Negadon: The Monsters from Mars is a short Japanese animated film which you can watch in it’s entirety legally on Manga Entertainment’s YouTube feed. It’s 28 minutes long when you include all the credits. Go ahead, I’ll wait, check out the movie.
NOTE: SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW. IF YOU DON’T WANT IT SPOILED, WATCH IT. IF YOU DON’T CARE OR ALREADY WATCHED IT, PRESS ON.
As I was saying, Negadon is a Japanese animated short film; however, it is not in an anime style. It is a computer graphics animated film designed to have a very realistic style. In many ways, it looks more like a traditional monster movie.
The setting is the year 2025 in a future setting ripped straight out of science fiction written in the 60s/70s. In the film, a space expedition to Mars brings back a weird rock formation found beneath the surface of Mars. On its way back, everything falls apart, the spacecraft is destroyed, and a creature is released, wreaking havoc on Tokyo. Sounds like a monster movie to me. That’s where our protagonist Ryûichi Narasaki comes in.
Narasaki had been a robotics engineer. Years ago, he built a powerful, robotic suit until something happened. The suit malfunctioned, causing him to lose his eye and the life of his daughter. Since then, life had been different for Narasaki. Colder. Lonelier. The film is, in many ways, a bottle episode. It follows Narasaki as an old student comes to visit him, as he remembers the death of his daughter, as he watches the monster fall from the sky and attack Tokyo. He has avoided robotics for years following the death of his daughter. Now the city is under attack and no one is able to stop the monster. At this moment, Narasaki has a choice. He can choose to be like all the other civilians and hope that it will be okay, or he can choose to act. He can choose to watch as the monster destroys all that he loves, or he can choose to enter into the picture and try to save the day. He knows he has the skills. He knows he is capable. He knows that he is broken, flawed, weak, and he also knows that this may be the death of him.
He does it anyway.
This is not a risk we all have to take – jumping into certain death to save the planet. But there are things we each must face which drive us outside of our comfort zones. We may know logically that we have the skills, but we come to each of these situations with baggage holding us back. Each one of us goes into every situation with the knowledge that despite our skill sets, we are flawed, broken, and weak. The Bible is incredibly clear on pointing out our own inequity when it says explicitly that we all fall short of God (Romans 3:23). Yet, we need to go anyway.
Narasaki could have stayed home and ignored the battle in front of him. He was a shell of a man still mourning his own sin and the loss of his daughter. No one would blame him. He did not. He stepped out and did what he knew he had to do.
Sometimes I have fear. Fear of being a less than stellar Father. Fear of being an inadequate husband. I have my own flaws. I have my own weaknesses. I have a past which is imperfect. I need to move forward anyway. I need to be a Dad. I need to be a husband. I need to serve my family. I need to lead my family. I need to love my family. I need to do it anyway, even though I am weak, broken, and imperfect.
As a Christian, I believe that the only way to God is through Christ. I believe that the only way to be saved is through the blood spilled by Jesus Christ who reconciled us to the perfect, almighty God Himself. I believe Christ is God. Yet, I do not always tell others about Him. There’s fear there. Fear of rejection. Fear of being ignored. Fear of saying the wrong thing and making my God look foolish. I need to do it anyway despite being weak, broken, and imperfect.
The Bible is filled with stories of imperfect people being used to do huge things for the Lord. We see Abraham – an adulterer and at times a cowardly liar being used to be the father of many nations. We see Moses, a murderer with speech issues, being used to free the Israelites from bondage and lead them to a new land. We see Gideon, a cowardly man and one of the lowest in his family used to save the Israelites from bondage. We see Jephthah, the illegitimate son of a former leader who eventually offers up his daughter as a human sacrifice, used to free the Israelites from bondage. We see David – an adulterer who had the husband of the woman he slept with and impregnated murdered, used to unite the Israelites and teach His people about love and forgiveness. We see Paul, a man who led in the attack on the early church, being used powerfully to share the Gospel of Christ with the Gentiles.
God uses the weak, He uses the broken, He uses all of us. We just need to take that step. He’ll be there with us, even though it’s scary. Just breathe and step out – your actions just may save the world.
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One thought on “Newman’s Nook: Negadon and Fear”
That’s a great post. We all need to be reminded that God has called the weak things of the world to shame the strong. Likewise, he calls us to do great things despite our vices and failings.
Yet, I’d hesitate to call Moses a murderer. The Jewish commentators and most of the Church Fathers view Moses’ killing the Egyptian as justifiable. St. Augustine writes in one of his tracts: “Moses killing the Egyptian in defending one of his brethren reminds us naturally of the destruction of the devil, our assailant in this land of strangers, by our defender, the Lord Christ.” If this event is seen as prefiguring Christ’s conquest of the devil, the Egyptian’s death can hardly count as murder!