As Wolfwood Week continues on Beneath the Tangles, I felt it would be appropriate to discuss the mangaka responsible for creating this multi-faceted character – the creator of Trigun, Yasuhiro Nightow. While Nicholas Wolfwood obviously has many connections to Christian spirituality, as demonstrated through the posts this week, Trigun itself is full of themes and ideas that could also be called “Christian.” Perhaps this is because Nightow is generally known as one of the few successful mangaka who believes in Christ. He is Catholic.
Or is he?
It’s long been considered general knowledge that Nightow is Catholic. Wikipedia once referenced that he grew up Buddhist, but studied Catholicism and converted to it, while retaining Buddhist principals. However, that reference to his faith was removed when the citation for it, which was to his U.S. website, became a dead link.
Unfortunately, since I don’t read Japanese, and couldn’t scour Japanese interviews with Nightow. Regarding interviews in English, it’s been said that he has never publicly stated his religion in the U.S. (I’ll visit the essay mentioning this on Saturday’s post). However, while promoting the trailer for the Trigun: Badlands Rumble film at Anime Expo in 2009, he was asked this question:
Trigun contains a lot of moral themes. Are any of them based on Nightow’s personal / religious views?
He (and his interpreter’s) response?
Nightow doesn’t follow a religion. “Maybe I’m just a great person.”
Nightow’s response is a bit ambiguous. Has he given up on Christ? Does he remain a follower of Christ, but given up on organized religion? Or is there some other reason? Nightow doesn’t seem to want us to know – and that’s fine – one’s faith is a private matter. Regardless, Christianity certainly seemed to influence the mangaka when he created Trigun, to the extent that I list it as one of my recommendations for Christian viewers.