Fanfiction Fridays: White Knight, Burning Bright by blackkat

Anko MitarashiI have an on and off love affair with Naruto, and at any given time, I don’t know how I feel about it. On the one hand, it has a cast of thousands, and a good number of those characters get whole arcs to themselves, which is awesome. On the other hand, the story is really looooooong. And the large cast means that we don’t get to spend nearly as much time with certain characters as I would like. One such character that always fascinated me was Anko Mitarashi, Orochimaru’s former pupil.

Personality wise, Anko is a lot like Naruto—loud, robust, and driven. By the time the manga starts, Anko has it out for Orochimaru. She used to aspire to be like him, until he experimented on her and betrayed the village. White Knight, Burning Bright takes place in a world where Orochimaru was captured before giving Anko the Cursed Seal. Now, Orochimaru lives out his days in Konoha with most of his chakra sealed away, and with Anko his only ally.

I’ll admit that the setup for this story kind of threw me off at first, because it’s hard to imagine Orochimaru and Anko actually getting along. Nevertheless, I decided to check it out and was pleasantly surprised.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Buddha: The Path Toward Enlightenment in Naruto, Part 2

Welcome back! In Part 1 of this series, I categorized several characters from the anime/manga series Naruto as representative of the naraka (hell), preta (“hungry ghost”), and animal realms of the Buddhist “desire world”. This week, I’ll discuss the deva (god), asura (demigod), and human realms, as well as wrap up with what I think this means for the series’ interpretation of release from the cycle of Samsara. Spoilers ahead!


Naruto the Ninja Buddha. Well, the Sage of the Six Paths was one too, but in Buddhism, each age has its own Buddha.

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Manga Mondays: The Portrayal of Masculinity and Femininity in Manga and Anime

From an historical viewpoint, just about every culture on the planet has idealized males as dominate figures, while dismissing females as the lesser sex. Japan is certainly no exception to this way of thinking. Though in recent years, while the gap between both genders has slimmed, it is still there, and the Japanese reflect this ideology in their manga and anime. Manga has been around for quite some time, and anime first appeared in the last century to represent manga on the television screen. While manga has an incredibly wide fan base that continues to grow each year, it normally targets either boys or girls. Manga for boys is called shounen, and for girls it’s shoujo.

Both may display similar characteristics regarding gender roles, but they are quite dissimilar in their portrayal, and normally cater to different genres. Shoujo, for instance, tends to center more on romance and finding true love, while shounen, even though it may also have romance, focuses more on action and adventure. This is not to say that shoujo has neither action nor adventure; those are just not the main focus in a typical shoujo.

So what I’m going to talk about today are two different shounen, Kisimoto Masasi’s Naruto and Takahasi Rumiko’s InuYasha. I also hope to explain why they are both shounen and not shoujo. Obviously, Naruto is a shounen, but there are some discrepancies about what category InuYasha falls under. And you’re going to have to brace yourselves, but I’m also going to be discussing gender roles.

Okay, let’s get to it.

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