Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Catholic Mecha, Japan’s Yokai, and the Future of Saint Young Men

This week’s look at posts and other items in the anime blogosphere related to religion and spirituality.

Comic Book Resources interviewed Thundercats writer Brandon Easton, whose graphic novel “Shadowlaw” arrives in November.  With an art style influenced by manga, the work is an interesting concept involving the Catholic church (excerpt taken from the interview):

It’s a world where the Catholic Church has become the dominant political power with an army of giant mech armors to enforce their status at the top of the food chain, battling vampires who roam freely in their own mech armor — the world of “Shadowlaw.”

Asahi.com reflects on the place of yokai in Japanese culture, tracing its evolution into modern culture, including features in manga and anime.

Reported by Lost in America, among others, the new Rurouni Kenshin anime announced a couple of months ago will be a remake of the Kyoto Arc.  I mention this news because Kenshin is among the anime I recommend for Christian viewers, with its emphasis on themes that are celebrated in Christianity.  While Kenshin fans may generally not be happy with the announcement, I think it’ll be great to see one of best anime arcs ever reanimated (the original series has aged poorly) and possibly pave the way for an OVA or series based on the Jinchu arc in the future.

In the world of manga, Saint Young Men, Hikaru Nakamura’s critically acclaimed series about Jesus and Buddha living together as roommates in modern Tokyo, will go on hiatus.  Nakamura is starting pregnancy leave (congratulations!) and will be back as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, John of AnimeNation opines on the likelihood that the manga will be animated one day and if the work will ever be published on these shores.

Also on the topic of manga, the latest from the folks at Manga Hero, Many Are Called Volume 1, is now available for purchase.

Although not necessarily spiritually-themed, TOKYOPOP founder Stu Levy’s press release for the spiritually-titled documentary, “Pray for Japan,” went out this week.  Although strangely and almost overwhelmingly self-promoting, the press release nonetheless publicizes what seems to be quite an amazing film that is in need of funding.

Finally, I can’t help but mention El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, Takeyasu Sawaki’s recently released game featuring character designs influenced by anime and a storyline influenced by the apocryphal Book of Enoch.  Reviews have been mostly very positive, with recent ones including those by PikiGeek and TIME.


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