In this article, we address the question, “Are Christians allowed to watch anime?” and the follow-up question, “What would be so bad about it?”, as well as “When are Christians allowed to watch anime?”
Whether or not Christians are allowed to watch anime is not because of anime per se. It is much more the content of the anime that should be the deciding factor for Christians.
Table of Contents
Why shouldn’t Christians be allowed to watch anime?
When it comes to the topic of anime, a Christian gets into a tricky situation: the Bible doesn’t write anything about anime (or series in general). It “only” writes about principles that a Christian should apply in his life.
So we’re going to follow the biblical principle of “test and keep the best” and look at exactly why it’s okay to watch anime and why it’s a problem.
First of all, anime “only” refers to a certain style of cartoon and says nothing about the content. Surely one or the other Christian has in principle already something against anime, because this does not come from a per se Christian country (Japan) and is therefore potentially dangerous.
I don’t think this approach is anything helpful for most Christians to blindly reject things. However, if you as a Christian have a stomach ache and a guilty conscience about watching anime, you should listen to it. It’s pretty much a sign of the Holy Spirit. Because as we will see, many anime contain un-Christian, anti-Christian and occult themes.
Is anime ungodly?
Anime can be harmful when occult ideas in the anime “invade” and shape the mind of the Christian. In fact, in many anime there are elements in the stories that can undoubtedly be called occult or esoteric.
This does not have to be explicit, but can also be implicit. In Japan (and Asia in general) there are various ancestor cults that are deeply integrated into their culture. Thus, it is quite common in many anime (especially if they are not set in a fantasy world) for incense to be lit or temples to be visited.
Is this in itself occult? No. But it is absolutely unchristian and shows a different lifestyle. Who is not yet strengthened in the faith, can come on the idea that this is nevertheless “somehow already okay” even these occult elements into the own life to introduce.
But if he can distinguish between their cultures elements and the faith elements, nothing stands in the way of watching a love story as an anime.
This is why anime can be sin: Fantasy Worlds
Many anime make use of different fantasy worlds that have their own rules. In this category I also include all anime that expand the present world or a past world with obvious things that were certainly not present there.
One Piece, Naruto or Dragon Ball can be considered as examples of such worlds.
Each of these “fantasy worlds” always has fantastic elements that are clearly esoteric and occult in Christianity. In One Piece, for example, one could argue whether the gum-gum berries already meet this criterion. But at the latest when Ruff & Co go to heaven with their ship and see several gods, the border is crossed.
Often such fantasy worlds make use of things that could be part of Japanese religious life, at least in theory. The language is there of enchanted objects or negative energy.
Examples of occult elements in popular anime
Here are some examples of strong esoteric/ occult/ demonic elements in anime.
|(Possible) Sinful elements in the anime
|Gum-Gum Berries (Remembered as curses)
Visit of the crew in heaven
|The ninja abilities (Remembered as demonic powers).
Literally demons appear
|Piccolo is literally the son of the devil
The background story of the chief devil Piccolo shows a non-Christian world view
|A magic item allows you to kill people at will
Communication and alliance with demons
|Alchemy with esoteric approaches
|Neon Genesis Evangelion
|The philosophy behind it is often not clearly compatible with Christianity
|Hellsing Ultimate OVA
|Vampires, demons and other occult beings
|Wild killing of humans
|Transformation through an occult object
As a Christian, how can I decide whether I should watch anime?
Let’s be honest: If you reject everything that is not 100% Christian, sooner or later you shouldn’t be allowed to watch anything. (Even the Tagesschau has un-Christian violence) Basically, you can find things in any medium that do not fit 100% to his faith. If you can live with avoiding all these anime or movies, you can of course do that.
As a rule of thumb, I would recommend the following:
- If you are unsure if an anime is good for you or not, don’t watch it.
- If you think the anime will make you lose faith, don’t watch it.
- But remember: Just because you are not strong enough in your faith to “overlook” the (slight) esoteric elements in an anime or it turns you away from your faith, this does not have to apply to everyone!
The same principle applies here as with the food rules: Those who think they have to do (or not do) certain things to serve God can do so. Those who have a stronger faith can do what they want.
For children, who are often not mature enough to recognize occult, should probably avoid the vast majority of anime. Parents can give an assessment here.
Short Version: Can Christians Watch Anime?
“Test everything and keep the best” is applicable to the topic of Christian and anime watching. A clear statement of yes or no should not be the answer here. After all, the word “anime” refers to a certain style of cartoon and not necessarily to certain content.
However, anyone who decides to abstain from anime for reasons of faith should not force other Christians to do so, but rather show them exactly how they see the problem.
For people with a background story that comes from esotericism should be much more cautious on the subject than others. These seem to be more seduced by occult things.