Predestination is our Shelter

“What will become of me for now on? After some time, I stopped thinking about that. Maybe I forgot how to think at all?” (Rin, Shelter)

Spiraling ice glaciers, boundless grass fields and deep ocean waters. Graffiti skies painted with puffy clouds and long horizons water-colored with vibrant suns. This is the virtual world seventeen year old Rin lives inside, built by pixels and computer data. She can create anything her heart desires with the touch pen on her tablet. But as she explores her surroundings, she realizes she is the only one there. She is all alone.

Rin doesn’t know who she is or what her purpose is. She lives each day merely passing time, wondering if anything will ever change. She knows there is something more, something greater, but she doesn’t know what. One day, however, everything changes.  Continue reading “Predestination is our Shelter”

You Are Under My Genjutsu

You are worthless. You are ugly. You are fat. You are lonely. You are an outcast. You are a loser. You are better dead. You will never amount to anything. You will be alone for the rest of your life. You will be an addict forever. You will never be loved. You will always be hated. You will not do anything with yourself. You can cut yourself to relieve the pain. You can masturbate to relieve the pain. You can drink one more glass to relieve the pain. You can pretend to smile to relieve the pain. You can pop one more pill to relieve the pain. You can become busy to relieve the pain. You can escape reality to relieve the pain. You can give up to relieve the pain.

Sin. This is the Genjustu of the Enemy.  Continue reading “You Are Under My Genjutsu”

Christians are Kiznaivers

For seven high school students in the summer 2016 anime, Kiznaiver, the sharing of pain is quite literal. Bonded together by a symbol on their wrists through emerging medical technology, every instance of pain experienced by one person is equally split and shared with the rest of the group. This system, the Kinza System, was designed as an experiment to foster relationships between people of different personalities and allow them to connect on deeper levels. Kiznaiver has a colorful pallet of characters with major differences that test the strength of these bonds. “The cunning normal”, “high-and-mighty”, “goody-two-shoes”, and “eccentric headcase” are only to name a few and they must work out their exceeding differences and compromise solutions that would benefit the group.

However, these interactions aren’t held together by individual members, but rather the crimson-etched symbol that bonds them all as a whole. Without it, they would not be able to connect with each other. Looking at the premise of Kiznaiver, I find myself experiencing the Kinza System, but on a much deeper level than our protagonists. I would argue that Christians have the strongest bonds of any people and can share pain with each other unlike anyone else. Believers are bound together through Jesus Christ and their bonds extend not only emotionally, physically, and mentally, but also spiritually, one which ties the souls of people together with a deep connection.  Continue reading “Christians are Kiznaivers”

Menma and Holy Spirit: Am I Delusional?

It’s known throughout the Bible that the Holy Spirit literally seals Himself inside those who choose to believe and have faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13). He guides our lives to the truth of righteousness and leads us where we need to go, speaking directly from God (John 16:13). However, it is the challenge of every Christian to properly discern what thoughts, emotions, and hunches are from the Holy Spirit and which are not.

I have great difficulty with this in my personal life and struggle with it on a daily basis. Did the Holy Spirit put these coincidences in my life for a reason? Was this feeling during worship the presence of God? Are my emotions being driven by my flesh or by faith? These questions are the ones I am constantly asking myself and it can become very tiring. The frustration of not knowing is uncontainable and brings me closer to insanity. However, after watching episode four of the anime Anohana, I found that I relate so well to protagonist Jintan in his struggles with his friend’s ghost and even discovered a principle of faith that Christians can apply to their own lives.  Continue reading “Menma and Holy Spirit: Am I Delusional?”

The Truth About Fanservice

*Sexually-explicit content discussed*

Ever since I began watching anime three years ago, fan service was a recurring theme that I knew would not be going away. “Giving the fans exactly what they want” is what I was told it was, but I soon realized that it was much more than that. Men and women coming back again and again to Japanese media filled with sexually-charged content is what I saw and it soon became acceptable in my mind, a part of anime that would never disappear. I can openly admit that in my past I had consumed a lot of sexualized anime in the form of fan service, both softcore and hardcore. I had done it all and seen it all: every fetish, trope and outfit. Most importantly, I am a living testimony that breaks the common misconception that a “good Christian man” like myself would know nothing about fan service. In fact, I know more about the sexualized subsection of otaku culture than most people.

Fan service, whether you know it or not, tries its best to give people expressions of sexuality that were only meant to be experienced with a partner of the opposite biological sex. In anime, these are seen through common tropes and situations that are a staple to the media like panty shots, boob grabs, bikini scenes, etc. Some may see these actions as innocent pleasure to the viewer, harming no one and thus being justifiable. However, there is a lot more going on under the surface with our hearts that works to destroy intimacy with our future spouses by stealing sexual purity. Based on what I’ve seen fanservice do to myself and being a follower of Jesus, I can never agree with it and try my best to avoid it when watching a show. As a man who reveals the truth, let’s start calling fanservice by the beast that it truly is: pornography.  Continue reading “The Truth About Fanservice”

Zabuza, The Thief on the Cross, and Redemption

*Spoilers to Naruto*

Zabuza Momochi is a name that is feared across the land. Known as “Demon of the Hidden Mist”, he works for an elite assassination group called Anbu, cutting down anyone that stands in his way. He possesses deadly skill with a long-sword, being an ex-member of the Seven Swordsmen, and is on every hidden village’s bingo book for Class A crimes. He has a bloodlust that cannot be stopped, a thirst for violence that cannot be quenchable, and a heart as cold as a stone. Zabuza Momochi is a man that lives and breaths death, following the name that he was given to him for his murders, bearing the identity of a true demon.  Continue reading “Zabuza, The Thief on the Cross, and Redemption”

Religious People Ruin Everything

The character Sakamoto from the recent anime Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto represents perfection, something without flaw or error. Being extremely handsome, intelligent, and athletic, our protagonist has all the girls falling for him and drives the men to jealousy. He has it made for himself and always aims to achieve his best. But isn’t this how religion tries to dress-up Jesus Christ, that He only accepts perfection? Continue reading “Religious People Ruin Everything”