Once upon a time, in Ancient Egypt, there was a very talented and powerful priest named Imhotep. He was both respected and feared, loved and hated. However, Imhotep comited a taboo and angered the gods of creation, the Ennead. As punishment, they sealed him for 3000 years.
Nowadays, in modern Japan, Hinome Hawakata, a wanna-be Ordinary High-School Student suffers since her childhood from a bad reputation And a curse that stole her voice!
One fateful day she encounters the titular Imhotep. He tells her she has been possessed by a magai, a fake Egyptian god who brings calamities to the world. The Ennead awakened him to exorcise the magais.
After saving her, Im decides to use her home as his personal palace and wants her to help him with his quest.
On their journey they are joined by some members of the Amon Priest Association.
But things are more complicated that they first seemed.
Im Great Priest Imhotep is Makoto Morishita's first long-running series. This shonen is pre-published in the Gekkan-shonen since 2013 and is currently ongoing.
Im Great Priest Imhotep contains examples of:
- Action Girl : Lato, as seen in chapter 10.
- Later on, Yagami too.
- Even Hinome gets in on it.
- All Myths Are True: Egyptian mythology at least. But the original one-shot also featured a Greek mythology creature, and youkais are mentioned in the series.
- The actual manga ultimately subverts it, implying that the monsters in various mythologies are all magi, with the youkai in question turning out to be an especially powerful magai, specifically the magai version of Set.
- Urban Legends: Discussed in-universe, some are true and others not. So you have to take them seriously in case they are true.
- Almighty Janitor: Im is ranked as a minor priest in the Amen Priesthood, due to being excommunicated in the past. However, he is also far and removed the most powerful magic user in the setting aside from the gods themselves.
- Ancient Egypt: Of course, since The Hero and some villains are from this era, some chapters and flashbacks are set in it.
- Arc Villain: Cleopatra is this for the Magai Set arc.
- Artistic License History: A minor example, not as much with the historical details as with the timing of them. Historically, Imhotep was indeed connected to Djoser. However, the historical Djoser's reign was nearly 5,000 years ago, whereas in the manga's timeline of events neither he nor Imhotep would've been born until around `1000 BC.
- A somewhat more minor example, but while Heliopolis was certainly an important city in Egypt, it was never the capital, and at the time of Imhotep and Djoser, the city of Memphis was the capital.
- In addition, the real Cleopatra did not have a Burial at Sea, and was buried with Marc Anthony somewhere near Alexandria, though the tomb has not been found in the present day.
- Because Destiny Says So: Every person is born with a fate ordained by the Ennead, to serve the greater purpose of maintaining order in the world. Played down somewhat, as fate isn't exactly written in stone and can be changed, though doing such a thing often has extremely negative consequences; case and point, Djoser.
- Bittersweet Ending: The heroes successfully defeat, and seal Apophis, but the damage he did to the world, both spiritual and physical, is too great for the gods to undo, and the Ogdoad are still lurking in the void, threatening to consume creation. To that end, the gods elect to permanently leave the mortal realm, and Thoth decides to use Damnatio Memoriae one last time to erase the world, and make a new one. Unfortunately, that means none of the characters ever meet each other, including Im and Hinome. However, on the positive side, Imhotep and Djoser live full lives in Ancient Egypt, and all the other characters are able to lead normal, happy lives of their own.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Oh, so many. Im, Harugo, Djoser, Khonsu...
- Central Theme: You don't give up on your true friends, no matter how bad things may get.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Many, many characters have one.
- Hinome mother died when years ago. Then, she was ensnared by the magai Sekhmet which resulted in her acquiring the ability to breath fire, which she cannot control at all. She ended burning her own house and scarring herself from the incident. Nowadays, she is lonely without any friends as she was marginalized for most of her life by the others because of her father's reputation as an occultist. Getting the curse made it even harder to live. Fortunately, she was freed of the fake Sekhmet's curse and is slowly getting more and more friends.
- Imhotep suffered from Parental Abandonment twice, his first and at the time only friend gets turned into the Big Bad due to Im's failure the protect him from becoming a Human Sacrifice which leads to the release of untold amounts of destruction into the world in the form of the Magai.
- Gratuitous Latin: For some reason these Ancient Egyptian priests use Latin to describe their most dangerous spell, "Damnatio Memoriae", which means "damnation of memory".
- Greater-Scope Villain: It turns out Djoser has been under the control of the Chaos Serpent, Apophis, who is the one who really created the Magai.
- References are made to a group of primordial gods called the Ogdoad, who created existence, and now seek to return creation to the primal nothingness.
- The Heartless: The Magai, beings that seek to destroy the world by various means, usually through Demonic Possession, casting a Curse on their victims and generally killing as many humans as possible in the process. The most powerful ones which are copies of the Ennead are each implied to be a Person of Mass Destruction.
- Historical Domain Character: Aside from Imhotep and Djoser, we are also introduced to Cleopatra VII, Ramses II, and Akhenaten as the story progresses.
- Jerkass Gods: While most of the gods have yet to be given that much real attention, many of the characters have this opinion of them, noting how they impose cruel fates on people solely for maintaining the supposed order of the world. They also kept the presence of Apophis to themselves.
- Later turns out to be Zigzagged; the Ennead are very flawed, and they rarely concern themselves with how their actions affect individuals. But they are still sincerely devoted to protecting the world from Apophis, and even Imhotep notes that the world still needs them, if only because Apophis and the Ogdoad are far worse.
- Manly Tears: Imhotep frequently cries in moments of great emotional strain. Such as when he was about to (but failed) destroy Djoser's (what turned out to be temporary) body in chapter 9.Imhotep to Djoser: 'Farewell, my friend.'
- Ms. Fanservice: Cleopatra, to the surprise of absolutely none of the readers. Its even lampshades in an omake, where Djoser asks one of his minions if he deliberately made Cleopatra this, who affirms this.
- My Greatest Second Chance: The driving motivation of Im is to finally undo the untold damage he has unwittingly caused by his failure 3000 years ago.
- Playing with Fire: Once Hinome re-bonds with Sekhemet, she gets the ability to use fire-based attacks.
- Scars Are Forever: Played with depending on the character.
- Hinome has suffered from burn marks on her neck which she hided under her scarf.
- Haguro's scar on the right side of his face, which also made him lose his right eye when his father who was possessed by Magai Set.
- The Order: The Amen Priest Association. Since ancient times they have acted on the behalf of the Ennead in order to bring peace and stability to the world. Too bad that through the many millenniums they've been active they also became willing to do increasingly shady things.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Anubis.
- Sadly Mythtaken: Despite getting most things (more or less) correct about Egyptian mythology, there are a few errors.
- In the original mythology, Anubis was the god of mummification and the protection of the dead; in this version, "Anubis" refers to a race of beings who serve the Amen Priesthood, more closely resembling Shinto guardian spirits instead of Egyptian deities.
- Though the roles of certain figures would change dramatically over the course of history, never at any point was Apophis a positive figure, or had any relationship to Thoth. Even Imhotep lampshades how this information completely rewrites the entire mythology.
- Screw Destiny: The protagonist attempt to do so is what led to the plot. Other characters are implied to want it too.
- Ship Tease: Not very subtle, honestly.
- Poor Hinome can't get a rest. She is even teased by her previous incarnation in a bonus!
- Lato has been ship-teased with all the guys she is close too: Harugo, Sed and Khonsu.
- Shout-Out: A few brief examples, including one where Imhotep references The Mummy movies.
- Shown Their Work: There are an impressive amount of accurate details taken directly from Ancient Egyptian history and mythology. For example, a comic after the showdown with Set alludes to Set and Horus' encounters from the myths (complete with lettuce), and Cleopatra references being smuggled to Caesar in a rolled-up carpet.
- Djoser's plans for his reign as pharaoh, before he knows he's just a sacrifice put Imhotep as his chancellor, which is the role the real Imhotep served to Djoser in history.
- Im's ability to call upon the god Thoth makes sense, as the real Imhotep was equated with him after his death and deification.
- The mere mention of the Ogdoad deserves mention; for a little perspective, by the time the pyramids were built, one would've been hard pressed to find anyone in Egypt aside from a very well read theologian who even knew about them.
- Sword and Sorcerer: Invoked by Khonsu when talking about Im and Harugo's team, with Harogo being the Sword to Imhotep's Sorcerer.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Big Bad's plan is basically this, wanted to annihilate the gods and by consequences anything that lives on the planet.
- Also, there is a spell that can erase someone's existence and everyone's memories of said person. Imhotep knows it. Actually, he is the only person alive who knows the spell.
- We All Live In Japan: A particularly weird one where the Amen Priest Society's Egyptian branch decides to throw a Japanese style festival complete with kimonos, fireworks, and Japanese games and dishes. The only real reason that's offered is that the Magai rampage that happened earlier wrecked the area.
- We Used to Be Friends: A recurring theme in the story, the most notable being the relationship between Imhotep and Djoser.
- In a broader, and older case, Thoth and Apophis were also this, until Apophis pulled a Then Let Me Be Evil after being reviled as a demon for ages.
- Wham Episode:
- Chapter 5: Imhotep is the one who created the Magai.
- Chapter 7: Tops it. Turns out that the Big Bad is Imhotep's only friend from back in Egypt - prince Djoser. The Magai were created (or escaped to this world) when Imhotep failed to save Djoser from becoming a Human Sacrifice.
- Chapter 19: Khonsu is under the influence of Apophis, and Hinome's father knows more than he let's on.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Djoser's desire to destroy the gods - which would entail The End of the World as We Know It - is definitely a Very Bad Thing. However, the guy was really fucked up by his destiny as a Human Sacrifice Because Destiny Says So, and there is some hinting Im's spell made him a teeny bit unhinged.
- Ultimately subverted; he's been under the control of Apophis even since then, and is completely out of control of his actions.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Or green, white, red...