Karen's Reviews > Manga Messiah

Manga Messiah by Hidenori Kumai
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's review
Nov 05, 07

bookshelves: theology
Recommended for: anyone looking for an engaging narrative of the gospels
Read in November, 2007

i picked up Manga Messiah thinking it would be interesting at best; violent, ill-directed and theologically unsound at worst. but it is in fact first-rate.

well, you know the plot. here it receives compelling graphic treatment. manga is the perfect vehicle to exploit the "lone hero" theme, but this version stays theologically faithful, so that Jesus is never dismissed simply as a hero--his divinity is a key aspect of the work. Bible references from the four gospels are included in inconspicuous "footnotes". the supporting cast is well fleshed out too, from the apostles to john the baptist, king herod to pontius pilate. excellently paced, the drama is never lacking in suspense, pathos or irony at all the appropriate moments.

nicholas (my 6-year-old) could not put it down. of course, it's not the Bible--you wouldn't use it for Bible study and that's not its intention--but as an introduction to the narrative and main themes of the gospel, especially for a youthful audience, you would be hard pressed to do better than this!
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