Frank discussions, advice, and opinions from a Catholic Director of Religious Education.



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Manga Bible Stories?

 For those unfamiliar with Manga, it is basically a Japanese-style comic. In cartoon form it is called "Anime" (think: Pokemon) and it is a medium more and more popular in America, especially among teenagers. There is a distinctive "look" to manga, but a manga series can encompass anything from supernatural dramas on earth to tales of bounty hunters on other worlds. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see that someone is putting together bible stories in a manga style. Manga Hero has already come out with Judith: Captive to Conquerer and Paul: Tarsus to Redemption. They also seem to have plans for more biblical and saint themed stories including a special manga on Pope Benedict XVI to be distributed at World Youth Day in Madrid. New Evangelization indeed.

Frankly, the idea sounded too good to be true, but I ordered the first volumes for both Judith and Paul. I wasn't disappointed. Actually, I thought they did a wonderful job depicting the characters and I really think kids would enjoy this while learning about their heritage at the same time. The stories deal with some heavy subject matter, including Judith's decision to ultimately kill Holofernes and Paul's role in the murder of Christians, so I wouldn't give this to just any child, but it would be perfect for the average middle or high school aged student.

Ultimately, this is entertaining and informative, but it is the door to enter by, not the house to live in. That being said, this is the way we need to think if we are to attract the youth of our nation. Good work Manga Hero.  

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