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- Part 8 -

Part 8

Mythology - Mahar island - Olympic Games - The myth of Atlantis by Plato - Jules Verne

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Mythology in "Nadia"

Sometimes, in the series, there are references to a few mythological stories...Let's see:

Némésis : It's not only Gargoyle's real name. That's also how the Greek goddess of revenge and punishment was called. She was daughter of Zeus and the Night.

The World: an Indian myth tells about a disk, set on four elephants which are set on a turtle, all surrounded by a snake that is biting its tail. What does this myth remind you if not Jean's nightmare (the essence of the opposition between natural and industrial worlds), on the left?


Mahar island:

{Marie} I was born in Marseilles, France on April 10, 1885. But I don't remember anyhing about Marseilles. Right after I was born, my family moved to Mahar (Mahale) .

Mahar or Mahale, the island that hides a NeoAtlantis base (episode 5), doens't exist in reality, but Marie specify it's part of Cape Verde (Green Cape) archipelago. [N.B: Marie's speech, above, is incomplete; she does mentione Cape Verde]. This group of volcanic islands is located near Mauritania, in Afric, south of Tropic of Cancer.

Flying over the island, Jean thinks that mountain looks like a mine but, once destroyed the base, the crater seems to erupt as a volcano.


Olympic Games

Eaton (Ayrton) mentiones the ancient Olympic Games while trying to solve the quarrel between Sanson and Hanson.

The Olympic Games begun at Olympia in Greece in 776 BC. The Greek calendar was based on the Olympiad, the four-year period between games. The ancient Greeks were highly competitive and believed strongly in the concept of "agon", or "competition" or "contest".

The ultimate Greek goal was to be the best. All aspects of life, especially athletics, were centered around this concept. It was therefore considered one of the greatest honors to win a victory at Olympia. The fact that the only prize given at Olympia was an olive wreath illustrates this point. The athletes competed for honor, not for material goods.

They were banned in AD 394 but were revived and made international in 1896 thanks to Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The first of the modern Summer Games opened, to be exact, on Sunday, March 24, 1896, in Athens, Greece.


The myth of Atlantis by Plato

The story of Atlantis begins in the mind of a famous ancient philosopher, Plato.  He compiled the first written and perhaps the most detailed books about this topic: the Timeaus and the Critias.  These books contain dialogues between the philosophers of Plato's time, and include references, spoken only by Plato, to Atlantis and its legend. In particular, Critias describes in detail the creation of Atlantis (its rules, its life, and its culture) and the island's natural properties (abundance of various minerals, rich flora and fauna) as well.

Being the whole plot of "Nadia" centered on the myth of the lost continent, it's interesting to notice how Plato's works influenced the anime. Below you'll find a quick (and surely incomplete) list of elements that appears in "Nadia" and are surely inspired by Plato's books. If you're interested, I consuel you to read a few extracts from the Critias dialogue, clicking here

Jules Verne

Jules Verne was born in 1828, in Nates, France, and died in the city of Amines in 1905. He is probably the most widely read novelist in the world, being author of over one hundred novels, each of whom absolutely fresh and original in conception and scrupulously accurate in information. He was able to imagine scientific technology -for example the submarine Nautilus in "20.000 Leagues under the Sea"- long before the first plan had been drawn. As we all know, "Nadia" has been influenced by his works...

For example, it's obvious that, apart "20.000 Leagues Under the Sea" (Nemo, the Nautilus, the Abraham, sea monsters etc), even "Around the World in Eighty Days " inspired the idea for this anime. "Five Weeks in a Balloon" recalls Gratan's flight on African savannah; "The Floating Island " features a huge, self-moving artificial island (Red Noah? J) built by an utopistic and futuristic society. "Begum's Fortune" tells the story of a technocrat called Schultze who creates Stahlstadt, the "city of steel", a kind of enourmous foundry (do you recall episode 6?), building weapons and, especially, a huge cannon to destroy the pacific town of France-Ville. Schultze will die -mummified- by the explosion of one of his devices. Then, even if in "Two Year Vacation " Verne tells the story of a group of teens who manages to survive on a desert island without any adult, a reference to Nadia, Jean, Marie and King on Lincoln Island seems a coincidence. Or, at least, that part of the story is much more similar to the adventures of "The Mysterious Island ". Then ,what about "Master of the World"? The Gratan is pretty similar to Robour's "Epouvante": both can be used as terrestial/aerial/underwater vehicle, though Robour's one has mechanical wings to fly and not a balloon as Gratan's.

[Really thanks to Erik]

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