The Art of Wholesome Anime
Upfront, I’ll admit it. I’ve been a Manga & Anime fan since the style came to America in the late 1990s. From that point forward I fell in love with the big and beautiful eyes, the colorful animation, storylines that spark the imagination, the unique character personalities, and even the action. This form of art really inspired me, and I began to adopt the style myself and started creating my own manga characters and world. I also wanted to see wholesome Manga artwork, watch top notch Anime, and get a hold of some great Manga graphic novels with a Christian based theme to it, Biblical moral lessons, and enjoyable story lines that influence in a godly perspective. Furthermore, I was quite strict on what the content was in anything and everything that I viewed, and that included Manga and Japan Anime. I am the type of person who searches for something of real value that holds good morals, and bristle at themes that promote false religion, paganism, immodest apparel on women and girls, magic and witchcraft, homosexual themes, extreme violence and blood, swearing, and sensuality! Yet, no matter where I looked; I found exactly that in Anime. I was disappointed to find that there were little or no Christian values taught in Anime at the time. What I did find, however; was shocking!Many people say “It’s just a show. It’s just a game. It’s just a book. It’s not real anyway, so what’s the harm in that?” A question like this ignores the fact that shows, games, books, music, etc. have been shown to influence children in many different ways. What these influences can do sometimes go beyond what a writer, manga-ka, or anime artist intends, instilling personal and cultural values, and subliminal messages in children through story themes that are so subtle that most of the time we aren't even aware of it. “Moral Lessons” are extremely important: They are our framework for seeing and understanding the difference between good and evil, and how we must respond to such.In the mindset of the world, we are told that these stories were designed to entertain, nothing more, and that they are just a work of pure fiction to give the mind imagination. In the introduction of an Anime show called “Dragon Ball” I had watch a few years back, the author of the book/anime had weaved some crude sexual humor into the story-line. Even in the actual video game it exploited these jokes visually. It seemed that the author was so anxious to demonstrate his thoughts and views on women to assure his readers that, despite the fact that children are viewing this; women stereotypes are nothing but nags and that it is an acceptable thing to exploit them. He was making a conscious decision to use these themes to represent his view upon the readers for reason of entertainment, imagination, and to add humor into the story. That’s what makes entertainment all the better, right? More crude jokes, themes with eastern religious roots, and the power of suggestion to tap into supernatural powers such as Chi or Ki energy (a real element used in Chinese witchcraft practice), and the belief that these energies come from within a person. These themes have become very popular through this form of entertainment. I nearly got caught up into all of that myself after I watched just a few episodes. The question finally came up: “What is the actual Moral lesson to the story?” As I became familiar with Biblical teaching; I was able to recognize and resist New Age philosophies. Unfortunately, there are more who don’t realize what hook there is in the entertainment industry, and how it can influence children, young people, even some young adults.The very mention of “entertainment” as the generic word for fiction and imagination ought to be enough to combat any arguments that we should think that it’s no big deal because we all know “It’s just a show. It’s just a game. It’s just a book. It’s not real anyway, so what’s the harm in that?” Just because this is a popular viewpoint among many does not mean that it has no power to change the mind and values of children. Do these things really make entertainment all that much better, or are we so used to seeing perversion and filth in our entertainment today that we don’t notice it anymore? About forty years back in history we as a nation would not have allowed this kind of behavior in entertainment. That was back before we have become so immersed in a mindset that these things are acceptable, that we think it’s no big deal. Our own entertainment industry has allowed immorality to set the stage on television, theaters, books, and shows through subtlety. And as we became more comfortable with a host of words, attitudes, and unjust behavior, now we are allowing our children to sit in front of it?! God forbid! Throughout the ages, scoffers deemed people who had moral stance as too stuffy, picky, and strict. Than the entertainment industry began to step in and started letting a little bit of morality out, and letting a little bit of subtle behavior, crude jokes, and suggestive themes in. After all, weren't there more important things to worry about, like how we live our lives and how we treat other people? But the entertainment industry recognized that in order to change the morals and values of people, they must use the entertainment propaganda to advertise and promote such behaviors that were contrary to moral stance – a mindset lacking in value, moral boundaries, and encouraging people to let go of all restrains. After all, Christian values were just another way of looking at things, and those values should not be imposed on someone else through entertainment. It would have sounded better in the old days when immorality was unacceptable and deemed as shameful, and morality was thought of as blatant! But now we have adjusted to this mindset, and now are allowing it to seep into our children’s entertainment. And with each generation forward, immoral promotion through entertainment is becoming more accepted than ever before, and considered to be of the norm! In a world that reflects the opposite values, I don’t think it is a coincidence that wholesome Manga and Anime are very hard to come by, and vastly underrepresented in the mainstream entertainment. Children are growing up learning of a mindset that makes immorality look good and of the norm, and all the while deeming morality to be this abnormal strict and boring lifestyle, therefore; keeping the Christian Manga section very limited. Indeed, the content found on most non-Christian Manga graphic novels and Anime are definitely promoting everything that the entertainment industry is, and it is working against children to keep them in such a mindset. It is time for Christian artist to stand up and bring morality back to our world, and to our children! Though the entertainment industry had fought for decades to bring an ungodly mindset into people’s way of thinking; it is going to take some effort to start promoting godliness and reclaim this generation of Children, and the generations to come; back to morality and a godly mindset!
The Message is clear to all Christian artists, manga-kas, novelists, story writers. If we are going to start bringing back morality in our children again, it is up to us to start taking seriously the talents that God has given us! The children NEED a godly alternative from the worldly mindset that is being promoted in the mainstream media, and the most popular is Manga and Anime! That is what the art of wholesome Manga & Anime is all about, reaching kids, and giving them an alternative! However, if we continue to deem this as unimportant, or continue to allow our children to view things that reflect the worldly values and immorality; we will never be able to pull them away from it, or unhook them from Satan’s grasp!
My dream is to start a Christian Manga/Anime site to promote the artwork of Christian Manga-kas all around the world, and to get them exposed and published! Today I am working on a manga graphic novel called "Sacred Oracles" dedicated towards tweens. It is a medieval time story that will teach morals to children. I have the written version of my story posted on wattpad. Also working on creating my Christian Manga and Anime community so others can join, post their own art, music, animations, shows, books, and more! Coming soon!
For all who wish to join me in the mission, visit www.christianime.com to help make this possible and join our community today!