Anime Recommendations for Christian Viewers

Below are our staff’s selections for series that we recommend to Christian viewers.  Growing from our original list, the series given below contain information about the shows that you may find pertinent as you select which series to watch or to show your families.  The list is ever-growing, and we invite you to give your own recommendations in the comment section below.

Bunny Drop (Usagi Drop)
Clannad (Clannad)
Kino’s Journey (Kino no Tabi)
Haibane Renmei (Haibane Renmei)
My Ordinary Life (Nichijou)
Now and Then, Here and There (Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)
Trigun (Trigun)


bunny drop hulu

Bunny Drop
Usagi Drop

Daikichi’s grandfather has just died and the young professional’s family can’t stop bickering – not about what to do with Grandfather’s possessions, but what to do about the old man’s six-year old illegitimate child, whom the family has just discovered.  Even without any experience of his own, and seemingly not a family man at all, Daikichi makes the decision to rear the little girl, and what follows is one of the most simple, sincere, and heartwarming series in all anime.

(2011 ~ 11 episodes)

Watch if you:
(+) Enjoy series that are moving
(+) Like shows centered around modern family issues
(+) Like cute kids

Skip if you:
(-) Get bored easily
(-) Dislike angular, sketchy art styles

Biblical Themes:
(+) Emphasis on sacrificial love
(+) Demonstration of concern for the helpless

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Slight alcohol consumption and discussion of Rin’s parentage may trouble parents

Read articles about Bunny Drop

Watch free on Hulu

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clannad hulu

Clannad & Clannad: After Story
Clannad & Clannad: After Story

Tomoya is the kind, but delinquent son of an alcoholic single father.  Nagisa is the shy and sickly, but determined daughter of loving parents.  When they meet one day on the road to school, little did they know that their lives, and that of the group of friends they would make, would become intertwined in tale that is both romantic comedy and fantastical.  One of the most beloved franchises of recent years, Clannad and its sequel, After Story, starts like most series in the genre, introducing a male protagonist and a series of female characters, each with very different personalities, who might somehow become the object of our hero’s affection.  But Clannad transcends the others by taking the viewers on an extraordinary journey past high school and into real life, including the pain, loss, and tragedy that can beset and paralyze us.

(2007 ~ 47 episodes, 2 OVAs, 1 movie)

Watch if you:
(+) Are a romantic at heart
(+) Like zany comedic moments
(+) Enjoy long series that cross multiple genres

Skip if you:
(-) 52 episodes is too long for you
(-) Like your stories firmly grounded in realism

Biblical Themes:
(+) Strong emphasis on love toward family, friends, and even enemies
(+) Themes of love and redemption

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Mystical content plays major role throughout
(-) Some alcohol consumption and violence (mostly comedic)
(-) Brief bad language

Read articles about Clannad

Watch free on Hulu

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kino's journey hulu

Kino’s Journey
Kino no Tabi

Anime episodes are often self-contained, and this is especially true of Kino’s Journey.  The fable-like story follows the title character as she travels from country to country in an unknown world.  The show is wonderful at expressing the human condition in all it’s sin and depravity, but it also reveals the beauty of the world and of people.

(2003 ~ 13 episodes, 1 OVA, 2 movies)

Watch if you:
(+) Like something you can watch an episode at a time
(+) Want to watch something that will make you think
(+) Enjoy a mixture of drama, social commentary, and action

Skip if you:
(-) Get bored easily
(-) Prefer an extended, driven, continuous story
(-) Dislike a simplistic, exaggerated art style

Biblical Themes:
(+) Christ-like sacrifice
(+) Moral dilemmas that can be related directly to pieces of Scripture

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Minor language
(-) Obscured, occasional blood and frequent violence

Read articles about Kino’s Journey

Watch free on Hulu

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Haibane Renmei Hulu

Haibane Renmei
Haibane Renmei

Haibane Renmei focuses on angel-like entities known as haibane, who are born into a world where they work and live among human townsfolk.  This beautiful work can easily be viewed as a Catholic vision of the afterlife and features heavy emphasis on the ideas of sin, grace, forgiveness, and love.  It’s a powerful work that should be at the top of any otaku’s viewing list, much less any Christian otaku’s viewing list – indeed, it’s a become a classic for any fan of anime exploring deep and emotional themes.

(2002 ~ 13 episodes)

Watch if you:
(+) Like to stray from the generic anime path
(+) Want to watch something that will make you think
(+) Enjoy strong characters and symbolic imagery

Skip if you:
(-) Get bored easily
(-) Prefer more standard storytelling types focusing on action or romance (there is neither)
(-) Need all loose ends tied together by the end of the story (it leaves much room for interpretation by the end)

Biblical Themes:
(+) Christ-like love and sacrifice
(+) The repercussions of sin
(+) Unconditional forgiveness
(+) Contentedness over materialism

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Minor language
(-) Minor blood and disturbing pain (first episode briefly)
(-) Partial nudity (brief side shot of main character naked from an obscured angle; not of sexual nature)

Read articles about Haibane Renmei

Watch free on Hulu

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Nichijou Banner

My Ordinary Life
Nichijou

High school students.  Unrequited love.  An elementary-aged inventor.  Exasperated robot assistant.  Deer-wrestling principal.  Rich boy who rides a goat to school.  Um…what?  These characters and a number of others fill the world of My Ordinary Life, a great example both of the comedy and slice of life genres in anime.  What sets Nichijou apart, perhaps, is two-fold – it’s a creative series that constantly goes for surprising and unexpected gags and it’s a very clean series that can be enjoyed by the family.

(2011 ~ 26 episodes, 1 OVA)

Watch if you:
(+) Schoolgirl slice of life (a la Azumanga Daioh)
(+) Zany humor
(+) Relatable characters

Skip if you:
(-) Want a continuous story
(-) Prefer realism

Biblical Themes:
(+) Wholesome humor

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Very mild homosexual themes (Mio’s manga)
(-) Use of culturally Japanese religious items and locations

Read articles about My Ordinary Life

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now and then here and there banner

Now and Then, Here and There
Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku

Perhaps one of the most, if not the most, controversial title on this list. Now and Then, Here and There plays itself off to be, at least in the first episode, the most generic of shounen (aimed toward teenage boys) out there, taking place in a middle school setting at a kendo club. However, don’t let the generic setup deceive you, as this anime is nothing like your generic shounen. Now and Then, Here and There is a short, 13-episode anime that provides one of the most inspiring main characters ever to grace anime from the Christian perspective, witnessed as he works through dozens of deplorable situations that would make any less committed person simply give up and give in. Despite a great amount of questionable implied content, the anime itself is actually relatively clean in comparison, particularly considering the wonderful underlying themes that can be drawn from it.

(1999 ~ 13 episodes)

Watch if you:
(+) Like serious stories exploring difficult situations
(+) Brutally honest social commentary
(+) Want a different take on the shounen genre
(+) Like post-apocalyptic science fiction

Skip if you:
(-) Like happy endings
(-) Prefer more standard shounen

Biblical Themes:
(+) Sanctity of life
(+) Faith that God will bring you through a situation
(+) Sacrificial love
(+) Redemption and forgiveness
(+) Standing up for ideals in an oppressive culture or situation

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Child soldiers
(-) Implied child rape and torture
(-) Blood and violence
(-) Brief partial nudity (young child, harmless and not of sexual nature)
(-) Mild language

Read articles about Now and Then, Here and There

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madoka hulu

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika

Almost like superheroes for young girls, the “magical girl” subgenre, unique to anime, features girls who fight off the forces of evil, gathering power by transforming into vibrant outfits.  A dark series, Madoka Magica is infamous for turning magical girl conventions on their head, while focusing on the significant themes of sin, hope, and salvation.

(2011 ~ 12 episodes, 3 movies)

Watch if you:
(+) Like psychological horrors
(+) Want to watch something that will make you think
(+) If you enjoy a dramatically unfolding plot

Skip if you:
(-) Dislike bright colors/big eyes character styles
(-) Prefer “contained-within-an-episode” stories
(-) Aren’t ready to handle major “feels”

Biblical Themes:
(+) Christ-like sacrifice
(+) Discussion of concepts central to scripture (ex. sin and redemption)

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Brief nudity shown in the opening segment
(-) Mild homosexual inferences, emphasized further in later, separate films
(-) Jarring violence presented in sometimes unrealistic manner

Read articles about Madoka Magica

Watch free on Hulu

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trigun hulu

Trigun
Trigun

The western-style science fiction series traces the travels of Vash the Stampede, the most wanted man on a dry planet in desperate need of an alien energy source.  When two young women, representing an insurance agent, finds the infamous outlaw, they’re stunned by his seeming ineptitude, silly personality, and womanizing.  Vash shows his true colors, though, as he tries to live out his mantra of “Love and peace,” even in the company of a violent “priest” and a growing menace who is seeking Vash, and doesn’t mind killing innocents to get what they desire.  Trigun balances the fun of an action-comedy with a plot that explores ideas central to Christianity, such as mercy, salvation, hope, and forgiveness.

(1998 ~ 26 episodes, 1 movie)

Watch if you:
(+) Enjoy equal doses of comedy and action
(+) Like superhero-style stories
(+) If you enjoy a dramatically unfolding plot

Skip if you:
(-) Dislike frequent violence
(-) Do not like science fiction or westerns

Biblical Themes:
(+) Christ-like sacrifice
(+) Emphasis on themes of non-violence and forgiveness
(+) Frequent discussion of the sanctity of life

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Frequent non-graphic violence
(-) Some language
(-) Mild sexual references
(-) A “priest” character who is a violent gunslinger is a major character

Read articles about Trigun

Watch free on Hulu

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59 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

  • natasia013
    6 June 2014 at 2:23 pm

    You don’t add Noragami? I think it’s a very good anime for Christian despite the Buddhist background. I mean, there’s so many parallels between them.

    Leave a Reply
    • TWWK
      6 June 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation. Noragami would be an excellent addition (I should get on this). If you haven’t seen it already, I did a series of posts over Noragami during the weak leading up to Easter this year discussing these parallels to which you refer:

      http://beneaththetangles.com/tag/noragami/

      Leave a Reply
      • natasia013
        6 June 2014 at 11:03 pm

        I’ve watched Noragami and I liked it 🙂 I also read your articles about Noragami, they’re great too 😉

        Leave a Reply
  • Michael M.
    14 August 2014 at 7:16 pm
    • japesland
      14 August 2014 at 8:31 pm
  • Nolan
    11 December 2014 at 3:17 pm

    hmm i was curious why isn’t Little busters on here? (it is on your recommend vn list) also while you’re at it I’ve heard you recommend melancholy of haruhi suzumiya and noragami on this list but they aren’t on here either. I also think that Kanon and Fruits Basket might be good additions. (of course that could just be me)

    Leave a Reply
    • Kaze
      11 December 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Part of the reason Little Busters isn’t included is because the anime was pretty terrible in comparison to the VN. That said, this list is by no means a comprehensive list of recommendations nor is it a “completed” version. We will certainly consider adding titles, but in the end, this is meant to be a short list to get people started. We don’t want to overwhelm newcomers with a comprehensive list, so the lack of an anime shouldn’t be taken to mean anything more than “we ran out of space,” (not literally, but that kind of reasoning), and if people want more beyond this list, we would gladly make more personal recommendations.

      Leave a Reply
  • Trigun fanatic
    20 February 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I have watched Trigun at least ten times. On reflection I do not think the message is Christian at all.

    Trigun is commonly called a rare Christian anime because of the symbols, and because the author was once believed to have converted to Catholicism. However the protagonist, Vash seems like an atheist, who mocks the priest Wolfwood when he prays for his success in battle, with lines like, “Does prayer really work?” “That’s entirely up to you.” “Alrighty then.”

    At the end, Vash also forgives himself for his short-comings while he partially throws away the dogma he was raised with, namely, “Thou shall not kill under any circumstances.” The last lines he uttered in the anime were, “Rem, I will continue to believe in you, but from now I’ll look to my own words for guidance.”

    This resembles a Christian deciding they like some of the values enough to call themself one, but will question them and ultimately form their own beliefs. He believes Rem was a good person, but no longer will deify her. Especially since he met someone else who was capable of being just as pure and peace-loving: Meryl. That’s just more proof she’s human.

    A lot of the so-called Christian symbolism could be Buddhist too; even the villanious Knives is redeemed in the manga. His companion, Meryl, also acts like the reincarnation of Vash’s saintly mother figure, Rem.

    There are parts where Vash openly mocks the hypocritisy of the gun-toting priest Wolfwood. Also there is the part where Knives said he wanted to create his own Eden.

    Leave a Reply
    • TWWK
      20 February 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks for the commentary. I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said – very well stated!

      Trigun does have a lot of “Christian” symbolism in it. It also has Wolfwood the “priest.” But those don’t make the series Christian in any way. That would be like saying Evangelion is Christian! Nor does Nightow’s faith (which, it seems from fairly recent interviews, he has left).

      So, all that means this: Trigun is not a “Christian anime.” Most definitely not. There are few, few anime that could be called that, and none from the past…30 years.

      Why I recommend Trigun for Christians is that it does exactly what you’ve mentioned in some of your comments – it points out ideas that Christians really need to consider. Look at Wolfwood, for instance. A Christian watching the series will hopefully consider Wolfwood and Vash and see that the earlier is living a life of hypocrisy, while the latter, a character without faith, is living with integrity. Series that make Christians question how they live their faith are so much more compelling from a religious angle than shows which “deify” Christianity.

      And speaking of Wolfwood, the other part of the series that really lends for Christian recommendation are the themes, characterization, and plot points in the series that really jive with Christian ideals. Here are a few:

      – Vash – obviously not a Christian – lives a life of sacrifice, to the point where he makes a very compelling “Christ figure.”

      – The selfish and evil nature of humanity is shown episode after episode after episode. Love, in all it’s power, is ultimately offered (and self-contained in a number of episodes) as a cure for the disease of sin.

      – Returning back to Wolfwood, his last scene in the anime is one that demonstrates the power of grace and forgiveness, the true essence of the gospel, about as well as any anime I’ve seen. The power of redemption for one who has taken so many lives demonstrates to us a portion of what grace means.

      So yes, while Trigun is no “Christian anime,” and while I would consider that it’s more strongly a humanist or Buddhist work than Christian (though I honestly would argue against that), it remains a series that we recommend to Christians as one that we can take and analyze and apply to our lives as we critically consider our faith.

      Also, it’s just darn good.

      Leave a Reply
    • Seraph
      27 December 2015 at 7:56 pm

      I disagree

      “However the protagonist, Vash seems like an atheist, who mocks the priest Wolfwood when he prays for his success in battle, with lines like, “Does prayer really work?” “That’s entirely up to you.” “Alrighty then.”

      There isn’t really anything that indicates Vash’s faith or lack of faith. It is simply not stated or implied. The line about “Does prayer actually work”, which to be fair seems more of light-hearted banter than deep philosophical thought, questioning prayer does not in any way indicate atheism. If you stretch it, you could argue agnosticism.

      “A lot of the so-called Christian symbolism could be Buddhist too; even the villanious Knives is redeemed in the manga. His companion, Meryl, also acts like the reincarnation of Vash’s saintly mother figure, Rem.”

      Buddhism and Christianity are not so alike in themes and values as many anime fans assume. They are widely different religions with *very* different objectives and themes. Buddhism is not about redemption, but enlightenment.The closets eastern religion you would get to Christianity is Sikhism. An anime with Buddhist themes would be more heavy on the ideas of detachment of excess, liberating one’s self, self control, gaining wisdom etc. Personally, I do not see Meryl as a reincarnation of Rem at all. I never once felt there was a connection, on a deeper or surface level.

      “There are parts where Vash openly mocks the hypocritisy of the gun-toting priest Wolfwood. ”

      I don’t see that as an attack on faith, but the hypocrisy of Wolfwood, which I might add, Wolfwood himself realizes and asks God for forgiveness in the anime before he passes away, with nothing but the Cross holding up his body(while a song singing Hallelujah plays in the background). Wolfwood directly shown himself a man that humbled himself in front of God and asks for forgiveness. The attention to “Forgiveness” is a more Christian-centric theme, and while featured definitely in Islam and Judaism as well, it is one that is not prominent in themes of eastern religions, especially Buddhism.

      Of course, on a general practical level, Trigun isn’t Christian, atheistic, humanist, agnostic, Buddhist etc. It is completely neutral on such aspects.

      Leave a Reply
    • Random Catholic
      22 January 2017 at 11:47 pm

      “Vash seems like an atheist”
      He actually seems to care more about genuine Christianity than Wolfwood yelling “Hey, what about Thou shalt not kill, remember?” Vash strikes me as a Christ figure, what with him and Knives being a sort of Christ and Satan pair if you will. Knives even tries to tempt him in the dessert. Vash is a plant, one of the ageless angelic beings that sustain and give life to humanity on planet Gunsmoke. Despite being a plant, Vash is raised by Rem, a human woman who adopts him as his mother, and walks among the humans, as one of them, teaching them the ways of “love and peace” in spite of great evil and suffering.
      You make a good point about the final line when he seemingly decides to leave Rem and her way behind. What does that mean, exactly? Well, I distinctly remember that scene touching me deeply, just in terms of the story, because of how much she meant to him and how much blamed himself for her death and for not killing Knives. It felt like, now that Knives was defeated, she could rest in peace, and he was finally able to forgive himself and move forward. It was a moving conclusion of his character arc.
      Honestly, I don’t think he decided to abandon her command to never kill. When Vash was forced to kill Legato, he was completely devastated for a while. Eventually he put it behind him, but his fight with Knives is a testament to his renewed determination to never take a human life again. He had every reason in the world to kill Knives, but he deliberately chose to take him in alive (albeit badly wounded). When he said “I’ll look to my own words for guidance”, I think he was coming into his own, sort of “growing up” from a lost sheep to a Shepard. Its art, so its up to interpretation I suppose.
      Even if I’m dead wrong about all that, I’m convinced that Wolfwood’s death masterfully captured the Christian concept of self-sacrifice, confession, and salvation. The image of a bloody Wolfwood crying as he leans upon his heavy cross sums up so much about this faith.

      Leave a Reply
  • Vanjoy
    1 March 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Wow I’m definitely continuing Kino’s Journey thnx 🙂

    Leave a Reply
    • japesland
      2 March 2015 at 12:42 pm
    • TWWK
      3 March 2015 at 9:35 am

      One of the very few series that makes you think after every episode, and really leads you to critically think about ideas while walking that line between spoon feeding and being over-philosophical.

      Leave a Reply
  • CMitze
    15 March 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for this list and the comments everyone. trying to find ok anime for my older teens. we are christians and so much of what’s out there is so dark and there is so much of it that it takes way too long to preview it all before saying what’s okay and what’s not. i’ll preview the list and hopefully find more good stuff for my kids.

    Leave a Reply
    • japesland
      16 March 2015 at 6:36 pm

      I hope our list is able to help you out! Let us know what you end up doing! ^_^

      Leave a Reply
    • TWWK
      23 March 2015 at 12:40 pm
  • Sam
    21 March 2015 at 12:59 pm

    As someone who’s recently gotten into anime, and has been recommending anime to various friends who are more conservative than I am, I’m glad to see that you guys have taken the time to make a list of some recommendations! 😀 In my opinion, I think shows like Barakmon, Anohana, and Angel Beats also offer good Christian values. While they do have influences from Buhddist teachings, they aren’t super overt with them, and good messages can be learned from them. Angel Beats in particular made me think of the verse in Ephesians 5, where it tells us to make the most of the time we have on this Earth. 🙂

    Just my two cents. Take it as you wish. 🙂

    Leave a Reply
    • TWWK
      23 March 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks for the recommendations! Barakamon would easily fit into this list – one of our writers wrote a long series of posts on the show and Christian lessons on his personal aniblog. I’ve also written a number of articles on Angel Beats, and a few on AnoHana as well – those certainly contain a lot of great insights that speak to important ideas within Christianity. The Ephesians 5 connection is a good one – thanks for bringing that up!

      Leave a Reply
  • nlnrose
    11 April 2015 at 12:24 pm

    you guys have vn, movie, and series reccomendations, but do you guys have any reccomendations on manga? I’ve started ashita no joe and read through both trigun and kenshin but i was wondering which ones you guys like.

    Leave a Reply
    • japesland
      11 April 2015 at 9:35 pm

      We’ve been working on trying to get a manga recommendations page up, but those of us who put together the anime and VN pages are not as well read in that area. We will eventually get LN and manga pages up, though I can’t exactly say when that will be. ^^”

      The only manga I can personally attest to are The World God Only Knows and Azumanga Daioh, both of which I thought were hilarious. However, I would try asking some of the other writers. Feel free to contact us via the various methods listed on our about page!

      Leave a Reply
    • TWWK
      13 April 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Fruits Basket is probably the only series that I think a lot of us have read AND would recommend as both a really good series and one that can teach us about truths that Christians believe. Other than that, very few of us are well-read on manga, unfortunately. My favorites include Claymore and Cross Game, and I’m not sure I would necessarily recommend either for this type of page.

      Leave a Reply
  • Vicky Kaseorg
    20 May 2015 at 7:18 am

    i am a parent with an older teen who watched anime, but is certainly not limiting herself to these Christian friendly ones. I watched many different anime to determine whether to ban it altogether.I saw a great deal of sexualization of young girls, shots of women’s breast filling the screen, obvious sexual symbols like giant screws coming from underground and up between scantily clad girls legs…obvious homosexuality, a lot of very bad language…and in the end we banned it. I also saw a good percentage of anime costumes at the convention were hardly what one would call modest. What are your thoughts about anyone who claims Jesus as Lord being involved in something with so many very objectionable themes and images, as well as a well known pornographic section? I am really struggling here. I want my near 18 year old to make choices, but I am appalled by so much of what I saw in the anime I viewed.

    Leave a Reply
    • Sam
      20 May 2015 at 12:34 pm

      If I may offer my own opinion as a Christian teen (17 going on 18) who’s seen a fair amount of anime, it all depends on the show you’re watching. Anime as a medium should be seen in the same light as TV shows or movies here in the US; you know there’s bad out there, but there’s also good, and it’s up to you to determine your own standards for what’s acceptable in your own household. It is true that there are a lot of shows that do use bad imagery and themes to sell themselves, but there are a lot of good shows out there as well that don’t do that, and they’re not that hard to find. 🙂

      Personally, I one of the shows I recommend to my friends who are just getting into anime is Usagi Drop. It’s a beautiful show, one about a bachelor in his thirties who adopts a six-year-old girl, and has to learn how to be a parent. It is a very sweet slice-of-life story, and it focuses a lot on themes of love, trust, security, and family, while avoiding language and sexualization. Another series I would recommend is Silver Spoon, another slice-of-life that focuses on the antics of a high schooler named Haichken as he transfers to an agricultural school. The plot seems simple, but the show has a way of pulling the viewer in and caring about each of the characters, while also exploring different facets of farming life in a way that feels very real. My mom in particular likes this series. 🙂

      Leave a Reply
      • TWWK
        21 May 2015 at 11:03 am

        Usagi Drop is a wonderful series – it’s actually one of our recommendations above. And coincidentally, I’m currently watching Silver Spoon with my wife!

        Leave a Reply
    • TWWK
      21 May 2015 at 11:01 am

      This is a complicated issue, it really is. When you’re an eighteen year old – and even older than that – your perhaps not as mature with your entertainment choices as you would be when you’re older. Thus, you might watch anime that is popular or otherwise entertaining and not think about all the fanservice (in this sense defined as those scenes are developed to titillate audiences) that’s occurring in a show. The “sexual symbols” you speak of might just seem like another joke to your child, or as it is with many of us, is just something we ignore. But as a parent myself, I understand that these images and others shouldn’t be taken lightly – we need to think about what we’re consuming.

      That said, I think we need to approach anime as we would any other medium. It’s a broad piece of entertainment – talking about “anime” is like talking about “movies” – there’s such a large spectrum of series under that banner. And as there are pornographic anime (a slice of the genre whose fame and reach is very overblown), there are pornographic movies, TV shows, novels, etc. Anime itself is not evil – it just is. What people make of it is what might lead some astray.

      What I would suggest is that you view anime – and this goes for your child as well (doubly, actually) – as you might approach the Bible, not in the sense that anime is any way God’s word, but that we don’t throw out the Bible because of objectionable content. In fact, we need to read about the horrible things of humanity to really grasp the concept of grace. In anime, we’re not going to always see positive elements – there is sexual content, crude language, violence, etc. – but that’s a reflection, partially, of Japanese culture and what their people value, and in a larger sense, of humanity in general. But what draws me to anime is the good we see – the abundant and almost omnipresent themes of grace, forgiveness, love, mercy, and sacrifice, so much more present in anime than in western television and movies. And of course, we can appreciate the beauty and creativity of the animators. There’s much to be gained from anime, almost despite itself, and there’s opportunity here for discussion about faith (as we do on our blog) and about sin.

      That said, I will draw a line with my children when they are old enough (they are 5 and 7 years old) to start viewing anime series (right now they’re limited, basically, to Studio Ghibli fare and a little Pokemon). Series that contain heavy, consistent doses of fanservice may cross that line, and to me, they’re just distasteful. Thankfully, there are literally HUNDREDS of anime that premiere each year, and they offer a variety of series to choose from, from those with heavy doses of questionable content to those that contain none or only small amounts. Christian Anime Review and Christian Anime Alliance are among the sites that review series from a Christian perspective, and could give some insight about the amount of questionable content in a series your child may be interested in.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions.

      P.S. As for cosplay…I would say you’re seeing much more a reflection of teenage culture than anime culture. Teenagers want an excuse to dress scandalous and to sexualize themselves – so why not dress like a scantily-clad anime character? I’ve seen so many people cosplay, for instance, as one specific famed, hardly-wearing-anything character, but I wonder, have they even watched this series? Serious cosplayers focus on the character first, and while they may also dress provocatively, they might not – it just depends on the characters. Here’s a recent favorite example of mine: Ore Monogatari cosplay.

      Leave a Reply
  • Vicky Kaseorg
    21 May 2015 at 4:06 pm
  • Aynessa
    8 July 2015 at 7:42 am

    You need to remove Bunny Drop from this list. The two characters get into a romantic relationship in the later stages of the manga that the anime show is based from. AKA the girl grows into a teen that wants to marry her surrogate father instead of being his daughter, thus promoting incest.

    Leave a Reply
    • TWWK
      8 July 2015 at 10:51 am

      We understand what occurs in the manga (I’ve actually written a post about it), and because of that, we won’t recommend the manga once we develop those recommendations. However, we do stand by the anime, which only covers the first half of the manga series; should it receive a sequel that covers the second half, we will reconsider.

      Leave a Reply
  • Bree
    7 January 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I appreciate your taking the time to put this list together! But I started watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica and in the very first episode there were two naked girls kissing. Very naked. And you could very well see that. They weren’t afraid to show parts you shouldn’t see. I saw no warning of any kind of nudity in your description of this series. Like I said I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the recommendation, but I really think this should be taken off the list. Have a very nice day!! 🙂

    Leave a Reply
    • Annalyn
      7 January 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Bree, thank you for your comment. We’re adding a warning to the recommendation now, and I’m very sorry that we didn’t have one before. I admit, I didn’t remember that scene at all, even though it’s in the opening sequence and appears repeatedly. Now that a couple of us have re-watched the first episode, we understand your concern and see how it can be offensive. Here are some reasons that we’re keeping the recommendation, at least for now.

      – The nudity, though full, is neither explicit in details nor sexualized. In fact, it seems to represent purity, at least in part.

      – The “two girls” are actually the same girl. I know, it’s weird to see them kiss when you’re not used to this kind of thing. Like the nudity, the physical closeness of the two girls is fairly typical in a magical girl transformation scene—like one self is taking the place of (or blessing) the other self.

      I’m sorry you saw that without warning. Thank you again for bringing it to our attention. While we still believe the edifying parts of Puella Magi Madoka Magica warrant this recommendation, your concern is completely valid, and we want to respect our readers’ sensitivities. (The scene certainly would have shocked me in my earlier years of anime-watching!)

      You have a nice day as well! (or evening… or whatever it is now where you are) ^_^

      Leave a Reply
  • Micah Marshall
    8 January 2016 at 6:56 am

    Just thought I’d leave some suggestions of anime that I watch. Not all of them have necessarily “Christian” themes, but instead have minimal to no sexual content, as I am a recovering porn addict who found grace in Christ.

    1). Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
    2), Durarara and Durarara 2x
    3). Hunter X Hunter 2011
    4). Dragon Ball Z
    5). Attack On Titan

    I actually do think that the original Fullmetal Alchemist SHOULD be added to the list of Christian anime, despite Edward Elric bring an agnostic. The first two episodes are very much against religion in general, but the show progresses into the main character realizing his need for a god, although he doesn’t find out its God. Bonds of brotherly love, forgiveness, and determination even when the circumstances seem hopeless are all great Christian ideas that are the meat of this anime. Now the things mentioned in the original are also in Brotherhood, just not as prominently. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, so I cannot make a fair judgement about it. However, I do HIGHLY recommend the original for this list! Easily my favorite anime.

    Leave a Reply
    • Japesland
      8 January 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks for your list Micah! It’s always nice to hear what our readers like, and I’m sure this will be helpful for other people! Everyone has different experiences, and so some anime that we recommend to most we might not recommend to all people.

      As far as adding FMA to our list, we don’t normally make a practice of altering our recommendations pages on a regular basis simply because we want to keep them consistent with only occasional updates as time makes them outdated. In this case, however, we’ll thoughtfully consider adding FMA, since it displays many redeeming elements for Christian viewers and is considered a top-tier classic by many anime fans.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! ^_^

      Leave a Reply
  • Hannah Ekstedt
    10 February 2016 at 10:16 pm

    I just want to thank the people who made this a websites! It’s awesome! Also for this list, I reccomend Tsuritama, it’s a great show that not a lot of people know about. Thanks!

    Leave a Reply
    • Japesland
      11 February 2016 at 8:26 am

      I’m glad to hear our resources have been helpful! Thanks for your recommendation!

      Leave a Reply
  • little1otaku85
    11 February 2016 at 9:56 am

    I also say Tsuritama is a great show. It pretty much has no sexual content. Great for Kids! It also has some good Christian themes.

    Leave a Reply
  • Toyu Azuma
    25 February 2016 at 8:01 pm

    As being a avid fan of anime myself in a Christian family, my mother took a small interest in my habit and suggested your blog around three years ago, which I subscribed to immediately and have been with since. I have two recommendations for anime that I personally find to be appropriate for teenagers who can handle 1. Dark history, 2. implied sexual content. 3. violence and a Kino no Tabi sized bit of bloodshed, by which I mean, very very little. The two manga-turned-anime shows are Angel Heart, a wonderful story set in a parallel universe of the manga City Hunter (both are written by the same Author, Hojo Tsukasa) that deals with a assassin trying to leave her past and finding hope where previously there was none. That is all I can say on Angel Heart without spoiling the plot, although I should warn the reader or watcher, that the protagonist of City Hunter has a ‘boner’ problem that will only last for a few seconds if you are watching the anime, less than 1 page if you are reading the manga. Said problem is quickly and very literally hammered out by his assistant who pulls a door-sized mallet from hyperspace and hammers the male protagonist into the wall, floor, ect, much to my amusement. Angel Heart focuses on love, family, finding hope, friendship, and helping others when there is no one else to turn to. My second show, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shinchin (just type the first two words into a internet search engine, the rest will pop up in the drop down menu if your engine has one) is very very dark. It is set after world war II during the 1950’s in a reformatory prison in Japan, and focuses on the cellmates of block 2 cell 6. The hope that is shown despite the despair that the characters go through, the mostly dark background animation itself, and the Jesus-like quality that the first cellmate of the cell who is a older male by the nickname of An-chan shows makes this show one of my top recommendations. However attempting to explain it to others is very difficult because of the sheer despair that the boys express in the first episode alone. (An-chan is a affectionate nickname that has the English equivalent of older brother, big bro, ect.) It has been at least a year or two and a few months since I have seen Rainbow: Nisha, so I am unsure as to how to warn viewers with it. I remember a scene within the first episode where the doctor of the reform prison was, according to the wiki page, doing a “painful rectal exam” on the boys. So just wanted to put that out there for those who don’t want to see such a thing within the first episode, despite it being non-graphic and done off-screen. However if you can stomach it, then you will most likely be able to stomach and enjoy the rest of this hope-filled-by-the-end anime. I want someone to do a blog on both of these shows, as I have searched both the older recommendation list and newer with no such luck on finding a blog on either. Maybe if the list was still in ABC format like it was during the summer or spring of last year I would be able to find said blogs, but then again they might not exist or the blogs are just not showing up for some reason.

    Leave a Reply
    • Japesland
      25 February 2016 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks for the continued support over the past few years! I hope we’ve continued to be a good resource for you and your family!

      Thanks for the anime recommendations! We’ll definitely take them into consideration, though the process for adding them to this page requires that our writers are able to thoroughly vet the series and ensure it’s quality and redemptive value. Our philosophy is quality over quantity with our recommendations pages!

      As far as the anime search function is concerned, in our redesign, we simply don’t have a place for the alphabetical browsing area. Additionally, it had to be manually updated based on our tagging system, which was less than ideal. The search bar at the top of the site should find anything you’re looking for, as it indexes titles, categories, tags, and more! If it doesn’t show up from a search, it probably doesn’t exist.

      Thanks again!

      Leave a Reply
    • Random Catholic
      22 January 2017 at 11:15 pm

      On your under construction “Anime to challenge Christians” page, I think you should include Death Note and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. Not only are both fantastic anime in general, but they both tackle all sorts of Christian themes, not shying away from darker subjects. Light Yagami is tempted with the forbidden fruit that is the Death Note, by the devilish Ryuk, which he uses in a vain attempt to become a god and impose his own twisted version of justice on humanity. It is a story of hubris, and how the path to hell is paved with good intentions. Its not a particularly pleasant or kid-friendly message, but it is very important to remember that we are capable of evil, and Satan is always lurking around the corner to tempt us. As for Brotherhood, sure Ed claims to be an “Atheist”, but he and Alphonse personally met God (“Truth”) when they committed the taboo, and were punished for their hubris and for violating the sanctity of life. In a sense, the existence of God is actually confirmed in this universe. Ed isn’t an Atheist-he’s a pessimist: no wonder he sees Letoism and assumes that its too good to be true-there are no such things as miracles. By the end of the series, we meet Scar, a deeply religious monotheist (a Jew?) who becomes a hero, and the brothers do battle with the Devil (“Father”). There’s a lot to unpack here.

      Leave a Reply
  • Cappy
    22 May 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Have you ever thought of adding Evangelion or Maria the Virgin Witch to the list?

    Leave a Reply
    • Japesland
      23 May 2016 at 2:43 pm

      While many of our staff would agree that both of those entries would be great additions to this list, we sadly can’t include every anime worth mentioning here. While there is always a chance one of those might make an appearance as we continue to tweak this list as time goes by, I’d recommend you check out some of our articles on them!

      Leave a Reply
  • Adrian Geraldy
    13 June 2016 at 3:12 am

    Hey, sorry. Can I ask one thing, as a fellow Christian and an Anime watcher, what do you think about Highschool DxD? I like that anime and I think the Christian aspect of that anime may be bad for some people, especially how it portrays the Death of God, and some… bad ‘priests’.

    Leave a Reply
    • stardf29
      13 June 2016 at 3:33 pm

      Nice to meet another Christian anime watcher!

      Unfortunately, from what I know of High School DxD, it has one major problem with it that is far worse than any potential issues with religion/priests: the extremely heavy sexual content. The show purposely tries to appeal itself to viewers sexually as much as possible without outright crossing into explicit hentai. Because of this, none of us at Beneath the Tangles can recommend this show to other Christians in good conscience.

      Leave a Reply
      • T. G.C
        3 July 2016 at 7:30 pm

        I would like to suggest Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi). I´m a Catholic student, I watched it recently and I was amazed by its portrayal of the suffering of the innocent, guilt and redemption, heroism, kindness, trust, selflessness, family, mission-vocation and courage, and a providential view of events. I would argue that the main theme of the show is in fact a Christlike sacrifice, though not explicit at first. The story is pretty dark, as it deals with the issue of children neglected and abused by their parents, and the main villain is also a psychopath children murderer (although there are no on-screen murders and, in fact, almost no on-screen violence), but also filled with hope. I would strongly recommend it for those Christians who can deal with these themes. It´s also full of action and mistery.

        No sexual content or fanservice. Some frightening and intense scenes. No reference to God or religion. Time-travel is an important element of the story (linked to the mission-vocation element), but its source is left unexplained.

        Leave a Reply
        • Japesland
          6 July 2016 at 3:47 pm

          Thanks for the recommendation! Erased was definitely an interesting recent anime entry (just two seasons ago, I believe!), and it’s helpful to hear your perspective on it! We’ll do our best to keep it in mind for future revisions of our list!

          Leave a Reply
  • Rose
    17 August 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I’d recommend Princess Tutu for this list. It has themes based around the meaning of true love and free will, and its lack of graphical violence makes it accessible to almost any age.

    Leave a Reply
    • Paul
      8 September 2016 at 10:49 pm

      For those in the US, Now and Then, Here and There is available for free streaming on manga.com.

      Leave a Reply
  • Gaheret
    19 October 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I would want to thank you wholeheartedly for your work. I got into anime last year with FMA: Brotherhood, which impressed me with its portrait of the characters, the redemptive power of its story and the complexity and coherence of the world it´s set on (I also missed some of the first episodes which would probably have me to quit). Then I turned to Erased, which I have already commented here. I wanted more of the like, something I could watch with Christian eyes and also stylistically good. Since then, I have watched Trigun, then Kino´s Journey, Haibane Renmei, Madoka, Now and then, here and there (it´s amazing! I would say it´s one of my favorite works in any media, with such portrait of pain and such a light of hope…) and Sakamichi no Apollon (which I will also remember forever). All of them are masterworks, full of substance, beauty, emotion and truth, I absolutely loved them and I´m grateful. By the way, I also tried Eden of the East (didn´t like the jokes, and as it is a comedy show…), Samurai Champloo (too gory and sometimes kind of nasty) and Legend of Galactic Heroes (those Dark Bishops), and I don´t know about Clannad, Usagi Drop or Big Windup, as I´m not too much into realism (so, any suggestions?). Long life Beneath the Tangles, I´ll be around here. Thank you!

    Leave a Reply
    • Annalyn
      21 October 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you for your encouraging comment, Gaheret! It sounds like you’ve benefited from this list, and as a BtT staff member, I’m glad to hear it (even though I had no part in its development). As someone who always avoided the drama genre and used anime to escape reality, I still recommend Usagi Drop and Clannad. My biggest caution with Clannad is that you shouldn’t give up on it too soon. It took almost six episodes for it to capture me, and I wouldn’t have gotten that far if the guys here at BtT hadn’t recommended it so highly. I don’t think I’ll watch the whole thing a second time, but I’m glad I watched it once.

      Big Windup is great, too! For a sports anime, I suppose it does have more of a realistic feel to it, but it’s still a delight.

      Leave a Reply
  • Cappy
    30 October 2016 at 2:29 am

    After reading this section, I went off and purchased one of the few I had not seen from this list; Now and Then, Here and There. All I have to say is wow, that anime was something special. It was brutal and explicit as you guys said, but Shu was truly one of the greatest characters to grace anime.

    Thank you so much for making this blog. I never would have watched this anime without you guys. It was a true masterpiece.

    Leave a Reply
    • Japesland
      31 October 2016 at 9:11 pm

      You have no idea how happy this makes me! I added that anime in myself, as I’m the only one who has both seen it and has any strong feelings about it, so every time the conversation comes up to edit this page it gets put on the chopping block first. I’m so glad we decided to keep it, though 😛

      Leave a Reply
      • Cappy
        1 November 2016 at 11:01 pm

        I am too! The values espoused throughout the story from the anti-violence to protecting others even at the cost of your own life, were amazing! Thanks again. And if it gets referred to the chopping block again, I vouch 100% for this anime to stay on the list.

        Leave a Reply
  • Gaheret
    14 January 2017 at 8:04 am

    I took your advice. I´m glad I did! I´m enjoying realism as much as I enjoyed fantasy and adventure shows. Clannad´s miracle was amazing! It reminded me the one from the film “Ordet”, and the journey of the characters was complex, truthful and sometimes unique: I became very attached to the characters. Usagi Drop was very good, and Big Windup (I´ve finished it just today) made me as interested in group sports as I had never been, and I loved its characters and its portrait of friendship, rivalry, dependence, group work… but the one I´m most grateful about is Nichijou, which I would never found if it wasn´t in this list, as it helped greatly my spiritual life: it showed me how to find in my ordinary life the humour, wonder and joy of God, and therefore to rejoice even in a series of absurd accidents not unlike Yukko´s, as I know I´m watched with sympathy and love. Now I´m into Ashita no Joe and I´ll probably start Hibike! Euphonium in a while. Thank you very much!

    Leave a Reply
    • Japesland
      15 January 2017 at 6:59 pm

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed our recommendations! Nichijou is an especially under appreciated gem!

      Leave a Reply
  • MithrandirOlorin
    25 March 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Noir is my favorite Anime. One that my Faith has definitely informed how I view it.

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