A Holy War, from ancient mythology, where the Goddess Athena and Hades have fought against each other while defending the earth repeatedly over the span of 200 years. The story takes place in 18th century Europe, 243 years prior to the original "Saint Seiya" Three small children, Tenma, Alone, and Sasha have all shared a very happy childhood together. Tenma who is quite aggressive but upstanding has moved to Sanctuary to become a saint. It is there that he is reunited with Sasha who is the sister of Alone and learns that she is the reincarnation of Goddess Athena. Alone, who is kind, gentle and loves painting was chosen for the body of enemy King Hades. Tenma eventually becomes a saint of Pegasus and engages in a fierce battle with his best friend Alone, the King of Hades. Pegasus Tenma, King Hades, and the Goddess Athena and through the twist of their 3 fates merge together which unfolds a prologue to the original Saint Seiya.
First of all I have to mention that I didn't watch the first Saint Seiya anime series, OVAs andr OADs merely because I wasn't interested in the style or plot, so I wasn't a fan of the series when I started Saint Seya: Lost Canvas.
Despite this, this anime made me enjoy myself pretty much.
Story - 9/10
Simple but catching. The War between Hades and Athena and some dramatic inserts of the two to make it even more enjoyable. Include Pegasus in all this and you get a perfect mix of fights, drama and betrayals.
Art - 9/10
What can I say about it? The art
was one of the elements that made me watch this series so you can guess form that how much I enjoyed it xD The design of the characters were fitting and the panoramas were just gorgeous.
Sound - 8/10
I didn't really like the opening song. My inner self was just screaming "Japanese people! stay away from English please!". Besides that it felt way too ..errr...children-series type of song, thing that's wrong since SY - Lost Canvas is a pretty dark series overall.
I have nothing to complain about the ending though. It was pretty and moving.
The insert songs between the scenes were good enough to make the right atmosphere so again, nothing to complain about it.
Character - 9/10
This is one thing that surprised me about this anime. Some of the characters, like Pieces and Virgo Gold Saints, even if they appeared in only 2-3 episodes of the series, that was enough to make me fall in love with them. The character development of the characters in such a short amount of time was outstanding.
The same with Yato, which I only thought will be a secondary character that everybody will forget once he gets off screen. I was wrong! lol xDD
Another character that surprised me was Alone, that despite everything he continued to cherish his past memories with his friends, deep inside his heart, even in his condition. The relationship between Alone, Tenma and Sasha was also really moving thinking about their present roles. So thumbs up to it.
Enjoyment - 8/10
I just gave it an 8 because of some fighting scenes that seemed awkward to me.
Overall - 8/10
8 because of the same reason as above but overall I really, really enjoy it and I am looking forward to the next season.
Story and Characters
Obviously in comparison to the original series, Lost Canvas cuts right to the last story arc. Not only is it a prequel, it's a very excellent addition and extension to the original source material. I thought some things in the last Hades OAV arcs to the original series needed to be elaborated on and Lost Canvas expands on certain specific aspects. I'd talk about them, but they'd be spoilers to both Lost Canvas, and oavs to the original series. On the outside, Tenma is a lot like Seiya, but has his own unique distinctions and qualities. In the original series, Seiya is portrayed
more as a leader and it was kind of more of a team concept. However, Tenma isn't exactly a lone wolf, but he does have some help. To compare the two characters in a nut-shell, Seiya is more like Son Gokuu from Dragon Ball, while Tenma is more like Ranma and Inuyasha with their personalities. They're both fighters, but they express it in those kinds of ways.
What I also found interesting is that the current incarnation of the Unicorn Bronze Saint, Yato, has a lot more use in comparison to the original series, Jabu. The relationship Yato and Tenma have is kind of like a Ranma and Ryoga/Inuyaha and Kouga kind of one. They are very similar and yet they are always at each other's throats. Despite that, I found it very surprising how their relationship develops in the course of this series from bitter rivals, to cooperative partners that will always have each other's backs.
The series for this season is pretty well evenly paced and I like how it focuses on certain characters in certain episodes, and it's not just exclusively about Tenma. Some of the Gold Saints have their own central episodes and you get to learn about them. Though they will only have short appearences, they do make a significant contribution to the progression of the story.
The villains are still pretty much the same from the Hades OAVs, but still have their own unique personalities and qualities in which they all stand out. The OAV ends at an understandable place and of course a sequel has been confirmed and the way it ends just makes you wish to watch that sequel already. I say this is a very good introduction in the same way the Hades Sanctuary Arc respectively was.
Art and Animation
As one can see, the original art design isn't done by Kurumada Masami. However, he allowed a Shoujo author, Teshirogi Shiori, to do the art for this respective title for the original manga. The anime respectively follows that art style faithfully from what I've seen of pictures on the internet and magazines, and I'm of course saying this because I have yet to read the manga of Lost Canvas. The anatomy of the characters are still for the most part pretty slim with some buff guys here and there. The costume designs are of course very faithful to the original material so nobody can fault that. The hairstyles are thinner in comparison to Kurumada's style, but it still works in contrast to the bodies, faces, and heads. The design of the villains are just as dark and yet still glossy as the Hades Chapter OAVs, but yet some of the characters have their own unique move sets and gimmicks.
As for the action, it's much more fluid and there is more emphasis on direct hand-to-hand combat as opposed to relying on special moves. However, with a much lesser character roster, the match up appeal isn't really that present here except in just a couple of fights. Of course Tenma will have the Pegasus Ryuusei Ken and it's presented in a different angle and not much recycled animation is abused in this. The action is still explosive and exciting, and like I said before, doesn't go to a point where it gets ridiculously over the top.
Music and Voice Acting
What really took me by surprised is the opening theme "The Realm of Athena" by EUROX. Of course in the tradition of Saint Seiya, it is rock with a good set of guitars as a hook, but the song itself is in perfect English. And the qualities in terms of lyrics in what made Pegasus Fantasy and Megami no Senshi so presentable and catchy, and reflects what the show is about, and it's not just some song that's promoting the artist or song, it's about the show itself, and Saint Seiya is one of the rare products to have music like that. It's a very good anyway and has its own distinct energy that relfects the overall atmosphere of the series. The general background music is of course new and is very intense at the right times and very acoustic during softer moments. A lot of the percussions and those acoustics used is also very appropriate to the setting in context to the time and place in a cultural sense so that's a nice touch.
As for the voice acting, I'm not at all familiar with the voice actors of Tenma and Alone. Kakihara Tetsuya, Tenma's respectice seiyuu, does a great job in making Tenma that arrogant but yet caring fighter. It really reminded me of Suzumura Ken'ichi's portrayal of Taitou from Jushin Enbu Hero Tales, a character very similar to Tenma. Shimono Hiro as the voice of Alone/Hades I think has to be the performance that has to get the most credit. You're playing who is supposed to be the most purest person on Earth, and then all of a sudden, becomes the God of the Underworld. He does a great job of a guy who for one minute is convinginly someone who believes in non-violence, and then the next moment is a God that doesn't care about life.
However, a familiar name that most new school fans should know is the voice of Hirano Aya, the voice of Suzumiya Haruhi, as the voice of Sasha/Athena. Of course in comparison to Haruhi, she is a leader and takes charge, but in a more serious situation, she is very authoritive and commanding as that character, but also compassionate and caring to Tenma. She's very serious, but yet calm. The influence of Han Keiko's original performance is also there, but of course the overall voice cast will still never compare to the original no matter how hard they try.
Well, to overall conclude, do you need any previous experience with Saint Seiya? It does help a lot. You can watch this with a fresh mind and still enjoy it. I say on the downside, it can potentially spoil the original series in some respective aspects. But as I said before, if you do have some familiarity, a certain aspect will be elaborated upon and I thought it was a nice touch. By the time you finish this part of the series, you feel like it's truly beginning. I can't say the characters develop tremendously in an individual sense, but this is made up for by the relationships the characters develop and try to maintain. The original series had a good balance between developing the characters individually and the relationships, but the original series easily had those opportunities. Hopefully when the next installment comes about, there will be a bit more emphasis on that.
What is it about? If you are asking yourself this question, and have never seen Saint Seiya, then this is definitely not for you.
Indeed this is only for Saint Seiya fans. Its basically a remake of the Hades saga but in an alternate universe. There are major changes in the plot composition though - enough changes to make it unpredictable enough. The characters cast are very different and fans will get an appreciation of the characters which have been traditionally left out or marginalised in the canonical Kurumada's original Saint Seiyas animes.
Effectively this seems like a reaction to fans's eternal complains about certain characters e.g.
Jabu of unicorn, Aldebaran and Aphrodite of Pisces among others who are always, so to say, left out of the big picture. Here we do get a better appreciation of these Knights and their abilities, and also a fair amount of airing time is devoted to the other Gold Saints too.
The series seems to revolve around the previous holy war between the Hades camp and that of Athena, and often devolve into mini stories exposing the powers and personality of each Gold Saint and other important characters.
For Saint Seiya fan this will not fail to be a 10. But those who have not watched the whole of the Saint Seiya saga will somewhat lack the appreciation needed to fully enjoy this and could be bit lost and probably might find the battle meaningless and boring since they can't relate well to the characters.
This anime is well developed, it starts with a friendship that slowly falls apart and quickly becomes a action/drama that fits well with the beginning. I am unfamiliar with the rest of the Saint Saiya shows but this one caught my eye. Those who enjoy dubbed shows will not want to watch this if they speak English because this show was never English dubbed in the first place. In you speak Spanish, Brazilian, or French this show will be available dubbed for you. This show goes into Greek mythology but adds some of its own elements which adds to the flavor. The main protagonist is
a warrior, the heroine is Athena, and the Villian is Hades. They have connections with one another from childhood which adds to much of the drama. Any afraid this will be too dramatic you will be disappointed. There is much action considering there are many side characters and not all have much screen time. There is a fairly surprising amount of characters who only appear in one or two episodes. This is recommended for any who enjoy action and don't mind power ranger style transformations