Sep 10, 2018
ChouEritto (All reviews)
The Lost Canvas is usually heralded as being vastly superior in all ways to the original, an opinion I can't understand when the exact opposite is true.

[Note: May contain minor spoilers for Saint Seiya and The Lost Canvas]

First, looking at the story, there isn't really much to say. It's mainly just an expansion of the Hades Arc from the original except far less interesting due to prequel syndrome already making it apparent who will live and survive. Even in this area, it does a poor job as we're told in the original manga that Dohko and Shion were the only survivors of the war, yet there are far more in TLC, thus making it not only a retread of the original, but an inconsistent one.

The main aspect that tends to draw in others is the superficial element of the art, being better than the original, to which I have to disagree. Kurumada's art style had a very distinct appearance of melding bishonen elements with highly masculine traits and having incredible detail within the armour of each character. Teshirogi's art style, however, contains no signature traits to allow her craft to stand out as an individual with the characters now having pretty generic faces and the detail in some of the cloths is nowhere near as great.

The only thing allowing the series to stand out is the characters, but not in a good way. Tenma, Athena and Hades are the only ones who really matter and are given nothing to make them any more, or even as, interesting as their classic counterparts. The initial support cast of Yato and Yuzuriha are also thrown aside into irrelevancy very early on, unlike Shaina and Marin from the original who play a constant supporting role throughout the entirety of the classic. The only characters people tend to remember are the Gold Saints, who are all pale imitations of their 20th Century counterparts. The only exceptions are Albafica's toxic blood being interesting and Manigoldo being very honourable unlike his classic counterpart Deathmask, but that in itself causes them to be incredibly bland as the ensemble of Gold Saints lacks a chaotic element to make some members distinct. Moreover, Regulus is perhaps the biggest Gary Stu in the entire franchise. Some may complain about the Bronze Saints' power ups in the original, but all of them are fairly excusable compared to a below average Gold Saint swiftly becoming God tier just because he becomes naturally attuned to his opponent.
On the subject of Gary Stus and overpowered characters, let's get back to Tenma. Throughout the series, we're constantly pushed forward the idea that he's destined to fend off Hades and the only character who could do so. Not only is this somewhat contradictive of the original series, where the use of things such as God Cloths or a Pegasus Saint fighting Hades seemed to be the stuff of antiquity, but we're never given reason to believe Tenma is so capable until towards the end of the manga through several rushed power ups after the reveal that his parents are both of highly special lineages as with all generic protagonists. Compare this to Seiya, who's parents were nobody too special and constantly proved himself by pushing his body to the breaking point against Gold Saints and Gods alike numerous times, and it's easy to see which of the two is a far better handled protagonist and representation of the series.
It does attempt to make the villains more sympathetic and fleshed out than their original counterparts at least, but it is never to the extent the audience can truly connect to them, plus Garuda Suikyo in the canon version of this, Next Dimension, pulls such off far better.

Overall, The Lost Canvas is a completely overrated work that falls flat compared to the original series in almost every aspect. It is something I cannot recommend and would advise people instead read the original Saint Seiya manga or if looking for a continuation of it, read the canon version Saint Seiya: Next Dimension.

Story - 3/10
Art - 5/10
Characters - 3/10
Enjoyment - 3/10

Overall - 3.5/10