This post is a little like this video. It may seem goofy at first, but there is a point I want to take seriously. This is a video that has reportedly been shown on Japanese TV in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, to educate youngsters about radiation danger from Fukushima (you may have seen it in the BCC sidebar a few days ago). I think it’s safe to say that most Americans seeing this animation will have the same reaction I did, in thinking, “Now here’s something that never would have been done quite that way in the U.S.”
Yesterday I watched my kids scramble to rip the plastic sleeve off the latest issue of The Friend, which had just arrived at our house. As the kids were flipping pages, scouring each for the hidden CTR ring, I noticed the style of the Matt and Mandy comic, and how different it was from the Japanese style of Nuclear Boy. Indeed, how different all the art and design in the magazine are from Japanese style.
This isn’t to say I necessarily prefer one to the other, or would want a manga comic to appear in each month’s Friend (though I know a number of people who would just love that). It’s just that if the feeling of jaw-dropping foreignness I get from Nuclear Boy is also felt by our Japanese Saints when they consume church media, how can that feeling not interfere with their ability to learn and feel the Spirit? If we on BCC find it hard to have a serious discussion about these internationalization issues, because we are too distracted by talking about how Nuclear Boy just blew our minds (as the top-rated YouTube comment puts it, “That’s one major cup of weird.”), can we imagine similar levels of distraction for them reading Matt and Mandy?