Oh, My Pop Culture Deity: Judaism in Anime

Moral of the Story: there isn’t any really.

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out what I would do for my next Sunday post, and realized I had approximately zero ideas. Zip, zilch, nada. So then I decided to think about what anime featured different religions. You have plenty of anime that feature Buddhism, Catholicism, and other variations of Christianity. But then it occurred to me that I had never heard of an anime featuring Judaism or anyone Jewish.

Doing a little research, I did discover that there is a very tiny Jewish presence. Most of the references to Judaism in manga have been in relation to the Holocaust. In Black Lagoon (which I have not watched/read), there is a Jewish-American lawyer. There have been multiple adaptations of The Diary of Anne Frank. In addition, there seems to be another series about the Holocaust called Adolf that has Jewish characters. However, I haven’t been able to find out much more about the series besides that it exists.

But that’s pretty much it. When you consider that there are only 2,000 Jewish people in Japan (which is 0.0016% of the total population), it’s surprising that there is anything at all. (Stats are from Wikipedia, so they must be true.)

Have you guys seen any Jewish influence/characters in anime? Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Oh, My Pop Culture Deity: Judaism in Anime

  1. Pingback: Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Kokoro Church, Quiet Times > Anime Time, and Rumors of a Saint Young Men Anime «

  2. Kaballah is a major thematic influence on works like Evangleion or FMA. But that’s distinct from Jewish Characters. Ohgi in Code Geass has been called ambiguously Jewish and nicknamed Jewgi.

    “Catholicism, and other variations of Christianity” TO my knowledge non Catholic Christianity has never been acknowledged in Japanese media. Sometimes Gnostic themes as drawn on along side the Kaballah. I’d like to know what Anime you’ve seen that has different denominations of Christianity?

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