The purpose of the First Church of Hayao Miyazaki is to show people that the "virtues" peddled by the vast majority of street preachers (who seem to use religion either as a crutch to prop themselves up in place of previous chemical addictions or as justification for their own ignorant prejudices against women and homosexuals) in our fair city can be found if you look around at other sources with an open mind.  In our case, Japanese animation (AKA "anime" and "Japanimation," although we hate the latter term), in conjunction with discussion with other fans, locally and internationally, has shown us many strengths and truths.  Also, we just love to wind up the more obnoxious street preachers by any means necessary.


Titles and duties are subject to change.

The late BROTHER KOUTOKU:  Co-Pope, CEO, Scribe/Translator, Devout Religious Leader and All-Around Good Lad.

SISTER KOURIN:  Co-Pope, Scribe/Proofreader, PR/Webmaster, Testimony, and Spiritual and Conceptual Avatar.

BROTHER KAEL-SAN:  Holy Mother of Yaoi, Wielder of the Mallet o' Doom and Angel of Death.

BROTHER KOUYASU:  Virtual Organist and First Consort to the Holy Mother of Yaoi.

BROTHER PERURU:  Lord of Fan Fiction.


THE FATHER:  The late OSAMU TEZUKA revolutionized manga (the Japanese word for "comics") during his lifetime, and his influence on manga continues to this day.  In fact, in Japan, he is frequently cited as "Manga no Kami" ("The god of comics").  His most famous creations were "Tetsuwan Atom" (known in north America as "Astroboy") and "Jungle Taitei" ("Kimba the White Lion").  The animated movie Metropolis (released in Japan in 2001, and currently circulating in North America) is based upon one of his manga titles, and his character designs.  And, for those who think that anime and manga is Godless, I might point out that the last project that Tezuka worked on in his lifetime was In the Beginning, a set of OVAs (Original Video Animation, or direct-to-home-video releases) based on classic Bible stories.  These have been released domestically (25 episodes; one per dub VHS only; sorry!) and are available from the online store The Right Stuf International, Inc.  Bilingual Region 2 Japanese DVDs (North America is Region 1, so, unless you have a player equipped for region 2, you won't be able to watch these) containing 2-3 episodes each have been released by Toshiba in Japan.  I have found this review of one of these discs, but no listings yet in any online stores that I know of.

THE SON:  HAYAO MIYAZAKI, artist and director, co-founded Studio Ghibli in Japan and produced and released various films that have broken box office records in Japan and have large, devoted followings in North America, including Tonari no Totoro ("My Neighbor Totoro," available from Fox Video), Mononoke Hime ("Princess Mononoke,") and Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushii ("Spirited Away," both available from Buena Vista, among other well-loved titles).  Because of the atmosphere his films create, which touch both child and adult equally well, and the themes which feature prominently throughout his body of work--love of children and their open, joyous spirit; the importance of friendship and a kind and supportive family structure; respect for the environment--we decided to dedicate our cause to him.

THE DAUGHTER (we need one, since women are important to us all):  YUU WATASE is probably the most prominent shoujo manga (comics marketed to girls; this doesn't mean males can't enjoy them, however) artist today.  Her blends of action, romance, comedic touches and a distinctive art style have won her many fans on both sides of the ocean.  Her best-known work, Fushigi Yuugi ("The Mysterious Play") is available as an animated series from Pioneer Animation and an English-translated comic from Viz Comics.  Her most recent anime series, Ayashi no Ceres ("Ceres:  Celestial Legend") is now available from Viz, who are also releasing the manga, as well as one of her most recent manga series, Alice 19th.

THE HOLY SPIRIT?  Well, if you love, like, or at least can appreciate anime, the Holy Spirit of Anime is easily found within your own self.  However, we do wish to acknowledge the lasting influence of four spiritual sisters from the Holy Land who operate under the name CLAMP (Magic Knight Rayearth, Card Captor Sakura (accept no imitations, dilutions or mutilations) and X the Movie, to name but a few of their creations), and their divinity unto anime fans worldwide, so “The Holy Spirit” in our trinity will henceforth be known as “The Holy CLAMP.”

(complete with answers!)

ISN'T ANIME JUST KID STUFF OR PORNO CARTOONS?  You're saying that like that's something bad.  Seriously, that's like wondering if all live-action movies are kid stuff or pornography.  Since anime in general doesn't have the stigma of entertainment strictly for children in Japan that animation does in the west, many different styles of story targeted to different audiences flourish there, and are enjoyed here by most people who have chosen to look past the normal expectations for animation and seek out the types they like.  Material for children and lurid stuff for adults are merely the two most extreme ends of the whole spectrum.

DO YOU RUN AN ACTUAL CHURCH?  No, we don't.  Rent in this city is way too expensive for that sort of thing, and zoning laws (and size) do not permit housing it in our own domiciles.  We regard the actual Church as anywhere that a love of anime and its virtues can be enjoyed.  Comic book stores, anime clubs/showings/conventions, your own living room (or wherever you keep your video equipment), movie theatres where anime is being shown, the very mind of the anime fan--these are where the Church is.

DO YOU TAKE HONORARIUMS?  We're not really in this for the money, we're in it for the love of anime and just plain fun (and because we're both frankly pretty weird people when we wanna be), so we officially don't.  However, if you want to give us money that much, then we won't refuse it.  We will carefully consider how it will be spent, however; people have suggested that any money donated to the First Church should be donated to charity, and that's the best idea for it so far.  If you wish to specifically donate something to directly benefit the First Church, Sister Kourin will gladly accept steady, dignified, well-paying employment (clerical work, English-speaking only, standard work hours, please).

YOU ARE HERETICS AGAINST OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL BURN IN HELL!   Well, that's not actually a question, but we'll reply anyway.  Don't get us wrong; we are not doing this to insult Christianity in general or people who follow that particular faith (or any other, for that matter).  We are doing it to poke fun at the more annoying specimens of street preacher, who bellow at people at bus stations about how wrong and sinful their lives are, and about how they're going to suffer eternal torment for not Being Like Them (as if the temporary torment they give people who are just waiting to cross the street or catch their buses home isn't bad enough).  And while we do find that sort of person annoying (although the one who draws pictures under UV light is all right; he's relatively quiet, and his style tends to be more uplifting and creative than the ranters), it is only the kind of "spiritual leaders" who have abused people's trust in them and used them horribly who really earn our true contempt.

WELL, I'M INTERESTED.  WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANIME SCENE IN THE OTTAWA REGION?  You can find information about showings and periodic special events posted at major comic book stores in the area.  You can also rent and buy anime on VHS video and DVD and buy English-translated manga at these places if you wish to explore them yourself.  However, for more thorough and up-to-date info, go to SOAP's (Society for Ottawa Anime Promotion) web site.  They organize special events, including the anime convention AC-Cubed, and hold showings during the summer to help prevent anime droughts.  Be sure to check out the links section of SOAP's page, as it will lead you to Ottawa's currently-active anime clubs housed by its universities.

DO YOU REGARD ANIME ON NORTH AMERICAN TELEVISION, LIKE SAILOR MOON, POKEMON, CARDCAPTORS AND MEW MEW POWER TO BE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES?  It's a matter of opinion, really.  We personally find it to be horribly dubbed edited-to-oblivion-for-broadcast dilutions of its former self, but it you can still find the spirit of anime within these, then we won't deny or belittle your feelings.

HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE DARE TO DO SOMETHING SO UTTERLY SILLY AND MAKE FOOLS OF YOURSELVES?  Well, we were bored out of our trees, and it seemed like a good idea (especially since some of the stuff that bored people customarily get into is frankly pretty scary).  If you think that what we're doing is silly, good.  I hope you enjoy it, and we really don't mind if you laugh at us for doing this.  We're laughing at this ourselves more than anybody else.

THE FRONT PAGE USED TO BE CALLED "THE FIRST CHURCH OF MIYAZAKI."  WHY DID YOU ADD HIS FIRST NAME?  We really wanted to keep the name short and snappy, but another Miyazaki, given name Tsutomu, tainted the name in Japan by molesting and/or murdering four girls in Japan (he is not related to the good one in any way we know of).  We wish to make it absolutely clear that the Miyazaki we praise is Hayao of Studio Ghibli, who has brought love and joy to people with his art, and that Tsutomu (a name which seems to be designed to be spat out) is to be regarded with nothing less than all the scorn and reprehension he has earned.  The newsgroup rec.arts.anime.misc has had some people confuse the two names, but thankfully, the more knowledgeable posters there set them right immediately when this happens.

Due to Brother Koutoku's untimely passing, the E-mail address he was handling is now closed.  When I finally establish another account, I will give it out here and on the index page.

Live, love, laugh, loaf, and watch more anime.

Sister Kourin