So, the headline here is that I’m dropping Junketsu no Maria and that I’m pretty bummed about doing so. I like, even adore, a lot of the peripheral elements of the show—Maria herself, her little posse of misfits, the character designs—but the show’s handling of Catholicism and the Catholic Church, which was more or less the focus of this episode, has left me both uncomfortable and a bit upset after watching the second episode. And, as much as I want to, I just can’t ignore those warning bells in my head.
In lieu of a traditional review, I have opted to take a different approach for Noragami. It really is fascinating to see the overlap between different religious traditions. Noragami, with its (mostly) Shinto-based characters, displays a wide overlap with Catholic teaching on the nature of sin. It is a fascinating and hopeful experience to be able to bring two different traditions together and find, for once, the similarities, rather than the differences.
Disclaimer: Before I begin this discussion, I want to first guard against the criticisms that may come from undertaking an interdisciplinary approach to this topic. Any analogies that are made within this article are first and foremost that: analogies. When I discuss Yato as a Christological figure, I am not forgetting that he is a Shinto god of calamity, whose existence is directly resultant from the evil wishes of humans. The analogy is not perfect. I recognize this. But in fact there is no perfect analogy between God and anything extant on earth. My concern here is to distill parallels where they can be found, not to draw the perfect metaphor for the Catholic concept of God using this anime.
Welcome to Catholicism in Anime, the series which will be examining Catholic elements of various anime. If you wish, consider these as Catholic anime reviews, although they aren’t proper reviews, simply examination and analysis of the “seeds of the Logos,” that I see within these shows.
The first show I want to look at is Soul Eater, the 2008-2009 series from the studio BONES, which has produced several of my other favorite anime. Based on the manga (which I believe is still ongoing) by Atsushi Okubo, Soul Eater, on the surface, doesn’t look like the type of show to have any Catholic elements. The animation isn’t your typical, clean-cut style. And even the title, Soul Eater, doesn’t see to be particularly Catholic or religions. Despite all this, there are several themes running throughout the show which line up beautifully with Catholic teaching and several interesting parallels than run analogously between Soul Eater and Catholicism. Continue reading
I am currently preparing and writing the first few posts for a series which will be titled, Catholicism in Anime. As a practicing Catholic, I see many values and truths in anime that are applicable to my own life and rest gently and soundly within the Truth offered by the Catholic Church. I have been personally challenged to grow in my humanity and faith by many anime I have watched, and many more offer beautiful stories that reflect the Truth on what it means to be human and to be alive. Is this practical? Is it possible?
Be reconciled with this?Read on to find out. Continue reading