”Chunibyo (deluded middle schoolers) want to read the Bible,” assert contest organizers.
The title of light novels, Japan’s equivalent to young adult fiction, tend to be breathless summaries of the books’ premises. That’s how we ended up with literary works such as Sew for Her! Strip Her? Change Her Clothes!! She Screwed Up Her High School Debut and Became a Shut-In, so I’ve Ended Up Coordinating Her Youth (Fashion) and Do You Like Your Mom Whose Regular Attacks Hit the Entire Enemy Party Twice?
So with that in mind, if you wrote a book and decided to call it At First I Was Going to Be a Carpenter Like My Mom’s Boyfriend, but Lately I’ve Been Thinking of Dying for Humanity’s Sins Instead, it wouldn’t look entirely out of place among other light novel offerings. You could even give it a pre-designated catchy abbreviation, like Moshitsumi (“Maybe Sins”) that the fans would use. Oh, and you could submit it to a contest that’s just been announced by a publisher looking to start Japan’s first line of Christianity-themed light novels.
The Kirisuto Shimbun, as Japan’s premiere Christian newspaper officially calls itself, will soon start accepting submissions of original light novels that have Christianity, churches, or the Bible as themes or motifs. Prospective authors are asked to submit a sample of at least 10,000 written characters in length through the Talk Maker light novel publishing website. The winning entry will run as a serial in issues of Kirisuto Shimbun and, upon completion, be published as a completed light novel. Monetary compensation is implied, although specifics are to be determined through negotiation, with the length of the completed work a likely factor.
“We are looking for works that readers can enjoy while deepening their understanding [of Christianity],” say the contest organizers.
This isn’t Kirisuto Shimbun’s first attempt to combine religion and otaku culture. In 2015, the organization introduced Pyuri-tan, an anime-style schoolgirl in pigtails who’s the personification of Puritan Christianity.
キリスト新聞 (@christweekly) March 23, 2015
Considering both how often reincarnation is used as a plot device in light novels, and how many feature characters who are shut-ins, retelling the story of Jesus’ resurrection and miraculous emergence from his tomb in an otaku-fied way doesn’t seem like it would be too hard. If you’re feeling confident, the application procedure for Kirisuto Shimbun’s contest can be found here, and applications will be accepted between September 1 and December 31.