This is the ninth in a series of Aniblogger Testimony posts, where select writers will discuss their personal faith. Today’s post is by Zeroe4. The previous posts in this series were written by Lauren Orisini, R86, Nikko, Arianna, Ed Sizemore, Canne, an anonymous blogger, and Annalyn.
When I was growing up, anime was the greatest thing ever. Pokémon was the pinnacle of anime fandom, except in my house. My mother had lived in Japan for a while and had a very negative view of anime. She viewed all anime as being sexually explicate and violent. So my mother did not allow any anime in here house. I learned to love Pokémon through my best friend. Then my family moved.
I didn’t get back into anime tell the same best friend came to visit me and introduced me back into anime. I didn’t fall in love with anime till I saw Code Geass. It captured my imagination. The depth of characters, the amazing art style, the complex story, and above all, the Knightmare Frames all pulled me into the story. I was in love with anime. I began to watch anime such as Fate/Stay Night, Air, and Gundam Seed. All the anime I watched had some idea or belief that contradicted with my own. Anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hell Girl, and This Beautiful Yet Ugly World had many elements that contradicted my faith and were difficult to watch. Some anime had very little that disagreed with my beliefs, anime like Haibane Renmei and Summer Wars. I also watched anime in between these two polar opposites such as: Full Metal Panic!, Claymore, Code Geass, Baldr Force EXE, and many others. The anime in between the two opposites always seemed to be better.
When discussing my personal faith some people call me devoted, others call me strong in it, and still others think I am crazy. I tend to see my life as have two purposes: having a relationship with God and glorifying him. Do to my beliefs, I tend to believe that my faith is a never-ending, daily process that must be worked on and built up. I am saved by God’s grace only, and I am eternal indebted to the one who wants the very best for me and continually makes it happen.
I might be crazy to some, but I firmly believe that I have been called and given the grace to make Christian influenced anime. Christian influenced anime is not necessarily Christian anime. Christian anime in my understanding is anime about or from stories in the bible. I want to make anime that is founded in God’s truth, but expressed in a way that is real. I want to show Christianity and how it is lived out in the most raw and real state possible. I want to explain why I believe what I believe in the most wonderful and exciting stories possible. To explain this better, my stories are more like Ted Decker’s stories than Big Idea’s Veggie Tales. I am super excited about what God is doing.
Back on topic, the problems I have with anime are mostly related to the sexual themes and themes and ideas that counter God’s truth. The problems I have with the Christian reaction to anime can be summed up in one statement: We as Christians severely under estimate God’s power and sovereignty if we believe that anime is completely evil, even though it was created by God, and that we can avoid or be ignorant about the culture that it has created, even though God has commanded us to be in the world even though we are not of it. Christianity is supposed to be all inclusive even though most people will not except it, to decide who deserves to enter the kingdom of God is stupid because no one deserves to be in it. Only God can allow people to enter his kingdom because of the sacrifice of Christ who was the propitiation for our sins; we as Christians are not better than anyone else and must look on others as Christ looks at us, that include the anime followers and otaku. We cannot put ourselves before the gospel, ever!