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 Theory: The Maenads, why this name and where they're from

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mangaka-chan
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PostSubject: Theory: The Maenads, why this name and where they're from   12th April 2013, 10:13 am

One thing that's always confused me about the manga is why Takeuchi called the twin priestesses of Elysian "Maenads". In Greek mythology the Maenads were wild, crazed followers of the wine god Dionysus, who could tear apart wild animals with their bare hands. This totally did not match the image we see of them in the manga, which seem to depict them as gentle, and soft spoken. To this day I can't figure out why on earth Takeuchi chose the name of "Maenad" when it would've made far more sense to use say, Pythia, based on the Oracle of Delphi.

But I had a bit of an epiphany when the new volume 10 Kodansha edition came out and saw that they had romanized the Maenad's name as Menaeds instead. The translator, Mari Morimoto, seemed to have come across the same quandary I have, and in the translator's notes section she explains why they changed "Maenads" to "Menaeds". Turns out the "Menae" are the 50 Greek goddesses that represents the moon's phases, and according to mythology are appropriately enough the daughters of Selene and Endymion.

Now, I don't know if Takeuchi actually meant to write "Menae" all along and just made a mistake with how she wrote the katakana for her character's name (personally I kind of doubt it). But I do like the idea that maybe the twin priestesses were of lunar origin. Perhaps when Elysian and Helios were created/born at the very beginning of the Golden Kingdom, Queen Serenity had sent two of her hand maidens to Earth to help raise and guide the fledgling realm and its guardian.
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PostSubject: Re: Theory: The Maenads, why this name and where they're from   12th April 2013, 10:20 am

^.~ it'd explain their odangos, right?

I like this headcanon. ^^

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PostSubject: Re: Theory: The Maenads, why this name and where they're from   12th April 2013, 3:11 pm

What Naoko wrote was メナード (Menaado), it would be very difficult to make a mistake for that in Japanese without picking it. This is a recognised approximation of "Maenads" rather than having anything to do with Dionysus, it may just have to do with the Japanese perceptions of the Greek Myth. There's a quite a well known Cosmetics Company in Japan called メナード where they say the company has been named for the Goddesses of Beauty. Are there any known lesser myths where this is true?

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PostSubject: Re: Theory: The Maenads, why this name and where they're from   13th April 2013, 12:41 am

@Houyou no Senshi wrote:
What Naoko wrote was メナード (Menaado), it would be very difficult to make a mistake for that in Japanese without picking it. This is a recognised approximation of "Maenads" rather than having anything to do with Dionysus, it may just have to do with the Japanese perceptions of the Greek Myth. There's a quite a well known Cosmetics Company in Japan called メナード where they say the company has been named for the Goddesses of Beauty. Are there any known lesser myths where this is true?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the intended mythological figure was Maenad too, but it just makes no sense. -_-;; Maybe Takeuchi saw an image somewhere of Maenads frolicking in the woods and got the wrong impression about their mythological attributes? Am now totally making stuff up. :p
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PostSubject: Re: Theory: The Maenads, why this name and where they're from   13th April 2013, 12:50 am

Like I said before, the word is connotative to the Japanese with beauty so it might just come through that instead

Or Naoko may have just been making a connection to the daughters, but I don't know that word in Japanese

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