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Post Reply Ao no Exorcist: Ryuji Tonaemasu
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Posted 3/27/17 , edited 3/27/17
As a Christian, I've become accustomed to seeing my religion appropriated and mutilated for the purpose of entertainment. In Western entertainment that often comes in the form of distorting it to deride it or denigrate believers; it's well known Hollywood has no love of Christianity.

It's more bearable and forgivable to see the Japanese appropriate my faith, because when they do get it wrong it's out of genuine lack of knowledge or cultural misunderstanding. The bottom line is it's not out of contempt like we see in the West. One thing I like about Ao no Exorcist so far is they seem to portray Christianity in a generally positive light. I was really won over when


I remember seeing a thread (http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-978943/is-there-an-anime-that-is-inspirational-or-motivated-you-into-something?pg=0) that talked about animation motivating you to do something. I've been thinking about trying to
, or at least go all the way through it and study it and understand it through. Would there be anyone interested in studying and discussing? Another option might be studying and discussing any scripture that gets recited in the series.
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Posted 3/27/17 , edited 3/27/17
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octorockandroll wrote:



OK you want to join in? :D

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karatecowboy wrote:


octorockandroll wrote:



OK you want to join in? :D



Not particularly. I will say this though, even though it's just a bit off topic; you should probably not be so condemning of the whole appropriating religions thing. Nowadays the biggest thing that I see drawing younger people towards religions is through storytelling. Of course these stories need to be changed somewhat from their original versions in order to make a story interesting since 99% of mythology of any kind doesn't make for good storytelling by modern standards. What sucks is that I see religious leaders and followers lash out whenever something like this happens and that just drives away the people who would have been interested in the religion in question thanks to the pieces of media that are now being vilified by vocal members of the given religion. Like I remember back when Overwatch came out a lot of people I know, like 9 or 10 at least, who had barely even thought about Hinduism before were suddenly reading up about it all over the place because they thought characters like Symmetra and Zenyatta were cool. That momentum completely dropped however, when some big Hindu statesman started voicing some pretty strong dislike for the game and asked Blizzard personally to remove one of the skins. It wasn't like he was being a huge dick about it, but nonetheless he lost 10 potential new followers of the religion I assume he would like to spread just in my circle alone and I find that quite antithetical to his cause. And I mean I get the issue with that sort of stuff, that's not what the real religion is like, but that's just the way things are nowadays, you're a lot more likely to get younger people into your religion through cultural information found in media than just about any other way than simply having kids born into religious families and that means that if you close the doors on any adaptation of the mythology of whatever religion you follow that isn't 1:1 you're just going to close a lot of doors unnecessarily. That's not to say you should endorse anything that has an association with your religion on it though. I can 1000% understand why Christians would hate Godyssey (aside from just the whole common sense of hating Liefeld's work in general) but you should keep an open mind to art that has a basis in your religion.
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Posted 3/27/17 , edited 3/27/17

karatecowboy wrote:
As a Christian, I've become accustomed to seeing my religion appropriated and mutilated for the purpose of entertainment. In Western entertainment that often comes in the form of distorting it to deride it or denigrate believers; it's well known Hollywood has no love of Christianity.


Could have been an interesting discussion here as to how western religions are portrayed in eastern media and visa versa. But you had to go and poison the well before it even started.



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Posted 3/27/17 , edited 3/27/17

runec wrote:


karatecowboy wrote:
As a Christian, I've become accustomed to seeing my religion appropriated and mutilated for the purpose of entertainment. In Western entertainment that often comes in the form of distorting it to deride it or denigrate believers; it's well known Hollywood has no love of Christianity.


Could have been an interesting discussion here as to how western religions are portrayed in eastern media and visa versa. But you had to go and poison the well before it even started.






Either way, have you watched Blue Exorcist at all?
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karatecowboy wrote:
Either way, have you watched Blue Exorcist at all?


Yes. Its kind of a running theme through these sort of shows that there's eastern and western "magic". With western being presented as either European wizard style and/or Judeo-Christian themed. With sutras and mantras being the a big part of eastern religious culture and symbolism, it's an easy counterpart for Japanese writers to have the western version recite the Bible ( or other works from European cultures. ) as a spellcasting component. Any typical show about magic, exorcists, etc that presents eastern flavoured magic usually introduces at least one character with "western" magic.

The cliche being it's always the blond transfer student. -.-

Conversely though, Christianity is not a sacred cow in the east. So they likewise have a lot more freedom to write with it. Much like the west takes quite a bit of creative freedom with eastern influences. It's not exactly uncommon for anime to call on Judeo Christian themes for comedic purposes for example. I mean, you're not going to see anyone in the west produce something like Dokuro-Chan for TV. And I'm sure *someone* would complain about stuff like Noucome where God could never be reached because she was on maternity leave. So the current God is a temp.

Honestly, you could say that anime takes the piss out of Judeo Christian themes quite a bit. More overt than I've seen from "Hollywood" at that really. Since no one's going to complain to the FCC or Facebook boycott in Japan over it.

But, used well it can make for interesting story explanations of spirituality to that probably wouldn't fly as well in mainstream US media too.

If I may be frank: The problem with "Christian" media in the US is when someone says "Christian" media they're usually referring to Evangelical media. Where the "Christian" part is not an exploration of Christianity or spirituality but rather thinly veiled preaching and no one likes preaching except the choir. So you end up with steaming piles like God's Not Dead. Which are both preachy and try to portray the nation's majority faith as somehow being persecuted.

While much better film's that really explore faith and humanity like the recent Silence ( which is particularly notable here as it's literally about Christian missionaries in Japan ) languish at the box office. "Hollywood" isn't going to make "Christian" movies if no one wants to see them and Evangelicals don't want "Christian" movies that anyone would else but them would actually watch. Such is the problem.

Before anything else, Hollywood is a business. That's why despite being a stream of unrelenting shit we're still getting a a 5th Transformers movie. ;p


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Posted 3/28/17 , edited 3/28/17

runec wrote:




It's cliche by now for the 'token blond(e) American' but I actually find it kind of charming, in a quaint sort of way. It shows some comraderie and that we have a place in their hearts and their culture. Most of the religious stuff I've seen in japanese animation, though doctrinally incorrect, wouldn't be too offensive to most of the believers I know. My church friends --some of them watch anime and they don't seem to mind it. You're right that some of the stuff, though, would not fly with a lot of Americans. The more extreme heretical stuff like that show you are talking about.

You know, you bring up a good topic about the Eastern emphasis on chanted scripts having power. Whenever I think about that in relation to the faith, I have to 'hands' that come up in my mind. I think on the one hand of Matthew 6:7, where Jesus says not to use vain repetitions like the heathen do, thinking they will be heard for their many words. I think that the traditional Shinto/Buddhist praying is, unfortunately, the epitome of that. I know from experience that in Japanese funerals, the more you pay the priest, the longer he'll pray for you --and that's considered a bonus. On the other hand, we still value the power of the word. In the Gospel of John, which
, it starts with "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". And the Word became flesh: Jesus the Christ. So while Shinto puts too much emphasis on the going on and on with words, we believers still can have something in common with them, because we still believe in the power of Word. Though, John's description of creation is a bit more mystical than the daily stuff like communication and suggestive thinking.

Have you seen Silence? I feel a little bad because I let it "languish at the box office". I had an opportunity to see it but it fell through, and it now looks like I'll have to wait for Netflix.
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karatecowboy wrote:
It's cliche by now for the 'token blond(e) American' but I actually find it kind of charming, in a quaint sort of way.


Actually, they're usually European in the Magic(tm) shows. More material to work with given the longer history. They're token American in non-magic shows. Though unless the token American character is a waifu love interest the portrayal may not actually be a flattering one. The loud American gaijin cliche is a popular bit for comedies.



karatecowboy wrote:The more extreme heretical stuff like that show you are talking about.


Heresy is a matter of denomination and/or perspective. -.-




karatecowboy wrote:You know, you bring up a good topic about the Eastern emphasis on chanted scripts having power.


Well, the entire idea of mantras is to repeat them. So its a functional cultural base for magical fiction.



karatecowboy wrote:I think on the one hand of Matthew 6:7, where Jesus says not to use vain repetitions like the heathen do, thinking they will be heard for their many words. I think that the traditional Shinto/Buddhist praying is, unfortunately, the epitome of that.


I think you shouldn't criticize other people's religious beliefs based on the criteria of your own. You also might want to look a little closer into the history and translation of Matthew 6:7. Like many parts of the modern Bible it's not that clean and dry getting it into English.




karatecowboy wrote:I know from experience that in Japanese funerals, the more you pay the priest, the longer he'll pray for you --and that's considered a bonus. On the other hand, we still value the power of the word.


No offense, but Christianity is a proselytizing religion and has virtually no room whatsoever to criticize anyone else when it comes to money. Especially not with such a high and mighty statement like "we still value the power of the word" given both it's history and its modern issues.

Let me know when you see a Shinto priest with his own TV show, 3 mansions and a private jet.




karatecowboy wrote:
Have you seen Silence? I feel a little bad because I let it "languish at the box office". I had an opportunity to see it but it fell through, and it now looks like I'll have to wait for Netflix.


My PTSD doesn't mix well with seeing movies in theaters so no. Everything is Wait for Netflix(tm) for me.

The last movie I saw in theaters was Lord of the Rings. The first one. >.>



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Posted 3/28/17 , edited 3/28/17

runec wrote:


karatecowboy wrote:
It's cliche by now for the 'token blond(e) American' but I actually find it kind of charming, in a quaint sort of way.


Actually, they're usually European in the Magic(tm) shows. More material to work with given the longer history. They're token American in non-magic shows. Though unless the token American character is a waifu love interest the portrayal may not actually be a flattering one. The loud American gaijin cliche is a popular bit for comedies.



karatecowboy wrote:The more extreme heretical stuff like that show you are talking about.


Heresy is a matter of denomination and/or perspective. -.-




karatecowboy wrote:You know, you bring up a good topic about the Eastern emphasis on chanted scripts having power.


Well, the entire idea of mantras is to repeat them. So its a functional cultural base for magical fiction.



karatecowboy wrote:I think on the one hand of Matthew 6:7, where Jesus says not to use vain repetitions like the heathen do, thinking they will be heard for their many words. I think that the traditional Shinto/Buddhist praying is, unfortunately, the epitome of that.


I think you shouldn't criticize other people's religious beliefs based on the criteria of your own. You also might want to look a little closer into the history and translation of Matthew 6:7. Like many parts of the modern Bible it's not that clean and dry getting it into English.




karatecowboy wrote:I know from experience that in Japanese funerals, the more you pay the priest, the longer he'll pray for you --and that's considered a bonus. On the other hand, we still value the power of the word.


No offense, but Christianity is a proselytizing religion and has virtually no room whatsoever to criticize anyone else when it comes to money. Especially not with such a high and mighty statement like "we still value the power of the word" given both it's history and its modern issues.

Let me know when you see a Shinto priest with his own TV show, 3 mansions and a private jet.




karatecowboy wrote:
Have you seen Silence? I feel a little bad because I let it "languish at the box office". I had an opportunity to see it but it fell through, and it now looks like I'll have to wait for Netflix.


My PTSD doesn't mix well with seeing movies in theaters so no. Everything is Wait for Netflix(tm) for me.

The last movie I saw in theaters was Lord of the Rings. The first one. >.>





I haven't seen enough magic type shows to really notice the lean towards European, so I'll take your word for it. Most anime I watch has magic in it, but it's not quite the same as Blue Exorcist. For example I watched Blast of Tempest but it did not have any token anything IIRC. Smaller cast. Have you seen any magic shows that stick out in your mind as your more favoritish? How does Blue Exorcist stack up for you?

When I say we value the power of the word I don't really mean it as a moral statement. I mean that we value the power of words as part of the human experience. We also still value them in terms of the Word of god and scriptural things. It's a matter of common ground between Christians and Shintoists. Actually, the word "Gospel" comes form "Good spell" meaning "Good word". Another example: https://www.bible.com/bible/1/JHN.6.68

When you say Christianity has no room to criticize about religion, are you talking about Christianity --ie Christ's teachings-- or self-professing Christians? I would say that Christ had plenty to say about love of wealth. There are actually quotes all over the Bible about that. I don't know much about the income of Shinto priests. However, my fiancee is native Japanese and she once said the average income of a Buddhist priest in Japan is > $100,00 annually. For comparison, I once read the average Protestant minister in the USA makes $33,000 annually. I'd say on average they're not very greedy here. I'm a Catholic and we never had much to do with the whole prosperity gospel thing that swept through a few years back. However, a protestant friend of mine I know --I can tell he's deeply ashamed of how that happened.


But then, falling short is kind of the MO for the Christian. I know I fall short. Man, I don't want to talk about it. But then, that's kind of the message of the Gospel, right? Speaking of which: I think I'm going to boycott that Daily Donald thread. It brings out the worst in me, and I don't like that.

Have you ever watched any Trinity Blood? A site I went to called Church Pop said it is a good example of sincere Christian practice in the main character: falling and then repenting.




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karatecowboy wrote:
I haven't seen enough magic type shows to really notice the lean towards European, so I'll take your word for it. Most anime I watch has magic in it, but it's not quite the same as Blue Exorcist. For example I watched Blast of Tempest but it did not have any token anything IIRC. Smaller cast. Have you seen any magic shows that stick out in your mind as your more favoritish? How does Blue Exorcist stack up for you?


Ah, perhaps I have watched too many of them. >.>

BoT was actually pretty good as I recall but it wasn't that rooted in Shinto/Buddhist mysticism. Shows like Natsume's Book of Friends, xxxHolic or Noragami are more rooted in the cultural mysticism of Japan. Shows like Hozuki no Reitetsu especially so. I'm trying to think of stuff that's on CR. Ushio and Tora was highly steeped in it. I guess Twin Star Exorcists is obviously based on it, but I could never watch more than the first couple episodes of that. Those are both bog standard shounen shows at that though.

Blue Exorcist though? Hmm. I'm not really sure. The first series was likable enough to watch in it's entirety even if some of the characters are irritating. It has a solid plot idea with Rin being the outcast son of Satan. This new season I can't really say I enjoyed. They blew up a a third of the first series so they could follow the manga more closely. So its a really weird decision to begin with and it undid all of the character development that people only familiar with the anime saw.

For reference, this new season of Blue Exorcist actually begins after episode 18 of the original show. Everything past 18 of the first series essentially never happened.







karatecowboy wrote:When I say we value the power of the word I don't really mean it as a moral statement. I mean that we value the power of words as part of the human experience. We also still value them in terms of the Word of god and scriptural things. It's a matter of common ground between Christians and Shintoists. Actually, the word "Gospel" comes form "Good spell" meaning "Good word". Another example: https://www.bible.com/bible/1/JHN.6.68


I'm going to be honest with you here: The use of "we" in your statements comes across as self important / arrogant even if you don't intend it as such. There is no "we" with modern Christianity. It has so many denominations and variations of belief that no one Christian could possibly speak for all of it in the manner you are doing. Especially when you used it as a springboard to judge another religion.

You could perhaps speak for your congregation or denomination but that would be about it. Which I see is Catholic(?). There's a good deal of variation even among Catholicism really. I grew up Irish Roman Catholic for example and I would never, ever go back to it.




karatecowboy wrote:When you say Christianity has no room to criticize about religion, are you talking about Christianity --ie Christ's teachings-- or self-professing Christians?


I was referring to how Christianity is big business in America when it comes to the evangelicals and shit like the prosperity gospel. Mega-churches that make millions and millions of dollars a year tax free so their "pastors" can live in mansions and fly around in private jets. The sort of thing that would give Jesus a rage stroke.

When you use "we" without context you inadvertently include shit like that.



karatecowboy wrote:However, my fiancee is native Japanese and she once said the average income of a Buddhist priest in Japan is > $100,00 annually.


I doubt that's the average run of the mill priest. But this is also a really complicated question as how much a particular religious position pays depends on the religion and the structure of said religion first and foremost. For some, their annual income total is actually including a housing stipend. For others, their religion or denomination might be a pyramid that pays up the ladder. Instead of using all of its resources for its own community.

From what I read, Muslim Imam's are actually paid the least. They're less likely to have massive congregations and they rarely "pay in" to any sort of larger organization like the Catholic Church. Protestants and Catholics are up next running 30-40k. Jewish Rabbis are actually paid the most with upwards of 130k ( >.> ).

But it's all relative to how, where, when and why. The average for a Protestant might be 40k, but the larger his congregation the higher that number climbs till it likewise reaches the 100k mark. Congregation size, location, etc are all major factors in it. So its tricky to use salary for moral relativity here.


karatecowboy wrote:
Speaking of which: I think I'm going to boycott that Daily Donald thread. It brings out the worst in me, and I don't like that.


Every so often I have to take a week or two and step back from General Discussion as a whole. Before I chew on someone or it erodes my mental health. It didn't use to be like that when I first started going there. But the rise of Trump over the last year+ has brought with it a rise of even more partisan fervour, trolling and general shitposting.




karatecowboy wrote:
Have you ever watched any Trinity Blood? A site I went to called Church Pop said it is a good example of sincere Christian practice in the main character: falling and then repenting.


Trinity Blood is basically situated entirely in a fictional Roman Catholic Church and does draw on some Christian stories ( Cain and Abel, etc ). It re-imagines a lot of the themes in a sort of alternative history sci-fi sense with a heavy dose of gothic themes. But yes, Catholic themes are pretty strong in the show ( especially sin and redemption ) and the main character is actually a legitimate Catholic priest.

Its a solid show though. If you haven't seen it and were looking for something to watch that's up your alley from a Catholic standpoint it's probably one of your best bets. Long as you don't expect it to preach or adhere to doctrine. It explores the themes, sure, but it doesn't preach them out loud and it is ultimately a show about vampires. >.>










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As a Catholic, I can say with confidence there is a "we". Even more so than Christianity in general. We have certain fundamental, universal beliefs and dogmas that we hold in common. Actually, the word "catholic" means "universal". Whether you're from India, Japan, Aregentina or Norway. You may people who say "Well I'm a Catholic and I don't believe in x or y or z". If it's a matter of dogma, then they're simply not really Catholic. Some people may say "That's not inclusive!" to which we would say "Yup.", and make no apologies about it. "Inclusivity" is not a sin and not an intrinsic virtue. So if people say "That's not inclusive" we just shrug our shoulders and say "so what?". Might as well say "That's not a 1957 Ford!". It carries no weight with us.

Regarding Christianity in general I'll just say that even as a Catholic I regularly gather with a bunch of reformed Calvinists and we have plenty in common. There is most definitely a "we" in Christianity. After all, remember the old saying: "If anything is X and everything is X, then nothing is X". I'm familiar with oikophobes and their destruction through dilution, but that's another topic.

As far as megachurch pastors and stuff I won't make any defense of what they're doing, but I will say that I'm not surprised that professing Christians sin.

You say you have some personal experiences with Catholicism and they were bad experiences. Would say they were reflective of what we see in, say, the Gospel of John? When you watch shows like Blue Exorcist does it remind you of your church experiences? I found that there was some reflection of them in it for me. The scene where
reminded me of the constant weighing between law, grace and pragmatism that clergy and congregation have to consider when living out their faiths. It's nice to see heathen know something about Catholicism, like demon names and the central role of Rome, etc. However, it might be nice to see the faith more personally guiding the actions of characters. Like, for example, when









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what is going on here.
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Posted 4/1/17 , edited 4/1/17

iashakezula wrote:



what is going on here.


Two or more eccentrics trying to have a disjointed but still enjoyable conversation about Christianity & Anime in general, Christianity and Blue Exorcist in specific. I'm a Catholic and got the idea to talk about it when I saw the character Ryuji



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In The REAL World / Wars / Gender Hate Isuues / Woman's rights being ? are caused by religion !

And The worry is about anime ?
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