Olympia Kyklos [オリンピア・キュクロス] (2020)

Japanese with subtitles (except ep. 1); 24 episodes; 5 min. each; dir. Ryō Fujii

This series is based on a manga by Mari Yamazaki, creator of Thermae Romae, and was orginally published in Grand Jump magazine beginning in 2018. The anime series aired on Tokyo MX in 2020 and features an experimental, mixed-media style of animation, with clay animation playing a prominent role.

Much like Thermae Romae, the story told is comical and involves time travel between the ancient world and modern-day Japan: To save his village, Demetrios of Tritonia, a mediocre vase painter who isn’t all that interested in sports and competition (despite being very athletic), must discover new games for the creation of a local Olympics that will bring in money for the greedy and corrupt mayor. “While hiding inside a large vase outside his workshop, lightning strikes the vase Demetrios is in, transferring him to Tokyo, Japan, during the 1964 Summer Olympics,” where he finds the solution to his problem with the help of a few of his present-day relatives.

The show also features a dolphin who is Demetrios’ rival in vase painting, silly Spartans, and a bard called Homer, who sings a different song at the end of each episode about a related Greek word or custom. In episode 2, for example, “BUCK NAKED” is the subject of the song, which is dedicated to exercising nude — the kynodesme even gets a mention!

This is some quality Classical receptioning.






Trashy Humour: A Comedy in Fragments (2016)

30 seconds; prod. Acme Filmworks / Greg Holfield

This very short film is based on the contents of P. Oxy 5189, a fragment of a 6th c. CE Greek mime that was preserved on papyrus and discovered in the town of Oxyrhynchus in Egypt.

This animation was conceived of and produced as part of a project entitled “Broken Scenes: Resurrecting Ancient Fragmented Voices Through Animation” that was sponsored by the University of Oxford Department of Papyrology. The aim was to explore animation as medium that can help scholars “reconstruct ancient popular performances, as a way of re-inventing the text for further study or teaching.” A fuller account of the project’s origins and aims can be found here: http://www.papyrology.ox.ac.uk/trashyhumour/

Mytho Logique (2010)

6 min., France, subtitles

Created by Jessica AMBRON ; Amandine ARAMINI ; Alexandre BELBARI ; Guillaume POITEL ; Yannick VINCENT

This slick, student-made computer-animated short tells the story of a satyr who can’t help but tell the truth, and the silly sexual hijinks that he gets caught up in as a result. With a fun little twist in the end about how myths are made!

Featuring a tree nymph, a female Centaur and her jealous boyfriend, Bacchus, and a cameo by Zeus as a buff stud who’s so cool he’s gotta wear shades. Slapstick humor and some gratuituous T&A body shots make this one suitable for a teen/adult crowd.

A Centaur’s Life [セントールの悩み] (2017)

12 episodes, 30 min. each (split into two 15 minute segments); originally titled “Centaur’s Worries” in Japanese; based on a manga series by Kei Murayama that began in 2011 and is still being produced. The animated series was produced by Haoliners Animation League.

A Centaur’s Life is from the subgenre known as Minami-ke, or “slice of life” anime. It focuses on the experiences of the centaur Himeno Kimihara and her friends as they navigate through the highs and lows of high-school and adolescence. The only difference is theirs is a world of supernatural and hybrid creatures, as evolution took a different path and “normal” humans are now the stuff of mythology!






Mythopolis (2013)

No dialogue

From Fantoche: “Life is not simple for the small Minotaur with Medusa for a mother. Her enraged look turns everything to stone, which makes the search for a father problematic in this fantasy cartoon full of characters from Greek mythology.”

Czech Republic

Script, art design, animation, directed by: Alexandra Hetmerová
Sound: Jan Šléška
Music: Jindřich Čížek
Edit: Darina Moravčíková
Producer: FAMU
2D computer animation, 16:9, stereo, 12 min


A Day in the Life of a Roman Client (2017)

This film is the product of a scriptwriting competition for UK secondary schools sponsored by the University of Kent and overseen by Ray Laurence (who also narrates the film). Kien Powell wrote the winning script in 2016 and it was produced by Kent animation student Malachi James in 2017. The film explores the unequal social relations between a young client and his patron with a special focus on the role that food plays in the patronage system. James was inspired by the style of famed 1970s animation studio Hanna-Barbera in his rendering of this story.

TedEd: “A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome” (2012)

This short educational short film was written and narrated by Ray Laurence and produced by Cognitive Media for Ted-Ed Animation. It introduces us to life through the eyes of Lucius Popidius Secundus, a 17-year old living in Rome in 73 AD, and explores Roman social practices such as arranged marriages, coming of age rituals and communal bathing. This was the first of many film collaborations between Laurence and Cognitive, on topics both ancient (see also “Four Sisters in Ancient Rome) and modern (see “How Immigration Shaped Britain”). It has been viewed over 8 million times!

Thermae Romae [テルマエ・ロマエ] (2012)

This flash animated series is based on the wildly popular manga of the same name (produced between 2008 and 2012) by Mari Yamazaki. It tells the story of a Hadrianic-era Roman architect named Lucius who accidentally travels through time to a modern-day Japanese bathhouse, where he learns about modern building techniques and technologies. Inspired by these innovations, he returns to ancient Rome and builds his own spa. The series was produced as six episodes for Japanese television in 2012. A live-action film was also made by Fuji TV in 2012 and its success led to the production of a sequel, Thermae Romae II, in 2014. An additional online-only animation episode was also released in 2014 in collaboration with the toothbrush brand Reach.

More: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-04-26/thermae-romae-gets-collaboration-anime-short-with-reach-toothbrushes

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