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"Legend of Korra", Eastern Views, T.V & Ethics: What Can Christians learn from Anime?

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by Gxg (G²), Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    For anyone into anime shows like Dragon Ball Z, I would HIGHLY recommend seeing the new series called Dragon Ball Super....haven't missed a show yet and the actual mythology of Dragon Ball (one of my favorite shows growing up and something I used to draw a lot in before)

    To be clear, it needs to be remembered what the concept of Dragon Ball is based on

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    It's well-known within anime circles that Dragon Ball is loosely based on the centuries-old tale Journey to the West, in which a monkey boy flies on a magic cloud while wielding a size-changing staff...but the series has since evolved in many ways. The Dragon World is founded upon Buddho-Daoist and Shinto belief systems, even though there are similarities with Greek mythology when seeing the multiple gods and demons. Also, Gods do not influence people indirectly in DBZ, but speak and interact directly with the characters and can be hurt/killed by people. More specifically, in Toriyama's universe humans or non-God entities seem to have a lot more autonomy and control over their lives and yet there is concern about this with other gods.

    In the Dragon Ball universe, there are others which are Gods of Destruction and others that are Supreme Kais - Gods of creation. And with the evolution of the series, many have been speculating on how much more things have evolved. Specifically, the reveal of an evil character similar to Goku known as Goku Black in a recent episode of Dragon Ball Super, has had fans trying to figure out who he is, from being an older and alternate version of Goten to a possible God of Destruction from another universe. ...and it has been having many process since in the Dragon Ball mythology, there were originally 18 universes and now there are currently only 12.

    It was rather fascinating to me since I've been keeping up with the new series entitled "Dragon Ball Super" and the ethos of the series has been astounding. Specifically, I've enjoyed keeping up with it thus far and seeing them explore more of the mythology of the series in how the hieary of the universe goes with Divine Beings/Councils and it has had me processing a lot on how to actually contexualize the series with its figures in the religious sense. If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear. The mythology really brings up many religious themes tackling multiple dimensions, parallel worlds and the fact of order being set and yet those over that order being in flux....

    As another noted best, "It does always seems the Dragon Ball lore is right at the limit of how far it can expand, with Toryama never holding back, but then it manages to take things a step further. I expect the 12 universes aren’t really “everything”, and the new king is really just the King of Some subset of Everything.


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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  2. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

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    I'm glad to read that Dragon Ball Super is pretty good, I might check it out. I loved Dragon Ball Z, but I avoided Dragon Ball Kai like the plague by general recommendation.

    I can't remember if I mentioned it but I just recently did re-watch of The Last Airbender, I noticed a lot of really small details this time through. Mostly focusing on Azula and Toph in those specific cases. Plus the religious references really stood out to me on this pass. Honestly this thread made me a lot more aware of the cultural aspects and the narrative of migration of peoples, imperialism (on a deeper level than before), and preserving culture as an immigrant. These are eye-opening experiences for me because I am as far removed from them as one can be. It is a fantastic format for hitting such serious subjects.

    I have lots of favorite scenes from that show but I must say that I think the scene where Zuko and Aang ascend the stairs to met the dragons has got to be one of my favorite in the series. I love the character dynamic, the firebending lore and I LOOOOVE dragons. Dragon lore is my jam.

    I'm looking at picking up another anime soon that has a spiritual theme, I'm wondering if there's any recommendations? My domain is mostly cyberpunk and sci-fi in the anime world (just finished "Aldnoah Zero" which was top quality, and recently rewatched "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" which is one of my all time favorites). After I finish watching the stalled "No Game No Life" I'm looking for something new.
     
  3. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

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    Looking back and giving it some thought, I think Dragon Ball Z was my first exposure to any sort of Eastern religions or religious themes. I was too young to really understand it but I sure found the spirituality presented very interesting because it felt so dynamic being illustrated in a show that I got major enjoyment out of. I think from then on, I've had a soft spot for eastern religions because they were so unlike the Christianity I grew up with which was more of a boring chore that my parents made me do, than anything else.
     
  4. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Dragon Ball Z really does explore many interesting Eastern themes and I was very thankful for the ways they really went in-depth on the issues when it comes to the concept of differing levels of heavens, differing beings/divine entities, order, etc.

    Within Dragon Ball Super, I was very much thankful they even chose to go into things which I saw emphasized in Christianity as I grew up with it - especially in regards to man's potential and God's plan for those who were mortals...and others who were fallen beings jealous of what man could do or their roles which they felt only divine beings should have. If studying up on the character of Zamasu, it is truly an amazing dynamic seeing his fall from grace and his war against mortals.

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    And to see what occurred when he was taken out was very stunning since balance had to be restored - and yes, my favorite Dragon Ball character of all time (Trunks) took him out and set it in order.








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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    You'd really enjoy it, I think. I never checked out Dragon Ball Kai....

    It truly is stellar...
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    Thanks for letting me know, as I am always glad when people can discuss the political significance of cartoons and their theological significance as well. Going through Airbender again, I'm sure a lot of things will stand out that didn't before - and the same goes for Legend of Korra, which I got for my birthday.
    Dragons are amazing as well and I definitely appreciate them being brought into anime or cartoon settings :)
    Let me look around and get back with you. I've been very much into Dragon Ball Super for the most part lately since it had me hooked. Truly excellent
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  7. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

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    This was more of a brief showerthought but it occurred to me recently when someone asked what I thought of Azula as a character. Of course lots of words come to mind; insane, narcissistic, power-hungry, violent. Thinking about it now; the circumstances of her upbringing, the fire nation's militaristic and power-driven mentality and her tormenting of Zuko showed a lot of early signs of the person she would become. I'm not sure if any amount of help would have reversed the damage.

    Azula was mentally ill in an era not prepared to help her.

    Furthermore, I got some birthday cash! I need to buy some more hardcover ATLA comics!
     
  8. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Nice to know.

    Not really as much into Airbender, to be truthful, and I'm still wondering who's the better in the Korra series in full.

    Amon vs Zaheer

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