Synonyms: Knights of the Zodiac, Zodiac Knights
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 11, 1986 to Apr 1, 1989
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.021 (scored by 23015 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action fantasy shounen
SynopsisAges ago, the goddess Athena was served by fighters called Saints who channeled the power of the Cosmos within them. Now a youth named Seiya has trained to become a Saint himself by earning the mystical Cloth of Pegasus. He is joined by other Saints with Cloths of their own to fight for Athena.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Saint Seiya
Side story: Saint Seiya: Shinku no Shounen Densetsu, Saint Seiya: Jashin Eris, Saint Seiya: Kamigami no Atsuki Tatakai, Saint Seiya: Saishuu Seisen no Senshi-tachi
Sequel: Saint Seiya: Meiou Hades Juuni Kyuu Hen
Summary: Saint Seiya: Soushuuhen
Prequel: Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas - Meiou Shinwa
Alternative version: Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary
Characters & Voice Actors
Saint Seiya was one of the very first anime series I watched as a young kid. Being that I might've had a bias towards this anime, I decided to watch it again not very long ago. While I admit this series is not as good as I remembered it, I belive it is still worth watching.
Saint Seiya had a brief run on Cartoon Network, but due to its violent content, it was moved to a very poor time and gradually lost any attention it received. If you followed it while they aired it or if you are just curious, I encourage you to give it a try.
The story follows the following paradigm: Athena, with the help of the zodiac saints, protects the Earth from the other gods whose wishes are only to do away with humanity. The use of Greek mythology is vastly employed throughout the story as other gods such as Poseidon and characters such as Medusa make appearances.
While that may sound quite simple (and it is very much straight forward), the characters undergo a thorough process of development. With each fight they seem to acquire more knowledge and powers that help them mature from teenagers to men. The themes of friendship, loyalty and endurance are some of the most explored throughout this anime. The bond that ties the saints with Athena is mere responsibility at first, but extends itself to friendship and love.
Regarding action, there is plenty of fighting from beginning to end. At first the matches are part of a game, but later on they develop into life and death situations. As the series progresses, the saints also acquire more power, which makes the fights all the more interesting. I do have to warn you, though, since there is quite an amount of death and blood throughout these fights.
When it comes to animation, it shows that the the series was made in the 1980's. For its time, and even compared to some more recent anime, the animation is quite decent. I have no complaints about it.
The OST fits the series very well. Most of the tracks help convey the series' feeling of the larger-than-life plot and battles in the entire story. I believe they did a phenomenal job here.
One last comment I'd like to make: This is not another dragon ball z. While there are some similarities, there is more involvment of more characters than in dbz (it doesn't always come down to helping the main character do everything). read more
Saint Seiya is a shounen that features several elements of mythology (mostly Greek mythology) and astronomy (constellations). The main characters, the Bronze Saints (knights), are responsible to protect goddess Athena and the humanity against the evil gods.
The fights are generally interesting, specially because the majority of the characters have a badass aura around them. On the other hand, they are more static than in other anime of the same genre, mainly because of the few techniques used by the Saints/knights.
The story is quite simple for the most part, and goes in a very monodimensional way, but it is solid.
Although the main focus of the plot is the war between Gods, the plot of the first arc revolves around the consequences of the Pope’s betrayal in Athena’s Sanctuary.
The first episodes feature the Bronze Saints fighting each other in the highly used but never old “tournament system”, competing for a very desired prize: Sagittarius Gold Cloth.
After the introduction of the main characters, Sanctuary arc really starts. We are introduced to a corrupted Pope, a man who should profess Athena's wishes, but uses Athena's soldiers to his evil intentions.
The Pope sends the Silver Saints to kill the Bronze Saints with the excuse that they deviated from their path. Some of the Sanctuary Saints know about the Pope’s evil intentions, others not.
It’s valid to say that it takes some episodes to reveal Athena's true identity. The same thing for the Pope.
It also takes some episodes for the Gold Saints appear. They are the strongest Athena's soldiers.
After this small summary, I tell you that Saint Seiya is a very entertaining anime, but it may have not aged well for the newer audience. I really don't now if it will please people that are only into modern days shounen.
Also, as I said, there are a lot of faults in the anime story when you compare it with its manga. So I wil tell some of them in the next lines.
Differences between anime and manga
The anime has some features that are superior than the manga, like the art in general, especially Character Design and Clothes (armors).
But the studio also created a lot of filler characters: some of them has not even a category (Bronze, Silver or Gold) or a constellation well defined.
There are also the total unnecessary Steel Saints, that have good-looking armors, but fight just using mechanical weapons, without cosmo (chi). They appear in some episodes at the beggining, but then they vanish without any explanation.
Other big difference is that Hyoga is disciple of Camus in the manga. In the anime, Hyoga is disciple of Crystal Saint. And Crystal Saint is disciple of Camus. This will have a significant implication in the future arcs (reveal more than this would be a spoiler).
The 12 Zodiac Temples Arc starts well, following the manga as much as possible, but the final fight is very different.
After this part, there is a whole filler arc, the Asgard arc. It features new enemies: the God Warriors. The armors and personalities of the enemies are very well made and solid for a filler. But fillers always have some fault: the God Warriors were made so strong, that they somehow overshadow the power of Marinas (from the following saga, cannon material).
This anime ends in the Poseidon arc, and has its sequel in Hades Chapter OVAs.
Animation and sound
Saint Seiya's songs are very, very good. The quality of the animation decreases in some episodes but it can be considered generally satisfactory if you take into account the time it was made. The character design, as I said, is way better than in the manga, especially the Clothes (armors).
Though some people may criticize their lack of free will in following Athena, I think the main characters of Saint Seiya are very catch. Each one of them helped to create the stereotypes of shounen characters (even influencing the conception of Gundam Wing's main cast):
Pegasus Seiya (impulsive and obstinate); Shiryu (calm and rational); Hyoga (sometimes hesitant, but rational when fighting seriously); Shun (kind-hearted, peaceful and emotive); Ikki (antihero, independent and secure).
All this characters are orphans who grew up together. But the singular relation between them is better justified in the manga, where they are all brothers.
Other saints I must highlight are the Gold Saints. Each Gold Saint represents one of the signs of the zodiac, sometimes even in powers and personalities, though some of them must be a little stereotyped.
Most of the enemies in the series are fairly developed for an 80's anime, as they usually have a background story and a meaning to fight that takes the story beyond the good x evil plot.
I am suspicious in praising Saint Seiya, since it was my first anime, so it was very important to my childhood. But I can recommend it to those who like old-school anime, since it may be dated to younger viewers. I also recommend to read the manga, if you have time and want to better understand the story. The art is worse, but the plot works better. read more
Bleach is clearly inspired in Saint Seiya and this is more noticeable in the Soul Society saga, which is very similar to the 12 Gold Saints Saga. The Bleach Captains looks a lot with 12 Gold Saints, both looks "invencible" and the difference in power for the protagonists is initially giant.
Endless fighting, Each Character has uniqe zanpakuto/cloth, Similar approach on story, Fillers all over the place.
Saint Seiya inspired Tite Kubo into being a mangaka. MUST watch for any Bleach fan.
Both have cinematic fights and an epic cast with a sub-theme of self sacrifice.
Bleach are clearly inspired in Saint Seiya and this is more noticeable in the Soul Society saga, which is very similar to the 12 Gold Saints Saga. The Bleach Captains looks a lot with 12 Gold Saints, both looks "invencible" and the difference in powerfor the protagonists is initially giant.
Also, Arrancars Saga reminds a litte Asgard Saga in Saint Seiya.
both tales about bishonens and pure manliness
I can't believe it, dudes. They both so similar! Bankais, captains and like them saints have diffirent cloths with diffirent powers. (well some times they share one element) It's like a Bleach 20 years ago! I didn't seen anything so similar (and i watched Beelzebub), you should definitely check this out!
Naruto was probably influenced by Saint Seiya's concept of lower class soldiers fighting and defeating those of higher hierarchy. The upper class soldiers notably underestimates their lower class opponents and are overcome.
If you like Epic battles, you can't go wrong with another of the most popular anime ever: saint seiya
Naruto was heavily influenced by the great 1 vs 1 fights of saint seiya, you will begin to notice the cool similarities right way!
Both anime teem with combats in which fighters rely on some inner strength that grows subsequently as the story develops. In Naruto, it is Chakra, while in Saint Seiya, it is Cosmos... Both anime do tackle similar themes such as: loyalty and brotherhood.
Opening Theme#1: "Pegasus Fantasy" by MAKE-UP (eps 1-73)
#2: "Soldier Dream" by Hironobu Kageyama & Broadway (eps 74-114)
Ending Theme#1: "Blue Forever" by MAKE-UP (eps 1-73)
#2: "Dream Traveler" by Hironobu Kageyama & Broadway (eps 74-114)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
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