This morning I visited one of the local Dollarama stores. I noticed that they had some CDs, and took a quick look. There was nothing I wanted to buy, but one did attract my attention. It was a karaoke CD of religious songs. That's a bit odd. Even more unusual was the cover art, which consisted of a young woman, drawn in an anime/manga style. Not quite the combo you might expect.
But then again maybe you would. Christianity and anime have met in the past. Japanese animation firm Tatsunoko Productions collaborated with the US Christian Broadcast Network in the early '80s on Superbook, a series of cartoon adventures based on the Old and New Testament. At the same time they also produced a series called The Flying House, which also used Biblical materials as the plots for its episodes. Some years later Osamu Tezuka, revered as one of the giants of anime and manga, created In the Beginning: The Bible Stories, an anime series that told the stories of the Old Testament. It was co-production with Nippon TV and the Italian government broadcaster RAI. It was one of Tezuka's last projects before his death of cancer in 1989, and was not completed until after his death.