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Anime / In the Beginning: The Bible Stories

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In The Beginning: The Bible Stories is an anime series that adapts the Old Testament (and Jesus' birth) of The Bible.

It was directed by Osamu Tezuka as a request of the Vatican to create an anime based on the Bible. Since Tezuka died before ending the series, the direction was done by Osamu Dezaki.

The most recurrent character is Roco (Loco in English), a fox which has many problems and misadventures.


  • Accidental Murder: When Moses jumped on the abusive foreman, the decoration of the medal Moses was wearing cut the foreman's throat.
  • Anachronistic Animal: A brontothere appears briefly at the during the creation sequence while a flock of Archaeopteryx (albeit much larger than in actuality) pursued Adam and Eve during the first episode (these species lived millions of years before the first anatomically modern humans). Justified with the glyptodont, the sabertooths and the mammoths that also appeared in the same episode
  • Acrofatic: Potiphar is fat and the captain of the Guard. He is never seen in action, but he is in high rank.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The wives of Shem and Josaphat in the Noah episode.
    • Most of Jacob's story (Rebekah, Esau, Rachel, Laban, the wives, the Ladder vision, the wrestling, etc.) is removed from the series; he only appears in the Joseph story.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Potiphar's wife didn't cheat on her husband and didn't imprison Joseph.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Judah encouraged Simeon to kill Joseph. In the Bible, he was the Token Good Teammate of Joseph's brothers other than Benjamin, he was against killing Joseph and suggested to sell him as a slave to save his life from the rest of brothers. Here, he still suggests that, but he is happy about it.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Mostly played straight, although there are aversions when Moses and the second Pharaoh were kids as well as Eve in the first episode.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • The character Roco the Fox, who is very notable in the series, was almost completely removed from the English dubbed version that aired on television in the United States for no known given reason. He makes a few random appearances, but they are minimal when compared to the uncut episodes where he appears frequently.
    • In the original Japanese version, most of the nudity in the series was shown with no censorships. When it aired in the U.S., most of the nudity was censored.
    • Many of the episodes in the English version that aired on TV in the United States had many scenes removed, including almost every scene with Roco and the episodes would usually use scenes from two episodes instead of just one.
  • Canon Foreigner: Roco the fox never appeared in any of the bible stories and he was likely added to add comic relief to the series.
  • Carpet of Virility: Potiphar has lots of hair in his chest.
  • The Chew Toy: Roco. His clumsiness and lack of success are for comic relief.
  • Christian Fiction: Explicitly written to bring Bible stories to an audience that might not hear them otherwise.
  • Composite Character: The adaptation combines the Angelic Messenger who informs Abraham of Sarah's pregnancy and Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction (and goes to warn Lot and his family) with the Angel Gabriel of the Annunciation.
  • Death by Materialism:
    • Lot's wife treasures a golden mirror. Leaving Sodom, an earthquake upsets her to drop her possessions, especially said mirror. Going back to reclaim it, she looks back at Sodom and is turned to Stone.
    • Dathan gets A Molten Date with Death. As the Golden Calf is plunged into the cauldron and melted, Dathan runs toward it, grabbing the dripping gold on the ground. A lightning bolt hits the cauldron, sending a splash of molten gold onto Dathan, who writhes in an agonizing death.
  • Friend to All Children: Moses shows shades of this when he talks about animals with the children. Tzipporah had told them to go, but Moses let them speak to him.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Moses recognizes animals as creations of God, and even talked a few children about them.
  • Generation Xerox: Roco the Fox and his identical descendants appear in every story.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Age was not kind to the second pharaoh. He looked fine when he was a teenager, but now, not. He became fat and has a rather mean face.
  • "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: The Tenth Plague (the death of the First Born) is depicted by the Angel of Death's P.O.V. flying first to the Hebrews' village, passing every house marked with blood, and then heading to the Egyptian city, to Pharaoh's Palace, his Banquet hall, upsetting the table and heading straight for his firstborn son.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Woolly mammoths are seen living a tropical jungle after Adam and Eve's banishment.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Roco in Episode 10, serving as foil to Moses' identity crisis. Adopted by Prince Moses, the fox is a sheltered pet living in comfort. Later, a wild fox warns him about living with humans (he shows him the remains of a fox hunt). That night, hearing his brethren howling, Roco tears off his pet clothes and runs away to join them in the wild.
  • One Million Years BC: Adam and Eve were pursued by a flock of (very large) Archaeopteryx shortly after their banishment from Eden. Adam briefly fought off a sabertooth in their new home.
  • Out of Focus:
    • After Episode 13, Pharaoh is absent from the Exodus storyline, although (offscreen) he orders his Army to pursue the Israelites.
    • Roco the Fox becomes this toward the end of the series.
  • Shirtless Scene: Frequently on men. Or Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Skinny Dipping:
    • Adam and Eve did this in the first episode
    • Moses and the second Pharaoh (in his youth) involved in this when they were young, and the latter saw the former was circumsized and thus a Hebrew.
  • Sole Survivor: Hagar is introduced as a child as this, found in a massacred caravan by Abraham and Sarah.
  • Suddenly Speaking: While Roco the fox is seen usually making fox noises, in certain episodes, he'll be shown talking just like the humans. He usually talks when he's near other animals.