Manga Messiah

College Bound Reading List

Manga Messiah

“We’re thrilled to offer the greatest story ever told, about the most controversial man who ever lived, in the most popular graphic novel format on earth.” ~Kevin O’Brien, Director of Bibles and Bible Reference at Tyndale House Publishers

I was pleased to see that Tyndale House is publishing a whole series of Christian manga, offering positive content with accurate Biblical messages. Manga Messiah and the Manga Bible have been out since 2007. These were followed by Manga Mutiny in 2008, and Manga Metamorphosis in 2009. Fans can also look forward to Manga Malech (Fall 2010) and Manga Messengers (Fall 2011). Tyndale purchased the exclusive English language rights for all of the titles in the manga series from NEXT Inc., a nonprofit corporation formed in 2006 to produce and distribute Biblically-based manga materials worldwide. Behind NEXT is a talented team of Japanese artists, writers, and manga industry professionals.

There are a few other Christian “manga-style” books on the market, but Manga Messiah and its sequels provide the most authentic Japanese manga experience. Although this American manga doesn’t read from right to left like Japanese mangas, it was drawn by real Japanese manga artists so it features true Japanese style artwork with eye-catching full color illustrations on every page. One of the neat things about the manga style is that the artwork is drawn in such a way that makes even still shots seem dynamic with a flowing, graceful movement. This visually engaging art style is intertwined with fast-paced storytelling to effectively deliver classic Biblical truths to our modern youth. In Japan, by the way, reading manga is not just a childhood fad; it’s a lifetime pastime. Likewise, Manga Messiah will appeal to adults as well as kids and teens.

While Manga Messiah is on the cutting edge of creativity, it’s a faithful rendition of the life of Christ pulled from a combination of the accounts told by the four Gospels. This beautifully drawn, graphic representation of Jesus’ life from His birth to His resurrection is full of action and drama that really makes the stories come alive. The authors have taken the liberty to add some extra material which helps highlight the situations and bring out the characters’ emotions. But the message portrayed is genuine and is based on Scripture. I especially like the fact that Manga Messiah lists relevant Bible verses at the bottom of each page, making it easy to look them up. Another interesting thing about this book is that it uses the Hebrew names rather than English names; i.e., Yeshuah (Jesus), Miryam (Mary), and Yosef (Joseph). It also retains the use of other Hebrew words such as rabbi, Messiah, and the month of Nisan. Included in the 288 pages you will also find a map of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea; character profiles of key Bible people; and an illustrated page on the twelve apostles. Just like the classic paintings of old, this manga brings the Gospel to life through art.

Manga Messiah is a nicely sized 5½ x 8½, 288-page softcover. It’s a must-have for all “cool” Christians, youth pastors, comic book fans and art lovers. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to introduce anyone to the Bible. You can give one to someone who has a Christian background but is not a churchgoer. It might help them to see some familiar Bible stories with fresh eyes and revive their interest in Jesus. Or you can give one to a friend who doesn’t know much about Jesus. It’s a compelling way to introduce them to the Gospel message. Hopefully, it will get them interested enough to go and read a Bible.

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