Monday, January 13, 2014

Tarot and Anime

Shoji Kawamori is a Japanese anime creator, screenwriter and mechanical designer, of the series he has worked on I am nearing the end of Vision of Escaflowne and have started watching his new series Nobunaga the Fool. Both heavily feature the use of Tarot so if you're interested in learning more about the Tarot or just seeing it used in fiction, give these series a try.



The main character Hitomi (meaning: "Pupil (eye)") does tarot readings in the series which have effects on future events, she also uses a pendulum. Every episode begins by showing a tarot card which often has a connection to the story of that episode, sometimes blatantly, sometimes more subtle. (from what I can recognize, I'm still very much a tarot novice). I should add that this is a Shoujo anime which means it's targeted towards a female viewership, which is really noticeable and if it weren't the tarot aspects and the mechs I wouldn't have kept watching.

Here are the opening scenes







Only 2 episodes have been released of this anime, it's a bit silly at first in using historical characters alongside mechs but nonetheless really entertaining so far. In the first episode Leonardo Da Vinci introduces himself to Jean D'Arc by saying he works for King Arthur and offers her a Tarot card. She draws the Star and gets an explanation. Apparently they drew up an entire deck, we've seen two so far, the Star and the Lovers and both look amazing.

Do you know any works of fiction that uses the Tarot? Please let me know. Meanwhile I'll listen to David Goddard's audio series again, I should probably find a good book on the tarot too (the one I got with my cards from a dutch author isn't that good.) so I can finally get to know them by heart.

11 comments:

golem said...

There are a few japanese video games integrate tarot pretty heavily. The first is the persona series, especially persona 3 and 4. You form "social links" in the games, each of which is represented by an arcana. As your relationships progress, it improves your ability to summon demons of that type. I also recommend the Shin Megami Tensei series (made by the same company as Persona, atlus). In addition, both series have a great deal of gnostic ideas and imagery scattered through them as well. I'd love to see some one do an in depth analysis of the games.

newssuki said...

hi nice to read this post.
i like the nobunaga the fool anime.
pretty slow with character development
but perhaps by ep 3-4 we will gather more info.
anyway i watch Arcana Famiglia anime,
still use tarot card as story foundation,
but its with magic and battle theme.

Dedroidify RAW said...

Golem are those on ps2 only or some on ps3? I can only find Persona 4 Arena on ps3 and I guess that's not very deep as it's a fighter game (though could be wrong?)

Hey Newssuki! Nihonjin desu ka? Yeah Nobunaga starting at a nice easy pace imo, looking forward to the rest. I'm sure things will be explained further. I actually had to check the first episode again cause I had forgotten stuff already.

I just checked reviews for Arcana Famiglia and it's really unpopular on myanimelist.net, maybe it's because the reviewers are not familiar with the tarot very much? Do you think it's worth checking out?

Dennis Bell said...

I'm currently studying tarot as well, which is what has drawn me to this blog. There is a book called The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages by Paul Foster Case. I find it to be an excellent resource for digging into the information encoded in the Major Arcana. Peace be the journey!

Dedroidify RAW said...

Thanks Dennis, found it and will check it out asap, for my recommendation check out David Goddard's Tarot audio series on torrents which is a practical explanation of the major arcana in short mp3s.

golem said...

Persona 3 and 4 are for the ps2, but you can buy the third on the playstation network. There is also a psvita version of persona 4 as well.

Jonny B said...

Alejandro Jodorowsky's work is full of tarot references, like the comic book "The Incal" and the movie Holy Mountain:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqbJHbP61PY

At the moment I'm trying to learn about the Crowley/Harris Thoth Tarot and the guidebook by Lon Milo Duquette is very readable and funny.

Lonnie said...

I highly suggest the collected works of Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin for Tarot. Start with Around The Tarot in 78 Days, then go to Tarot Twist, Tarot Face to Face, Tarosophy, and so on. They also put out a long project in month to month booklets (for Kindle) titled Tarot Life.

Excellent works! All of them! You may also consider joining Tarosophy Tarot Professionals Association. I'm a social media manager for them, but I didn't start that way. I got involved because of the sheer mind blowing amount of knowledge. Your favorite fella LMD is part of the gang too. Check us out! http://www.tarotassociation.net/

Dedroidify RAW said...

Thanks for the tips guys, gonna check those out! Not digging the Paul Foster Case book very much, seems like a random info dump on the major arcana and I just can't remember most of what is said that way!

Dedroidify RAW said...

LOL sorry I only just now watched the youtube trailer of the Holy Mountain, holy crap! I don't think I can sit through that sorry ;p

plutonianmuse said...

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