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Saint Seiya

Saint Seiya

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Encyclopedia
, also known as Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac or simply Knights of the Zodiac, is a Japanese manga
Manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 series written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada
Masami Kurumada
is a Japanese manga artist and writer, known for specializing in fighting manga featuring bishōnen and/or mahō shōnen. He is famous as the creator/author of popular manga, such as Ring ni Kakero, Fūma no Kojirō, Saint Seiya and B't X. His male protagonists are a reflection of the classical and...

 and serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump
Weekly Shonen Jump
is a weekly shōnen manga anthology published in Japan by Shueisha under the Jump line of magazines. The first issue was released with a cover date of July 2, 1968, and it is still circulating. One of the longest-running manga magazines in Japan, it has a circulation of 2.8 million copies...

 from 1986 to 1991, and adapted into an anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 TV series by Toei Animation
Toei Animation
Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation studio owned by Toei Co., Ltd. The studio was founded in 1948 as Japan Animated Films . In 1956, Toei purchased the studio and it was reincorporated under its current name...

 from 1986 to 1989.

The story follows five mystical warriors called the "Saints" (or "Knights") who fight wearing sacred armors named "Cloths", the designs of which derive from the various constellation
Constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

s the characters have adopted as their destined guardian symbols. These Saints have sworn to defend the reincarnation of the Greek goddess Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

 in her battle against the other Olympian gods
Twelve Olympians
The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon , in Greek mythology, were the principal deities of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, and Hades were siblings. Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis were children of Zeus...

 who want to dominate Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

.

Both the original manga and the anime adaptation were very successful in Japan and several European and Latin American countries (mainly in South America), including France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

; however, neither of them were translated into English until 2003. Four animated
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 feature film
Feature film
In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

s were even shown in Japanese theaters. The anime was cancelled and left unfinished in 1989, leaving one arc of the manga non-animated, however, in 2002, Toei Animation continued the anime in the form of three OVA series (the final one ended in 2008) in order to adapt the remaining manga story arcs, and following this revival of the franchise, a fifth film was screened in 2004.

Plot



Six years before the events at the focus of the series, one hundred orphans from Japan are sent to different parts of the world to become legendary warriors known as "Saints", who are the soldiers under the command of Greek goddess Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

. These warriors are under the protection of a celestial constellation.

The power of the Saints originates from the understanding of the nature of the "Cosmo", an inner spiritual essence, originated in the Big Bang
Big Bang
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

. The concept of the "Cosmo" advocates that each atom within a human body resembles a small solar system, and since the human body consists of billions of atoms, the totality forms a "small Cosmo" or a "small Universe". Each person's Cosmo has its own unique signature. The Saints take the knowledge of the Cosmo to the next level: since humans are composed of atoms, humans should be able to use the mysterious forces behind the atoms to achieve super human feats.

The story focuses on one of these orphans named Seiya
Pegasus Seiya
, also known as Seiya, is a fictional character from the Saint Seiya universe created by Masami Kurumada as the main protagonist of the media franchise, which originated in the eponymous manga written and illustrated by Kurumada, later adapted to anime, and subsequently inspiring soundtracks, OVAs,...

. He is sent to the Sanctuary
Sanctuary (Saint Seiya)
Sanctuary is a fictional location from the manga series Saint Seiya, authored by Masami Kurumada, later adapted to anime. It is also the residence of an organization with the same name.- The organization :...

 in Greece to become the Pegasus Saint. After six years, Seiya 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
Athena (Saint Seiya)
The Greek goddess 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...

, the granddaughter of 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, where 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.

During the series, Seiya becomes the partner and friend of other Bronze Saints: Shun
Andromeda Shun
, also known as Shun is a fictional character from the Saint Seiya universe created by Masami Kurumada as one of the main protagonists of the media franchise, which originated in the manga written and illustrated by Kurumada, later adapted to anime, and subsequently inspiring soundtracks, OVAs,...

, Shiryū
Dragon Shiryu
, also known as Shiryū, is a fictional character from the Saint Seiya universe created by Masami Kurumada as one of the protagonists of the media franchise, which originated in the manga written and illustrated by Kurumada, later adapted to anime, and subsequently inspiring soundtracks, OVAs,...

, Ikki
Phoenix 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...

, and Hyōga. As the myth of the Saints, they must fight together to protect the reincarnation of the goddess Athena from any danger, as their predecessors have during millennia.

Production


When Masami Kurumada was in the process of creating Saint Seiya, he gave Seiya the name Rin at first, since Kurumada was going to title his manga "Ginga no Rin" (Rin of the Galaxy). However, as Kurumada continued developing his manga, he decided to change the name to Seiya, which was more fitting. First he spelled the name with the kanji
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

 that meant "Holy Arrow", to relate it to Seiya's condition as a Saint, but later decided to use the kanji that meant "Star Arrow", to emphasize the constellation and mythological motif. Finally, he changed his manga title as well, to Saint Seiya, once he fully developed the concept of the Saints. Also, Kurumada stated that one of the first ideas he conceived for Saint Seiya was the Pegasus Meteor Fist. Since his manga was going to use the constellations as a very important and ever-present theme, he wanted his protagonist to have a special move that would be like a shower of meteors.

When Kurumada designed Seiya's likeness, he was inspired by his character Ryūji Takane, the protagonist of his hit manga Ring ni Kakero
Ring ni Kakero
, or Put It All in the Ring, is a manga created by Masami Kurumada. A total of 25 volumes were published in Weekly Shōnen Jump between 1977 and 1981.- Plot :...

, which he created 9 years before Seiya. Most protagonists of Kurumada's works bear a resemblance to Ryūji, as Kurumada subscribes to the revered Osamu Tezuka
Osamu Tezuka
was a Japanese cartoonist, manga artist, animator, producer, activist and medical doctor, although he never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack...

's Star System
Osamu Tezuka's Star System
Over the course of his career, Osamu Tezuka reused the same characters in different roles in different stories. The way that Tezuka used the characters in his "star system" can be seen as somewhat analoguous to a film director frequently casting members of a regular "stable" of actors in different...

 (a stable cast of characters) technique. The same process is done with almost all the other characters from the series.

Manga


The original Saint Seiya manga was conceived, written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada
Masami Kurumada
is a Japanese manga artist and writer, known for specializing in fighting manga featuring bishōnen and/or mahō shōnen. He is famous as the creator/author of popular manga, such as Ring ni Kakero, Fūma no Kojirō, Saint Seiya and B't X. His male protagonists are a reflection of the classical and...

 and was published by Shueisha
Shueisha
is a major publisher in Japan. The company was founded in 1925 as the entertainment-related publishing division of Japanese publisher Shogakukan. The following year, Shueisha became a separate, independent company. Magazines published by Shueisha include Weekly Shōnen Jump, Weekly Young Jump,...

 in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
Weekly Shonen Jump
is a weekly shōnen manga anthology published in Japan by Shueisha under the Jump line of magazines. The first issue was released with a cover date of July 2, 1968, and it is still circulating. One of the longest-running manga magazines in Japan, it has a circulation of 2.8 million copies...

from December 1985 to December 1990 and collected in 28 tankōbon volumes. The series has three main parts or acts: Sanctuary Act (volumes 1 to 13), Poseidon Act (volumes 14 to 18), and Hades Act (volumes 19 to 28). Volume 13 also contains a separate short story called . The series is licensed in English in North America by Viz Media
VIZ Media
VIZ Media, LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, is an anime, manga, and Japanese entertainment company. It was founded in 1986 as VIZ LLC. In 2005, VIZ LLC and ShoPro Entertainment merged to form the current VIZ Media LLC, which is jointly owned by Japanese publishers Shogakukan and Shueisha, and...

. Viz released the first collected volume of the series on January 21, 2004, and as of February 2, 2010 all twenty-eight volumes have been released.

In addition to the original tankōbon volumes listed below, the series has been reissued four times. The first reissue was the 15 Aizōban volumes in 1995, the "Collector's Version". The second reissue was in 2001 of the Bunkoban, the "Library Version". The series was released again in 2003 in 19 volumes with Setteis from the anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 adaptation, and called the "Remix Version". The fourth reissue, in 22 volumes and called the "Complete Version", contains additional colored pages as well as colored armor schematics. Another "Remix Version" was published at the end of 2007 to coincide with the broadcast of Chapter Elysion of the anime.

Other series



During 2002, a new manga called Saint Seiya Episode.G started being serialized. The story is situated 7 years before the events at the beginning of the original Saint Seiya Manga, and 6 years after the death of the Gold Saint Sagittarius Aiolos, making Leo Aiolia the main character. During the series, Titans
Titan (mythology)
In Greek mythology, the Titans were a race of powerful deities, descendants of Gaia and Uranus, that ruled during the legendary Golden Age....

 are brought back to life with the mission of recovering their realm, and the Gold Saints are assigned to stop them to protect the humans. This new manga series is written and drawn by Megumu Okada
Megumu Okada
is a Japanese manga artist, best known as the creator of the series Shadow Skill and Saint Seiya Episode.G.- Works :In 1992, Megumu Okada begins the creation of his first major work, Shadow Skill, a martial arts manga published by Kodansha and serialized in several Japanese magazines, including...

, under the authorization of Masami Kurumada. The individual chapters are published in Akita Shoten
Akita Shoten
is a Japanese publishing company established on August 10, 1948 in Chiyoda, Tokyo. Its main editorial target has always been teenagers , and it currently publishes mostly manga...

's Champion RED, with fourteen volumes being currently released.

In the summer of 2006, Kurumada resumed the story of Saint Seiya in Saint Seiya: Next Dimension
Saint Seiya: Next Dimension
, also known as simply Next Dimension, is an ongoing manga written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It is a prequel and continuation to his manga series Saint Seiya; placed during the previous "Holy War" between the deities Hades and Athena and their respective minions; the Specters and the...

. The story continues with the previous Holy War between the deities in the Saint Seiya universe. Heroes from the present journey back in time to save Pegasus Seiya from his imminent death. It is being published in Akita Shoten's Shōnen Champion magazine at irregular dates.

Also, during the fall of 2006, another new manga series called Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
, also known as simply The Lost Canvas, is a manga by Japanese author Shiori Teshirogi, a spin-off based on the manga series Saint Seiya, which was created, written and illustrated by Japanese author Masami Kurumada...

started being published. This series tells an alternate interpretation of the previous Holy War that took place in the 18th century, 250 years before the original series in the Saint Seiya universe. The story centers on the relations between Tenma, the Pegasus Saint and his beloved friend, Alone, who would eventually become his greatest enemy, Hades. Along with Saint Seiya: Next Dimension, it is being published in Akita Shoten's Shōnen Champion magazine. This manga series is, however, not written or illustrated by Masami Kurumada, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas, is written and drawn by Shiori Teshirogi, under the authorization of Masami Kurumada.

Anime



The anime adaptation is based on the manga of the same title and follows it closely. Produced by Toei Animation
Toei Animation
Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation studio owned by Toei Co., Ltd. The studio was founded in 1948 as Japan Animated Films . In 1956, Toei purchased the studio and it was reincorporated under its current name...

, it first premiered on Japan's TV Asahi
TV Asahi
, also known as EX and , is a Japanese television network headquartered in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The company writes its name in lower-case letters, tv asahi, in its logo and public-image materials. The company also owns All-Nippon News Network....

 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
Shingo Araki
was a Japanese animation artist and character designer. He developed an interest for drawing at age five. He graduated in Aichi Prefecture. In 1955, at age eighteen, he debuted as a cartoonist in the "Machi" magazine. He then joined Mushi Production as animator in 1965 and later founded Studio...

 and Michi Himeno
Michi Himeno
is a Japanese animation artist and character designer. Her most famous work is on the TV series Saint Seiya.- Career :In 1973 she began her collaboration with Shingo Araki working on Cutie Honey and went on to work at Toei Animation before forming Araki Productions with him in 1975. Together they...

, and Seiji Yokoyama
Seiji Yokoyama
is a prolific Japanese incidental music composer from Hiroshima who is best known for his work on the Saint Seiya series. He is a graduate student of Kunitachi College of Music....

 composed the soundtracks. Adapting Kurumada's storylines from the manga, the chief scriptwriters were Takao Koyama
Takao Koyama
Takao Koyama is a Japanese screenwriter and novelist focusing on anime productions. He was active as 小山 高男 until 1987.-Career:...

 and Yoshiyuki Suga. The series has three main parts: Sanctuary
Sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

(episodes 1–73), Asgard
Asgard
In Norse religion, Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds and is the country or capital city of the Norse Gods surrounded by an incomplete wall attributed to a Hrimthurs riding the stallion Svadilfari, according to Gylfaginning. Valhalla is located within Asgard...

, which exists only in the anime adaptation (episodes 74–99), and Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

(episodes 100–114). In the United States, the series premiered in Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network is a name of television channels worldwide created by Turner Broadcasting which used to primarily show animated programming. The channel began broadcasting on October 1, 1992 in the United States....

 on August 30, 2003, but only the first thirty-two episodes aired. This dub, retitled Knights of the Zodiac, was licensed by DiC Entertainment
DiC Entertainment
DIC Entertainment was an international film and television production company. In addition to animated television shows such as Ulysses 31 , Inspector Gadget , The Littles , The Real Ghostbusters , Captain Planet and the Planeteers , and the first two seasons of the English adaptation of...

 (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
Home video
Home video is a blanket term used for pre-recorded media that is either sold or rented/hired for home cinema entertainment. The term originates from the VHS/Betamax era but has carried over into current optical disc formats like DVD and Blu-ray Disc and, to a lesser extent, into methods of digital...

 rights to the series and released the DIC dubbed episodes, as well as the uncut subtitled versions of the episodes, featuring an uncut dub (with a different voice cast than the one used by DiC). The first two seasons were released in this way. In early 2009, the uncut version was reissued in two boxsets, and regained ADV's interest in the series, but ADV shut down and ceased operations later that year.

Novel


On November 9, 1988, Shōnen Jump released a Jump Gold Selection Anime Special 2, written by Takao Koyama, with illustrations by the series' Animation Character Designers Shingo Araki
Shingo Araki
was a Japanese animation artist and character designer. He developed an interest for drawing at age five. He graduated in Aichi Prefecture. In 1955, at age eighteen, he debuted as a cartoonist in the "Machi" magazine. He then joined Mushi Production as animator in 1965 and later founded Studio...

 & Michi Himeno
Michi Himeno
is a Japanese animation artist and character designer. Her most famous work is on the TV series Saint Seiya.- Career :In 1973 she began her collaboration with Shingo Araki working on Cutie Honey and went on to work at Toei Animation before forming Araki Productions with him in 1975. Together they...

. This special is just a detailed flashback to Gemini Saga's assassination attempt on the newborn Athena.

There is also a series of two novels written by Kurumada and Tatsuya Hamazaki with the name of Saint Seiya – Gigantomachia, which were published by Jump J Books. The first novel was released in Japan on August 23, 2002, while the second was released on December 16, 2002.

Original video animations


These are a series of original video animation
Original video animation
, abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

s (OVAs) that cover the last arc of the manga, which was not previously adapted into anime. The first 13 episodes were broadcasted on Animax (a Japanese pay-per-view
Pay-per-view
Pay-per-view provides a service by which a television audience can purchase events to view via private telecast. The broadcaster shows the event at the same time to everyone ordering it...

 channel) from November 9, 2002 to April 12, 2003, and then released on DVD during the year 2003. These 13 episodes were named
and adapt volumes 19 to 22 from the manga. This OVA series was directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi, still with animation character designs by Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno, while the scripts were adapted from the manga this time by Michiko Yokote
Michiko Yokote
is a Japanese screenwriter. In facts it's a team of screenwriters: they use this name because they are coordinated by a woman named Michiko.-Tokusatsu:*Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger*Mahou Sentai Magiranger*Jūken Sentai Gekiranger*Tensou Sentai Goseiger-Anime:...

, and the soundtrack was entirely taken from Yokoyama's work on the previous TV series.

Two years after the first part of the Hades saga, Chapter Sanctuary, a second part was produced in 2005. This second chapter was named and consists of six episodes, adapting volumes 23 to 25 from the manga. However, most of the original voice actors did not reprise their roles. Hideyuki Tanaka
Hideyuki Tanaka
is a Japanese voice actor. He is a graduate of the Toho Gakuen School of Music. He is most known for his roles in Dokaben , Kinnikuman , Captain Tsubasa , Touch , Saint Seiya , Metal Gear Solid and Slam Dunk .-TV Anime:*Akagi...

, however, reprises his role as the narrator. Hirotaka Suzuoki
Hirotaka Suzuoki
was a Japanese voice actor and actor from Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture who graduated from Tokyo Keizai University.His best known roles include Mobile Suit Gundam , Captain Tsubasa , Saint Seiya , Dragon Ball Z , The Transformers , Ranma ½ , Rurouni Kenshin , Pokémon...

, the original voice actor of Dragon Shiryū
Dragon Shiryu
, also known as Shiryū, is a fictional character from the Saint Seiya universe created by Masami Kurumada as one of the protagonists of the media franchise, which originated in the manga written and illustrated by Kurumada, later adapted to anime, and subsequently inspiring soundtracks, OVAs,...

, died on August 6, 2006 due to lung cancer.

On the same Animax channel, Toei Animation
Toei Animation
Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation studio owned by Toei Co., Ltd. The studio was founded in 1948 as Japan Animated Films . In 1956, Toei purchased the studio and it was reincorporated under its current name...

 released the first two OVA
Original video animation
, abbreviated as media , are animated films and series made specially for release in home-video formats. The term originated in relation to Japanese animation...

s on December 17, 2005, followed by the next two on January 21, 2006. The last pair were released on February 18, 2006. Shortly after their TV broadcasting, which lasted for 2 months, the episodes were released on DVD in 2006. This short OVA series was directed by Tomoharu Katsumata
Tomoharu Katsumata
is a Japanese film director best known for his work on various anime works. A leading director at the Toei Animation studio during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Katsumata worked as a director on several of Toei's TV anime adaptations of manga by Go Nagai, including Devilman , Mazinger Z , Cutey...

, but the other staff remained the same. Toei Animation
Toei Animation
Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is a Japanese animation studio owned by Toei Co., Ltd. The studio was founded in 1948 as Japan Animated Films . In 1956, Toei purchased the studio and it was reincorporated under its current name...

 officially announced the news on its website on July 18, 2006. Then, , which contains 6 episodes in total, was released, adapting volumes 25 to 26 from the manga.

As of June 28, Masami Kurumada announced on his personal blog that production on the OVAs had begun. It was thought that the release was to be in mid-December 2007, as of the last two years with the performance of the two Inferno chapters (Zenshō and Kōshō), but no preview or released images were available as of the end of October. In November 2007, Toei Animation announced that the official release of the Elysion Chapter would be in March 2008 and not December 2007 as originally planned The Elysion OVAs were released in March (episodes #26 and #27), May (#28 and #29), and August (#30 and #31), and adapted the final two volumes from the manga, 27 and 28.

Currently, there is an ongoing OVA series, Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
, also known as simply The Lost Canvas, is a manga by Japanese author Shiori Teshirogi, a spin-off based on the manga series Saint Seiya, which was created, written and illustrated by Japanese author Masami Kurumada...

; this is the first Saint Seiya animation to be made by another company, TMS Entertainment.

Films



A fifth film came out in Japanese theaters in 2004, , which was supposed to follow the regular chronology right after the end of the manga (which finished being adapted on August 1, 2008) as a prologue to a new chapter. Toei Animation first announced that this new chapter would be a new animated series, but later Kurumada stated that he wanted the film to be part of a trilogy. Tōru Furuya
Toru Furuya
is a veteran narrator and seiyū born on July 31, 1953 in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As a child, he was a member of Gekidan Himawari, a children's acting troupe...

 revealed Kurumada's wishes for the series during a press conference. After Pegasus Seiya eventually defeats Zeus, he is to go on and face Chronos, the god of Time. Toru was not allowed to say anything more.

With the serialization of Saint Seiya: Next Dimension, Kurumada removed Overture from the canon of the Saint Seiya universe, although some elements that appeared in it remain in the continuity.

A new Saint Seiya movie made in CGI is currently in production by Toei to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise.

Musical


In August 1991, a musical, sponsored by Bandai, was performed at the Aoyama theater in Tokyo, Japan. The story retells the Sanctuary and Poseidon chapters. The cast included members of SMAP
SMAP
SMAP is a Japanese boy band formed by Johnny & Associates. While originally consisting of six members, the current group members are Masahiro Nakai, Takuya Kimura, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, and Shingo Katori...

 as the five Bronze Saints and Poseidon. The characters Aries Mu, Leo Aiolia, and Scorpio Milo were portrayed by members of another band, Tokio
Tokio (band)
Tokio is a Japanese rock/pop band formed by Johnny & Associates that debuted in 1994. It is made up of five men who were signed with Sony Music Entertainment from 1994 to 2001, with Universal Music Japan from 2001 to 2008, and are now signed under J Storm, a label owned by Johnny & Associates...

.

As of May 2011, Masami Kurumada announced in his website that a new Saint Seiya musical is in the works

Video games


Several video games have been released based on the series. For the Family Computer
Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986 and Australia in 1987...

, two role-playing games named Saint Seiya: Ōgon Densetsu and Saint Seiya: Ōgon Densetsu Kanketsu-Hen, were released in 1987 and 1988, respectively. In 2003, Bandai released another role-playing game game called Saint Seiya: Ōgon Densetsu-Hen Perfect Edition for the WonderSwan Color, adapting the first 73 episodes. In 2005, Bandai released the Saint Seiya: Chapter-Sanctuary for the PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

. It is a 3D Fighting game that adapts the same episodes as the previous game. A sequel for this game was released in 2006 with the name of Saint Seiya: The Hades adaptating the original video animations series. Unlike previous games, these two PS2 games were released outside Japan, the later being released first in Europe in 2006 and later in Japan and Australia.

A new game called Saint Seiya Online was to be released in August 2009 from SEGA
Sega
, usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, with various offices around the world...

 Japan, it has however not been released and its current status is unknown. Saint Seiya Online will feature a 65-piece orchestral music score composed by Masamichi Amano
Masamichi Amano
Masamichi Amano is a Japanese music composer, arranger and conductor. He studied at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo and graduated in 1982. He obtained the Takeoka Prize....

 and performed by the Angel City Studio Orchestra. Recording took place at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios. The game was first shown to be in production back in 2006 on the 14th of July on Masami Kurumada's blog, but it wasn't until 2008 on the 7th of November that he showed more info about the game on his blog. Including a picture from the game with the five main Bronze Saints in their original colors.

As of 2011, a Saint Seiya themed pachinko
Pachinko
is a type of game originating in Japan, and used as both a form of recreational arcade game and much more frequently as a gambling device, filling a niche in gambling in Japan comparable to that of the slot machine in Western gambling. A pachinko machine resembles a vertical pinball machine, but...

 game machine will be released in the upcoming months, to commemorate its 25th anniversary

In 2011, a PlayStation 3 game will also be released called Saint Seiya Senki
Saint Seiya Senki
, known in Europe as Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle, is a video game for the PlayStation 3, inspired by the characters appearing in Masami Kurumada's Saint Seiya manga and its anime adaptation....

(known in Europe as Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle).

Games featuring characters from Saint Seiya:
  • Famicom Jump: Eiyū Retsuden (Famicom, 1989)
  • Pop'n Music Animation Melody (Arcade
    Arcade game
    An arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars, and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, and merchandisers...

    , PlayStation
    PlayStation
    The is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console first released by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan on December 3, .The PlayStation was the first of the PlayStation series of consoles and handheld game devices. The PlayStation 2 was the console's successor in 2000...

    , Game Boy Color
    Game Boy Color
    The is Nintendo's successor to the 8-bit Game Boy handheld game console, and was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan, November 19, 1998 in North America, November 23, 1998 in Europe and November 27, 1998 in the United Kingdom. It features a color screen and is slightly thicker and taller than...

    , 2000)
  • Pop'n Music Animelo 2 (Arcade, 2001)
  • Saint Seiya Typing Ryu Sei Ken (PC
    Personal computer
    A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

    , 2003)
  • Jump! Ultimate Stars (Nintendo DS
    Nintendo DS
    The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

    , 2006)

Discography


Seiji Yokoyama's work as composer of the musical score for Saint Seiya is prolific and has been released in numerous compact-disc compilations. Some of them are listed:
  • Saint Seiya Original Soundtrack I–VIII (spanning 8 CDs)
  • Saint Seiya – 1996 Song Collection
  • Saint Seiya – 1997 Shonenki
  • Saint Seiya – Best Collection
  • Saint Seiya – Chikyūgi (Single Album)
  • Saint Seiya – Galaxian Wars
  • Saint Seiya – Memorial Box (spanning 5 CDs)
  • Saint Seiya – Gold Collection (spanning 5 CDs)
  • Saint Seiya – Hits (spanning 3 CDs)
  • Saint Seiya – King of the Underworld
  • Saint Seiya – Piano Fantasia
  • Saint Seiya – Tenkai Hen Josō Overture

Other


Saint Seiya began to be known in the West as Knights of the Zodiac after it became successful in France at the end of the 1980s, where it was given the name of Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque. This was also the very first release of the series outside Asia, in 1988.

The series was also broadcast starting from 1989 in Italy, under the title of "I Cavalieri dello Zodiaco" (following the French renaming). This edition is known to differ substantially from other foreign editions of Saint Seiya, not only because many names of characters, places, and fighting techniques were changed, but also because the whole tone of the dialogues was modified to become more aulic and ceremonious, with occasional quotations from various pieces of poetry and classical literature; the main characters were also given adult voices in the dubbing, instead of teenage voices.

The series was also released in Spanish-speaking countries, under the title of "Los Caballeros del Zodiaco" (again, following the French renaming), enjoying great success in both Spain and Latin America. In 2003, the three acts of the original anime (Sanctuary, Odin and Poseidon arcs) were aired again on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block. Starting in 2006, the Hades arc was also aired, with new dubbing.

In the mid-1980s a line of Saint Seiya action figures, called Saint Cloth Series, were produced by Bandai
Bandai
is a Japanese toy making and video game company, as well as the producer of a large number of plastic model kits. It is the world's third-largest producer of toys . Some ex-Bandai group companies produce anime and tokusatsu programs...

, featuring most of the series characters. The toy line was a huge success inside of Japan, but also in other countries such as Hong-Kong, Taiwan, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Mexico . The figures have now acquired collector status and the Japanese originals are highly sought after. Some, like Odin's God Robe or Kraken Isaac, have a very high value.

Starting in 2002, for their popular gashapon
Gashapon
is a Bandai brand trademark widely used throughout the world for their capsule toys. It is also referred to as ." Both gashapon and gachapon are Japanese onomatopoeia, made up of two sounds: "gasha" or "gacha" for the turning of a crank on a toy vending machine, and "pon" for the sound of the toy...

 high-quality PVC figurines line, Bandai released several Saint Seiya themed sets, each one containing an average of 5 figurines. Seven sets were released, the sixth of which was a Special release that included the 12 Gold Saints. The seventh set was released in 2004 to commemorate the release of the Tenkai Hen Josō Overture movie, raising the number of figurines released to date to 34.

In 2003, Bandai created a new line of figures called . Originally, only the five main Bronze Saints wearing their Cloths from the Poseidon Arc would be released, in commemoration of the Hades arc of the manga being animated, but were so well received that they decided to continue the line and it continues to sell very well internationally. As of July 2010, there are over 100 figures available, and Bandai continues to release new figures regularly. The line seems to be nowhere near its end.

In 2006, Bandai created a separate gashapon line named . It differed from the original gashapon line in that the figurines were poseable and their armor could be removed. Five sets, each containing five figurines, were released.

In 2008, Bandai released a line of PVC figurines . Each set includes an average of five figures, and four sets have been released to date.

More recently, the Japanese hobby figurine and collectible manufacturer Megahouse released in 2007 a line of very high-quality, non-poseable resin figures named Saint Seiya Excellent Model, which are part of the line Excellent Model, composed of various well-known characters from manga and anime. Three figures have been released so far, Pegasus Seiya, Dragon Shiryū and Athena.

Starting in 2008, the Japanese collectible manufacturer Medicos Entertainment, is releasing the , a line that consists in various resin figurines of the Cloths worn by the Saints. Three volumes have been released so far, each one containing 6 figures.

Continuing with its Saint Seiya themed lines, Medicos Entertainment also released a line of non-poseable resin figures named , composed of various figures of Saint Seiya characters. Nine figures have been released so far. Medicos also released a very high-quality resin figure of Aioros and Seiya, wearing the Sagittarius Gold Cloth, as part of their Art Collection line. All three sub-lines form part of their Chōzō (Super Figures) line.

Reception


The original manga series of twenty-eight volumes have sold over 25 million copies in Japan as of 2007. When TV Asahi
TV Asahi
, also known as EX and , is a Japanese television network headquartered in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. The company writes its name in lower-case letters, tv asahi, in its logo and public-image materials. The company also owns All-Nippon News Network....

, a television network
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

 in Japan, conducted a nation-wide survey
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

 for the one hundred most popular animated television series, Saint Seiya anime came in twenty-fifth place. Animage
Animage
is a Japanese anime and entertainment magazine which Tokuma Shoten began publishing in July 1978. Hayao Miyazaki's internationally renowned manga, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, was serialized in Animage from 1982 through 1994...

 also ranked the anime series within "Top 100" anime productions. The anime series won the Animage
Animage
is a Japanese anime and entertainment magazine which Tokuma Shoten began publishing in July 1978. Hayao Miyazaki's internationally renowned manga, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, was serialized in Animage from 1982 through 1994...

 Anime Grand Prix prize in 1987.

It is considered one of the biggest anime phenomenons of the 1980s. It would become the inspiration for future series, including Kurumada's later work B't X
B't X
, pronounced "beat X", is a science fiction mecha manga series, written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It ran for 16 volumes in manga and was later adapted to anime with 25 episodes, then concluded with a 14 episode OVA . The manga was released in America by Tokyopop. The anime was released in...

, Gulkeeva, and Gundam Wing. In The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, Jonathan Clements
Jonathan Clements
Jonathan Clements is a British author and scriptwriter. His non-fiction works include biographies of Confucius, Koxinga and Qin Shihuangdi , as well as monthly opinion columns for Neo magazine...

 and Helen McCarthy
Helen McCarthy
Helen McCarthy is the British author of such anime reference books as 500 Manga Heroes and Villains, Anime!, The Anime Movie Guide and Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation. She is the co-author of The Erotic Anime Movie Guide and the exhaustive The Anime Encyclopedia with Jonathan Clements...

 praises the series' complex plot and felt that animation designers' Shingo Arakai and Michi Himeno had worked "magic" with both the anime series and the films. They also praised the grand soundtrack and director Shigeyasu Yamauchi's ability to stretch out the tension and chose the perfect places to stop an episode to keep audiences waiting for the next one. Clements and McCarthy did, however, find the series disturbing in that its main emotional impact comes from the audience seeing "older boys and men fighting brave by naive teenagers" and through victories earning more weapons. Jason Thompson
Jason Thompson (writer)
Jason Thompson is a manga critic, journalist, writer and comics artist.-Life and career:...

 describes the series as being "almost pure battle".

Yaoi
Yaoi
In careful Japanese enunciation, all three vowels are pronounced separately, for a three-mora word, . The English equivalent is . also known as Boys' Love, is a Japanese popular term for female-oriented fictional media that focus on homoerotic or homoromantic male relationships, usually created by...

 dōjinshi
Dojinshi
is the Japanese term for self-published works, usually magazines, manga or novels. Dōjinshi are often the work of amateurs, though some professional artists participate as a way to publish material outside the regular industry. The term dōjinshi is derived from and . Dōjinshi are part of a wider...

 based on Saint Seiya popularized the term "yaoi" in 1987. Saint Seiya was particularly popular to parody in yaoi as it had a large cast which was predominantly male. This allowed "an incredible number" of pairings, although Andromeda Shun
Andromeda Shun
, also known as Shun is a fictional character from the Saint Seiya universe created by Masami Kurumada as one of the main protagonists of the media franchise, which originated in the manga written and illustrated by Kurumada, later adapted to anime, and subsequently inspiring soundtracks, OVAs,...

 was one of the more popular characters to create yaoi for. Tite Kubo
Tite Kubo
, known by his pen name , is a Japanese manga artist. His most significant work is the manga series Bleach.-Biography:Kubo was the son of a town council member in Fuchu, Aki District, Hiroshima. He never took drawing seriously until he was 17, and after reading the manga Saint Seiya which...

, the author of the manga series Bleach
Bleach (manga)
is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Noriaki "Tite" Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a —a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki...

, considers Saint Seiya to be one of his biggest inspirations for the designs of the different types of weapons that his characters use in the story as well as the battle scenes.

External links