Have you ever wondered to yourself “I wonder what it would be like if icons from different religions lived together”? Well look no further friend, for I have found the perfect anime for you. Saint Young Men is a film adapted from a manga series all about Jesus and Buddha living together. Yes I know this already sounds wacky or depending on your outlook possibly controversial but it is actually a pretty sweet endearing film about two buddies with ULTIMATE COSMIC POWER.
So the whole plot of the film is kinda just watching Jesus and Buddha living in Japan for a year as a sort of holiday, this involves them trying to integrate within modern Japanese society and doing everyday things like shopping, going to amusement parks, hot springs etc. All while keeping their identity secret. There is lots of humor both from their antics in trying to act normal as well as a lot of religious jokes, for example the Yakuza mistaking the stigmata on Jesus for gang scars and thinking he’s the son of a crime lord. Or the fact that Buddha shines gold when he’s too excited or enlightened. Both characters are extremely good-natured but not sickly so, they come across as kind and actually have some awareness of their surroundings. There are multiple characters they come across and each one makes multiple appearances so it does feel like watching their day-to-day lives interacting with these people. They also cover different seasons so yes there is a Christmas scene with humorous results.
Never did I think I’d be writing about Jesus and Buddha as characters but life makes fools of us all.
Jesus is a kind, eccentric young man who has love and compassion for all and particularly likes shopping and blogging. Buddha is also kind but much calmer and more thrifty than Jesus, willing to go any length for a good bargain. I should also mention that whenever Jesus does something self-sacrificing his crown of thorns cause him to bleed, alarming everyone around him. Buddha also has a very ‘unique’ swim style and the scariest hair known to man…
This film is hilarious for anyone who has even the slightest knowledge of either of these religions, it never makes fun of the religious aspect in a mean way and instead focuses on the similarities and kindness present in the principles and teachings, embodied by both Jesus and Buddha. But don’t think this is all about religion because it doesn’t ram it down your throat either, I’d recommend this to anyone who likes a good bit of humor or seeing characters with godly powers trying to adapt in a normal setting.