8 Anime Series to Watch
to Appreciate Religion
By Therese Aseoche
Weeaboos find solace in Japanese pop culture to geek out without judgement and to relish in their borderline unholy feelings. (You know you live for those big-busted anime girls and pretty boys whose sexual orientation is a bit questionable.)
Hence, finding actual “religious” anime is close to impossible. That isn’t to say, though, that there aren’t any anime or manga that touch on spiritual themes. There are tons of them that contain religious elements and undertones, both overt and subtle, that will make you appreciate religion a little bit more.
So here’s a list of anime you can binge-watch to feel somewhat holy again… (Or not. You be the judge.)
It’s an anime that features angels! Okay fine, beings that look like angels. “Haibane Renmei” or the Charcoal Feather Federation involves four girls — the haibane—who have to cope with their lives leading up to their Day of Flight when they have to fly past the black walls that enclose the nearby town where human beings live, or else they’re doomed to be branded as Sin-bound.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
There’s no doubt that this series is an otaku’s top-of-mind answer when discussing anime with religious undertones. In a post-apocalyptic world, society’s last hope against the ruin caused by Angels is a special agency called NERV and their fleet of Evangelions. It’s full of themes and imagery derived from different religions including Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism that come as a surprise for an anime centered on science and technology. The symbolisms give it much more depth, along with other themes touching the subjects of psychology and philosophy, and it’s no wonder why this show is widely acclaimed all over the globe.
The Vatican and Vampires — quite an odd mix. In “Trinity Blood,” the world is plagued with vampires and it’s the Vatican’s duty to protect humankind from them. One of those defending the Vatican is Abel Nightroad, a traveling priest and a Crusnik (a vampire that feeds on vampires), who must stop his twin brother Cain from doing whatever it takes to conquer the world. Yeah, it kind of sounds like a weird crossover between “Angels & Demons” and “Twilight,” but the story’s a bit more complex and much more interesting than explained here, I assure you.
My Last Day
Created by The Jesus Film Project, “My Last Day” is a short anime film that narrates the Passion of Christ through the eyes of a criminal who receives the same crucifixion sentence. It’s perfect to remind ourselves of Jesus’ anguish for the sake of humankind during Holy Week without having to sit through the gorier depictions such as in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” but still witnessing the same torment — no exaggerations, no jokes, and no cute anime effects.