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Anime / The Sea Prince and the Fire Child

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The Sea Prince and the Fire Child (シリウスの伝説) is a Japanese children's book written by Shintaro Tsuji, the president and founder of Sanrio, who later adapted the book into an animated movie released in 1981. It tells the story of Starcrossed Lovers Syrius, son of the sea god Glaucus/Oceanus, and Malta, daughter of the fire goddess Themis/Hyperia and guardian of the Holy Flame that keeps the fire fairies alive.

The two are kept apart due to a conflict caused by Argon/Algorach, Lord of the Winds, many years ago, which led to a long-lasting war between water and fire. Despite this, the prince and fire child fall in love, and the consequences will have far-reaching effects for land, sea, and sky.


  • Artifact of Doom: The Eye of the evil air god Argon/Algorach holds his power and is the symbol of rulership among the Water Children. One reason the underwater Forbidden Zone is forbidden is became Argon's imprisoned there, and if he gets it back he'll take his revenge on both sides.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning:
    • Early on, Syrius is crowned King of the Water Children and gains the Eye of Argon as symbol of his rulership.
    • During the Great Eclipse, Malta takes her mother's place as queen.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Very much present, especially with the fire fairies. There is a hint of areola on Malta once she becomes Fire Queen, though.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Malta's protectors as Keeper of the Holy Flame take this form.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Syrius and Malta both die, but Glaucus sends them to heaven to let them recreate the harmony between water and fire with their love.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Piale is incredibly attached to Malta, to the point of attacking Syrius on sight.
  • Disappointed in You: After the relationship between their children is discovered, both Oceanus and Themis give their children disappointed lectures.
  • Divide and Conquer: The god and goddess of the sea and fire once ruled as one, but the evil wind god Argon/Algorach spread false rumors that set them and their peoples against each other.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Malta, with her ascension to queen-hood and separation from Syrius imminent, tries to immolate herself in the Holy Flame, but Syrius dives into it to shove her out and save her.
    • Played straight in the final act when Malta, in grief over how her actions led Syrius to his death, carries him back to the ocean to join him.
    • Piale sacrifices herself to save Malta by becoming a new Holy Flame.
  • Dub Name Change: Various characters had their names changed in the English dub.
    • Glaucus is renamed Oceanus.
    • Themis is renamed Hyperia.
    • Syrius's friend Teak becomes Bibble.
  • Fantastic Racism: The sea people and fire people hate one another and regard each other with suspicion, and there's a law against intermingling.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Quite a few:
    • After Malta accidentally allows the Holy Flame to go out, Piale urges her to run away with Syrius. Once the lovers flee, she becomes a new Holy Flame, at the cost of her own life. It doesn't fool Themis for long, however.
    • Teak is mortally wounded in his attempt to recover the eye of Argon.
    • And finally, At the end of the film, Syrius goes into the sunlight, even though he knows it will kill him, to approach newly-crowned Fire Queen Malta. After mourning his death, Malta carries him back into the water in order to die alongside him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Piale sacrifices herself to buy her beloved Malta and her beau Syrius time to escape after the Holy Flame goes out.
  • Kill the Cutie: Teak/Bibble, the cutest character in the movie, dies trying to recover Argon's eye.
  • Kissing Cousins: Since Oceanus and Themis are said to be brother and sister, and the protagonists are their children. Although they may have been created rather than conventionally born.
  • Love at First Sight: Syrius and Malta are fascinated with each other, being the first time the saw a member of the others' race. They don't properly fall in love until they get to know each other better, though.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • While dallying with Malta, Syrius' kingdom comes under attack from jellyfish. No one is killed, but without him to protect them they are injured and stung. Syrius get a lecture from Aristurtle about responsibility, and sulks for a while.
    • Malta, distracted by speaking with "Aristurtle", accidentally lets the Holy Flame go out. As the Flame helps keep the ocean from overwhelming the sea kingdom by making it calm and bestows eternal life and safety to the fire people this is a pretty big deal. Piale sacrifices herself to make a new one, at least for a while.
    • Almost said word for word by a regretful Malta after she coldly rebukes Syrius when he arrived too late during the solstice. His determination to makes amends causes him to perish from exposed to sunlight. Malta’s left completely distraught over her actions, lashing out at anyone who comes near her.
    • Both Glaucus/Oceanus and Themis/Hyperia show nothing but absolute regret when they realize by blinding themselves with hatred, they made their children miserable and ultimately led the lovers to die for one another.
  • The Power of Love: Syrius's love for Malta protects him from the light of the Holy Flame.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • In Greek myths Themis was a titaness of the law and fairness, and not fire.
    • In the English version, Themis is Hyperia, which still doesn't fit, as Hyperia is the daughter of a river god.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Algorach needs his Eye to restore his power and escape his prison.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Piale's sacrifice only briefly delays pursuit of the couple, as the fire people immediately notice how the flame looks sadder and lonelier (and yet more beautiful). Themis figures out what happened as soon she gets a close look at it.
  • Shipper on Deck: "Aristurtle"/Moelle is at first opposed to Syrius and Malta's relationship as a matter of law, and explains the truth to them about why they are not supposed to be together—but sees how their love has protected them from each others' realms to a degree and tells them a way they may yet be united.
  • Starcrossed Lovers:
    • The godly parents of Malta and Syrius warred with each each other and currently have a cold war going. As such, their children cannot fraternize by law.
    • If any child of fire goes underwater, they'll die. The same happens to a child of water if the sunlight touches them.
  • Third-Person Person: Piale sometimes talks like this.
  • This Was His True Form: Malta reverts back to her original fire child form after she dies.
  • Together in Death: After sacrificing themselves for one another, Oceanus sends Syrius and Malta into the heavens to recreate the loving bond of fire and water. A constellation of them embracing can seen in the starry sky.
  • Villainous Plan Inertia: While Algorach's initial conquest was stopped with his depowering and imprisonment, the seeds of suspicion he sowed led to war and mistrust between Oceanus and Hyperia that lasts for a long time.