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Post Reply Norse Mythology in Anime
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櫻府
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Posted 2/24/15
There might already be a thread about this, so please delete if such is the case, but I've noticed in the last few years that more and more Norse mythological terms are being used in anime. I personally think that is pretty cool. Some of the anime I've seen this in use are: Irregular at Magic High, Fafnir unlimited, Sword Art Online, and Attack of the Titans. So, what do you guys think? Should Japanese continue to incorporate Norse myth into anime?
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28 / M / NY
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Posted 2/24/15
You forgot Absolute Duo. Thor and his Mjölnir, ja.
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Posted 2/24/15
Ah, sadly I haven't seen that one yet. I did leave out that one about the girl with the gods that had Loki in it.
LokiLB 
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Posted 2/24/15
It's nothing new. Record of Lodoss War has Norse mythology influence, as does anything else with the classic Tolkien-esque dwarves and elves.

More recently you also have Aldnoah.Zero where Inaho is space-Odin.

And of course Mythical Detective Loki. It's a comedy written for people who are familiar with Norse mythology.
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M / New Jersey
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Posted 2/24/15
If you want to go real old-school, like 1968, there is Little Norse Prince. Apparently it was the first major work by Miyazaki. I think it was just a retelling of a Chinese or Japanese folklore but in a Norse setting.
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36 / M / Planet Sanno
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Posted 2/24/15
References to Norse mythology are also a Japanese video game staple, going all the way back to the early Fire Emblem games (and beyond), though the Ragnarok series is likely the best-known (and most recent) example.
mnmike 
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Posted 2/24/15
Not to mention Ah My Goddess (Belldandy is an amusing Norse-to-Japanese-to-English mangling of Verdandi, though they do get her sisters, Urd and Skuld, right), and it's mentioned prominently by the chunni's in both Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions and When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace.

Personally, I don't find it all that surprising, nor do I expect it to go away any time soon. Norse mythology is a deep pantheistic tradition--not unlike Greek mythology--but with a bit more focus on battles and war, and a bit less focus on the sex lives of the gods (modern soaps have nothing on Greek myths). All of that makes it great fodder for video game makers, authors, mangaka, and anime producers. And at this point, there is enough of a tradition of using it, that it has begun to self-perpetuate; which allows, for instance, SAO to reference Verdandi, Skuld, and Urd without much explanation of who they are.
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Posted 2/24/15
Norse mythology has long been in an element in anime and manga. One of my favorites is Oh My Goddess.

They will also borrow from Greco-Roman and other cultures mythology too. This allows them to throw in the exotic without offending anyone.
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43 / M / Canada
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Posted 2/24/15
and we have Loki appearing regular in Boku-Girl


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Posted 2/24/15 , edited 2/24/15
Toaru Majutsu no Index has been doing that for a while now too.
Especially the Kanzaki SS stories.
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Posted 2/24/15
I do think it's interesting that Norse myths seem to be the "go to" Western mythology in anime. I've a whole bunch of anime that uses or references Norse myths. (Is this a Zombie? references Mistilteinn, Familiar of Zero references Gandalfr.) But I can only think of 2 anime I've seen (off the top of my head) that make use of other mythologies. Durarara!! of course has a Dullahan (but the actual mythology is almost incidental to the story) and Campione! made use of a lot of Greek myths as well as a bit of Persian. Makes me wonder what attracts Japanese storytellers so much to Norse mythology over any other.
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Posted 2/24/15
the Fate series uses mythology from all over the world.
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Posted 2/24/15

aidenraine wrote:

the Fate series uses mythology from all over the world.


That's true. I've only watched the first cour of UBW, but I've read about some of the identities of the servants. Still, I think it's hard to deny that the ratio is pretty lopsided.
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Posted 2/24/15 , edited 2/24/15

mythopoet wrote:

I do think it's interesting that Norse myths seem to be the "go to" Western mythology in anime. I've a whole bunch of anime that uses or references Norse myths. (Is this a Zombie? references Mistilteinn, Familiar of Zero references Gandalfr.) But I can only think of 2 anime I've seen (off the top of my head) that make use of other mythologies. Durarara!! of course has a Dullahan (but the actual mythology is almost incidental to the story) and Campione! made use of a lot of Greek myths as well as a bit of Persian. Makes me wonder what attracts Japanese storytellers so much to Norse mythology over any other.


yeah.. it tends towards norse and celtic. Rarely greek.

It might be just that there's more to relate to from the japanese perspective in celtic/norse myths and their cultures than greco-roman, which is what we in the west grew up learning.

Believe it or not, but one of the bigger areas for vintage scandinavian design, outside of the obvious areas with a large scandinavian culture, has been Japan. (it's related to one of my many jobs).

I wouldn't be surprised if there's just a lot of cultural overlap.... Kinda makes sense when you compare characters... Here was in fact, someone who did something like that from the celtic side when I searched for a comparison between Lugh and Susanoo. (not a perfect match, and I'm still hazy on their myths anyhow)https://themirrorbook.wordpress.com/tag/susanoo/
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Posted 2/24/15
Don't forget Kenichi, Mightiest Disciple.
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