Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Manga Must Be Catholic Art --

It has its own bishop. (You know, this could be a very profitable thing for Burkino Faso.)

I ran across another example of Catholic characters in manga today. The second run of Vampire Yui -- translated as Yui Kanonsho in the US -- starts with Yui being found, amnesiac, by a priest. Eventually both her friends and enemies find her, and the priest ends up dying in Yui's place. He's a good character, and very POD, too -- even wears that priesty cape thing. I'll see if I can scan some pictures of the priest and the cherry blossoms.

(Btw, the Japanese way to say "Catholic priest" or "Father" is "Shinpu". "Shin-" is an alternate pronunciation of the character for G/god, "Kami"; and "-pu" uses a character almost exactly the same as "father". Nice, huh?)

Speaking of the Good Ol' Days, there's a brand new independent comic set in Japan which sounds pretty darned interesting. Blood and Bushido is the saga of a Norse pirate captain saved by Spanish and Portuguese priests. In gratitude, he offers himself and his crew as bodyguards to the new missions in Japan. This review claims that the story is too ambitious for the art, but that it's a good, interesting comic all the same. And hey, how many comics feature heroic Jesuit characters?

On the more progressive side, we have an online American manga, Altar Girl. As the author describes it, this is "Your typical Catholic school girl meets naive dead boy scenario. Angels, half demons, bishounen, etc." The saga of Ashley Altars has apparently been rolling since 2002, so it's probably time for St. Blog's to drop by! (Don't be scared by the tattooed image in the first comic. As we all know, the cover of a comic never reflects its contents, and that's especially true with this one. It's as sweet and cute as the littlest kid at a May crowning. At least so far as October 23, 2002, which is as far as I've gotten so far.

Sakkaku no Serenity (Illusions of Serenity) is another online American manga. This one uses the usual pretty boy and CLAMP-inspired Christian imagery to very good effect. It does seem to intend to deal with Christian themes, and hey, we all need a little dose of pretty horror comic every once in a while. Besides, the comic on "why we don't always interpret the Bible literally" is a stitch.

Magical Boys is an online manga poking fun at the magical girls genre by reversing genders. That's right -- this time the magical fantasyland will be saved by guys with destinies! Radical, eh? Anyway, the Catholic connection is provided by the cast with good Catholic kids Brendan and Brooke Ashe, and their friends. Unfortunately, the series seems not to have been updated since 2003.

Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO) is a highly amusing anime series about a motorcycle gang member turned first-year teacher. (This must be the sort of stuff they were always watching back in the teachers' lounge....) Apparently, however, the show had a live action drama special in which Onizuka was transferred temporarily to a Catholic girls' school! This I have to see....

On the Japanese manga side, there's apparently a good many Catholic characters in the horror/romance/adventure comics of Higuri You. You gotta love titles like "Lost Angel" and "Tenshi no Hitsugi-Ave Maria-". The problem, is that the innocent fun of bishounen so often takes a turn into shounen-ai, and the next thing you know, some retired Episcopal bishop is wearing a lei on his head and "marrying" his boyfriend. Which sorta takes all the fun out of the Catholic background, if you know what I mean. (Not that it matters at this point, as this lady's work apparently hasn't been translated into English and I'm not likely to hit any Japanese comic stores any time soon.)

St. Blog's is only one online parish, it seems.

Fr. Dennis Drury has an Elfwood gallery for his artwork. Some nice stuff. I don't agree with him about women in armor, though. No "shape"? No shape? No shape?! Oh, totally shapeless. Bah, I say. Seriously, though, it would be difficult to confuse a woman in armor -- even plate armor -- with a guy. Totally different stance and leg shape, just for one. Half an hour in the SCA would open his eyes. Here's a page with lots of styles of women's armor.

B-Chan has apparently written a book called Think Manga. The next book is apparently going to be Think Stuart and Bourbon.... *grin*

Another anime and manga fan is at Embry-Riddle and looking for an RCIA program for over the summer, from what it sounds like. Anybody able to help her?

Here you can find even more members of whatever you'd call the Livejournal parish.


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