In Christ, we are part of a spiritual body and family. But when things get rough, or when we stray away from the Word, it can be hard to feel close to this fact of Christian living. We can end up giving ourselves the choice of adopting ourselves into a worldly state of living, a community that feels immediately closer but draws us further and further away from God.
We often wish we could know the future, but what if that was only a tool to serve others, rather than ourselves? This season’s most (deservedly) hyped show, Boku dake ga Inai Machi, is asking us to come up with answers.
One Punch Man’s Saitama may be anime’s best example of the old book-and-cover proverb yet.
Continue reading Christianime: Punch Not, That Ye Be Not Punched
Ask any gamer what they think of when you say ‘treasure’, and you’ll probably get a conversation about the relative value of items in Diablo 3, or a nostalgic reminder of the sound it makes in any The Legend of Zelda game, or maybe even a nostalgic conversation about how much old, rare and treasured video games can go for. They might also ask why I’m asking you to ask them about video games for something that’s supposed to be an anime feature, but that’s beside the point.
As much as Christianity can be a divided faith in places, there’s little disagreement over the tenet of ‘love thy neighbour’, the second greatest commandment handed down by Christ. We love others to show further love of God. Trouble is, we have a tendency to put ourselves first, and sins of greed, lust, envy and the like work against our love of others.
It’s the Christian’s constant goal to be improving the ways they put other people first in unconditional love and humility. But shouldn’t we applying that love to fictional characters too? A better question: why wouldn’t we?
If you walked up to a friend and ask them ‘Do you trust me?’, they’d hopefully say yes. Trust is the maker and breaker of most relationships. While this sounds natural, however, relying on other people isn’t something we’re commanded or advised to do as Christians. I was surprised when I first realised that the Bible even appears to advocate against trusting others for support. With this in mind, how should a Christian go about making friends? Where should we place our trust if not in people around us?
When I first decided I’d start a feature on this blog, I was worried. Worried because I thought I might run out of ideas, or that I might put my opinions across in the wrong way, or that I’d say something I’d end up seeing as wrong itself. It’s not easy trying to hone an artistic discipline in a public place. In fact it’s as hard, or even harder, if you try to do it in private. Something I’ve always wondered about being an arty person of any kind is how a Christian is supposed to deal with the worries you may face every day, especially if you’re just starting out. What do we do to keep working against our fears and doubts, to strive towards what we were inspired to create and the artists we want to become?
Two shows about young artists struggling in the anime industry – Sore ga Seiyuu!, airing this summer, and its often-compared-to recent predecessor, Shirobako – answer that question well.
For the regular anime fan, fanservice and ecchi elements are often accepted as part of the package viewers sign up for. It may be a reason why some misinterpret anime as being a popular variety of porn, but it’s also something many find enjoyable or merely unobtrusive. But when you’re a Christian, it can be harder to get past the times the shows you love seem to scream nothing but sex. I’ve been concerned about this ever since I became hooked on anime, but over time the Lord has helped me come to understand how I should approach the problem of pornographic content – which extends beyond anime and into my similar love of literature – and what to do about temptation when it strikes.