamichu (which I've admittedly only watched a few episodes of) and Lain (omg I can't believed I spaced mentioning it before) seem to be much more spiritually based. I wonder if it is perhaps a modernization of Japanese mythology or something?

Offline SpearXXI

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2008, 02:34:28 am »
Well, I went to the panel, and they recommended to watch Paprika, which I did. I thought the movie was awesome, and it was interesting to watch the dream discussions, with each other, and how they approached dreams. I didn't catch too much Buddhist symbolism, except for a couple scenes cause I don't know too much. lol The panel was a cool experience.

Offline murder_of_raven

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2008, 07:36:07 am »
Well, I went to the panel, and they recommended to watch Paprika, which I did. I thought the movie was awesome, and it was interesting to watch the dream discussions, with each other, and how they approached dreams. I didn't catch too much Buddhist symbolism, except for a couple scenes cause I don't know too much. lol The panel was a cool experience.

Seconded on the coolness of Paprika, that movie totally rocks. If you liked it I must strongly suggest Paranoia Agent, which was also done by Satoshi Kon and plays much like an anime series of Paprika. :D Fairly sure most of the music was done by the same people as well. It also felt fairly symbolic, I'm sure there's some religious/cultural allusions I missed.

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2008, 03:25:53 pm »
Sweet! I'm unfamiliar with Paranoia Agent.
I was the panelist who recommended Paprika. To clarify:
I did not state that there was Buddhist symbolism in it.
Rather, I expressed that I had a different take on the film than others might due to my study of Tibetan Buddhist and Tibetan Bon traditions of the Yogas of Sleep and Dreams. Bon is the indigenous shamanistic tradition of Tibet that predates Buddhism by centuries.
Basically in those practices one aspires to learn to be awake in dreams (what is typically referred to as lucid dreaming) and to have agency within those dreams (i.e. if they start taking distubring paths, to rein them in and turn them into a lesson or something positive). Moreover there are practices one can do with a  consort (an intimate partner with whom one deliberately undertakes shared ritual practice) that are reputed to let the pair meet in the dream world/ shape each other's dreams/ share a dream.

Therefore it's like a sacred science in Tibet has been practiced for centuries that would let someone approximate the machinery developed for dream merging and dream interference that is the central plot device of Paprika.

Therefore I hypothesized that the film might be differently understood by people who do not find the concept as foreign or as unattainable, as most in the West.
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Offline murder_of_raven

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2008, 06:22:56 pm »
Okay here's something I noticed that came way out of left field....

"Metatron (Hebrew מטטרון or מיטטרון) is the name of an angel in Judaism and some branches of Christianity and Islam." ~Wikipedia, which also happens to have a notice at the top reading "Not to be confused with Megatron."

Okay so you say Metatron/Megatron, just a coincidence right? Well I'm no expert but bear with me here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_of_Life#Fruit_of_Life: "The Fruit of Life is said to be the blueprint of the universe, containing the basis for the design of every atom, molecular structure, life form, and everything in existence." And then, "The Fruit of Life pattern contains the basis for the layout of Metatron's Cube.... In early Kabbalist scriptures, Metatron supposedly forms the cube from his soul.... The idea is also present in alchemy, in which the cube was favoured as a containment circle or creation circle."

For those of you unfamiliar with Transformers, Megatron is the leader of the evil "Decepticons" who betrayed the Megabots and tried to steal the Allspark, alternatively called the Matrix and the Cube, which is explained as essentially the Creator of their entire species.... :3 And which could barely (and I know I'm stretching) be construed as Megatron's Cube.

:D Maybe I'm reading too much into too little information but I hope it adds a light-hearted touch to our continual search for religion in anime (which seems to often revolve around cults, demons, and other dark things).
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 06:26:48 pm by murder_of_raven »

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2008, 07:00:15 pm »
Okay here's something I noticed that came way out of left field....

"Metatron (Hebrew מטטרון or מיטטרון) is the name of an angel in Judaism and some branches of Christianity and Islam." ~Wikipedia, which also happens to have a notice at the top reading "Not to be confused with Megatron."

Okay so you say Metatron/Megatron, just a coincidence right? Well I'm no expert but bear with me here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_of_Life#Fruit_of_Life: "The Fruit of Life is said to be the blueprint of the universe, containing the basis for the design of every atom, molecular structure, life form, and everything in existence." And then, "The Fruit of Life pattern contains the basis for the layout of Metatron's Cube.... In early Kabbalist scriptures, Metatron supposedly forms the cube from his soul.... The idea is also present in alchemy, in which the cube was favoured as a containment circle or creation circle."

For those of you unfamiliar with Transformers, Megatron is the leader of the evil "Decepticons" who betrayed the Megabots and tried to steal the Allspark, alternatively called the Matrix and the Cube, which is explained as essentially the Creator of their entire species.... :3 And which could barely (and I know I'm stretching) be construed as Megatron's Cube.

:D Maybe I'm reading too much into too little information but I hope it adds a light-hearted touch to our continual search for religion in anime (which seems to often revolve around cults, demons, and other dark things).
Wow. The partner I was with at KC last year was really into Transformers as a kid, but I have never bothered to check it out (live action nor animation)....now I actually want to, thanks to your post!
It's funny, the biggest association I have with Metatron is, of course, Alan Rickman (as Dogma is easily one of my all-time fave flicks!).....Flower of life is not a phrase I recognize, though I am familiar with the Tree of Life, as used in Qaballa, and as replicated in anime on occasion, including the clip Guy showed from Zombie...whatever it was...!
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Offline SpearXXI

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2008, 02:42:57 pm »
Okay here's something I noticed that came way out of left field....

"Metatron (Hebrew מטטרון or מיטטרון) is the name of an angel in Judaism and some branches of Christianity and Islam." ~Wikipedia, which also happens to have a notice at the top reading "Not to be confused with Megatron."

Okay so you say Metatron/Megatron, just a coincidence right? Well I'm no expert but bear with me here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_of_Life#Fruit_of_Life: "The Fruit of Life is said to be the blueprint of the universe, containing the basis for the design of every atom, molecular structure, life form, and everything in existence." And then, "The Fruit of Life pattern contains the basis for the layout of Metatron's Cube.... In early Kabbalist scriptures, Metatron supposedly forms the cube from his soul.... The idea is also present in alchemy, in which the cube was favoured as a containment circle or creation circle."

For those of you unfamiliar with Transformers, Megatron is the leader of the evil "Decepticons" who betrayed the Megabots and tried to steal the Allspark, alternatively called the Matrix and the Cube, which is explained as essentially the Creator of their entire species.... :3 And which could barely (and I know I'm stretching) be construed as Megatron's Cube.

:D Maybe I'm reading too much into too little information but I hope it adds a light-hearted touch to our continual search for religion in anime (which seems to often revolve around cults, demons, and other dark things).
Wow. The partner I was with at KC last year was really into Transformers as a kid, but I have never bothered to check it out (live action nor animation)....now I actually want to, thanks to your post!
It's funny, the biggest association I have with Metatron is, of course, Alan Rickman (as Dogma is easily one of my all-time fave flicks!).....Flower of life is not a phrase I recognize, though I am familiar with the Tree of Life, as used in Qaballa, and as replicated in anime on occasion, including the clip Guy showed from Zombie...whatever it was...!

Hmm, this reminds me of Beast Wars, and the episodes, where the Rhino goes into deep discussions... if I remember correctly, because his character was the calm all knowing character, who never changes his transformation throughout the entire show. Mostly everyone else goes through a transformation (to look flashier and sell more toys....) and some of them in a sense become new people/transformers. lol Also towards the end of the show there is the discussions about the Alpha and Omega. yadada. I can't remember too much, aside from liking the show. lol I might have to go back and look at that show with a new perspective.

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- What you've noticed & what you'd like to discuss
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2008, 11:09:05 am »
Not familiar with Beast Wars. Alpha and Omega is a reference to Christ? Maybe from John?
*Hasn't really read New Testament except a little John and a little Revelations---due to traveling to Patmos, Greece, to the cave where it was written/channeled!*
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Offline Prinz Eugen

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Alpha and Omega is a reference to Christ? Maybe from John?
Just a fact-finding excursion here, but it's a quote from Rev 22:13,
Douay Rheims, Latin:  "Ego sum alpha et omega, primus et novissimus, principium et finis."
English: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
You can google up the Greek, but I can't cut-n-paste the character set here.

This verse is near the very end of Revelations; last chapter and only 8 verses to go, so there is a visual finality about it as well; "Grow up, school's out, everything you do past this page is YOUR responsibility."

About other symbols, FWIW, I am reading the Shikabane Hime manga which is kinda like Bleach with an Ichigo-upgrade and 9mm MACs instead of bladed weapons :-) but one particular bad-dude wears a face-mask with the Little Dipper constellation on it. Each star is an eye though, so it kinda looks like the geometric patterns in Evangelion.

Other quick notes & answers:
The anime I showed was called Zombie Loan.
Rem I also thank you for the background info on dreams and Paprika. Really made the anime make a lot more sense and meaning.
Personally I tend not to put too much meaning into 'Combat Nuns' as seen in shows such as Prism Ark. Kind of "Forgive them .. for they know not what they do...."

But I do tend to check out how they depict an altar in the typical 'Western-looking church.'
Rose windows - check.
Pews - check. Or not. (see below.)
Pulpit? Quite rare.
Choir loft - none that I can ever recall.
Creepy old geezer up there on the organ? Common in b/w horror movies, but not seen in anime.
Candles on the altar - How many? (sometimes a weak clue about what religion it's supposed to be)
Body on the cross, or not?

Pews: Often, the Western Church of Anime has NO pews in there, because characters need a wide open expanse of floor space to fight and run around. Also remember to use those handy dandy columns - you get to hide behind  them, rebound off them, or wrap fighting chains to restrain your opponent or swing around behind for another attack. Oodles of fun.

HEY WAIT - THIS COULD BE A **HILARIOUS** anime scavenger hunt type of game! List a bunch of 'things normally found in a church,' and people rack up points (over weeks or months) locating screenshots from anime. (Triple points if the confessional you find has a green and a red light on it so you can know whether it's 'armed or 'safe!')



Offline Wuntvor

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I watch quite a bit of anime, so I have a broad view of all the different religions portrayed.  This season has some very interesting shows joining the line-up.

Shikabane Hime is now an anime - as mentioned by Prinz Eugen it has a protagonist who goes around with a pair of 9mm MAC's and blows the heads off of other Shikabane.  My understanding is that Shikabane are dead people who have so much will to live that they continue on even though they are dead.  The main character is an orphaned boy who was brought up in an orphanage next to, or on the grounds of, a buddist monistary.  The shrine, is behind their home.  Anyway the head priest is running some form of Shikabane exorcisim group.  it seems that the only way to get rid of a Shikabane is with another Shikabane.  For this reason they have the corpse of a teenage girl, in a school uniform, that goes around blasting to bits other corpses.  The boy is in the process of moving out of the orphanage, and a series of events keep having him run into the girl.  Not sure where the anime is headed, but it is pretty graphic, and at times disturbing.

Kannagi - An anime about Shinto spirit who comes to life when her sacred tree is used to carve a statue for a middle schoolers school project.  Boy was he surprised.  She is rather upset that her tree was cut down while she was asleep.  Having no place to go she sort of moves into his home.  She also needs help in fighting off the evil impurities that are starting to inhabit the area now that her tree is gone.  A really fun anime so far.

Michiko to Hatchin - The Hatchin character was adopted by a Christian family.  The father is a priest.  I believe they are located somewhere in South America.  This is one Christian family I wouldn't want to be a part of.  15 minutes into it I was all for telling Hatchin to punch her step-sister and brother in the face and run away from home.  Michiko is apparently Hatchins mom.  She just escaped from a top security prison and has come to get her daughter.  Very interesting show so far.  I like the Cowboy Bebop style OP.

To Aru Majutsu no Index - This show has all sorts of religious stuff being tossed all over the place.  Main character is a paranormal.  His special ability is a right hand that cancels out all other powers, be they paranormal, magical, or divine.  For this reason he is increadibly unlucky.  Luck being something given to people by the divine, his is cancelled out before he can get any.  He lives in a city of paranormals mainly a college town where all of the students have paranormal powers.  A girl with electrical powers seems to like him.  He makes an effort to try saving some boys who make the mistake of hitting on her in the first episode.  As far as I can tell they didn't appreciate his effort.  chased him across town, and got crisped by her as she pursued them.  She then calls down a massive lightning bolt that blows all the fuses in his apartment.  His food spolis, his AC is out, in short his luck stinks.  Next morning he finds a nun in a white habit, draped over his balcony railing.  she was being pursued by the Magic Society and tried jumping from roof to roof, didn't make that last jump.  He brings her inside and they have a little disscusion about magic being real.  It seems that Index (her name) has 103,000 forbidden texts stored in her head.  She herself is not a mage, so she can't use the spells herself.  She has escaped the Society and is hoping to get to a church and seek asylum.  This show is already getting very messed up.

Yozakura Quartet - Some definite Japanese religion as well as magic and other religious beliefs.  This show is about a town called Sakura-shin that is about 50-50 humans and youkai.  The mayor is a youkai - she is apparently a dragon incarnation, her main subbordinate is an Oni (ogre) they both go to an agency to get help fighting off bad youkai  The agency has a human with the ability to exorcize youkai, a youkai Kotodama user who can use the power of words to effect objects and cause submission, and a youkai Satori who can read minds over a large area.  The show is going to revolve around these individuals and how they use their abilities to fight off and exorcize evil youkai.

Rosario + Vampire - This show is mailny a harem fanservice show, but you do have to give it points for introducing a large number of interesting monsters.  Main character is a male human who goes to a monster school and can't get home for at least a month.  He befriends a female vampire on his first day, then a succubus, then a witch, then a female yetti, and finally a sorceress.  Their teacher is a cat-girl, and the head of the school paper is a werewolf with the emphasis on wolf.  This silly group is just the core of this wacky anime, now starting it's second season.

Older shows that have interesting religious backgrounds are, Trinity Blood, Chrno Crusade , Shounen Onmyouji, Asagiri no Miko, and Tactics just to name a few off the top of my head.

An interesting fact about Christians in Japan.  During WWII the Catholics were rounded up and placed in camps in a city called Nagasaki because they were believed to be American Sympathizers.  They were conscripted to work in the ship building factories and docks, and were located close by.  They were all at ground zero when the atomic bomb was dropped on them.  Ground zero was 550 yards from Urakami cathedral, Asias largest Catholic cathedral at the time of the bombing.  Out of 12,000 Catholics of this community, 8,500 were killed..  In short, we have ourselves to blame as the main reason for a low percentage of Christians in Japan.
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Offline Deviant Spider

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Ok, Im going to let my true personality out here lol.

Everyone who knows me knows im the Yuri girl. (and Shoujo ai)

I have a more controversal point in that both Strawberry Panic, and Marisama ga Miteru, wich are both compleate shoujo ai, are centered around catholic faith. Both of these animes take place in Catholic schools and both of these animes only express girl love. (Lesbian love)

What I find interesting is that the majority of shoujo ai and yuri are compleatly frowned on in Japan. Only in huge areas like Tokyo do people find these shows acceptable. Yaoi is a bit more accepted but Yuri love is still shunned. It is mostly created for westerners (like us) and deeme inappropriate in Japanese culture. (for more info feel free to come to my yuri panel)

The point I am gettting at is that if Yuri/Shoujo Ai is primarly created for western culture, and the Catholic religion is also more than likley preasent to follow western culture as well (as it has such a small folllowing in japan) why do they mix?  Catholicism  is still extreamly heterosexual. Every devout catholic I know is against Gay marriage and it is not recognised by the church or the religion itself. It supprises me how these very lesbian theamed Animes are so centered around the catholic religon.

Its interesting....Both Lesbians and Catholics are scarse in Japan. And Both together is a big no-go in the United States.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 07:57:41 pm by Deviant Spider »
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Offline RemSaverem

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Alpha and Omega is a reference to Christ? Maybe from John?
Just a fact-finding excursion here, but it's a quote from Rev 22:13,
Douay Rheims, Latin:  "Ego sum alpha et omega, primus et novissimus, principium et finis."
English: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
You can google up the Greek, but I can't cut-n-paste the character set here.
Thank you for this! *Is embarrassed to have not known this.*
So this is something Jesus says about Himself as Himself? Himself as representative of overall Divinity? Or something He says G-d said? *Is confused....*

Quote
This verse is near the very end of Revelations; last chapter and only 8 verses to go, so there is a visual finality about it as well; "Grow up, school's out, everything you do past this page is YOUR responsibility."
I was thinking the implication of the verse might be more like 'Thou shalt have no other G-d's before me', i.e., sort of like, either, 'there is no one else [at My level]' or like 'if you have Me you don't need anyone else'; and/or, more like, 'Anything you could possibly dream up is just another aspect of Divinity/ of the Divine Plan'...similar to the Longchenpa concept of emptiness and absolute truth vs. relative truth (this being very esoteric Buddhism)....

Quote
about other symbols, FWIW, I am reading the Shikabane Hime manga which is kinda like Bleach with an Ichigo-upgrade and 9mm MACs instead of bladed weapons :-) but one particular bad-dude wears a face-mask with the Little Dipper constellation on it. Each star is an eye though, so it kinda looks like the geometric patterns in Evangelion.
Haven't heard of it, but LOL on the description. Now as for Eva...I FINALLY tried to immerse myself in it. In fact I posted threads on these forums re my confusion as I have been trying to piece Eva together with the bits and pieces I can find at the Eugene library. A couple manga from the beginning of one series, a couple from the end of another series (by which I mean different print runs, different years, one being a 'collectors' edition'; some even are right to left while others are left to right! Then a couple towards the end of Angelic Days (Which I LOVE!). Then in video I *finally* this week got to see so far only the first 4 eps. However. My main reason for mentioning it here is that in vol. 8 of manga-style layout Collectors' Edition, the frontispiece is a drawing of the sephiroth on the tree of life, with (actual) Hebraic script overlain on each of the sephiroth, and atop the page--but very fuzzy, I can only make out a few words.....I'm VERY eager to find out what it actually says and the source of it. If anyone can help me with this I'll figure out the Hebrew on it. I sent email to Carl Horn about it but never heard back! (He edited the volume for Viz if I recall correctly.) Anyone??

Quote
Other quick notes & answers:
The anime I showed was called Zombie Loan.
Thanks, I should check that out.
Quote
Rem I also thank you for the background info on dreams and Paprika. Really made the anime make a lot more sense and meaning.
:) Yay! That's one of the main reasons I LOVE and prioritize our panel! :)
Quote
Personally I tend not to put too much meaning into 'Combat Nuns' as seen in shows such as Prism Ark. Kind of "Forgive them .. for they know not what they do...."

But I do tend to check out how they depict an altar in the typical 'Western-looking church.'
Rose windows - check.
Pews - check. Or not. (see below.)
Pulpit? Quite rare.
Choir loft - none that I can ever recall.
Creepy old geezer up there on the organ? Common in b/w horror movies, but not seen in anime.
Candles on the altar - How many? (sometimes a weak clue about what religion it's supposed to be)
Body on the cross, or not?

Pews: Often, the Western Church of Anime has NO pews in there, because characters need a wide open expanse of floor space to fight and run around. Also remember to use those handy dandy columns - you get to hide behind  them, rebound off them, or wrap fighting chains to restrain your opponent or swing around behind for another attack. Oodles of fun.

HEY WAIT - THIS COULD BE A **HILARIOUS** anime scavenger hunt type of game! List a bunch of 'things normally found in a church,' and people rack up points (over weeks or months) locating screenshots from anime. (Triple points if the confessional you find has a green and a red light on it so you can know whether it's 'armed or 'safe!')


LOL! Hilarious! There could be infinite variations on the theme of this game. But for starters I can't help trying to apply it to Wolfwood's confessional :)

Now: Spider: Haven't seen your panel but appreciate your info and inquiry. Realistically I'm guessing it would be because of the thought that Catholic schools might be single-sex schools or at least single-sex dorms thereby facilitating (or perhaps providing an excuse for) GL? Kinda like the 'well who can blame them they're young and there are no boys around' theory?

Wuntvor: Wow, you're a mini-Index yourself, just like Guy! You should definitely be active in this thread and panel!! Of the shows you named, the one most to my interest would be Kannagi. Almost sounds like Mononoke Hime meets Urusei Yatsura/Lum.

Meantime on a serious note, holy moley, I had NO idea that Catholics (or anyone) had been put in work camps in Japan. Was this process implemented before, or after, the US internment of Japanese-Americans at camps such as Mazundar (spelling?) where my best friend from kindergarten's dad had been? And I take it you are referring to internment not of Catholic Americans in Japan but of Catholic Japanese? Woah. Thank you for the details....May all martyred by atomic bombs (and all Hibakusha who suffered lingering related deaths) rest in peace and may their numbers never increase.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2008, 12:07:22 am by RemSaverem »
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Offline Seraph

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@Deviant Spider
I suspect its because they grasp the Catholic religion more easily due to its having more structure while Protestant and other faiths of the Christainity have a lot less structure so they dun quite grasp it quite as much.

Another more likely reason, when Japan refused to trade with West, they still allowed some trade with Portugal which is a very Catholic country so they had a lot of time to kinda understand Catholics, but not enough to know their views on lesbians or what not.  A lot of the all girls I see in anime are Catholic, so maybe its maybe they're not having Catholic for its influence, but simply because its at an all girls school which equal Catholic school in common Japanese eyes.

I'm actually looking into a Strawberry Panic cosplay, and while researching it, its said that it was based on the author's own experenice in an all girls school. 
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Offline Prinz Eugen

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More info, history, and trivia.

First off, I'm really enjoying everyone's' comments and info on this thread, and it's one of the reasons I like doing the panel so much.
I would easily enjoy having D-Spider on board with us next year if she is willing.

Next, persecution of Catholics and other Christians in Japan goes back much further than WWII; here's a Fumi-e (fumu = 'step-on, ' 'e'=picture.)
We saw one in real-life in a Catholic reliquary we visited south of Tokyo. They also had a Buddhist statue (I don't remember which B. deity) which was hollow and had a smaller, carved diorama of the Crucifixion inside. The shape of the cross, standing on an apex of rocky land, tucked up inside and underneath the hollow, bell-shaped form of the Eastern deity which was clothed in a flowing robe. The user could expose the Christian scene during a prayer period and then cover it and 'look Buddhist' if mundanes were visiting, or nasty purge-patrols were amok.

Here's a fumi-e: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumie
When we learned the Japanese word fumi-e, we coined the word FUMI-INU (dog) to mean the kind of 0.85kg, fits-in-a-bike-pannier dogs that some people keep. In other words any dog so teeny you might step on it accidentally and not notice. No real offence intended here, it's more of the cartoon silliness effect. Like the huge bare foot at then end of the 'Monty Python' TV show OP. ("Ptthhhhht!")

Not sure but I thought Christendom first came to Japan with St. Francois Xavier in 15-hundred-something. The priest at the reliquary we visited was Kenyan, and he also said that the 'fumi-e' practice works by forcing someone to deny his faith publicly, thereby either exposing himself as a closet-Christian or risking his own damnation based on passages like Matt 10:33 "But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven." (Douay-Rheims, other versions here: http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Mat&chapter=10&verse=33)

The priest also says that that sort of Hobson's Choice situation wouldn't work on most African Christian cultures - their interpretation of forgiveness and a personal, unseverable connection with God would allow them to step on the picture and make a private, mental confession in the next moment. ("Yeah I know, God but see, right now I'm *alive still* to continue your work in the community, and to lead my family, etc... So make those bullies GO AWAY and we can all get back to it...")

Re: using Catholic garb and other trappings to illustrate Christianity, or 'one of those weird Western religions,' (and this is one of the topics we pointed out in the panel two or three years ago) within Christendom, Catholics have some of the most visible sets of "I'm religious" costumes, mostly because once a religious order is founded, if they specify a uniform then that becomes a fashion 'snapshot' in time. Spin 400 or 1400 or so years on the calendar and what used to almost blend in in say, Southern France, now sticks out like meido-cosplay at the mall today. The Catholic religions, being older and having more complex rituals, also happen to have more speciality equipment, and this means that Hollywood (or other entertainers) get to USE MORE COOL-LOOKING PROPS (quick, what's a 'pyx?')

Movie vampires almost always have to be spiritually opposed by Roman Catholic priests rather than by say an equally fervent Southern-style tent-revivalist, dunk-'em-in-the-river-and-redeem-'em sort of Holy Man, simply because (a) a Roman collar is easily recognised by the audience, which saves time you'd otherwise have to spend introducing the character, and (b) there are more hand-held thingies and stuff to do to the Bad Guy. Patens, candle-holders, altar cards, the Monstrance, all make fine things to throw or fight (spiritually) with, even if just by jangling them on a chain to make Boris Karloff, Richard Kiel, or Vincent Price cringe while you yell "Back! Back!" Or whatever.

One other reason Catholic schools are used could be that in Japan, private school students get to 'dress nice.' Here in the US we like to dress down; freedom feels like showing up to the office in slobby sweatpants. "Casual," writes Dilbert creator Scott Adams, "is what I washed my car in." In Japan, dressing neatly in highly structured costuming is often a privilege. Catholic garb, or at least Catholic-looking garb makes the characters stand out as special in some way, just like EXPENSIVE Japanese private schools issue uniforms, which kids wear even on weekends to show off. This is a bit like snooty East Coast kids who gloat that "I got admitted to Exeter Ac-cahh-demy**" and wear IZOD-Lacoste for the rest of their LIFE.

(** Use that precocious, 'to-MAH-to' voice here.)

There are some cultures where homosexuality is dismissed by simply proclaiming it doesn't exist:
http://www.americablog.com/2007/09/iran-president-we-dont-have-homosexuals.html
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/09/24/us.iran/index.html

and so rather than being a hot-bed for GL or BL, same-sex children's' schools may also have been founded based on a notion that since NOTHING COULD EVER HAPPEN, (cough, cough) then all those nice kids from nice homes will JUST STUDY ALL THE TIME AND BE SMART.

Lastly here, a question or two about Mari-Mite:
1. That abbreviation of Maria-sama ga miteru ALWAYS make me think of MARMITE.  Which I've had in Oz, and I think it tastes Totally FOUL.
2. Is there any implication in Mari-Mite that, like Odin as the All-Seeing, or Christianity's omniscience, the title phrase "[honorific]-Mary is watching" has anything to do with Christ's Mother Mary, Blessed Virgin as all-watching or omni-present?

« Last Edit: October 20, 2008, 04:04:07 am by Prinz Eugen »

Offline Prinz Eugen

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Quote from: RemSaverem
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Alpha and Omega is a reference to Christ? Maybe from John?
Just a fact-finding excursion here, but it's a quote from Rev 22:13,
Douay Rheims, Latin:  "Ego sum alpha et omega, primus et novissimus, principium et finis."
English: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
So this is something Jesus says about Himself as Himself
Yes. This page (excluding commentary by page owner in red letters) is a reasonable decent snapshot of the last page of the Last Book. More below your next quote, but the phrases "the Alpha and the Omega / the first and the last / the beginning and the end" are often also linked with the phrase from Heb 12:2 where Paul names Jesus "the author and finisher of faith."

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Quote
This verse is near the very end of Revelations; last chapter and only 8 verses to go, so there is a visual finality about it as well; "Grow up, school's out, everything you do past this page is YOUR responsibility."
I was thinking the implication of the verse might be more like 'Thou shalt have no other G-ds before me', i.e., sort of like, either, 'there is no one else [at My level]' or like 'if you have Me you don't need anyone else'; and/or, more like, 'Anything you could possibly dream up is just another aspect of Divinity/ of the Divine Plan'...similar to the Longchenpa concept of emptiness and absolute truth vs. relative truth (this being very esoteric Buddhism)....
Emotionally (not necessarily theologically) I get the feeling at times of the kinds of things a stern yet loving father would say to a son who, just finishing college, is departing for his first job living out of the house, packed up with the U-haul about to drive to a distant state or perhaps going overseas, or that emotionally topsy-turvy interval between finishing military basic training, when you get to meet your parents before deploying out to your first mission. "Take care, do me proud son, and don't eff-up. Much. And you know the number if you ever need to call home. See you 'round."

In "A and O / first and last, etc" don't see that same exclusionary "Thou shall have no other gods before ME" seen elsewhere and especially in the OT, but I do see it underlying Rev 22:18-19 where  (a) "you will need EVERY item in this toolbox at least once in your life, that why it's included, so LEARN what you've got so you'll have it when you need it," and (b) "adding patches or upgrades from other manufacturers may void your warranty."

Quote from: Prinz Eugen
about other symbols, FWIW, I am reading the Shikabane Hime manga...
Great catalog of other anime, Wuntvor. I also am enjoying To-Aru/Index. I find it VERY amusing. And one of the guys has cool garb too. The Shikabane manga story seems a lot clearer than the animated story. They are very different. "Makina" is the vamp-HS-girl who totes full-auto (and YIKES where was SHE when we needed her at Columbine, eh?)

I am also wondering about if there is a connection between Makina's name and the Latin machina, in part because the 'ch' can be pronounced with a glottal frictive hard enough to sound like a 'k,' and she, like her opponents, takes quite a pummelling and KEEPS CLOSING IN ON THE BAD GUY THE WHOLE TIME. Kinda like the unstoppable 'Terminator,' or in old-school DnD lingo: "Constitution = 18+ 00."

Anyways in the manga it's not (initially) explained why she hung around Earth after she died, but it seems that rather than a willful choice NOT to 'go quietky into that good night,' it's more of a Purgatorial stint: "You're NOT YET READY for heaven yet, but we have a LITTLE SIDE-JOB for you, something WE dont' want to BE CONNECTED WITH." <- This plot set-up is taken almost directly from the "cops need an expendable prisoner to take down someone they're legally or morally prevented from engaging, and they need plausible deniability" story.

Makina has to 'take out' 108 nasties in order to pass on to Soul Society Heaven. Keisei manages her hit-job list. In the manga though, some bad-dudes 'count' as multiple points, like taking down a Boss when you clear a level in a game. By manga vol. 8 she's dialed down to 92 to go.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2008, 05:22:06 am by Prinz Eugen »

Offline RemSaverem

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 I agree about basically all of this first post. Yes marmite is yucky (Anyone remember what song it's mentioned in in the 80s? Land down under, Men at Work, "I said 'Do you speak-a my language?' He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich."). Yes D-S would be a fine addition to the panel if interested:) Yes props & costume add to likelihood of Catholic vs. other as fun visual for vampire hunting. Gotcha on the Python ref. And the 'it doesn't exist so there's nothing to worry about' denial of queer love-- I heard (I think it's true) that Queen Victoria of England was persuaded to outlaw homosexuality between males but declined to make it illegal between females. She was rumored to have done so because of having a hard time believing it existed, but who knows her real motive!
As for relics that could be hidden inside other relics, and being forced to publicly deny one's faith: I of course am from a family with Chassidic Rabbinic lineages in and/or from Israel on both sides of my family, so of course grew up familiar with the Marranos. For those not aware: This was the (derogatory, apparently meaning filthy pig in colloquial usage) term applied to the so-called "occult Jews". Nope not the plethora of modern-day "Jewitches" such as Starhawk. Those who reverently practiced Judaism in secret-- often literally in hiding-- in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) during and right before and right after the Spanish Inquisition. To live they had to publicly declare themselves Catholic. My perspective is that G-d can see into everyone's heart and soul and can tell when we lie and can tell why, and if it's to save our lives or others' and to protect faith it's a good and noble thing, example, those righteous Christian neighbors who lied saying their attic was empty thus saving the life of my 3 year old future grandmother and a whole family of Jews. (from a Pogrom).

Fascinating details as always, thanks, and I'll check your links when I can.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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Offline Prinz Eugen

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Re: Religion in Anime & Manga-- Quick Panel Question:
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2008, 08:31:54 pm »
At the staff mtg last weekend one person wanted to do an event called 'Cosplay Church.'
I inquired a bit more and it seemed that the idea meant some kind of non-denominational service for a swath of anime fandom who want to take some time to make a religious devotion or share with others.

I have no further details.

Has anything like this been done before?

If there is interest for a 2009 event (whatever it might be,) and discussion seems to get rolling a little here, then (since I don't want to hijack this thread) let's suggest starting a new topic thread elsewhere.

Offline Prinz Eugen

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Religion -AND- firearms in anime!!!
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2008, 09:11:23 pm »
OK cool!

So we're watching "Night Wizard" and, although we have often seen Glowing Rings of Rune-a-riffic Characters light up and spin around on the ground around someone winding up some sort of devastatingly threatening spell or magical attack (see especially 'Shakugan no Shana') in this series we have:

Magical Shuttle Launch Rings!

... and a HECK of a magically-enhanced firearm!

1. Spinning Magical Muzzle Brake Effect!
2. WTF caliber is this?!?(90mm?)
3. You can even ride it like a broom - IN SPACE!!

... of course it's nearly recoilless, so the character holds it alongside her hip - might as well be playing Guitar Hero...

Offline Seraph

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@Prinz Eugen
that series looks interesting.
wikipedia mentions its based on a RPG and has demon lords who are mostly based off the demons from The Lesser Key of Solomon, but they all take the forms of moe girls....
"Hm, the Moe is strong with this one..."
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Offline RemSaverem

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No idea what a moe girl is? Please someone tell me?
Lesser Key of Solomon--okay. Here's something *really creepy*. I actually know people who take that whole notion seriously that there are icons one can draw or wear that will give someone power to "control" a demon and make it "do one's bidding". Oy vey. Such dangerous blasphemy it's not even fathomable to me. To me it seems like something or someone evil would dream up to convince people it would work, knowing full well that instead those who tried it would end up possessed. Beside the fact that it's hubris to attempt I imagine it to be impossible. Ward off, perhaps. Subdue for an infinitesimal moment perhaps. Expel, I'm sure there are folks who can do it, but I wouldn't know if sigils are the way. Then there are the pop culture icons that adopt such sigils. I actually dated someone who had Asteroth's sigil on the back of his neck. Didn't know that when we first got together, definitely it creeped me out. Then shortly thereafter I'm in line at Safeway and there's a girl, perhaps 15, in front of me, wearing a black t-shirt w/same sigil on it. I ask her does she realize what she's wearing? She simply shrugs and says she doesn't really care, it's just the new t-shirt associated with the Cradle of Filth album. Oy vey. Shades of Le Theatre du les Vampyres [spelling?] and the Vampire Lestat's rock band...luring folks in for really soul-shattering trouble through appearing to be an artform or music form....Don't mean to sound like one of those dance-banning religious old fogies from Footloose or anything but having known folks who were possessed....yeah this scares me.

Separately, my boyfriend who'd brought me to the Tibetan Buddhist Retreat I mentioned at this year's panel is now studying some parts of Hinduism, so I'll be keeping an eye out for anything related (though not expecting necessarily to find any). Oddly enough, the Hindu Gurus he's studying think of Jesus as an avatar (while the Buddhist Gurus he's studying think of Jesus as a Bodhisattva). So guess who just finished reading Book of Matthew for the first time last night, me. Starting Mark. (Not sure of the translation though--this being one of those Gideons from a hotel room.)
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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Offline Wuntvor

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No idea what a moe girl is? Please someone tell me?

Well Wikipedia strikes again!  I think this is a pretty good explanation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moe_(slang)

I guess it is best described as attracted to, and protective of, stereotypes.   So a moe girl is a stereotype that you, the viewer, want to protect.  At least, that is my understanding.
(\,@/)  Quote from -  Rock & Rule
(=','=)  Stretch: MOK! Don't let him get us!  He'll put a heck on me!
 //_\\   Dizzy:    Hexx, Stretch.  Hexx.
  d b    Stretch: Aw!  Two of them!  That's even worse!