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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Yu-Gi-Oh! & 9 Other Anime That Incorporated Egyptian Mythology

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Egyptian mythology has inspired writers and artists since antiquity, and anime has made a few references to the gods and ancient legends of the North African country. Characters might encounter Egyptian gods or similar mythical figures. In fact, some characters might even turn out to be said gods themselves.

Of course, even when anime and manga creators do the research, stories often take quite a few liberties with what the ancient Egyptians believed. Granted, with Ancient Egypt’s history of merging kingdoms, there’s rarely a standard version of a single myth. Interestingly enough, while it technically has origins in Egyptian history, the idea of undead mummies isn’t really Egyptian in origin at all. Its origins can be traced back to European colonizers and Hollywood wanting a new type of monster.

10 Yu-Gi-Oh!: Seto Kaiba Is Even Named After The God Set

Egypt plays a huge part in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series. Yami Yugi, Yugi’s alter-ego and the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle, is the ghost of an Egyptian Pharaoh named Atem.

Some of the characters correspond to Egyptian gods. Yugi’s rival, Seto Kaiba, is named in honor of Set, the wicked brother of Osiris and the god of evil. Ishizu Ishtar gets her name from two goddesses: the Egyptian Isis and the Mesopotamian Ishtar. Some gods are the namesake of cards, like “The Winged Dragon of Ra.”

9 Im Great Priest Imhotep: There Are Even Anubis Puppies

Imhotep Manga

In the shonen manga Im Great Priest Imhotep, a young Egyptian priest, the titular Imhotep, is magically banished to the present day, where he is tasked with ending the rule of an antagonistic king, Djoser, who also happened to be his former best friend.

Characters from various mythologies, like Greek, Japanese, and Egyptian, appear and are called Magai. That said, some artistic liberty is taken with certain figures. Anubis, originally the singular jackal-headed god of mummification, now refers to a race of lesser dog-like gods. In fact, one such Anubis puppy serves as the mascot of the series.

8 Ouke No Monshou: The Story Involves Time Travel To Ancient Egypt

In Ouke no Monshou, a long-running historical fiction manga, Carol Lido, an American girl, finds herself sent back in time to Ancient Egypt, where she falls in love with the handsome young prince Memphis after finding his cursed tomb in the present.

Carol’s exotic looks get her mistaken for a goddess, and references to Egyptian mythology appear throughout the series. For example, Memphis’s villainous sister, Isis, is named for the Egyptian goddess of fertility. Carol’s story of a foreigner turned slave who marries the king of Egypt might also remind some readers of the figure of Rhodopis, who is said to have won the love of such an Egyptian king after finding her sandal.

7 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: The Egypt 9 Glory Gods Named Their Stands After Egyptian Gods

Anubis controlled the minds of his users

In the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise, the Egypt 9 Glory Gods are nine members of DIO’s inner circle, patterned on the Egyptian gods.

Their Stands are named for the Egyptian gods: Geb for N’Doul, Khnum for Oingo, Thoth for Boingo, Bastet for Mariah, Sethan for Alessi, Osiris for Daniel J. D’Arby, Horus for Pet Shop, Atum for Telence T. D’Arby, and Anubis Anubis appears as a malevolent Stand possessing a blade as well as anyone who holds it.

6 Dragon Ball: Beerus & Champa Were Both Inspired By Egyptian Gods

In the Dragon Ball franchise, Beerus and Champa, both of whom are gods of destruction as well as twin brothers, take inspiration from Egyptian gods. They have been compared to both Anubis, the jackal-headed mummification god, and Sekhmet, the lioness-headed goddess of vengeance and divine punishment. Their cat-like heads appear to be a compromise between the two aforementioned beasts.

Another god of destruction, the rather humanoid Heles, also appears to have been inspired by Egyptian culture, being based on Egyptian royals, like Cleopatra and Nefertiti.

5 Kamigami No Asobi: Thoth & Anubis Are In High School Learning About Love

In this visual novel turned anime Kamigami no Asobi, Yui Kusanagi is an average schoolgirl who finds herself sent to another world with gods of various cultures. She is tasked with attending a high school where she will teach these various gods about love.

In addition to figures from Greek, Japanese, and Norse mythology, it also includes Anubis and Thoth from Egyptian mythology.

4 Beyblade: A Few Egyptian Gods Have Been Name-Dropped In The Series

Beyblade Anubis

In the Beyblade series, there have been quite a few references to Ancient Egyptian gods. Beyblade: Metal Fury introduced the Beyblade Mercury Anubius, named in honor of the aforementioned jackal-headed Egyptian god. The same god is also the namesake of the Acid Anubis Yell Orbit Beyblade.

In Beyblade: Metal Masters, the Beyblade Vulcan Horuseus is not only named in honor of Horus, the falcon-headed god, his owner is even named Nile, possibly as a nod to the Nile River.

3 Sailor Moon: A Sailor Scout Based On Astarte Appears In The Musicals

Sailor Astarte

Sailor Moon already borrows heavily from Greco-Roman mythology, but the musicals throw Egyptian mythology into the mix with Sailor Astarte, the Sailor Scout of the “New Moon.” Unfortunately, her story ends tragically, with her being consumed by the dark forces.

While Astarte is usually thought of as a Phoenician goddess, evidence shows that she actually did have worshippers in Egypt as well, where she was seen as a warrior goddess and a possible daughter of Ra, the sun god. In some circles, she was also equated with Isis.

2 Oh, Suddenly Egyptian God: Thoth Even Gets A Magical Girl Transformation

Oh Suddenly Egyptian Gods

Oh, Suddenly Egyptian God is a rather short anime revolving around the Egyptian gods, who have now been redesigned as cute characters, usually the animals they traditionally represent.

Because of the animal theme, most of the more humanoid gods do not appear in the series, with the ghost-like Medjed serving as an exception. Looking at their daily lives, the series takes some liberties with the gods, from Wenet being changed from female to male to Thoth having a magical girl transformation. On the other hand, some details, like Medjed’s ability to shoot light beams from his eyes, are taken straight from the actual myths.

1 Pop Team Epic: Popuko Turns Into Medjed

Pop Team Epic Medjed

During the opening sequence for Pop Team Epic, Popuko and Pipimi transform into beings from various cultures. For Egypt, Pipimi becomes Cleopatra and Popuko becomes the ghost-like god Medjed. While Medjed was normally drawn from the front, Popuko’s version is normally seen from the side. A trading card with the girls in this form was released showing Popuko’s Medjed from the front.

Because of this, and the song alluding to “a geometrical pattern of destruction and creation,” some fans have come up with the theory that Popuko and Pipimi are indeed gods or beings that might have been worshipped as such in the past.

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John Witiw (413 Articles Published)

Hello, my name is John Witiw, and you may remember me as a writer for Viral Pirate, Frontrunner Magazine, or Co-Ed, but now I’m here for CBR! Feel free to suggest stories you’d like to see at johnwitiw@yahoo.com!

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