Knights of the Zodiac Anime

“Saint Seiya,” also known as “Knights of the Zodiac,” is an anime series as dazzling and epic as the neon-drenched Tokyo skyline. Created by Masami Kurumada, it immerses you in a universe where celestial knights battle for the peace of the world.

Knights of the Zodiac Story Summary

“Saint Seiya” unfolds in a world where a group of warriors known as Saints, the champions of the Greek goddess Athena, wage battles wearing mystical armors called “Cloths.” Each Saint’s Cloth is inspired by a different constellation, and these warriors are categorized into classes: Bronze, Silver, and Gold Saints.

The story revolves around Seiya, a young orphan trained in Greece to become a Bronze Saint of the Pegasus constellation. After earning his Pegasus Cloth, he returns to Japan to find his older sister. There, he’s drawn into the Galaxian Wars tournament, where the Bronze Saints fight for the most powerful Cloth: The Sagittarius Gold Cloth.

As Seiya and his fellow Bronze Saints—Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun, and Ikki—emerge victorious, they get embroiled in battles against various evil forces threatening Athena and the world’s peace. The series showcases their struggle, friendship, and growth as they take on powerful enemies, including the Silver Saints, Gold Saints, and god warriors serving deities like Poseidon and Hades.

Knights of the Zodiac Characters

  • Seiya: The titular Pegasus Saint, Seiya, is determined, optimistic, and fiercely loyal. His unwavering spirit often turns the tide in battles.
  • Shiryu: The Dragon Saint, Shiryu, is calm, wise, and steadfast. His immense strength and wisdom make him a reliable ally.
  • Hyoga: The Cygnus Saint, Hyoga, is cool and composed. He’s deeply motivated by his mother’s memory and fights with ice-based techniques.
  • Shun: The Andromeda Saint, Shun, is gentle and peace-loving but steps up when his friends are in danger.
  • Ikki: The Phoenix Saint, Ikki, is initially an antagonist but later becomes an ally. He’s a loner with a powerful and nearly indestructible Cloth.

Summary of First Arcs

The first arcs of “Saint Seiya,” including the Galaxian Wars, Silver Saints, and Sanctuary arcs, showcase the Bronze Saints’ journey from being underdogs to heroes who defy odds and protect the Earth.

Knights of the Zodiac Reading Order of Titles

The “Saint Seiya” manga has 28 volumes that should be read in order. The story continues in several sequel and spin-off manga series, including “Saint Seiya: Next Dimension,” “Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas,” and “Saint Seiya: Saintia Shō.”

My Personal Review/Reading Experience

Watching “Saint Seiya” was like experiencing Tokyo’s blend of tradition and modernity—it’s a classic tale of heroism intertwined with celestial mythology and epic battles. The series stands out for its engaging character arcs, emotional depth, and the exploration of themes like friendship, duty, and sacrifice.

Knights of the Zodiac Quotes from the Anime Series

  1. “We are protected by our Constellations. And we will fight to protect Athena!”
  2. “Don’t give up until the very end. Don’t give up, no matter what. That’s the rule of a Saint.”
  3. “I’ll show you that miracles do occur when you believe!”
  4. “The warrior who swears loyalty to the goddess Athena… That’s what a Saint is!”
  5. “The same boiling blood is in me, the blood of the Saints!”
  6. “You who have been defeated by the cosmos of a Bronze Saint, the illusion you had of victory was nothing but a dream!”
  7. “The Cloth is a Saint’s life! Losing it is the same as dying!”

About the Author/Artist

“Saint Seiya” was created by Masami Kurumada, a manga artist known for his expertise in crafting tales about warriors and martial arts. His works, including “Saint Seiya,” are lauded for their mix of action, mythology, and character development.

TV or Movie Adaptations

The “Saint Seiya” manga has been adapted into several anime series, including the original “Saint Seiya,” “Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas,” and “Saint Seiya: Omega.” The series has also inspired five animated feature films, a CG film, and a live-action Hollywood film is in the works.

Knights of the Zodiac Live Action Movie

Alright, let’s dive into the 2023 adaptation of “Knights of the Zodiac,” a live-action version of the beloved manga and anime series “Saint Seiya.” I was quite excited to see this film, given my love for anime, but I must say, it left me with mixed feelings.

The film immediately strikes a familiar chord with longtime fans, as it seems to be primarily based on the 2019 “Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya” CGI series. However, this series is widely considered a low point in Saint Seiya history, and the film doesn’t do much to elevate it.

The original “Saint Seiya” anime, first released in 1986, slowly builds its world around the reincarnation of the Greek goddess Athena and warriors called Saints. Their strength comes from harnessing their inner energy, called the Cosmos, and from their Cloths — mystical, ancient armors based on constellations. The plot comes together over time into a fascinating whole, mixed with brutal action and authentic character drama. It was downright revolutionary when it first came out, and it still holds up nearly 40 years later.

However, the 2023 “Knights of the Zodiac” just has characters flatly explaining the plot and their motivations out loud. The defanged action sequences don’t leave an impact, and what was once an engaging story about Greek myths and destiny has been downgraded into a cliched “battle” between technology and faith/magic.

The film is about Sean Bean’s Alman Kido taking in Seiya, a young vagabond martial artist, and training him to use the mythical Pegasus armor to protect Kido’s daughter Sienna, the reincarnation of Athena. This all happens in a world mostly like our own, with a tiny sci-fi dystopian aftertaste to it, in the form of Guraad, a leader of a paramilitary organization who used a Saint armor to develop cyborg power suits and wants to kill Sienna because she believes the girl will destroy the world.

The film’s color palette is a letdown. When Seiya finally gets his signature Pegasus armor, it’s a dark gray instead of the iconic white and red. This makes Seiya hard to see during his fights with Guraad’s black-clad cyborg ninjas, who are all a blur of dark tones.

Despite these shortcomings, “Knights of the Zodiac” isn’t a completely empty experience. Sean Bean is endearing in his fatherly role, and audiences will have no trouble believing that Kido sees Sienna as his daughter whom he wants to protect, even though she’s a literal goddess. Famke Janssen, who plays Guraad, is also much more complex than the CGI series’ Vander Graad. She genuinely struggles with her conflicting feelings about saving her child or saving the world.

Mackenyu, who plays Seiya, only seems to have two modes in the film: bored and confused. But his fighting scenes are excellent. The film’s martial arts style looks very original, focusing on a lot of flying kicks and landing in a refreshing middle ground between The Matrix-style kung fu and wuxia martial arts.

In comparison to popular anime, “Knights of the Zodiac” falls short. It lacks the depth, character development, and vibrant world-building that make anime series like “Naruto” or “One Piece” so captivating. The film seems to have started by drawing on the worst part of the franchise, then kept making progressively worse decisions. It’s a shame, as the Saint Seiya series has so much potential for a live-action adaptation.

Knights of the Zodiac FAQ

  • Is “Saint Seiya” appropriate for younger viewers? The series contains intense battle scenes and complex themes, making it more suitable for older teens and adults.
  • Is the anime faithful to the manga? Yes, the original anime closely follows the manga’s plot, but the subsequent series and spin-offs have original storylines.
  • Where can I watch “Saint Seiya”? “Saint Seiya” is available for streaming on platforms like Netflix and Crunchyroll.

Just like stargazing on a clear Tokyo night, “Saint Seiya” fills you with a sense of wonder and excitement, taking you on a cosmic journey of courage, friendship, and determination. Its blend of Greek mythology, constellations, and martial arts makes it a classic in the anime world.