After almost 4 months, the weekly posts in the Aniblogger Testimony project are over! If you haven’t kept up, each week a guest blogger discussed his or her own personal faith, as well as anime and manga, though it varied widely how much of one or the other was discussed. And through it all, I learned a lot:
- Anime and religion can occupy the same space
Both anime and faith have the power to move us. While consumed by the masses, each is also part of a very personal experience. So it’s no surprise to find that, to the contrary of some who discouraged me when I started my blog, many can find deep and personally significant connections between the two.
- Christians differ from one to another
I already knew this lesson, but it was reemphasized to me as I read posts that ranged from taking a more liberal or casual approach to the Christian faith to those that are more conservative, literal, and/or evangelical, which more closely match my own views.
- It takes a village
Religion is sometimes analyzed in the anime blogosphere, but it isn’t too often really discussed. Even on this blog, I would say “discussions” are rare. Much of this is because many anibloggers and anime fans aren’t particularly interested in religion. But another reason is that some don’t feel comfortable expressing this personal part of their life online. But if one wants to talk about faith, a safe atmosphere would include openness (varying degrees of which were expressed in every testimony, I thought), willingness to listen and learn, and a policing of sorts, where those trying to be negative and argumentative are quickly shut down by some who might even share the perpetrator’s faith.
Beyond these lessons, I simply enjoyed reading about a personal side of many anibloggers I admire, know of, and/or call friends. It was great reading about how Ed, R86, and Michael, three men who I not only admire for their convictions and intellect, but also for their amazing writing skills, view anime in terms of their faith (honestly, it was like getting rocks stars to sing at my birthday party). My own prejudice was tested as I read Nikko’s inoffensive, atheistic post. My personal beliefs were challenged and examined by Arianna and Charles, whose feelings about their Christian faiths differ widely from my own. And speaking of different, I was intrigued by an anonymous writer’s personal religion (as well as challenged by the guest’s charges against Christian belief) and by Canne’s calming piece about his beliefs. Among fellow Christians, I was both proud to read about Kokoro and Zeroe4, two young people who feel called to a ministry involving manga. On the other hand, I was both saddened and comforted by Annlyn’s and Tommy’s struggles and by how God has worked in their lives. And last but not least, I was encouraged by Lauren’s unique and interesting post, which started off the series, as she’s always been quick to offer a helping hand to me.
I hope that those of you who followed learned a lot as well. At the very least, I hope this project will have helped you open your mind to those you may have been closed to, or even prejudiced against.
On a final note, this is an open-ended projected. Although the major phase of it is now closed, I’ll always be open to accepting additional guest posts. Just shoot me an email (or comment below) and we can discuss your addition to the Aniblogger Testimonies.