Hermes: Winds of Love
In ancient Greece, a hero named Hermes will arise. Over the years he will find love with Aphrodite, friendship with Thesus, and conflict with the menacing king Minos. Hermes tale isn't simply that of a warrior though. He'll also have to develop as a scholar in spiritual strength. Only then will Hermes be able to truly defeat Minus, who now rules the underworld.
Hermes: Winds of Love isn't exactly a tale from Greek mythology, nor a mythological perspective either. It's a psychedelic interpretation mixing both. I expected an action / love epic, but didn't expect a tale strangely prophetic and philosophical. In fact this anime does a lot of weird stuff that bucks pretty much every trend you might expect in an anime. It has a style akin to that of a western animated film. It deals with western civilization topics. There's are two musical style songs in the beginning, including Aphrodite singing accompanied by imagery of her riding dolphins. (I was a bit worried this was a musical in the beginning). You're on this site to read reviews on anime, so this is probably not the kind of title you're looking for.
On a film budget, this one has consistent attractive designs, and attention to detail. The animation isn't noteworthy aside from the occasional stand out visuals. It's attractive, but lacking the artistic panache to make it worth viewing for that alone (and there are anime titles that can get away with that). Characters are essentially cliche heroes and damsels. They're perfectly suited to this title, but are incapable of carrying the title past the weak story. The story isn't terrible, but wanders aimlessly from start to "finish", making the whole film feel lost. After half an hour of Hermes getting a guided tour of the afterlife, he gets to see the underworld. I figured this was the point things had built towards, until everything is quickly resolved by ridiculous divine plot convenience nonsense.
I may not criticise the differences between story and mythology, but I am the kind who nitpicks on details. When rescuing Aphrodite, Hermes is pursued by Greek warships, which could surround it, ram it and punch a hole in the side, board his vessel. Instead they stop... and use archers. Why does king Minos swear to destroy puny Crete, but fail to do so in the 25 years Hermes grows up? How can Hermes serenade Aphrodite through a 5 minute song, but it isn't until he's finished that a guard bursts out a door and yell "Is someone out there?"
It's amazing I wasn't bored to death watching this. I probably should have been. The "end" didn't sit well with me. When asking myself "what in the hell was the show about", I realized I had no idea. Hermes: Winds of Love has a few things going for it. It's spiritual and weird. Watching this anime is probably awesome if you're high. For those of us without chemical assistance, it's too much of a mess to recommend.
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reviewed by archen in 2020