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Reign














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Reign: The Obsession of Alexander / Reign: The Conqueror
















Based on a Japanese novel, this 13-part series was the result of a collaboration of quite a few of anime's greatest names.  Character and graphic designs were contributed by Peter Chung.  The plot and setting were decidely otherworldly; though events tracked rougly with Alexander of Macedon's actual life, many exotic liberties were taken.  For one thing, the series had him opposed by a cult of Pythagoreans, utilizing a sort of techno-magic based on geometry and convinced that he would destroy the world.  Aristotle, the ghost of Plato, Darius, Roxanne, Pericles, Diogenes, Ptolemy--the series was practically a rolodex of the exalted personages of the ancient Greek world.

In the US, he series aired on a late-night slot on the Cartoon Network.  A feast of anachronism, the imaginaton of its graphic design was truly stunning--the city of Alexandria, built as a giant puzzle-palace in the shape of a human body; massive, bloody battles; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; intricate, clockwork war machines.  Notably, no one in the entire series ever wore any pants. Which was actually an authentic touch, even if the thongs, magic and giant mechanical warriors weren't.

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PERSIAN EMPIRE

Above is the flag the Persian Empire uses on the battlefield in the course of Reign. Below, the cavalry flag; identical save for a golden triangle in the top left corner.

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I don't know if it's based on a historical design, or whether the actual Persians ever used anything resembling a moon-and-star device.  In the series a character mentions that 'the moon is the symbol of Persia.' I'll post an update if anyone cares to enlighten me.
 
UPDATE:  OK, so I'm told the symbol is totally bogus.  Figures.  Whatever else Reign may have been, a paragon of historical verisimillitude wasn't it.















Copyright someone-or-other 1999