Posted Nov 06, 2023 by Morgana Santilli
Lately, there has been a surge in popularity surrounding stories about the romance between the Greek god of the Underworld, Hades, and his spring goddess bride, Persephone. It’s hard to deny the appeal of a dark, brooding, lonely monarch and his bubbly, charismatic, enchanting queen. (Or at least, that’s how a lot of the stories spin it.)
But what if Hades didn’t want to get married? What if he claimed to be content with ruling over the Underworld without a consort at his side? What if he actively hated the idea of romance altogether? Makes for some pretty intriguing stuff, no? Especially when he’s been struck by the arrow of Eros, god of love, condemning him to fall in love with the first person he lays eyes upon!
So begins the first volume of Lord Hades’s Ruthless Marriage, a romantic comedy of (literally) mythical proportions. When Hades returns to the Underworld after a jaunt aboveground, he is blindfolded, with one of Eros’s arrows lodged in his forehead. His lack of interest in romance leads him to announce that whosoever can remove the arrow from his forehead will be granted a wish. Then, retiring to his chambers to be alone, he safely removes his blindfold—or so he thinks!
Kore, a young goddess who infiltrated the Underworld for reasons unknown to the reader, suddenly falls from the banister above Lord Hades. The two lock eyes, the arrow disappears, and...nothing happens! Hades feels no immediate love for this girl, and so agrees to grant her wish for removing the arrow from his head. Her wish? That Lord Hades finds a queen (but definitely not her).
Thus, Hades must agree to marriage, though he figures romance hardly has to enter into the deal. Soon, all of Olympos is trying to set Hades up with one woman after the other, while wily Kore sneaks around Hades’s castle, leaving flowers—and mayhem—in her wake.
Lord Hades’s Ruthless Marriage is the kind of romantic comedy I’ve been seeking for a long time, one with equal parts hilarity and heart. I admit to being a bit of a mythology nerd, so seeing the Greek goddesses (and other mythological figures, like Medusa) parading themselves before Hades for a chance at his hand is like a hilarious who’s who of the pantheon. Zeus and Poseidon are the antithesis of their brooding brother Hades, bro-ey muscleheads who love women and enjoy having a good time.
And Lord Hades... Where do I begin? His character falls into a favorite trope of mine: the long-haired, beautiful, tortured man who has thrown up emotional walls to protect himself from getting hurt. The mischievous Kore is a perfect foil, her wide-eyed, open face and larger-than-life movements contrasting the staid King of the Underworld beautifully. As the story progresses, the reader is left to wonder just how these two very different entities will work together to achieve their goal of getting Hades hitched.
Ueji Yuho’s art is clean and modern, but also has that classic shoujo feel, with copious floral details, dramatic encounters, and creative character designs. (Eros is a particular favorite, with his heart-shaped bangs and shameless...underpants? Jockstrap? Whatever it is, it’s amazing.)
So if you like Greek mythology, harem romcoms, and/or zany mischief perpetrated by romance-obsessed busybodies, I can’t recommend Lord Hades’s Ruthless Marriage enough. The first volume’s release is just around the corner on November 21; don’t miss out on one of the funniest and most harebrained manga of the year!