5 Reasons to Read “Finding God in Anime” Volume Two

The second volume of Finding God in Anime: A Devotional for Otakus was released this month, and I’m happy to announce I got to be a part of this collection. That’s not why I want everyone looking for a worthy summer devotional to pick one up. There are so many more reasons.

Here’s five:

The writers did their homework

I have read a good number of devotionals that have shown the Christian values you can find in other works from The Matrix to the Coen Brothers’ movies. Sometimes the connections are pretty obvious. Other times it’s a bit of a stretch. In this series (both Volume 1 and 2), the connections are all very clear, and backed up well with Biblical passages and in some cases direct quotes from the anime source material. The writers didn’t just see if they could find Christian values in their anime topics, they saw them right away.

Contributor Kayla E. Green notes the “ultimate sacrifice” Fairy Tale character Ezra Scarlet was willing to give so his family and friends would be spared is an ideal parallel to John 15:13: “Greater has one one than this; to lay down his life for friends.”

This volume is filled with examples like this.

It’s digital version are free!!

You can’t get a better price than that. The paperback version is available on Amazon for $8.99, which in itself isn’t bad at all these days. Ebook readers can download the same content free of charge. It’s offered, of course, on Amazon and Goodreads in Kindle version, but there are several other Ebook options as well: Apple, Kobo, Scribd,Thalia, Angus & Robertson, and Vivlio. If you miss out on this read, it certainly isn’t due to lack of Ebook options or a too-high price.

Both volumes of “Finding God in Anime” are available in paperback and Ebook formats.

You’ll Discover New Anime Titles

Even though I contributed two devotional passages to this volume, it still contained a couple of Anime titles I had never seen or heard of. After reading the devotional passages inspired by these tales, and the values you could learn from them, I’m anxious to dig into to some newly discovered stories. At least ones I’ve just discovered.

Yes, there are familiar anime titles such as My Hero Academia, Cells at Work and Attack on Titan. I didn’t know about Digimon Tamers or Orange. Now I do, and I’m ready to ad them to my watch list.

It’s Pop Culture Without Being Preachy

I know how this sounds. I am literally talking about a devotional meant to convey Biblical values. Isn’t “preaching” part of the deal? Not at all. There is no shaming or patronizing talking down to the readers. No forcing of beliefs, just teaching them. There isn’t any indication there was any Biblical message intended in these stories, just using the universal values of anime and manga to share a different way of looking at the Christian faith.

I’ll use my own contribution as an example inspired by the anime Cowboy Bebop, a gritty space western that wasn’t intended in any way to be a Christian series. It does, however, exhibit values Christians and people of all faiths can understand: friendship, courage, and in the case of the dog Ein towards his young friend, Radical Ed, unconditional love and loyalty. At one point in the series, Ed has a long, lonely journey she is about to embark on and gives Ein the choice to not follow. He chooses to stay with her, wherever she goes.

“God will always choose to remain with us, only not as our eager loyal follower. He will stay with us as our steadfast leader, our loyal companion and our loving Father.”

This is what this book feels like; a companion to one’s journey in faith.

It’s the Result of Dreams and Hard Work

When authors and manga and anime lovers (otakus) Laura A. Grace and Moriah Jane first felt the need for there to be a compilation of Christian devotionals using their passion for anime as a base, there may have been some doubt if there was a readership for this lofty idea. Yet, they gathered enough like-minded writers to put together the first volume. And, it was received with much well-deserved praise. So much so, this new follow-up version received many more interested contributors, and even more avid to read and learn from the contents. The contributors range from seasoned writers to those newer to the craft. Some are young singles and some are parents of the next generation of otakus. All of them share a love for the creative and vast world of anime, and for their devotion to Christ.

In the past couple of years, there have been many articles about how manga and anime are gaining popularity on other comic book, graphic novel and science fiction and fantasy franchises. One of these reasons is the well-crafted storytelling lined with universal values of life, love and friendship.

If you read this Second Volume of Finding God in Anime, it is easy to see why.

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