“The Greatest Story Ever Told” – The Manga Bible (manga) – 7/10 Flowers

“Great men are not always wise” ~The Bible

Genre: Christian/Drama/Action/Romance

Review Status
: Complete (1 Volume/ 1 Volume)

Licensed: Yes, this manga is licensed in the US

Art: Very sketch-like, with harsh lines and angular figures. Pictures tend to be undetailed. Backgrounds are plain. In some places it comes off as harsh and dramatic, in others somewhat lazy.

Summary: The creation of the earth… The rise and fall of God’s chosen people… The mysterious stranger who brought about a new world order… And the ultimate showdown between the forces of good and evil… This is the greatest story ever told… as you’ve never seen it before. (back of the cover)

Review: For any Christian who enjoys anime and manga, one of the best things that can happen is The Manga Bible- something to meld the two things that they love. This does a nice job of condensing the Bible into easy to understand stories, though some seem to be disconnected to what happened before, and gets to the important stories that most Christians consider to be at the core of their faith. This traverses the history from the Old Testament (Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah, David and Goliath, the wars over Jerusalem) and gets to the New Testament about 2/3 way through the volume.

Some of the stories might be a bit too condensed for readers, which the mangaka solved by helpfully giving the book, chapter and verse of the story or the backstory that was glossed over.

The stories were also told decently well. I appreciated that most were told with time-period appropriateness, except for a few disconcerting moments where they decided to put the story to modern images. This could backfire- on a personal note, with family that has both vets and victims of World War II, I didn’t appreciate a Fat Boy being thrown into the story. It seemed to be both disproportionate to what was being told, and disrespectful to what happened then.

There is also a question of accuracy. While most of it was accurate to what is in the Bible (a few liberties with language aside to make it relevant to the modern reader), there were some instances of Christian legend and lore being illustrated that are most definitely not. The most egregious of this was the story of 2,000 baby boys under the age of 2 being slaughtered in Jerusalem. There is no support for this either in historical records or within the Bible. This could be found to be offensive to some readers.

As something to entertain, the Manga Bible does decently well. The action is good and often, there’s deception, war, and revenge. It can drag in a few places, and the pacing occasionally seems off. As something to supplement faith or be used to illustrate it, it also does decently well. It manages to be both easy to understand and highlights the important events.

Overall, this would be a neat gift to a believer who was into anime and manga.

Recommended: Maybe. As a rental from the library, yes. For ownership? It would depend on the person. For any age you wouldn’t mind seeing the bloodier bits of Biblical history, rather than just being told it. This does keep in mind that the stories, like that of David and Goliath, weren’t exactly bloodless as children’s versions are wont to have you believe. You have some partial nudity (men can go shirtless, Adam and Eve are unclothed but either shown in shadow or behind bushes). Rare Barbie-doll nudity. There is very little language.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Manga Messiah (manga)
Shelter of Wings (manga)


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