There’s a fascinating article in the Comics Reporter about Realbuzz studios, the short-lived Christian manga company headed by established writer Buzz Dixon. It’s an interview from the early days, and I feel a bit of regret reading it.
You can still find the manga in e-book form for Kindle or other devices, and they are a bit of a mixed bag. I own a few.
Serenity was a slice-of-life manga about a wild girl named Serenity moving to a new town and falling in with a youth group. The art is basic; think Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s attempt to go manga, and you aren’t too far away. The first book has a lot of annoying slang, but future books actually became quite good, by being straightforwards young adult tales. They don’t really follow anime tropes, however, and really apart from the art style they could just be normal comics.
Couplers was a science fiction manga about a group of children doing a year of military service for the colony ship they lived in. It’s actually quite good science fiction, and the art is creative. Unfortunately the series I think became cut short after two volumes. It would have been interesting to see this one develop.
I know of one other series, Goofyfoot Girl, which was about a Christian surfer girl. I have yet to read it beyond the previews in the other two volumes.
Someone has even written a book about Realbuzz, here. Apparently they folded sometime in 2008? While the series weren’t particularly the best manga out there, they weren’t bad as comics in general, considering the audience.
There are other Christian manga series out there, like Tomo. Tomo has surprisingly good art reminiscent of Usagi Yojimbo, even down to the furry tinge. The story’s a little preachy though. I hope others will take up the flame and continue with the idea. It’s easy to see the negatives, but these studios were trailblazing something which honestly few had done before.