Saturday, March 9, 2013

Christian Anime: Any Out There?

Christian Anime: Any Out There?

There seems to be very little Christian Anime out there. Aside from The Flying House/Superbook it's next to nonexistant. What MIGHT come close is still way off the mark & most of it you wouldn't dare think of showing to a church group.

Apocalypse what the ... ! Asuka & Shinji contemplate the huge remains
of Rei/Lillith & Armageddons' aftermath in End Of Evangelion.

The Evangelion franchise: This is about as close to the book of Revelation as an anime gets. The fanservice (Even without the Gainax bounce!) is over the edge. The Kaballa is thrown in for good measure as well as turned on its' head. The violence & psychosexual weirdness are over the top in End of Evangelion. And nowhere in that dark "vision" is Christ to be found.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: As much as I find the thought of the second coming personified in a whacked out guitar playing girl wearing a Playboy bunny outfit intrigueing ... well. Yes, she is God ... Yes, she is the center the universe orbits about ... Yes, she ... But ...As the theological ramifications could be beyond devastating ... One might want to leave this to older & wiser theologians.

Has trouble enough getting herself together let alone the world.
At times makes Cthulhu look cuddly.

Serial Experiments Lain: A head trip if there ever was one. All you really know is that the physical extension of an all powerful entity dwelling on the net (And all other forms of communication.) is trying to reconnect with itself. She's more than human while her other non/extra-human half has problems relating to the "real" world. So how do they get back together in a unified whole & set the world straight?

Along the way we run into conspiracies, urban legends, various belief systems & other wheels within wheels. Best NOT to figure it out & just enjoy the ride instead. Something for the Ecumenicals.

Fresh from the Third Crusade, Dante' cntemplates
wether he's in a genuine anime or a "faux ami"

Dantes' Inferno: I watched this at the suggestion of my brother, a great believer in Netflix. Seems it was sent to him by mistake but he & his family took it in anyway. Running across it at Half Price Books, I snapped it up.

Now I've not yet read Alighieris' book. But I have the feeling it doesn't read like a Dungeons & Dragons adventure as this flick does. I swear, it's as if the script writers wrote as if they were slinging many sided dice! "Pierce the heavens with your mighty scythe!" No ... wait! That's supposed to be a drill & from another definitely non-Christian anime at that (Though the Yoko Littner character in that one can be a "religious" experience in & of herself!).

I also think the book doesn't have Beatrice running about butt nekkid all the time either.

Take it from me ... You DON'T want to make a deal with this kid.

Hell Girl: At least one side gets mentioned & the consequences of messing with it.

At mid-nite, the Hells' Correspondence web site appears. Enter the name of the one you hate & the title character takes him/her to you know where (Cleveland!). For a price ... YOU! ... When it's your time to check out (Paper or spastic?).

The first season was pretty good, though the first four eps followed the same plot. Second, not so good. The third, well ... they pretty much jumped the shark by the end of the second ...

A quick shot of how Yuri Nakamura views God. From the attempt to trick
Kanadae into leading them to Him in the Angel Beats OVA/Episode 4.5.

Angel Beats: Catholics might like this one. Purgatory is a humungous high school boarding academy where young folks who had less than satisfactory lives come for a breather & unload spiritual/mental baggage ... Which would be great if it wasn't for this faction of ungrateful dead lashing out at God in their one sided war against a percieved angel. Kind of hard to attend class with all that shooting/racket going on.

One can only wonder ... If getting "killed" there results in your coming back, then what's the point in fighting? Towards the end they find it's not God they're fighting but their own inner demons thus keeping them from passing on.

The literally self doubting Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost In the Shell.

Ghost In the Shell (movie): Title character more machine than woman & self-doubting wether there is still a soul in that construct she inhabits, hence the title. I like the biblical reference about midway & at the end tying things up (1 Corinthians 13:11 & 12.).

The haibane of Old Home greet the new arrival.
L-R: Hikari, Kana, Kuu, Nemu, Reki, & Rakka.

Haibane Renmei: This is as close to Christian anime as one gets & I dearly love it. It's also the only one on this list I would feel comfortable showing in church (Unless someone in the congregation gets bent out of shape over that VERY brief bit of artistic nudity in the opening credits.).

Set in a semi-rustic, central European-like "purgatory" of simpler living, where souls sort out their reason for being there. Explores the consequences & bondage of the state of sin we are all under.

Think of Angel Beats without guns & the conflict being even more inner instead of external. As in Angel Beats, God is actually mentioned (Last episode.) though only in passing.

I can't really think of anything else. Maybe the folks at Beneath the Tangles can come up with something. Maybe they could even find something edifying in High School of the Dead ... Hmmmm ... probably not.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: OOOOO! Goodies In the Mail! here.

The Head Trip of Haruhi Suzumiya parts 1, 2, & 3.

Wikipedia article on Serial Experiments Lain here.

Wikipedia aritcle on Dantes' Inferno here.

Wikipedia article on Hell Girl here.

Angel Beats: Not a Haruhi Clone here.

Wikipedia article on Ghost In the Shell here.

Haibane Renmei: One Side of the Equation here.

Beneath the Tangles Christian anime blog here.

Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here.


  1. pretty much got it covered. And Haibane Renmei would be at the top of my list, too.

    Some series certainly feature Christian characters significantly, with faith playing an important role in the story, such as with Chrono Crusade and Kids on the Slope.

    A Certain Magical Index heavily (and specifically) focuses on Christianity...but it's perhaps more likely to cause a riot than Evangelion.

    My Last Day is an interesting piece - it's a short anime film actually animated by a Japanese anime studio and created by the folks who released the Jesus film.

    1. Thanks for the heads up on a few I've not heard of. I'll have to give Slope, Index, & Day a look-see.

      I gave up on Chrono Crusade after about eight eps as it looked like it was turning into "monster of the week" ala Devil Lady. I You Tubed it as the trailer made it seem like a riff on the old Untouchables TV show. Do later episodes get more interesting? If so, maybe I'll give it a retry.

      I forgot to mention Spice & Wolf but as it's more anti-Christian/Catholic than pro ... well ...

    2. I gave up on Chrono Crusade, too. -_-'

      But I've heard over and over again that the end of the series is pretty powerful.

  2. Haunted Junction has a son of a Christian pastor as part of an exorcist trio in a haunted school. Surprisingly, it doesn't bash him; he's more a normal guy who expected to go to a normal school. It's more "Christianity as exotic magical system" though.

    I haven't seen it in a bit, but Rumiko Takahashi's One Pound Gospel is a story about a boxer's unlikely relationship with a nun.

    The Wings of Honneamise at least has a sympathetic portrayal of Christianity in the girl who is part of one of the new religions. It catches sort of the despair of people who take faith seriously, whether its in religion or in the power of reaching to the stars, in a culture where no one seems to care.

    It's odd that there's so much anti-Christian anime to be honest. Christianity is probably about as prevalent as Jehovah's Witnesses are here, and with about as much influence.

    1. Thanks for the heads up on Haunted Junction. Buddhism & Shintoism seem like "magical" systems to us.

      I have read about One Pound. Another I'll have to check out. As it's a Takahashi, the nun is probably made out to look cute. Catholic schooling, being a part of my EARLY education, I KNOW nuns not to be cute. As the saying goes: "Show me a Catholic who hasn't had the snot beat out of him & I'll show you a Presbyterion."

      How could I forget Wings!? I have that one!

      I wouldn't say that so much anime is anti-Christian as Christianity being misunderstood. Again, your "exotic magical system" or as an elaborate prop ala Evangelion,

  3. Well the most obvious one would be Trigun I think.

    1. You must be thinking of Wolfwood.

    2. Not just Wolfwood, the themes on a whole, the struggles and roles of both Vash and Wolfwood... if you're paying attention, they're surprisingly Christian. The writer notably was raised Buddhist, but converted to Christianity and wrote Trigun shortly after.

      Also, while it does carry elements of Buddhism I think Puella Magi Madoka Magica has some themes that can resonate quite closely with Christian audiences, of temptation and self-sacrifice. Revolutionary Girl Utena shares these themes to a lesser extent.

    3. It was hard for me to pay attention in Trigun. The Vash character to me was distractingly over the top goofy & irritating. I was hoping someone would get him & cash in on the 60 bil. double dollar reward.

      It got to the point where the highlight of the show for me was in spotting the random cat. I had to quit watching.

      I agree on Madoka Magica. It's one I have every intention of getting. And I don't like the "magical girl" sub-genre.

      Here's a link to a Madoka review of mine on this blog:

      Revolutionary Girl Utena? At the risk of showing my ingnorance, I was under the impression that it's a yuri-fest of some kind. Is it?

      In the past, I've been reluctant to view some shows because I've read somewhere or other that "such & such" a show was yuri or yaoi oriented only to find it was it was wishful thinking on the part of the "reviewer" revealing more about him/herself than the show.

  4. The obvious ones would be "Superbook" and "Flying House". Surprisingly they were produced by Tatsunoko Productions, merely distributed over here by CBN. The interaction of the characters with Old and New Testament worthies does not injure the stories overmuch. Both are fun, though I prefer "Flying House".

    The Japanese fascination with Christian imagery is exceeding odd. Given that we A-bombed the Christian center of Japan, Nagasaki, the connection must be tenuous at best.

    The story goes that after WW2, Gen. MacArthur begged for missionaries to be sent to Japan. Few responded, perhaps because feelings were still raw, so the gospel of Business caught a greater hold in Japanese culture.

    Now, we see Santa Claus on a cross as a Christmas ornament. (Makes as much sense as the syncretistic drool we experience every winter over here.)