Okay, so I was doing some browsing the other day at our neighbor blog “Beneath the Tangles” when I read about this manga being converted into an animated movie and possibly an anime adaptation. It’s, ironically, a slice of life story called “Saint Young Men”, and when I read the premise, my jaw hit the floor.
Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ descend from the heavens in physical forms to vacation on Earth in Japan. The two get along really well, though they obviously have some personality differences. In this manga, Jesus is friendly and happy-go-lucky with his long hair and ring of thorns around his head. He is also made to be a blogger and a follower of drama shows like “Lost”. [Yes…I said “Lost”…] Buddha is depicted as being calmer and rational than his roomate, and more money wise with his tightly curled short hair and long earlobes. He is portrayed as being a big fan of “The God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka. [Not surprising since Tezuka-Sama wrote a whole manga about…well…him. That is, Buddha…Ugh, this is gonna be confusing…] The series follows the two deities as they go about their daily lives on vacation in their low rent apartment and out on the streets of Tokyo, trying to keep their identities a secret while exploring the Terrestrial world.
Not only was I shocked about the whole story premise, but the whole idea that it’s got a popular following from a wide variety of people including Christians and Buddhists. Intrigued, I did a bit of searching and read a few pages…and all at once, I realized just what makes this popular and I had faith, pun intended, that this premise could actually work in animated format! At no point in time did I feel offended as a Christian, and the story doesn’t get preachy or show any overwhelming preference towards one religion or the other. In fact, I shared a few pages with a friend of mine who is Buddhist, and he really like it as well. Only time will tell how the animated version will sit with the anime community on both sides of the Pacific. Who knows, it might even get so popular that it gets an US release. That being said, I just have one question:
Are they going to get Vic Mignogna to play the Son of God? [Yes, indeed, I went there. Why? Because nobody else would. You’re welcome.]
Original Story Source: Anime News Network