Saint Young Men/聖☆おにいさん/Saint Oniisan is about Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha living as roommates in a Tokyo apartment.
Yes, you read that correctly. Jesus and Buddha are homies. What more could you ask for, really?
I found Saint Young Men/聖☆おにいさん/Saint Oniisan from this amazing fan art on Tumblr:
Here’s a trailer for your viewing pleasure:
This is a slice of life story in which Jesus and Buddha take a vacation from their deity duties on planet Earth. In my opinion, too much of the action focused on the deities hiding their powers from mortals rather than using them to further the plot. The pace is a little slow. However, the interaction between the two gods is very entertaining and thought-provoking, and will definitely make you laugh. Buddha even reads the manga Buddha at one point.
^.^ My favorite parts [SPOILER ALERT] >.< :
In one scene, Buddha has a bad dream in which he and Jesus are in an arcade video game. Every time he gets to zero lives, the game automatically gives him another one, since he’s well, Buddha. He wins the first level by going into super enlightened mode and shouting, “It’s all like an internal struggle with Mara — freed from the samsara of remaining lives, we strive to achieve the “nirvana” of “no continue/game over.” Indeed, this is but the rugged path to attain enlightenment” — while the pixelated Jesus provides snarky commentary.
The frugal Buddha likes to make screen printed sweatshirts for Jesus and himself, with captions like “Babel” and ” 2 [picture of fish] + 5 [picture of bread].” Jesus is fond of puns, writes a blog about his favorite dramas, and accidentally turns water into wine.
O.o CRITICISMS: -_-
My major issue with this anime series/movie is that Jesus and Buddha commit some extremely minor, but understandable, “sins,” such as white lies (to not reveal their holy powers), selfishness, and anger. They are extremely kind, polite, and courteous, but they should have been morally perfect. Jesus seems a bit too “kawaii” for his Biblically described stature. His stigmata (crucifixion wounds) begin bleeding whenever he feels sad or frightened, which seems irreverent. I also feel that the creators really missed an opportunity to creatively comment on religion and society.
Then again, perhaps the simple presentation of Buddha and Jesus living together in brotherly harmony is a strong enough message.
[Image credits, allowed under the Fair Use act of the Copyright (education)]:
Manga Jesus: tomatomagica.tumblr.com/post/70381329415,
Buddha (2): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buddha_(Manga).jpg,
Manga Bible (3): ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HSgYnQRyL.jpg,
Manga Messiah: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MangaMessiah.jpg