Saint Seiya is an old school Shounen Jump manga that received a recent comeback in direct sequels, prequels and spin-offs. One of the most prominent of these recent works is Saint Seiya – Lost Canvas. Lost Canvas tells the story of the previous Holy War involving Athena's saints and the army of Hades, taking place in the 18th century. The story is told on the point of view of the former Pegasus saint Tenma.
Saint Seiya – Next Dimension is set in the same period and in the same context. Like in Lost Canvas, Pegasus Tenma, Libra Dohko and Aries Shion are also present. But Next Dimension represents a substantial change in the story told in Lost Canvas. Probably, it happens because Masami Kurumada has entire control of Next Dimension plot direction, unlike of Lost Canvas.
- some elucidations and minor spoilers ahead -
But, unfortunately, the first 13 chapters of Next Dimension are quite uninteresting. The manga tells briefly how Alone, Tenma's childhood friend, becomes Hades. Pegasus Tenma recklessly joins forces with Libra Dohko and Aries Shion to stop Alone's "transformation" into the malefic god. But in their foolish attempt, they are confronted by Garuda Suikyo, a strong former Athena saint that allied to Hades.
The story follows in this so-so approach until the chapter 14 starts right where the original manga have ended. So, at this point, it's strictly necessary that you have read Saint Seiya's first manga. If you have it, you can continue to read Next Dimension and this review too.
Starting on chapter 14, Pegasus Seiya is on a wheelchair, perishing by the curse from the sword of Hades. Saori Athena and Andromeda Shun decide to ask Chronos help to reverse the curse. Chronos send them back in time, so they can destroy the sword of Hades in the past and save Seiya (Understand? Neither do I lol).
But Chronos cheated Athena and turned her into a baby form, sending her to the same age where Pegasus Tenma is. Also arriving in the 18th century, Shun joins Tenma in order to protect Athena. They now have to cross the Twelve Temples to alert the not-so credulous Gold saints that Athena have reincarneted. Eventually, other known Bronze saints from 20th century also make their cameo.
Reading the chapter 14, things looked really promising and exciting. Every Saint Seiya fan was expecting the so dreamed "Heaven Chapter". Kurumada even presented Artemis, the same character that has make a cameo on Saint Seiya - Heaven Chapter Overture "filler" movie.
But Kurumada didn't delivered what fans were expecting. Once again, he repeats that overused Twelve Temple arc format. Once again, Pegasus and Andromeda have to cross the Twelve Temples. And once again the Gold saints have similar traits and roles to all their other incarnations, reinforcing the concept of fate and reincarnation presented on the series.
And, surprisingly enough, the same Bronze Saints that had fighted the 20th century Gold Saints, the Poseidon's Marina and the Hades' Specters shows an uncomfortable inexperience while battling in the 18th century.
Unfortunately, Saint Seiya should not live of reissues of old battles with some different elements and ideas here and there. It’s more of the same. And, in the slow rhythm Kurumada publishes his recent works, when the Bronze saints will finally cross all the Twelve Temples?
Nevertheless, Saint Seiya's old fans will enjoy this manga, just for the pleasure of seeing their beloved characters fighting once again. It is far from what we expected, but Next Dimension still has the same vibe and spirit of the original manga. Kurumada denies us the opportunity to read what we really wanted and needed, but he gives us the pleasure to feed our nostalgia with more of the same. And that's it.