Ever since 2006, there has been one authoritative ‘religion’ among anime fans and that has been Haruhiism. Unless you’re new to anime, you no doubt already know about the sometimes melancholic god, Haruhi Suzumiya. Recently though, a new deity as appeared on the scene and she goes by the name Madoka Kaname. From the series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka has quickly gained a large following of worshippers under the Church of Madoka. Considering the popularity of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Haruhiism looks like it’s going to have to battle it out with the Church of Madoka in the near future for the title of the top anime religion.
For someone who likes both Haruhi and Madoka, it may be hard to pick one or the other, but the easiest way is perhaps to take a look at the differences.
First off, let’s consider the deities on both sides. While both are cute teenage girls, they have completely different personalities. Haruhi is a dominant person that likes to boss people around, but she manages to get things done. On the other hand, Madoka is sweet and kind, perhaps too much so as she is often ignored. Both sides have their good and bad points, so it all depends on what you’re willing to put up with.
A god wouldn’t be a god if they didn’t have any divine powers, and these two certainly aren’t lacking in that area. Haruhi has the ability to create as well as destroy universes until she gets one that she likes. That means that your whole existence could be gone in the blink of an eye, but on the bright side, at least you can’t complain or feel bad about it. Madoka doesn’t have quite as much raw power as Haruhi, but she does provide something that Haruhi can’t, hope. While hope doesn’t exactly sound as appealing as creating and destroying universes, at least it gives people the chance to change their future for the better.
The central idea underlying both religions is also drastically different. Haruhi stated with the formation of the SOS Brigade that their purpose was to overload the world with fun, and that has become the main purpose of Haruhiism. The Church of Madoka doesn’t sound as appealing, leaving you only with the lines “Don’t forget. Always, somewhere, someone is fighting for you. As long as you remember her, you are not alone.” You could say that worshipping Madoka is in some ways like the worship of Jesus, as long as you remember them and their sacrifice, then they will always be there for you.
Whether you’re a devoted Haruhiist, or newly converted Madokaist, both sides have some good things to offer, it just depends on preference. Of course, there’s always Belldandyism for anyone who doesn’t like either religion.