Hades is planning to take over the world, to achieve that goal, he sends out deceased Gold Saints to take Athena's head. Seiya and the other Bronze Saints come to help but their help isn't appreciated by the remaining Gold Saints that are still alive.
I just want to say that Saint seiya was one of my first anime in childhood and then i very liked it, even with dubbing in my country. After so many years i found a continuation of my fav anime and all i can say I'm amazed as always by saint seiya ;]
It's my first review so don't expect to much...
Story is back on tracks, i mean the sanctuary ;] personally i think it was best party of series, and now Athena sanctuary is back.
Like in every arc or movie new god want to kill Athena, and now it's hades
turn. Underworld lord get back to life dead Gold Saints and send them to get head of their goddess, on their way will stand the Saints that were alive after sanctuary arc with help from Bronze Saints.
Plot maybe isn't great in outline but it's very enjoyable. It gives continuation in Hades inferno, and gives place to prequel of all series Lost Canvas.
Toey Animation renewed overall art and gave some 3d effects ( which in my opinion are unnecessary). Characters have more motion, and fights aren't now just exchange of super attacks, between 2 standing men (yeah they're moving).
Art overall isn't amusing, but it's nice to watch more detailed characters ;]
All i can say about this section is "Chikyuugi" by Yumi Matsuzawa. It's awesome, really even my friends who aren't into anime or Japanese find this song very addicting.
This anime is very good back to the series. I know that many of you watched saint seiya in your kid years and if you want to return to that days, Saint Seiya: The Hades Sanctuary Chapter will give you this opportunity, and people who didn't watch series i recommend it to you also maybe you'll start to watch this great series.
The first part of the Hades Arc is quite the gripping opening act after the below average Poseidon Arc the original series ended on. We get a lot of tension in the build up of the threat the Spectres hold to the Gold Saints, the drama of the Gold Saints having to fight their own allies and some good character writing in fleshing out Shaka a lot more. We also have a fair amount of payoff in seeing characters such as Mu and Dohko finally showing their capabilities after such a large amount of time building them up.
However, things start to lose steam with the
plot twist revealed in the last two episodes which causes the majority of the arc's plot to be one giant act. I don't see it as being too damaging, given the circumstance made it understandable and the actions and statements of certain characters made it apparent things weren't what they appeared to be at surface value, but it still means the sense of loss and conflict wasn't as great. That said, whilst the plot didn't live up to it's own hype, it was overall still above average.
Character writing was also decent. Focusing more on the Gold Saints than the Bronzes was a nice change from the previous arcs that feels well deserved and makes things far more interesting than seeing the same five characters stealing the limelight. Nobody was outstanding other than Shaka and maybe Saga, plus the anime lessened one of Shiryu's highlights in the arc, and the villains were all bland but character writing was overall decent.
When it comes to superficial aspects, this series is nearly a masterpiece. Aside from the CGI, which is still far less dated than most modern anime, the art of almost every frame is outstanding in detail and the animation is as fluid as you'd expect of an OVA series. With the possible exception of the 1986 Hokuto no Ken movie, this may very well be the best looking work Toei has ever produced. The sound is also excellent and can be considered nostalgia done right. From reusing Pegasus Fantasy as a secondary opening, the reuse of the classic ost and the return of many of the original seiyuu such as Toru Furuya, this OVA was a great service to fans of the original series. Unfortunately, sound and art are nowhere near as important as plot and characters, so it won't factor much into the overall score.
In conclusion, the Sanctuary segment of the Hades Arc acts as a good introduction to the arc beyond the twist to make things typical. Unfortunately, things go downhill from here in the next two OVA series as the arc hyped itself too much to deliver.
Story and Characters
Before I go onto the review part, I want to say for those who have not seen the original TV series, you will be unable to have a complete understanding to the significance of what goes on in this oav. Yes, the original TV series may be 114 episodes long, but it's worth watching to get to this point and it will make the story a lot more exciting. But if you don't want to go through the TV series or read the manga, I heard there is a recap special that summarizes the anime series and I suppose if you can find
it, you can watch that instead.
But moving on, what makes this story great are the very edge at your seat plot twists. Things will keep you guessing, and things just come out of no where, and it's one of those moments where it's just really cool to the audience, and it's not one of those stupid lame ass deus ex machina out of no where twists. There is so much I want to say what makes the story itself awesome, but it'd be spoilers if I gave any significant examples, so it's one of those instances where I really have to say you have to watch it yourself if you want to see how deep and far the story can go. What I can also say is that the story compared to the other arcs from the TV series is much, much darker and very intense, but when you consider who the new main enemy is, the atmosphere is very appropriately reflective of that.
The pacing is very even and the presented characters each have their time to shine. Speaking of the characters, it's really cool that the Gold Saints are the featured characters of this part of the Hades OAV series. And one thing that I'm willing to reveal to give my opinion on why this installment is so awesome is the usage of the character, Aries Mu. You finally get to see him fight and I must say he has some pretty bad ass moves. I just have so much to say why I love this oav, but if you watch it with what I said, then hopefully, you'll love it too.
Art and Animation
The character design and art overall is still faithful to how the original series did it. Of course being made after 2000, the obvious things we call praise it for is more detailed coloring and more fluid animation. Also take in consideration of the story's atmosphere and it mostly takes place at night, the lighting is accurately executed. What's also distinct about this series is of course the inclusion of computer graphics with some of the buildings and techniques. This movie was released during a time when CG was still in the early stages of anime, and for its quality, its pretty excellent. For most of the series, the armor of the Bronze Saints will still show battle damage from the last fight with Poseidon and I like how it shows this consistency through the majority of the series.
And the fights themselves are very breath taking. It's still central around the usage of special techniques, but the new techniques presented are very mind blowing and like I said in my review of the TV series, they demonstrate a really kind of super cool destructiveness but not to the point where it gets ridiculously over the top. It still uses recycled animation, but it's not as abusing as it was in the original TV series.
The design of the newer characters presented are very deep and detailed in their own unique way. But these newer characters won't have much more presence until the later OAVs.
Music and Voice Acting
What's really sweet is that this anime uses two opening and ending themes. The new opening theme is Chikyuugi. It's not as in your face or intensive as the original song, Pegasus Fantasy, but it's softer tone reflects it's darker atmosphere, but also symbolizes the themes of hopes and dreams of this series overall. As for the other opening theme, after they play Chikyuugi, it goes to Pegasus Fantasy, and I can't complain about that and neither can any fan who loves Saint Seiya. I'm happy they didn't remix it. And not only is Pegasus Fantasy and Eien Blue part of the soundtrack, the original background music track from the old series is still utilized as well such as the orchestrated versions of Pegasus Fatnasy and Dream Warrior and so on. So it feels like even when there was a 10 year gap between the ending of the tv series and the release of this oav, that Saint Seiya still has this distinctive feature with it's soundtrack.
Also returning is the original voice cast for the Bronze Saints. Furuya Tooru, Suzuoki Hirotaka, Horikawa Ryo, Han Keiko and so on reprise their respective roles, but of course some of the characters from the original show were changed, but for the right reasons. Mu is now played by Yamazaki Takumi who replaced Shiozawa Kaneto who died a couple of years prior to the release of this. I think Yamazaki did an excellent job in emulating Shiozawa's original performance, and adds a great twist by making him sound more aggressive considering the situation he's in this series. Another character was re-casted due to the passing of another terrific seiyuu, but revealing that would be a spoiler. But one change that really got to me was the changing of Milo, originally played by Ikeda Shuuichi. This time, he is played by Seki Toshihiko, the voice of Mousse from Ranma 1/2, Duo Maxwell from Gundam Wing, and more interestingly, he also plays another masked Gundam antagonist, Lau La Cluset from Gundam SEED. I don't know why Ikeda Shuuichi of all people was replaced, but I thought Seki Toshihiko did a great job in capturing the character in his own way, though it doesn't compare to Ikeda Shuuichi's.
Like I said, if you have seen the TV series or read the manga, I say this is certainly a must see. I feel if you choose to watch this installment without any knowledge of Saint Seiya, I still believe that the audience can still feel the bond that the saints have with each other and you do get to know the characters in an individual sense. But I feel you'll get a better understanding if you've already seen the TV series. But as a Saint Seiya fan, not only I reccomend this oav, but the franchise as a whole.
Not long after the saints battle with Poseidon, The God of the underworld Hades plots to kill Athena. He does this by not only sending his army to attack the sanctuary but also the resurrected fallen gold and silver saints.
The bronze saints for the most part take the back seat in this portion of the series.Most part you see the fights and interactions between the former gold saints and the still living ones, as well as them both dealing with Hades true soldiers the specters.
The animation is not great but a big improvement over the last arcs, motion is a bit more fluid and the
combat is made better through this making it feel like a real battle rather then my super attack then your super attack. They also make it a blind of 2d and 3d which makes things interesting.
The design is good sticks to the manga very well, if you know the series.
Music as always is done well, The ending song and opening song are not as good as the last but it's still something to get you in the mood. It at times may seem a bit out of place at first with the better animation but in a short time you get used to it and get into the classic feel of the music. The music also flows really well with whats going on especially something near the end.
The Gold Saints: Seeing the the gold saints dealing with having to fight not only just fellow warriors but also old friends is very interesting. Most not willing to kill there former colleagues and do everything they can to stop them non-violently, by either talking to them and trying to understand why or simply halt there way there. But they still realize there duty as a knight of Athena and they do what they must to protect her.
The former Gold saints: Not long ago they would die to protect Athena and seeing there great desire and willingness to take Athena's head even now really those make things intense and makes you wonder how strong the will of Hades truly is. Also seeing there interactions with the still living gold saints is interesting but also gives hint's of why there really doing what they are doing.
The bronze saint's: While they are not the focal point of the arc they still as always will fight for Athena even if it means disobeying orders and being attacked and threatened by the gold saints themselves.
The Specters: Most are there as fodder and used to show the power of the saints. But they still make for good scene and fights now and then.
Pro's and con's
Animation could be better.
You need to at lest watch the first saga to understand this.
It's the set up for another part of the series so no real ending.
Good music that blinds well with what's going on.
Good intense fight scene.
Some very touching moments.
Goes into the stories of certain characters a bit more and allows for some needed and well done character development.
This is the best arc in the series, gives you everything you want character depth, action, drama, so if you are or becoming a fan it's a must, you don't need to watch the last arc to truly understand what's going on.
All in all a good arc with few problems I so it get's a rating of 9/10