Saint Seiya or The Knights of the Zodiac is a classic manga from Shounen Jump it was first released in 1986 and since then it had various sequels and anime adaptions with the most recent Netflix series having a not so great reception. But that doesnt change the fact that the original manga and anime series have had a lot of success being named frequently with the biggest franchises of the 80s. So is the praise deserving? Lets look at what makes Saint Seiya Saint Seiya. Before we dive into the actual manga we do need to understand that the scenario of battle manga in 1986 was a bit different from what we know today and this was more or less when that shift changed. With manga like the Z part of Dragon Ball Jojo Part 3 and of course Saint Seiya. One of the things Saint Seiya does right off the bat is throw the muscular men fighting with fists and gives us much cuter roster of male characters whose influence was so great that it actually was responsible for popularizing Yaoi. Thanks Saint Seiya. And the fact is that this manga has some decent ideas and innovations. The fights are much more influenced in powers and strategies rather than simply brute force the cast was quite varied and the arc structure of it all was well organized. Things that are taken for granted now. But Saint Seiya doesnt really use these ideas to their full potential. And while one can just blame it on its age there are manga that have aged much better like the previous examples. The very first problem this manga has is failing to explain the plot and character motivations for the entirety of the first arc. And sure the story is simple enough that you can ASSUME more or less what is happening but youre never really sure until they explain it in midsecond arc. If you havent dropped by now with the plot finally explained the rest of the manga is an easier read... relatively speaking. The biggest flaw of this manga is its battles. While the second arc is its highest point it gives us plot twists that are going to be used on every fight and arc from there on out. Yes Andromeda is going to fight an ice or water based enemy. Yes Dragon is gonna die but not really but kinda yeah yes hes dead what he isnt? Our heroes are going to use a power. Wont do damage to the enemy. What? The enemy will now use a much stronger attack. Our characters will lose but not really because of friendship and also because of Cosmos. Now Cosmos to Saint Seiya isnt really a unique concept its similar to Dragon Balls Ki or Narutos Chakra the more you have it the stronger you get. The thing about Cosmos that completely ruins any impact the fights have is that Cosmos here dictates almost like fate. Our heroes are fighting together for the good of the Gods so even if they have less Cosmos than their opponents Cosmos itself will make our heroes win. Because its their destiny since they are fighting for Good. And well if they are destined to win even when they are the underdog it removes all the tension of the fight. And the fights in this manga are all about the tension. They are incredibly over the top consisting of one character using a power everyone looking shocked it fails or wounds the opponent regardless everyone looks shocked but then the other character pulls out something even more over the top that warrants an even more over the top reaction. Half the manga is people being surprised at everything. With this being a battle manga and the battles being the most important thing that already hurts Saint Seiya a lot but the plot itself isnt really something thats saving this manga and the arcs past the second are just rehashes of one another. The characters arent really memorable either leaving me wondering why would anyone read this. And well there is ONE reason to read this. Its bad but its hilarious its incredibly over the top ridiculous and with plot twists that make no sense at all. Its not selfaware at any point. But it did one thing it made me laugh. It made me laugh and laugh and share pictures of stupid moments to my friends and angrily discuss a plot point about a guy behind beheaded. So I do recommend you reading it if youre looking for something like that because at the end I didnt really regret reading this. What?
40 /100
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