Random Manga Theatre 81: Olimpos

Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.

This time: Olimpos, by Aki

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Also known as “and I thought other anime screwed with Greek mythology…”

Olimpos is loosely based on the story of Ganymede, prince of Troy, and by “loosely based” I mean “bares only a passing resemblance at best”. In the original myth, Ganymede was the most beautiful mortal alive or something (which I guess is represented in this manga, considering almost every character is drawn to be so sparkly and pretty that they would pass for women to even an anime fan’s well-trained eye), and was thus spirited up to Olympus to be the cupbearer and sexual boytoy of the pantheon. Since Olimpos isn’t a boy’s love manga (though it might as well be), instead Ganymede is abducted and placed into an inescapable pocket dimension because the gods are curious as to the workings of mortals.

This basically means anime bishounen Apollo hangs around all the time and psychologically torments Ganymede in various ways, up to and including summoning a person from the modern day to tell him how Troy was completely trashed in the Trojan War and is nothing but a ruin. However, while Ganymede is ostensibly the main character and his plight drives the first half, Olimpos places just as much focus on Apollo himself. It was Apollo’s idea to confine Ganymede, and I’d say the bulk of the manga focuses on his viewpoint as a divine being who doesn’t understand why humans do what they do. Not that it justifies him acting like a massive asshole all the time, but it paints a mildly interesting picture.

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But seriously though, why even bother using the names of Greek myth if you’re going to otherwise completely ignore the conventions of such? Even F/SN, for all its ridiculousness, stayed relatively true to the original tales. The mangaka admits this in liner notes, asking the reader to just think of everyone as original characters who share the same names. In which case, why not just make them completely original characters to begin with? I doubt it would have been too much work to establish such things early on and save everyone some grief.

Verdict: Apollo-lyptic

In the end, Olimpos amounts to a bunch of implausibly pretty individuals hanging around and pontificating on the pointlessness of existence and whatnot. If you enjoy highly psychological works or otherwise consider yourself to be a divine existence above all other beings, this manga might be for you. I found it rather boring myself, but I suppose that’s what I say almost every week.

(Stupid verdict pun courtesy of Dragonzigg)

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