[ Watashi ] [ Tomodachi ] [ Saint Seiya ] [ Clamp ] [ Fanfiction ]

Okay, let's skip the hello and welcome (you're welcome and hello, by the way). Here are the choices open to you in this not-so-small-anymore shrine:

  • either you feel brave enough to read through whatever I have come up with to say on Saint Seiya, praying you won't read the same thing you've already found everywhere else (although I do strive for originality, you know *grin*)
  • or you jump straight to the "small" Hades Hen section I've opened.
  • or you can also directly go peek at my little gallery.
  • or you feel curious and wish to see the shining thing I've set at the core of this shrine
  • or you're feeling insane (or inspired? ^^) and decide to read one of my fanfics.
  • or, if all else fails, you can still go to the links section.

Be warned, though, that the fanfics as well as the gallery's images, the Hades section and their comments contain spoilers for the series. Whichever you choose, I hope you'll enjoy the ride! =)

Thanks to Naoki for some tips concerning banners and also for redesigning his own web site, forcing me to do something for a change and come up with the idea for this banner. Thanks also to Princess Athena for taking care of those annoying white pixel pests which kept clinging to bits and edges of the banner! ^^

Click to see it full size

This manga was created by Masami Kurumada, and the duo Shingo Araki/Michi Himeno made the character designs for the anime.

What can I say that hasn't been said yet ? This series is loved and worshipped on my side of the Atlantic, and was adored in Japan in its time... 1986, yes I know that may seem old.

Background :

In the time when they created the World, the Olympian Gods divided it into four realms: Earth, the Oceans, the Heavens, and the realm of the Dead. To Poseidon went the sovereignty over the Oceans, to Athena the Earth, to Hades the Realm of the Dead, and Zeus ruled over the Heavens.

A balance should have been preserved between the four realms, but very early Poseidon and then Hades started wars to conquer additional territories and extend their realms. Athena, the Goddess of Earth, took humanity under her wing, and decided to create an order of Holy Warriors with whom she would protect mankind and defend it in times of direst peril, when the other gods' ambition or folly would make them turn their lust for power towards the Land that she ruled.

Those Holy Warriors were named Saints, and they lived in a place named the Sanctuary, hidden somewhere in the mountains surrounding the city of Athens in Greece, and forbidden to normal people. Athena's Saints were young men and women, who fought using a power called cosmo, a power which granted them inhuman strength and speed by tapping into the infinite force of the universe. It's said that with their fists they could rend the heavens, and that with their kicks they could tear through the earth. Still, despite those formidable powers, their bodies remained as fragile as those of simple mortals, and without protection they were wounded and died like anyone else.

When the Saints went into battle, they were shielded by very special armours: living beings called Cloths, which were in part the essence of the constellation the Saints who wore them had been born under. Those Cloths could be destroyed, however, and when it happened they died. It was possible to give a new life to a shattered Cloth, but it required a very heavy price, for the Cloth needed blood, a lot of blood to be reborn.

Since the dawn of humanity, there had always been a maximum of 88 Saints watching over it under the guidance of the Goddess Athena, or under the guidance of her representative on Earth. 88 warriors, the same number as the number of constellations in the sky. Every Saint was born under one of the night sky's constellations, and was bound to it, as well as to the Cloth which was an incarnation of the constellation it was named after.

Athena's Saints were forbidden to fight with weapons other than their own bodies, for the Goddess had deemed that the use of weapons was too dangerous. There was, however, one exception to this rule: one of the Saints had been entrusted with the keeping of twelve terrible arms, and his was the task to weigh the events and the wars, and to release the weapons to their rightful owners only in exceptional circumstances. We're now in 1986, and such exceptional circumstances haven't happened in more than 200 years.

We're in 1986, and the Sanctuary is ruled by the Pope, the representative of Athena on Earth, while the Saints wait for the time when the Goddess, who was reborn as a little girl thirteen years ago will come of age and take her rightful place at the head of the Sanctuary.

We're in 1986, and ten young people are returning to Japan after spending 6 years in training centers all around the world, 6 years of unbelievable hardships and inhumanity which claimed the lives of many other youths just like them. Those young men are coming back, answering the call of a powerful organisation which had ruled over their lives and mercilessly toyed with their destinies until now. There's nothing that binds them, nothing that unites them. Some want revenge, some want to find someone they lost, someone they love, some want release, some want ancient promises to be kept, some want power, some obey orders which strangely enough come directly from the heart of the Sanctuary, even though its first rule is never to interefer in the affairs of mankind.

We're in 1986, and once again the gods are about to awaken from their centuries-long slumber.

Why is it so much loved ? How can you explain liking Baileys or Chocolate ? Seriously though, it is hard to say. Among numerous factors are certainly the roots it has in Greek mythology, after all this particular mythology is at the base of a great many things here in Europe, and it has always been a source of dreams and inspiration.
Then, there are the characters... Andromeda Shun is my favourite, by far. Gentle, kind and peace-loving but infinitely powerful... Innocent and wise, torn by doubts, eternally fighting against himself and abhorring anything resembling violence, human in the most noble sense of the word.

The manga is composed of 28 volumes, and has three main stories : Sanctuary, Poseidon and The Hades. Only the first two made into anime, which is a shame because the best part, the part where all is revealed and explained is The Hades. It is very frustrating to come at the end of the anime with blank spots and questions that remained unanswered, important events that seem very bizarre, choices, or lack of them that seem to make no sense...

Since the end of the anime, there have been insistant rumors on the Toei completing their old project of making The Hades into a series of OVAs, and lo! It has finally come to pass. The Toei company will release a series of OVAs, starting November 9th 2002. They'll cover the first part of the Hades chapter (in the Sanctuary). Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno are once again the character designers. I look forward to finding out what they've done with this, and I look forward to a second series of OVAs that will cover what happens after a certain truth is revealed (that is, if they do it, I'm currently praying to all and any god, goddess or spirit there is). 0=)

It should also be said that while Masami Kurumada's art is a bit special, Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno made a superb job for the character designs, the result being simply beautiful.
All in all, I would say that both manga and anime complete each other.
One warning though : please, don't judge Saint Seiya by the movies. Although in my heart nothing will ever compare to Saint Seiya, I shudder when I look at those. Too short, a character design which, while it is beautiful where art is concerned, is absolutely worhtless in terms of character development (so Shun is a cowardly, weak-minded whimp who can't walk a step without his brother's help and whose sole utility in the series is to be a burden to the other Bronze Saints.... give me a BREAK ! >.< ), scenarii so trite I don't know whether to laugh or cry over them (yes, as a writer the richness and strength of a scenario matter to me! :P)... I must say I would despise Shun if I had only seen those. Their only redeeming features are the art, which is truly superb, and their fantastic soundtrack (anyone ever heard truly enthralling music? Well, don't look any further! ^^), but they definitely do not do justice to the manga and the anime. The characters are different, the story is good and interesting ! So please, if you have only seen those... Give Saint Seiya a chance...

Main Characters

  • Andromeda Shun

    Younger brother of Phoenix Ikki.
    If you throw Shun a casual glance, what you will see is a boy far too nice and gentle to be a part of a group of heroes who go from battle to battle. Worse, you will be appalled when thinking how heavy a burden he must be for the group.
    Now look at him carefully. Shun is gentle, yes, kind, and has the most generous heart I have ever seen. He hates violence, and it is true that it hinders him when he has to fight, but this very weakness, those doubts are what make him so human. Once committed however, nobody can stop Shun, for this apparently fragile boy hides deep within himself a power greater than even the Gold Saints, a power he has had mastery over for a long time, contrary to all the other Bronze Saints : the famous Seventh Sense.
    To those who would say Shun is a whimp, I will say this : true courage and strength belong to those who must fight against themselves to obtain them. How could one who does not know fear or doubts be brave ? How could one who does not know doubts be strong ? The fact that you acknowledge them and face them, that is bravery...
    Forced by events, and by the strength of his convictions, Shun will overcome his doubts, and learn to show his strength when need be.
    And if you are not convinced by my words, look at Unicorn Jabu, he learnt at his cost the price for looking down on Shun and thinking him to be a cowardly fool... Never trust appearances.

Click to see it full size
A beautiful pic of Ikki and Shun, you wouldn't believe where I got that one from ^^;;;;
  • Cygnus Hyoga

    Half Russian, half Nihonjin, Hyoga is frowned upon by some other "full Nihonjin" Bronze Saints in the beginning, his mixed heritage somehow making him lower than they... It is interesting to note that Seiya is viewed in the same way in Greece because he is Nihonjin and not Greek... Racism is stupid, and those who believe in superiority due to race soon find out how wrong they were...
    Hyoga's most marking characteristic is his love for his mother who sacrificed herself to save him when he was a very young child. The image was branded into his soul, and will almost cause his death, for he will be unable to free himself from what is a true obsession until the very last moment.
    Other than that, Hyoga is rather unforgiving, and has a very deep sense of friendship, he is closest to Shun, to whom he owes his life.
    Different from all the other Bronze Saints, Hyoga uses cold to fight, the ability to freeze atomic movement rather than destroy the atoms themselves.

click to see it full size
A nice shot of Shun and Hyoga, from the first movie (hey, I said the art and the music are beautiful, even if I think the rest is crap! :P)
  • Dragon Shiryu

    Shiryu is the most thoughtful and wise of the Bronze Saints, likely those qualities were taught to him by his master, the extremely old (although once he reveals himself...) and wise Gold Saint of Libra.
    Of all the Saints, Shiryu possesses the most powerful technique, which allows him to defeat any opponent, no matter how strong. One drawback though : this also results in his own death... And there is the fact that this technique's use is forbidden because it is much too dangerous. Shiryu will be forced to use it anyway...
    Shiryu's closest friend is Seiya, and it is only thanks to him that Seiya doesn't rush headlong into disaster most of the time !
    Shiryu appears cold compared to the other Saints, with perhaps the exception of Hyoga. It is hard to see emotions on his face. Sopmetimes one gets the impression of a mask falling down, most of all when he must tell the unfortunate Shunrei that he cannot stay with her and must fight again... Ah yes, Shunrei is Shiryu's girlfriend, but she seems fated to wait for him eternally, the poor girl being condemned to pray for her loved one's safety until perhaps one day peace comes back for good in our world... Her prayers will save Shiryu's life during a critical battle though...

A nice pic of Shiryu using the Rozan Ascending Dragon

  • Pegasus Seiya

    Pegasus Seiya... Always rushing headlong, never sparing a moment for thought, always believing he'll win no matter what, making very bad jokes (fortunately it's rare), impatient, short-tempered, arrogant...
    And it works !
    Seiya is the hero of the series, although... I wouldn't have given him that place ! Chances are he holds this position due to all his flaws who bring him closer to the average boys of his age who live in the real world since one is supposed to identify oneself to the hero of a series... And also, despite all his flaws, Seiya is a brave, generous and endearing kid, and that he gives as much as he receives. He deserves many slaps, though, for the way he deals with girls!
    I suppose that most of my dislike for him stems from watching all the other Bronze Saints always sacrificing themselves for him...that's very frustrating, you know! (oh the end of the battle of the Pisces House....argh!)

click to see it full size
Shun tending to the wounds of a very depressed Seiya....
  • Phoenix Ikki

    Andromeda Shun's older brother.
    When Shun was designated by fate to go to the Death Queen Island, Ikki took his place to protect him, and thus sacrificed himself...
    Brainwashed until the point where the only feeling he could experience was hatred, Ikki will go very far in his quest for power and revenge, but his true self will resurface, fortunately.
    Ikki is the Phoenix, and this means he cannot die, for the phoenix will rise from his ashes until the end of time...
    Ikki seems to be very hard, but that is a mask he wears to hide his feelings, to push them back so they cannot hamper his mission, he cannot afford to stop to help his brother or the other Saints when Athena's life is in danger, no matter how much he'd want to...
    Despite this, Ikki will be unable to kill his brother Shun, even though Shun begs him to do so for it seems to him the only way to defeat Hades (and also the reason why Shun allowed Hades to take over his body). Shun is the only family Ikki has left, and the dearest person to his heart since the tragic death of the girl he loved : Esmeralda. Her image haunts his memory.
    Due to all his terrible experiences, Ikki has a will of iron. He will never give up, and he will never abandon hope. His beliefs and their strength will save Shun's life, he will be the anchor to which Shun can hold on to. Ikki has a liking for efficient and simple solutions, the best example being his deciding to behead Poseidon to save Athena rather than breaking all the pillars, a task that he thinks would make him lose far too much time...
    Generous, kind with a hard appearance, reliable, Ikki is the ideal older brother...

Click to see it full size
And another nice shot of the brothers, this one from the poster included in the 2nd Jump Gold Selection =)
  • Kido Saori

    Incarnation of the Goddess Athena, Saori began by being a spoiled rich brat, a cruel and totally selfish child who hurt others for pleasure, and when they wouldn't behave like slaves, she was also fond of a riding stick... Not a very sympathetic character it would seem... That will change as she grows to learn to know the Bronze Saints better, and as her heart opens up.
    Then she will "wake up", and from that point on follows the path destiny set for her.

Kido Saori, current incarnation of Athena, Goddess of War, Wisdom and Earth, pic taken from the Hades OVAs.

There are tons of things to be said on Saint Seiya. For those who would know more, I recommand the excellent files of the fanzine called JAMM!, they have made the best file on Saint Seiya I know of in their 2nd and 3rd issues, as well as the FAQs made by Patricia Munson-Siter. Despite mistakes in her summaries of the episodes, and in some of the theories she supports, it's one of, if not the most ancient document you can find on Saint Seiya. Please be indulgent, and think that she wrote those in 1988, with no other source of information than original Japanese language tapes (likely awful nth gen at that). You'll find a link towards a zipped file of the FAQs here. You'll need WinZip or any other software of the kind to unzip and get the two text files included in it. The Zipped files are 178 Kbytes in size.

That's all I'll tell you about Saint Seiya. For more stuff, check the links below, or just click on the image of Shun on the right if you want to have a look at my gallery. Be warned, though, that the gallery's images and their comments contain spoilers for the series.


visit my gallery
And here's Shun drawn by... Why don't you guess ? The name is C***P ^^

Links !

(yes I know it's high time I put some links here. Hey not my fault for being lazy ! ^^;;;)

  • Check out the Hades OVAs section. Featuring a review and pics ^^
  • More Pics ? Okay, so you don't have to wear yourself out using the vscrollbar to get back to the top of the page, here's a repetition of the link pointing to my little gallery =)
  • Fics ? Get a look at my fic page, even if you don't like what I write (you don't ? Ah well... sigh), there you'll find a link towards a complete Saint Seiya fic links page !
  • Stayka-san's wonderful screenshots archive, go visit, it's absolutely wonderful !
  • Check out Arion's home for infos, lots of data on the series and its characters, beautiful pictures by Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno, and much more ! A must !!!
  • Also a must, Pegasus' site, who also hosts some fanfics and a poll on favorite Saint Seiya characters =)
  • The Saint Seiya International site. There you'll find LOTS of links... Although I wish they would update their fanfic section (okay okay I'm being difficult ^^;)
  • Want to go back at the very beginning of Time ? Go to the Anime Web Turnpike and find more stuff than you ever dreamed of !
  • Check AnimeArt's site, where you can find anything related to art in anime !

This site is part of the Saint Seiya Ring.

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