Maria Kawai’s Amazing Grace – Part I

Laura of Heart of Manga has been a terrific friend to the blog, supporting almost right from the beginning.  She’s also a terrific writer, and I’m proud to present...

Laura of Heart of Manga has been a terrific friend to the blog, supporting almost right from the beginning.  She’s also a terrific writer, and I’m proud to present the first of two guest posts by Laura on a manga she also recently reviewed on her own site.

A Devil and Her Love Song

It’s highly uncommon in any Japanese media to find a Christian protagonist. That’s why the most recent Shojo Beat series from Viz struck me so strongly and moved me to write a series of posts that don’t draw Christian analogies, but showcase the actions of a Christian influenced main character.

A Devil and Her Love Song debuted in February 2012, and so far we have three volumes published in North America. The heroine of the series is Maria Kawai, a second year in high school with a blunt personality. She had been attending a Catholic Private School, but at the beginning of the series we discover that she has been expelled for a violent action against one of the nuns and is now attending a public high school.

She has difficulty relating with others because of her unbridled honesty.  Her first day at the new school, the girls in her class already bully her due to her reputation of coming from the prestigious Catholic school and her attractive looks. They steal her Catholic school uniform while she’s on cleaning duty, destroy it, and hang it outside the building like a flag.

Maria Kawai

Instead of getting angry and confronting them, Maria handles their actions with grace. She already feels lost and struggles with her personality trait that hurts others. In sadness she stops to sing “Amazing Grace” as a reminder that even though she’s a wretch to everyone else, God still saved her. She wants to love herself as God does.

Please return next Tuesday for Part II of this pair of guest posts.

Comments

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  • Zeroe4
    17 July 2012 at 8:27 am

    This post already has me wanting to read the series and wanting to read this series of posts. Exellent post. Incredible writing skill.

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  • Guest Post on Beneath the Tangles | Heart of Manga
    17 July 2012 at 3:44 pm

    […] posts titled Maria Kawai’s Amazing Grace, will be run in two parts – one today, and then another next Tuesday. It’s an […]

    Leave a Reply
  • TWWK
    18 July 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’m really exciting to dig into this series – its rare to find a Christian character presented in such a light in anime or manga, much less in a good series.

    Leave a Reply
  • heartofmanga
    18 July 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Since I doubt Tomori is Christian, then she had to have done some great research and/or had some interaction with the Catholic religion. You can still tell in the series that the author has a shallow understanding, but that doesn’t stop her from expressing some of those ideals that she learned through Maria. She states in the first volume that Maria is modeled after Mary Magdalene, and emphasizes that that is NOT the Virgin Mary. She also has Maria doubt some of the Catholic practices, such as confession. And Maria is also struggling with what she believes. I almost felt that Tomori was exploring her own doubts and wonders of Christianity through Maria.

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    • TWWK
      20 July 2012 at 12:42 am

      That’s an interesting hypothesis – about Maria’s thoughts mirroring the mangaka’s. I really wanna get my hands on this series!

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  • Kokoro Hane
    24 July 2012 at 2:34 am

    This little analysis makes me curious, and I might even pick it up and give it a read myself!

    Leave a Reply
  • Reference Resource Mondays | Organization Anti-Social Geniuses
    25 July 2012 at 10:07 pm

    […] Laura, blogger at Heart of Manga, writes a guest post at Beneath The Tangles, and talks about the protagonist of A Devil and Her Love Song, Maria Kawai, and her ties to Christianity. […]

    Leave a Reply
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