Lets face it folks...the topic of Christianity is so unheard of in manga. There are very few "mangas" that solely base there theme towards Christianity. If so, many people believe that it is SO not a manga...just a comic book advertising the Christsian faith just to get you to follow thier religion. I know they're trying to do a good deed and trying to spread God's Word to those who love manga. The cold hard truth though: they're not very good.>__< The only one I would really reccomend is "The Allegiance of the Bride" by Grace Kim Kwan which is about the story of Ruth from the Bible. In all honesty, I think it is very tough to incorporate Christianity into manga, because sometimes people tend to make too overwhelming that the reader puts it down because it automatically turns them off. Lets just say it's very complicated and a VERY touchy subject.
Have you guys every heard of Mako Madoka? If you havent hear is a little story about her:
Madoka-San was born Misuzu Kato in the 1950s. She took the pen-name "Madoka Mako" (or "Mako Madoka" in the Japanese order) when she began her professional career in comics and illustration.
As a child she was very interested in, and influenced by, the humorous manga comics style of Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astro Boy). She believed in Jesus at the age of ten and decided then that she wanted to make comic book versions of movies such as "The Ten Commandments" and "Ben Hur." However, she knew, even as a child, that the light-hearted and gag-oriented manga style she enjoyed and practised was not adequate to illustrate such epic stories.
When she was 15 years old, Madoka-San discovered gekiga, a very realistic and serious form of Japanese comics, both artistically and in storytelling style. She has said that when she saw it she knew, "This is it!" In those days the gekiga style was not fully developed, and she dreamed about the different kinds of gekiga style that she would like to do. However by the time she started working as an assistant of an established secular gekiga artist, gekiga had established a bad reputation, known for its emphasis on themes such as sex, violence and gambling. Police departments were even checking gekiga books to stop the more extreme ones from being produced and distributed.She felt that one of the good points about gekiga was that it influenced Japanese girl's (sho-jyo) comics, and manga, and expanded the possibilities of developing comic book styles. After a while there was no border between gekiga and manga, and Madoka-San was able to do the kind of comics she had always dreamed of doing.
However she found that many Christians were not in favour of her manga. In the early 1970s she was "chased away from a church" because of the comics she was producing. She says that a man in the church once shouted at her, "No way that you can draw Christianity with manga!" She did not have any place to work and supported herself with other part time jobs. In her spare time, Madoka-San continued to make gekiga Christian tracts of sixteen to thirty two pages. Then one day, she received a letter which reported that seven people were saved through her gekiga tracts in a single day, which greatly encouraged her.
"A comic tract is good for attracting people's interest to read," she has written. "If it is not in comic form, people would not read it and would just throw it away."[link]
A bit of an excerpt I got from the above link!--^ What do you think? Pretty amazing huh? If you're still reading this thank you! Another excerpt but this one much more entertaining and will catch your attention:
While at Borders book store one day, I noticed they had totally rearranged the store. The whole middle of the store was now targeted to teenagers: graphic novels, manga, and shelf after shelf of books aimed at the "Young Adult" age group. This struck me as a hopeful sign that teens and tweens apparently are buying books and reading more.
A few weeks later, I read in Publishers Weekly magazine that, in 2008, the YA category had grown by 26% in terms of book sales this was the strongest area of growth in all of the book-selling world!
Now add to this the fact that all the mega-zillion-dollar movies over the past few years had been targeted to this age group. Movies like Twilight, Iron Man, Narnia, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Harry Potter and the Threat of the Day, and on and on. Apparently, teenagers like media!
And then you have the gaming industry larger even then the movie industry. There are virtually no games targeted to the 55+ market!
But, as a Christian it struck me that an overwhelming majority of this media is based on a false, unbiblical world-view. Even though much of it is not necessarily "bad" nearly all of it assumes some of the world's beliefs.
Surely there can be excellent Christian media that does not seek to undermine the faith of its audience, I thought. So I started doing some research on the ol' World Wide Web and, guess what? There is a lot of Christian entertainment out there! And much of it will appeal to teens and tweens.
Some of it is not very good. Let's face it. Even though we will honor the pure intentions, we want to see Christian media meet or exceed the world's levels.
I hope this web site can help us all raise our sights higher: Teens to the cross of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Christian creatives to achieve excellence in everything we do. And producers and publishers to demand we reach those heights.
~ Clash, 2/1/2010[link]
The above excerpt----^ is SO true! As Christians...I think we are pretty tired of seeing our kind of rinky-dink merchandise that have rubber bracelets or notebooks with the phrase "WWJD" pasted over them. We want to meet the world's standards but I think a lot of us are too scared to fail. It's true. I feel that way too! Would people read my manga if it ever mentioned Christianity? I think most people would be running towards the exit. Media is a way to reach the people our age! Those of you who are Christians want others to know the love of Christ, but how do we do that? I did this journal specifically for young Christians who love manga to maybe think about being a manga artist or writer. If you know you have potential to be a good manga-ka then I encourage you to follow that dream! Dont let the discouraging comments of others. Below are some verses that may encourage you:
"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!"
Proverbs 24:10 (NIV)
This is very true. I have experienced this many times. Try to grow your strength by surrounding yourself with people who truly encourage your dream and pushing yourself to pursue that goal, and also pray and consult God. If you do all this, I promise you that you will see a light at the end of the tunnel even though it may not exactly turn out how you thought it would be. Hey, you know how God likes surprising us
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength
of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:26 (NASB)
No matter how many times we fall down and wanna yell "I GIVE UP!" God will be there to be your strength! Rely on Him. He wants you too! As human beings we are naturally weak emotionally and we need something bigger than us to get back up again and to pursue our dreams again.
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
Be confident in anything you do! I strongly encourage you to PRAY! I cannot stress this enough. Pray every day and everytime you feel like you will fall because that is the devil trying to keep you from doing God's will. Do not let Satan get a hold on you for he enjoys seeing us tormented and see us fail before God. Do not let that EVER happen to you!
I say all these things because I have experienced them. I can not promise you that your troubles will go away automatically. It's a life long journey. Every day we are in constant battle with the world. As it says in the Bible, we should put our armour of God on so that we can go out and face the dragons blocking our path. I know you hear this all the time about praying and reading the Bible and so it's kind of gone out your one ear and out the other, but please think about this. Take at least 10 minutes from your schedule today and open your Bible to any page. Then take your finger and point it somewhere and read the verse you found. You will be amazed at how that verse could coincide with what you've been going through lately. You may even recognize the verse and at one time it meant nothing to you and not it does. So, it is very true that it is the Living Bible. The Bible will never go out of date.
I know this is long and must have bored you to death, but for those of you who kept on reading this I thank you and please comment and tell me your own stories! I promise to reply back!