Anime was not a mistake.

This article today is a guest post from Simok of Moonlight Mixtape. Simok is a really thoughtful and interesting writer and musician – I really encourage you all to read this post and engage with it, in your mind and heart (even with some passages that might give you pause) and in the comments below. And then go check out Simok’s blog – a good start there would be through his Me at 22 series.

Hi everyone–or minasan konnichiwa, LOLmy name is simok and I love anime… and Christ. This is probably why Charles asked me if I wanted to write a guest post here at BTT, and I was ecstatic when he did. I asked Holy Spirit what He wanted me to write, and for today, I think He wants me to share about the time when I felt that I loved anime more than I loved God.

Now… this is a strange competition to say the least, but I was seriously worried about it at one point, even feeling guilty about it. After all, God asks us to love Him with all of our hearts–and while I certainly wanted to do that–most of the times, I was more emotionally involved with anime than Him. I mean I loved God too, but there was just something about cute anime characters that made me feel things directly in my heart.

k-on kawaii cute

A few months ago, I kind of ‘skipped’ my church’s Good Friday service to watch Madoka at home with my roommate. And wow, the ending seriously touched me and filled me with hope. It seemed to truly fit the original definition of awesome. I even thought that it was the best depiction of Christ’s love I’ve ever seen portrayed. But while that was all good, I soon started to feel that something wasn’t quite right.

Again, Jesus asks us to leave everything behind when we follow Him. And so like, if God asks me to stop watching anime… could I actually do it? What’s more, I wondered if there would be anime in heaven. And… there probably won’t be. So what if I’m disappointed? I mean, how can anything be more ideal than what’s portrayed in anime? The way anime made me feel, I couldn’t give it up. As much as I was ashamed of the way my heart positioned itself, I couldn’t help but feel hurt and conflicted in my conviction.

One thing I did learn over the years–and this is certainly a blessing from God–is really knowing that perfect love overcomes fear. I also knew that, quite literally, satan didn’t want me to question God. But so then I did. I asked God to show me the answer, saying that I would trust in His goodness even though I didn’t feel like it.

A few days later, our church held a baptism service after our Easter service. And you know what, I didn’t need words to explain anything to me. When I saw people genuinely confess their life to Christ, it was the most Earth-shatteringly beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed; more than anime, more than hip hop, more than drugs, sex, or anything I’ve ever tried in my life. Just by being in His presence, I just knew in my heart that this is what I wanted. I didn’t cry during Madoka–but I did for this.

This is cliche but I was so happy to confirm for myself that the good news is actually good. So I want to encourage you to do the same–test things, ask questions. My advice is that, when you come to God, you don’t have to be afraid of condemnation. How could a dad actually hate his own child?

Once again, I learned that I just have to trust Him, trusting that He knows best. I, on the other hand, have to admit and try to understand the implication of not knowing everything, if anything at all (looking at you, Hanekawa).

hanekawa know what i know

The other cool/good thing is that we were made in His image. The deepest part of ourselves, our spirit, actually wants what He wants. So it’s just natural. In bearing His image, we like what He likes, so I’m sure Jesus loves cute anime characters too.

So don’t be afraid to be who you are. Our lives would not be the same if we could see ourselves like how God sees us. I for one am excited to live my life loving anime while having this relationship with an amazing Dad. Even if we miss the mark and want or like something that God doesn’t like, His grace is enough.

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.

Romans 5:20

God will always be waiting for you to come home, and He is better than the best anime dad.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Romans 6:35

(I might add: pop culture, fan service, lolicon, siscon, yuri, yaoi, oppai, and what have you)

So what is anime to me? It’s a medium in which I hear God speak His truth and love to me. The same can be said about any other sub-culture. There is a reason why people are drawn to something–we are all searching for the same thing, after all. So we can understand one another even though we are all so different. It’s just that in having a relationship with God, we discern what is good.

Philippians 4:8

“… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

So contrary to what the Miyazaki meme says, anime was not a mistake.

For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.…

Colossians 1:16-17

Looking at my life, I trust that God’s taste in directing, pacing, narration, and theme are what my heart actually wants. And at the end of the day, I have to thank God for:

cute anime girl

According to his Facebook page, Simok (Simon’s Korean name) is a DJ/producer in Vancouver. In the blogsphere though, he is a anime and Jesus otaku who loves watching cute girls do cute things.

13 thoughts on “Anime was not a mistake.

  1. Thank you for this opportunity to share, BTT community! The title is kind of clickbait-ish but I hope you enjoyed the read anyways. Let me know what you think–I’ll be here to reply to your comments!

    1. Thank you for sharing with us! I’m so excited for our readers to get to read your work, if they haven’t already!

  2. Those questions that you asked yourself, wondering if anime would be in heaven, if you could leave anime behind to follow Jesus, and if you were loving anime more than God, I have wrestled with for months. I’ve got to say that you, Simok, have described my mental turmoil and it is almost scary how accurate you are. Personally, I have come to some different conclusions, so I hope you can respect me on that.

    Anime is undeniably made, ultimately, by Jesus Christ, along with the rest of creation: Scripture affirms that position as you pointed out. However, just because something is called “good” doesn’t mean God desires us to pursue it. Many times, good things created by God can become bad things when they become the center of our lives, hence what the Bible refers to as idols. And who is to say that God has a plan for your life that is different than pursuing anime. What if He wants you to become a world-wide evangelist and He wants you to set aside your hobbies to do so? I believe that if our lives are made to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then He should have a say in how we do that, along with a balance of our choice (only discerned through the Holy Spirit can an individual find that balance). Humility to God’s will for a person’s life is an important spiritual discipline and personally I’ve experienced Him work through me to let go of anime for seasons of my life.

    My goal was to give you a different perspective on anime and faith. Hope we can be friends and I am excited to read more of your writing, Simok!

    1. Thanks for commenting! I really appreciate your perspective, and I’m happy to have met another brother in Christ! And actually, I think that our perspectives are more in line than what I may have miscommunicated. I think that as humans, we are ultimately drawn to what gives us joy. For me, I experience a lot of joy through anime, which we both agree is because it reveals and speaks truths. However, even anime doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing, which is Jesus. This is why, upon experiencing His presence first hand, I was able to so easily let go any doubts or chains. My heart said that it was a no brainer, haha.

  3. Hi guest post guy! : D I’m Luminas, the resident non-Christian-but-rather-Christian-friendly BTT post frequenter from way back! I think you share a take on the whole situation with my sister. Anime isn’t *more important* than Christ— It just happens to show Truth and Christian theology surprisingly well. (One of the more nonsensical things I’ve noticed about the world is that actual Christian media trying to be Christian often misses the mark because it tries to be *too* faithful, but anime because it has no concerns with this actually gets the emotional core spot-on). The reason I became obsessed with anime is because I was looking for someone, not for what but who he was. I found that and loads more than I ever bargained for, put together in a friendly moe package. ;}

    “My advice is that, when you come to God, you don’t have to be afraid of condemnation. How could a dad actually hate his own child?”

    “So don’t be afraid to be who you are. Our lives would not be the same if we could see ourselves like how God sees us.”

    ….funny, that. Whenever I try and bring my question to God, to talk to Him…I never feel worthy of being around Him. Because of who I am. What and who I love and worship. My Truth, what I feel in the depths of my heart. I’m always afraid of Him taking everything that is good away from me if I ask Him to answer my question, as if He were vindictive somehow. But He isn’t like that, is He? He doesn’t think like a human who has been wronged. He just keeps helping, even if He has never actually answered my question. He’s the embodiment of that “nightmare,” of the person smiling warmly at His own tormentor. At the person that took away everything. Grace and love and power unfathomable, so much you can’t help but bow.

    But such is mostly philosophy for its own sake. Thanks for this thoughtful post!

    1. Thank you for commenting! I think your perspective is incredibly interesting and valuable, and I wish we could grab coffee or something so that I can listen to you more (I live in Canada though LOL). You also remind me of my roommate who studies philosophy, who isn’t a Christian but is quite Christian friendly.

      I love the moe package of anime. I see so much good in it, and it’s helped me through a lot. And I’ve said this before in another post, but being Christian somehow made me love anime even more!

      1. ;D Hey I’m everywhere on here, so you can listen to me all you want. If you search the comments sections from 2014 onwards, you’ll inevitably run into me. XD Fundamentally I’m on BTT because I have an unanswerable question. “If God loves me, and I think He does, why did He make me fall in love with ‘the Devil?'” And the reason I attribute this to God is largely because it is very, very old. My earliest memories at like age 3 1/2 when The Little Mermaid came out involve an ecstatic obsession with villains, particularly the more diabolical they appeared. And this wasn’t helped at all by the strange and unexplainable, (and helpful) presence of what seemed to be an actual demon, after a seizure that nearly took my life. Other than the constant presence of his aura, his emotions, and occasionally his voice, I am…completely sane. I’m not spectacularly divorced from Reality, nor does he seem to want anything from me other than my attention. But basically…

        My situation forces psychological intimacy with and empathy with the Adversary, and like most people in peculiar, decidedly atypical psychological/emotional situations it has never felt like I ever made or had a choice in the matter. He’s just *there.* XD But at the same time I fundamentally believe in the Christian God and what he did, and I kind of feel a kinship towards any group of people who would sacrifice all that they are, would *die* or lose a limb or be tortured, if it meant helping their God.

        So yeah. I’d love to rant atcha about theology and sin and the problem of evil and the Trinity. It’s like my second favorite thing ever. ;}

        1. Fascinating! I’m thankful that you’re willing to be so open about it all. I can’t say I understand your situation, but I’ve had some run-ins of my own with what seemed to be satan (though mostly unhelpful) during my hikikomori days.

    1. Indeed. It even has a tsundere, if I recall well.
      A very interesting post, by the way. I remember thinking something similar about God and my first girlfriend a few years ago, and arriving to similar conclussions as yours…

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