catholic anime

There’s a new anime called “kids on the slope” that is catholic. Its about the highschool life of a people in a small southern town (which seems to be mostly catholic). It has relgious vocations in it, the rosary, and some catholic values, 3 of the main characters are practicing catholics who befriend and positively influence a new guy in town by inviting him to join their jazz band. Some scenes are overly dramatic, but its still a pretty good starter for a long needed new genre of japanese cartoons.

I think its a first of many Catholic animes to come in the future.

It’s too short…wanted more :frowning:


I’m an anime fan, but I’d be wary of depictions of Catholicism in this media.

A TV Tropes article sums up common issues in its “Fantastic Catholicism” and, specifically, “Anime Catholicism” articles.

With barely 0.5% of the population noted as Catholic, Japanese animators typically get Catholic teachings, theology or disciplines very wrong or greatly exaggerate the roles of clergy and vowed religious.

Such distortions make for interesting storytelling (such as when the Church battles the supernatural) but it’s important to note where drama begins (like female bishops seen in* Trinity Blood*) and where truth in television stops. I have not yet seen any show where Catholicism is portrayed accurately (without muddling the plot), but I’ll keep an eye out for this show.

That said on Catholicism and anime…

I’ve watched the first episode. The animation is spectacularly well-done (Santaro’s drum playing seems almost roto-scoped, it’s so accurate and fluid). Characterization is quite good.

The anime Catholicism is light but still there. The only apparent hint was Santoro’s wearing of a rosary as a necklace (something rather odd to do, especially in the 1960s–but he is a bit of a rebel). It’s definitely a story of growing up in the mid-60s and has a very nice feel. The jazz themes work well. I’ll have to enjoy a few more shows. :slight_smile:

Kaitou Saint Tail (Mysterious Theif Saint Tail)

The story of Saint Tail follows a simple formula: school girl Meimi Haneoka transforms into the mysterious thief Saint Tail, & steals back what was stolen or taken dishonestly. She’s assisted by a classmate and sister-in-training, Seira Mimori, whose position in the church after school each day allows her to hear the troubles of those who have been wronged and have come to pray to God. While Saint Tail steals to right the wrongs done to innocent people, she’s a thief to the police force. Her classmate Daiki Asuka Jr., called Asuka Jr., and son of Detective Asuka, is hot on her trail. Saint Tail delivers notices of her planned capers to Asuka Jr., to give him a fair chance to catch her.

Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (Phantom Theif Jeanne)

16-year-old high-school gymnast Maron Kusakabe is visited by the angel Finn Fish, who gives her a task. God’s power is scattered across the Earth, and if He does not gather enough by the turn of the millennium, He will die. To block Him, The devil had sent out agents to gather His power, which is the beauty in human hearts, in the form of chess pieces. With Finn’s assistance, Maron transforms into the reincarnation of Jeanne D’Arc in order to hunt demons hidden within works of art. When Maron defeats a demon, the artwork disappears, and to the outside world it is as if she has stolen it, and she becomes known as a kaitou (“phantom thief”). Maron’s best friend is Miyako, the daughter of a police detective in charge of Jeanne’s case.

Maria-sama ga Miteru (Maria Watches Over Us)

Marimite’s story revolves around the students of the Lillian Girls’ Academy (a Catholic school), and can be considered character-driven, focusing on interactions between the characters rather than any sort of ongoing plot or goal to attain. At Lillian Girls’ School, there is a tradition known as the sœur system (sœur being French for “sister”), in which a second, or third-year student, the grande sœur (“big sister”), will give her rosary to a first-year student, the petite sœur (“little sister”), and promise to look after them and guide them.

Chrono Crusade

Set in the United States during the 1920s, Chrono Crusade follows the story of Sister Rosette Christopher, and her soul-bound demon partner Chrono. As members of the Magdalene Order (an organization of the Catholic Church that banishes devils & demons), they travel around the country eliminating demonic threats to society, centered on a search for Rosette’s lost brother Joshua who is shown to have been taken from her by the sinner, Aion, a demon who shares a dark and bloody history with Chrono.

First off – yep, Apollon was a nice example of a realistic portrayal of Japanese Catholics.

Alas, Marimite is full of friendships which are hinted heavily to be disordered.

(Japanese Catholic boarding schools are supposed to be overwhelmingly attended by rich non-Catholics, so you’ll see a lot of Catholic boarding schools in anime. Like the faux Notre Dame high school that’s one of the main group of rivals in Eyeshade 21, in which each rival team is used to portray a particular sort of football philosophy.)

In the manga, St. Tail’s friend who’s a novice nun also hears Confessions as part of her duties, which is classic Japanese confusion about Catholicism…

Anyway, a lot of people will remember One Pound Gospel, the story of a novice nun at a school who helps a neighborhood boxer train, lose weight, and become a real competitor. It’s supposed to be very funny, but I’ve never seen the whole run of the manga or the show.

I’m surprised they didn’t mention the nuns in noir, Karen Aoki in X, or that in Sailor Moon Rei attended a Catholic school.

That may be because those articles are about (intentionally and unintentionally) inaccurate depictions of Catholicism. I don’t think the nuns in Noir hunted vampires or such. :slight_smile: That said, I did enjoy Trinity Blood and Chrono Crusade (although I found the ending depressing, I don’t know what the manga was like). Blue Exorcist was good too, especially the first half.

I know all of this & could care less. I don’t watch anime for accuracy on subjects. It’s all fiction. I don’t get why you guys are expecting it to be 100% factual. Why would one expect Japanese people to get the Catholic religion right when western non-Catholics don’t even get it right? I’m able to watch these & enjoy them for what they are. Entertainment. One of the reasons I got into Chrono Crusade (I haven’t watched anime in a long time) because of seeing the scene where Sister Rosette blows the head off a demon w/ holy water-filled bullets. That immediately sold me on the show.

From what I’ve heard, Maria-sama ga Miteru is yuri. Also, Chrno Crusade looks boring.
I so need to watch the other Catholic anime. O:

All of these animes above use the idea of the church for entertainment.

The anime I am talking about isn’t fantastical to the point that it’s not catholic. I mean the story is about believable characters. In thisa anime they talk about selflessness, marriage, the effects of divorce, remarriage, the importance of the rosary, vocation, and music.

Kids on the slope is really about catholic highschool kids having fun in a band and helping out a new kid in town who has never had true friends as he is affected by divorce and a father who works far away. A few times, a priest is seen talking to one of the main characters about the rosary and how “when the world rejects you, you can always count on God. This rosary is for praying with, don’t forget that.”

You never know, anime could soon be used for evangelization. Authentically catholic animes could possibly make converts because of the Truth in the content. People who watch would learn about catholic teachings and then may search it out. It could foster conversions and vocations if done right.

Sakamichi no Apollon is an incredible anime. Also, unlike many others, it might present Catholicism in a fairly accurate light. I’m not an expert, but I read this post a while back and it seems to agree with this evaluation:

Kids on the Slope: Catholic Anime Edition


You are the same TWWK from Beneath the tangles?



Yes, that’s me. Hi! :slight_smile:

Great direct reference. I don’t like to “turn off” my Catholic principles just to be entertained. I can, however, suspend my disbelief of the principles of the show if they aren’t out of line with my personal tastes. My earlier post was just a knee-jerk advisory on how much of anime misunderstands Catholic things–although not maliciously, I think. So, while “Trinity Blood” was a bit out there for me, “Blue Exorcist” was even more fantastic and so was more enjoyable.

Quite so! One day I will write a biography called “The Matrix Made Me Catholic.” I kid you not–it’s weird how God can use popular media to bring you closer to him.

One day I will write a biography called “The Matrix Made Me Catholic.” I kid you not–it’s weird how God can use popular media to bring you closer to him.

Interesting, Praise God! :cool:

Anyway, I found a blog that talks about how this anime is based in a real place:

Miura, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan

Just because I watch a show that doesn’t include every virtue or 100% accurate picture of my belief doesn’t mean I’m “turning off” my principles by watching it. It’s a TV show. I wouldn’t expect Japanese animators to bother or care about portraying the Catholic faith accurately. They’re not Catholic. If Catholics want accuracy in anime, then they have to get involved in it. I don’t see why one care though, because western intrest in anime has died down a lot (it’s popularity peaked in early 2000’s). Like I said, I haven’t watched any (besides the occasional Ghibli flick) in many years.

BTW, I guess my autobiography would be titled “The Parents Made Me Catholic”. :smiley:

He wasn’t talking about you, he was talking about the reason he doesn’t watch those shows. Some are so farfetched its almost a parody of the magesterium.

I don’t see why one would care though…

Because catholicism is the truth. Read my post please. Everything outside of the Body of Christ is incomplete, in the same way as 4+6 does not equal. 7. 7 may be part of the answer but it is incomplete. God gave us the church to get people to heaven.

Your parents gave you a gift, whether you open it is your choice. If you have questions on the faith, by all means read on here, participate and call in and ask. Please don’t be lukewarm.

I don’t expect anime to get the details right on Christianity (Catholicism or otherwise), and I don’t watch it for the religion. When the church (or Church) is included, it’s generally some sort of fantasy story or romcom sort that uses it for the aesthetics.

The anime I do watch are generally for the various themes I can agree with: the importance of family, kindness, justice, courage, the willingness to stand up for one’s beliefs, good vs evil, overcoming adversity, pursuit of truth, etc. I’m also a sucker for a good romance, laugh, and/or story.

But accuracy in its religious depictions? Certainly not. In the case of the Catholic Church (although I am not Catholic), anime generally gets about as much right as The Golden Compass series.

Kids on the Slope is a rare exception, although it is definitely not a religious program. The religion is mostly in the background, but I did enjoy the show’s depiction of it.

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