“If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all those religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of truth.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
As Christians, we believe in a God. Many other religions also have a god, so that’s not what makes us unique. Anime, to many people holds the position of a god or an idol, something of which they can pour their whole selves into. Anything can really be turned into a religion, it just depends on your perspective, and how much emotional energy you are putting into said object.
Anime, and Christianity have many differences in the definition of a religion. However, there is one aspect of anime that bleeds into what Christianity is all about. This is called truth.
Some definitions of truth I found include:
The true or actual state of a matter
The state or character of being true
Honesty; integrity; truthfulness
Truth is a quality that is part of an idea known as good. Truth’s rival – lies, are a characteristic of wrong or evil. Christians know that all truth comes from God. He is the originator of the very concept.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
Before there were humans with the ability to comprehend what goodness is, Goodness and truth existed in the form of God. Good did not it’s counterpart to exist, because it existed before the fall.
Now that we’re thinking about this, take a look at the way the world is currently. There are many things we would call good and true that are not distinctly defined as Christian. God isn’t the God of just Christians, he’s the God if ever human being, regardless if they know or agree with that fact. God as the force of truth works in the whole world, not just the Christian parts. And I’m glad he does, I wouldn’t have any other siblings in Christ if his truth were never shared outside the sphere of what’s defined as “Christian”.
“As in arithmetic – there is only one right answer to the sum, and all other answers are wrong; but some of the wrong answers are much nearer being right that others.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
As I stated above, with John 1:1, God is the word, and the word is the bible. Since all truth comes from God, the Bible is all truth. So the Bible is the correct answer to every moral arithmetic problem. Still, there are some answers that like in math, resemble what is already defined as truth in the bible!
Some of my favorite examples are the concepts of, bravery, perseverance, loyalty, fellowship, justice, redemption, grace, and love.
Let’s take a look at two people, one animated, one historic, and how they fight for truth.
Queen Ester was a young orphaned woman. Her cousin, had raised her until she was taken away by the king of Persia because she was beautiful enough to be considered his potential wife. She spent a year under the advisement of the king’s people just beautifying herself. But this was God’s plan for her. He gave her the gift of beauty so that she could be in the perfect position to save her people from death. Ester put her life on the line in order to have an audience with the king, her husband, in order to stop Hamen, the classic evil henchman from massacring the entire Jewish race.
I like to think of her as the perfect anime heroin. She was a beautiful woman, but she was timid and shy. She had the power of her position as the queen, but she also had the power of the Lord on her side. She could have been killed for not asking permission for an audience with the king, but she knew that she had a duty to her people and a duty to God to do the right thing.
Chihiro, from Spirited Away reminds me of Ester in some ways. She had to be incredibly brave as she went on the hunt for her parents to take them back from the evil witch Yubaba. Like Ester, she was thrown into a new world against her will. But she was not alone. Ester had her cousin Mordecai, and Chihiro had the mysterious boy Haku to keep her safe. Both girls, even thought they did not feel like they were not capable of it, had to face the authority of the land, and stand their ground. Like Ester, Chihiro showed her dedication to what she knew was right. Along the way, she used the art of friendship to redeem Haku, the boy from the river. Both women are heroes because of how they work to peruse truth.
In the grand scheme of things, all people and characters are similar. We wouldn’t have story characters if we didn’t have the human condition to inspire us to write. Everything is connected in the realm of stories, and seeing those patterns is a beautiful thing. I personally believe that all stories originated from the Bible, since I believe that all things “true” originated from God. The concept of truth is one of the most beautiful things I know in my world. It’s something I can rely on, something that won’t fail. The great hunt for truth is one of the biggest reasons I watch anime. I’d encourage you to take a second look at your favorite anime, and see what kinds of truth you can find!