Lord Hades, king of the Underworld, ruler of the dead, maintains that he will never fall in love. However, this particular vow is complicated by the fact that Eros, the god of love, has shot Hades in the face with an arrow! Since walking around blindfolded is a major inconvenience, Hades offers to grant a wish to anyone who is able to pull the arrow out and free him from the burden of falling in love. Who achieves this feat but Kore, the goddess of spring! However, her wish is for Hades to find a consort… what could this mean?
Lord Hades’s Ruthless Marriage, Vol. 1 is the beginning of a fantasy series inspired by the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone. The first volume introduces potentially familiar characters and keeps the story moving. Hades is described as the ruthless lord of the Underworld, but he seems more curmudgeonly than ruthless. He is fear-inspiring, but he never hurts his subjects or Kore, despite her status as his prisoner after infiltrating his inner sanctum and removing the arrow from his forehead.
In return for removing Eros’s arrow, Kore’s wish leads to a parade of gods and goddesses visiting Hades, including Zeus, Hera, and Demeter, much to his vexation and the reader’s amusement. Some of the visitors, such as Hera, attempt to aid in finding Hades a consort, while others attempt to become the aforementioned consort. As such, the first volume introduces many characters that, though interesting, are only briefly explored. Hopefully, future volumes will further develop the various gods and goddesses and other supporting characters in addition to Hades and Kore.
Currently, the story has a light, comedic tone. Hades’s disgruntlement at being pressured about his marital status is initially played for laughs. However, throughout the course of the volume, Hades’s reasons for remaining aloof and single slowly become more evident. The bigger mystery is Kore: why is she in the Underworld and what is her motive behind wishing that Hades finds a consort?
Ueji Yuho’s art is gorgeous. If anyone would like to look at pretty Greek gods and goddesses, they need look no further than this manga. Yuho has a knack for comedic expression as well, and humor is deftly conveyed through the art at no expense to the quality. Though great attention to detail is paid to the characters, the backgrounds are not ignored, and the art never feels cluttered.
The manga is currently being translated into English. It has a publisher rating of Older Teen, but adults may find the story and art appealing as well. The story is in tune with its Greek mythology roots, and many characters, such as Zeus and Poseidon, possess the same wanton tendencies as their mythological counterparts. Some characters, such as Eros, are drawn in provocative poses and wear clothes that leave little to the imagination. The popularity of the Hades and Persephone myth, particularly as it has been reimagined in current books and comics, will endear fans of the duo and of Greek mythology in general.
Lord Hades’s Ruthless Marriage, Vol. 1
By Ueji Yuho
Yen Press, 2023
Publisher Age Rating: Older Teen
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18)