Synonyms: Knights of the Zodiac, Zodiac Knights
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 11, 1986 to Apr 1, 1989
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.991 (scored by 16792 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction fantasy shounen
Sep 3, 2008
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
Feb 22, 2010
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
Feb 22, 2009
Basically the story follows a group of 5 "Zodiac warriors" of Athena in their mission to save the world from the "evil" gods who want to destroy it. The anime heavily relies on Greek mythology, so the story follows a path trough Olympian’s gods.
The story is really absorbing and exciting, the fact that the 12 zodiac signs appears as a main part of the story sets the mood for a more personal and deeper involvement in the story (who doesn't want to watch he's own Zodiac sign win??). Whilst the animation is not up to what we are used nowadays, it’s quite decent for its time. The sound is decent but just that. And the characters are well built.
But what makes Saint Seiya stand alone, is, its art. Every warrior is based upon a constellation, and every warrior has his unique armor. Somewhat around 100 armors are displayed trough the anime.
So I really recommend this anime if you are interested in watching a cult anime, with really cool art, average animation, and a no so deep story arc. read more
Apr 2, 2010
The animation for this series is obviously going to seem dated because of the poor frame rate and some jerkiness in its presentation. However new masters have been made available recently and I had a chance to get a look at them. Overall, it has stood the test of time fairly well. The only things that might be a problem for some viewers are the (as mentioned above) poor frame rate, repeated footage but also the fact that some episodes have inconsistent artwork.
Overall, these series has beautiful character designs for both the boys and the girls AND some beautiful backgrounds to match. It's just that some episodes reflect those better than others. Of course, at the time the series was made and with the demand for more episodes, its fidelity to the art is amazing. It does not make the characters look cheap so that they stay on budget. This already makes it better (animation wise) than later shows like Ranma or Naruto where the quality just drops as the series progresses.
In the second and third series of Saint Seiya (criminally not given their own sections by most sites) the animation quality raises a bar. The artwork looks a lot cleaner and sharper. The saints are given better armors (or cloths) to fight in. The backgrounds are even more detailed (the Asgard series just looks breathtaking).
The sound of Saint Seiya is made up of JRock intros, JPop outro and symphonic compositions within the episodes (with vocals on some tracks). Overall, this gives the series a magnificently epic feel as all types of music are produced incredibly well to suit the mood/s of the show. Soldier Dream is the stand out vocal track for me. The stand out composition in a sea of greatness is Athena's Theme. The only reason I did not give sound a 10 is because these symphonies are reused a few times and as lovely as they are to hear, I just kept wishing for more of them. This does not mean the series is a one trick poney as it does have about 13 soundtracks at last count.
The story is what will get you into this series as first. As the synopsis describes it is about a war for humankind (yeah I know, a cliche in today's anime climate but not so much at the time it was made). The interesting thing about this though is that it uses mythological aspects to move the story along. A lot of mythologies are explored, with the obvious ones being Greek, Norse and Bhuddist. The saints themselves wear armors that are derivative of mythologies but in an astrological sense. Like Seiya having the Pegasus armor, Shun having the Andromeda armor or Algol having the Medusa armor.
The best thing about the story is how it manages to keep a lot of mysteries to itself in the first series (the Sanctuary Arc) as you do not know if the protagonists are actually right until about episode 50. Preceeding episode 50 are wonderful episodes that develop the characters so well that its climax just moves you to tears.
The second and third series have different stories that are persued but despite the length (25 and 15 eps respectively) they still maintain the epic atmosphere and have some of the most touching characters in all of anime.
The characters in the Asgard series are probably the best antagonists (as a group) that anime has to offer. They are marvellously well developed so that you feel their triumphs and failures like they were transcending you. Mime, Fenrir, Thor and, Syb and Bud are the best of that cast and their respective stories have the potential to move you to tears (Think Now and Then Here and There). The best part of it is how they actually affect our leading team of five (Seiya, Shun, Shiryu, Hoyga and Ikki) which makes them connect with us even more.
The main five are also very successful characters. Of them my favourite is Shiryu because of his values and willingness to sacrifice himself. Shun and Hyoga are close seconds as they have interesting backstories and a powerful bond. Ikki has a very interesting personality that is developed very successfully as the series goes. Seiya, although the main, is my least favourite of the five as he is a little childish and annoying (yet, still well developed). I have grown to like him a lot more with the newer releases of the series though.
The great thing about this series is that you are sure to connect with at least one of the characters as there are quite a few of them and, even ones that don't feature for very long have enough of a story that you don't feel they are a waste of time.
The sanctuary arc has Aphrodite, Camus, Shura, Saga, Shaka, Shaina, Cassios, Aiolia and Aldebaran as stand outs for various reasons I do not want to spoil. The poseidon arc has Krishna, Scylla, Lymnades, Canon and Poseidon himself to keep you interested. All these characters are so well done that some of their characteristics have become cliches. So you should watch Saint Seiya to see where it all starts.
I own this whole series and it a definitely a must see. If you're unsure as to whether you will like it, ADV Films is releasing an affordable thinpak with the first 30 episodes for you to decide whether it is your cup of tea. Also try www.rightstuf.com for good deals on the singles. I think they are something like $5 at the moment for 5 episodes a disc, which is amazing value.
I thoroughly enjoy this show everytime I rewatch it as a whole or in parts so I think all of you shounen fans will find something to like too. The chracter design also allows for a few bishounens so the girls are thought of as well. read more
Aug 3, 2009
I'd start saiying that Saint Seiya was my introdution to the world of anime. The story, the characters, the myth, the bloody and very impressive fights, the dilemmas the characters had to go through, all created a perfect and attractive piece of something I wasn't used to watching. I kinda compare it to the influence that the american music exerted over me. I wasn't a music enthusiast untill I heard Mariah Carey for the first time. I mean after watching Saint Seiya, I experienced the kind of excitement that an animation could 'cause and became an otaku.
Let me try my very best to describe Saint Seiya:
It's about goddess Athena, who reincarnate on the earth every 200 or 300 years to protect it from the aproaching evil, and her saints, who are, in most of the cases, teenagers.
There are three different ranks of saints. Bronze saints(the lower rank), silver saints and the highest rank, that happens to be the gold ones. The five saints who are around Athena(in her current reincarnation as Saori Kido) in almost the whole series belong to the lower rank. Though they're supposedly the weakest ones, they manage to overcome even the gold saints in order to protect they're goddess. If you watch it, you'll find out sometimes that it's kinda hard to believe that those boys(Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Ikki and Shun) could achieve such level of power, performing miracles to the point that they don't seem to be simple humans anymore.
Every saint has his own guiding constellation in wich the power of they're cosmos(something like chakra in Naruto's world) is based. As it's explained trough the series, the cosmos has no rank. So even a lower rank saint could master it and become strong enough to fight and defeat the gods.
There's also a lot to comment about the musical themes of the series. I kinda can't get those songs and arranges out of my mind. The one I like the most is that one played in the end of every episode, causing you that anxiety for the next episode that keeps you always coming for more. For myself, I can say that Seiji Yokoyama did an amazing job in composing the soundtracks.
Another Shounen animes
If you liked Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Hunter x Hunter, Dragon Ball Z, etc. Then you won't be wasting your time and Iencourage you to watch this amazing anime that h ad a huge influence over my entire life. Though it's not visually impressive as the ones I've just mentioned, it's still worth it watching. Belive me you won't regret.
I'm gonna finish it now, 'cause I'm afraid that this review could be so boring that you guys can't bear reading it 'till the end. That's it for now. Hope I have helped you get to know one of the best series out there.
Oct 1, 2010
What really appealed to me about this story was the inclusion of Greek mythology and the use of the constellations to each represent a guardian to Athena. As a modern day re-telling of those qualities, I find that it's adapted very excellently. I like how the concept of chains for lets say Andromeda is transitioned from the original mythology to the character Shun, and of course everybody knows what the legend of the phoenix is, and its used very conveniently with the character Ikki. If you pretty much know the original Greek stories on a basic level, I say it can add a bit more to the enjoyment. If you're expecting something very accurate and 100% faithful, don't bet on it. Keep in mind this is a semi-retelling of Greek mythology with some Asian cultural twists to it which add a unique element to it in that sense.
The pacing can be slow, but very spread out. The amount of episodes put into this series allows each character to have their own contribution to the story, as well as to have their own individual and relationship development. For example, the main character, Seiya, wants nothing to do with being a saint for Athena, and wants to find his long lost sister. But after awhile, he discovers that he can use his role to hopefully have his sister also find him early on in the series. But after a short while, Seiya comes to embrace his role as Earth's protector. But it's not only interesting that Seiya only develops, but the rest of the cast and even some of the villains have their own unique development as well. And when you get to know some of the characters in an individual sense, you do get drawn to them because of how well they are presented with their personal traits and background.
The personalities of the main cast overall can be considered stereotypical by modern day standards with Seiya as the act now/never think leader; Ikki as the lone wolf; and Shun as the more soft and feminine guy, but at least the chemistry is balanced and each character can be a foil to one another. Anybody can be a foil to Seiya in the group, and Seiya can be a foil to anybody and so on.
Of course being a Shounen Jump adapted anime, there are its share of fillers. The worst part about this series is certainly the Steel Saints. I felt their concept really negated what Saint Seiya was about with manipulating the cosmos in your body and really cheapened the value of that. But thankfully they are only in a few episodes and they disappear without a trace never to be seen again. But after the Sanctuary Arc, there is a filler arc called the Asgard Arc where the Bronze saints must fight the God Warriors inspired by Norse Mythology. I felt this is one filler arc that I found to be very productive and in some ways advanced and contributed to the development of the story, and finds a way to connect the last story arc of the anime TV series. I thought the respective characters were an excellent represenation of the myths they were adapated from and matched up very well with the Bronze saints.
Art and Animation
I have to say is that I really liked how the design of the characters and I find to be a bit better than the original manga version. I like how it feels more "cleaned up," and not as rough looking. Granted Saint Seiya is an action series, but the way Kurumada inks makes it difficult for me to follow sometimes. Then again, I got bad eyes. I like how the anime makes the characters faces a bit wider and more circular. In that sense, the characters come across more convincingly as teenagers. In the manga, I wouldn't believe that Seiya was thirteen, while in the anime, I believe he can. I also like how Ikki kind of looks like a Nagai Go design. It really makes him stick out and suits his big frame since Nagai liked to sometimes design characters like that. Sometimes I wonder if Ikki was meant to be a tribute to Nagai Go's style.
Of course what some people may have problems with is Shun's design. I'll admit that I first thought he was a girl looking at the pictures. His face, his figure, the design of his armor just makes you think he's a girl. Apparently thanks to this design of Shun, it pushed way for yaoi. Not only did Kurumada-sensei pave way for Shounen Jump with his original manga, Ring ni Kakero, his creation of Shun paved way for yaoi. Kind of interesting that Kurumada is the father of both Shounen Jump and yaoi. I don't know why I can forgive Shun for looking like a girl, I guess in series like these, you may not directly need a woman, but a guy with a feminine side and Shun fills that role very well.
What also makes this series very appealing is of course the various designs of the armor that ALL the characters wear. A good fraction of the armor isn't of course 100% accurate to what you see in Greek mythology, but I felt it works with the characters' individual builds, along the way the action and the individual techniques are performed with more emphasis on speed. The armors well represent their respective constellations, and I like when they don't wear their armor, the pieces will form the constellation they represent.
Another thing that sticks out to met before I talk about the action is of course the design of the God Warriors and the Asgard characters in general. Obviously they were not designed by Kurumada, and their coloring is a lot lighter and brighter, and their hair is much thinner compared to how Kurumada draws more wild and thicker hair styles. The designs reminded me of a Josei style manga. But I suppose it does allow more diversity to the style of Saint Seiya if you want to look at this more postiviely. But lets move on.
Another high and low point of this series is the action. A lot of recycled animation is used, but Saint Seiya of course isn't the only hit anime series guilty of this feature so I think myself along with a good amount of fans can forgive that. The fighting is explosive with some super bad ass techniques, but not to a point where it gets ridiculously over the top. Despite the more emphasis on special moves, the fights are still strategic, and I like how the concept of styles makes fights is applied here. For example, one character can't beat this guy because of such and such, but this character may be able to beat this bad guy because they have a technique or a feature with their cloth in which it gives them the opportunity to win. So in some ways, it makes you feel that this character isn't the strongest amongst the saints and so on. It's all about who matches up with who.
And I have to say that Saint Seiya has some of the coolest techniques I have ever seen in action anime. I think some of the techniques used in this anime are way cooler than what you see in Hokuto no Ken and Dragon Ball Z. So, if you want to see some cool action with some sweet moves and bad ass looking armor, then Saint Seiya is for you.
Music and Voice Acting
All I have to say is that Pegasus Fantasy by MAKE-UP is certainly one of the best opening themes of an anime in history. If anybody is going to make a top anime theme list, you are no true anime fan if this song is not on your list. The opening guitars just insantly grab you by the balls and the drum beats are catchy. The singing is very energetic and passionate, and the lyrics pretty much tell you the basics of what Saint Seiya is, and that it's about masculinity, the burning fire of youth being a hero,and kicking ass. It's just the talent of MAKE-UP just makes it sound so epic. If I were a pro-wrestler or professional fighter, this would certainly be my top choice of an entrance song just like how MMA fighter Josh Barnett comes out to Ai Wo Torimodose from Hokuto no Ken. The song is so awesome that this French guy went on French Idol, and actually sang it. Granted he wasn't a great singer, but I felt from his posture and his tone, that his inner cosmos igniting for the world to see made up for his lack of talent. Hell, I think he's far more talented than a majority of idiots who go on shows like that anyway.
The second opening theme, Dream Warrior sung by Kageyama Hironobu, who is also famous for doing the songs for Dragon Ball Z is also excellent in its own right though I don't think it compares to Pegasus Fantasy. The ending themes tend to be more relaxed and is a good way to cool the audience down after seeing the intensity of what this show has to offer, so it shows another good balance to the series. It still tells the same stories of living out your dreams and being a myth come to life.
The voice talent consists the best of what anime has to offer. I'll admit the one seiyuu who impressed me most was Horikawa Ryo, the voice of Vegeta from DBZ, as the voice of Andromeda Shun. With Vegeta, he's always angry and hostile and is ready to kick somebody's ass. While as Shun, he's very soft, feminine, and a pacifist. His acting is so convincing as this character, it makes it very hard to believe this guy would later voice Vegeta. It just shows how well talented he is. Another great name is of course the voice of Seiya himself, Furuya Tooru, who is world known as the voice of Amuro Ray from Gundam, and as Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon. His talent allows Seiya to be very young and yet masculine and hot-headed. The late great Suzuoki Hirotaka, famous for playing Captain Bright from Gundam, Kaifun from Macross, Kuno from Ranma, and Saitou Hajime from Rurouni Kenshin plays Shiryu. He makes him sound calm and contemplative. And I can't deny the presence of Ikeda Shuuichi as the voice of Milo, The Scorpio Gold Sait. This guy origially played the Mother Fucking Red Comet, Char Aznable from Gundam, and Hiko Seijuro from Rurouni Kenshin.
As for the many dubs out there, I can't speak much for them. I tried watching the English dub, but I found it horrid with the static acting, and the mispronunciating of names such as Shiryu as She-ru, Hyoga, as Hai-oh-ga, and Saori as Sei-o-ri. I just couldn't get past that. I know that Saint Seiya was already popular in Europe and Mexico, but I can't speak for the dubs of those countries. But as an English speaker and as a mediocre Japanese speaker, I can only speak for the Japanese and English version. But watch this in Japanese, you will get one of the best ensemble voice acting casts of all times. Not just for their names, but for their talents and how they bring their characters to life.
Sadly, despite it's popularity overseas, America was stupid 20 years ago and didn't pick up this series when it had the chance. It could have been a HUGE success and put anime on the map 100% worldwide long before Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z did. But for some reason, somebody just looked over this awesome classic and not many American fans have seen this old school epic, and it's one of the most influentional titles in the history of manga. But you know, that's the way it is. As for who I recommend this to, of course people who love old school for starters. And I say if you love Hokuto no Ken, then you gotta check out this baby. The basic premises are very similiar with using constellations and the presentation of the action is kind of the same but gives a different flavor with a different type of explosiveness. read more
Aug 8, 2010
Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
Sometimes change is not only improvement. Sometimes a shift in the formula may be better entertaining-wise or money-wise but beyond that worse than before. And this is the case with Saint Seiya (SS), the forefather of all modern fighting shounen.
This anime is not really the first in its kind. A few years back, there was Hokuto no Ken, which was by far more violent and mature in its themes, and which I will constantly compare with one another just to prove several points I make.
Hokuto’s main advantage ended up being its worst snag when it came to making money out of the franchise. You see, most of its characters would eventually end up dead and they wouldn’t return to life, thus pretty much making it hard to keep them perpetual interesting and endlessly sell merchandise about them. Oh sure, they still make a ton of Hokuto stuff even today, but most of them are the same old arc, repeated again and again. SS on the other hand opted for a different method, which as sillier as it may have been next to Hokuto, it kept the spice flowing for decades. Its winning formula was very easy actually. NEVER KILL YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS OR IN CASE YOU DO RESURRECT THEM SOON AFTERWARDS. And although most think it was Dragonball which established the trope, in reality it was this anime a few years before it.
Beyond that, SS has lots of things for one to prefer this shonen over Hokuto. It has a large team of fighters instead of only one unbeatable one, each one with his own special attacks and personality. In a way SS improved the formula of shonen in a similar way as Getter Robo did with Mazinger Z. It simply increased the number of main characters in order to make the whole story more interesting. It also gave each character his own signature moves, demeanor, different power ups and accessories, making the whole deal a lot more interesting than just one God-powerful character who hardly needs further power ups or character development.
To be honest, Hokuto has all that too but in a lot more subtle way, since all the antagonists Kenshiro faced ended up being allies or fleshed out villains and Kenshiro himself had to slowly learn how to develop his technique by studying others in order to face the final opponent. But all that happened in a very simplistic way and you end up thinking he just copied others and now his fists move as fast as Big Bad’s. Which does count as a far smarter form of development but then again it doesn’t have anything for the kids to notice and more importantly, to buy. SS on the other hand had clear developments in powers, in the form of using numbers and analogies. Like, this attack is three times the speed of sound or that one can run with the speed of light and stuff like that. Also, the internal power measure of the series, called Cosmo here, is far catchier than the typical and impersonal Ki, which Hokuto vaguely used just as spice.
It all comes down to preference actually. The Saints in the show were separated into classes, each one could upgrade his armor and power attack, each had his own allies and antagonists in his personal backdrop story, and above all nobody was killed permanently and was constantly returning with more tricks up his sleeve. There was simply way more variety and colorful suits and pretty super attacks going around, which as sillier as they were compared to the more subtle ones in Hokuto, they were still far more eye-catchy. And it was not even a matter of realism at hand here since even Hokuto’s martial arts weren’t really more realistic or practical. They were just far more lethal and gory, and thus cooler in their own way.
Almost every character has a backdrop story, including the secondary ones and most minor villains. This is a worthy note, even by today’s standarts. Most series don’t try to spice the secondary cast and Saint Seiya showed a lot more respect than most in this department. All major characters get to have a variety of side stories and decent coloring, which is a good thing.
Then again, all said backdrop stories and character motives are very simple. Avenge/defeat/save someone, find/destroy/win something, prove your power/resolve/point. All these elements are identical in all shonen and like in all shonen, they are not enough to flesh out a character properly. Oh, sure, in terms of the genre they are great but in terms of really unique and interesting characters, they are not. Watching the same archetypes repeating in all the series gets boring after the 1000th time. As far as characters go, Hokuto did it better.
Realism on the other hand appears to be undermined more than it should as almost all battles are taking place in tournament arenas or arena-like locations. Wherever the characters go, everything feels like an arena, made just so they can come and fight in it. Even high angle views of the wide areas the characters have to cross look like linear obstacle routes, filled with incohesive landmark features that resemble those in tv action games, like the American Gladiators or the Knights and Warriors. In a few words, the world in which the story takes place is fake, it is made just for the fighting and nothing more. I mean, sure, it is made to be a theme part or something so the kids can enjoy it more but it doesn’t mean I like how they turn everything to a goddamn videogame.
The story is not exactly excelling somewhere either, which is a commonplace in most shonen. All the fuss about the war with the Gods for the salvation of humanity is just a poor excuse for endless fighting. Even worse, it has saviors specially destined to do it, which I am not fond of. Sure, all shonen are about super special teenagers with untapped true potential and a mission to save the world because some prophesy said so but it doesn’t mean it gives the story any more credit. I would prefer if it was all open to an unknown future. I also never liked how this renders 99.9999% of humanity totally useless but then again I understand that the boys watching this are supposed to identify and feel like they are special and such.
The story is character-driven, as it usually is in shonen. Someone wants to accomplish something (Avenge/defeat/save someone, find/destroy/win something, prove his power/resolve/point) and faces others who think differently and want to stop him. This is not bad by itself but it really sucks if you try to reason the way it is presented. Plus, there are no actual deeper messages in the story. There are some poor shots at making this Cosmo power being the means to enlightenment and cosmic balance or something but the whole this plays out way too superficially to actually make you think or question stuff.
The artwork motives of the anime are full of Ancient Greek and Viking trademarks that make it rather interesting. The saints’ armors which are all based on star constellations and make allusions to the myths are a nice touch too. The pronunciation of them was awful, the myths were debunked to resemble fairy tales but I still liked the whole idea.
The animation has poor frame rate, jerky movement, lots of repeating footage during transformations and special attacks. Apart from the age it was made they still overdo it with the repeated footage to the point some describe this series as “the shonen equivalent of Sailor Moon ” (which I liked a lot more than Saint Seiya, despite being a guy).
The character designs are indeed nice most of the time. But not so much the facial expressions or the body proportions; those felt one of the same. The Saint suits are really cool to look at although it may get tiresome to watch all the men wearing animal-themed armors and all the women wearing revealing robes all the time. But in general, it is good in this section.
Voice acting is decent but not great; probably because of the silly context. I mean they keep repeating their names and seem to describe in detail even the most obvious detail. Yeah, that remains unchanged even today…
Music themes kick ass! Completely take you into the trip.
I personally watched SS way over my teens and AFTER viewing Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and the like. Everything in SS felt fake, shallow and stupid before them. All the fighting scenes and the characters are simple and superficial in comparison with what we get today, which are also quite superficial on their own. All its good aspects are INDEED being shoveled at us in all similar series thereafter and what was original back then, is clichéd today. So, it’s not that much memorable and leaving sentimental values aside, it is boring by today’s standards.
This is exactly what makes the show feel better and worse at the same time. On one hand it is very good to see how following fighting shonen used this as a role model and slowly improved the finer details instead of carbon-copying everything for decades. On the other hand, the show simply didn’t age well because all its elements are now completely surpassed by its successors. A thing that I can’t say about Hokuto, because it was never copied by any other show to the fullest, simply because it was not that profitable to kill major characters in perpetual on going fighting shows. read more
Jun 11, 2011
One of the main things that stopped me from completely enjoying the series were the character designs. Though i liked Phoenix Ikki and found him an interesting character due to not being a complete hero i hated the characters Shun, Misty and Aphrodite as they looked to feminine. It also gets boring to listen to the main characters always yell out the same special attack names, even if it is common in most Super Sentai series. If you can get past the small amount of flaws and enjoy the plot then you can easily enjoy Saint Seiya. read more
Dec 18, 2012
The story follows five young warriors called saints and a young lady named Saori, who is the reincarnation of Athena. The saints fight their hardest and would give there lives to protect their Goddess Athena.
Saint Seiya has a Greek mythology theme to it, the universe itself is set in a Greek world with Greek Gods. The sacred armor called cloths all the 88 of them are named after the constellations, there last name are replaced by there Greek animal or sign. While Greek myth is the most common theme in this anime, it mixes a bit of other myth's like Norse, Christianity, even Buddhism.
The majority of the story revolves around five young warriors of Athena, knowing the true identity of Athena's reincarnation. They fight grueling and bloody battles with misguided warriors under the order of the Pope the leader of the warriors of Athena. Through the story they become stronger, find allies and uncover the true plot of the Pope.
Pegasus Seiya. Seiya is a bit simple minded Goku like character. A warrior that trained most of his life and can come off as dump, do to knowing nothing but fighting. He is the most loyal of the saints and will never stop fighting, even if hes been beaten badly, broken bones, having his senses removed, and fighting characters way out of his league, He will always stand and fight. Seiya may not the most in depth character but he is likable.
Andromeda Shun. A very kind and gentle character, even by looks I thought he was female before I watched the series. Unlike the others shun will not try to kill or even heavily hurt another person. cause of this he comes across as week, but when the situation calls for it he shows he is one of the most powerful of the group.
Dragon Shiryu. One of the most skilled and level headed of the group. he was trained by the highest tier saints, called a gold saint and uses the most durable Bronze Cloths. He like the others will fight to the death to protect Athena, Shiryu himself often fighting blind and nearly giving his life on more then one occasion. In all Shiryu is a cool and loyal character.
Cygnus Hyoga. One of the most calculating and battle smart of the Bronze saints. He was also trained under the guidance of gold saint. While he seems to just be quiet and calm, he dose have emotional bond with his master and mother. In all another good character you will enjoy as he develops.
Phoenix Ikki. By far the most brutal of the bronze saints, Ikki wears the strongest of the bronze cloth the Phoenix cloth. He starts at the beginning of the series as scary and heartless. But the more you learn about his tragic past and the more he develops in the story, you see he has a lighter side to him. Unlike the others he dose not care for Athena and will rarely help at first but he loves and will do anything for his brother shun. His Phoenix cloth gives him the ability to come back from the dead stronger then before, so he is often be the last man standing when facing a powerful enemy. All in all hes a very interesting and badass character.
The Gold Saints. The highest tier of Athena's warriors. The gold saints are one of the most interesting part of the story. They start as enemies, but among them there were those who were fooled by the false Pope, and chose to help. They each have there own reason and backstory for what they do. The conversations and emotional dialogue between them and the bronze saints are great and lead to some truly epic and moving moments.
Saint Seiya's Pros and Cons.
It is a old anime so the animation is very lacking by today's standards.
Characters could be more developed.
While it has a good opening that sets the mood very well for the show, it can be very slow at times.
The same techniques are often used a lot, with the same animation at times.
Anything that was removed from the manga I wish where there.
The worst part and what beings this anime down for me. Filler characters, one group of filler characters that do nothing but slow the anime down and disappear without a trace, as well as replacing a characters role that removes the emotional impact of a great fight in the manga. But that's what happens when you start an anime the same year as the manga.
The music in the anime Is really great and fits very well to whats going on.
Many likable characters throughout, most notable the gold saints who wish you could see more of.
While some may repeat, the techniques are still really cool.
A great mix of action and drama, there are some great emotional moments in this anime that's makes you more invested in the fights.
A great well developed villain.
A great interesting universe, to the powers they have and the mix of myths make the world very interesting.
While it's not nearly as gory as some other mature anime, it is still very bloody and brutal.
My final thoughts.
This is a good action anime, with some good drama and good characters.
This is my fav series so I might be bit biased, but if your like me and enjoy old school anime and your into Greek and other mythology's then saint Seiya is a must watch. read more
Sep 29, 2012
Tem uma história envolvente de facil entedimento e consegue prender o espectador a cada episódio, tem personagens com uma grande profundidade mesmo que seu publico seja jovem e o unico anime de todos que eu já assisti que passou por muitas gerações e foi desenvolvendo mais arcos para histórias sem perder o foco ou deixar o desenrolar da história confusa.