Even if you’re non-religious, Easter is a holiday that might cause you think about faith or even bring you into a church service. Whether or not you attend, you might consider delving into anime, manga, or anime-related books to indulge your curiosity, interest, or, what I would call, stirrings. Here are some recommendations for works to look at this Easter:
My Last Day
If you watch anything today, I would recommend it be this short film. Animated in anime-style, it’s a well-done work that shows the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection from the point of view of one of the thieves crucified next to Him. I would recommend this as a starting point of sorts – if you want to read more about the context of the film and what it all means, consider reading the Gospel of John or the Gospel of Luke.
Though not necessarily meant to be any particular religion’s depiction of the afterlife, Haibane Renmei contains many ideas and themes that can easily be construed as Catholic or otherwise Christian. The heaviness of sin and the power of grace are two of the themes that are emphasized. Plus, the show is simply very good. For further exploration, I recommend you read “Set Apart” as you make your way through the series.
I’m made no bones about it – I’m a huge fan of the work produced by Manga Hero. They’ve released three manga series which I’ve read, and I enjoyed reading each. Paul: Tarsus to Redemption mixes in a number of familiar character types as it depicts Paul’s life in a manner that is surprisingly exciting. Judith: Captive to Conqueror tells a story that is unfamiliar to most Protestants (more so to Catholics), but which similarly espouses biblical principles at it tells an exciting tale of war, seduction, danger, and faith. Finally, my favorite of all is Many Are Called, an ambitious “parable of a parable” that is adventurous and affirming.
Because the Angels
A novel involving anime? And a good one at that? Because the Angels touches on questions of faith as it follows an otaku, Spike, as she struggles in the days following the kidnapping of her sister, who is part of a Christian peacekeeping organization. The author traverses a variety of themes in the novel, including western Christianity, of which she is highly critical in many regards, while making anime an important part of the book as well (particularly Blood: The Last Vampire). The novel is addicting and I highly recommend it.
I hope that if you aren’t a believer in Christianity, that you’ll at least consider diving into one of these pieces, and even more so, that you’ll attend a service tomorrow. Happy Easter!