Created and developed far from Europe and the Americas, and conceived in a country where less than 1% of the populace is Christian, manga could hardly be called out for inaccurately portraying Christianity. It would be silly for calling out mangaka for getting the story of Christ wrong or for presenting the Bible as “just another religion.” Still, manga is full of religious references to God and gods, which presents a great opportunity to discuss matters of spirituality. And that’s the idea behind this new series of posts, Fact Check, in which I’ll investigate some of the claims of anime and manga characters and weigh them against the truth of scripture.
Warning: Today’s post is part of a HUGE spoiler from recent chapters of Claymore.
Today’s claim comes from Teresa, Claymore extraordinaire and perhaps the greatest of all her type (until her shocking demise). In chapter 150, Teresa has returned as someone transforming from within Clare, and during these sequences, she has a conversation with former protege:
So, the claim is this: If God exists, in Teresa’s view, she has only one thing for which to be thankful.
Perhaps even more than her tremendous skill, Teresa is best defined by her honesty. She sees situations with clarity and approaches every situation as an open book, telling others precisely how she feels. And further, Teresa is almost always right.
Thus, it’s no surprise that in the archaic world of the claymore, cursed by the experiment done upon her and by her violent job, Teresa sees nothing redeemable about the world – nothing that is, except for Clare, the girl who changed Teresa (some would say for the worst) in just a short time before they were separated by death.
On a surface level, faith teaches that no, Teresa is incorrect. Even in an awful world, there’s still much to be thankful for – particularly the gospel message. The gospel tells how no matter the situation and no matter who we are – even the vilest offenders in the society – we can all be redeemed. We don’t have to pay a just penalty for what we’ve done – the penalty has already been paid by the only one rich enough to do so, and we can be freed.
But I want to dig deeper and see why Teresa said what she did. Teresa has been used by her whole life by an organization that preyed upon her as a child and uses her without care now, and by the people who fear her, even though her job is to save them. No appreciation, no love, no hugs, not thanks, no kindness. A horrible life indeed.
Clare, however, gives her all these things she didn’t receive, and further, she shows Teresa grace. Clare loves Teresa for saving her, but more than that, she continues to love Teresa even after realizing that the claymore isn’t kind, isn’t loving, and isn’t really even fully human. But Clare’s love remains steadfast and she never lets go of Teresa, even after knowing the truth about her, both from a personality standpoint and a physical one. Clare loves Teresa exactly as she is.
That’s grace, and it’s part of the story of redemption. And in fact, it’s the greatest thing for which to give thanks.
Teresa’s claim receives a 7 out of 10.
On the surface level, Teresa fails this fact check, but digging deeper, we see that Teresa is thankful for Clare, who represents the most valuable thing in life.
Check out our first post in this series, about Aldnoah.zero.