Monday, August 07, 2017

10 Second Anime - Vatican Kiseki Chousakan - Episode 5

At their first meeting, Joseph engages Lauren in a strategy game of his own making while telling him of his first unresolved miracle.

Episode V - "The Game of Angels and Demons"


This wasn't a case of investigating a miracle, though there was some of that, but it was more of a character study between Fr. Joseph and Lauren Di Luca.

Lauren Di Luca as a master technologist who turned to crime to fund his research. Somehow it was decided that the Vatican would keep him under house arrest, with only poison filled ankle bracelets keeping him pinned to a radius of 300 meters of his cell. The only condition placed on him was that he had to talk to a priest once a week, and he chose Fr. Joseph because he was apparently the smartest one at the Vatican.

Thankfully, Joseph steered Lauren away from a tired debate about using objective reality to prove the existence of God and instead chose to tell him about his first unresolved miracle while they played a game he invented called Angels and Demons. Joseph's wager: if he won, Lauren would have to believe in God. If he lost, Lauren could live as he wished.

That's kind of cool, because Faith is not just spontaneous, it's also a choice, and one that requires practice.

As the Japanese usually do, the story from Joseph's past mirrored references to this episode's present. Joseph's first brush with a miracle concerned a man named John Brickett, who was given the power to grant a thousand wishes by his demonic father Azazel. Azazel had won a game against the angel Samyaza to test the worth of humanity. See? Here's another game of Angels and Demons.

Samyaza and Azazel are both fallen angels in Christianity, so it's hard to say whether these were two former angels passing the time in Hell for this game or whether this was in some corner of the battlefield for the balance of humanity's souls.

Unfortunately for the John of this story, the granting of wishes could happen unconsciously too, which made his mother suspicious of any good thing that happened to him. After some tragedies with unintended consequences, John lived for many years without granting any wishes until the day he met his wife.

After realizing the woman he loved was only wish fulfillment, the woman disappeared. When John realized he would always love her, no matter her circumstances, she reappeared. Was this a wish or a miracle? That was the question the elder John put to a young Joseph.

Nice music box version of Amazing Grace the moment John's future wife reappeared. It made me think of miraculous music from a mechanical device, which emphasized John's question: was this a manufactured wish or a real miracle?

Young Joseph's answer was basically along the lines that Love is Real, which was a small fathoming of God's Love for His Creations. No matter what they did, God's Love would never falter.

What was important to watch during this telling of John's story was Lauren's reactions to it. The show made sure to focus on his nervous tic of tapping his right middle finger. When John's future wife reappeared, Lauren's finger stopped tapping. He wanted to believe.

And then Joseph won that game of Angels and Demons, so Lauren has to believe in God now. Which is funny, because he already started to, just from hearing that story.

At a later meeting, Lauren had done his own research into John Brickett, and could find nothing to contradict Joseph's story, but nothing to confirm the miraculous circumstances of the missing father, the dead mother who came back to life with a different personality and stuck in a wheelchair (sounds like a stroke or aneurism to me), or the wife without a past.

Also, by that later meeting, Joseph had already been assigned a new partner Roberto. Lauren seemed a little jealous of all the gushing over how great he was at cooking and ironing...

Yay! The yaoi preview couch is back. But, boo! There was no preview of next week's episode. Instead, we got Roberto advising Joseph to unplug the iron when he was done. For Roberto, it's a personal thing because he doesn't want his ancient text collection burned down. Okay, then.

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