Christian Denominations Get Anthropomorphized in New Manga
posted on by Eric Stimson
Anthropomorphization, or gijinka in Japanese, is evidently a trend in modern Japanese pop culture. From battleships (Kantai Collection) to operating systems (the OS-tans), from countries (Hetalia - Axis Powers) to fungi (Kinoko Collection), there doesn't seem to be anything that can't be turned into a human character (and they're usually cute girls). Next up: Christian denominations.
The long-running Japanese Christian newspaper Christ Weekly has introduced a new comic strip, Puritan, which represents Christianity's various sects as people. While details are scarce thus far, the main character, "Puritan" — a bespectacled middle school student — and her older brother, Kaikakuha-kun ("Reformed Church"), have been introduced.
The manga will run alternately with Dendō Sentai Kyōkaiger ("Missionary Proclaimers Church-ger", where the kanji for "Sentai" is a pun for those seen in tokusatsu series but is replaced with the kanji for "proclaim"), a series of essays written by pastors. Reaction on the Internet is mixed, with some calling the subject a "land mine" and warning against mocking religious beliefs, while others noted how cute Puritan was ("I'm converting," claimed one).
The Bible has been adapted into a manga and Saint Young Men shows Jesus and Buddha living together, but as Christians are a tiny minority in the predominantly Shintō and Buddhist Japan, Christian subject matter is rarely addressed seriously in pop culture.
Translation updated, thanks kuron3kosama
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history