If you’re a catholic who enjoys anime (Like myself) you may have gotten quite the happy surprise recently.
Pope Francis recently made a trip to the land of the rising sun starting November 23rd to visit the more than 500,000 Catholics currently living in Japan. The four day visit was marked by many important appearances for the head of the Church. Including, visiting the recently crowned Japanese Emperor Naruhito and somber talks on the dangers of nuclear power and weaponry. Along with meeting with survivors of recent nuclear incidents.
However, a lighter note was taken when Pope Francis visited Tokyo’s Cathedral of Holy Mary when he was given a gift by some young Japanese churchgoers. A pink-and-blue traditional coat that the Japanese attendees called “Happi”. However, the coat sported something extra special on it. An anime version of Pope Francis himself! Appearing on the back of the coat is a smiling Francis with messages in various languages. Phrases like “Gratitude,” “let’s pray together,” “may there be peace,” “what can be done to give disaster victims hope” and “we are glad that you’re the pope” can be seen in Japanese and Spanish, the Pope’s native language.
Being the good sport that he is, the Pope tried it on, and, miraculously perhaps, it fit perfectly! The Pope’s smile was even wider than his anime self as he presented the coat to the onlookers. The moment gave a bit of comic relief to his second visit to Japan which had mostly dealt with somber subjects up until that point. The moment was the subject of a lot of joking among Catholics and others. Catholic anime fans especially enjoyed seeing the head of their church supporting the medium they love so much.
Honestly, how can you not love that coat!