Christians are getting the manga treatment in Japan as a weekly newspaper unveiled the latest anthromorphised character in its comic strip line up.
According to a report from the Anime News Network, Christ Weekly, a 70-year-old Japanese weekly publication, recently introduced readers to a wholesome, bespectacled middle school girl named Pyuuri-tan, a character believed to be the anthromorphised embodiment of Puritan Christianity.
The comic strip illustrated by Sono is going to be released as a serial that will appear in the newspaper every other week, alternating with Dendō Sentai Kyōkaiger, a series of essays written by pastors.
In her first appearance, the titular character Pyuuri-tan was introduced to readers along with her brother, Kaikakuha-kun who is a representation of Protestant Reformists.
Netizens have weighed in on the new character on social media, and the reactions have been mixed, reported Kotaku News.
While there were those who thought that the new character was cute, there were others who cautioned against the tone of the manga, warning its creators not to poke fun at Christianity.
"You shouldn't make light of others' religious beliefs!"one said.
"This is a problem waiting to happen..." another said.
Meanwhile, anime lovers from other parts of the world have expressed interest in seeing the comic strip if translations were available.
In the Deviant Art board on the subject, most of the users said they do not see anything wrong with manga tackling the subject of Christianity as long as it is done tastefully.
Pyuuri-tan is not the first manga series focused on the religion to see print in Japan. Saint Young Men revolves around cartoon versions of Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha living together in an apartment in Tokyo.
The series, which originally debuted in 2006 enjoyed so much success that it was adapted into two original animation DVDs and one anime movie. The 11th volume of the manga series was also released last February.
The Bible has also been adapted into a manga by Siku in 2008 to positive reviews.