In this installment, picking up from where the last series leaves off, there is more at stake, more danger, and it gets progressively darker but yet exciting at the same time. Though Tenma is officially the main character, the 3 acts that this story centers more around 3 gold saints.
The 3 gold saints are Manigoldo, the Cancer saint, El Cid, the Capricorn saint, and Sisyphus, the Sagitaurrius saint. And even though their respective original series counterparts didn’t really have much screen time as lets say Saga, Mwu, or Milo did, these characters do a whole lot and demonstrate how fucking bad ass they are. Formally speaking, they really go in-depth with these characters and explore why they became saints and why they fight.
Hypnos and Thanatos and are given a bigger role as opposed to their original series counterparts. Thanatos is still portrayed as brash, arrogant, and sadistic, and Hypnos is still calculating, manipulative and patient. Those qualities were shown with them in the original Saint Seiya manga, but they were more expanded upon in this season and the screen time in this series makes them more credible villains this time around since they really did almost nothing. OK, they did destroy 5 Gold cloths. That was cool and impacting for what little time they had last time.
Tenma still maintains the archetypical qualities of a shounen hero but I like how these qualities are put in a much darker context. It shows he’s very caring, can be an idiot, and he may be idealistic but yet understands the hard side of life, and yet those qualities are why he doesn’t give up hope. He does have his moments in this series, but this installment belongs to the three gold saints and I don’t mind that. But the series ends at a cliffhanger, but when it ends, it gets really, really exciting because it comes to a point where even though they won a huge battle, the stakes are starting to get higher than ever before and it leaves you wanting for more. And I hope that a new installment is made soon now that the manga is over.
The art and animation is more or less the same, but what really improves is the action. The action this time is just simply bad ass on a level that is just a few leagues below Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Granted it is balls to the walls, but it relies a lot on wit, strategy, and being a man. From beginning to end there is countless tension and intensity. The fights perfectly mixes physical, psychological, mystical and spiritual demands to make the action consistently exciting. The characters are placed in battles where it’s the equivalent of a 60 year old Rocky Balboa taking on a young Apollo Creed, young Mr. T, young Hulk Hogan, an Ivan Drago on every performance enhancing drug imaginable, a loaded Tommy Gunn, and a hungry Mason Dixon all at once on the mean streets of Philly and yet chooses to fight on. Even though Saint Seiya is a re-telling of Greek mythology, the characters demonstrate a good combination of the spirit of the ancient Japanese samurai warrior with the all-American million-to-one underdog. Yeah, they may lose, but the fact they choose to face such a challenge is what makes it more admirable. This is most demonstrated with El Cid. Remember that Rocky analogy I made a few seconds ago, El Cid is who I was talking about and what he does is what made him my favorite character in Lost Canvas so far. Hell, he’s way cooler than Shuura in my book.
Well, the style of the music and the songs used are still the same and I can’t go wrong with Realm of Athena, the best English anime song of all time that’s in the Japanese version. But early on in the series, I like how this organ song was more integrated into the action. At first, you think the music it is setting the mood, but it is of course not doing that for the audience, but for the victim in the TV screen itself. I like how this featured villain was playing an organ to manipulate people and it just really intensified the mood.
The seiyuu cast is still appropriately splendid. I really can’t say anything about it that I already said in my review of the last season. The performances perfectly reflected the nature of their characters. I like how Hirano Aya is Athena/Sasha can’t always act as this school girl who needs to be in the remedial classes and shows she can be this leader in a time of war. I
Well naturally, you do need to watch the first season first to get an understanding of the establishment of the main cast, specifically Tenma, Sasha, and Alone. But this season does a good job of re-establishing these characters in a certain way that may not be familiar to new audiences, but I do recommend watching this series from season 1 to get a better idea of course how the stakes got higher and how the danger gets more intense.
Once again, I do like to state that you don’t really need any previous exposure to the original Saint Seiya series though it will help a lot. But at the same time, the previous exposure does add more. But hey, this series still defines what makes Saint Seiya awesome; explosive action, thrilling adventure, and awesome music that grabs you by the balls
So this review for This part and the 2nd. This was my first Saint Seiya series to watch and may explain why the ending was weird to me, because it was just a weird ending. All in all though the storyline was intriguing and well done. I will undoubtly watch other Saint Seiya.