The newest Netflix original anime is Blood Of Zeus, a visually stunning series about the Greek Gods. The story features the domestic troubles of the Gods on Olympus, namely Zeus and his wife Hera. After discovering Zeus’ illegitimate half-mortal son Herod, Hera launches a plan to destroy him, and the world along with it. The anime series is an interesting watch as it has some amazing animation from Powerhouse Animation. However, while enjoyable to watch, there are some problems with Blood Of Zeus anime that made me raise an eyebrow. Story issues that hopefully the series will correct going forward.
So here are the 6 problems with Blood Of Zeus anime that season 2 can address.
Note: This article will heavily feature spoilers from Blood Of Zeus anime season 1. So check out my spoiler-free review of the first season, then return back here once you’ve seen the show.
The Greek Mythology Elements of the Anime Are Problematic
Serial cheater | Image via Netflix.
This problem with Blood Of Zeus has more to do with the source material than the anime series. In various media, even prior to the anime, Zeus’s representation was always of a womanizing God who has sired many sons with mortal women throughout their mythological history. His most famous son being Hercules, whom we’ve also seen represented in countless media. So when Zeus in Blood Of Zeus is trying to be remorseful, sympathetic, and lovelorn to his wife Hera and his son Herod, it all feels kind of empty. (This is to say nothing of the problematic ways in which he goes about seducing these human women in the original myths.)
A monologue halfway through season 1 has Zeus confessing to Herod that he doesn’t know how to be a father. This is Zeus, by the way, literally the father to countless other Gods on Olympus, like Apollo and Hermes, as well as father to countless non-Gods on Earth, as mentioned before. So any sympathy meant from his confession of why he basically abandoned his son and his mother to live a life of poverty and turmoil, fails completely. And on top of this, his professions of love to Hera subsequently, and even the flirty self-sacrifice in the end, all feel hollow, knowing that he’s a serial cheater. And Zeus’ past deeds also create another issue with the main villain of the series.
Hera has Been Through This Countless Times
Hell hath no fury… | Image via Netflix.
Zeus’ wife Hera’s motivation in the new Blood Of Zeus anime is basically that of a woman scorned. Finding out about Zeus’ bastard half-mortal son sends her over the edge. So she plots her revenge, by manipulating the lesser villain Seraphim, in order to release the Gods’ greatest foes, the Giants. She basically wants to destroy Zeus. It also paints her as a villain after she was the one wronged, which plays into problematic tropes about women characters. And, given how many times Zeus has cheated on her, it begs the question; why now?
Hera seems aware that this isn’t the first time Zeus has been unfaithful to her. Zeus even references Hercules at one point, so you have to assume that his story is canon in this world. So why does she choose the revelation of Herod to be the time that she decides to get her vengeance? Knowing how often she’s suffered through this before, dilutes her experience in this show. But, I guess you can also make the argument that this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. But I wish there was more to Hera than what we got.
Lack Of Women Is a Huge Problem With Blood Of Zeus Anime
The mother of all tropes | Image via Netflix.
One of the larger, glaringly obvious problems with Blood Of Zeus anime is the representation of women. The entire series has three women with speaking parts. Firstly there’s Herod’s mother who gets killed very early in season 1, to advance Herod’s story. Then there’s Alexia, who appears in the beginning, again in the middle, and then briefly in the end. And lastly, the largest female role is Hera’s, who is basically the big-bad of the series.
And even the depiction of Hera as a villain is outrageous, given she is the victim of Zeus’ infidelity. How long can a woman who is literally a God, suffer the disrespect of her husband cheating on her repeatedly through the ages? At some point, she’s going to break. I hope season 2 does a better job of female representation in the show, beyond plot devices for the hero, minor side roles, or villains.
Another Problem with Blood of Zeus Anime Is Not Enough Gods
Image via Netflix.
For a series that’s meant to be epic and grand, Blood Of Zeus feels very small. It’s because all the major players are but a handful of characters, whom we see again and again. The other supporting roles are very minor, briefly on screen, and provide absolutely no value, despite how amazing they could be. When Hera forces the Gods to choose between her and Zeus, his other sons, Appolo + Hermes go with him. For a series that also supposedly explores the father-son relationship between Herod and Zeus, there’s nothing about his relationship with his existing sons.
There’s a breathtaking shot near the end that features all the major Gods on Olympus, but none of them speak. The show could’ve been better served if these Gods had something to contribute to in the show, other than just being set dressing.
Demons and Their ‘Religion’ Was Underdeveloped
Image via Netflix.
Despite Blood of Zeus’ 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, some elements of the world was underdeveloped. Initially, Seraphim and his demons seemed like they believed in the Giants as Gods, similar to the Gods of Olympus. That was what made them challenge the existing Gods, with Gods of their own. But that perspective doesn’t appear anywhere else after the first 2 episodes. The demons are just cannon fodder in the larger battle scene in the end. Even when the Giants fully return, thanks to Seraphim’s actions as planned by Hera, there’s no interaction between them. Seraphim, supposedly their herald, doesn’t even react when the Gods he believes in come back to life in front of him.
I’m hoping that these problems with Blood Of Zeus anime are less lack of development, and more intentionally scarce for a larger epic in season 2. The makers can fix much of this with tweaks to the existing story, the addition of more characters, and an overall story that is more rounded out and not singular in its focus. Not to be presumptuous, at all.
Season 1 of Blood Of Zeus is now streaming on Netflix.
Did you have any of these problems with Blood Of Zeus season 1? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.