It’s Good Friday – the day we memorialize the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
For anime fans, and particularly those not of the Christian faith, it’s particularly of note that on Good Friday two years ago, the finale of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, as much a “classic” as any recent anime, aired.
The two are of course not unconnected. Spoilers follow.
When it aired, enthusiasts across the Internet were quick to point out that because of the final episode’s content, there was a purpose behind showing it on Good Friday. More recently, Guardian Enzo postulated that the series writer, Urobuchi Gen, may in fact be Christian. In fact, Gen interestingly enough uses some Christian terminology by describing Homura “as an evangelist who is the only person within the world she lives in who understands Madoka’s existence and role.” (Note: Homura’s also been compared to St. Peter.)
And although the Buddhist principles in Madoka Magica are more thorough and obvious than the Christian ones, the parallels between Madoka’s actions and Jesus’ sacrifice remain strong and convicting. Many of us shed tears (or were on the verge of them) throughout the final episode – first, as Homura fought time after time for Madoka, and then as Madoka sacrificed herself so willingly to free the magical girls. Powerful moments, they certainly convey the gravity of Christ’s atoning sacrificing when he was executed in place of us.
Sometime head knowledge is just that – something that stays in our heads and away from our hearts. I hope that today, we’ll reflect on what Christ as done and just how powerful His love is for us, if need be, through the emotion conveyed through magical girls, The Passion of the Christ, or whatever other form through which you see God’s mercy. And for those that don’t know Christ, I hope you’ll find your way into a church, at least to listen and see why we hold Christ so dear and why we find His love so amazing.