Japanese Manga artists share the gospel through their art
I just finished reading the Manga Messiah today. It took me about 2-3 sittings. I didn’t expect to find it so easy to read, and I’m quite impressed. The team at Next Manga did a fantastic job, and the artwork I’d say is on par with other genuine Japanese manga. I am really pleased to see God’s people using their skills and gifts to be missional to their culture.
Everything about Manga Messiah was genuine, authentic JAP JAP JAP JAP (desu)!!!~~! ^^. The manga artists were Japanese. It was printed in Japan, and heck, the paper even smells Japanese! And just like the typical manga life cycle, it was released in Japanese first and the English translation followed. The only non-conventional things are that it’s in full-colour and there is probably more text than is typical.
Volume 1 is based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and chronologically compiles pretty much every event recorded in each account. It’s sort of a visual “harmony of the Gospels”. The passages which are depicted by the images are listed at the bottom of each page, encouraging the reader to turn to God’s word for a more detailed account.
Some people have expressed the concern that kids might be more tempted to read Manga Messiah than the Bible itself. However, whether people have read the Bible before or not, it’s a great aid for more visual learners and I can really see it being used in an ESL teaching ministry to reach asian overseas students.
Manga Messiah confronts the reader with the person of ‘Yeshua’ (Jesus) on every page. The whole gamut of His character and emotions are skillfully portrayed: his miraculous power, mercy, grace, holiness, love, anger, sadness, humility.
What all of this does do is make me hungry to find out more about this Yeshua. The last page has text which reads:
Many other stories of the miraculous things Yeshua did could be included here, but how could any one book hold it all?
It is up to you now… these things have been written for you so that you will believe Yeshua is Messiah, the Son of God, and if you believe in Him, you will have the eternal life He promised.
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