Posts Tagged ‘anime’

I love Asian based horror stories as much as any story, they are wonderfully ingenious and make fantastic horror films, though I cannot say I always like the Western remakes as they sometimes miss the reason they were scary as they budget up and add in CGI none the less….

There’s a tale that a young woman who fell on to a railway line was cut in two by an oncoming train, becoming a vengeful spirit she is armed with a scythe and travels on her hands or elbows, she makes the strange tek-tek noise and anyone too slow that encounters her at night is cut in half, mimicking her own fate.

The legend says s school boy walking home saw a beautiful girl resting herself against a windowsill, he was wondering what she was doing at the all-boys group but he couldn’t ask. She leapt at him and he saw her lower-half was missing. Now before he could run he was cut in half.

Another version of the urban legend gives the name to her, Kashima Reiko, who haunts bathroom stalls and asks occupants where her legs are. To save yourself in such an incident you tell her they are at the Meishin Railway and you answer Kashima Reiko if she asks you who told you this. The ghost sometimes just asks your for her name, if you then use Kashima Reiko she will attack you. You must use Kamen Shinin Ma – Mask Death Demon – and now once you have heard this story she is said to appear one month later (incidentally I read and wrote these notes longer ago than that if you’re concerned).

Another lovely urban legend, it has been used for a horror film Teke-Teke. The story has also been used in some manga tales, including the first anime episode of Ghost Stories.

Teketeke.png
By Dr.LantisOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

 

(Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, ca. 203 – 11 March 222) The reason I have picked him as a subject for a post is because in all honesty I do rather love the whacky people! He was also known as Heliogabalus and in his youth before becoming Emperor he served as a priest of the god Elagabal (Elagabalus) a name he was to be given after his death, but before he was emperor he was most likely known as Sextus Varius Avitus as a citizen.

Thanks to the complicated and crazy politics he was made emperor by the age of 14 and the reign of sexual scandal and religious controversy began. The hostile records of his enemies paint the picture of a very rebellious man, he replaced the head of the Roman Pantheon, Jupiter, with the diety of which he had been priest. (This is hardly shocking when you consider Henry VIII gave us the Church of England).

He was married as many as five times, he also gave favours to male courtiers who were thought to have been his lovers and had a penchant for employing whoopee cushions at dinner parties. It was also reported he had prostituted himself in the Imperial Palace!

Four years later the eccentric was assassinated and replaced by his cousin, Alexander Severus on 11th March 222. Of course most of the claims about his decadent life are likely very exaggerated but this only leads to more interest about a young man who seemingly enjoyed four years of opulence and orgies.

The political ramifications of the crazy emperor stretched out far more importantly than just who he was sleeping with in general. He managed to devalue the Roman currency and tried to have his own presumed lover, charioteer Hierocles, declared Caesar and another alledged lover to be appointed to the non-administrative but still influential role of Master of the Chamber. At first his mother and grandmother were a strong part of the relationship, they were both on the senate, but this didn’t stop Elagabalus from going on his own independent course.

Another big controversy for the time was that he married a Vestal Virgin, Aquilla Severa, claiming this marriage would produce “god-like children”. It was a breach of tradition and Roman Law, as it stated that any vestal virgin found engaging in sexual activity was to be buried alive but had already remarried a year later.

Perhaps the part that stood out for me is that he was most likely trapped as a female in a man’s body, this seems to be the root cause of the issues he faces. In a time and place where such things were a controversy, even with the acceptance of homosexuality, the young man was out of the society norms. He had even offered vast sums of money to physicians who could equip him with female genitalia; he simply wanted to be a woman not a man.

Images of Elagabalus (2008; republished as The Crimes of Elagabalus in 2012) re-evaluates his life, the previous historical accounts are most likely gravely over exaggerated or just down right erroneous, after his death moves were made to remove him from the annals of history. However in this book it is suggested that the religious affronts were far more the reason for his grandmother arranging his death, it had little to do with him sleeping around with men.

As a spin off for this lovely character there is a Japanese Manga called Vassalord, Johnny Rayflo is a vampire who is described as the “confined Elagabalus” and judging by the eccentricities it certainly seems to fit his personality. Here goes with a random sketch of mine for Rayflo.

One Year Today

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Weird
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thank you so much to everyone that has followed me this far, that comments, likes and reads. I am so glad that you enjoy what I write about.

The encouragement on WordPress has been wonderfully strong.

 

One of my favourite legends is the Germanic one, Faust. A scholar who is successful but dissatisfied with life, he makes a deal with the devil. Faust exchanges his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The “deal with the devil” has also become known as the Faustian deal where a person surrenders their moral integrity to achieve
power.

There are many different takes on the legend in books, opera, film and poetry at the very least. The puppet plays and theatre enactments were popular in Germany in the
16th Century where Faust and Mephistopheles were figures of vulgar fun. Christopher Marlowe made the play a classic in England with his “The Tragical History of Doctor
Faustus”. Goethe reworked this story some 200 years later and Faust is an intellectual who desires more than just the pleasures of meat and drink.

The overall story remains the same, Faust is very intellectual and yet bored with this. He calls on the devil, he wants more power, knowledge of magic and a way to indulge all
the pleasures and knowledge on earth. He makes a bargain, Mephistopheles will serve Faust with his magical powers. At the end of the term they will claim Faust’s soul which
will be eternally damned. The term usually appears as 24 years.

Faust makes great use of Mephistopheles during this term, during this he seduces a beautiful innocent girl called Gretchen. Her life is destroyed but her innocence brings her to the graceful Heaven. In Goethe’s reconstruction God saves him thanks to a combination of Faust’s constant striving and Gretchen’s prayers. However in the earlier tales he receives the full wrath of the Devil and is carried off to Hell.

1725 is the one that Goethe read when he was younger, the origin of the name of Faust is possibly thanks to Dr Johann Georg Faust who was a magician and alchemist. He obtained a degree from Heidelberg University in 1509. It is however possible that it comes from Gutenberg’s partner Fust, however I suspect there is no definitive way to
say yes to either.

As I am also a bit of a manga/anime fan I also feel compelled to mention that the name (and story of similar types) frequently seems to turn up in some of my favourites. In Yami
No Matsuei (Descendents of Darkeness) a version of the Tartini story where a young man makes a pact with a devil to play the “Devil’s Trill”, in their version however the young man is unwittingly part of the devil’s pact when a lense from the previous owner is transplanted and the demons contract transfers.

In Blue Exorcist Mephisto Pheles is the headmaster of a school that deals with Exorcism’s and is a rather eccentric demon, to put it mildly.

Aside from that we have the “magical Mr Mephistopheles” from Cats. And lastly, since I am actually happy to do my own art and stories, I leave you with my little projects on the
matter so far.

Site I rather hope this isn’t the end for a fascinating place, I had it on my list of things to visit for a start…

Alchemy is used for a lot of modern stories including Harry Potter. For instance without Alchemy the fabled Philosophers Stone wouldn’t be in our midst. One of the more famous aspects of alchemy is the idea of changing lead to gold. Another thing they aimed for was the Panacea, a remedy to prolong life and cure all known diseases.

Fundamentally one of the things that alchemy can claim to be is that they bore the fathers of chemistry. Studies of alchemy also influenced Isaac Newton with his theory of gravity. It has not just been about changing base metals to rich ones, it has helped shape modern science. Practical alchemy saw its roots into science around the 17th century, it was brought to light by Robert Boyde who wrote The Skeptical Chymist, alchemy’s use and popularity saw it’s decline in the 18th century with a push for rationalism.

One of the best series I ever watched to do with this was Fullmetal Alchemist. I admit to spending hours back to back watching it. They tackle the idea of human transmutation using Alchemy…  the game I have for this is more of a beat ’em up but none the less alchemy inspired.