First Church of Anime: How Christians Appear and Should React

Any anime fan has a gateway anime. Mine was Fullmetal Alchemist. I was bored one night and left alone with the Netflix, so I called up the first episode. I remember enjoying it until it got to the scene in the church with Edward Elric, the titular character and an agnostic, and Rose, a girl in the town who believes in a monotheistic religion—not Christianity, but similar aesthetically—that later turned out to be a sham.

Some time later, I sat down and watched Angel Beats! Much like FMA, I remembered enjoying it and bumping into some of the present religious themes. Angel Beats!, for those who haven’t seen it, is about a group of high school students trapped in a purgatory of sorts, declaring war against the powers that be (i.e.: God.).

I think this is something to call attention to, for the sake of the easily offended and concerned. Firstly, not all anime is like this. I could name a handful of anime that keeps their collective mitts off Christian themes. Secondly, I’m not writing this to bash FMA or Angel Beats!.  In fact, having watched them further, I would recommend both.

My point is that any kind of media can portray Christianity, whether it’s FMA or The Walking Dead. The way I see it, there are two parts of responding to religious themes in any kind of entertainment.

First: Take it. I think of any interpretation of Christians as a critique. The writers and artists look at us from the outside and take notes of what they see. Sometimes it’s good things, sometimes it’s bad things, and sometimes it’s nothing. Most anime, in my experience, are written from two angles: atheistic (there is no God) or agnostic (it doesn’t matter if God exists).

Second: Move on. I realize that I am saying this to people of fandoms or those hoping to enter a fandom, but if a TV show offends you in some way, keep in mind that it is just a TV show.  It is your choice to decide if it’s worth your time.

–Isaac

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@CorrelationBlog

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3 thoughts on “First Church of Anime: How Christians Appear and Should React

  1. I think that if you believe a TV show or movie goes against Christian beliefs, move on to something else! There is an unlimited amount of entertainment out there, and for every show that offends Christianity there are one hundred that are just fine.

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    1. True, but just abandoning the show/movie without further thought may not be the best course of action. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but it is also one of the most honest critiques. If someone portrays Christians (or people like you) in a bad way, don’t shy away. Take notes. Maybe they have a point.

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