Tokyo Red Hood — First Impressions

Note: Graphic content.

Since it’s October, I’m in the mood for a scary story.

Like everyone, I have my limits. Still: Recently, I’ve found myself drawn to horrific tales. For example: Evil Dead (2013):

It is with that in mind that I address the subject of this post: Tokyo Red Hood. (Some spoilers.)

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A manga about a masochistic, demonic Little Red Riding Hood and the organ harvester she works for. Featuring an angel who will kill at the drop of a hat, and a God who I would describe using the following gif:

Now, I must admit: I have not read Tokyo Red Hood yet. Which is why this post is just my “first impressions.” I don’t have the means to get the manga yet, but it’s been on my mind since yesterday. (11:56 — 13:09)

So why are you even talking about it? you might be thinking. After all: I won’t be able to really give my thoughts on the story until I’ve actually read the story.

Good point.

This is why I feel compelled to talk about it:

Researching Tokyo Red Hood, three thoughts came to mind:

This quote by Stephen King: “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

This Bible verse: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

And this Bible verse: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

My point being: Even if it’s trying to do the opposite, Tokyo Red Hood — with its murder, disembowelment, and worldview that could be described as “Blasphemous” — is pointing to God.

Image result for tokyo red hood

I’ve heard it said that the Devil is out to utterly destroy every aspect of creation — that, if it were up to him, not even atoms would exist. Why? Because: Every created thing, because it is a created thing, no matter how seemingly sick and twisted, ultimately has its roots in God, the first creator.

As C.S. Lewis put it:

‘Creation’ as applied to human authorship seems to me to be an entirely misleading term. We re-arrange elements He has provided. And that is surely why our works never mean to others quite what we intended; because we are recombining elements made by Him and already containing His meanings. Because of those divine meanings in our materials it is impossible that we should ever know the whole meaning of our works and the meaning we never intended may be the best and truest one.

This doesn’t mean I’ll like Tokyo Red Hood. This doesn’t mean that it won’t, for me, cross the line of good taste.

But: There is goodness, truth, and beauty everywhere. Even in the darkest depths of Tokyo Red Hood.

And that is nothing to be afraid of.

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Speechless

I deleted my previous post, “10-Word Story: Moment Of Calm”, because I felt like it didn’t measure up to the standard I have for myself. I don’t know what my standard is, but I know what it isn’t.

When it comes to my 10-word stories, I usually write them fast. I see a beautiful piece of art, and the words pop into my head in no time. But for “Moment of Calm” I spent over an hour thinking of what to say.

The piece of art was so beautiful. I felt I had to say something. I was going for something serious, sensual, or erotic, but settled for something semi-humorous: One child asking another what his mom is doing sitting naked at his dinner table. How awkward might that conversation be?

But, after giving it more thought: The woman in this piece of art deserves better than that. She  deserves better than I can currently give her.

She literally leaves me speechless.

Woman

The closest words that I can currently imagine doing her justice are these lyrics from “Always With Me” from Spirited Away:

Though the road is long and lonely and the end far away, out of sight
I can with these arms embrace the light

As I bid farewell my heart stops, in tenderness I feel
My silent empty body begins to listen to what is real

On another note:

Recently, I had a conversation with fellow blogger Love Alchemy about nudity and nature. In it, she said:

I remember most vividly bathing in streams and walking through what I would call forest for lack of a better term. It was a place of tall trees, uninhabited, serene and being naked was just so, a be’ing. Though quite young I recall those moments fondly and feel edified to hold any remembrance of beauty.

And I realize that, since that conversation, I’ve been trying to help her “hold any remembrance of” the beauty of, for example, bathing in streams. That’s one of the reasons for posts like “10-Word Story: Revelation.”

And I’ve also realized that, ultimately, I am not Love Alchemy. No matter how hard I might try, or how hard I might want to, I cannot see the world through her eyes. To put it another way: Ultimately, only Love Alchemy can tell Love Alchemy‘s story.

I wasn’t trying to “tell her story” because I thought she was not able to tell it herself.

Like with the work of art that left me speechless, I just wanted to say something; do something to help Love Alchemy hold on to the beauty of her past because I could not accept doing nothing.

Why could I not accept doing nothing? The answer to this question goes back to one of the driving forces behind this blog:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:14 — 16

Where do I myself go from here? I don’t know.

But, I believe the best thing that I can do is, to quote “Always With Me”:

listen to what is real

Wild Child: A Short Story — Part 4

Calla said every prayer she knew.

It had started with a bath.

Half-frozen and clinging to King Arlo’s furs, the wild child had collapsed before she took two steps inside the castle.

A cozy blanket, a bowl of hot soup, a tankard of ice water, a roaring fire, and a steaming bath — everything the child needed to be herself once more. But, Calla would find out what herself meant…

Mouth agape, Calla watched the child climb out of the silks she had dressed her in — “Garments fit for a queen!” — and go on wearing her birthday clothes.

A resolute shake of the girl’s head was all Calla needed to see to know that the child would not be getting back in them. And looking at those nails and those teeth… The gods help the one who tries to force her, she thought, suddenly craving the bottle stashed underneath her bed.

Castle

Thank you to whoever is responsible for this beautiful image.

Finding Meaning In My Nudity

I realize that, lately, I’ve been asking a question — Am I enough? — and looking to nudity for the answer.

What do I mean by “looking to nudity for the answer”?

This:

Like with all things, my view on nudity continues to change.

The reason I’ve been writing about it so much lately is because I believe that there is some, for lack of a better word, secret hidden in one’s body. Some thing that is essential to answering the question What is the point of life?

I know that, ultimately, going naked, or appreciating — in a mature manner — the beauty of a person who is naked, will not give me what I seek. For example: The initial thrill of having climbed out of my underwear will, inevitably, fade. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter.

As a Catholic, I see it as my duty to be a light in the darkness:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:14 — 16

And, I believe nudity is connected to that somehow.

When one is naked, their “light” is shinning forth for all to see. There are no “bowls” (like clothes) that hide any part of a person; a person is showing all of themselves. It is a time when a person’s true colors are revealed. Every action takes on new weight and meaning when done naked.

Those are just some thoughts I’ve been having recently.

Thanks for reading.

And: Thank you to the beautiful woman who made the photo used in this post possible.

Wild Child: A Short Story — Part 3

Staring in shock at the furry thing sprawled in front of her, Thorn remembered what her mother had taught her. Putting her hand on it, she was relieved to feel a heartbeat.

Looking closer, she saw that, underneath all that fur, it was a he.

“Wake up!” she screamed, shaking him

Another cry cut through the silence of the forest like a knife.

“My lord!”

Throwing herself in front of the boy, the man was on top of Thorn before she could blink. Sword in one hand, he said one word to her: “Back!”

At that instant, the boy shook his head groggily, opening his eyes halfway.

“Uh…”

“My lord, forgive me.” The man with the sword knelt, bowing his head.

“Mama…” Groping, the boy’s hand found Thorn’s.

“On your feet, my lord.” Pulling the boy to his feet, the boy pulled Thorn along with him as the man took him by the hand.

Stopping abruptly, the man turned, looking at Thorn the same way she had once seen her mother look at a snake. Before she smashed its head with a rock.

“A castle is no place for you, wild child,” he said sternly. “Return to your parents.” His fingers brushed the hilt of his sword.

The boy shook his head vigorously, wet eyes wide.

“It will be as my lord commands…”

Returning his attention to the path, the man did not see Thorn shake.

Pressing herself against the boy’s furs, Thorn put one foot in front of the other and, in so doing, put her mother farther and farther behind her…

Tree4

10-Word Story: Revelation

“You don’t like your mama ’cause she looks like this?”

Woman

Thank you to “Irina” — the beautiful woman who made this photo possible and who was one of my inspirations for this post.

Thank you to Love Alchemy, for always making me think.

And: The words in this piece of writing come from my favorite scene in my favorite episode of my favorite series: Eureka Seven.

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