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 the first of two guest posts by Laura on a manga she also recently reviewed on her own site.
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.
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.