To be called a sinner is one of the hardest accusations a person can face throughout his lifetime. Sinners, through all of mankind’s history, have been punished repeatedly for their desires and actions. Yet, through my personal experience in this world, it often seems to me that sin is a blessing, the road to happiness. In this article I try to prove this point by using Angel Sanctuary, mangaka Kaori Yuki’s testimony on the nature of sin, as reference material.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
As the religious quotes above suggest, to sin is to listen to what you feel, be it lust, rage, greed and all other humane desires, then act according to it -pretty much what Setsuna Mudo did in all the adventures he got himself into. His desire to fight against everything standing between him and his younger sister Sarah, instead of being an instrument to God’s love and will, is considered an act worthy of severe punishment in the eyes of the divine Father. Being a God-fearing worshiper, a loyal subject, means the exactly opposite thing. To be innocent and love the Lord. You are to receive your Father’s blessing and be under His protection. For Heaven, everything outside the service of The One is defined as sin.
What I love about Angel Sanctuary is that it shows us how love and “sin” are connected way deeper than love and God’s holiness. The reason for this is the diversity of sin’s nature. Love in the way of the “damned” has so many forms that naming them all would be impossible. But one cannot forget Zaphikel’s affection and tenderness towards Raziel. Or the greatness of Katan’s dedication towards Rosiel. The protective feelings of Setsuna towards Sarah. How NidHegg’s emotions were so strong that he managed to forgive Lailah for her cruel betrayal. There are so many cases I could refer to.
Also, the sinners very often seem as if they are truly innocent. “All we did was to love, to fall in love.” Kurai speaks this truth many times during the story. It is true for her and almost every other character in Angel Sanctuary and for those of us who, reading of Setsuna’s adventures, seem to find a fragment of ourselves in each character.
The most crucial part of judging which approach is better, is the comparison of results. No one can say that all sinners managed to meet salvation. Not all sins can have a good ending, not all actions can be positive at all times. But none of those who tried to follow authority in order to create a perfect, “pure white world” or receive the approval of God, had a decent end. Sevothtarte never found salvation and Rosiel lost his most important treasure. The holy road to salvation may, in the end, be only a path downwards the inferno of one’s soul.
Love, innocence, friendship, dedication and loyalty, all can be wonderful in unnumbered ways. So let there be no one who tells you that there is only one path to pursue happiness, that if you run after a forbidden love you are cursed, that you are a demon if you do not limit yourselves as to whom you love, that you are ugly because you do not look and live according to the rules of an “enlightened” being. We have passions. As human beings and angels and demons we are made of such. In the same way that Setsuna and his friends never gave up going after what they needed, let us follow their example and be the beautiful sinners we deserve to be.