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8 Interesting Uses of World Religious Figures

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Having some kind of random deity or pantheon thrown into an anime plot, especially a romantic comedy, is old hat nowadays. The genre has seen middle-school-aged Shinto gods, goddesses that answer hotlines, and otherwise bored pantheons waging wars against one another. It's when a series decides to adapt the crazy relationships the Greeks mastered ages ago or take on the vicious exploits of Æsir that things really get interesting.

8. Loki (Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok) The Trickster God of Norse mythos didn't make it out so well in traditional tellings. After orchestrating the murder of beloved Baldur, Loki finds himself strapped down in the underworld and subjected to dripping poison in his face until Ragnarok. In Sakura Kinoshita's version, Loki is trapped in the body of a child and finds himself capturing the affections of quite a few female characters, much better than his original consort, a giantess. His daughter, Hel, gets an attractive make over too.

7. Athena (Saint Seiya) The Greek Goddess of widsom, war, crafts, and a multitude of other subjects remains mostly unchanged in her Saint Seiya incarnation. She's recruited an 88 strong army every 250 years to fight against evil, in this case Poseidon, and of course, Hades. Initially, her warriors are trained up from an orphanage she inherited from her foster grandfather.

6. Pandora (Violinist of Hameln) Mother to Hamel and Sizer, Pandora's carries on the long tradition of female curiosity releasing untold horrors on mankind (you might recall another first woman to the human race who made a similar choice). While her Greek origin was more metaphoric, in Violinist of Hameln she let out real demons unto the world strictly under duress while her children were threatened. That doesn't stop her character's legend from shouldering the blame for Sforzando's turmoil.

5. Hercules (Fate/Stay Night) One of the most well regarded heroes of Greek mythology, and a demi-god born from Zeus, the character is completely re-envisioned when he's stripped of his sanity and dexterity as Berserker in Fate/Stay Night. Aspects of his legend are still present as his Noble Phantasms, including his twelve labors and his fight against the Hydra.

4. Susanoo (Blue Seed) The god Susanoo was the brother to Amaterasu, goddess of the sun, and Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. He's the god of the seas and yomi, the underworld. He wields an unbreakable sword and slays Orochi, a dragon, by getting it drunk. Otherwise he's known for being a jerk with a short temper. In Blue Seed, Susanoo is the an all-powerful being set on turning Earth into a planet controlled by...plants?

3. Perseus (Campione!) Slayer of Medusa, Perseus gets one hell of a makeover in Campione!. The arrogant playboy in the series possesses the power to make women bow to his will, is an accomplished dragon slayer, and owner of Pegasus. The character's dragon-slaying origins reflect Perseus' more popular accomplishments; slaying Medusa. His control of women is a head-scratching throwback to his marriage to Andromeda.

2. Metatron (Demonbane) In a world of Cthulu mythos, one Jewish archangel rises up as a magical girl-nun trying to stop an evil organization from summoning The Ancient Ones. Specifically, she'd rather not be used as control vessel for them, instead mounting her Hunting Horror motorcycle in a suit of white angelic armor. In Jewish apocrypha, Metatron is the angel incarnation of Enoch and the ancestor of Noah.

1. Aiwass (To Aru Majutsu no Index) Aiwass might be a religious figure only to those dedicated to Crowley's occult tradition. For three days, a voice spoke to Aleister Crowley and dictated The Book of Law. This mirrored in To Aru Majutsu no Index, as Aiwass is an extra-dimensional being responsible for teaching Crowley, the leader of Academy City, his magical abilities. Aiwass is able to be summoned by Crowley in the series and works as the administrator of the Misaka Network.

The new poll: This week, I'm going with a holiday-themed poll: What was your favorite part of Valentine's Day?

The old poll: Last week's poll asked what otome-based/reverse harem anime is your favorite? Here's the full results:

  1. Hakuōki 23.6%
  2. La Corda D'Oro - primo passo 19.2%
  3. Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000% 16.5%
  4. Amnesia 11.3%
  5. La storia della Arcana Famiglia 9.4%
  6. Starry Sky 5.9%
  7. Hiiro no Kakera 4.0%
  8. Meine Liebe 3.6%
  9. Neo Angelique Abyss 2.7%
  10. Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2.2%
  11. Angelique (Original Series) 1.7%

Alright everybody, see you all next week! I look forward to your input in the comments and feel free to follow me on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee or e-mail me at [email protected]

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