by Erica Friedman
American manga aficionados have long prayed for a license of Hikaru Nakamura’s slice-of-life comedy Saint Young Men, starring young Jesus and Buddha as roommates in the Tachikawa section of Tokyo. Rooted in knowledge of both Christianity and Buddhism, with many references to both, this manga is profoundly amusing and slightly irreverent, but is sure to be controversial to those kinds of group who seek out controversy regarding religion. This license comes as something of a surprise, as it’s well known among folks in the manga industry that Nakamura was against this series being released in English in order to avoid conflict.
Part of Kodansha’s Digital First series, you can read a sample of Saint Young Men on the Kodansha Comics website.
Published in Japan as Saint Oniisan, Saint Young Men is ongoing, with 16 volumes in print. It has been adapted into an anime and a live-action drama, which debuted in Japan in October 2018.
Nakamura’s series Arakawa Under the Bridge is published in English by Vertical Comics.