The Gospel According to a Pink-Haired Meganekko

The Gospel message is simple, and yet many people misunderstand it or are simply ignorant of it.  And thus, it’s sometimes helpful to use a familiar cultural artifact or form to illustrate the message.  In this case, I’ll be using one of my favorite series of the 2013 fall anime season – Beyond the Boundary.

While the series as a whole – and even the primary episode I’m analyzing (episode 11) – could hardly be called a strong biblical allegory, certain aspects of it are beneficial for understanding what Christianity is all about.

Sinful Man is Bound for Death

One of the major themes of the Old Testament is that man is constantly in rebellion with God.  While this is obvious in stories like the Tower of Babel, it’s more practical when we realize that falling short of holiness, of God’s standard, leads to sin.  And sinning is rebellion against God.  It’s, in a way, telling God that our way is better than His.  And like a dirty white cloth can never become clean magically on it’s own, we, too, stained with sin, can do nothing to become holy and clean by our own power.  This is significant because of the outcome – a unholy creature cannot be in the presence of God, who provides life; thus, he or she is bound for a place without God, a place of death.

In Beyond the Boundary, the title demon has latched onto Akihito at some point and he carries this weight around with him.  Akihito, on his own, would not be able to remove this disease from his body.  It’s a weight that changes him into a terrible creature and which leads to death.

Akihito Kanbara
Art by まっつ@29日シ81a (Pixiv ID 265)

Christ is the Only Remedy for Sin

Although God is often pictured as a spiteful being, the Bible rather portrays Him as a concerned parent who goes to unimaginable lengths to save His children.  To bring us again into His presence, God must make us holy.  To do so, our sins are removed from us by the only truly holy man who has ever lived – the incarnate Son of God.

I think this idea of the “removal of sin” connects very well to anime viewers, who have seen similar tropes in other series.  In Beyond the Boundary, Izumi Nase informs us that only Mirai, from the cursed clan, can defeat Beyond the Boundary.  She is the key to defeating the creature.

Mirai Kuriyama
Art by 菓子 (Pixiv ID 1078901)

Christ Defeats Sin Through His Death and Resurrection

The sins of us all are laid upon Christ, who must face the judgment of death in our place.  He is the sacrifice that atones for our sins.  The work is completed both by his taking on our penalty and by His resurrection, triumphant over death.  By his blood, we are healed.

Instead of choosing to kill Akihito, Mirai chooses to “die” in a sense, as her blood is what draws Beyond the Boundary out of Akihito.  By her blood, Akihito is healed!  He is restored to a clean self, as Mirai does battle with Beyond the Boundary.

Mirai and Akihito
Art by srs (Pixiv ID 8800899)

We Must Take Action

While Christ has done the work, it is ultimately up to us to agree to let Christ be our Lord and Savior.  He won’t force us to accept His love and sacrifice; we must love Him, a proactive action that leads to change.  As we might demonstrate love to our family through action, an understanding of what Christ did and who God is will lead to transformation in our lives.

At this point in the series, the analogy begins to break down, but I think we can still make an application here.  Akihito, newly cleansed, does take action.  His appreciation for what Mirai did and his love for her spurs him onto action, as he becomes willing to lay down his own life for Mirai.  We are asked to do the same as Christians, to lay down our lives for the sake of Christ; in other words, we are live a life fully dedicated to Him, whatever that may lead to.

Mirai and Akihito
Art by Bison (Pixiv ID 40241603)

Christianity isn’t an inherited religion – it is a dynamic one that spins upon one moment in time, the one in which God comes to earth and dies in our place.  It’s a moment of life-changing effect, and it has a moving power, even when it’s seen through the sacrifice of a pink-haired, cardigan-wearing, meganekko.

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

2 thoughts on “The Gospel According to a Pink-Haired Meganekko

  1. Another example to add to the backlog. This was an interesting post for a lot of ways. Christianity is indeed a dynamic faith since our enemy is equally dynamic. Things everywhere change over the days and years. Christians are considered evil for speaking the Law (Which Christ fulfilled not replaced.) It’s an interesting world that we live in. One person’s comment about us using Christianity as a weapon for hate was a particularly interesting statement. The Lord has his law, those who ignore it are free to ignore it. It means nothing to those who follow a different master whether willingly or not. We did not write it, it is the way it is.

    So brothers and sisters, when you speak the law, make certain first to understand that Law. There are some things that apply no longer that we are redeemed in Christ and the promises of Israel has been given to all of us. At the same time, there are things that have not changed nor will not change no matter how much humanity says that it is wrong, or hateful. We speak our Law. You may not proscribe to it, and that’s fine. That said, I will tell anyone off gladly who considers themselves my brother and sister and who live in Sin. I love how people say “Well this amount of people believe…” because well frankly, that doesn’t apply to Christians! The Word does go around itself at times but it can be interpreted with proper study and in the end is as clear and sharp as a newly forged ready Sword. Sin is sin, and whether one believes it’s a sin or not doesn’t matter. If something bad happened to you in the Old Testament because you did it, then chances are you shouldn’t be involved in it.

    We do not speak hate, just how things are. If you can’t handle that then we’re probably not talking to you. If you consider yourself a brother or sister, then we do it because we’re concerned for you and you should consider our council carefully before dismissing as old fashion because, well frankly we’re being judged by the same criteria as those in Israel thousands of years ago.

    1. Thanks for speaking the truth…about the truth, my friend! This is a very important point that I’m glad you conveyed.

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