(聖闘士星矢セイントセイヤSeinto Seiya), also known as Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac or simply Knights of the Zodiac, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1986 to 1990, with the chapters collected into 28 tankōbonvolumes by Shueisha. The story follows five mystical warriors called the “Saints” (聖闘士セイントSeinto, or “Knights” in some adaptations) who fight wearing sacred armors named “Cloths” (聖衣クロスKurosu), 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”(小宇宙コスモKosumo). The Saints have sworn to defend the reincarnation of the Greek goddess Athena in her battle against other Olympian gods who want to dominate Earth.
The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Toei Animation that ran from 1986 to 1989, before being continued in the form of three original video animation series between 2002 and 2008. Four animated feature films were shown in Japanese theaters from 1987 to 1989, with a fifth in 2004 and a sixth in 2014. Since 2006, creator Kurumada has been publishing a sequel manga titled Saint Seiya: Next Dimension. Several spin-off manga by different authors have also been created, as well as a standalone anime and original net animation.
Why was it remembered: POPULARIZED LOADS OF TROPES THAT WOULD BECOME ESSENTIAL TO SHONEN ANIME
We are in the presence of absolute greatness here folks; one of the most influential action anime of all time and one of the most fondly beloved as well– that unfortunately never really caught on in America. We got the show in the early 2000′s as Knights of the Zodiac and received an absolute hackjob of a dub with terribly edited scenes, a new script, bizarre additions to scenes, and altered music. Yeah, and before you ask, no, 4Kids wasn’t responsible for this, this came from our old chums at DiC Entertainment. ADV Films would release the show uncut on DVD but given how violent and extreme the show got it was pretty ill-suited for television so nobody really bothered with it.
HOWEVER, while interest in the series died quickly in America, the show hbecame wildly popular in Spanish speaking countries for a long time, particularly in Latin America. Let me put it to you in perspective, Saint Seiya is about as well loved and fondly remembered in countries like Mexico as Dragon Ball Z, no joke.
Moving on, what made this series so popular was its near-pure devotion to being about fighting and action. Up until then there were plenty of action manga and anime but most, if not all of them focused more on adventure, comedy, or horror, things like that. This series on the other hand, it features a fight of some description in almost every chapter/episode, and all of the story and plot ties together to lead to the next fight. Nowadays that sort of thing would be seen as rather pedestrian and boring and you might see it that way but this series is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
While it is very focused on fighting and martial arts, there is a great and unique use of Greek mythology here. It does take a lot of time to build its world and mythos, getting us involved in it so the fighting all means something and the characters are motivated. Surprisingly, the fights are pretty well choreographed and paced to feel excited and visceral. Everything feels like its got some real weight and meaning behind it, and I don’t just say that lightly. The characters do grow stronger with each passing day and victory and we really feel like we’re seeing them grow as well, particularly as their Cloths change and become more radiant.
It really is unlike any other anime; it’s been duplicated but never replicated. No wonder it was such a big hit in the 80′s. It stood alongside the likes of Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Kinnikuman, and the Gundam series which was really coming into its own at the time.
I feel one other thing that strongly committed to the series’s longevity is the fact that it basically started or at least made REALLY POPULAR Yaoi doujinshi. Of course fanworks had been around beforehand, even fanworks depicting male characters in romantic or non-romantic gay situations but it became absolutely staggering with the release of Saint Seiya. You can probably see why from the predominantly huge cast of male characters, some of which look very handsome, and only like, 1 female character in the whole cast. It’s easy to see how it became a thing.
In fact, the popularity of Saint Seiya Yaoi lead to the formation and career path of the famous all-female manga group, Clamp who you might know as the authors of stories like Card Captors Sakura, XXXholic, and Magic Knight Rayearth.
Saint Seiya has also been cited as a major inspiration by manga authors like Tite Kubo, creator of Bleach and Zombie Powder, and Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto who both were inspired by Saint Seiya’s weapon and armor designs and the structure of how fights were carried out.
What a series! That is why I most humbly call it– a REMEMBERED CLASSIC.
These are a series of original video animations (OVAs) that cover the last arc of the manga, which was not previously adapted into anime
Four animated feature films were shown in Japanese theaters from 1987 to 1989. A fifth animated film came out in Japanese theaters in 2004
A new anime series was announced by Toei Animation, under the name Saint Seiya Omega, which began airing on April 1, 2012 with a grand total of 97 episodes.
Several video games have been released based on the series and characters from the series have made appearances in other games
I managed to snag the DVD box set before ADV Films went kaput, it was ludicrously expensive then and it’s even more expensive now. Glad I got it when I did, really glad in fact
I’M NOT REALLY SURE IF I WANT TO GET A TATTOO CAUSE ON ONE HAND THEY’RE REALLY FUCKING DOPE LIKE YOU CAN’T LOOK AT SOMEONE WITH TATTOOS AND BE LIKE “DAMN THAT DUDE ISN’T COOL” THEY’RE LITERALLY AWESOME. PLUS LIKE EVERYONE LOOKS AT THEM AND THEY KNOW YOU GOT SOME CRAZY AWESOME STORY BEHIND ITS MEANING.
THEN ON THE OTHER HAND I COULD SPEND THE NEXT 70 YEARS TRYING TO CONVINCE MYSELF I’M GETTING A TATTOO CAUSE IT MEANS SOMETHING TO ME BUT YOU, ME, MY AUNT TRACY, AND THAT GUY DOWN THE STREET OVER THERE KNOW THAT THE ONLY REASON I’D BE GETTING A TATTOO IS BECAUSE I WANT TO MAKE MYSELF LOOK COOLER AND I SHOULD BE CONFIDENT ENOUGH WITH MY DOPE ASS GOD GIVEN TRAITS AND DEVILISHLY CHARMING DEMEANOR THAT I DON’T NEED TO DO THAT
If you wish, could you explain any meaning behind your tattoo/ why you got it? It's so cool
well I always wanted a nautical tattoo, since I grew up on an island, and I decided to go with a compass. From there I just kind of designed a compass I liked, and the first part of it was a good small first tattoo, then over the next year I designed the rest (I finalized the design the night before I got it). I honestly just kind of realized at one point that I had 8 spaces between the points of the sun and that the planetary symbols would fit there. It just seemed right since the compass was already the moon and sun. It all just fell into place piece by piece
I guess the only thing that has any true specific meaning to me personally is that if I stand on the point of the island I grew up on, the compass points north.