Based on the namesake manga series written by Hiroshi Takashige and illustrated by Ryoji Minagawa, ‘Spriggan’ takes all the speculations about advanced ancient civilizations and presumes them to be authentic. Although wars have destroyed those societies, their remnants have survived in the form of various artifacts. The title of the Netflix science-fiction action ONA refers to a group of elite agents of the ARCAM Corporation, serving as part of the militia division. The series protagonist is Yu Ominae, one of the best Spriggans currently active in the field. He seems to earnestly believe ARCAM’s mission statement, at least at first and has devoted his life to securing — or if necessary, sealing off or destroying — the ancient artifacts so they will not fall into the wrong hands.
At the same time, Yu is ultimately a teenager and longs for a normal life where he can spend more time with his school friends. Here is everything you need to know about ‘Spriggan’ season 1. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Spriggan Season 1 Recap
In episode 1, titled ‘Flame Serpent,’ prodigious linguist Rie Yamabishi returns to Japan to investigate ancient ruins under Mount Fuji and find her childhood friend Yu Ominae, who was at the orphanage with her. Right after she lands in Japan, American operatives try to kidnap her, but a mysterious Spriggan saves her from her potential abductors. The Spriggan and Rie work together to defeat Koichi Moroha of the SVR Far East Division. Mororha reveals himself as the scion of a family that has served as the priests of the Shrine of Fire for generations. They were tasked to control the volcanic activities of Mount Fuji. Now, Moroha wants to free the Flame Serpent, the source of that power. He betrays the Russian government he works for and nearly succeeds in starting his destructive march of conquest across the world. However, the Spriggan defeats him, and it is revealed that the Spriggan and Rie’s friend Yu Ominae are the same person.
In episode 2, titled ‘Noah’s Ark,’ Yu reunites with fellow Spriggan Jean Jacquemonde and takes on the deadly Machiner’s Platoon of the American military to protect fellow ARCAM employees and stop the US from getting their hands on Noah’s Ark. In episode 3, titled ‘The Forest of No Return,’ Yu reluctantly teams up with Iwao Akatsuki, an operative for the rival Trident Corporation, and tomb robber Yoshino Somei to fight off ghosts and cursed spirits and attempt to retrieve Soma, the nectar of Indian gods.
In episode 4, titled ‘Berserker, Yu fights an ancient weapon known as the Berserker at a secret facility in the United Kingdom. In episode 5, titled ‘The Crystal Skull,’ after Professor Kawahara, an important member of the ARCAM, is killed by the neo-Nazis, Yu works together with his mentor Oboro, who has infiltrated the neo-Nazis under the name Mirage, and Kawahara’s grieving daughter Suzuko to take the neo-Nazis down and get back a special Crystal Skull, which has the powers to initiate nuclear explosions.
In the season 1 finale, titled ‘The Forgotten Kingdom,’ the Island of Ghosts rises from the depth of the Pacific Ocean for the first time in 40 years, and Yu once more unhappily teams up with Yoshino as he ventures into the island to learn its secrets. Meanwhile, Larry Markusson of the Trident Corporation arrives on the island on a US Navy vessel seeking the same secrets. Accompanying him is Bowman, one of Yu’s former mentors.
Spriggan Season 1 Ending: Is ARCAM Evil?
Initially, ‘Spriggan’ establishes ARCAM as a force for good despite its controversial practices in the matters regarding the ancient relics and the brutal way it deals with its enemies. In the first season, Yu gets warned about ARCAM’s dubious motives by Akatsuki and Bowman. Yu ardently seems to believe in the overall objectives of ARCAM, but it is later revealed that he too has his share of doubts.
The story takes place in a world where ancient civilizations actually existed and weren’t just matters of speculations. The stories told in religious scriptures and epics are also real. ARCAM sends its operatives all over the world to either retrieve or seal off or destroy the relics. Predictably, they come into direct conflict with governments of various countries, including the US and Russia, as well as a rival organization named Trident.
Ironically, although ARCAM’s operatives regularly find themselves fighting US agents, their headquarters is located in America. Officially, the organization is known as ARCAM Foundation, though it’s actually a corporation. They have a private army or militia. The Spriggans are an elite division within the said militia. According to the manga, ARCAM was originally established by Tea Flatte Arcam, a British woman who has been alive since the time of Merlin. It is the legendary wizard from whom she got her immortality and the task to protect the relics. In the present time, she is known simply as Tea Flatte. She is a Spriggen and has hidden her identity from her comrades.
So, ARCAM is not an inherently evil organization. However, Henry Garnum, its current president, has ulterior motives. Although he is yet to make an appearance in the Netflix ONA, his expansive plans are already in motion. He builds up a secret coalition with Larry Markusson (alternatively known as Larry Markson), the head of the Trident Corporations, who does make an appearance in the final episode of the show.
Along with Markusson, Garnum serves as a major overarching antagonist in the manga series. After establishing control over the ARCAM’s field operations, Garnum sends Rie and other researchers to help Trident excavate the South Pole Shrine. Yu and other Spriggans team up with Akatsuki to stop Garnum and Markusson’s schemes.
Who Is Larry Markusson?
Larry Markusson is a high-ranking figure within the Trident Corporation and serves as a primary antagonist in the original manga series. Trident was established by NATO as an R&D Division. However, it later started to function as a rogue organization. It is generally believed that Trident is involved in weapon development. The reality is that they develop weapons using ancient technologies. The American Glovers Heavy Industries, Japanese Takasumi Zaibatsu, and European Campbell Company are their biggest backers.
In the manga, it is revealed that Markusson and Henry Garnum have come to a secret agreement regarding the relics at the South Pole Shrine. Their former subordinates turned adversaries form a coalition among themselves to bring Markusson and Gurnam down.
What Is the Significance of the End-Credits Scene?
After the credits stop rolling in ‘The Forgotten Kingdom,’ a mysterious soldier eliminates an entire group of mercenaries before contacting his superior officer, whom he refers to as “colonel,” and informing him that the mission is complete. The colonel tells the soldier, “Time to pull out. Clean up and rendezvous. I sent your next mission to your terminal.” The next scene of the post-credits sequence takes place at Yu’s school. The Sasahara twins converse about Yu missing school again. The soldier from before, now dressed in the school’s uniform, appears at the school gate. As Yu’s photo appears on his screen, the colonel tells him to “assassinate Number 43. Also known as, Yu Ominae.” The eyes of the soldier turn red, implying that he might have similar powers as Yu and other Spriggans.
This sets up the next season of ‘Spriggan.’ The soldier here is Sho Kanaya, one of the major antagonists in the original manga. The colonel is Ralph Cooley. When Yu and Sho were younger, they were taken from all over the world by the CIA agents and US soldiers and inducted into the brutal project known as COSMOS or Children Of Soldiers Machine Organic System). This is a black-ops unit predominantly comprised of brainwashed child soldiers. When Colonel Cooley mentions Number 43, he is referring to Yu’s codename at COSMOS. Cooley is the head of the project. He lost his left eye and left arm in a fight with Yu after the latter remembered who he was and now wears an eyepatch and has a cybernetic limb.
What Are the OOPArts? What Is Orichalcum?
OOPArts is an acronym that stands for out-of-place artifacts, often time referring to powerful ancient relics that are found at unlikely locations in ‘Spriggan,’ whereas Orichalcum is a metal. The suit that Yu wears is made of Orichalcum. In episode 2, Dr. Mayzel, a member of ARCAM’s research team, gives Yu the Orichalcum fighting knife he made for him. Both OOPArts and Orichalcum have some significance in real life. The term OOPArts refers to artifacts found in a historically, archaeologically, or paleontologically unexplainable context. Such artifact can be too scientifically advanced for the time or should not be at the location where it is found as per the current understanding of history. Some well-known OOPArts are the Antikythera mechanism, The Tamil Bell, and The Shroud of Turin.
Multiple ancient writings mention a type of metal called Orichalcum. In the story of Atlantis from Plato’s ‘Critias,’ the eponymous ancient Athenian politician claims that Orichalcum was regarded as second in value to gold at the time of the Atlanteans, who used to mine and widely use the metal. However, by the time of Critias, Orichalcum had become a part of the Atlantean legend. Over the years, scholars have speculated that it could have been a variety of things, including platinum, some form of copper alloy, an unknown metal, or an alloy of unknown metals.
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