Watching a couple of hundred series and hundreds of more episodes, movies, OVAs, and other anime content, I have found several that can be relatable to Christians.
Now, I am not saying these are anime made by Christians, for Christians, or are they biblical in theme.
There are a couple of those, but I don't recommend them as they are pretty ancient (Superbook, Flying House). Instead, the list below reflects anime with lessons we can apply to our daily walk with God or biblical themes in the characters or plot.
One way or another, these anime reminded me of who God is or how He wants me to live my life to honor Him. Some of these you might know, while others might be a surprise. So let me know which ones you think should have been on the list and which ones you enjoyed or want to watch!
This is an older series, one of my favorites, that I watched years ago, sometime after it was released. I had no idea it would have any Christian themes until analyzing it a long time after viewing it.
The series is about a wanted man named Vash the Stampede, who has a mysterious past.
He is very silly but is highly skilled with a gun and has impeccable aim. He is hunted by all sorts of people who want to collect his bounty, but the anime gets much better later on as you discover his history and what truly happened on the planet.
Vash's gentleness and desire to help others is his motto, “love and peace!”. He exemplifies good character and is respectful, but most of all, he understands the weight of his sins and seeks retribution for them. Along for the ride is Wolfwood, a priest with a large machine gun shaped like a cross.
That doesn't make much sense, but if you watch the anime, you'll see why his character is very impactful. I recommend this one even though the animation is somewhat dated; you will love this one if you like action, some comedy, and a strong plot.
I have not watched this one again for some time, but it's on my rewatch list. It's a love story about two students who fall in love, friendships, and the hardships of life. What makes Clannad stand out for many fans, myself included, is how deep it hits you.
This show is not afraid to get honest with emotions, people's daily struggles in a relationship or marriage, and the effects of depression and pain.
It can sometimes be a little bleak, as the content gets pretty heavy later in the series. However, don't let the beginning fool you, it's lighthearted and seems like a regular slice-of-life or school anime, but it hits your heart later on. I don't want to spoil anything, but let me know your thoughts after watching it!
Haibane Renmei is an older anime that you might have yet to hear of. It wasn't very popular, but the story dealt with angels uniquely. The characters are all angels, dealing with their past in a slice-of-life and dramatic setting.
It's not a fast-paced, action-packed anime, but it deals with the repercussions of our actions, good or bad. It keeps the mystery of how they arrived and where they are, which keeps you entertained. Overall, an excellent anime to watch if you aren't looking for anything heavy.
Wow, this anime (which currently can be watched on Netflix) helped remind me why I love this genre of animation. There are so many bad, dull, or copycat animes out there that I was looking for a breath of fresh air, and I found it in Violet Evergarden.
The animation, for me, was excellent, and the story of how Violet becomes an Automemory doll, transcribing letters for clients to express themselves through words. The show delves into the meaning of love, finding peace in pain, and shares the personal stories of various characters in each episode.
It's a spectacular show that I hope you enjoy.
Kino No Tabi: The Beautiful World
I have not finished watching this series, as I am still going through it. Kino No Tabi is a remake of the original, so you can either view the older version or the redone one from 2017. Kino rides a motorcycle (that talks!) through various places and nations, discovering cultural, political, or other differences.
What makes this anime special is how Kino interacts with the citizens or situations she is put in. It's a philosophical anime that asks many questions and gives us perspectives that we don't always have an answer for. I think it's good to have questions and not have all the answers because it makes us human and knows that we have to rely on God to help us even if we never understand it all.
You are in for a treat if you have never watched Rurouni Kenshin. It's an older anime and looks a little dated, but the story and its main character are the highlights.
Kenshin is a traveling ex-assassin from a war that has ended in old Japan. He decides never to kill again, so he uses his reverse sword (its sharp side isn't used) to stop causing chaos wherever he goes. His passion and conviction to not kill is an example to die to ourselves when we want to harm others.
It's hard to do, and Kenshin experiences very trying situations that push him to his limits, but you will have to watch the anime to see what happen
This is another older anime, but it's a classic. It also deals with two samurai who go through various adventures with a young girl who tags along. The music is one of my favorites in any series, the animation and action is top-notch, and it deals with a group of Christians around the end as part of the story.
It is somewhat historical, so you get a taste of what life was like in Japan back in these days, and I highly recommend checking it out.
My Hero Academia
This is a more recent anime that has gained a lot of popularity. It's all about superheroes- the perfect time to capitalize on that genre. Myu Hero Academia deals with a young group of students going to school at a hero school called the U.A. and goes through their adventures of fighting villains, learning about their powers, and teamwork.
This one stands out for me as a Christian because of its morality and how good overcomes evil. It doesn't make it so black and white every time, so it makes the viewer wonder if the villain's actions are justified.
Overall, it's a fun anime with action, drama, mystery, and quick-moving plots that keep you hooked!
My Last Day
Though it's not an anime series, it's a short video showing the crucifixion of Christ in excellent animation.
I highly recommend it, as it's a powerful display of what it might have looked like to see the Son of God take the cross, be crucified by the Romans, and how He left the grave.
Yes, it's a manga, but it's very well done. I am a proponent that if Christians are involved in the creative arts (music, art, writing, etc.), we should do our best.
This manga series goes from Genesis through Revelation, each volume dealing with a different section in the bible. This one deals with the coming of Jesus Christ, His miracles, preaching the kingdom on Earth, death, and resurrection.
Definitely check it out if you're a manga fan.
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