Powerhouse Animation, the studio behind Netflix's original anime series such as Castlevania and Seis Manos, has returned with another original entry in their anime line up with Blood of Zeus. Taking on names and stories from Greek mythology with series creators Charley and Vlas Parlapanides, Blood of Zeus offers a brutal anime take on these classic adventures and characters. With its contemporaries already making an impact on Netflix with anime fans and developing cult followings of their own, the pressure increases with each new project from this studio to somehow "meet" the level of what has come before. Thankfully, Blood of Zeus holds firm.
Blood of Zeus offers a rare perspective on Greek gods, monsters, and mythology for anime in general, but rather than be bogged down by the pressure of this or the pressure of being a follow up to Powerhouse Animation's other killer projects, Blood of Zeus is a striking and fun experience when it all wraps.
Blood of Zeus, like its title suggests, follows Heron, a young man who finds out that he's actually the illegitimate son of the Greek God Zeus. As one would expect from operatic mythology stories like this, the rest of the Gods don't appreciate Zeus' attitude toward his son (who he's kept hidden away for years) and soon Heron gets wrapped up in a massive fight between the Gods, their enemies, and even more surprising creatures as the series rolls on.
Like Castlevania and Seis Manos before it, Blood of Zeus delivers on that high intensity violence and gore that made the other two special. Due to the grandiose nature of the characters and their designs, however, this violence is taken to a fun new level as the scope of the fights have been taken to a new degree with varied monster fights sprinkled in throughout the one on one battles we get throughout. While there can be a few moments of stiffness due to the elaborate character design, nothing is jarring enough to kick you out of the experience entirely.
But the fight scenes, violence, and aesthetic would not mean anything without the substance backing it up. Blood of Zeus has that in spades. Tapping into the drama already inherent in this mythology, Blood of Zeus spins a web of intrigue as characters continue to make their alliances known throughout various events and fights. With a familial story at its core, Blood of Zeus intensifies its clashes with the seeds of distrust planted through entertaining dialogue that teases a much larger world than we see in the episodes.
The cast behind the series excellently brings Blood of Zeus to life as well. While Derek Phillips is indeed the anchor of the series as Heron, the real standout of the series has to be Jason O' Mara's Zeus. Often getting some of the best lines in the series (and arguably the character that gets the most engaging story overall), the team behind the series makes sure that the "Zeus" in Blood of Zeus is entertaining from the inside out.
Blood of Zeus comes in the wake of several of Netflix's original anime efforts, and is a great example of the kind of fun experimentation a strong idea can bring to the medium. Carving out a path unique from its contemporaries, Blood of Zeus has kicked open the door to a whole new world of anime for Netflix.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Blood of Zeus releases on Netflix October 27th.