Saint Young Men Movie - Reviews

Alt title: Saint Oniisan Movie

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Celeriac's avatar
Apr 2, 2018

I thought that this would be a funny and insightful comedic commentary that cunningly toys with the philosophies and concepts of Buddhism and Christianity. But it's just a collection of lame gags based on some superficial inferred characteristics and superpowers of Buddha and Jesus as they're trying to keep a low profile among mortals. And they act in a pretty immature and unenlightened fashion considering who they're supposed to be.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
4/10 overall
CaptainSlow's avatar
Dec 4, 2013

What I Liked: Great soundtrack fits the mood of the movie and is dramatic when needed. Consistent and colourful animation. The children, of all characters, are expanded upon and fleshed out. Interesting interpretations of religious figures. The dynamic between Jesus and Buddha is well done, it's fun watching them bounce off each other. Gen Hoshino and Mirai Moriyama are brilliant as the Enlightened One and the Son of God.

What I Didn't: The festival section drags its feet a little. Most of the "researched" religious jokes that make the manga brilliant are absent.

Final Verdict: Saint☆Young Men is a fluffy little buddy film about Buddha and Jesus taking a vacation to Japan's capital. A quirky (and possibly offensive) concept, sure, but the movie treats both religions with respect while treating the audience to some clever humour and heartwarming interactions between the two leads. On my Favourite Anime of All Time list.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall
RubelliteFae's avatar
May 9, 2019

As always, this is for the sub.

Saint☆Young Men hillarious. There's a lot of puns, for example, when they are buying tickets to enter the theme park: "Adult (entrance) fee" = 成人料金 [seijin Ryōkin] sounds like "sage/saint (entrance) fee" 聖人料金 [SEIjin ryōkin]. This particular pun is well translated to "adult age" sounding like "adult sage," but many of them are hard to get across with the same humor in English. Without a good command of Japanese you might be scratching your head. Even being fluent there were many things, like famous Japanese buddhist sayings, that I had to look up. Having said that, I found the movie to be much more forgiving in this regard than the OVA.

The premise itself is crazy, so I could forgive the characters not acting as one would expect—for example Buddha wanting 「仔犬と一緒 」("Together with Puppies") for 3DS. By definition a buddha no longer desires. Suspending disbelief though, both Jesus & Buddha have been shaped into great, lovable characters. Give it a shot! 👍

10/10 story
5/10 animation
?/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
AlexKDLF's avatar
Aug 31, 2018

It's not too bad although it has a questionable plot and the images aren't great

3/10 story
3/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
5/10 overall
ChineseWick's avatar
Feb 14, 2024

"Saint Young Men," a film adaptation of the beloved manga series, presents a unique and daring premise: Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha, two of the most revered figures in religion, decide to take a vacation in modern Japan. Living together as roommates in Tokyo, they navigate the intricacies of mundane life, from part-time jobs to the wonders of Japanese pop culture, all while maintaining their divine composure. This slice-of-life comedy explores themes of friendship, cultural exchange, and the joy in life's simple pleasures, set against the backdrop of a world not quite ready for such celestial visitors.

Heavenly Highlights

  • Originality and Humor: The very concept of Jesus and Buddha experiencing everyday life in Japan is executed with a respectful yet humorous touch. The film's ability to play on the quirks and characteristics of these religious figures without crossing into disrespect is a testament to its creative strength.

  • Cultural Commentary: Through its lighthearted narrative, the movie offers a fascinating commentary on modern society, religion, and the universality of human experiences, regardless of one's spiritual beliefs. This interplay between the divine and the mundane provides both laughter and pause for thought.

  • Animation Style: The animation stays true to the manga's style, offering clean lines and a bright palette that complements the film's overall tone. The character designs for Jesus and Buddha are particularly noteworthy, capturing their iconic aspects while giving them a relatable, down-to-earth appearance.

Earthly Concerns

  • Pacing and Engagement: For some viewers, the slice-of-life pacing can feel slow, with the narrative's episodic structure leading to moments of uneven engagement. The lack of a driving plot means that interest in the story can wane, especially for those seeking more than gentle humor and philosophical musings.

  • Character Depth: While Jesus and Buddha are depicted with endearing qualities, the film sometimes misses the opportunity to explore their characters beyond surface-level interactions and comedic situations. This can leave audiences wanting more depth from the divine duo's exploration of the human world.

  • Limited Appeal: The unique premise, while original, might not resonate with everyone. Those not familiar with or interested in the religious figures might find the humor and situations less impactful, limiting the film's appeal to a wider audience.

Divine Distinctions

  • Respectful Irreverence: Balancing religious reverence with irreverent humor, the movie navigates potentially sensitive material with a light touch, making it a unique entry in the genre of comedy. Its success in doing so without causing offense is noteworthy.

  • Exploration of Normalcy: By placing these figures in everyday scenarios, the film highlights the beauty and complexity of the mundane, encouraging viewers to find joy and wonder in the simple aspects of life.

Conclusion

"Saint Young Men" offers a refreshingly original concept filled with heart and humor. While it may not delve deep into its characters or offer a fast-paced plot, its gentle exploration of life's simple pleasures through the eyes of Jesus and Buddha provides a unique viewing experience. For those in tune with its leisurely pace and philosophical undertones, the movie is a testament to the enduring power of friendship and the universal search for happiness. However, for viewers seeking more dynamic storytelling or deeper character exploration, it might not fully resonate.

6/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall
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