Looking back now... I believe the library was the beginning of everything.
The new manga series and magnum opus
from Hitoshi Iwaaki, maker of Parasyte
is a historical epic that tells the story of Eumenes of Cardia, secretary and servant of Alexander the Great. Just don't check his Wiki entry
While on the run from the Persian Empire, the
Aristotle meets the young Eumenes, a Greek in barbarian garb. The quick-witted Eumenes helps Aristotle escape to Europe from Asia. Both are on their way to Cardia, Eumenes' hometown. There Eumenes sees it under siege by a Macedonian army, and soon his life will take an entirely different path.
This manga provides examples of:
- The Ace: Eumenes approaches Marty Stu level. He is excellent at everything. Everything. Let's start with the obvious, he's smart. But he should be, considering that he reads scrolls as essentially his only activity (at least in his childhood). While he is not always the best at a particular skill (for example, he was best at "only" one out of 5 events in his physical training class), he's probably the second best when he isn't the best. Despite being a supposedly meek bookworm, he is able to beat the snot out of an older student in boxing (his first time boxing), this student being the one who beat up Nicogenesnote , as well as beating the snot out of his older brother (athletics being supposedly the only thing his brother is good at). He's a genius inventor. When he begins to learn how to use a sword for the first time in his life, he quickly becomes the best among his friends besides the guy teaching them (at that, almost beating the teacher in a duel). He's an ingenious battle tactician before ever having any battle experience including incorporating thought-up-on-the-spot (and untested) inventions into his tactics flawlessly. He defeats Gelades (a grizzled veteran known for his combat skill) in his first ever real fight (he never personally fought in his "first battle"), then stomped on a few regular soldiers. Then, after a very short amount of time, he becomes one of the Macedonian king's (very few) go to guys for advice. And... I think you know he's pretty deep in Marty Stu territory when King Philip II himself praises his skill as a commander and predicts that, if pitted against Alexander in battle (each with 10,000 troops), he would lose the first two, and win the third. When Alexander protests that there wouldn't be three battles because he would kill the enemy commander in the first battle, Philip claims Alexander would lose at least 3,000 men, and would likely be a casualty himself, whereas even if Eumenes lost 9,000 men, he would never be a casualty. Keep in mind that this is Alexander the Great that we're talking about here. This isn't close to all of the relevant examples. In fact, flip to anywhere in the manga and you're more likely than not going to find Eumenes Suing it up. It's at least worth mentioning that the Real Life Eumenes was undoubtedly an excellent general, though little else is known about his actual life.
- The bit between Philip and Alexander isn't that bad for several reasons. Philip was no slouch of a general himself, he built up one of the best empires of the time. Also, Alexander was maybe 13 at the time the conversation takes place. Finally, generals often did live through defeats and retreats; the saying "He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day" exists for a reason.
- Ancient Greece: Classical Greece, to be exact.
- Artistic License - History:
- Alexander didn't have a large snake birthmark on his face.
- The author chose to make Hephaestion a split personality of Alexander's, not his friend or (possible) lover.
- Many aspects Eumenes' life in the manga vary widely from historical fact.
- Many dramatics that didn't actually happen are added as well.
- Badass Bookworm: Eumenes
- Chessmaster: Eumenes. He thinks up a whole entire defense system for a village protected by a Greek city-state. For bonus points, he also mentally corners the attacking army's commander and reveals his treachery to his family. Oh, and he also prevents the girl who likes him from marrying said commander. YEAH.
- Foregone Conclusion: Naturally, in a historical manga. Philip is going to be assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Alexander will die after 11 years of campaigning, splitting his empire as nobles and generals to attempt to vie for power. Eumenes will take part in the battles of Alexander's successors, be turned on by parts of his soldiers then captured by Antigonus, and will be killed in captivity.
- King Incognito: King Philippos of Macedonia
- MacGyvering: Eumenes makes a lot of things with his hands; in the beginning he outfits a boat with paddles made from tree branches that work by pedaling.
- Moses in the Bullrushes: Eumenes is actually a Scythian who was adopted by a slaver and raised as a Greek.
- Royally Screwed Up: Something's not right about Alexander's family life.
- Shown Their Work: An accurate deciption of
Ancient Classical Greece, complete with references to literature, culture, science, geography and warfare. And not to mention how obscure a historical figure Eumenes is.
- Though it should be noted that this account of Eumenes' life is almost entirely fiction. There's not a vast amount of historical information on him.