Netflix’s ‘Blood of Zeus’ Offers All the Spectacle You Could Want from Greek Mythology – Review
Anyone who is familiar with Greek mythology knows drama is always at a ten. The messiness on Mount Olympus is enough to fill endless seasons of your favorite reality TV show. Blood of Zeus is the latest attempt at exploring the complicated family dynamic of the Greek gods, and it might just be the Castlevania of Greek mythology; which is a really good thing for Netflix.
The latest Netflix anime series, from Immortals writing duo, Charley and Vlas Parlapanides, follows, Herron, a humble, young miner living with his outcast mother. As what happens in most of these tales, he suddenly discovers that he has great power when his town becomes threatened by raiding “demons.” Joining our protagonist on this journey of self-discovery, is the wise old man, Elias, who provides crucial history lessons to Herron, along with the tools to fight back. From Elias, we learn the backstory of the gods and their never-ending battles with Giants, who are monstrous descendants of the Titans. The emergence of the demons threaten to throw the world off balance and see the return of the Giants, which will spell doom for both the gods and humanity.
All these story beats seem incredibly familiar, especially if you’re familiar with their previous work, Immortals, yet what makes Blood of Zeus stand out is the strength it finds in animated storytelling. The design of the Giants are the prime example of this, each one displaying a unique and terrifying look that would send chills down the spines of even the most powerful gods. In addition, the show is able to create these spectacular action sequences that highlight the god’s powers in glorious stylized animation. Seeing Apollo the Sun god ride a flaming chariot tossing fireballs at the gruesome looking Giants, while Zeus chucks lightning bolts at them, is dazzling to say the least.
The creators were able to flex their theatrical muscles by showcasing what made the Greek gods sound so badass to begin with. The entire series runs on the engine of unrestrained extravagance. From the bombastic score, to the opening title, to the slow-mo fight scenes; it’s all dialed up to eleven. This doesn’t always work in cinema, but it fits perfectly in the anime genre. The over-the-top nature of anime opens the door wide open to these types of stories. If Netflix wanted a violent, non-stop display of Greek gods kicking ass, making it an animated series was definitely the best way to go.
However, one can only get so far with spectacle, the story and characters still have to be strong enough to carry an entire series. Thankfully, the show offers plenty of compelling characters along with that classic Greek mythos family drama. Although, Herron is the lead, there are plenty of other storylines that run alongside his “Hero’s Journey.” Alexia, for example, is an Amazonian warrior who plays the role of researcher, discovering key information while continually attempting to escape perilous scenarios. Still, the real tension remains on Olympus, where Zeus has incited a civil war, clashing against the jealous rage of Hera, who has created her own faction of loyal gods. As a fan of Greek mythology, a lot of the fun was seeing the characterization of each god and wondering which side they would choose.
Although, Blood of Zeus feels common (a downside of being part of the public consciousness since forever), the show delivers an incredibly entertaining action-adventure, filled with your favorite Greek gods. Netflix has found amazing success with Castlevania and perhaps they’ve found another anime hit with the plethora of stories that can come from Herron and the crew.
If you’ve ever watched Disney’s animated hit, Hercules, and thought to yourself, “This would be even more awesome if it was a gory, no-holds-barred anime,” then this is the perfect show for you.