Daily Myth-Greek: Eros

Today I will talk about one of my three most favorite Greek Gods, Eros (the other two being Hades/Pluton and Thanatos).

WARNING THE PICTURES ARE FAMOUS ARTWORKS AND WILL HAVE THE CHARACTERS SLIGHTLY NUDE. IF YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO MINDS PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE.

(On top of that lots of the older Greek statues have unknown artists or they are just Rome copies and the original are lost. Anyways if any one knows who made them please tell me.)

Eros  It is actually really hard to find statues and artwork of Eros alone and not as a little baby. On top of that lots of the older Greek statues have unknown artists or they are just Rome copies and the original are lost. Anyways if any one knows who made this one please tell me.

Eros
It is actually really hard to find statues and artwork of Eros alone and not as a little baby.

Eros is the God of love and desire in the Ancient Greek Mythology, he most commonly known as Cupid (Rome equivalent). Usually he was represented as a young man with large wings and bow and arrows. In ancient Greece the artwork usually depicted in idealism, and the ‘ideal’ was usually a male youth that was slightly muscular and so on. Eros was no exception to that depiction. The tiny, fat, baby with super improbably small wings did not become a thing till much later in history.

There are two stories as to the origin of Eros. The first idea is that Eros was a primordial god. Hesiod was one poet who mentioned this concept. This idea has two parts also. Some poets mentioned that Eros was a primordial god born to Nyx (less believed in idea), and the second is that he just born with no parents. Now the second idea of his origin is that Eros is the son of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. This is the more commonly believed idea. I personally think that maybe at first Eros was a primordial god and after much time passed the story evolved to fit the culture including having Eros as son and helper of Aphrodite. Maybe as her cult grew, his role shifted and changed.

With Eros as Aphrodite’s son, later myths came about that included Erotes. These were other young male winged deities, brothers of Eros, that were associated with love and sex, and made up Aphrodite’s entourage or personage. This included Himeros (Impetuous Desire or Unrequited Love), Pothos (Longing), and Anteros (Returned Love). They were also very mischievous using their powers over human love to mess with people. Anteros punishes those who scorn love, and he is depicted with lead arrows. Himeros on the other hand causes unrequited love, and Pothos created yearning mostly for people who were gone (kind of like saudades).

Eros and Psyche

But for the most part Eros is never found alone in most statues that still survive today. He can befound sometimes with Aphordite and maybe the other Erotes, but most of the art show cases Eros and his wife Psyche. This is also the most famous story with Eros, and can be found in Metamorphoses by Ovid. This story is the union of the heart and mind/love and soul, and the best part is that Eros, the personification of sex, does not cheat on his wife, he does not have other children with other ladies, and his only role in stories of love (other than this one) is causing others to get together.

Psyche

Psyche

So before I tell the story of Eros and Psyche, let me give a brief introduction. Psyche is the ancient Greek word for the soul or mind. She is a young mortal woman who marries Eros and becomes the Goddess of the Soul/Mind. She is usually depicted as a young woman with butterfly wings. Together they have the daughter Hedone, Goddess of Pleasure.

Psyche was a young and beautiful maiden who was loved and adored by many for her exceptional looks. She was so admired that Aphrodite began to feel jealous and sent her son Eros to curse her. He went down onto earth and put a spell on her where no mortal man would love her. But while doing so he accidentally scratched her with his arrow. When she awoke, she instantly fell in love with him, and Eros, startled by her waking, scratched himself and fell in love also. Some stories then go on to say that he felt guilt and sprinkled on her a potion that promised her joy in life.

Her parents became worried that though she was so beautiful no one would marry her. They went to an oracle, and Eros had Apollo tell them that the only creature she could marry was a hideous beast on top of a mountain whose face can never be seen. So Eros waited at the top of the mountain, and she was sent as his wife to live in large and rich palace. Each night, he would come to the palace, and though she never saw his face, he proved to be a gentle and kind husband that she loved.

Psyche was extremely happy, and her three sisters became very jealous. They told her that he was most likely going to kill her and,  by instilling doubt, persuaded her to try and see his face. So at night, when Eros slept, Psyche lit an oil lamp, held a knife in the other hand, and looked upon the face of a God. She was so startled she spilled oil on him, which woke him, and he flew out the window.

Psyche realized the depths of her mistake (Which was not really that bad, cause she just wanted to know who her husband was, and even though the lesson is kind of like if you love a person you should trust the person, it is hard to trust a person who does not trust you. So I think she was in the right.) She desperately wanted to find her husband, and went searching for him, and after some time she went into the temple of Aphrodite and prayed for help. Aphrodite, who talked to Eros and fed him the idea that Psyche was untrustworthy woman who betrayed him, gave Psyche four impossible tasks to complete.

Psyche at the Throne of Venus by Edward Matthew Hale (1852-1924)

Psyche at the Throne of Venus by Edward Matthew Hale (1852-1924)

At this point, Psyche becomes somewhat an Epic Heroine. She does impossible tasks and succeeds because of her qualities. She goes into the land of the dead and back to the land of the living. She meets temptation, and is on a quest for something great and intangible (love).

For her first task, Aphrodite presented a massive pile of mixed poppy seeds, wheat seeds, beans, chickpeas, barley seeds, and lentils. Psyche was told to separate them by dawn. Some kind ants take pity on Psyche and help her separate the pile.

The second task, Psyche had to cross a river and take some golden fleece from a flock of Helios’s violent sheep. When she went there a kindly river spirit (some say a deity of the river, some say a divine spirit in the reeds) tells her to wait till the hottest time of day. At that time the sheep went into the shade to sleep, and she succeed at retrieving the fleece.

Then Aphrodite gave the third task. Psyche was sent to collect the black water at the source of the Styx (under world river). There she faced many abhorrent monsters that threatened to make her fail, but Zeus took pity and sent an eagle that fought the creatures and collected the water.

Becoming enraged at Psyche’s constant success, Aphrodite gave the final task. She tells her that she must go down into Hades, the underworld, and ask the queen Persephone for beauty in a box. She goes down to the underworld and receives the box, and Persephone tells her not to open it. But her curiosity gets her, she looks into the box. She finds it empty and falls deep into sleep.

Eros learns of all that Psyche has done, and his mother’s game, and goes out to look for Psyche. He finds her in a death like sleep. Now here there are two alternative endings. One: Eros pulls the sleep from her, puts it into the box, and she presents it to Aphrodite. Zeus promises to allow them to marry in return for Eros helping him woo women in the future. Two: he begs Zeus to help, and moved by their love and passion, he brings her back to life and allows them to marry. Either way, he gives her ambrosia the drink of immortality, and Psyche becomes a goddess.

So it is a happy ending to a great story, and one of my all time favorites.

If you feel like you want to read more on Eros and Psyche check out this website: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/psyche.html

-Blog Barista

 

 

Cupid by Deran Wright I hate the baby representation of Eros, even though he is cute, cause it is creepy to think a baby makes people fall in love or have sex. Just weird and wrong.

Cupid by Deran Wright
I hate the baby representation of Eros, even though he is cute, cause it is creepy to think a baby makes people fall in love or have sex. Just weird and wrong.

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Daily Myth-Brazilian: Saci Perere

For Daily Mythologies, I decided to include folklore because they are just as interesting and fun. Today’s will be another michivious little creature: Saci Perere!!!

Saci as he is depicted in the Turma de Monica (very popular comics in Brazil).

Saci as he is depicted in the Turma de Monica (very popular comics in Brazil).

Saci is one of the more famous Brazilian folklore. I remember hearing about him from a very young age. He can be found on T.V. shows, in comic books, children’s books, football (soccer) mascot, and songs. He is probably the best known character of Brazilian stories.

He is usually depicted as a young black boy, any where between the ages of about ten to thirteen, with only one leg and holes in the palms of his hands. He is black as coal, which is what his name means, and he wears a little red cap, smokes a pipe, and sometimes has on little shorts. There are some depictions of him can look a little demonic, but for the most part he is just a normal looking kid (minus a leg).

Saci is super mischievous, pulling pranks on people for chuckles. Like the Kappa he can be shown to do some deeds that are simply annoying and in some places he is shown to be malevolent, but that is rarer.

Saci Perere artwork by Elma. This is a book whose title means Legend of Saci Perere written by Marco Haurelio.

Saci Perere artwork by Elma. This is a book whose title means Legend of Saci Perere written by Marco Haurelio.

Anything simple that can occur badly in the daily life is considered Saci’s fault. If all the thread in a sewing kit is tangled, eggs go bad, food is burnt, or something is lost, then Saci did it. He is very restless, constantly moving around misbehaving with silly antics.

Saci also has magical powers that assist him in his pranks. He gains his magical abilities from his little red cap. The cap allows him to disappear and reappear where ever he likes, and though he may have only one leg he is still very nimble: he rides dust devils and tornadoes and horses with out saddles very well. He becomes a bird called the Striped Cuckoo (matita pereira) who is hard to catch and whose sad song seems to come from nowhere.

To stop Saci one has to run over a river, because he loses his powers, or throw knotted ropes onto the floor, because he will stop feeling the need to untie them. Taking Saci’s hat is like taking the Kappa’s arm. Since it is the source of his power, he will be willing to do anything for it back.

Saci depicted in the Turma do Perere somics, in which he is the main charcter.

Saci depicted in the Turma do Perere comics, in which he is the main character.

Saci’s hat is known to have a very bad smell to it, and those who take it from him gain a horrible smell that cannot be washed off.

If you want to learn more about Saci check out this website, but be sure to put it into google translate cause sadly it is not in english: http://www.infoescola.com/folclore/a-lenda-do-saci-perere

-Blog Barista

 

 

In 2005, there was an attempt to make October 31 Saci Day. This was meant to make the holiday on that day (Halloween) less European.

In 2005, there was an attempt to make October 31 Saci Day. This was meant to make the holiday on that day (Halloween) less European.

Daily Myth-Japanese: Kappa

I have not posted anything in a little while, and that is because of two reasons: I have not been feeling super well, and also I have been struggling to think of anything interesting. Now I decided to write a daily post about mythologies that I know. I am no expert, and all the info I say here will be from the stories I have read over the past few years.

So let us begin with one of my very favorite mythological beings: the Kappa.

 

I am not sure who the artist of this picture is. There is a signature at the corner of the pictures but I cannot make out a name. If anyone knows who the artist is please tell me. I found the picture at this site http://www.bubblews.com/news/2251824-quotkappaquot-a-creature-of-a-japanese-folklore

I am not sure who the artist of this picture is. There is a signature at the corner of the pictures but I cannot make out a name. If anyone knows who the artist is please tell me. I found the picture at this site http://www.bubblews.com/news/2251824-quotkappaquot-a-creature-of-a-japanese-folklore

The Kappa is one of the more famous yokai in Japanese culture. Yokai are “monsters” and some can have strange powers (like the Tanuki). Kappa are these kind of water demon-monsters that inhabit rivers and ponds. They tend to be depicted as human like creatures with turtle shells, scales, webbed hands/feet, beak like mouth, and a bowl like ‘hole’ on the top of their head that hold water. Their bodies are reminiscent of monkey bodies. They have arms that look a little to long for their proportions and some have been depicted moving on “all fours”. Kappa are about the size of a small child (around 9-10 years old), but are strong enough to attack grown men and horses. Now-a-days you can find very cute pictures depicting the Kappa (like the one above), but usually they are very ugly. They have bobbed hairstyle that grows out of their head except in the middle where the ‘bowl-cavity” is located.

A picture of a Kappa made by Katsushika Hokusai

A picture of a Kappa made by Katsushika Hokusai

Kappas are notoriously known for being mischievous. They are tricksters whose pranks can be relatively simple such as farting loudly and other rather rude and annoying behavior, to really extremely malicious such as rape, and murder. Human flesh is a staple in the Kappa diet, especially children who are easily to drown in rivers and ponds.

I have seen them compared to River Imps which is a good comparison for their more innocent behavior since imps are also little tricksters, but Kappas are pretty violent creatures. It was believed that in the anus of a human could be found a little ball called the shirikodama or soul of the person. Kappas are known to take these little soul balls, most likely eating them.

Kappas are not necessarily all evil. Their have been accounts were people befriended a Kappa. They can then be helpful creatures with a vast amount of knowledge in medicine (one of my favorite parts about the Kappa). They are most skilled in bone-setting and taught people how to mend broken bones and fix dislocated joints.

The Kappa Show by Junko Mizuno

The Kappa Show by Junko Mizuno

Ironically enough, Kappas were known to be noble creatures in some sense of the word. They followed traditional customs of polite behavior very strictly. And if ever a Kappa was tricked into making an oath or a promise, they followed through to the end with out complaint. The best way to stop a Kappa from attacking was to take a very deep bow. The Kappa would reciprocate the bow and lose all the water in the cavity upon his head. This would weaken him, and he would have to go back to the water. Another way is to challenge the Kappa to a battle of skill like shogi (intellectual) or sumo wrestling (physical), for he cannot refuse. Pulling the arm of a Kappa is also helpful. Kappa’s arms can be removed and once taken the Kappa will be willing to make any oath or promise in hopes of getting back the arm. A cucumber is also good to have, because cucumbers are the Kappa’s favorite food.

If you feel like you wanna know more about the Kappa, check out this website: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/kappa.shtml There is more information, interesting theories, and uglier pictures.

 

-Blog Barista

 

 

This is Kawabata from the anime Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san or "Muromi-san on the shore." I have never actually watched the anime (for reasons not necessary to say here), but I love Kawabata

The large green man on the right is Kawabata from the anime Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san (Muromi-san on the shore) by Keiji Najima. He is a super buff Kappa and super Manly-Man (I don’t suggest this anime)

Satti Dal

Sati

When people ask me to describe what is like to be a twin, I always find it hard to answer. My sister is the exact same and exact opposite of me. That is a really confusing concept for others to grasp. She and I can like the exact same things even though we like different types of them. It is hard to explain with out examples. So both she and I like to read, and many of the books she enjoyed so did I. But her very favorite genre is science fiction (my least favorite), and mine is historical fiction.

The biggest difference between us, is that she seems really stoic and mature but she is a 5 year old at heart. I may seem really sweet and kid like but I hate most things childish. She likes toys, sweets, frilly dresses, stuffed animals, cute kawaii faces in anime, and stories where kids go on adventures. I, on the other hand, like a good cup of coffee, black liquorice (licorice?), pant suits, an anthropological collection of comparative mythology, those really Japanese faces (based on tradition style) in anime, and stories where a (wo)man travels or goes off to war. She likes happy stories where every thing ends well: I find a well written sad story fits better with me. She enjoys very bright colors: I like that neutral palette that has nudes, whites, grays, and black. But even though we are exact opposites, I can still promise you that many of our tastes and opinions coincide perfectly.

Now surely by this point you are asking yourself ‘why Barista is there a picture of a cute little doll up there then?’ Simple question, my friend, and with it comes a simple answer. My sister loves toys, and so she collects dolls. I am not a big fan of having toys or stuffed animals or even dolls. As a girl, it is kind of hard since in the past year only I have received like seven stuffed animals and dolls as gifts. Yet, when I saw TheBetterCup collecting dolls, I kind of wanted one or two as well (no more than that though). One day she showed me the Pullip Dolls and I just could not help but desperately want one of them. I fell in love with Dal, the 13 year old rival of Pullip. She has this pouty little face that looks so mad, I loved it. After not spending any money on myself and working really hard in school and getting good grades, I brought myself the courage to ask my parents if I could spend the money I earned at work on a Dal Doll. (I am so lame).

In Box

For about 50 bucks, I bought the Dal that had won my heart months ago. I did lots of research, but there are very few reviews on the Satti Dal. There is one video on YouTube that sucks. So I thought I could add to the sucky repertoire of Satti Dal reviews. I am not a great photographer most off my pictures were blurry, but I will update this post one day to include more pictures later.

I was not sure I wanted her to be named, but calling her Satti Dal gets annoying. Let’s call her Hermes after the Greek messenger of the gods, god of thieves and travelers, and guide to the underworld.

Satti has articulation at the wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck,ankles, knees, hips, waist, and her rib cage.

4

I loved her outfit! She has these little blue trousers with flower print. She has a cute white blouse with this nude colored corset. On top of it all is this gorgeous brown jacket that buttons at the top. Her entire outfit is detailed with lace, she even has a frilly neck piece. Over all the entire outfit really androgynous which is why I liked her to begin with. Hermes has a really pretty stock eye chips that are a silvery color. In case you do not know, Dal’s eyes move left and right but do not blink like the Pullip’s eyes.

Unknown

Thank you Macy! This Doll is the Veritas!

The Satti Dal is very hard to find information on. I tried to do research, but found very little on her. At first I thought maybe none of the other dolls had clothes to go with her, but then I found this picture:
I know for a fact that this Pullip doll goes with the Satti Dal because of her hat, boots, and pirate like outfit. But I cannot find her anywhere. If anyone happens to know, please tell me in the comments down below.

I compared her to other dolls to see what clothes could maybe fit her. She has a smaller bum then than the Ever After High Dolls and a larger shoulder size, but she fits into their clothing just fine. The monster high dolls on the other hand have a more extreme difference in body shape compared to Hermes. Viperine’s dress did not close near the shoulders on Dal.

Hermes in RavenQueen's clothing

Hermes in RavenQueen’s clothing

Hermes in Viperine's clothing

Hermes in Viperine’s clothing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love my Hermes, but she did have a couple of problems. Her left arm keeps popping out at the elbow, and seems chipped at the upper arm. When she stands up straight, one leg does not touch the floor. The last problem was that her curls were loose on her left side and really messy.
Hermes!

I still cannot belive my sister some how got me into dolls. I am still against having anymore then the two that I have (I would accept having an Edward Scissorhands Taeyang). Even though I still do not love the ideas of toys, every time I see Hermes I feel really happy.

-Blog Barista

 

 

 

Viperine, Hermes, and mini Frollo are mine, my sister owns the rest.

Viperine, Hermes, and mini Frollo are mine, my sister owns the rest.

 

Books Top Ten Favorites

I decided to have a blog, because I really badly needed a hobby. All I do all day all the time is study, other then the time I get to hang out with friends to study, and soon I will no longer have that time with friends. It is actually really disheartening, but you know life is what life is and I cannot complain. The point is that even though I desperately am looking for a hobby, I do have one already. I love to read. I read anytime that I can: by now, I feel it is safe to say that I have read a lot of books.

I read any kind of book, but science fiction has got to be my all time least favorite kind. I really enjoy a good historical fiction though, one jam packed with really events and historical figures. If not that, I love any that are cultural: mythologies, anthropological books, even a biography is great fun for me. I know most people do not share in my taste in written material, which actually kind of sucks cause I have no body to talk to about them, and my sister and friends have learned to steer clear from any of my recommendations since they either to boring or really have sad endings.

Now as willing as I may be to ruin a good anime’s plot, I refuse to give any spoilers of these books, instead I will list my top ten in book recommendations and tell you what makes them so amazing with out giving away their fabulous endings.

With no further ado I will now list my top ten favorite books:

(They are kind of in an order of preference but not really)

61S4qiYiwTL10. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

This book was a doozie. I really adored the book, I loved all characters (even though I feel the book would have been one million times better if Kafka himself was not part of the story). The book alternates between two stories that slowly move towards each other till finally connecting on a metaphysical plane. Kafka, a fifteen year old boy whose real name is never revealed, runs away from home. He finds shelter in a private library until a murder occurs and police come looking for him. The other part of the story tells of Nakata, an old man who suffered a strange occurrence as a little boy that has left him with the ability to speak to cats. After strange events take place, he goes on a road trip that leads him to his purpose in life. The book is crazy, and a considerable amount of what happens can arguably be occurring metaphorically. I loved the story. It makes you feel a certain type of way by the end.

1413059. Once Upon a Time by A.A. Milne

Once Upon a Time is one of Milne’s lesser known books, and actually it is kind of hard to find. I came across an electronic version on accident one day. The story is a basic fairy tale made mental. It opens up on a kingdom with a king, princess Hyacinth, and Countess Belvane (a woman who the princess never liked). On day the neighboring king, with his magic boots, flies over the patio of the king and princess during their breakfast. A load of shenanigans ensue and the two kingdoms go to war; while the king is away, Countess Belvane tries to take the throne from the princess. This book is a lot of crazy, and every one just accepts it as normal. Everyone seems absolutely mad, with the exception of the Hyacinth and Coronel (the prince’s companion). The story is a typical fairy tale, but the characters are anything but stereotypical. The villain has motives that are not that bad, and he princess needs no saving from a prince. The valiant prince that does appear is vain, the horrible magic spell is not at all that scary, and everyone’ s idea of normalcy is completely odd. The book is great!

8. Violin by Anne Rice  

I read this book a few years ago, so the story is not very fresh in my mind. I can fully admit that few people actually like this book, but it one of my all time favorites. I am still fiercely hunting for this book so as to add it officially to my personal library (since I read it by borrowing it from my high school library). The book is about a woman named Triana whose husband has just died of AIDS. At the same time a ghost named Stefan appears playing a long violin. The story is really hectically written and can get disturbing at times with how focused on death it is, but this all adds to the mood of the story. The ghost and the girl go through a great deal, and Anne Rice unveils their pasts by having the characters go through time. The story is mystical and surreal, and once again the ending was just so beautiful. It was weird and other worldly, but that made it so amazing to read.

download7. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

I have read many war novels, and this one picked up only because I really like the 1920s and 1930s. I did not know what it was about, and I had yet to read a book by Hemingway. The book is written as if all the characters have been speaking Spanish the entire time, and everything that was said was plugged directly into Google translate. What comes out is not necessarily colloquial English, it is still understandable but heavily accented in a way. This adds to the book, making the story more vivid, evoking within the reader genuine sentiment. This tells the story of a young American named Robert Jordan who is part of the International Brigades aiding the antifascist guerrilla units in the mountains of Spain. The story has action, war, love, and sacrifice that bring the reader on an emotional roller coaster, all the while focusing about 500 pages on how a guerrilla unit is preparing to blow up one single bridge. The ending itself is a really shocker. Hemingway gives hints to the ending the entire time, but really it still gets you.

157783286. Child of Vengence by David Kirk  

The story of Bennosuke begins in the later half of 16th century Japan. It is a coming of age story focused on a young boy whose mother died when he was younger and whose father has been gone his whole life serving Lord Shinmei. Raised by his uncle, a monk, Bennosuke worships his father and dreams of being a samurai too. One day though, his father returns and after much happens he trains Bennosuke, as well as revealing the story of his mother’s death. His feelings of admiration toward his father are shattered, and he goes on a journey as a samurai, finding that it does not go as well as he had dreamed. All of this climaxes at a crucial battle, that changes everything for the history of Japan. It keeps you entranced, and you will not want to put the book down once you begin.

3326135. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a famous book. It is told from the point of view of Chief Bromden, a Native American patient within a psychiatric ward. Throughout most of the book, it is believed that Chief is both mute and deaf. He focuses on the antics of a newly admitted patient, a boisterous rebel named McMurphey. McMurphey is an antihero who promotes gambling, drinking, rule breaking, and freedom between the other patients who are all oppressed within the ward. He challenges the head honcho, Nurse Rached who governs with an iron fist. The book shows the darker sides of the psychiatric ward, demonstrating how the institution dehumanized patients. It also brings the reader’s attention to a paradox of civilization, attempting to be human in system that works like a machine. The story quickly takes a dark turn by the end, and leaves a heavy impression on the reader afterwards.

1976614. Freedom or Death by Nikos Kazantzakis

Freedom or Death features the story of Greek Christans’s rebellion against the Muslim Turks on the island of Crete in 1889. The audience follows the escapades of two major characters in the village of Megalo Kastoro: Captain Mihalis a hot headed Greek focused on the ideal of freedom, and Nuri Bey a Turk and blood brother of Mihalis. On more than one occasion, I have seen this book described as an epic, and it truly does have that feeling to it. The book has an unceasing motif of grandeur and heroism. Captain Mihalis is an epic hero who embodies the value of his culture, patriotism, yet is extremely flawed. The ending is one of the best parts, and will leave you speechless. The reader becomes enthralled within the story, becoming a Cretan and feeling the oppression, thanks to Kazantzakis’s visual writing style. The book is very Greek (obviously) and brings the culture to life before the audience. As a Greek myself, this book really hit home and has had a lasting affect on me.

3. The Egyptian by Mika Waltari

The Egyptian is based somewhere in 1300 BC during the reign of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his religious change he attempted to enforce in Egypt. The story focuses on the life of an Egyptian man named Sinhue. He is educated and has a pretty good life, but bad decisions make it so that he has to travel throughout the known world. Bad things just seems to follow everywhere he goes. Through many disastrous events he goes through great adventures. Full of colorful characters, the unfortunate life of Sinhue is wonderfully written. This book is really sad, but the story is gorgeous and full of historical references.

51bh8dd2psl-_sx320_bo1204203200_2. Metamorphoses by Ovid

Metamorphoses is a narrative poem describing history from the creation till the existence of Julius Caesar through mythologies. The major theme of these myths is change. People becoming creatures, changing into different genders, and transforming into flowers or objects. There are many myths recounted in this one book, so I cannot explain the ‘plot’ per say. It is just chock full of mythology, glorious mythological stories. For that reason alone, this is one of my all time favorite books that I would recommend to anyone.  Section 3, Book VI to Book XI is the part that I adored the most. This part is called The Pathos of Love and tells the stories of Narcissus and Echo as well as Eros and Psyche (TWO OF MY FAVORITE GREEK MYTHS!!). Anyways, this particular book just pacifies a nerdy interest of mine.

3201. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I first heard of this book in high school around the ninth grade. My literature teacher at the time, a wretched woman that made many students cry in the front of her class (including myself) for having a centimeter off on the margins of the major essays, mentioned it one day in passing. She had said that the book was horrible and then continued on with what ever it was she was talking about. That night I asked my mother if she knew the book, and she said that she loved it. I had to read it then. One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of a mythical town called Macondo. The novel fixates on a single family, telling the story of humanity through their generations. Anything that can be thought of as human, happens to the singular family. Life, death, industrialization, war, lust, poverty, wealth, sadness, joy, search of truth, corruption, capitalism, purity, family, and most of loneliness. The way Marquez writes is enchanting, is words flow as beautifully as musical notes does from a piano. The story never lags, the reader never loses interest. By the end, you become so invested with the family that it feels as if you have lived an entire other life (which you kind of have). The style makes the entire book. Marquez is writing genius inclined towards magical realism. In this ‘genre’, the most bizarre scenarios are told as if they are completely normal. The book is full of magic, and that is just made as a natural part of a mundane and realistic setting. I don’t believe I can explain the book any better then as it is described in the goodread’s description, that “in the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.” By now most everyone knows that Gabriel Garcia Marquez has passed on. He died April 17, 2014. It is extremely saddening to see such a wondrous write go. He was a great man who wrote books of Latin American culture like no other man or woman has done before. He is truly my very favorite author, and I am grateful that I have read One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Wow picking only ten was actually hella hard. Some honorable mentions include: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, The Counte of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, and Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho.

As of right now I am currently reading Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff.

-Blog Barista

Story of my life. Story of my life

Vocaloid (Top 10 Songs)

Have you ever imagined that somewhere in the world there exists singers that are loved by millions and that are not human? That concerts are held, whose tickets are quickly sold out, yet the audience comes to watch an holographic projection? Well there does exist such a thing; they are called Vocaloids. They are singing voice synthesizer that gained a great deal of popularity. They are a voice bank of sounds, taken from a real singer, meant to be used by music producers and fans to create music. Vocaloids gained popularity through their CV singers or Character Voices, ones that have characters that come with the voices. They became so famous that some vocaloids that were only meant to be voice banks, such as VY2, gained a fan made character that was soon adopted by the company in some of his music videos (like in Fools from The Stars). 66 Roro has been used as the VY2 ‘mascot’, even though he is not the official character of VY2 he does tend to be the face that accompanies the voice.

 (From the song A Clingy Boy Sticking for 15 Years featuring VY2, it is soooo sad).

(From the song A Clingy Boy Sticking for 15 Years featuring VY2, it is soooo sad).

But I am not here to try and explain what vocaloids are. I feel a little bad that many westerners look at this and call it stupid, without giving it a try or even some respect. You may not like it but that does not mean the people from whom this was made did not put in effort. Any ways getting back on point, I personally love VY2 as 66, and most of all I love vocaloids. I have known of them since I was a child. They are wonderful and brilliant.

(Nekomura's promotional art featuring Hello Kitty gear)

(Nekomura’s promotional art featuring Hello Kitty gear)

My very favorite vocaloids include: Iroha Nekomura a cat girl developed in collaboration with Sanrio (creator of Hello Kitty), Flower the mascot of V flower, and 66 Roro the mascot of VY2.

(V Flower's Mascot- concept art of Flower)

(V Flower’s Mascot- concept art of Flower)

What makes vocaloid so special? They sing many genres. You can find screamo, punk rock, ballads, traditional, techno, funk, up beat songs, and very sad ones. They also come in a variety of voices. The cast is so colorful (literally) that you can find at least one that you like.

(From the MV of the song Bad End Night featuring Miku-blue haired female, Kaito-blue haired male, Meiko-brown haired female, Gakupo-purple haired male, Luka-pink haired female, Len-yellow haired male, Rin-yellow haired female, and Gumi-green haired female).

(From the MV of the song Bad End Night featuring Miku-blue haired female, Kaito-blue haired male, Meiko-brown haired female, Gakupo-purple haired male, Luka-pink haired female, Len-yellow haired male, Rin-yellow haired female, and Gumi-green haired female).

These just so happen to be the most famous ones, the ones you are most likely to come across. The stories are the best part of the music video. They are so well done, and so much detail is put into them. They push boundaries, many of them being really really creepy and many of them being so sad that you may just start to bawl. (I recommend the Daughter of Evil and Servant of Evil. They are two songs from a collection of songs that make up one story. The entire story makes up one of 7 parts in the Sin Series. They are just so amazing). But really though, I wish I could explain every single song and the MV, they are just so beautiful. But I will not, instead I will list my ten favorites. If anyone wishes for an MV to be reviewed or explained, or you want more details or have questions, leave them in the comment section I will gladly answer and explain.

(Hatsune Miku returns in 7th Dragon 2020-II)

(Hatsune Miku returns in 7th Dragon 2020-II)

 

With no further ado I will now list my top ten favorite vocaloid songs:

10. Party x Party

This is sung by Miku, Kaito, Len, Rin, Meiko, and Luka. This song is super fun. As it is fairly new, the animation is amazing even switching through 3D style and little cut out figures. The song is wonderful and jazzy, which is always a plus. But best of all the story line is a play on the name. Miku is a girl at home who is bored and wants to throw an awesome party, so she decides to go on a quest to do just that. At the NicoNico Pub (I loved that tip of the hat!!), she creates a video game party of a diverse cast and travel with them to the boss level. There it is revealed that she is the boss and a large party is hosted. It ends with Miku offing her video game and going to sleep. The idea is super creative making this song loads of fun.

9. Tailor Shop on Entoizaka

This song is one from the series of Sin. The Tailor Shop on Entoizaka represents Jealousy and is sung by Luka. The song has an alluring oriental sound that also feels a little sad. It begins with Luka, a tailor shop girl, who believes her lover/husband is cheating on her. So she kills his lover (Meiko) and takes her kimono. Then she spots him with another woman (Miku), kills her and takes her green sash. She repeats this with a third, younger girl (Rin) he was with and takes her yellow hair pin. Finally, she wears the outfit and visits him, killing him with her scissors. It is then revealed that a family of four had been murdered and that the man had no idea who Luka was. Really Luka had killed a man’s wife and 2 female children before killing the man of her obsession. The song is well made, and seriously messed up. All of which makes it great. 😉

8. God is an Energy Cheapskate

God is an energy cheapskate is sung by Gumi in the perspective of the god who created the world as if she had a budget she had to keep to. The song is cute and catchy, if not a bit creepy at first. Gumi is a goddess who created the world and is constantly thinking about the money it consumes. Through out most of it she mentions how cheaply made earth and humans are and that these faults make them difficult to manage. Somewhere at the end of the second 3rd of the song Gumi explains how these faults also create beauty such as love, which she becomes embarrassed after two humans kiss (I bet they did more than that). Anyways, she decides to sell the planet and go on a vacation. The animation was super cute, and even though the video was green and gray the entire time, it was still super wonderful and gorgeous. I loved the story, which was really funny, and Gumi’s henchman was a Kappa, the coolest mythological monster in all of history.

7. Witch

Witch is sung by Len and Rin Kagamine, but the MV features Luka, Gakupo, and Miku. The song is great (mostly at the parts were the narrators, Len and Rin, echo the word Repent), but what makes it so great is the story in the music video. Luka is a young girl who has fallen in love with the Prince Gakupo. Miku, a priestess, sees this and tells Gakupo that Luka is believed to be a witch. Gakupo. a strong follower of the church, helps Miku bring Luka to the stake even though he loves her. The best part about the story is that there are many interpretations. I interpreted what happens afterwards in two ways. Luka escapes growing large black wings flying away. Either Miku was right, and Luka was a witch that was trying to trick Gakupo into falling in love with her; or Miku loved Gakupo and lied about Luka being a witch, and Luka ends up being an angel. I personally like the second one more, mostly because the way she was crying, I could not see Luka as an evil witch.

6. A Classy, Tactful Fire Extinguisher

Number six on my list is also sung by Gumi (many of them are actually). This song is really nice: it is upbeat and the guitar makes it fun to listen to. The story is about a girl who may be dating a fire extinguisher. He is really good boyfriend, and they make promises to each other. In the end only the fire extinguisher is able to keep his promise and dies doing so. It ends up being so sad. This song starts silly and ridiculous and by the end, you cannot help but like and respect that fire extinguisher. He does not seem as silly then. The art style is the best part. The color scheme is mainly pink and blue, and the fire extinguisher’s face is reminiscent of older shojos. I loved the song so much, and the art style, and the story. It is super cute, and super silly, and even more sad. That part where she sings and it coincides with her crying is just so well done.

5. Tokio Funka

Tokio Funka is sung by Gumi. To be honest, I have no idea what the story could be. I loved this song for the song. It is a mix of traditional japanese music and Techo or Dubstep (I am not a person who knows a lot about music, sorry). It is super awesome. And the art work is so lovely. The mix of traditional japan with those weird alien like creatures was just too cool and Samurai Gumi is too cute.

4. Children’s War

Children’s War is sung by Rin and Len Kagamine. They are portrayed as an annoying sister and spoilt brother combo who get under each other’s skin and declare war. The entire song is them fighting with each other and in the very end it is shown that they end up in a draw. The song is really catchy. The upbeat rhythm and repetitive words and phrases add to the chaos that is their battle. The song is entertaining, boisterous, and a cluster of fun.

3. Fools Among the Stars

I may be cheating with this one, but it is actually 3 songs that make up one big story. But there was no way I was going to pick between them. The songs tell the story of the myth of Tanabata, a sad story about Hikoboshi VY2 and Orihime VY1. The myth says Orihime, daughter of the Sky King, meets Hikoboshi and they fell in love. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for the Sky King, and in anger, he separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa. They were only allowed to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month, but they cannot cross the river when it rains (This is a shortened version. The myth is really gorgeous and I suggest you look it up and learn the full story). In the first song, Hikoboshi is trying to to find  a way to cross the river while it is raining. The notices that Kappa are the only creatures able to cross, and decides to become super strong so that if he can defeat a Kappa he can then cross the river. While doing so, he goes through a bunch of funny scenes and ends up forgetting what his main goal was. Finally, he goes to the Milky Way and spots a Kappa. They fight, Hikoboshi is no match, and he is thrown to the other side of the river. In the second song, Orihime is dealing with her sadness and accidentally comes across very dumb yokai and help them tie their shoes. At that point they become devoted to her, and she sets up a mafia type business made of dumb monsters. Her business also causes her to become distracted, and at one point a Kappa comes to her seeking work. When she finally goes to the Milky Way, she asks the Kappa to help her and sends him to bring Hikoboshi to her. She is really surprised to see them begin to battle. Finally the last song is told from the perspective of the Kappa and is sung by Gumi. The Kappa desperately needs a job, and goes to Orihime (who he has heard is hiring dumb monsters) for one. She asks him to help her get Hikoboshi, and he agrees because he needs the job. When he goes to the other side to fetch him, Hikoboshi attacks and they begin to fight. During their fight the Kappa hits Hikoboshi to the other side of the river where he is able to meet Orihime. The Kappa at first is saddened because he knows that the two banks have different flows of time. Orihime has aged a lot, but the couple is still so happy to be together. The Kappa cannot believe that they are not more sad that after finally meeting it had to be in this way, but the couple explain that they are happy because they are in love and finally got to hold each other. The Kappa then begins to cry.

I could not separate these songs because they are great together. And there was no way I was not going to include them. The art is so beautiful, the colors are magnificent. The story is beyond charming. Not only is it based on mythology, but it was super happy go lucky at first and ended up being very sad. The sadness is made even more poignant when the audience, just like the Kappa, find out that the two characters are too happy to feel upset that time passed, because they love each other. I cried, for sure, and I have a feeling others did too.

2. Error

This one is also cheating at some point. This song is sung by IA (a Vocaloid) and Namine Ritsu (an Utauloid). An Utauloid is the exact same concept as a Vocaloid. The difference is that it is the free version of the program with premade voice banks. Ritsu is a fan made Character Voice that has been officially accepted. In this song IA’s voice is a little drowned out, which is fine, because I loved how Ritsu sang the song. There is no video but the song alone is what was so beautiful and powerful. I liked how the chorus swells and how desperately Ritsu seems to be singing. The song, itself, is gorgeous and that is the reason it is number two.

1. A Teacher, Detained

This song is my all time absolute favorite. It features v flower as the voice, and the Flower mascot shows up in the MV slowly infesting. The MV and song were designed by HoneyWorks. I love the song, I love the art, and most of all I love the story. The blonde boy, younger one who is in dispute with the teacher, has shown up in other HoneyWork songs. In this one I am not 100% sure how he is related to the teacher. He could be a childhood friend or a brother, but what ever the case it is apparent that the teacher and the boy knew each other from childhood. The boy and the teacher do not get along, as the teacher treats the boy like a little kid. But then it is shown afterwards that the teacher as he grew up and gained responsibilities lost his friendships most likely becoming estranged from the younger boy and misses him. So the boy in the end tells him that he doesn’t have to put up a tough guy act and be alone, that they are still friends. I just loved the song.

Anyways, those are my top ten. Now I am no music expert, I just said what I liked and they are only my opinions. I would love to hear yours as well. Please tell me your favorites in the comments.

-Blog Barista

Look at her go

Look at her go

Samurai Champloo- by Shinichiro Watanabe

Samurai

Once again, my sister has proven to be a great source of finding anime that fits my tastes. This one in particular is spectacular, I only feel shame that in my 15 years of watching anime I had not heard of this before. The show Samurai Champloo was created in 2004 and ran until 2005, having 26 episodes total. The story line is amazing, the artwork is thrilling, and the characters are instantly likable. SPOILER ALERT

Samurai Battle

-What is the anime about?

The story is about a trio who travels in search for a ‘samurai that smells of sunflowers.’ The first episode introduces the three characters and sets up the plot. A young girl, working in a tea shop, is saved by a vagabond. In another part of town a samurai stands up to a dishonorable lord before going to the tea shop where he and the vagabond begin to fight each other (a misunderstanding occurs). They are equally matched and the tea shop burns down. The samurai and the vagabond are captured and tortured by the dirty lord and they are sentenced for execution in the morning. The young girl helps them to escape, on the condition that they help her find the sunflower samurai. The entire episode was extremely funny, with strange little tidbits catching the audience off guard (like when the samurai is seen in a large pot bathing during the tea shop fire or when the girl puts the fireworks in her shirt and they look like boobs). Just as a forewarning to those who do not like this, the anime is bloody and does have foul language.

-Who are the central characters?

Fuu

Fuu is the main female character from the trio. She is the young lady that worked in the tea shop as a waitress, and the one that saved the other two from execution. She has no family, the tea shop owners suggested she go with them since she is alone, and she is the one in search of the sunflower samurai. Through out the show, she keeps the vagabond and the samurai from fighting and attempting to kill each other. It is later revealed that the sunflower samurai is her father, who left her and her mother when she was a child. Fuu is 15 years old and her name comes from the word for small, brightly colored birds.

Mugen

Mugen is the vagabond of the trio. He is the one who helps Fuu in the tea shop as samurais of the corrupt lord where harassing her. He loves to get into fights and has an unconventional fighting style. He is very much similar to the gangster yanki characters completely violent and buck wild. Mugen sports blue tattoos around his wrist that signify he has been in prison prior to meeting Fuu and Jin. He wears geta shoes with metal plating that he uses during battle, adding to the strangeness of his fighting style. He is rude, vulgar, and a womanizer (all traits that get him into trouble). Mugen is an antihero, who may seem like a lowlife at first, but is so much more complex then that. (Mugen is my personal favorite. I love antiheroes, they are usually my brand of awesome, and this includes chicken boy Mugen.) Mugen is 19 years old and his name means limitless or infinity.

Jun

Jin is the final member of the trio. He is a ronin (samurai with no lord or master) with very stoic personality. His fighting style is very much by the book making him a foil to Mugen. He and Mugen wish to fight each other through out the entire anime, and in the end, accepting that they are friends, neither wishes to kill the other anymore. When Jin was younger, his own sensei attempted to kill him and died by Jin’s hands. Jin is disciplined and always cool and collected during battles. (He was not in the slightest freaked out when an old man hit on him, suggesting male love, in the second episode). Jin is 20 years old and his name means justice or benevolence one of the codes by which a samurai must live.

-How is the Artwork?

Another amazing attribute of this anime is the art style. I am not even one hundred percent sure how to describe it. The director is the same as that of Cowboy Bebop and the art style is quite similar to that. The characters are lanky and move in strange languid ways (mostly when they fight). They can get really ugly at times but it just adds to the beauty of the art. The entire show is dramatic and full of cinematic visual style. The landscape is rendered in lush watercolors that contrasts the darkness that feels to creep into most of the scenes. If not a darkness the cities tend to be shown with mostly grey, brown, and tan color scheme (not at all vibrant in colors).

Mugen FightFight Style

-What makes the anime awesome?

The anime is based in feudal japan and is chock full of allusions to real life people and happenings. It is a hybrid of a feudal Japan, urban street flavor, and off-beat comedy. The sound track is brimmed with hip-hop music and Mugen’s fighting style borrows frequently from break dancing. Seeing inconsistencies in the time period by references of modernity is hilarious and adds to the viewing experience.

-Blog Barista

 

 

 

But seriously though, that smile…

But seriously though, that smile…

 

Hoozuki no Reitetsu- by Natsumi Eguchi

Hoozuki-no-Reitetsu

My sister called me up one day while I was at school. I had been under a lot of stress, and I gave myself absolutely no time to do anything of enjoyment, only study. She called and told me that a new anime came out that would be right up my alley. So I decided I would exercise that day for 30 minutes and watch an episode. I fell desperately in love, and each day as I exercised i would watch one episode, giving me motivation to stay fit and having 30 minutes a day to myself.

-What is the anime about?

It is about Hell and the daily situations that occur. Basically Hell is run as a business, and the story revolves around the daily problems occurring and how they are dealt with.

Hozuki

-Who are the central characters?

The main character, and the one from whom the name of the anime is taken, is Hozuki. He is the deputy that runs hell like a strict business. He is a sadistic demon, cold blooded and a little cruel. Though on the other hand, he enjoys cute things, fluffy things, and gardening. He is very intimidating and good at almost everything. Another central character is Enma the Great King of Hell. He judges all that die and come to Hell. He is kind of a dunder-head and gets pushed around a lot by his ‘underling’, Hozuki. He is also Hozuki’s godfather. The next character is Hakutaku, a Chinese Celestial Beast. He is a pharmacist that lives and works in Heaven. He is also a notorious womanizer and rival of Hozuki. The cast also includes many other colorful characters that are all unique and interesting.

Hoozuki

-How is the Artwork?

The animation style is purely breath taking. It is done to look like the sumi-e ink style artistry. It gives a very oriental aesthetic distinctively antique. Seeing as how a lot of anime are very ‘western-enthused’ with Victorian era styles and such, this attempt at traditional art is super wonderful. The monsters and other mythological creatures are kept ugly, not made to look ‘kawaii’ or extremely handsome (except for Hozuki). It is nice to be able to see a diversity in character design, culturally and in looks. Hozuki Cooking

-What makes the anime awesome?

It alludes to many religions and mythologies around the world. Many episodes speak of Japanese myths, some mention Greek myths, Egyptian deities, and even Christianity is connected to this. Having so many references to other culture’s religions is a dream come true for myself. You learn so much, and the dark humor makes it even better. It is a comedy slice of life that focuses at a part of culture that is usually over looked as boring or old. The fact that this anime holds almost a magical realism (type of genre google it) is what attracted me. Some may not be able to find it funny, and much of the jokes need prior knowledge of legends or even bdsm to get (they make lots of sadism joke in this).Hoozuki

It is bizarre and lovely, but sadly for many it will be hard to appreciate because of the dry dead-pan humor and the fact that prior knowledge in cultures need to be known to enjoy it.

-Blog Barista

 

 

I wish I could grow such a garden.

I wish I could grow such a garden.

Olympos- by Aki

So today I did not really have an idea what it was I wished to speak of, but I knew that I wanted to write something. So I decided I would review a manga I had picked up in January.

My sister and I decided to go browsing for books one day with friends. When ever it is we go out, we always try to buy books to read (even though we are college students which means we cannot afford to spend money on such leisure 😦 ). Anyways, while out my sister drags me to the manga section, and I spot this wondrous manga whose cover art is enough reason to buy it. I did not think twice and spent about $20 dollars on it. I would usually at least check reviews, but there seems to be none available online. To begin with, the book only has two volumes and is based on ancient Greek gods. You would think this book would have a large variety of  characters seeing as mythology in general has so many to chose from, yet there is only really three truly main characters: Hades, Apollo, and Ganymede. There also exists Poseidon, Zeus, and a man named Heinz (Artemis is mentioned but she is not really a character and young mortal girl named Iris also makes an appearance). The beauty of this book is that the author takes free range with the story. It is no longer the story of the gods as you may know them. There exists no twelve Olympians and the stories the humans believe to be real are man made. But I am getting a head of myself let us start at the beginning.

CharactersSo the author was kind enough to include historical and mythological background on the characters as they are known to us in real life. She gives a brief description on how Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon became rulers of their respective realm, as well as explains the story of Ganymede. The artistry of this manga has to be one of the best I have ever seen. Even the color choices in the very front, though she uses only one color scheme or gradient (not sure how to explain), is very vibrant and gorgeous. At the very end of the second volume, Aki leaves an author’s note apologizing for her drawing’s imperfection. But they are so extremely gorgeous, I feel she has nothing to apologize for. SPOILER ALERT I really do not want to ruin this story for anyone so I am warning all readers that I am about to spoil the plot. Please keep in mind, that this book is so truly amazing because it can be interpreted in any number of ways. What I am about to say is my own interpretation, not what the author intended and surely not what you, the reader, may see. So with that let me begin.

HeinzThe story opens up on the mortal man, Heinz, who is an archaeological excavator who finds the ruins of Troy. He is praying to God in the beginning, and Apollo comes down promising to fulfill his wish if Heinz helps him. Heinz wants to marry a young woman and close friend named Mina, but because he is to poor and socially below her he cannot. He wants her to wait for him until he hits it big, but she is betrothed to another man. Apollo promises to help Heinz, if he helps Apollo get rid of a young man in his garden. Apollo tells Heinz that the young man believes he cannot escape, and that he needs Heinz to bring him to the large cliff at the end of the garden. After much goes on where the reader learns the story of Heinz it is shown that Apollo was just toying with the youth and was using Heinz to do so. Heinz goes back to Earth, he does not marry Mina, but he does hit it big and find Troy. His heart is broken and that is the last we hear of Heinz with in the book.  Heinz is based off of Heinrich Schliemann, one of the two men who excavated Troy around 1870’s. (Personally he doesn’t need Mina, she said that his dream was great and all but it is just a dream. That was reason for not marrying and breaking his heart.)

 

Gaynamedes Then the story moves on to the interaction between Ganymede and Apollo. It also explains Ganymede’s sad story. He was a Trojan prince abducted, centuries earlier, by Apollo under Zeus’s orders and locked with in a garden for all of eternity with only Apollo to talk to. He hates Apollo who murdered his brother before his eyes and who also toys with Ganymede annoying and angering the crap out of him. The book also delves into Apollo’s story of his sudden realization of his existence and his questioning of life in general. He finds out that the only person he actually noticed, Artemis, is just a mirror of his own heart and loneliness. He then realizes that beings exist (humans) that live for short periods of time and are consumed by silly things that do not matter at all to him: such as pride, power, and devotion. He learns that these creatures created stories of the high beings and worship them as benevolent beings that intervene in their lives.

Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades are comparisons as to how Apollo could chose to exist for eternity. He can be like Poseidon who is depicted as dumb and exists as humans do: worrying and wanting power, fame, authority and so forth. He could end up like Zeus who just exists and does not seem to think, question, or notice much of anything before Ganymede’s arrival. Or he could end up like Hades. Now just a brief note, I adore Hades in general when it comes to Greek mythology. He is just so sad and he is always depicted negatively, from the past to the present he always has the short end of the stick (literally!!).

8
Hades had begun questioning his existence a long time ago, and grew to accept it as it was. He has a lot of influence on Apollo, opening his eyes to much of what they are. Because the two are immortal and quiet OK with the idea of ending it all, they gladly use Ganymede to get Zeus’s attention believing (because they could say it aloud) there was a chance that if Zeus noticed existence of something, it would cause the end of the world. He does begin to notice Ganymede freely making the choice to visit the garden, but the world does not end. Hades gives Ganymede the chance to exist Zeus’s domain and enter his own since “all outside of Zeus’s domain is his”. Ganymede is unable to become mortal again, nor can he die and have his soul go the normal path that others follow. At this point he can chose to live eternity with Apollo or to go completely mad, losing himself completely till he no longer exists even though his body will (deep stuff man). Ganymede was willing to kill himself before so as to escape the garden, so Hades explains that going mad is almost the same as killing himself, cause technically he would no longer exist because he would have lost himself. This situation here is the one that questions completely what it means to exist. Does Zeus truly exist if he is nothing but the wind itself not thinking or acting just being? Is death really the same as going mad, and if not how are they different in terms of existence? How does living for eternity change what it means to exist, in comparison to a short human life?

Finally Ganymede decides to continue living and keeping Apollo company. Ganymede meets Zeus briefly, who laughs before disappearing again. Apollo does not believe this since he can say aloud that Zeus would never laugh. Apollo then goes to talk to Hades because even though he said that Zeus would never laugh, he was also able to say that Zeus could appear to laugh to Ganymede. Hades asks Apollo if his quest to understand is no different to Zeus’s desire to be omnipotent and Poseidon’s desire to be all powerful. He is able to say allowed that Apollo is not like Poseidon, and then tells Apollo that he may be asking the wrong questions or the answers may not exist. It ends with their conversation and Hades saying that all truth may be relative to the person.

 

The book is amazing and leaves one in deep thought by the end. The Apollo and Ganymede are wondrous, and Hades is a gem of a character that seems to know all though he knows as much as Apollo. The book is very deep and most readers do not at all notice what it is trying to say. On Goodreads Olympos has very low ratings, with many complaining that they did not understand the story. Yet there is one review that I feels sums up something important (I shortened it to the bare necessities because it is long):

 

Review

-Blog Barista

 

 

 

He is just so AWESOME!!!!

He is just so AWESOME!!!!

Kamigami no Asobi

So I cannot explain the excitement I felt, when I learned that a new anime revolving around mythology was coming out this year. Last night at around 1 in the morning, my sister and I decided it was about time we saw episode 1. And let me tell you, it was hilarious, not on purpose, but none the less it was funny.

I do not want to spoil the entire show, but just in case SPOILER ALERT. 

Sweets

So to begin with, the cartoon has very nice animation and very pretty scenery. The characters are all cute, and each of the male characters come from different mythologies. There are the Greeks: Apollon the sun god, Hades the god of the underworld, Zeus the god of all gods and head of the school, and Dionysus makes an appearance later and he is the god of wine and pleasure. There are the Norse: Loki the god of mischief, Baldr god of light and purity, and Thor god of thunder who also enters in later. There are the Japanese: Tsukito god of the moon, Takeru god of seas and storms, and Akira the god of the sun who comes into the anime later on. And the Egyptians show up only briefly: Thoth god of wisdom and a teacher in the school, and Annubis god of the dead.

The characters have very extreme personalities that are just like most basic anime personalities exaggerated to the extreme. They are still lovable, but they do not have the depth I was hoping for. I do not know how others expected this anime to turn out, but even though I knew it was a reverse harem that should not be taken seriously, it still had so much potential.

The story opens up with a strange scene where the gods are in battle and a young girl is attempting to stop them. This scene most likely shows a future event. At the end of the episode you learn who the characters are. But let me tell you, there is a huge shock when you watch Apollo go through the magic boy transformation, almost exactly like sailor moon.

O_o Fabulous

O_o Fabulous

Then the audience is shown a regular school girl at school and walking home with her friends. Her name is shown to be Yui, the main character and the one who was trying to stop the gods. She is actually pretty cool, mostly in comparison to the basic female personality of of this genre. She is calm and does not have the extremely childish or easily pushed around anime girl characteristic. She is skilled as a swordsman and is unsure of her future since she is about to take the entrance exams. Her family owns a shrine (obviously) and she accidently finds a magical sword that transports her to a garden. At one point, after meeting each of the male charcters, who were almost all rude or sexually inappropriate, she actually reacts and gets angry at Takeru. She also stands up to Zeus and tells him no when he told her that she was brought here to help the gods connect to humans again.

Scared

She was obviously afraid and her little chibi reactions are great cause it gives her character a personality.

 

My sister seeing the above scene, said "Be careful girl, he rapes."and I laughed for ten minutes straight. Zeus shows to her his transformation skills, which all mythology enthusiasts know he is very talented at changing and that is most cases if he does transform while in the presence of a beautiful youth, he is about ready to 'woo' them, or kidnap them. Take for instance Europa, Io, Ganymede, Callisto, and Leda, all youths who Zeus abducted.

My sister seeing the above scene, said “Be careful girl, he rapes.”and I laughed for ten minutes straight. Zeus shows to her his transformation skills, which all mythology enthusiasts know he is very talented at changing and that is most cases if he does transform while in the presence of a beautiful youth, he is about ready to ‘woo’ them, or kidnap them. Take for instance Europa, Io, Ganymede, Callisto, and Leda, all youths who Zeus abducted.

The ending was another surprise where each of the male gods sang the ending song together. They, also, had a lot of fan service with the characters half naked in beds together. It is actually very funny with how exaggerated it felt. The golden apples at the end are allusions to the golden apples found in three Greek myths. The golden apples are found in Hera’s Garden of the Hesperides where a grove of trees bore immortality-giving golden apples. The golden apples are also found in the myth of Hippomenes and Atalanta, as well as the story of Paris, who had to choose which goddess was most beautiful. The golden apples can also be found in Norse mythology as a source of immortality to the gods. The apple can connect back to discord in general, and opens many doors of interpretation that I should not bore you, the reader, with.

Golden Apples

In general, I am not a fan of the anime, but that does not mean it is bad or wrong to like. I have seen many reverse harem anime in my time, and I expect that this one will be very much by the book. Hopefully it will prove me wrong.

-Blog Barista

 

I Have Reviews for Both of the Below Suggestions:

If you really wish to see an amazing anime influence by mythology and religions check out Hoozuki no Reitetsu by Natsumi Eguchi.

If you really wish to see an amazing anime influence by mythology and religions check out Hoozuki no Reitetsu by Natsumi Eguchi.

If you really wish to see an awesome manga that is influenced by mythology check out Olympos by Aki.

If you really wish to see an awesome manga that is influenced by mythology check out Olympos by Aki.

 

 

 

Hades from Olympos (Left), Hades from Kamigami no Asobi (Right). Is there really any comparison?

Hades from Olympos (Left), Hades from Kamigami no Asobi (Right). Is there really any comparison?

A Blog?

So, basically it is about 11:17 pm. I am a college student who has just had a week of finals, and the very last one is tomorrow. I should be studying because I have yet to do so for my biology exam, and yet here I am beginning a blog. The question I feel the need to ask myself is why. I would never have imagined starting one, even if I was to think about it yesterday I would not have guessed I would make this decisions. But here I am, procrastinating some.

I decided I would do this because a friend recommended it. That and I really need to find a hobby. I learned, being away at university, that I have few real hobbies and I don’t enjoy most recreational activities. So hopefully I will enjoy this, and maybe I will really have things to say.

I feel like I am talking to myself, but if this is read by others, thanks for visiting ^-^

-Blog Barista