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Book Review

This graphic novel by Ryo Azumi is third in the five-book Manga Bible set.

Manga Mutiny is published by NEXT in conjunction with Tyndale House Publishers Inc. and written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Using Scripture from Genesis 1 through Exodus 15, Japanese animators have created a manga comic book that follows the earliest Bible stories. A map of the land and a family tree are included in the back.

Satan rebels against God and is cast from heaven. God creates the world. His first people, Adam and Eve, eat forbidden fruit, and He banishes them from Eden. Cain and Abel are born. God is pleased with Abel's sacrifice but not Cain's, and Cain jealously kills Abel. Man becomes increasingly evil, so God calls his righteous servant, Noah, to build an ark. Only Noah, his family and many animals survive a flood that wipes out the population.

After the flood, Noah's descendants populate the earth. They build a tower to reach heaven, but God confuses their language and scatters the people. Abram, later called Abraham, is born. God promises to make a great nation of his descendants and give him the land of Canaan. When his wife, Sarah, can't conceive, Abraham has a son by her servant. Angels tell Abraham and Sarah that they will have a son, despite Sarah's old age. Abraham begs God to spare Sodom, the home of his nephew's family, from complete destruction. Visiting angels urge Lot, his wife and their two daughters to flee Sodom before God destroys the city. Lot's wife looks back at Sodom and becomes a pillar of salt.

Sarah gives birth to Isaac. In her jealousy, she insists that Abraham's other son, Ishmael, and his mother be sent away. God protects Ishmael and his mother in the desert. God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham faithfully obeys, and God prevents him from killing his son. Abraham sends a servant to his homeland to find a wife for Isaac. The servant brings home Rebecca, a woman from Abraham's family. Abraham dies. Rebecca has twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob tricks Isaac, steals his brother's inheritance, then runs for his life to his Uncle Laban's home in Heran. On the way, he dreams of a stairway to heaven, and God says He is with Jacob. Jacob falls in love with Laban's daughter Rachel, but Laban tricks Jacob into marrying his older daughter, Leah, first. Leah bears many sons. Rachel cries out to God and is given a son named Joseph. Jacob grows wealthy, and his relationship with Laban grows increasingly tense. Jacob takes his family back to his father's homeland of Canaan. He fears facing his brother again. Before seeing Esau, Jacob spends the night wrestling with God. God gives him a new name, Israel. Esau forgives Jacob, and they share the land.

Joseph begins having dreams about his family members bowing down to him. His brothers already despise him for being their father's favorite. When given the chance, they sell him to slave traders and tell Jacob the boy is dead. In Egypt, Joseph becomes a slave for one of the pharaoh's officials. He's liked and respected until he refuses sexual advances made by the official's wife. She lies and gets Joseph imprisoned. While in jail, he gains favor and interprets dreams for other inmates. When the Egyptian pharaoh needs a dream interpreted, one former inmate remembers and mentions Joseph. Joseph interprets the pharaoh's dreams, explaining there will be seven good years followed by seven years of famine. The pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of managing the land and storing food wisely. When famine hits, people from other lands, including Joseph's brothers, come to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph tricks his brothers several times before admitting who he is and telling them God turned their bad decision into something good. The brothers bring Jacob and their families back to live near Joseph.

Generations pass, and a new pharaoh decides he doesn't like Israelites living in his land. He forces them into slavery and has all Israelite baby boys killed. A family has a boy, and they name him Moses. They hide him in a basket in the river, and he's found by the princess of Egypt. Moses' sister tells the princess that she knows a woman who can nurse the child, so Moses' own mother cares for him until he can move into the palace. Moses begins to witness the injustices toward his people. When he kills an Egyptian man for beating an Israelite, he fears retribution and flees to the desert. Shepherding his flock one day, he meets God in a burning bush. God tells him that he [Moses] will lead the nation of Israel out of slavery. Moses begs God to choose someone else as His mouthpiece. God sends Moses' brother, Aaron, with him to confront the pharaoh of Egypt. After Moses, through God, causes 10 plagues to decimate Egypt, the pharaoh reluctantly lets the slaves go. He sends his army after them, but God allows Moses to part the Red Sea so the Israelites can cross. Pharaoh's army drowns when God restores the waters. The children of Israel begin their journey toward the land of Canaan.

Christian Beliefs

This graphically stylized story reflects the biblical account for Genesis and part of Exodus. God's faithful character is revealed as He guides and keeps His promises to His people. He demonstrates His desire for obedience and holiness. God punishes those who do not honor His commands.

Other Belief Systems

Various generations worship gods other than the one, true God. They choose lives of debauchery or enslave other nations. Laban consults a fortuneteller who says God is blessing him [Laban] because of Jacob.

Authority Roles

Noah, Abraham and Joseph faithfully follow God, even when His plan for their lives doesn't seem to make sense. Jacob and Moses, who are initially fearful and reluctant to do God's will, grow in faith and leadership. Egyptian rulers in Joseph's time honor Joseph and his family, while later Egyptian leaders treat the Israelites with cruelty and scorn. God is seen as the ultimate and fair authority figure. He is to be honored, feared, obeyed and worshiped.

Profanity/Violence

A man of Sodom lustfully says, "daaang!" when he sees the attractive angels walk through town. A depiction of the pharaoh's dream shows a skeletal cow chewing into the flesh and ripping into the bone of one of the fat cows.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Evil people of Noah's time, including lustful-looking men and scantily clad women, party and flirt. A man in Noah's story makes suggestive comments about Noah's daughters-in-law. Men of Sodom make lustful remarks about the angels who visit Lot. Lot offers his daughters to the men instead of the angels. Lot's daughters get him drunk and sleep with him to preserve the family line. Jacob wakes up shirtless next to Leah, who appears to be only wearing blankets. Jacob kisses Rachel passionately when he's finally allowed to marry her. Potiphar's wife seduces Joseph, urging him to come to bed with her.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

For additional parenting resources, download a free issue of Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family, at ThrivingFamily.com/magazine.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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