Olympos is a manga by Aki, which has two volumes or one omnibus that makes up the entire series. It’s an alternative look on Greek mythology, with the story based on the sun god, Apollo. Throughout the story Apollo is always learning things about himself and the world around him, but still seems to think that he himself is all knowing. While there is one central story line, one in which Ganymede, the prince of Troy, is abducted by Apollo, there are added stories in which others are introduced into the story, such as Poseidon and Heinz, but have little to no impact to the story line itself. They seem to be more or less added filler.
The first thing that I found about the manga was that the bubbles were sometimes hard to follow. This, to some, may just be user error; but with my many years of experience reading manga I found it irritating that I would have to read and reread passages to get the sequencing right because the speech bubbles were in a peculiar arrangement. A reader shouldn’t have to second guess themselves to whether they are reading their novel the right way or not.
The second thing that was irritating was the way characters who would have a somewhat large impact onto the story were introduced, but then dropped after the episode was done. Heinz and Artemis are the main characters that have a brief appearance, and then disappear. Why introduce these characters if you don’t plan on using them within your story? Yes, the episode with Artemis allows Apollo to learn something about himself (and was one of my favorite episodes within the whole story), but the story would have had the same impact whether it was included or not.
And speaking of emotional impact, this story has little to none. With how Ganymede felt about Apollo and the other gods, once he found a glimmer of hope, I felt it too. A way out. A way to try actually live his life instead of being the plaything of bored gods. But when the end of the story came, there was nothing. He decides to stay in the garden to witness the end of that world, but this just won’t happen (due to reasons that I will leave out in case some wish to read the story). I was upset with the overall story line. There was no point. Why tell this story? Why end it here? Why not just continue on to explain the end of the garden and have a concrete ending? The story left its audience hanging; and that is, in my opinion, the biggest of let downs that a story, whether it be a manga, anime, or whatever, can have.
Left: Zeus Right: Hades
Despite all the negative things, the story did have its moments. Like whenever Apollo is talking to Poseidon, and the episode when Apollo becomes close to a mortal girl offered to him as a sacrifice. They are moments that make reading the story almost worth while. And aside from that the art style was beautiful, and the dialogue between characters believable and eloquent (especially with Hades). The alternative on the traditional Greek mythology was also very refreshing. I recommend that you borrow this one from the library or a friend if you plan on reading it, as the story was definitely not worth the almost $20 you would have to pay to buy it.
-Update on Bobo-
While I know it’s been a long while since I last posted anything, it should be said that my old computer had died. The screen blacked out, and I barely was able to get all of my software and files onto my new computer. My husband and I are all moved into our new apartment, and I’ve actually had time to read and now post. Blog entries probably won’t be daily like they used to be, but somewhat regular at least.