Examining Old School Anime: The Christ Figure Antagonist

Beneath the Tangles

Ten or so episodes of Ashita no Joe convince one that many Christian themes run through it.  One even locates a Christ figure in Rikiishi and a Marian character in Yoko Shiraki.  Therefore, Joe Yabuki (especially when one considers the slang “average Joe”) might be looked on as an everyman–a representative of graceless humanity needing a Savior.  In this article, I do not wish to belabor Rikiishi’s parallels to Christ: his standing head and shoulders above ordinary mortals, his generally meek and polite personality, how his weight loss reminds one of Christ fasting in the desert, Yoko as a woman who fulfills the role of the Lady of Sorrows for Rikiishi, etc.  Instead, I wish to ponder the curious choice of Ikki Kajiwara to make the Christ figure as the story’s antagonist.  In what ways might Christ, the friend of sinners, also be viewed antagonistically by his followers?

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If memory…

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Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

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