This is actually a cross between two of my articles. Part of it is exploring Christian media, and part is just talking about the significance of my tattoos. If you would like to get some preface on the Media bit, start here, otherwise, you can jump into this regardless.
I have tattoo on my chest. I told myself that if I ever got a tattoo, it would be the Roman SPQR, but as soon as that was done, I got ink fever and planned about 8 more designs all over my body. The second one I ended up getting is a piece called “The Fall of Beacon”. It is from an animated show called RWBY, that holds a special place in my heart, as well as depicting a great story. It is subjectively personal, while being objectively well put-together.
The Story follows a young, female, prodigy named Ruby as she goes to a new school to learn how to become a monster hunter. Along the way, she runs into a cool cast of characters, each of which plays to a characteristic stereotype.
While the characters begin as very shallow, they develop and show their depth over the course of the seasons. Even in season 1, the male, comedic relief character, Jaune, reveals his feelings of inadequacy, and in a very self-aware moment, bemoans his existence as nothing more than a damsel-in-distress character. These kind insights past the surface, on top of many other things, give way to phenomenal character development, especially when season 3 rolls around.
Half-way through season 3, you are familiar with the characters, you grasp what’s going on, but then the world get’s shifted upside down. What was once a child’s world of fantasy, dealing with minor issues of bullying and friendships, becomes a life-or-death struggle as characters die, a city falls, and love is lost. Never has shit rolled downhill faster than the end of season 3; it’s one bad thing after another, and it just gets worse. The characters that have been developed, are now stretched to their limits and forced to confront world of brutal un-happy endings. Despite their fictional nature, the cast continues to act in ways very true to human nature.
At the end of it all, everyone is scattered and wounded; The city is torn apart and abandoned; What once was a safe haven for learning and shelter is now overrun by monsters. The Tower of Beacon is overwhelmed on all sides by tragedy and the creatures of terror.
And yet, despite being overcome, the tower still stands. Characters still band back together, and move on past all the destruction and loss, finding ways to live within it, and preventing it from happening to others.
In my mind, that is the Christ-like narrative. It’s taking what once was good, but now is lost, and pulling it out again. It’s simply redemption; Bringing out the good from the bad. As long as that story is present, then the narrative is Christ-like.
Season 3 of RWBY doesn’t even end on a good note, but it still alludes to fact that reality continues on toward its redemption. The Christian view of man kind’s redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is infinitely small when you think about the redemptive narrative of the universe.
That is what is emblazoned on my chest. It’s a symbol that hope goes on past the death the death of good at one small moment in the story. It’s the promise that the Tower still stands despite evil’s best efforts. It’s the inspiration that one day I could write a narrative as compelling as Miles, Kerry, and Monty.
Beyond the actual story, the tale behind the tale is even more inspiring to me as a writer.
I have watched a small, internet-based company called Rooster Teeth grow from 3 guys in a spare bedroom in 2003, to a much bigger company that has produced films, games, shows, and their own social network. While in a growing stage, one of their workers said, “I want to make an Anime show”. So they did. It started with a single man named Monty Oum, who was the kind of guy who worked at a desk with ten monitors, and taught himself how to sleep in half-hours cycles so that he could get the most out of his day. He sat down with two other writers and they planned out all he wanted to pour into this universe. Sadly, Monty died on February 1st of 2015, at the age of 33. Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross, picked up what he had left and ran with it. The show has grown, the cast expanded, and I have watched it the whole time.
It started as people who were fans of art and writing and said “We should do that” and they succeed. It’s a show unique unto itself, and It’s a constant reminder that I am capable of doing the same as long as I actually get around to doing it.