Anime takes us to imaginative worlds beyond our own. And each series’ world integrates us into its world through detailed stories and imagery that sells the reality. We’re enamored by the original lore and mythology that comes with each new series.
And while plenty of anime feature all-new tales, there’s plenty based on mythology from our world! Writers often use different cultural or religious mythology, lore and text as the foundation for their work. They might even look to science or the stars for their inspiration!
While many anime series feature brand new tales, there are still some that are based on the mythology of our world! Writers use different cultural or religious mythology, lore, and text as a foundation for their work. They even look to the science and tales of the stars for inspiration.
So, we’ve hit the books, unearthed the tales and charted the stars to share some celestial anime that feature real-world mythology, lore and astrology! Let’s jump in.
Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
Saint Seiya might be the most obvious choice when you think about anime based on astrology. After all, they are warriors based on the Zodiac.
Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas is special not just because it features astrological warriors, but because it also features Greek mythology. This spin-off series in the long-standing franchise centers around an epic war between Athena, the Goddess of War and Hades, the Ruler of the Underworld. These omnipotent beings engage in a Holy War, with Earth as the battlefield.
Tenma, our Pegasus Saint, must not only save his friend who was seduced by Hades, but also the world from collateral damage in a war it didn’t start. Humans are an unlucky species, am I right?
Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas is not the franchise’s first time incorporating other mythology, previously featuring Irish folklore, Aztec gods, and even the Korean nine-tailed fox. But, if you’re looking for fight scenes of Herculean proportions, this is the one to watch.
Watch Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas on Funimation!
Speaking of the Chinese Zodiac, the ever-popular Fruits Basket also leverages it for its narrative, bringing to life the 12 symbols represented by animals and determined by your birth year.
In this series, characters are bound by a curse to spend eternity together, no matter how many times they reincarnate. This is based on multiple variations of the Legend of the Zodiac, with Fruits Basket having 13 animals, with the cast (Kyo) as the addition.
Each of these 13 characters turn into their respective animal forms when hugged by a member of the opposite sex, except when that person is also a member of the Zodiac. With romance abound, you could see how this could become an issue.
Fruits Basket is not only a great watch because of how it brings the Zodiac to life, but because it’s a rich story filled with drama, comedy, romance and plenty of tear-jerking moments.
Watch Fruits Basket on Funimation!
SAIYUKI RELOAD BLAST
SAIYUKI RELOAD BLAST is another series that combines different lore and mythology for its plot, though it is primarily based on the Chinese novel, Journey to the West.
An important piece of Chinese literature, Journey to the West depicts the fantastic journey of a Buddhist monk named Xuanzang, as he encounters beings like the Monkey King, a Pig Monk and even a Dragon Horse.
If that rings a bell and you’ve watched SAIYUKI RELOAD BLAST, that’s because its characters follows the same basis, as this team of four riders in a green Jeep (white dragon) journey to India to accomplish their task of defeating demons in Shangri-La.
Sure, the series takes some liberties in combining modern technology with traditional Chinese imagery, but Journey to the West is a timeless story and the perfect basis for this unique anime series.
Watch SAIYUKI RELOAD BLAST on Funimation!
Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits-
Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- is an incredibly adorable series about Aoi Tsubaki who is held responsible for her grandfather’s debt following his death. But the debt collector isn’t a typical loan shark, it’s an ogre named Odanna.
Without the money to pay off his debt, Odanna asks for Aoi’s hand in marriage. Turning him down, she decided to work in a bed and breakfast…for spirits.
It’s up to Aoi to take care of and serve spirits from Japanese folklore and mythology as they visit the establishment. There’s a Nine-Tailed Fox, a Dog God, a Tsuchigumo demon and even a Hakutaki, a cow-like beast from Chinese folklore.
The comfy setting of the bed and breakfast allows these beings to interact with one another, and since they don’t typically do so in their legends, where else can you see a legendary thunder beast, a kappa and a tengu enjoy a relaxing bath or sip on some tea?
Watch Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- on Funimation!