#12 Saint Young Men by Hikaru Nakamura

stoniisan02 Saint Young Men (聖☆おにいさん) by Nakamura Hikaru
Serialized in Morning Two
Published by Kodansha

Lent is the perfect time to reflect over our past sins and contemplate on how THE MAN sacrificed his life for our salvation. In the modern world, this religious ritual becomes a chore, often forgotten, maybe even neglected. In my country, Lent’s a holiday, a 5 day weekend where you can relax from the nitty gritty of work, ideally to reflect, but more often spent on frolicking in beaches and family picnics. But somehow, The Lord finds his way to sneak up on you, in ways you can’t even imagine. And in this case, he even partnered himself with Buddha to create a light-hearted comedy about two deities living a life in the modern world.

Whatever divine crack you sniffed Hikaru Nakamura, YOU ARE A GENIUS! JESUS AND BUDDHA FTW!

The Divine Comedy

Saint Young Men is about Buddha and Jesus coming back to our world and living life like we do. It really doesn’t have much of a plot, but it more of a slice of life tale between these two dieties. You have Jesus and Buddha going to an amusement park, enjoying summer festivals, swimming, and so on.

When I told my friend that I’d be reviewing this for Good Friday, she asked me if it was okay. Religion is a big thing here so she thought that his could probably be a bit sacrilegious. Imagine Jesus reading the internet, wanting to buy a Shinsengumi costume, and rediscovering the world. But when I read the book, that was not the case at all. Sure, it was too comfortable a depiction of deities, nonetheless, the author kept in mind the characters of these two guys and has somewhat kept their image. Somewhat.

stoniisan01 Nakamura-sensei depicted pure and innocent holy men who are experiencing the world with infallible faith in humanity. My favorite moments were Buddha reading Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha, Jesus parting the swimming pool (a micro version of the red sea), Jesus reading mixi, and all of that sort. It’s a hilarious comedy between the two deities and it’s a total genius that she portrayed them without diluting the fact that they’re dieties. She starts her chapters reminding us of their holiness. And towards the end of the chapter, you see them in a new entire light.

There’s a scene that I really really love wherein Jesus and Buddha decides to go to an amusement park. Jesus notices that there’s a sign on the admission counter saying “People who are older than 80 years old can get a discount.” Jesus notices this and asks Buddha “So, should we avail of the discount?”

It’s a very humorous take on a “What If.” The more that I read, the more that I think that Jesus and Buddha is a manzai combi. They’re not here as idiots, but rather Gods who are experiencing the life that we live. They’re hilarious together and their learnings of the modern world is amusing. It’s very entertaining and between Lenten readings, the Da Vinci Code, and this, I’d rather enjoy the rest of Lent looking how Jesus is having a field day with Buddha. JESUS AND BUDDHA ROCKS!

Much love to Chika for lending your copy of this manga to me. <3

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