"Omega,the power of miracles,which comes from humans' love for one another.As long as they posses Omega's spirit,humans can still hope."-Saturn in the final episode of"Saint Seiya Omega".
"Saint Seiya Omega"is a spin-off series based on the classic"Saint Seiya"anime.The story takes place 25 years after the events in the original manga and anime and focuses on the new generation of Saints.
It is a different take on the story made in order to attract the current generation to the"Saint Seiya"franchise however in order to also appeal to the veteran"Saint Seiya"fans,"Omega"included the protagonist of the original anime Seiya(who plays a more important role in the second season)who has now earned the title of the Saggitarius Gold Saint as well as the other original Bronze Saints from the main cast Hyoga,Shun,Shiryu and Ikki."Omega"also decided to include the minor Bronze Saints like Geki,Jabu,Ban,Nachi and Ichi.We also gets to see Shaina again who is now the master of Koga.
"Saint Seiya Omega"is also a more child friendly on the original story so it made some changes(the majority of which the writers fortunately got rid off in season 2) such as introducing an elemental fighting system,a training school for Saints,replacing the Pandora boxes(in which the Cloths were kept)with Crystals and changed the design of the Cloths which is why it has been very badly received by many people from the fandom.However in this review I will explain that despite of its flaws"Saint Seiya Omega"isn't as bad as people say that it is.
"Omega" is composed of two seasons and follows the typical"destined heroes having to save the world from evil"plot just like the original"Saint Seiya"did.If you are looking for a dark and complex story than"Omega"is definitely not for you because its plot is quite simple yet entertaining.
In the first episode we are introduced to the protagonist and the Pegasus Saint of this generation Koga who was raised by Saori Kido unaware that she is actually the reincarnation of the Goddess Athena.Koga at first refuses to become a Saint because he has no idea of what is really going on however when Mars(the God of War) kidnaps Athena so that he rule over the Earth and Koga(now aware that Saori is actually Athena)despite of his efforts fails to stop him,he sets out in a journey to find Athena.Of course it follows the typical"meeting a friend along the way who will later become your alley"plot line and so Koga meets Souma who tells him to join Palaestra(the training school for Saints).
The first 7 episodes basically serve as an introduction to the main cast and to the new elemental fighting system that I mentioned earlier so they are rather slow.The story really starts to move forward after episode 8.
In terms of storytelling the first season is similar to the iconic"Sanctuary"arc of the original anime however what makes it different is that it focuses much more on the characters and their relationship than the original anime did.
In fact what makes"Omega"interesting and enjoyable are the interesting stories of various characters that move the plot such as Aria,Eden,Sonia and even Mars.Another character that made the plot very interesting is Mars' wife Medea who had her own treacherous agenda.
There was also an interesting plot twist concerning Koga and his true powers.Of course this season ends with Koga defeating the main antagonist Abzu(God of Darkness)and saving the world.
Another good thing that"Omega"did in this season was actually introducing a female Saint(Aquila Yuna) to the main cast because after all even though"Saint Seiya"is targeted towards the shounen demographic it does have a big female fanbase as well who have wanted for a long time to see a strong female character.
"Omega" also did a good job with giving distinct personalities to the Gold Saints instead of turning them into cheap copies of the Gold Saints from the original series.Also I was pleased to see that for once the Virgo Saint was not described as"the one closest to the gods"because it honestly became very tiresome after also being used in "Lost Canvas"and even in the canon"Next Dimension"
In the second season after all the criticism they're received the writers decided to get rid of the elemental fighting system(while it wasn't completely removed it was never mentioned again),brought back the Pandora boxes and changed the design of the Cloths.In this season we are also introduced to the concept of the ultimate power"Omega".
This season is focused on the battle against Pallas the Goddess love.The season opens with a scene in which Saori(who due to a bracelet that binds her with Pallas is getting her life force constantly drained out so that Pallas can use it so that she can grow up)with remorse orders Saggitarius Seiya that he must kill Pallas in order to prevent the war from happening however the kind hearted Seiya fails to kill Pallas because of the fact that she is in the form of a helpless child.One of the things that makes this story interesting is the relationship between Athena and Pallas,during the"Age of Myth"Athena and Pallas used to be as close as sisters but after a tragic turn of events Athena was forced to kill Pallas and now Pallas is back in order to take revenge on Athena and on humanity.However the most interesting thing about this season is that in the second part it turns out that the real enemy is not Pallas but another God who has been orchestrating the events all along.
In this season all Saints(included the Gold Saints later on) are involved in the battle against Pallas and its a great thing that we get to see the original Bronze Saints fighting.
Another thing that makes this season good is that Athena has an active role in the story instead of being reduced to the damsel in distress.Despite her weakening life force Athena used her Cosmo to localate Pallas' whereabout and after feeling guilty about the Saints that were dying in the war because of her she decides to engage herself in the battle against Pallas.We also get to see Athena fighting with the Athena Cloth on(which was a missed opportunity in the original manga/anime)
Saturn the God of time was a great major antagonist and a very interesting character as well.The final battle against him was also much more interesting and exciting to watch than the battles against Poseidon and even Hades in the original manga/anime.Also the aftermath ended up being very different from all the other fights against the gods in the"Saint Seiya"franchise which made"Omega"more original in that regard.The anime ends with a fitting conclusion but at the same time leaves the way open for a new adventure.
Without a doubt the strongest point of"Omega"are its characters.The 5 characters of the main cast all have interesting stories that explain why they decided to become Saints,episodes that develop their characters and all of them get to prove their strength in various fights."Omega"also does a great job in establishing their friendship and showing how strong it really is although to some viewers the whole friendship message which was especially prominent in the second season might be a little annoying.
Besides the main cast"Omega"has other interesting secondary characters(including some antagonist)as well:In season 1 you have Orion Eden,Sonia,Arie,Mars,Medea,Taurus Harbinger(who's character developes very much in the second season),Capricorn Ionia,Libra Genbu(who has a short but important appearance in the second season),Gemini Paradox(who also appears in the second season as an antagonist and become even more interesting as well),Peacock Pavlin and Pisces Amour while in season 2 you have Saturn,Titan,Equuleus Celeris(despite the fact that he was a minor character),Athena,Saggitarius Seiya,Pallas,Kerry(who again is a minor character),Aegon,Hyperion,Galia,Gemini Integra,Europa and Mira.
Art & Animation
The art in"Omega"isn't bad,the backgrounds actually look really beautiful but when it comes to the character design even though it does work for some characters its rather hard to get used too because it is more childish and too cute looking compared to the character design of the original anime.
The animation is above average,its far from being the best however I have seen much worse.
The soundtack is actually very good especially when it comes to the 4 opening songs and the insert songs in the second season.The instrumental themes are also beautiful as well.
In 2009 a new Star Trek movie was released. This movie was directed by a man quote "Never liked the Star Trek." and "I'm making it appeal to non Star Trek fan audience". The result is known. Poorly filmed action flick with lots of CGI, science part from sci-fi completely thrown out of the window and most importantly the story is impossible to happen according to the rules in Star Trek universe itself. Saint Seiya Omega is exactly the same. It destroys everything I love about Saint Seiya and builds on the bad parts of the original series and presents them very poorly. I'm going to spoil a lot in this review, even if the Saint Seiya Omega is totally spoiled by itself.
The story premise is very similar to previous series. However there is a lot of nonsense added to the franchise. For example there is no such thing as elemental categories of Saints. It's complete bullshit. A ninja Saint :seriously:. It's ridiculous like jedi in the Star Trek. The story has no direction whatsoever. One time it's Saints on the journey, other it's school-life (since when Saint Seiya became school-life!? WTF), tournament, then back to journey. Athena defeated and captured easily by main villain who looks like blob with texture on it. Even Hades never really defeated Athena and where are the gold Saints? And what is the Mars a Roman mythology god doing in the Greek mythology based Saint Seiya. I liked the idea that main group of Saints will be represented by some different constellations - nice change. The idea to include female Saint in the main group is also good. However she is bullied, because of her mask?! Wait! Doesn't every female Saint in the school wear a mask. Yep, they do. This simply doesn't make sense. Two more points. 1) in the original series female Saints train separately. 2) female Saint would beat the crap out of those wannabe Saints. From bad it goes to the worst. WTF is this feminist crap about putting down the mask?! This law was made by Athena herself. No chauvinist pig, again I repeat by Athena herself. Do I have to remind you what kind of punishments were used in the original series for breaking rules? Death, death and lets not forget death. Now I'm getting to the biggest problem I've with Saint Seiya Omega story. Its morale or lack of it. The original Saint Seiya lived up to very high morale standard and philosophy of universalism like "You fool. Justice never changes." Also it had a definite religious vibe. Those things make the original series more than just spectacular super power action fantasy. Saint Seiya Omega has no such thing whatsoever. The story is nonsense breaking the canon in every episode.
In the original series the cloths are amazing, because every each of them is designed specifically to particular constellation and is like statue from parts of actual armor. Especially if you look into the manga where is shown exact (dis)assembling of cloths. In Saint Seiya Omega you have generic looking and over simplistic armor stored in a plain crystal. Every Saint and enemy now looks like mahou shoujo (notice glossy lipstick when Yuna transforms) and their cloths magically flashes from a small crystal. Every box in the original had nice carvings according to the constellation, etc. No blood during fights!? No injuries and no death? Fighting is super dull in Omega. It's generic kenpo, generic flashes of energy and lacks thrill and awesomeness of good old Saint Seiya. When it comes to gold saints the fighting style is completely wrong. Every thing looks like from coloring book for children with some photoshoped effect now and there. Some characters are really ugly - Tatsumi, Mars. There are mahou shoujo items like crystals. Overall animation is horrible.
Music and sound is probably the only decent thing in this anime. But still it's poor compared to the original. The opening is just remixed melody of the original. It's futile attempt to make connection to the original series. Please no connection. Could we call this Omega and remove Saint Seiya from it. Since the story is horrible, has almost none relation to the original series. Characters are as well horrible. Voice acting cannot be compared to the original Saint Seiya. It's average at best.
The only good characters in Saint Seiya Omega are those from the original series like Geki (the Bear Saint). He is older and more experienced saint. The main villain is poorly animated joke with no personality. Compare him to Hades, Poseidon or Saga in the Saint Seiya. The main protagonist Kouga starts as disturbed klutz teenager and evolves into dumb fighting machine - It's clubber time. Everybody sees in him Seiya. I don't. The dragon saint Ryuuhou is like crossbreed of Shun (Andromeda) and Shiryuu (Dragon). He is probably the most gay character in Saint Seiya Omega. The side kicks are just meaningless. Lionet Souma trying to prove himself and to avenge his father. Aquila Yuna, Ninja Saint ... :facepalm: and so are enemies. Marsian Sonya wears mask even if she is not saint.
Each of the five bronze Saints in the original have distinct character and play important role in the story. Most of the time I wouldn't recognize that Seiya is the main hero.
Not only the Omega presents plain squad with brain dead lead It destroys on of the greatest characters from the original series - Athena. Starting as spoiled ojousama Kido Saori gradually transforms into virtuous goddess. Without her the saints doesn't stand a chance. Her presence in the Omega is insignificant. Where are the gold saints? If Seiya took the place of Sagittarius gold saint. I would expect others from previous series to take place of gold saints as indicated in Saint Seiya manga. Shiryuu could be Libra, Hyouga Aquarius, Ikki Virgo, etc. Don't tell me they died or simply retired. Saints do not retire. Never ever. Instead Omega presents new faces of gold saints. None of them however is character fitting for a position of gold saint. They lack both in fighting style and in personal traits. In the original the gold saints were complex characters and had this distinct "elite veteran saint" feel from the very beginning.
Saint Seiya Omega is an abomination. It's like stupid shounen version of mahou shoujo anime. Everything that I love about the original Saint Seiya anime was striped down and replaced with one of the crappiest shounen anime ever.
The original Saint Seya happens to be amongst the first fighting shounen ever made in the mid 80’s and even the one who established the formula of the genre. Even Dragonball took pointers from it. Along the years the franchise was kept alive through numerous non-canon follow-ups, the major ones being a sequel series between 2003 and 2008, and a prequel in 2009. The thing is, most of the original fanbase either grew out of it or went for newer and fancier shounen; it is by no means a franchise with tens of thousands of followers anymore. The reason being its formula remaining quite narrow; after a point became too simple and repetitive compared to later fighting shounen. So it must be made clear that it is a franchise maintained mostly for nostalgia purposes rather than sales or marketing. The latest addition is Omega, which is again non-cannon and takes place after the main series, with a new generation of Saint warriors. Don’t try to see it as a sequel to the Hades/Elysion arcs because they too are stand-alones compared to the main series.
I have many bones to pick with it so I will address them in a numerical order.
1) Animation is done by Toei yet again, only this time they changed the style considerably. It’s not bad in overall, but, man, does it look girly or what? The original style was not exactly manly all the way, as it was made to appeal to fangirls by drawing all the men in a bishounen / slightly feminine way. But this new one is just… well, too stylized if I am to go easy with the description. Less details on the characters, simpler and cuter faces, much smoother animation, and MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BIGGER EYES. It has been made by the same guys who also did the Casshern Sins remake of the retro series and I can’t say I am a fan of their style. I don’t hate it but it sure feels way too weird if you were accustomed to the older way of the 80’s. Plus, while Casshern Sins actually turned the original concept to something far more dark and deep (and thus likable), Omega on the other hand is simplifying it to the point most see the new artwork as a turn to something more childish (and thus worse). The whole thing now looks like a damn mahou shoujo instead of a fighting shounen, which is very unappealing compared to the older style.
2) The armours all of a sudden are now stored in crystals and instead of carrying them in big heavy boxes, they just pop out of a tiny necklace. Instead of changing shape like a transformer before attaching themselves to you, now they just magically appear on you with lots of bright colours filing the screen. I was surprised the hero didn’t get naked first or pulled out a magic wand, or had a catchphrase close to “I will punish you in the name of the Moon.” That felt way off from the original concept and definitely NOT MANLY! So ok, modern anime are gayer, nobody denies that, but this is rather too much for an older fan to appreciate. And sure, I understand that it was weird to have huge heavy boxes that needed to be carried all over the place and which magically disappeared from the battle but reappeared after it was over. Yet that was exactly what made it cool; the fact that they were bulky and heavy and took up space. But these crystals have no weight, and fit inside your pocket; you are just not made to feel like they are important. A pitiful thief can pickpocket them and run away. It took a brute to just barely be able to lift the old boxes; having to carry them was an easy proof of how powerful the heroes were for managing to walk with those things as luggage. On the other hand, the new heroes feel like weak kids who can’t do anything without transforming first.
3) Then it’s the whole premise of the show I also didn’t like. It’s a lot sillier compared to the original, which was already silly to begin with.
- The new villain, Mars, is not a member of the Olympian pantheon. Despite sounding like the god of war, there already is such a guy and his name is Ares (the original Greek name and not the bastardised Roman one). So this Mars fellow is a filler villain and must not be grouped with the rest of the canon theology of the series because he is not one of the twelve Olympians. And sure, the original series also had the Scandinavian pantheon mixing in at some point but in case you don’t know that was also filler. So were all those extras from Judeo-Christian mythology in the OVAs and the movies. And anyways, this Mars guy doesn’t even look like he is from the same reality as the rest. I mean just look at his armour; all he wears is a galaxy. Seriously, instead of a cool armour full of spikes he wears a galaxy. How the heck does that work?
- Even as filler, the scriptwriter screwed up the rules of engagement, since no god or saint warrior can just appear out of nowhere and start a one-man war like that. It originally was sort of what happens in Mortal Kombat games; the champions of each god battle, and the winners take over or defend a certain world. Yet look at this guy; acting almighty like he is more powerful than all the previous gods that messed with the heroes and just appears anywhere he feels like it without any problem at all. This is completely stupid since they had uber security before. Where is that weird barrier that kept worlds apart? Where are the other Gold Saints? Where are the other gods?
- In a similar fashion WHERE IS THE REST OF THE WORLD? All we see in the beginning is three people and an island, and later on a school in the middle of nowhere. Man, the rich and lively alternative Greece of the original is now an empty planet; I bet they plan on making this barren like Casshern Sins.
- So anyways, back to the story, Mars just walks inside the sanctuary without the slightest resistance and without using a single underling to somehow sabotage the defences. He kills Seiya before gets pushed back and for the next decade the Goddess Athena trains a new warrior to take the fallen hero’s place. In the meantime, while Mars is recovering he decides to get some underlings after all, most of which are in fact Athena apostates. How the hell did a weakened god manage to seduce so many followers and how the hell didn’t anyone notice it?
- Anyways, a decade later he returns and gets in, again without any resistance at all. Dammit you guys; you had a decade to prepare and did nothing? At least build a wooden fence to give us the illusion you tried a bit. And seriously, this Mars guy is so overpowered it makes everything feel so easy to the point he doesn’t even need underlings. He manages to kill or corrupt most of the Gold Saints, kidnaps Athena, rules the world, takes over the sanctuary and the palestra all alone. Although it is cool to see for once the strongest villain going in from the very start instead of sending progressively stronger underlings against the progressively stronger heroes, it makes it look so easy that you just wonder why he lags so much in whatever he wants to do. There is absolutely no explanation for why he took his sweet time to do all that with so many months in between and not at once.
- Probably just for the sake of new hero to get enough time to train and meet more Sailor Scouts… err, Saints to form a team and overthrow Mars. He has the typical protection syndrome of shounen protagonists and his resolve is what constantly gives him enough power to win when he most needs it. His willpower is enough to make one of those girly crystals to turn him into Sailor Moon… err, I mean Saint Pegasus and he goes to the rescue. And how polite of Mars to have underlings so the heroes can use them as punch bags and farm on exp points. See what I mean when I said he doesn’t need them?
4) What is even lamer is how all the new Saints now train in a school. A SCHOOL! They call it palestra but it is obviously a prestige place where teenagers study books and write tests. What the hell do all that have to do with getting super powerful and defending the world? What are they going to do, play twenty questions with cosmic horrors that plan to destroy the universe? They just need to smack the crap out of them! And am I supposed to believe that school is protected by a barrier that stops even Mars from going in? If so, how did he attack the Sanctuary in the first place? And even if we assume they improved it, why isn’t Athena there and instead spends a decade in a completely defenceless place?
5) Furthermore, now there is a girl in the main team of the heroes. It’s not like this is a bad thing but it makes it even less manly. We had some pretty powerful Silver level gals before (chauvinistically always hidden behind masks, hehe) but the top spots were always reserved for the dudes. Because it is a dude show, even if some were drawn in a totally gay style. Although the tradition keeps it up by having more of these masked chicks in the story, having one in the main team is stupid. She doesn’t even wear pants; SHE WEARS A TUTU! What is a ballerina doing in a manly team?
6) As if that wasn’t enough, the whole show now stinks of Naruto. They added a silly elemental system, where fire Saints are weaker against water Saints, who are weaker against earth Saints, and so on until it makes a circle. What kind of crap is this, some sort of an attempt to add strategy to the battles? Well guess what, there is no bloody strategy even with them present; since it is still the same old shounen fuss. The heroes always get enough power to win when they need it, regardless of what their element is. The original was fun exactly because it was guts and willpower doing all the work; not because water beats fire. What the hell are they doing here, planning to teach kids the rules to some related videogame? And as if trying to cash in on the Naruto fans with elements wasn’t enough, they also included … a ninja Saint named Haruto! OMG, lamest thing ever! The thing that makes Saint Seiya what it is has to do with people in fancy armours kicking the crap out of each other and not exchanging places with a log!
In all, it is too stupid and looks like Naruto dressed as Sailor Moon.
Saint Seiya Omega, in my opinion, did better than what many fans do. It expanded on the original, fleshing out he lore of the world as well as giving lesser known characters (like Geki, Nachi, and Ban) some time in the spotlight. If you're new to the series, I recommend this one as the last one you should watch chronologically as you will be spoiled on past events. Keep reading for a full review.
The entire first arc, admittedly, hit on some points and missed on others. Even so much as mentioning Cloths of star systems not mentioned in the original (like Delphinus and Corona Borealis) was a step up. But the whole thing about Aria being the new Athena and using Roman names for the gods (especially on a series inspired by Greek Mythology) ws all a little "meh" to me.
Second arc wasn't as bad, but too much foreshadowing that someone even greater than Titan and his colleagues kinda made the big reveal come up short at the end.
There are a lot of things I loved, though. For instance, for someone boasting great power in the original, Aldebaran lost in all of his fights. However, this changed when Lost Canvas came around and in Omega, Harbinger was the only one of the golds besides Seiya to make it to the end with him. Not Shiryu, not Kiki, and not even the mighty Fudo. It was Taurus, a Saint who was disrepected and killed off by the writers in the original, who fought side by side with Seiya when they confronted Titan and Pallas. And hey, Harbinger becomes Grand Pope at the end. Good for him!
None of the other Bronze Saints besides Jabu were fleshed out in the original. Yet, Ichi becomes relevant in the first arc while Geki, Ban, and Nachi are used as more than cannon fodder this time. In the process, the writers in Omega explained why the Steel Saints didn't make it to Sanctuary in the original anime, a question that took 25 years to answer << Granted, the Steel Saints were never even in the manga and thus considered filler, but we still needed some explanation instead of "Oh, they never existed"
Omega, while it made the original fans cry "Durrr, mah nostalgia", focused on developing their main characters while expanding on the world they were in and expanding even more on past characters. While I do agree it's not the best of the series, I was satisfied when I made it to the end.