The Yomi Kingdom ("Hades" in the Tokyopop edition) is a pivotal location in the 1966-1967 arc The Underground Empire of Yomi and adaptations sourcing from the storyline.
Buried deep beneath the Earth's surface, the kingdom and its inhabitants, the Pu'Awak, have been enslaved by the dinosaur race known as the Zattan for many years, up until Black Ghost drove the Zattan out of the kingdom a year prior to the start of the arc.
The closest species to that of humans in the underground empire, in both appearance and their genetic makeup.
Each woman in the Pu'Awak species has been genetically altered to sire many children in a multiple birth, which the Zattan have exploited so that the women can be used as living food supplies, birthing as many as three to eight children at once and leaving said children (and parents) at risk of being eaten as the Zattan's "meat".
All members of the Pu'Awak species are from groups of identical siblings due to this genetic manipulation, including the five princesses of the kingdom. They have developed the ability of shared telepathy among their siblings, and can sense what the others are feeling.
Other Notable Pu'AwaksEdit
- Septuplet Cyborgs: A team of seven, cybernetically-modified Pu'Awak brothers that 009 briefly fights within the arc. Among their abilities, one has detachable hands with chains inside his arms, one can breathe fire from his nose, one is seen to have knife blades extend from his arms, and another has a bomb embedded inside his body.
- Triplet Guards: A group of bald brothers that are used to watch over the 00 team members that were taken captive.
Other Species in the KingdomEdit
Due to its vastly different ecosystem and history, Yomi is also host to many unusual types of mammal and reptile. Some of these are first seen as Van Vogt's "pets" when 009 goes to investigate his property in the manga version of the arc.
- The Rutal Tribe: A pack of savage, primitive beastmen with super-strength.
- Pteranodon: These dinosaurs live on in the underground world, and can be seen flying about.
- Ultrasaurus: This sort of dinosaur dwells in its ocean.
- Eops: A tiny breed of horse, noted to be ancestors of the common animal.
- Half: A large frog with fins, described as being friendly towards humans.
- Leon: A shape-shifting, monkey-esque creature. One is first seen as Van Vogt's pet named "Sasuke".
The liner notes in the final Yomi tankobon volume also jokingly list Shotaro Ishinomori as an "insignificant other" type of creature, along with his Mutant Mole mascot.
A giant coelacanth can be witnessed in another sequence in the manga arc, when some of the 00 team are swallowed by one.
Other Cyborg Experiments by Black GhostEdit
As part of Black Ghost's reign, there are also cybernetic experiments witnessed in the kingdom during the manga, such as a beast that 009 fights.
Another sequence involves three large spinning disks that upon their destruction, are revealed to have been cyborgs that could not make physical contact due to their magnetic build. This is shown through the human brains powering each disk. Though not directly stated, it is possible they may have been Pu'Awak brains, as there was precedence with the Septuplet Cyborgs being remodeled by Black Ghost.
- As Yomi and Hades both refer to the underworld in different languages (Japanese and Greek respectively), "Hades" is an acceptable localization for the kingdom, coupled with the Greek-themed architecture, the fashion worn by the Pu'Awaks, and some of the princesses' names. However, while Tokyopop opted to use that name for the kingdom, Sony Pictures' English dub of the anime went with keeping the Yomi name.
- The Pu'Awak name is believed to be a pun on the words "Poor Work", referring to its status as a slave class. In turn, the English translation by Tokyopop had quite literally localized "Pu'Awak" into "Unfortunate Slaves".
- The Yomi Kingdom is based off the kingdom of Pellucidar, in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar series, which was published through 1914-1963. The Zattan are a reference to the Mahars species, a race of flying reptiles that control over the rest of the empire and that use humans as slaves.