For a generation of parents, anime was that weird form of entertainment, sometimes fun (think Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z) and sometimes viciously violent and even pornographic. And while it generally stood on fringes of culture during our youth, anime has become relatively mainstream for a new generation of children. Yes, the very adult parts of it still exist, but anime programming is probably best compared to general television programming in the United States—the variety and quality is wide, as is the distribution among intended audiences. Some anime is meant for young children, others only for adults, and most—somewhere in between.
We’ve developed a number of resources to help you understand anime and guide you in entertainment decisions. I’ll be very frank here—my answer when asked, “Is anime okay to show my children,” is almost always this: yes, though as with any type of entertainment, you’ll need to consider your faith values as they have to do with viewing experiences and also take into account your child’s maturity in what they are able to handle.
I encourage you to check out these resources, and then to consider the others below depending on what you want to research. Feel free also email our director if you have specific questions that aren’t covered below.
Anime for Beginners
Beneath the Tangles
Below are some other links that may help you better understand this fascinating and popular form of entertainment:
What exactly is anime? While I give a brief rundown in the guide, these pages go further in depth:
- The Christian’s Guide to Anime and Otaku-dom
- Otaku Dictionary
- Anime 101
- Anime (defined)
- Anime (Wikipedia)
- About Anime and Manga
- Introduction to Manga
- Anime News Network Encyclopedia
Religion in Japan
- Religion in Japan
This page quickly conveys some of the important facets of religion in modern Japan.
- Japanese Buddhism
- Religion Facts: Shinto
- Christianity in Japan (Wikipedia)
- Books about Japanese religion
- Christianity Made in Japan by Mark R. Mullins
- On Understanding Japanese Religion by Joseph M. Kitagawa
- Religion in Japanese Culture: Where Living Traditions Meet a Changing World, edited by Noriyoshi Tamaru and David Reid
- Practically Religious: Worldly Benefits and the Common Religion of Japan by Ian Reader and George J. Tanabe, Jr.
- Religion in Contemporary Japan by Ian Reader
Anime and Religion
- Anime and Religion Survey
The posts in this series discuss the results of a survey taken by anime and manga bloggers, who are an influential subgroup of anime fans.
- More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Buddhism and Anime
- Spirituality in Anime
Anime and Christianity
- Christian Anime Alliance (CAA)
This long-running site features information for Christian parents, a vast review database, and an active forum.
- Anime Recommendations for the Christian Viewer
- Christian Discernment at the Movies
These posts reflect the various ways a Christian may approach anime (or media in general), and include three personal testimonies explaining why Christianity and anime need not be mutually exclusive.
- Viewing Anime Through a Christian Lens
- Confessions of a Middle-Aged Otaku: Discovering Christian Messages in Anime
- Orthodoxy, Anime, & Me
- Christian, Anime, Blogger
- CAA’s Reviews
- The Anime Review
Created and run by a Presbyterian pastor, this long-established review site doesn’t give “Christian reviews” per se, but the owner obviously has Christian concerns with the goal “to write reviews that honor Christ both in their perspective and in their quality.”
- Christian Anime Reviews
This site is “devoted to cataloging anime soundtracks, albums and singles; and reviewing anime series and manga volumes, all from a Christian perspective.”
- Plugged In Online
Focus on the Family’s review site sometimes reviews major anime movie releases and series.
10 thoughts on “Christian Parents and Anime”
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Came across your site through a post somewhere else. I have not liked much of anime’s negative influence in the shows, books and art… but I have also seen positive influence in the creative writing and art encouraging my daughter. So it is good to find a Christian perspective. Gotta find some good animes my daughter will enjoy, gonna share this blog too!
Kids these days definitely feel a connection to the art style and storytelling in anime. I think it’s a good idea to encourage our kids to develop their skills and pursue something they enjoy. But I definitely know what you mean – when it comes time that my kids start watching anime, I know I’ll definitely have a more critical eye about what they watch.
And thank you!
You’re so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve truly read a single
thing like that before. So great to find somebody with
unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up.
This website is one thing that’s needed on tthe web, someone with
I have studied the Torah and Talmud my entire
life. The survival of the soul through the change called death is on the verge of being openly
acknowledged by scientists and scholars of academic circles.
There is a wonderful science fiction story ‘ a John Collier story ‘ that brings
this idea home.
For the average reader, anime probably has no really bad effects; however, for one of my daughters, it did. She came from a Christian home, but when she was 15, her father and I divorced. She had always been prone to living in her own world. She lives art and fantasy so she was very drawn to it. Whereas my other daughter steered clear of the homosexual elements of some anime, my other daughter did not. She never showed any signs of homosexual behavior growing up. She always made her sister play boy parts so she could be the girl. Now, she is butched and seems to prefer looking like a man. She idolizes some of the male characters and presently is involved in a relationship with her best friend. While I will not sit here and tell you anime is to blame for all of this, I will say it played it’s part and you can’t always be aware of what they are viewing or reading. Just be cautious, parents.
I’m really sorry to hear that. I’m glad that you mentioned that anime isn’t “to blame for all of this” – it seems to me that anime can be something that perpetuates issues and problems, just as it can reveal wonderful ideas about grace and love and so forth. We focus a lot on the latter, but your point is more than well taken – it’s very significant. Thank you for sharing. I’ll be praying for you and your family.
Many anime series are far away from religion and make religion seem like something very hateful and they show gods as evil creatures :-/ I know that the Japanese are mostly non religious people but it is really spreading negative thoughts :/ Thank you for the list here and for opening this.
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