Animanga: Norsevember Edition

Hello!

Today I am belatedly kicking off #Norsevember on the blog with a look at the admittedly small amount of Norse-themed or inspired anime, and there are a couple on this list that are stretching that definition. I was surprised when looking at ones that I had watched, and talking with the Anime Society I am a member of to realise just how few there are, as I would have thought that (and would argue that) there is so much material to cover between the mythology and history.

Vinland Saga – 24 Episodes (2019)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Historical, Seinan

Vinland Saga (TV Series 2019) - IMDb

Young Thorfinn grew up listening to the stories of old sailors that had traveled the ocean and reached the place of legend, Vinland. It’s said to be warm and fertile, a place where there would be no need for fighting—not at all like the frozen village in Iceland where he was born, and certainly not like his current life as a mercenary. War is his home now. Though his father once told him, “You have no enemies, nobody does. There is nobody who it’s okay to hurt,” as he grew, Thorfinn knew that nothing was further from the truth.

The war between England and the Danes grows worse with each passing year. Death has become commonplace, and the viking mercenaries are loving every moment of it. Allying with either side will cause a massive swing in the balance of power, and the vikings are happy to make names for themselves and take any spoils they earn along the way. Among the chaos, Thorfinn must take his revenge and kill Askeladd, the man who murdered his father. The only paradise for the vikings, it seems, is the era of war and death that rages on.

(For the last Animanga of November on the 27th I will be reviewing/diving into this one)

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Taiyou no Ouji: Horus no Daibouken (The Little Norse Prince) – Film (1968)

Genres: Adventure, Drama, Magic

Watch The Little Norse Prince | Prime Video

Horus is a boy that one day, hunted by silver wolves, found the sword of the sun. The day his father died he left his home to find the people from the town his father told him. Together with a small bear named Koro he starts the journey and runs into a great adventure fighting against Grunwald and his subordinates who want to rule the world.

(It’s been a long time since I watched this one, so I will be trying to fit in a rewatch and possibly a review later this month – in between watching The Last Kingdom and Vikings)

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Matantei Loki Ragnarok (Mythical Detective Loki Ragnorok) – 26 Episodes (2003)

Genres: Comedy, Magic, Mystery, Shounen, Supernatural

Loki, the Norse god of mischief, has been exiled to the human world for what was apparently a bad joke. Along with being exiled, he’s forced to take the form of a child. He’s told the only way he can get back to the world of the gods is if he can collect auras of evil that take over human hearts, and so to do this he runs a detective agency. Loki is soon joined by a human girl named Mayura who is a maniac for mysteries, and she soon helps out in her own way. However, soon other Norse gods begin to appear, and most have the intent to assassinate Loki for reasons unclear.

(This was the most common recommendation when I reached out to the Anime Society for help with this list, so I haven’t watched this one myself)

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Kamigami no Asobi – 12 Episodes (2014)

Genres: Harem, Supernatural, Romance, Fantasy, Shoujo

Kamigami no asobi (TV Mini-Series 2014– ) - IMDb

After discovering a mysterious sword in the storehouse of her home, third-year high school student Yui Kusanagi finds herself suddenly transported to a different world. While exploring her new surroundings, she meets five strange yet handsome men before coming face to face with Zeus: the king of the gods.

In order to restore the deteriorating relationship between the gods and humans, Zeus has created the Academy of the gods and has chosen Yui to be its one and only instructor. She has one year to educate the young and reluctant deities—including the five strangers she met earlier—on what it means to be human while learning about the gods herself; otherwise, they will all be trapped in Zeus’ realm forever.

(Thor, Loki and Balder)

(I absolutely love this one, but it is not strictly Norse – because while it does have three Norse Gods pictured above, it also features Greek, Japanese and Egyptian Gods. Still, it’s a fun anime and I was glad I could sneak it onto this list)

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Aa! Megami-sama! (Ah! My Goddess) – 24 Episodes (2005)

Genres: Comedy, Supernatural, Magic, Romance, Seinen

Aa Megamisama (TV Series 2005– ) - IMDb

In a world where humans can have their wish granted via the Goddess Help Hotline, a human, Keiichi Morisato, summons the Goddess Belldandy by accident and jokes that she should stay with him forever. Unfortunately for him, his “wish” is granted.

Suddenly, Keiichi is now living with this gorgeous woman all alone, causing him to be kicked out of the all-male dormitory he was staying in. But soon, after they find lodging in a Buddhist temple, Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship begins to blossom. Although they are both awkward and rather uncomfortable with one another at first, what awaits these two strangers could turn out to be an unexpected romance.

(This was another one that was recommended by people in the Anime Society, and one I haven’t watched although it has been on my list for a while. As with Kamigami no Asobi, it stretches the boundaries a little, but it does have Norse/Norse-inspired Goddesses so here it is)

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Kenpuu Denki Beserk (Beserk) – 25 Episodes (1997-1998)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Military, Romance, Seinen, Supernatural.

Berserk (TV Series 1997–1998) - IMDb

Born from the corpse of his mother, a young mercenary known only as Guts, embraces the battlefield as his only means of survival. Day in and day out, putting his life on the line just to make enough to get by, he moves from one bloodshed to the next.

After a run-in with the Band of the Hawk, a formidable troop of mercenaries, Guts is recruited by their charismatic leader Griffith, nicknamed the “White Hawk.” As he quickly climbed the ranks in order to become the head of the offensive faction, Guts proves to be a mighty addition to Griffith’s force, taking Midland by storm. However, while the band’s quest for recognition continues, Guts slowly realizes that the world is not as black-and-white as he once assumed.

Set in the medieval era, Kenpuu Denki Berserk is a dark, gritty tale that follows one man’s struggle to find his own path, while supporting another’s lust for power, and the unimaginable tragedy that begins to turn the wheels of fate.

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Beserk – 12 Episodes (2016)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Military, Romance, Seinen, Supernatural.

Beruseruku (TV Series 2016–2017) - IMDb

Now branded for death and destined to be hunted by demons until the day he dies, Guts embarks on a journey to defy such a gruesome fate, as waves of beasts relentlessly pursue him. Steeling his resolve, he takes up the monstrous blade Dragonslayer and vows to exact vengeance on the one responsible, hunting down the very man he once looked up to and considered a friend.

Along the way, he encounters some unlikely allies, such as a small elf named Puck, and Isidro, a young thief looking to learn swordsmanship from the former mercenary. As the ragtag group slowly comes together after having decided to join Guts in his quest, they will face incredible danger unlike anything they have ever experienced before.

(Wherever I looked for more anime for this list Beserk cropped up, so I have included it here. Again this isn’t one I’ve seen although I intended to – most likely the original – but everything I’ve read and seen suggests that it takes at least some inspiration from Norse Mythology – and of course Berserk(ers) brings to mind Norse stories)

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As I said, some tenuous Norse connections in some of these. Have you seen any of these? What are your favourite Norse/Norse-inspired anime and any recommendations for others that I should check out or that I have missed from this list?

Rowena

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