The myth of Hades and Persephone belongs to the Grecian pantheon, and though some details change depending on who is doing the telling, the core story is the same. Hades is a sad, lonely god of death and the underworld. When he sees the sweet Persephone, goddess of spring, in the mortal realm, he whisks her away to his land of the dead.
Such a decision does not go without consequences, of course, and Persephone’s mother, Demeter, goddess of the harvest, goes into despair at the loss of her daughter, bringing a winter blight over the mortal realm. Hades and Persephone is an origin story about the changing seasons, but it endures in modern storytelling partly because of how Hades and Persephone each have what the other does not. Where Persephone represents humanity, naïveté, and growing things, Hades is her morose mirror opposite. It’s always a good story when opposites align.
10 Hades Battles With Athena Over The Fate Of Human Kind
Audiences who enjoy depictions of Hades as an antagonist, which he is quite understandably is to Demeter, will enjoy his role in Saint Seiya. Though there is some vague mention of his wife in one of the Saint Seiya games, Hades has no romance arc in the animated series.
Rather than butting heads with his mother-in-law, Demeter, like in the myth, Saint Seiya‘s Hades is Athena’s foe. Athena, the goddess of wisdom and battle, wants to watch over the earth and humankind, while Hades wants to eradicate it.
9 Satan Is Stuck In The Human World
The Devil Is A Part-Timer!
If the roles were reversed and Hades came to live in the mortal world for half the year rather than the other way, it might look something like The Devil Is A Part-Timer!. The series, which follows Satan after his fall, is much more comedic than the Hades and Persephone myth was ever intended to be.
Satan, also called Sadao, tries to make his way in the human world, where his demonic instincts don’t serve him quite the same, and he must assimilate the best he can. Emilia, the half-angel who drove him into exile, finds him, and they argue until they get to know each other away from battle.
8 Human Girl Sakura Can See Ghosts & Rinne Is A Soul Reaper
Rin-Ne is a Shinigami anime with a romance subplot by Rumiko Takahashi, the creator of Inuyasha. Shinigami are personifications of death, and as one, it’s Rinne’s responsibility to usher people’s souls after they’ve died.
Just as Hades was often dismissed by other gods and so wanted the companionship of a wife, Sakura can see Rinne when others cannot because she has the ability to see ghosts and spirits. And like Persephone, as Sakura becomes a part of Rinne’s life, she learns about a world of death completely apart from her own.
7 Ririchiyo Wants To Venture Out Of Her Family Home
Inu X Boku SS
Demeter is a very protective mother, which is understandable in the world of ruthless Greek gods, and Ririchiyo is likewise sheltered by her family in Inu x Boku SS. Like Persephone in her garden with her bevy of nymph attendants, Ririchiyo enjoys a secure, privileged life. However, Ririchiyo struggles socially, and she wants to be more autonomous.
Ririchiyo was also drawn into a marriage contract that she didn’t choose. When she was engaged to a yokai, she was vehemently against it. The person she does form a genuine interest in is also a yokai, and he is as devoted to her as the more optimistic portrayals of Hades with his wife.
6 Aoi Owes A Wily Yokai A Debt
Bed And Breakfast For Spirits
Aoi can see yokai in Bed and Breakfast for Spirits. In some versions, Persephone pulled at the roots of an ugly bush she disfavored and accidentally summoned Hades, who would later draw her into a deal to be his wife for six months of the year by tricking her into eating pomegranate seeds. Aoi similarly gets drawn into a deal with a yokai by doing something seemingly innocuous — sharing food with him.
Like Hades, the yokai whisks Aoi away to his realm and first suggests that she become his wife to fulfill a debt her family has to him. Instead, Aoi bargains with him. Rather than becoming his wife, she becomes an employee at his bed and breakfast inn.
5 Aileen Wants To Marry The Demon Lord
I’m The Villainess, So I’m Taming The Final Boss
If Persephone had higher personal stakes in her life before she met Hades and more of a sense of agency, she would perhaps be something like Aileen from I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss. Aileen is the kind of person that Persephone would be as she grew to become more like her mother’s example with the way she negotiates and takes charge of her situation.
Aileen is also taken away to a realm apart from her own, but partnering up with the powerful demon lord that lives there is her own idea. Aileen’s reasons aren’t exactly romantic, but more geared toward self-preservation. However, that doesn’t mean a romance isn’t out of the question, either.
4 Death Requires A Lot Of Paperwork, Which Hades Could Probably Sympathize With
Descendants Of Darkness
The tone of Descendants of Darkness really captures the morose and mundane everyday of Hades’ job overseeing the souls in the underworld, away from everyone else alive. The series is about soul reapers who keep tabs on the dead, ensuring that their spirits stay where they’re supposed to be. As it turns out, it’s a job that requires a lot of paperwork.
Like Hades, Tsuzuki also has a lot of trouble holding on to a friend. Shinigami are supposed to work in pairs, but Tsuzuki hasn’t had much success with keeping a partner.
3 Hades Is Drawn To Yui Despite His Reservations
Play Of Gods
Play of Gods draws from several pantheons, including Grecian, Egyptian, and Japanese. It has its own interpretation of the Greek god of the dead, Hades Aidoneus. Aideneus is a nod to Hades’ alternate name, which means “unseen” because of the taboo surrounding speaking of the god of the underworld.
The Hades Aidoneus of Play of Gods does indeed think of himself as unseen because he believes himself to be untouchable, cursed as he is with misfortune. That wall starts to crumble a bit when he develops feelings for the human protagonist, Yui.
2 A Rejected God Finds Solace With A Devoted Ghost King
Heaven Official’s Blessing
Heaven Official’s Blessing is a heartwarming and unapologetic romance about a god who is expelled from heaven and the ghost king who’s loved him from afar for a long time. Like Hades and his legendary brothers, the ghost king Hua Cheng is one of the Four Great Calamities, notorious ghost figures.
Xie Lian is closer to humanity than the ghost king is, as is Persephone. But unlike the goddess of spring, he’s not wanted among the bosom of the gods. Persephone was taken from the human realm and out of her goddess mother’s reign, and Xie Lian was banished and alone until he ran into Hua Cheng.
1 Demonic Prince Jin Courts An Assassin
The Demonic King Who Chases His Wife
The protagonist of The Demonic King Who Chases His Wife is not naive and sheltered like Persephone is often depicted as, but rather an accomplished assassin. After Su Luo dies, she’s reborn and attracts the attention of a powerful and ruthless demonic tyrant, Prince Jin.
As Demeter would have her daughter do if she had her druthers, Su Luo runs from her new, otherworldly suitor. Prince Jin insists that she stay with him and that they will be perfect together because their bloodthirsty natures are so similar.
NEXT: 8 Anime That Incorporate Greek Mythology
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