Friday, August 29, 2014

It's Finally Friday: Greek Mythology in Anime

Continuing my discussion of mythology in anime, I decided to take a look at some examples of Greek mythology in anime.

Example 1: Heroic Age

While the initial premise of Heroic Age makes it clear that the series is a space opera, much of its plot is based on the Greek tales of Heracles. More specifically, the protagonist Age is based heavily on Heracles himself, sharing both his superhuman abilities and his tendency to go berserk when enraged. Additionally, much of the plot of the series revolves around characters being bound by a contract with a set of rules called "labors" that must be obeyed; this is based on the Twelve Labors of Heracles, wherein the titular character must undertake a series of labors in order to atone for a crime and avoid further punishment and misery.

Example 2: Saint Seiya

The Saint Seiya series derives many of its characters from Greek mythology, most notably various Greek gods and associated supernatural beings. The gods Athena, Poseidon, Hades, Thanatos, and Hypnos all factor heavily into the story, though the latter two were originally depicted as the personifications of death and sleep, respectively, in Greek mythology. Also of note is that many characters share their names with various characters from Greek myths, examples of which include Heracles, Perseus, Orpheus, and Charon. Lastly, there are similar references in the names of characters to monsters in the mythology, such as the Kraken, the Minotaur, or the Sirens.

Example 3: Little Pollon

Easily the oldest example listed here, Little Pollon is a series that depicts many notable characters from Greek mythology, particularly the various gods and goddesses. The titular character Pollon is the daughter of the god Apollo, who is himself a regular character, as are his fellow gods Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Artemis, Athena, etc.. Other notable characters include the Titan Atlas and the Sun itself, originally personified as Helios in Greek mythology. Of note, however, is the depiction of the various gods as sharing much in common with humans, particularly when it comes to weaknesses of character and personal failings; while this is an aspect somewhat shared by the original depiction, the gods were nontheless considered truly superior to humans in Greek mythology in virtually all regards, unlike their more fallible depiction in Little Pollon.

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