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Manga / Historie

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Looking back now... I believe the library was the beginning of everything.

Historie is a manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki, creator of Parasyte, which began serialization in Monthly Afternoon in 2003. A historical epic, it tells the story of Eumenes of Cardia, secretary and servant of Alexander the Great.

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 is excellent at everything. If he isn't the best at a particular skill, he's probably the second best. Despite being a supposedly meek bookworm, he is able to beat an older student in boxing, this student being the one who beat up Nicogenesnote , as well as beating the snot out of his older brother. 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. He's also an ingenious battle tactician before ever having any battle experience, including incorporating thought-up-on-the-spot inventions into his tactics flawlessly.
    • Philip was no slouch of a general himself, having 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.
  • 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 of Eumenes' life in the manga vary widely from historical fact.
    • Many dramatics that didn't actually happen are added as well.
  • Badass Bookworm: Eumenes.
  • Call That a Formation?: Averted. Philip empathizes hard on ensuring that the Macedonian soldiers work as one big unit when in phalanx, as opposed to the southern Greek city-states who merely have their troops in formation but are effectively just a mob of warriors. The results speak for themselves.
  • Chessmaster: Eumenes. He thinks up a whole entire defense system for a village about to be betrayed by its protector 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Naturally, for a historical manga.
  • King Incognito: King Philip 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.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: The manga heavily implies that Alexander is not Philip's biological son, with Philip in his inner monologue during his dying moments being unsure as to "whose seed" his son is from, but immediately after that he basically acknowledges that it doesn't matter, as Alexander is like him.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: 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: The manga provides a fairly accurate depiction of Classical Greece, complete with references to literature, culture, science, geography and warfare. And not to mention how obscure a historical figure Eumenes is.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 112, when King Philip is assassinated by Pausanias.