Untangled: Manga Recommendations for Christians?

In our Untangled feature, we answer questions posed to us from our readers.  Here’s an email that Stephen recently sent us:

I just stumbled across your site while looking for Christian manga reviews. I like what you’ve got here: Do you also do manga as well as anime?

We do, Stephen!  Though to be honest, we don’t touch on manga nearly as much as we should, probably because only a few of us read manga as actively as we watch anime.

One thing we are working on is a “Manga Recommendations” section for Christians to go along with other such sections, accessible through our toolbar.

Stephen went on to recommend two manga series to us:

1) Holyland: There’s just enough subtle symbolism to make this series powerful but not preachy. One of the main characters receives a cross in a church at one point, and later on, at a critical moment, grabs the cross and cries out (apparently to God), “Tell me what to do!” Lots of violence (it’s about martial arts after all), and maybe four scenes in the whole series with very brief nudity. For a mature reader, I think it’s well worth the read.

2) Hikaru no go: Perhaps the only manga I’ve read with absolutely nothing inappropriate, apart from the occasional swear word. One of the themes that crops up periodically is Sai, the ghost, meditating on why God has him remain on earth and appear to Hikaru, rather than going immediately to the next stage of the after life. Both Sai and Hikaru learn lessons, making Sai’s experience a sort of Purgatory. The emotional movements of this series are excellent, at least through the first story arc.

Thanks for sharing those titles with us, Stephen!  And now, I want to open this up to our readers – are there manga you specifically recommend for Christians?  Why?

5 thoughts on “Untangled: Manga Recommendations for Christians?

  1. I usually recommend Saint Tail for Christians, as it’s got a good heart even if it runs into the “nuns are mikos” trope. It’s a really well-done romance too, with more depth than its frilly shoujo exterior lets on. I can’t think of much more for Christians specifically at the moment.

  2. I should probably also mention that Fruits Basket is almost a gimme. Besides being a favorite of several of our authors, it was also recommended to me by historiccabana.tumblr.com in response to this post.

  3. I want to recommend Trigun Maximum if for no other reason than the crisis-of-faith that Wolfwood goes through consistantly. Certainly the manga is gratuitous in violence (same with my other recommendation, Hellsing), but the messages of staying true to your beliefs throughout opposition are strong – especially for Vash.

    Hellsing is, to me, a good example of an “adult” Christian manga. Yes, there is violence, there are unspeakable acts – but no Christian lives within a bubble, unfortunately. These things happen very often in the real world – there are heated words between sects as much as there are between different religions. The main character of Integral stays true to her Protestant teachings just as much as the Catholic church does theirs – and shows how one can still be faithful and serve the people even when one’s physical church (especially in the Catholic church shown in the manga) may be corrupted in some ways.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! Your comments on manga certainly would also fit with the series, which is one I highly recommend for Christians (I did a weeklong series on Wolfwood here once). I haven’t read the manga, but it’s good to hear similarly strong themes in it as well.

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