Friday, May 1, 2015

Does Enjoying Anime or Magna Conflict with the Holy Catholic Faith?

Received this question from a reader:

"Do anime and manga contradict the church's teachings and/or beliefs?  I have seen a disturbing trend of Catholic youth being drawn to these often dark shows.  If you have time, I would love to see a blog post on your thoughts/findings.  Thank you, God bless. 

As I know next to nothing about anime or magna (including the difference between the two) I can only offer very brief thoughts on the matter. If anime/magna are only styles of art, then I don't see why they can't be "baptized" and used for the glory of Christ and His Church. As an example, this "anime Mary" (although a bit sexualized) is an example of these art styles being used to advance and evangelize for the One True Faith

The Church has long employed a wide variety of artistic styles for the promotion of the Faith. Mary, for example, has been imaged with iconography,

With greater realism by artists in the Late Middle Ages, like Giotto,

In the High Renaissance style by artists like Raffaello Sanzio

In a more jarring style from Baroque artists like the great Caravaggio

In statuary,

Even as other races in other cultures,

Which the Virgin herself seems to approve of,

Examples could, almost without end, be multiplied.

If, however, anime and/or magna means more than just a certain style of art but refers rather to the content of anime and/ or magna shows and/ or graphic novels then I must admit to being ignorant of the typical content of such, but would suggest using the same criteria you would to judge the compatibility of anything else with our Holy Faith. Rap music, as a somewhat obvious example, is, as a style, neutral as to the Faith. Rappers such as, and I might be showing my age here, Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, or Snoop Dogg use that style to produce content that isn't compatible with promoting the glory of God, but others (think LeCrae or Fr. Pontifex) use it for precisely that purpose. The same, it seems to me, ought to hold for anime and magna. Perhaps what we need, if the youth are attracted to these art-styles (and if the content is "often dark"), are Catholic artists to utilize the style to promote themes consistent with the Truth of our Faith.

Perhaps others, with more knowledge than myself on these styles, might be able to add to the discussion in the combox .

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