Saint Seiya, Masami Kurumada’s manga, found its maximum artistic expression in its anime adaptation that celebrates 35 years today. On the occasion of the series’ anniversary, several fans are wondering if it is an outdated relic cloaked in nostalgia, while others hail its portentous virtues as an enduring classic of the shonen genre.
The plot presents us with a world loosely based on Greek mythology. The goddess Athena, reincarnated in Saori Kido, protects peace and humanity along with her warriors, an order of loyal knights who adopted various constellations as guardian symbols. They are Seiya from Pegasus, Shun from Andromeda, Ikki from Phoenix, Shiryu from Dragon, and Hyoga from Swan.
Throughout the program, the fans met many more knights belonging to different ranks, with whom they had emblematic contests, but none went down in history like those that occurred in the Battle of the 12 houses (saga of the sanctuary). She is remembered not only for her brutal action, but also for the values and teachings that enriched the story and turned the anime into an unforgettable classic.
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Justice, solidarity, companionship, bravery, loyalty, self-improvement and tenacity are some of Saint Seiya’s flagship values. If there is an anime that taught that the important thing is to stand up no matter how many times you fall or the superiority of the enemies, this is it, with the example of the knights of the zodiac reluctant to let their cosmos be extinguished.
Although these teachings are recurrent in several programs, their presence in the history of Kurumada shines through its constant demonstration through the speeches and exploits of the characters. As a counterpart is the cruel and despotic Patriarch who has corrupted the sanctuary of Athena and deceived the elite of his army: the 12 golden knights.
For each golden knight, Seiya and his companions had to exceed their limits, defeat them and earn the right to pass through the houses of their opponents. All to get to the Patriarch, the only one who can save Saori from a mortal wound perpetrated by an arrow. With time against the clock and all the odds against them, they begin their titanic odyssey.
As well as throughout the program, in this saga we see how well used are the concepts from Greek mythology in collision with cosmology, added to the variety of powers, the variety of armor and its colorful designs. However, the visuals would not be the same without the overwhelming soundtrack composed mainly by Seiji Yokoyama.
Certainly, the Saint Seiya anime boasted its greatest virtues in the Battle of the 12 houses, but it is not a perfect work as a whole. The filler -except for the Asgard saga-, plot gaps, repetitive scheme and the constant damsel in distress are elements that can exasperate and avoid an experience as rewarding as the one that a young man could have in front of cable television or tapes VHS since 1994, the year the series arrived in our country through América TV.
After all, the years go by and these minor inconveniences are relegated to the value of experience. «Nothing that happens is ever forgotten even if you cannot remember it», especially if what they left recorded for us were life teachings. It would be false then to say that the Knights of the zodiac shone only by the flash of their armor when in reality it was by their passionate, fascinating and romantic ideals.