Lord Hades’ Ruthless Marriage Volume 2 Review

Lord Hades, ruler of the Underworld, has never taken a bride – but now, he’s been compelled by one of Eros’s arrows to choose one. Candidates keep appearing in the Underworld, all eager to be his wife (and some forced to attend by his older brother, womanizing Zeus) but one after another, they fail – even when employing some very sneaky tricks. Meanwhile, goddess of spring Kore is still very much in evidence with an agenda all of her own!

Hestia, virgin goddess of the hearth is the first to arrive (installing her own hearth, of course) and lays on an impressive banquet. There’s only one slight problem: Lord Hades doesn’t eat, he only drinks water. And as Hestia won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, Kore comes to his rescue (motivated, no doubt, by that secret agenda of hers).

Artemis, the chaste goddess of the hunt and twin sister of Apollo, seems an unlikely prospective bride and arrives with her brother, the dazzling god of light. Artemis has decided that she wants Hades to father her child but as she doesn’t actually want to lose her virgin status as goddess of chastity, Apollo has come with her to helpfully remind Hades of various ways his older brother Zeus has inseminated some of his conquests without actually any kind of sexual congress being involved. As Apollo’s conditions become more and more bizarre, someone has to step in to stop him getting carried away with his own warped fantasies…

Next to arrive is the Sphinx, a beautiful female monstress with the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle. It seems that Kerberos has summoned her (they’re related) although when she sees the three-headed dog reduced to three cute little bouncing ball-shaped entities, she’s not at all impressed. Nevertheless, being the Sphinx, she challenges Hades to a game of riddles; if he wins, she’ll leave but if she wins, she’ll take Kerberos and Kore. A tense and challenging match ensues with surprising results.

Lady Hecate, goddess of magic, makes an unexpected visit; she’s trying to spy on Kore because attendance at her sabbaths has dropped off and she accuses Kore of planning to take over the Underworld by seducing her followers with fresh flowers and delicious food. And no sooner has Lord Hades attempted to calm the situation down (with limited success) Kore spots him taking a romantic boat journey with Lady Hera!

This madcap romp through Greek mythology continues to amuse and entertain as yet more marriage candidates appear in the Underworld to try to capture Lord Hades’s cold heart. If you’re already well-versed in the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece, you’ll again have fun following mangaka Ueji Yuho’s not entirely respectful treatment of the inhabitants of Mount Olympus. If these mythological figures are unfamiliar to you, you’ll still have fun because every new contender for the role of Hades’ bride is explained (but not in a dull way) when they make their appearance. The chapters continue to follow the ‘prospective bride of the week’ pattern and, of course, given that the ultimate fate of Kore/Persephone, Goddess of Spring, is very well known, there are probably not going to be any surprises at the end of this manga (which concludes in Volume 3).

Kore seems to have established herself as part of the Underworld; under her influence spring flowers bloom in unexpected corners of Hades’ Palace and don’t instantly fade and die, gladdening Hades’s heart (even though he doesn’t say so in so many words). He’s becoming much more protective whenever the other immortals complain about Kore or even try to remove her from the Underworld. And there’s no doubt that Kore has developed feelings for the austere and chill-hearted ruler.

Canine fans will love the mangaka’s treatment of Kerberos, the terrifying three-headed dog guardian of the Underworld who splits into three rather endearing chibi dogs Ker, Ber and Ros to save on the food bills. The art is as accomplished as in the first volume, displaying a dazzling variety of techniques (as well as a distinctive style all of her own) as well as in the panelling and storytelling. And the farcical elements are held in check just enough to let the reader notice the slow thawing of Lord Hades’ cold heart when it comes to Kore. “If I were to let someone into my heart… would that trouble you?” he asks Kore toward the end of this volume but she’s canny enough to answer enigmatically, “Who can say?”

Tomo Kimura provides another very readable translation for Yen Press, dealing ably with the Greek mythology side as well as the contemporary humour in the dialogue and it’s all expertly lettered again by Adnazeer Macalangcom. My only regret is that there isn’t a colour image inside as the mangaka’s colour work (as seen on the cover) is really striking. There are no extras, although the mangaka thoughtfully provides a two-page character guide and brief synopsis of Volume 1 at the start. Yen Press have not yet given a date for the third and final volume.

If you enjoy Greek mythology, you‘ll be thoroughly entertained by the second volume of Lord Hades’ Ruthless Marriage – but even if you’re a newcomer to the field, you’ll still have fun with this romcom romp through the pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses (and maybe be inspired to find out more for yourself).

Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK. 

9 / 10


Sarah's been writing about her love of manga and anime since Whenever - and first started watching via Le Club Dorothée in France...

More posts from Sarah...