I’m a tad convinced that Netflix has gamers on the board, otherwise it’s a hell of a coincidence that this anime series launched so darn close to the 1.0 launch of Hades.
I took ancient history in university, which had a solid chunk of time spent on Greek history. I’ve had a rather interesting passion for that topic for as long as I can remember. (Roman to some degree, but they were Greek gods transposed for the most part). I do get that there have been hundreds of takes on the Greek pantheon over the years, across all forms of media. They generally get along, in particular around the “main” actors, and their characteristics. Zeus is the leader, mega strong, smart, and sleeps around. Hera is his wife, always pissed at Zeus for his infidelity (this is the catholic lens applied.). Hermes is fast and a messenger, Ares is tough and focus on fighting, Poseidon is either quiet of full of rage (like the sea), and Hades is a mystery to everyone, keeping to himself. Almost exclusively, the gods fight among themselves and humans are just pawns.
Blood of Zeus maintains the broad strokes, but changes the whole Titans/Giants backstory to something significantly different. It attempts to keep arm’s length to the gods in daily lives, but the reality is that nearly all of the storyline is based on the outcomes of a set of poor decisions by Zeus. I won’t say it contradicts the general society’s understanding, but it’s much more fantastical than what we’ve seen in the past (no gorgons here).
That said, with 8 episodes lasting 30m each, the pace is fairly quick. The setup takes a tad longer than I would have liked, but every hero journey starts with reluctance I suppose. The villain of the series is more interesting than the main character, for reasons that would spoil most of the viewing. The bident alone sticks out like a sore thumbs, so there’s clearly a setup for future viewing.
The series does do service to more than just people walking around. There are the Greek staples throughout, such as Cerberus, centaurs, satyrs, manticores and whatnot. There are very BIG things. The 3 fates are there. The characters all have their own drivers, and for some reason, not a single god lies. That was weird to me, cause Greek gods lie all the time. All the characters make decisions that align with their beliefs – I can’t really stress how refreshing it is to watch something that is not plot driven. It does suck that MANY gods are there for a fraction of time and don’t really do anything (Poseidon has 2 scenes.)
The art style is well done, I certainly enjoyed it more than say Dragon Prince. It isn’t as fluid as a film, but then that’s not the point. The character designs are solid, colour choice is well though out, and there are more than a few winks to the viewer.
Of the large slew of Netflix-only anime I’ve seen, this is only the 2nd of which I’ve been able to watch an entire season’s worth. Oh, there are plenty of choices. Dragon Prince got 2 seasons out of me from pure hope of the writing team being able to slightly repeat the magic of Avatar (they did not). If it had not been set in Greek mythology, the story would still have worked, though I doubt my interest would have been as high.
At 30m per episode, this is a digestible anime with a plot that moves. That alone should be enough to warrant a watch.