Is anyone else watching Namu Amida Butsu? Bishounen Bohdhisattva for the body, not the soul

The august and austere Shaka-Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, enjoys a taiyaki microwave meal with some milk in the bath. It’s a massive WTF moment that describes my whole experience with the series

[In case it isn’t obvious, this is not a serious post but uh… sarcasm doesn’t exist. Beep Boop. Oh and be careful with those airhorn links. They might be loud.]

Is anyone else watching Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena? Maybe that’s a trick question since I’m not really watching it either, but at around the midpoint of most seasons I like to scroll through the worst rated anime on MyAnimeList and pick out a few of the weirdest ones. And oh my god is Namu Amida Butsu weird…

To start with, the first half of the title is the literal Nembutsu, a prayer to seek love and wisdom from the Amida Buddha, most often associated with the Jodo-Shinshu school of Buddhism (depending on who you ask, technically it’s a chant, not a prayer, but hey, what is Buddhism if not a collection of obfuscated technicalities buried in esoteric terminology that Buddhists themselves can’t even agree on! And before the Buddhism Internet Defense League shows up to “technically…” me, that’s the joke). The rendai utena half of the title then refers to the lotus-shaped pedestals that hold images of the Buddha (plural). And oh my god there are a lot of Buddhas in this show… Check it, ’cause it’s weird:

The thirteen Butsu (again, technically 5 Buddha, 7 bodhisattva, and 1 wisdom king …take a breath… Fudo, Shaka, Monju, Fugen, Jizo, Miroku, Yakushi, Kannon, Seishi, Amida, Ashuku, Dainichi, and Kokuzo …and exhale…) of Shingon Buddhism protect the material world by battling monsters composed of human vice. For centuries, they have kept the world in balance. But alas!, the evil demon Mara has returned!, intent on taking revenge on Shaka-Buddha (the OG Buddha-boi himself, Siddhartha Gautama *airhorn*) by tempting humanity to sin and usher in a new decadent age. Can the thirteen Butsu, joined by the heavenly deities Bonten, Taishakuten, and Karuraten, defeat Mara and bring balance back to the world?

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