ByAaron Ku Gonzalez, writer at Creators.co
Aaron Ku Gonzalez

In all honesty moviepilots I want to say to all of you that this is my most meaningful article to date. I know a lot of you aren't familiar with Anime (Japanese Animation) but believe me when I say that Japan makes some of the best animation I've ever seen in my life. In fact a lot of our Disney movies are derived from Anime for example Kimba: The White Lion inspired Disney's THE LION KING. But I want to tell you about one particular Anime called SAINT SEIYA (Knights of The Zodiac) this Anime was developed in 1986 by Masami Kurumada It was considered one of the biggest anime phenomenons of the 1980s and paved the way for so many Anime's to follow like Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Ranma 1/2, Evangelion, Gundam Wing, Sailor Moon, Digimon, Pokemon, Naruto and Bleach. The anime adaptation is based on the manga (Japanese Comic Book) of the same title and follows it closely. Produced by Toei Animation, it first premiered on Japan's TV Asahi on October 11, 1986, lasting from 1986 to 1989. It was directed first by Kōzō Morishita (episodes 1–73) and then by Kazuhito Kikuchi (episodes 74–114). The animation character designers and aestheticists were Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno, and Seiji Yokoyama composed the soundtracks. Adapting Kurumada's storylines from the manga, the chief scriptwriters were Takao Koyama (1-73) and Yoshiyuki Suga (74-114). The series has three main parts: Sanctuary (episodes 1–73), Asgard, which exists only in the anime adaptation (episodes 74–99), and Poseidon (episodes 100–114).

In North America, the series premiered on Cartoon Network on August 30, 2003, but only the first 32 episodes aired. This dub, re-titled Knights of the Zodiac, was licensed by DIC Entertainment (now known as Cookie Jar). This dub was heavily edited; the edits included cutting overly violent scenes, adding in previously non-existent digital transitions, coloring all instances of blood blue and renaming it "mystical energies," re-writing the scripts, and replacing the opening theme, ending theme, and background music. ADV Films licensed the Home Video rights to the series and released the DIC-dubbed episodes. In addition to this, ADV also released the original, uncut Japanese version of the show with English subtitles, featuring a new, uncut dub (with a different voice cast than the one used by DIC). The first 60 episodes were released in this way. In early 2009, the uncut version was reissued in two box sets, and ADV had expressed an interest in releasing the rest of the series uncut and completing their uncut dub. However, ADV shut down and ceased operations later that year.


Masami Kurumada: THE CREATOR

Kurumada stands next to some of his illustrations.
Kurumada stands next to some of his illustrations.

It was not until 1990 that I started watching this show and immediately got inspired by the unique animation, story and character development. To a lot of people this Anime is "EPIC", because it has so many diverse themes including the use of GREEK MYTHOLOGY, NORSE MYTHOLOGY, CHINESE MYTHOLOGY, HINDU MYTHOLOGY, JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY as well as all religious themes you can think of HINDUISM, CHRISTIANITY, TAOISM, BUDDHISM, ISLAMIC, , etc etc.... this series is in DEPTH and has so much EPICNESS! I can't really describe more because you guys would have to see it to believe it. Sure it takes a bit to develop but once you guys get into the 12 Zodiac Temples Saga you'll know what I'm talking about. I guess I can give everybody a little synopsis, introduction to the story, and an introduction to the FIVE BRONZE SAINTS.

Synopsis:

The story follows five mystical warriors called the "Saints" or "Knights" in some adaptations) who fight wearing sacred armors named "Cloths", the designs of which derive from the various constellations the characters have adopted as their destined guardian symbols, and empowered by a mystical energy called "Cosmo". The Saints have sworn to defend the reincarnation of the Greek goddess Athena in her battle against the other Olympian gods who want to dominate Earth.

Introduction:

The story focuses on an orphan named Seiya who was forced to go to the Sanctuary in Greece to obtain the Bronze Cloth of the Pegasus constellation, a protective armor worn by the Greek goddess Athena's 88 warriors known as Saints. Upon awakening the power of the Saints which is an inner spiritual essence, originated in the Big Bang, Seiya quickly becomes the Pegasus Saint and returns to Japan to find his older sister. Because his sister disappeared the same day Seiya went to the Sanctuary, Saori Kido, the granddaughter of Mitsumasa Kido (the person who sent all the orphans to train) makes a deal with him to go to fight in a tournament called the Galaxian Wars. In this tournament, all the orphans who survived and became Bronze Saints must fight to win the most powerful Cloth: The Sagittarius Gold Cloth. If Seiya goes to compete there and wins, Saori would start a search to find Seiya's sister.

The tournament is interrupted by the revengeful Phoenix Bronze Saint, Ikki, who wishes to eliminate track from the people who forced him undergo his training. He steals parts from the Sagittarius Cloth and eventually fights against the remaining Bronze Saints, Seiya, Shun, Shiryū, and Hyōga, to complete it. Upon Ikki's defeat, the Bronze Saints are attacked by the Silver Saints sent by the Sanctuary's Pope to eliminate them. When they remain victorious, the Bronze Saints learn that Saori is Athena's reincarnation and that the Pope once tried to kill her as a baby. The Sagittarius Gold Saint Aiolos saved Saori but was killed shortly afterwards and gave Saori to her adopted grandfather, Mitsumasa Kido. Deciding to join forces with Saori, the Bronze Saints go to the Sanctuary to defeat the Pope, but upon their arrival, Saori is severely wounded by a gold arrow from a Silver Saint. Believing the Pope may be able to heal her, the Bronze Saints go to find him. To do so, they have to go through 12 temples, each one guarded by one Gold Saint(The most powerful Saints of Athena). Following several battles, Seiya gets to the Pope's temple and learns that he is the Gold Saint Gemini Saga who killed the real Pope to obtain more power. With help from his friends' Cosmos, Seiya is able to knock out Saga and use the shield from Athena's statue to heal Saori. Shortly afterwards, Saga commits suicide as a self-punishment.

GREEK GODDESS ATHENA:

The Greek goddess Athena (アテナ Atena) (spelled in Greek as Ἀθηνᾶ and Ἀσάνα, in the manga and the anime adaptation respectively, and occasionally as Ἀθάνα in both) is one of the main characters in the Saint Seiya series, a manga authored by Masami Kurumada, which was later adapted to anime and originated three other spin-off manga.

Kurumada created her character based on the Greek goddess of the same name. As in classical mythology, Athena is the goddess of Wisdom and Justice, daughter of Zeus and sister of Artemis and Apollo. In Kurumada's story, she is reborn on Earth every 250 years, when evil threatens the world, to protect it, restore peace and bring hope. To do so, she counts on the assistance of an army of eighty-eight youths of great strength and courage, whose fists rend the skies and whose kicks split the earth, who don powerful armors called Cloths and who are known as the Saints of Athena. Athena is also the goddess of Battle, but she does not believe in conquest and fights only defensive wars. She hates weapons and thus only allows her Saints to battle using their bodies and Cloths. The only Saint allowed to wield weapons is the Libra Gold Saint. She has opposed the ambitions of other deities since the age of myth in Greece, earning herself the rejection of the other Olympian gods. She has especially had a long-standing conflict with the god of the Underworld, Hades.

During her twentieth century incarnation she uses the name Saori Kido (城戸 沙織 Kido Saori?) as her civilian identity. In the English-language version of the Saint Seiya manga and anime she is known as Princess Sienna.

Growing up as Mitsumasa Kido's spoiled granddaughter, young Saori Kido at first did not get along well with the children who would eventually become her protectors. Although they were her grandfather's children (this blood relation to Mitsumasa was omitted in the anime, in which they were orphans he picked up from different institutions), both in the manga and anime adaptations, she treated them like slaves. Seiya was among the few who resisted such treatment.

When she turned thirteen, having learned the truth about her origins from her dying grandfather, Saori had already matured, renouncing her spoiled lifestyle and facing both her duty as the Kido heiress and the crisis in Sanctuary with the support of the children who by then had become Saints. They helped her reluctantly at first – for example, she had to lure a distrustful Seiya in by promising to help him find his sister Seika – but the chain of events that followed convinced them that she was the incarnation of Athena and that the change in her was genuine. They slowly found their devotion and dedication to her, and forgot the grudges they had against her for her past abuses.

Goddess Athena
Goddess Athena
Artwork of Athena
Artwork of Athena
Athena and her Bronze Saints.
Athena and her Bronze Saints.

PEGASUS SEIYA:

Seiya (星矢, Seiya) also known as Pegasus Seiya (天馬星座の星矢, Pegasasu no Seiya) is the title and main protagonist of the Saint Seiya manga and anime series written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. Seiya is one of Athena's eighty-eight mythical warriors known as the Saints who are serving their goddess throughout the ages, protecting justice and peace on Earth. Seiya is also one of the forty-eight Bronze Saints. Seiya is the least popular character in Japan of the main characters of the Saint Seiya series. In the Bronze Saints character poll, Seiya was ranked fifth. Seiya's techniques however has been ranked high, as known that Seiya's Pegasus Meteor Fist in the technique poll has been ranked first. Seiya also gets criticized for being a "underdog" in most of the battles.

The Pegasus Cloth represents the Pegasus constellation, which is associated with Pegasus, the divine winged horse from Greek mythology. Seiya trained for six years and defeated ten other trainees to obtain the Pegasus Cloth and the status of Saint of Athena. The Pegasus Bronze Cloth is damaged various times throughout the series, with Aries Mu typically responsible for repairs. In the manga, the Cloth changes appearance each time it is fixed, while it remains the same in the anime adaptation until the series' second arc. After the Gold Saints use their blood to revive the Bronze Cloths at the end of the Sanctuary arc, the Pegasus Cloth takes on a golden hue whenever Seiya charges his Cosmo to the maximum. The version of the Cloth that Seiya uses in the Hades arc possesses wings that allow him to fly, both normally and through dimensions. During Seiya's fight against Thanatos, it reaches its God Cloth state, which was last seen in the ages of myth and further increases Seiya's Cosmo and vitality.

 Seiya
Seiya
Pegasus Seiya
Pegasus Seiya
Drawing of Seiya
Drawing of Seiya

DRAGON SHIRYU:

Dragon Shiryu (龍星座「ドラゴン」の紫龍, Ryū Seiza (Doragon no Shiryū); Literally meaning "Purple Dragon"), also known as Shiryu is a bronze saint of Dragon. He is considered the most mature of the five heroes, and thus the wisest. As The Bronze Saint of the Dragon constellation, Shiryu dons the emerald Dragon Bronze Cloth, a jewel among the Cloths due to its legendary defense properties.

Out of all five main characters, Shiryū is known as the calmest and most collected. His sheer physical strength is the greatest of the Bronze Saints, with the possible exception of Phoenix Ikki. This is reflected in his ability to win numerous battles without his Dragon Cloth. Shiryū was trained at the Five Old Peaks (庐山五老峰) in China where he learned to reverse the waterfall's flow with his techniques and obtained the Dragon Bronze Cloth. His mentor was the Libra Gold Saint, Libra Dōko.

Shiryu Tattoo The Dragon tattoo Shiryū sports a large tattoo-like image of a green and white dragon on his back. However, it is said in the manga and the anime that it is not a tattoo but is connected to his guardian dragon star and only appears as his Cosmo is rising. Whenever his life is in danger, the tattoo-like image begins to fade away—once it completely vanishes, it is a sign that Shiryu's Cosmo is nearing zero, and Shiryu himself is nearing death.

Shiryu wearing his regular attire.
Shiryu wearing his regular attire.
Dragon Shiryu, Dragon Constellation, Dragon Armor
Dragon Shiryu, Dragon Constellation, Dragon Armor
Drawing of Shiryu
Drawing of Shiryu

ANDROMEDA SHUN:

Andromeda Shun (アンドロメダ星座(アンドロメダ)の瞬 Andoromeda no Shun) is a protagonist in the Saint Seiya media franchise, which originated in the manga of the same name, written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada, that subsequently inspired an anime series, soundtracks, OVAs, films, video games, and other collectibles. He is one of the strongest characters in the series, although his gentle disposition and kind nature tend to hold him back from using his full power until he has no other choice but to do so. Shun is also the younger brother of Phoenix Ikki, a fellow Bronze Saint.

Shun is the Bronze Saint of the Andromeda constellation. He is a merciful and gentle soul by nature and a firm believer in solving problems without bloodshed. This attitude separates him from the rest of the Saints: whereas they will not hesitate to battle when the situation demands it, Shun only allows himself to fight if it is an absolute necessity or if his almost endless patience wears out. In such cases, Shun can become an extremely skilled and deadly fighter.

Shun is portrayed as being weak in the first four Saint Seiya films and in the anime-only Asgard arc. Almost every fight scene culminates with his almost defeat and subsequent rescue by his brother Ikki. In the original manga, however, Shun is shown as a formidable, if unwilling, fighter and opponent.

Shun is the bearer of the Cloth which represents the constellation Andromeda, associated to Princess Andromeda, who was chained to be sacrificed to the monster Cetus in Greek mythology. The Cloth possesses chains that are said to be the same used to tie Princess Andromeda in the legend. Additionally the chains are related to the Andromeda Galaxy (believed to be a nebula back in the 1980s when the manga was created), hence the names for his techniques. These chains are legendary for their durability and defensive nature. They are also renowned for their great apparent length, as they can extend enough to reach light years away, penetrating the very fabric of space. When there is a threat, the chains can give out warning signs and become charged with enough electricity to release shocks of at least 10,000 volts. Shun normally relies on the Andromeda Chains to fight (as an accessory), as he does not want to use his full power to avoid killing opponents.

The most feminine of the Bronze Saints.
The most feminine of the Bronze Saints.
Andromeda Saint: Shun
Andromeda Saint: Shun
Drawing of Shun
Drawing of Shun

PHOENIX IKKI:

Phoenix Ikki (鳳凰星座(フェニックス)の一輝 Fenikkusu no Ikki?) is a character from Saint Seiya, a manga written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada which was later adapted to anime. Ikki is the Phoenix Bronze Saint and older brother of Andromeda Shun. Although he initially appears as the first antagonist that the main characters must defeat, he later becomes a powerful ally.

In terms of personality, Ikki is almost the opposite of his younger brother, Shun, and his fellow Saints. Ikki is a loner, cold and harsh. When he first appears in the manga, fellow Saint Wolf Nachi points out that it is hard to believe Ikki and Shun are related due to the differences in their personalities. After the "Black Saints" arc, however, it is revealed that underneath his rough exterior lies a compassionate and kind soul. Kanon, in the "Poseidon" arc, and Pandora, in the "Hades" arc, note that Ikki is still guided by his deep love and loyalty for his younger brother, for his friends and for Athena. Although he dislikes teamwork, he comes to battle whenever Athena's Saints need his help and often arrives at critical moments to save his younger brother and friends from certain death. He has a noble, complex and mature character, who never hesitates to sacrifice himself for his friends.

The Phoenix Cloth represents the constellation of Phoenix, which is associated to the immortal bird that is reborn from its ashes found in the folklore and mythologies of diverse cultures. Reflecting this association, the Cloth has the ability to reform itself if pulverized and possibly change into a new form as it does so – other Cloths require a great amount of a Saint's blood to repair. Ikki himself is extraordinarily resilient and hard to kill. On several occasions throughout the story, he returns from death and it is implied that every time he does so, he receives a boost in strength.

Phoenix Ikki wearing his everyday clothes.
Phoenix Ikki wearing his everyday clothes.
The Phoenix Saint Ikki.
The Phoenix Saint Ikki.
Drawing of Ikki
Drawing of Ikki

CYGNUS HYOGA:

Cygnus Hyōga (白鳥星座の氷河, Kigunasu no Hyōga, hyōga meaning "glacier", Лебедь Hyoga) is the Bronze Saint of Cygnus also known as Swan Hyōga. Hyoga appears calm, collected, and unemotional. Beneath the surface, however, he is passionate and devoted to his ideals. As a Saint born under the Cygnus constellation, Hyoga is able to control and manipulate ice and snow as he pleases, as he mastered the basis of the technique of the Saints of ice, stopping the atoms of matter by the power of their Cosmo. In several international adaptations, is one of the main characters in Kurumada's manga.

He is THE BRONZE SAINT OF THE CYGNUS CONSTELLATION and was born in the fictional village of Kohoutek, in eastern Siberia, which, at the time when Kurumada wrote and drew his manga, was in the Soviet Union. His mastery over his Cosmo grants him superhuman talents, including the ability to create ice and snow at temperatures as low as absolute zero, by stopping subatomic particles. Hyōga is often portrayed wearing a cross and rosary of the Northern Cross, another name for the constellation Cygnus. Calm by nature, he displays a seemingly emotionless exterior, but a more tender side of his character emerges on occasion, such as his deep gratitude to Andromeda Shun for having saved his life and his undying devotion to his mentor Aquarius Camus. In Japan, Hyōga is a popular character, ranking second in the main character polls of the Bronze Saints.

Cygnus Saint
Cygnus Saint
Drawing of Hyoga
Drawing of Hyoga

Keep in mind moviepilots that this series was made in the 1980's, This might seem cheesy and exaggerated for a lot of people who are not familiar with this type of Animation. But this is a series I grew up with and that I have fond memories of. I hope with today's technology we could make a movie of Saint Seiya. Although with everything I have included making a movie of this caliber would have to be a continuation just like Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter. I will not list Twilight because Twilight doesn't stand with Harry or the LOTR hahaha. I would also like to add that I didn't include everything because I plan on making part 2 and even 3 if this article is received well. What do you think moviepilots do you like this type of Animation? Is there a remote chance you could give this series a try and state your opinion? This will open your mind to an unimaginable, complexed, and New World. Please leave your comment below and tell me what you honestly think of this Article.

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