Saint Young Men

I came across this anime series last week when I went to the British Museum, where they have a small “manga now” exhibition. The first photo is by me from that exhibition.

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The premise is that Jesus and Buddha are now 20-something hipster roommates living in a Tokyo suburb.

j and b manga

They have a few problems convincing their landlady of their job security without a payslip:

j and b manga 2

and also coping with signs of who they are vs who they appear to be.

j and b manga 3

Buddha tends to have birds and animals flock to him and is still a bit upset that all these artists captured him while he was still in his chubby phase, whilst Jesus is confused by some high school girls telling him he looks like Johnny Depp and finds that his crown of thorns tend to bleed whenever he’s agitated.

The two are good friends, although this doesn’t stop them raising a quizzical eyebrow at the other’s beliefs from time to time, such as when Jesus’ attempt to turn water into wine again creates a Fanta-flavoured geyser.

j and b manga 6

j and b manga 5

Generally it’s a kindly and humourous riff that still manages to be thought provoking. One of my favourite sketches I’ve come across is a moment where Jesus and a Tokyo mobster bond over their body art (tattoos vs stigmata) and the fact that their fathers both insisted they go into the family business:

j and b manga 4

For Buddha, my favourite story is that he decides to go all out on a shopping spree and comes home with…the store’s smallest rice-cooker, which he tells Jesus is just enough.

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