Myth And MagicaBy the Nozomi Entertainment Production Team, 2009
Celtic magic, the magic of King Solomon, Onmyoudou, Shintoism... The mage recruiting agency Astral faces harsh dangers and deadly adversaries with a large variety of specialties at their disposal. While much of the magic in Rental Magica may seem far fetched, it's well documented in the myths of multiple cultures and spans over thousands of years! Let's take a look at the magic used by Astral's three primary practitioners, Honami, Nekoyashiki, and Mikan, as well as their oftentimes guest practitioner from Goetia, Adelicia.
ARCANE SPECIALTIES OF RENTAL MAGICA
From about 3000 years ago to the 5th century, the Celts were a flourishing people in Europe, and Honami’s abilities are modeled after the Celtic druids of that period. Druids were thought to be able to influence weather, harvests, and other things in nature. Some of this is reflected in the show through Honami’s use of mistletoe and small, circular stones called “enseki,” which are explained in greater detail in the book that is included with the first Rental Magica box set.
King Solomon’s Magic
In Rental Magica, the magic of King Solomon focuses on the summoning and control of various demons and greater supernatural beings. Some of this stems from the legends told of King Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel. Supposedly, Solomon could command and control demons and djinns, had dominion over the wind, and could fly on a magic carpet. Adelicia’s demons, such as Forneus and Eligor, are also based on demons of myth, as detailed in the book entitled The Lesser Key of Solomon.
A spiritual profession of pre-19th century Japan, Onmyoudou centers around divination and astrology. As an Onmyouji, or practitioner of the art, Nekoyashiki serves Astral most prominently through his use of “shikigami,” or magical familiars that serve him. Nekoyashiki’s cats are a prime examples as are the paper cut-outs and scrolls he uses. Nekoyashiki’s cats, Genbu, Suzaku, Seiryu, and Byakko, are named after The Four Symbols of Chinese astrology, each representing a particular element and possessing its own unique mythology.
Shintoism was a primary religion of Japan until after World War II, and it still persists today as one of the primary religions next to Buddhism and Christianity. However, today’s Shintoism is less focused on the mythological aspects of the religion. In Rental Magica, Shintoism is primarily concerned with purification and protection. Supposedly, Shinto priestesses could invoke the gods to receive blessings, and this is demonstrated by Mikan, Astral’s resident Shinto priestess, on a few occasions.