Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac is a Netflix anime series released in July of 2019. Currently, it has two seasons on the site. It is about a young man named Seiya and other bronze knights tasked with protecting goddess Athena from other Olympian gods. The gods want to conquer the world and destroy it. The classic anime franchise has been around for decades and amassed a large loyal fanbase worldwide. Here are ten facts about Netflix’s Saint Seiya anime that you probably didn’t know
It’s Based on 1980s Japanese Manga
The Saint Seiya anime series for Netflix is based on a popular Japanese manga (Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac). The Manga was written by Masami Kurumada and published from 1986 to 1990 by Shueisha in 28 volumes. It has sold over 35 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most successful anime ever.
Saint Seiya Video Games
More than 15 video games have been made about Saint Seiya since 1987. Like many popular series adapted for television, many video games have been released based on the hit series. As recently as 2019, GTArcade published a mobile game from Masami Kurumada known as Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac. The mobile game proves that the franchise still has loyal fans willing to play their games years later. Other recent video games featuring Saint Seiya characters adapted for Android and IOS were Monster Strike in 2013 and Line Rangers in 2014.
The First Saint Seiya Anime
Before Netflix decided to adapt the Saint Seiya manga for American audiences, a Japanese anime series aired from 1986 to 1989 with 114 episodes. Toei Animation produced it, and character design was done by outstanding artists Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno, making the anime popular worldwide.
CartoonNetwork Remake Follows
In 2002, ADV films announced that they had purchased the rights to distribute Saint Seiya in America. Later, they sold 40 episodes of the anime to Cartoon Network. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the way Cartoon Network executed the anime in 2003 put off so many people who could have been fans of the franchise. The series episodes that ended up airing were badly dubbed in English, removed any violence, and did multiple storyline edits that completely changed the series’s feel.
The Tried & True Storyline
The anime franchise has been around for close to thirty years. Both the films and series have followed different storylines. The Netflix adaptation focused on the first season of the 80s hit animation, which follows the main character, Seiya. Seiya finds his way to Greece, where he acquires protective armor, the Bronze cloth and becomes one of the 88 saints that protect the goddess Athena.
CGI Anime Style
Unlike the other installments in the Saints Seiya franchise, Netflix’s adaptation of the thrilling anime took a different approach. Instead of the traditional animation style fans are used to, Netflix and Toei Animation decided to bring back the classic using 3D Computer Generated Imagery. They made sure to have an English dubbed version and a Japanese version for fans on the streaming site.
When Masami Kurumada was coming up with the storyline for Saint Seiya, he added aspects of Greek mythology to make the Manga more exciting. We can say decades later that it worked. In the anime, Seiya becomes one of the saints who protect the goddess of War and the daughter of Zeus, known as Athena. Other Olympian gods who appear in the original anime against Athena include Hades and Poseidon.
Best Action Anime of All Time
When Saint Seiya first aired, it was so good that it inspired an entire generation of action- Shonen anime similar to it. This series inspired some great anime such as Bleach, Dragon Ball-Z, and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
Gender Swapping the Main Character
Many fans have pointed out a controversial point about the Netflix anime series; changing one of the main characters’ gender. One of the five bronze knights, Andromeda Shun, who in the original anime is a man. He has been changed to a female character. One producer on the show Eugene Son justifies their significant change to increase female representation despite the anime having female characters like Aquila Yuna.
Saint Seiya Films
Since the Saint Seiya anime aired in the 80s, several spin-off films have been released based on the successful Manga. Saint Seiya: Evil Goddess Heiress was released in 1987, Saint Seiya: The Heated Battle of The Gods, and Saint Seiya: Legend of Crimson Youth released in 1988. In 1989 Saint Seiya: Heaven Chapter was released to round up the 90s anime story arc. Years later, in 2004, Saint Seiya: Heaven Chapter – Overture was released, and the latest film in the franchise Legend of the Sanctuary was released in 2014.
Don’t worry if you are getting into the Saint Seiya world and have no idea where to start with all the films and series put out over thirty years. Netflix has all the original episodes of the 1980s Saint Seiya available to stream.
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