Anime Bondage: Naruto (pt 2)

Well, no one read the first part of this yet, but far be it form me to let that deter me from writing what I want.

Heck, I’ll read it if no one else will.

So…

Sasuke is the worst. But I think he’s of a different kind of bondage than the other three I mentioned, so I’m reserving him for a separate post.

I’m still talking about how to deal with bondage you didn’t really choose, and with that, we have two characters left. (Probably not the only two on the show, but I like these ones, so let’s do this.)

Neji Hyuga:

Neji’s story is somewhat like Gaara’s. As a kid he was born into the Branch part of the Hyuga clan, he was branded with their special curse mark so that he would always have to protect Hinata, the daughter from the Head of the Clan, who was Neji’s father’s twin brother.

They’re cousins, if you’re confused.

Neji’s a pretty big jerk when he’s introduced, and goes on about destiny more than Pyhrra Nikos, and with a pretty twisted view of it. He thinks it cannot be changed, that we are stuck in certain roles, because the curse mark prevents the bearer from rebelling against the head family.

Neji’s a gifted Ninja, but feels he will never get to pursue that as he would choose, but as has been chosen for him. and resents that his father died to save his uncle.

It’s a messed up story, like most of the character’s are, and it wouldn’t be anime if people didn’t have daddy issues and tragedy in their past.

But Neji’s is resolved rather quickly, and he begins to become a better person, after embracing the path of forgiveness, and deciding to try his hardest to live his own life.

As far as spiritual matters go, that’s an excellent way to begin.

Neji’s story is a prime example of something called Generational Sin. Another anime, Fruits Basket, is pretty much devoted to that subject. And I know I mentioned it before in another post.

Generational Sin is a sin that passes from person to person in a family. The parents teach their children, who teach their children, who teach their children. Often the sin is started by one bad seed, and becomes a pattern over the course of just two or three generations.

Feuds start because of this.

And if it’s strong enough, the Sin can become a curse.

A curse doesn’t have to be bad luck, or even being forced to be evil, in fact, curses are far more often being given a tenancy to a certain self destructive behavior.

If you hear something enough times, and don’t actively resist it, you start to believe it.

Kids who grow up being told their stupid, and won’t ever succeed begin to live in a way that guarantees they won’t. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I think, really, almost all prophecies are self-fulfilling, what we speak effects what will happen.

Neji’s Curse Mark works as a visual representation of hos Family Curses operate. They are all about control, you can’t do a certain thing, you can’ be a certain things, you have to act a certain way.

And this has nothing to do with what class you’re in, all that’s superficial. I’m talking about things like holding onto a grudge, criticizing people constantly, addictions, anger issues, deceitfulness.

People used to get branded by what family they were. IF you read any book from the 18th or 19th century, chances are you’ll see references to someone from a family who’s known for dishonesty, or sluttishness, or pride. It’s all over L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, for instance.

And if you try to break out of your family pattern, as C. S. Lewis points out in The Four Loves, the family will bring down all their force on you to get you to conform.

This has occasionally worked in someone’s favor. Pressure to be good is not always a bad thing, if the person retains their individuality even so.

Neji’s cousin Hinata is, despite her position, a kind person who doesn’t seem to blame Neji at all for his resentment of her. Though she eventually learns to stand up for herself.

Within families, there are usually a few individual who break the cycle. For whatever reason, they don’t fall prey to the temptations the other members do. Much might depend on how well they understand why those temptations work.

In the example I’m using, though so far it hasn’t been explained, one could infer that Hinata simply noticed how the Curse Mark and the system in place was cruel, and bred resentment. She noticed that hatred and mistrust were at the center of it, and she decided not to be full of those things. She’s far from fully understanding, but she’s not cruel.

Neji himself realizes that part of the Curse’s effectiveness is making you live by it, by hating people so much that you have to be forced to help. His own father realized that if he chose to protect his brother, then the Curse wasn’t making him do it by force, and so, in way, he was free.

In Spiritual terms, Family Curses are hard to break without self awareness. But once you realize the patterns in place, it can be simple. It’s not easy.

In my own life, I have a father who carried on the curse of resentment and fault finding with me that he learned form his own parents. Despite hating that they did it, and recognizing it was bad, he has not yet shaken it off himself, or come to really understand why it was so destructive, and so he put it on me. We do what we are taught.

But, I’ve chosen a different path. It’s no good to just vow never to be like your parents. You have to dig deep into your own soul, you have to learn why your parents fell to these sins, why you yourself are tempted.

It’s no good denying it, we like to think we’d never be like our parents, but we inherit their weaknesses.

The good news is, those weaknesses can become our strengths and our children’s strengths if they are exposes and turned around.

I have had tenancies to tear people down and take a negative approach to things, much like my father, and to wallow in self-pity instead of responsibility.

It’s been hard to break that, because if he got away with it, why can’t I?

But, I don’t want to be that person.

I’ve had to dig up the roots of why I do this, for myself, and not just blaming my dad for every bad habit. After all, it’s not his fault I’m tempted to bet he same way, that’s my own nature, wanting to take the easy way out.

And, the Curse, unfair as it seems, is the easy way out. Change is hard, and it’s often discouraged by your family.

When Christians address Family curses, we break them off, but we also focus on healing from the pain. Because the pain has to be healed if you’re going to start moving forward. Forgiveness is a big step to healing the pain.

Forgiveness isn’t just about letting your family off the hook, that’s not what it does, forgiveness is not hanging on to their actions, because that keeps you tied to them.

I forgive my dad, because he’s my dad, and because I will not let him dictate my life anymore by blaming him for everything. I don’t ignore what he did, but I don’t cherish it either.

Neji does, thankfully, realize this. For him, breaking the Curse would be a simple matter, since he’s already let go of it.

I’ll get more into what happens if you don’t let go when I tackle Sasuke, and a character from a different show also, but for now, thanks for reading–Natasha.

Anime Bondage: Naruto (pt 1)

Okay….here we go.

If you read my previous post: Thank you, first of all.

This is going to be fun.

So, why use anime to talk about this?

Because anime literally has spiritual battles in pretty much every show. Even innocent shows tend to use things like aura; the show Fruits Basket uses the idea of thought Waves; and curses.

What brought this to a head for me was recently starting Naruto, and Fairy Tail. I know I’m late to the party, but I never watched anime till the last 10 months or so. I know that most weebos probably will already know about Naruto.

I’m getting the worst over with first, because Naruto has unusually dark examples of this, but with both Naruto and Fairy Tail I will be going over the kind of spiritual problem that is not actually your fault.

That said, let’s…wade in, you really should’t dive into this subject headfirst.

So, Naruto had 4 huge examples of demons and spiritual issues, and plenty of smaller ones.

If you watched it you’ve already guessed I’m going to bring up Gaara and Sasuke, but I also want to use Neji and Naruto himself as examples.

I’ll tackle Gaara first, since he’s the biggest, in a way.

For the non-fans, here’s the skinny on this character.

Gaara of the desert: Tragic past, has sand raccoon spirit inside him that kills people, can’t sleep because of it or it will take over, was bound to the spirit since birth.

Gaara did not choose to be possessed or to be bound to a demon. As he tells his story, his village put the monster inside of him in order to gain power for their people, they killed his mother in order to link it to him. It’s an awful story.

(I’ve only gotten through part of the first show, by the way, so if I get anything wrong, please forgive me. It will still illustrate my point either way.)

Gaara, as a child, didn’t like being that way. He wondered why people were afraid of him, why he kept hurting them by accident, and why he felt unloved.

Then, as the story goes, his uncle told him the truth, and told him no one would love him, so he should love himself.

Gaara, under the trauma of the moment, snapped and resolved to live only to kill people who tried to kill him, or who struck him as powerful enough to validate his existence…or to kill in general.

We might all wish this story was an exaggeration, but it’s not. We’ve heard the news stories of people like this.

But I can go further, because I know also what caused it.

The show doesn’t hide that it’s a demonic problem. This kind is a serous kind, it’s something known as a blood oath or blood tie.

It’s most common in cults to do it.

My family knew a girl once who had a blood oath with an evil spirit.

I prefer not to get into it too much, but these oaths usually involve sacrificing an animal, or cutting yourself. The Bible tells us never to do this as an act of penance or worship. Self-harm is forbidden.

God made the body, He made it to work. He made it as a gift to us, he does not want us beating it up like its garbage.

The result of a blood oath is not something I know much about, I can say it’s likely to be like Gaara, the person will probably deal with not being able to control themselves, or with being haunted by pain and guilt. With feeling alone.

The really serious part though is that just casting it out is not likely to work with that kind of bondage.

Every bondage can be broken, but spiritual warfare is very specific.

I’m not writing out steps to it here, it would be foolish for me to try to walk you through it. You may not need it, and on the off chance you’re reading this and you do need it, you’d need a more specific approach than a blog can provide.

This is just to help identify the problem and solution. And if you’re into anime, it might also be interesting for you.

Anyway, with a blood tie, with any tie where death was part of how it happened, you need to know Jesus, and His blood has to cover you, His death has to free you. That’s the only thing powerful enough. An evil power has to be cancelled by a higher good power.

Holy water isn’t going to cut it, in other words. Actually, Holy Water is not scriptural, I’ve never heard of it working.

Gaara’s case goes further though than just the blood tie.

The strength of all bondage is lies. A curse can’t stick without a cause.

Gaara was first neglected, then traumatized, at a very young age before he could even begin to know how to make sense of it. Sadly, this is common to many kids, especially ones whose parents dabble in the occult. They often don’t get a choice about being raised in the darkness of that.

But there are amazing stories of people coming out of that thanks to God’s intervention.

With trauma, you have to walk through it. Demons stick to brokenness like sharks to blood, or leeches, if you will. It’s necessary to seek healing if something terrible happened to you that started your problem, or to someone you know. That applies even if it’s more emotional and not spiritual, but it’s rarely one or the other, it’s almost always both.

There is healing in Jesus.

There is one more part to freedom.

Gaara took the wrong path, he stands as a foil to Naruto, when he’s first introduced before his redemption arc, because he took the dark path.

He wasn’t given much of a choice, unlike Naruto, he can’t control his power well, he also was born to be an assassin, and his village didn’t really make it an option. A man who’s got no way out will usually learn to like his prison, in a twisted way, because the torment would be too much to bear otherwise.

It’s like being a masochist. Something is broken inside you, but you can’t fix it, so you come to enjoy being broken and bruised as a way out.

In Mark, I think, Jesus casts a demon out of a boy who had it since childhood, and it tried to kill him with fire and water many times. Jesus says that this kind only comes out by prayer and fasting.

It’s harder with long-standing problems.

If you have had a problem like this, don’t try to deal with it alone. Seek deliverance, but use wisdom. See what kind of reputation the place has. Or find some Christian who understand these things to pray with you privately. It’s always better to have help, more than one person preferably, with things this intense. As Gaara points out, Solitude eats away at everyone if it’s not addressed.

And, never believe you are a monster, if you have a monstrous feeling, it’s not you. There’s a way out.

Thanks for sticking it out, until nest time, stay true–Natasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 411 on Spirits (bad and good).

I have a weird subject today. Warning: If you don’t believe in the spiritual realm, you will probably find this post disconcerting.

I think people are surprised to learn Christians believe in demons, it tends to be treated as the same as believing in ghosts, curses, and magic.

What’s more surprising to me is how many Christians believe in angels, but don’t seem to think about there being a dark side to spiritual things.

I wish there wasn’t, believe me, but it’s impossible to believe that if you’re paying attention to what’s going on with the word and the people you know.

So, I am one of those Christians who believes in all of it, I think ghosts are real (but they are not actually people, they are spirits disguised as people); possession; curses; and magic (also demonic); I believe in miracles, I know people who were healed by prayer. I go to a church where that happens frequently, as a matter of fact.

It’s easier to say all this stuff is fake if you’ve never bothered to look into it.

I remember when I was younger, my non-christian relatives were watching a show about ghosts haunting houses, and I objected to it. My grandma said “How’s it any different from what you believe in?” Or was it my aunt, or both.

Well might you ask that, actually.

Not to sound stuck up, but to someone who’s met God, the idea that demonic activity and divine activity are the same thing is… disgustingly ridiculous.

Let me say, people mistake demons for God, it’s happen all throughout history (Idolatry) but, as C. S. Lewis pointed out, you cannot make the opposite mistake. Not usually. Once you know God, you are much harder to fool.

I’ve made the opposite mistake myself, but when God is actually speaking to me, I don’t often think it’s something else.

I know that a lot of people have been burned by Christians obsessed with spiritual warfare and with visitations of the Holy Spirit. I will say, some do focus too much on God showing up in a moment of time, and not enough on the fact that we are meant to be carrying his presence in us all day, everyday.

God is the most important thing, there is no mistake about that. God must be first.

The evil spirits in the world are deadly to non-believers, but more of a nuisance to believers, except in extreme cases.

I believe that many mental health problems are actually demonic problems. Often it’s both that and trauma and life choices combining to leave a person in a very dark place.

Chances are, if you live in a country in Africa or Asia, you may actually already believe in this stuff, I’m aware it’s common knowledge in a lot of the world. If you live in the West…it’s not really as rare as people think.

I’ve read so many stories, and met people who’ve had experiences with that kind of thing. Actual skeptics are rare. In my college, secular college, English class, when my teacher brought up ghosts, not many people didn’t believe in them. I don’t remember any, off the top of my head.

So, I realize you actually may not disbelieve me, and I’m going to write accordingly. If you do think I’m crazy…well, I don’t really care, actually.

That said, people who know this is for real often are scared to death of it. OR prefer not to think of it. The attitude with demons and curses and spirits is that they are beyond our control, and so we had better just hope not to run into them.

The idea in pretty much all horror movies is that monsters or psychos cannot be stopped by people, so you have to hope you’re not the main victim in the story. I hate those movies for that very reason.

It’s not true, actually.

What people arguably find harder to believe than the existence of demons is Christian’s way of handling the matter. Because it’s quite simple. We take authority over it.

That demons cannot be fought against or stopped is the biggest lie about them, and the one they love to perpetuate…I’ve heard them do so.

(I don’t converse with demons by the way, I’ve seen people attacked by them.)

I am not claiming to be an expert on this subject, all this is what you’ll find int he Bible alone, without theology.

The way it works is if you truly know God, he puts His Spirit into you, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not control you, it’s not possession, it’s more like the bond between a husband and wife. Being one and yet still two separate people.

The Holy Spirit is what makes us children of God. It is what brings our own spirit back to life after being dead in sin. It is also our defense against the evil one.

The solution to evil is always to overcome it with good. Overcoming demons is the natural outcome of carrying the Spirit of God, not the goal of it.

Demons seem scary until you’ve met God, and then…they seem small and pathetic.

Actually, the Bible says that at the end of time when the Devil himself is revealed, the kings of the earth will look narrowly upon him and be amazed that such a small thing made the world tremble.

Jesus also commissioned His followers to cast out demons. He spent about 1/3 of his Ministry doing that and healing, if I remember correctly.

Also, the Bible warns us that nonbelievers should never try to cast out demons. There is a story in Acts about it happening, and the demons tore their clothes off and chased them out. Saying “Jesus I know, and Paul (a christian) I know, but who are you?”

Spiritual authority is about identity. Those who belong to God have Christ’s authority, those who do not don’t.

Now, it maybe someone who’s dabbled in this subject will be thinking “What about witches? What about people who claim to do this who are not Christians? What about physics?”

The answer: They’re fake.

the power isn’t, but I read a story in “The Cross and the Switchblade” about a dabbler like that trying to rid someone of a demon, it failed.

Some of these people know Christians are a threat, by the way. My church had a witch show up to curse it for several weeks, nothing happened, I think she eventually got saved actually.

I’m not making this up. Believe it’s real or not, but these people do believe it’s real, and they hate Christians.

As for fortune tellers, we are warned to stay away from them. Even if what they say comes to pass, no good ever came of going to them for it, as Macbeth makes clear.

Since I’m ticking people off, I might as well add that horoscopes are also off limits. Astrology is not something to screw around with.

Get mad at me if you wish, but what do you think is behind it?

However, maybe you aren’t mad, maybe you believe me, and you’re scared.

I know, because I used to be also.

So, I’m going to end this with a reassurance: Whatever you might have seen, the powers of darkness are nothing to God. It might be you’ve been a person who’s had that problem yourself, maybe your whole life. Maybe church didn’t give you an answer for it, I’m sad when I think of how many churches are ignorant of it.

Whatever the case, you don’t have to live in it. God can take the worst darkness and destroy it. Sometimes it only seems overwhelming and terrible because we’ve never seen the alternative.

And if you were a christian and read this far, I’d encourage you to research this if you never have, and learn how to pray about it.

I’m not trying to teach you warfare, I don’t think a blog is the best place to do that on, people might get weird ideas out of context.

I just want you to be aware of it.

I’ve never gone into it a whole lot because I expect people to think I’m nuts, but if you’ve followed me for awhile, you now I’m not obsessed with this stuff, I prefer to talk about normal things most of the time.

I actually only decided to address this because anime often deals with the subject, and I began to think: so many people watch anime, and if they see this and have similar experiences, they may try to apply what they see because it’s all they’ve ever seen about it.

And anime rarely provides the solution to such problems accurately, I plan on doing a follow up post about that with specific characters from different shows, so if you found this interesting but would prefer to discuss it fictionally and not in real life, check that out.

Or if you’re simply curious about what I’ll say, even if you aren’t buying this at all.

Or if the subject bugs you and you want to learn more about defeating it.

Whatever the case, until then, stay true–Natasha.

 

Why I got into Anime (not just fangirl-ing, promise.)

I wrote my last post on Sunday, and the blog site says it was Monday, my sister asked if I learned time travel…

Yeah, no, maybe it’s a zoning thing?

I think maybe a more lighthearted post after all the serious stuff would be nice, so I thought I’d talk about why I got into anime.

Contrary to the norm, I only got into anime in the last year, and the last 6 months or so of that year is when I got into watching more than a select few.

I have friends who like it who encouraged me to check out more after I got into RWBY, and my sister eventually talked me into watching My Hero Academia, and since that blew my mind, I tried Cells at Work, The Great Passage, The Quintessential Quintuplets, Toradora, Kaguya-Sama: Love is War, Konosuba (not recommending that one), Tsuredure Children (cute one), The Rising of the Shield Hero (really good), Naruto, and now Fairy Tail, I’m still working on the last two. I prefer Fairy Tail, but both are good in a different way.

I also finally watched Avatar on my other sister’s persuasion, and enjoyed that, though I liked RWBY more, but avatar is really well-paced.

My absolute favorite is still MHA, I don’t think that will change unless the unthinkable horror of the show drastically changing its tone happens in the future. I mean, I know season 4 will be dark, but I know plenty of light and funny things that are also going to happen. And best boy Bakugo will be part of them.

Don’t fight me if you watch it and prefer Todoroki, he’s my second favorite. And really, I almost couldn’t choose. If you asked me which I’d rather see in an arc, I’d quote that vine where the girl says in Spanish “Why can’t I have both?”

And best girl Momo too, still waiting for the three of them to all work together, and if you think it’d be boring, watch the Jump-fest OVA, and it’ll blow your mind.

But, hey, if you don’t watch anime, that’s fine. I refused– well to be accurate, I just didn’t know it was a big thing–for years.

I watched Ponyo back in gradeschool, and one episode of Dragon Ball (Z, I think) without really getting it. Maybe Yugio once too. I’m not sure what it was.

See, my mom wouldn’t let me watch TV unless it was at someone else’s house, or unless it was the wholesome kids channels. I don’t have any hate for that, since if I had watched anime as a kid it would have been way too intense for me. I think now is the perfect time in my life to appreciate it.

Anyone who thinks anime is for kids has not watched any of the popular ones, Naruto is supposedly a kid’s show, though maybe the fans wouldn’t say so, and I’m two seasons in, I would not show this to a kid under 12 at least.

I’m not going to shame people for not liking anime, the format is weird. I find it charmingly weird, now that I’m used to it, but it took at least the first season of mha for me to get used to it. And MHA is a little lighter on the tropes than other ones, because it’s supposed to appeal to more people, I think.

Also the pacing in many anime is strange, even if you’re fine with the yelling. The humor is just as much visual as verbal. I have never liked visual humor all that much. In all honesty, I don’t laugh a lot at most of it. And sometimes an arc can take, no joke, 8-10 episodes to set up, and 2 episodes to finish. The movies are better for that.

All this is reason enough to frustrate some people, I couldn’t blame them.

But I also understand why it’s such a huge craze now.

I’ve spent most of my life frustrated by the messages TV and movies in America send to kids and adults alike.

I don’t like how idiocy is portrayed as funny, cruelty is portrayed as funny, and often as not, a show has no real point besides cheap gags, and character stereotypes that the writers seem to assume are funny to the masses.

I guess it works. From what I hear with the people around me, they pick which shows they will ignore the bad stuff with, and which shoes they will criticize, based on a few superficial differences.

You like vampires? Then you ignore how stupid the movies and shows are. You like zombies? Ditto. You like both, then sure, but if the same problems show up on a show with normal teenagers, then you can hate on that.

Anime still has its problems with stereotypes. People who have been watching it for years find it more annoying than me because it’s all still a novelty to me, I’m already sick of harems, the pervy characters, the fan service, and…well dragging out romances and never just letting it happen.

But to the accusation that all anime is light porn, or hentai, if you’re into the lingo, I would respond that shows in america show people having sex on camera, stabbing each other, and being creepy, and it’s not animated, it’s real people, and often teenagers.

The amount of anime that actually show sex or anything coming of the innuendos are very few compared to the ones that just tease it.

I don’t mean that I think it’s right, but I at least don’t get as bothered by it as I do by seeing real people do it like it’s nothing.

You have to pick and choose too.

What outweighs the negative stuff, in my opinion, is that anime do not hesitate to tackle moral issues, and often heavy ones.

Contrary to America, the favorite message, form rom-com anime to shonen (action) anime is that hatred is bad for you, and that you have to be willing to forgive, and to forgive yourself.

Anime combines this with an holy respect for sometimes needing to deal severely with the person who hurt you. Or to have your friends help you deal with it.

And the message usually concludes with the need to move forward, and letting love back into your life.

Anime is as full of lonely characters as most media is, and they are often  stereotypes. But the stereotype includes good qualities. Cold characters learn to care, rougher characters can have a heart of gold, meek characters learn courage, and the protagonists are often extremely noble and kind.

The villains are quite awful, even in the non-shonen type ones, but often they are redeemed even so.

Friendship and love are often the answer, the overwhelming power, even on the lighthearted shows.

And no matter how lighthearted it is, I’ve yet to see an anime that did not tackle the deep things in life.

You can’t go 4 episodes into most of them without it, you can go whole seasons of our shows without any significant change in tone or characters.

Say what you will about people just watching it for the action, action without conviction is empty and boring and wouldn’t be any different form watching sports. People get hyped over the anime battles where the hero confronts their demons and wins.

Basically, it’s the kind of stuff I’ve always wished existed, and I only just now found out it did.

Admittedly, I watch it probably more than I should—said every fan ever–yet, I actually don’t feel guilty, because it’s just that good. It encourages me to face the real world bravely.

Not because I think it’s real, but because I think it’s right. Real or no, the messages of overcoming your problems and not letting the darkness get to you and helping your friends, those are important things. No matter who’s saying it.

In fact, Fairy Tail goes even further with that idea, by making slightly pervy, crazy, or dumb characters often be the ones to spout the deepest truths. The idea being that even with our besetting sins, we are still capable of understand profound things, and everyone has something to offer, even if most of the time they are a jerk.

(Sadly, that means I can’t count Mineta out yet, MHA fans, sorry, but with this writer…you know it’ll happen.)

Anyway, so that’s, in a nutshell, why I’ve come to appreciate this genre. and why I’ve turned into a weeabo, or maybe an otaku, or maybe both…whatever I am, learning all the Japanese words is fun for a language buff like me, so

Arigato, until next time–Natasha.

Love is War.

103 followers! You guys are awesome!

Sorry it’s been so long, but I had the craziest week you can imagine. I’m not sure I’ll go all into it until it’s over, but it’s quite a story.

Keeping up with my quest to finish MLP, and to watch new animes was the most fun part of a very difficult week.

I checked out Fruits Basket, Konosuba, and there’s more to go.

Konosuba is really stupid, by the way, not recommending that one.

But one my sister and I finished was called Kaguya-Sama: Love is War.

Love is War was really good. It reminded me a bit of a book I read called Love And War.

Of course the latter is a reference to that saying “All is fair in love and war.”

I think as a kid that saying always bothered me, like that should justify everything. But as an adult, I do not think that saying means that love and war can never have moments where you need to be fair, or that there are no principles to either.

On the contrary, the saying means that both love and war create circumstances where what is normally fair just won’t work. It would be suicide in war to give up one’s advantage, and it would be foolish in love to always demand fairness.

But some of you might also agree with the statement Love is war.

On the anime the opening premise is that love is a war between the lovers. That relationships are ruled by one person. And that the two people both want to be the head of the relationship.

Rather than assume it should be the man, as is traditional, the show demonstrates how the woman can still dominate even if the man has to do the asking and take the outward leadership role. We all know married couples, or unmarried ones, where the woman clearly is in charge.

I mean, ladies, we let men think they’re in charge, right? But…

I’ll get back to that in a second.

However, the show also allows that the man may end up leading in actuality also. It is a battle of wills.

Our two lovers start out bullheaded and proud. I found it somewhat funny, but they were both kind of scary to watch, and their friends even thought so. Two highly intelligent, prideful people, duking it out over love is easily a nightmare.

But then the writer of this anime began to demonstrate an unprecedented amount of wisdom. This plot would have been so easy to make cliche, the set up was there, and people would have loved it regardless. Nothing like two feuding lovers to make people watch episode after episode of something.

Instead, the anime went a different direction. Both characters began to grow. We get to see them learn to appreciate their other friends, both of them having been rather lonely beforehand, especially the girl, Kaguya.

Interestingly, Kaguya is the name of a character in Japanese mythology who was divinely sent to a childless couple, and when she grew up had many would be lovers, all of whom she drove away with impossible tasks. One, an emperor, she remained friends with, and he actually cared for her as a person.

At the end of the story Kaguya is revealed to be from the moon, and she ditched earth to go back to it, forgetting all her ties to the people there. Making the emperor sad.

The significance on this anime is not that Kaguya is like the myth, but that the people in her life seem to be trying to force her to be. She’s actually quite affectionate and caring in her own way, but she has a family and servants who try to keep her isolated and cold. Her only real friend at her home is a rather questionable influence in my mind.

Kaguya’s pride, we learn towards the end of the season, is really a mask for massive insecurity. She won’t admit it, but she desperately wants love, but feels she cannot be upfront about it, because it is beneath her. In reality, she is really just afraid to put herself out there because no one else seems to give a rip how she feels. Certainly not her cold and distant father.

Shinogane, the male lead, actually comes to admit that the reason he won’t confess how he feels is because he’s afraid. It’s a little easier for him to admit this because he has a family and understands emotions a little better.

Even once he realizes he is afraid, he still has trouble overcoming it. Well, he’s only human.

But here’s where it got really profound.

In the last few episodes, a situation arises where Kaguya feels like what she wants is impossible. Like she can never escape her life of loneliness. She tries to put on a brave face, and focus on the future, but ends up finally breaking down and shedding some long-reserved tears over it.

After all, it is rather unfair to her.

But then, just when she’s given up (and to me it was interesting that her words here were first to pray to God, and then to despair and think “Right…there is no God”) Shinogane finds her.

The show ends with her finally chasing him to try to thank him, which means she finally humbled herself to show gratitude.

It was interesting to see the pattern throughout the show was that Kaguya’s scheming never got her what she wanted. But every time she or Shinogane put aside their wants to help other people, they got what they wanted too.

It made a strong case for these two belonging together, but needing to mature into it. They are closer by the end of the season to being ready.

And, what I concluded was that you could take the show’s hook a very different way.

Love is war. But it is not war between two lovers. It is war against the odds. Against the problems we face. Against all the obstacles to hinder love from happening.

As I mentioned earlier, women and men’s power struggle can often be complex. Women like to say we let men think they are in charge.

However, one might ask what the difference is between letting men lead and letting them think we do. Leaders are the face of the group that follows them, but they represent what the whole group wants. If they are good leaders.

A man in leadership has to represent what his wife or family wants in the same way. It would be fair to say women guide men in how to guide them.

And if the positions were or are reversed, the same would apply to women. If we are not thinking of what our man wants, we don’t deserve to lead either.

Unfortunately, women actually can have more of a tenancy to lead men for their own gain, in certain situations, than men do. It depends on the person.

I’ve listened to jokes from men about being “trained” by their wives. It always bothered me.

Leadership is not simply training, it is guidance.

The Bible says, speaking of marriage, as well as the church, that we are to submit to one another.

What that means is that each of us is in our way a follower, and each of us is also a leader.

In relationships, a follower may have more control overall, because they can cause the leader to rethink what they decide to do.

In the most ideal of relationships, you would hardly be able to tell which it was. Two people of good judgment, character, and humility can lead each other by turns without making it super obvious.

Though the Bible gives headship to the man, it allows for plenty of times when a woman has to take the initiative.

I don’t really need to discuss gender roles here. I think that any time we try to narrow those down to specific things, we end up making idiots of ourselves. You cannot sum up every situation in one rule.

I think the real thing to focus on is fighting each other’s battles, helping each other, trying to make each other happy or better; not to fight each other over who does what.

I mean this to apply to the practical things of course, in moral issues, there clearly does have to be a standard.

Anyway, check out the anime, and until next time–Natasha.

 

About my book series:

Well, my book series has been out for about a month, at least the first part of it, and I thought I should actually tell you all what it’s about.

So, the funny thing about this series, called When It STARTED (which is a joke that the series eventually explains), is that it came from a game me and my sister played with out Barbie’s.

One day we just decided to combine all our favorite things, superheros, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, and smart alec but good hearted protagonists (see all of the above) into one story.

Throw in a little more spoiler related stuff, and you’ve got one unique story.

The story follows to founding of a team of superheroes, not coming together to protect the earth long term, but because one of them needs help cracking a particular case. She gathers them all and splits them into teams for a test run, and they gather information.

Pretty soon they start to realize this is a lot bigger of story than they thought, and what they were investigating is really a cover for an even bigger mystery.

I can’t get more into it because, spoilers.

I’m planning on combining it all into one volume once I finish it, but for now I’m releasing it one episodes at a time, like a Manga, but without pictures, because sadly, I’m no artist.

The whole thing is on Amazon Kindle, under Natasha Queen. A paperback is not yet available, (give me time.)

I have to say, they are not paying me to promote them, but Amazon Kindle is really cool. Sure, it’s not the best for marketing unless you pay for it, but it’s a free service (if you have an account already) and it let’s you do everything yourself.

For a series that I didn’t think traditionally publishing would work for, it was perfect.

If you’d like to check it out, it’s only a dollar per episode, and feel free to write a review if you do. Good or bad. I need feedback.

I’ll leave a link below.

You know I’m very honest with my followers, so I’ll admit, this story is a bit unusually written. I tried something new. I’m curious to see how people will like it.

It’s also clean because, of course, I’m not going to but PG-13 rated stuff into a story. I want kids to be able to read it too.

It is a lot of fun, and coming up with superpowers that are a little less popular was interesting for me an my sister, as was putting in mermaids, aliens, and regular people and just going for it.

The story kind of breaks the rules of separating science fiction material from fantasy, but that sub genre’s more popular now than it used to be, so hey, I think it works.

Anyway, here’s the link to the first three parts if you’d like to check it out, and thank you all for your support. It’s taken awhile to grow this blog, but it’s actually turned into something pretty cool for me to be part of.–Natasha