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The goddess Athena starts attending a modern-day school in order to seek revenge on an incarnation of Poseidon.

Too bad it ain't that easy. Poseidon's incarnation Adrian is considered a Doom Magnet by many due to the Curse placed upon him, and despite of Athena initially managing to exploit the loneliness Adrian suffered to get closer to him, the ghosts of the past gradually start creeping in...

Athena Complex is a fantasy webtoon and inspired by Greek mythology drawn and written by Kaisar. It can be read here.

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Athena Complex contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Athena. Completely justified by her being in charge of warfare.
  • A-Cup Angst: Athena isn't nearly as busty as Aphrodite.
  • The Ageless: The gods do not die of old age and have Super Toughness, but unlike the Greek gods of myth, it is entirely possible if difficult to kill them through ordinary means.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Athena, as pointed out by Nike.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: By the time of his demise, Poseidon and Athena had become Arch Enemies and she was personally the one responsible for his defeat and the one to deliver him to his execution. Nevertheless, when the sentence was carried out, she was reduced to tears.
  • Anti-True Sight: After Sibyl notices Athena's true form, Athena tries to block it with a spell.
  • Baleful Polymorph: After defeating Ares, Poseidon leaves him trapped in the form of a small dog.
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  • Bathtub Scene: In episode 2.
  • Berserk Button: Never mention Poseidon's name in Zeus's presence.
  • Bigger on the Inside: When Athena and two of her servants become Adrian's new neighbors, they not only repair the house next door, they enchant it to become a manor on the inside.
  • Bishounen: There are several, but Ganymede takes this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Born Unlucky: How Adrian earned the nickname "The Human Calamity."
  • Broken Pedestal: Athena idolized Poseidon as her mentor. But he rejected her crush, insulted her lack of femininity, married another, and became her rival. It ultimately came to a head when he rebelled against Zeus and she remained loyal. He claimed that he only ever aided her because he hoped what Zeus did to her mother would make her a useful tool against him. But since she remained loyal to Zeus anyways, she was useless to Poseidon's plans.
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  • Brought Down to Normal: Zeus punished Poseidon's rebellion by condemning him to being human.
  • Buxom Is Better: What Aphrodite gloats about to Athena.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: No matter their age, pretty much all of the male characters are beautiful. There's a good number of Bishounen (Apollo, Ganymede, Hermes, and Zeus in his natural form), Hunks (Ares, Hephaestus, adult Poseidon), while Iolo and Zeus in his preferred form are solid cases of Silver Fox.
  • Chick Magnet: Athena poses as a wealthy male exchange student, and is very visibly talented and handsome. Most of the girls in the school are attracted to "him", and are only kept away by his apparent friendship with Adrian, a Cosmic Plaything who brings calamity to everyone around him.
  • The Chosen One: The Fates have a very special plan for Athena, and despite being a girl with Undying Loyalty to Zeus, there are fears that she may yet be destined to overthrow him.
  • Commonality Connection: The reason Adrian and Sibyl are one another's Only Friends. Both of them are strongly disliked by everyone around them.
  • The Conscience: Iolo occasionally points it out when Athena is acting petty, and she says he's good at making her feel bad.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Poseidon rebelled against Zeus. When Athena defeated him, the other gods killed his godly body and cursed him to endlessly reincarnate as a human with a Born Unlucky Curse designed to make him miserable.
  • Cruel Mercy: Iolo speculates this is the reason Poseidon didn't do anything to Athena even when he had the chance to despite being enemies, wanting to leave her stuck taking care of a Baleful Polymorphed Ares.
  • Curse: Unavoidable, given that these are the Greek gods that we are talking about.
    • What doomed Poseidon to become reincarnated as human. Zeus cursed him to endlessly reincarnate as an unlucky human. Particularly notable is the fact that the curse also isolates his reincarnations by making those around him suffer as well, despite the fact that even the Greek gods consider a divine curse a big enough penalty to outlaw impacting unrelated humans.
    • Poseidon himself places one on Ares, leaving him trapped in the form of a powerless dog.
  • Dark World: There is a place at the bottom of reality called the shadow world, where the real world is visible but cannot be interacted with. Artemis's servants banish Adrian there when they want to hunt him down and kill him.
  • Doom Magnet: Adrian's reputation is this, which makes him incredibly discriminated by others.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Zeus's natural form could easily pass for a girl.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Tom Kang feeds a group of street cats. When two servants of Artemis start to approach him to use him as a pawn to kill Adrian, the cats start snarling.
  • The Exile: The Fates were once Zeus's advisors, but deliberately failed to warn him about Poseidon's rebellion to support their own schemes. When Zeus discovered this, he banished them from Olympus.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Tom is already an incredible fighter under normal circumstances. Artemis's servants then imbue him with the power to use magic so they can use him as a puppet to kill Adrian.
  • Engineered Heroics:
    • Most of Adrian's bad luck is the result of his curse, but Athena actively arranges a few of the incidents she saves him from to make him feel all the more indebted.
    • Athena starts following Sibyl around, knowing it will agitate the jealous girls that think she's a handsome man, and result in them trapping Sibyl. She then tries to offer Sibyl her assistance, in the hopes Sibyl will reciprocate and repair her relationship with Adrian. Sibyl isn't fooled at first, but her suspicions disappear ironically enough after Athena gives up and helps her for real.
  • Extra Oredinary: Ares has power over metal.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Metis and Athena have the same eyes.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Athena claims to be a new student from Greece.
  • Functional Magic: More or less the nature of magic in this setting.
  • Gender-Blender Name: When Athena joins the school, she pretends to be a boy, but keeps her normal name and claims this to be the case.
  • Geo Effects: A god is more powerful in terrain related to their domain. For example, even contained in a human body, Poseidon can defeat a god of similar power when surrounded by enough water.
  • Giant Woman: Athena's normal form, due to her titan blood.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: While she isn't consciously trying to win his love anymore, Athena gets really annoyed when she learns that, while Adrian is no where near as popular with the ladies as Poseidon was, even with the curse, he was able to keep one female friend.
  • Guilt Complex: Ever since an incident that almost killed a close friend of his and left her in a coma, Adrian has blamed everything bad that happens around him on himself.
  • Healing Hands: One of Apollo's powers as the god of medicine.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Athena denies any romantic interest in Adrian and gets agitated when questioned on it.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Ironically enough happens to two of Artemis's servants. Artemis assigns them to kill the reincarnation of Poseidon, and they decide to chase and toy with him for fun. But just as they are about to deal a killing blow, the guardian of water takes over and completely turns the tables on them.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Poseidon is originally fine with his current incarnation, Adrian dying, but directly intervenes when Athena is brought to the brink of death and brings her to her servant, Iolo, for healing. When he is asked why he saved his Arch-Enemy, he denies doing so on purpose and insists he was just preserving his current incarnation since The Underworld, the place he spends between incarnations, is so boring.
  • Jerkass Gods: Zeus, Ares, Aphrodite, and Artemis are as petty and cruel as they are in mythology. Poseidon and Athena are surprisingly sympathetic compared to their mythological counterparts, but they've had their moments too.
  • Just Toying with Them: Artemis's servants could have easily killed Adrian the instant they banished him to the shadow world, but give him the chance to run instead while they hunt him since it would be more fun that way. But just as they are about to seal the deal, the guardian of water takes over Adrian's body and pays back the favor.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Adrian's curse keeps him from making friends by ensuring any normal human that does will suffer for it. Some aren't content to leave it at that and see his curse as a reason to have fun bullying and beating him up.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Adrian tries to tell Athena to stay away from him before his bad luck rubs off.
  • Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: Many people are puzzled as to why the talented and good looking Athena would befriend the luckless and near friendless loser that is Adrian.
  • Make an Example of Them: Zeus ordered not only Poseidon, but his wife and children killed and cursed to make an example of what would happen to anyone else that would dare try to overthrow him.
  • Making a Splash: Even cursed and reduced to a human, as a fragment of Poseidon, Adrian is still loved by water. Even the Curse cannot mess things up for him with it and he cannot be harmed by it. He can even channel magic through it, though he is implied to suffer Power Incontinence if he attempts to do so without Poseidon's aid.
  • The Masquerade: The Greek Gods tend to keep a low profile in the mortal world these days and use Laser-Guided Amnesia on any mortals who see too much.
  • Massively Numbered Siblings: Adrian asks Athena if she has any siblings. With Zeus being Zeus, she gives an honest answer of hundreds by different mothers. Adrian quickly decides not to ask about her siblings anymore.
  • Mercy Kill: Ares begs for one after getting stuck in the form of a powerless dog, preferring death over a life of embarrassment.
  • More Than Mind Control: As much as Tom would love to avenge his sister by torturing Adrian and his friends to death, he has the sense to know that this would get him into big trouble. Artemis's servants use magic to convince him that he's attacking in a dream.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Whatever Poseidon is really up to, he launched his rebellion against Zeus knowing full well that he would die.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Athena enters battle with Ares expecting it to be another easy win. But between fighting dirty and being well prepared, Ares finally manages to crush her.
  • Only Friend: The Curse isolates Adrian by ensuring any normal human who works with or befriends Adrian will fail and suffer for it. The only other friend Adrian ever had nearly died because of it and was left crippled, leaving Sibyl as the only person able to remain his friend. Athena later manipulates them into severing their friendship so that she can become his new Only Friend and leave him broken when she betrays him.
  • Only Sane Man: In Athena's inner circle, Iolo is pretty much the only one that lives up to the wisdom they are reputed for, with Athena regularly making bad decisions and Nike being even worse.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • What drives Athena to protect Adrian from Ares, since she won't be able to get her own revenge against him if Ares breaks him first.
    • Likewise, she opposes Tom Kang's agenda against Adrian for the same reason.
  • On Patrol Montage: Athena saving Adrian from unlucky events throughout the school day.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Poseidon gets rather annoyed at how slow and naive his human incarnation's personality is.
  • Parental Neglect: Tom and Shawn Kang are from a wealthy family, but it is rumored that they don't share their presumed father's blood, and he certainly doesn't pay them any notice. While their family pays for their needs, they don't give them any attention, and never visit Shawn despite her coma.
  • Playing with Fire: One of Ares's specialties.
  • Power Incontinence: As the reincarnation of Poseidon, Adrian has power over water, but he does not dare to use it for this reason, since he accidentally crippled and almost killed a close friend with it.
  • Powers via Possession: Adrian can potentially channel magic thanks to a being that calls itself the guardian of water.
  • The Prophecy: If Athena had been born a boy, she would have been destined to overthrow Zeus. And even though that wasn't the case, it is still implied and ultimately confirmed that she has a destiny of some sort, and that Poseidon has been playing a very long game.
  • Really Gets Around: As in mythology, Zeus and Poseidon have slept with many women. Athena gets really annoyed when she learns that even Cursed and Depowered, Poseidon's reincarnation, Adrian, still managed to have one female friend.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ares, the Blood Knight War God, has red eyes.
  • Reincarnation: Adrian is the latest reincarnation of Poseidon, who is doomed to reincarnate endlessly as an unlucky human.
  • The Reliable One: Iolo is often the voice of reason in Athena's circle and is responsible for keeping things organized.
  • Revenge by Proxy:
    • Adrian is only a tiny fragment of Poseidon and Athena acknowledges that he barely counts as the man who scorned her, but since he's the only part of Poseidon she can reach, Athena plots revenge by becoming his Only Friend and backstabbing him at a key moment.
    • Tom Kang blames Adrian for an incident that almost killed his sister and has left her in a coma ever since. He decides that it won't be much fun to go against Adrian directly and realizes that he will feel guiltier if he goes after Athena instead.
  • Scrap Heap Hero: When Adrian wants to help protect Athena from Ares, Poseidon reminds him of the reason he gave up on helping anyone in the first place; His curse, which guarantees any attempt to help others will only make things worse and once seemingly ruined the life of the few friends he ever had. But when the situation gets really desperate, Poseidon admits that there is one exception to the curse. That he can successfully protect Athena by Making a Splash.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Tom Kang comes from a wealthy family and is widely rumored to have powerful connections since he usually gets off lightly despite regularly beating people up and breaking things.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Poseidon's godly power and original personality still exist, but are largely trapped in a human body with only the weak tiny fragment of him that is Adrian able to interact with the world. However, a human body isn't normally even enough to contain a god's soul, and was only made possible by Zeus's enormous power. As such, when the situation gets really desperate, Poseidon manages to temporarily overload it.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Poseidon slept with many women, but refused to do so with Athena.
  • Stalker Without a Crush:
    • Ares has no interest in Athena as a woman, but being a Blood Knight, he admires her strength and really enjoys stalking and fighting her.
    • When Adrian pushes Athena away due to Poseidon's warnings, Athena decides she should focus on Adrian personally instead of Poseidon and learn more about him to find a weakness. Towards this end, she starts following around his Only Friend, Sibyl.
  • Stealth Mentor: Implied to be the real reason Poseidon betrayed Athena and became her Arch-Enemy.
  • Super Serum: Nectar, the drink of the gods, can imbue humans with Super Strength. It is normally temporary, but there is implied to be a chance of getting new abilities that go beyond those of normal humans.
  • Super Strength: Sibyl acquires it after drinking Nectar, the drink of the gods, becoming strong enough to punch a hole in a concrete wall.
  • Swirlie: A variant with a sink instead of a toilet, but just as effective.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Iolo starts realizing that way too many impossible coincidences keep interfering with Athena's revenge and starts to suspect that something deep and sinister is up.
  • True Sight: Thanks to her priestess powers, Sibyl can see Athena's true form.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: On Adrian's side, while he feels attracted to her when he perceives her as a girl, she has mostly left him convinced that she's a boy. Athena's feelings are even more complicated since she once had a crush on his other self before they became Arch Enemies and doesn't quite acknowledge that she still does have a crush on him even now.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: One of the powers the gods possess. Poseidon once assumed the form of Athena's mother to show it to her, and she later learned it herself to hide her gigantic nature as a Titan.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Some people think Athena should resent Zeus for killing her mother and trying to kill her, but in fact, winning her father's approval is actually very important to her.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Athena is still using a female form, but wears a male school uniform and pretends to be a boy because she greatly prefers the boys' uniform.
  • Woman Scorned: Athena, after being rejected by Poseidon.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Athena makes a bet with Apollo that requires her to not use any magic. A magic infused Tom Kang would normally pose no threat to her whatsoever, but due to her bet, she is only left with superhuman strength, causing her severe problems.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: At first, the girls drool over the talented and good looking Athena, who is pretending to be a man. But when they start urging her to pick a girl to sit next to, she asserts that she likes Adrian and continues to show a very strong interest in him, resulting in them finding a new reason to be excited.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Even the gods cannot defy it. The Fates say that no matter what you do in reaction to a prophecy, it will still come true. It is however possible to sway a prophecy.

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