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The Mike Toole Show - Anime Sunday School


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wyntre_rose
Crazy FangirlCrazy Fangirl


Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 84
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Personally, I grew up on Superbook, not even realizing it was an anime until I actually lived in Japan, and the church I was working alongside showed it to the kids. It certainly explained a few things, like "why is CAKE a specifically Christmas food to Chris and his dad?" and there was even a chant during one episode done by some priests of Ba'al that the English dub left in Japanese! Apparently, the translators thought it was in Hebrew or Aramaic or something, and left it alone? LOL... And yeah, I did actually find an old used copy in Japanese that I keep just for nostalgia's sake.

When I was younger, and more of a purist in general, the wacky things done in the name of Christianity in some anime did bother me. Nowadays I think I have a little more realistic view and see it as something the creators of anime and manga think is exotic and/or fun, they just haven't grown up in a culture steeped in it, so their portrayals of it generally aren't accurate. And I'm not offended by it anymore. I'm actually pretty intrigued by the idea of Jesus and Buddha as roommates...
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 852
Location: Holland MI
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:24 pm Reply with quote
I remember Flying House actually being run on TBN on Saturday mornings when I was 10 or 11, honestly the depictions of Christianity don't bother me as no one is going out of their way to be blatantly offensive. While depictions of Christianity in Anime are something if it's done I'd rather not have it be an evangelistic tool and more a look at the faith of others Kids On The Slope handled this well with the Catholicism of two of the main characters.

Although it'd be nice to see a representation of Protestant Christianity I mean the Dutch did have exclusive trading rights with Japan at one point I'm sure there's something to be made out of that.
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TheSeventhSense



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:37 pm Reply with quote
Oh, man, Superbook was one of the few good parts of private school. I had no idea it was anime when I was younger though, I just knew that I liked it more then "McGee & Me" or whatever awful Christian dribble they threw at us.

Superbook makes otakus.
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kj_4247



Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:43 pm Reply with quote
seems like you missed a big one in evangellion
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Petrea Mitchell



Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 436
Location: Near Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:50 pm Reply with quote
I once had the opportunity to ask a Roman Catholic who's also a huge anime fan what he thought of Haibane Renmei. I, a non-Christian, thought that despite its departures from doctrine and common belief, it did have a pretty good grasp of the overall idea of purgatory, but the Catholic said it was just too weird for him to enjoy.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3451
Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Gizmo's cross is a Greek cross. A Coptic Cross has the little loop at the top - it's derived from the Egyptian symbol "ankh," which meant life.

Also, the Shimabara rebellion that Amakusa led was actually prompted by over-taxation and a major famine. It eventually transformed into a religious-led rebellion across multiple classes, but at the start it was a peasants' revolt.

As for the portrayal of Christianity in Japanese media...honestly? Most of the time, anime has treated Christianity better than American media treats our minority religions, like Islam and Buddhism, so I really can't complain. Besides, anime tends to use most religion as either magic or a vehicle for jokes, regardless of whether it's Buddhism, Shinto, or Christianity.

Probably the most positive depiction I've seen of Christianity in any mainstream manga is in 20th Century Boys. I haven't seen the second and third movies that were made out of that; did any of that carry over, or did the priests' back stories disappear?
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 2196
Location: Here!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:08 pm Reply with quote
I've never seen Christianity be out and out bashed as much as hilariously misinterpreted in the name of a narrative. So I find the misinterpretation more odd and puzzling than straight up having a vendetta. You know, like if you showed someone random Taoist symbols without context and had them write about Taoist philosophy. If someone made a story that was nothing but a rant about how we know everything, all religion and even the idea of something greater than humanity existing is bullshit, etc, then yes, I would be offended and annoyed. But Jesus and Buddha as roommates? That isn't offensive, in fact it's actually really funny to see how the pair play off each other.
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stardf29



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 167
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:07 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, I'm not too bothered by the loose interpretations of Christianity most anime have; I've come to accept that, due to general lack of understanding of our faith, most anime creators treat Christianity as an exotic thing, so I don't expect much in the way of accuracy there. I do sometimes get annoyed when the Church gets used as some kind of evil power, as it often does in fantasy series, but I am aware that historically, the Church has not always acted in a godly manner, so I guess I can understand that to a degree.

At the same time, I also do not see anime as some kind of escapism from religion. When I watch anime, I always do so through the lens of my faith, and this does affect how I see anime and how much I like any given series. The cool thing about anime (and other secular fiction) is that, even without directly being about Christianity, many anime inadvertently (or perhaps advertently) reflect Christian themes and ideas. It's an imperfect and oftentimes incomplete reflection, like a reflection off water, but it can still be meaningful to see and think about. I even write a blog about the Christian themes I see in anime, or that an anime makes me think about.

Just in looking back over this year and some of my absolute favorite shows within, for example, we have AKB0048 and Outbreak Company, both of which remind me a lot of Christian missionary work--the latter in more "accepting" foreign countries, the former in places hostile towards Christianity.

Even a show about Shintoism can be surprisingly introspective on Christianity. Gingitsune may be about the relationship between a shrine maiden and a herald of Shinto gods, but there are a surprising number of parallels to the Christian's relationship with God in there, too.

Silver Spoon doesn't have any particularly deep ties with religion or faith, but it also has some nice themes. For example, spoiler[Aki's family's forgiveness for Yuugo over his costly mistake while working at their farm] is a great example of the theme of forgiveness and love.

That said, a show doesn't have to be full of spiritual themes for me to enjoy it, and simply enjoying a show can be a spiritual experience as well, since I believe that God created us to enjoy life and to worship Him in doing so. So even if I'm just enjoying myself some Yuyushiki, even that is something that is ultimately part of my faith.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9276
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm Reply with quote
I wish In the Beginning would get some subs, it's one of the few no-bullshit animated depictions of the bible, and would be fascinating to watch all the way through. I did watch the first six episodes raw, but I never saw anymore torrents after that, and I was able to follow it well enough because the stories are familiar, but subs would be better.

On the whole angle of Japanese using Christian imagery and iconography, it's just because it's as exotic to them as Shintoism is to us. Barely any of them would even consider themselves Christian, even if they want Western style weddings with "priests", non of it is a religious ceremony, just a facsimile in a place that's meant to kind of resemble a church, but is just a wedding center.
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GracieLizzy



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 460
Location: Sunderland, England, UK
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:43 pm Reply with quote
I was also brought up Catholic (but by parents who always disagreed with the Church on a lot of things - i.e. abortion, divorce, and LGBT rights) we don't really attend any more and I'm pretty lapsed now. However I did have a phase in my teens when I was troubled by the Holy Grail and Messiah aspect of Sailor Moon of all things...

I actually planned to write a fanfic about an insert Sailor Senshi who would steal the Holy Grail from Usagi to try and return it to the McGee & Vatican but then return it to her when she realised it was needed to save the world. I never got around to actually writing it because I kinda came to realize it was a silly idea. That and I'm a lazy fanfic writer.


Last edited by GracieLizzy on Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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silentjay



Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 298
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:43 pm Reply with quote
kj_4247 wrote:
seems like you missed a big one in evangellion


No, he didn't. Evangelion has almost nothing to do with actual religion, and just uses a bunch of Judeo-Christian icongraphy mixed with a mythos based around the Apopcrypha. There is no actual portrayal of religion, Christanity or otherwise, at all in the series.
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trunkschan90



Joined: 08 Aug 2002
Posts: 529
Location: California
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:02 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
I wish In the Beginning would get some subs, it's one of the few no-bullshit animated depictions of the bible, and would be fascinating to watch all the way through. I did watch the first six episodes raw, but I never saw anymore torrents after that, and I was able to follow it well enough because the stories are familiar, but subs would be better.


Perhaps, AnimeSols can put that series up on their site since it's only 26 episodes.
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 1137
Location: Colorful Colorado :)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:13 pm Reply with quote
Glad you mentioned Saint Young Men; that manga is hilarious! Laughing

I dunno, I think the more hilariously misguided portrayals of my faith are kind of charming, in their own way. One of the reasons I like Blue Exorcist is laughing at some of the more...interesting interpretations of Catholicism in it. Christians make up less than one percent of Japan's population; I feel like it's kind of weird to expect them to be super faithful to and respectful of Christian teachings, especially considering some of the things we do to Buddhism in our media. Besides, if you can't laugh at yourself from time to time, what can you laugh at?

That said, I'm interested in seeing In the Beginning. There are a lot of fantastic stories in the Bible and it's always nice to see a good adaptation for once.
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TonyTonyChopper



Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 250
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:46 pm Reply with quote
I love In the Beginning i watched everything i could from it on you tube the edited English version.
I do however own it twice on dvd unfortunately they bouth have only Spanish and Italian soundtracks so it's still not doing much.
This is one of those older shows that is just screaming to be released (discotec ?????) there are however Japanse dvd's that have the unedited English dub but there horribly out of print you ganna need over 2000 dollar's at least to safe the show and that's for used dvd's for the most part, also many Japanese dealer's aren't willing to ship it outside of Japan.
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danilo07



Joined: 25 Dec 2011
Posts: 1576
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:58 pm Reply with quote
Hmph I am surprised Mike didn't mention Mamoru Oshii.He is one of rare anime directors who actually knows a lot about Christianity and his whenever he cites Bible ,that citation carries a thematic purpose(see the first Patlabor movie).
Too bad that Junketsu no Maria anime still has not been made,seeing how it mocks Catholic church and many might find it to be actually offensive.
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