Most pictures here are scanned and snapped by me. Those that are not will be credited with the pictures.
Special Thanks: Allan Montenegro for sending me scans of sources I don't have. :) ]
Saint Seiya History
Rinkake! Fuma!! Otokozaka! The Ideas before Saint Seiya...
A lot of ideas in Saint
Seiya were actually first used in Masami Kurumada's Previous
Mangas, namely Ring ni Kakero, Fuma no Kojiro, and Otokozaka.
In Ring in Kakero, the boxing manga, there were characters based in Greek Myth. In the Greek Team Boxers, there were Ulysses, Orpheus, Ikarus, Thesus and Apollon. After this battle with the Greek Team, the main characters had to fight with the 12 Greek Battle Gods. They were Zeus, Cassandra, Kreus, Artemis, Orion, Prometheus, Medusa(Hermes), Narcissus, Pegasus, Venus, Poseidon and Hades. The manga also had the legendary item Kaiser Nuckle which was a weapon passed down from Atlantis. And even the idea of 'Misopetha-Menos' was also used in this manga.
In Fuma no Kojiro, it
had the legendary items, the Sacred Swords. Only the true owner
can used the swords fully. This manga also had the idea of a
'Sacred Land' where the War of the Sacred Swords would occur. It
is there that the Cosmo(Order) and Chaos would fight each other
with their Sacred Swords.
In Otokozaka, it has the idea of a star in the sky would guide a fighter's destiny.
From James Bond to Greek Mythology and Much More... The Inspirations of Saint Seiya...
There were many
inspirations of Saint Seiya but first we have to talk about the
idea of the character using items, or weapons or gear in Masami
Kurumada's mangas, where did that idea originally come from? It
was actually James Bond! Masami really like the ideas where Bond
or the Bond Girls would have gear or items in their car or their
person to fight the bad guys. So, in each of his mangas he would
have ideas like Kaiser Knuckle, a knuckle ring to fight with, a
Sacred Sword, a legendary sword of power, and in Saint Seiya,
armors passed down from the time of the Myths.
Saint Seiya is based on Greek Myths, but it really goes beyond those myths. Masami researched myths around the world( of course his own country's mythology was a big influence ) and Samurai culture, theology and religious concepts, but also classic works and books and even famous hollywood movies influenced him.
Just to name a few: The Water Margin(108 Bandits), Chinese proems by Li Bai. The Lord of the Rings. The Chronicles of Narnia. The Bible. The Exorcist. The Omen. The God Father Trilogy. Star Wars.
Masami Kurumada had the first ideas of Saint Seiya after watching The Karate Kid(in Japan the movie was titled, Best Kid).[Karate Kid is one of my fav movies BTW.] Originally, the manga was supposed to be called Ginga no Rin(銀河のリン：Rin of the Galaxy, Rin can mean Bell or Wheel). The story was to be a Karate based story and the setting was going to be in the Japanese mountains. Beacause the Karate was so powerful, the characters had to wear armors. The story was to begin with a girl who belongs to a Karate Club finds an unconcious boy, 'Seiya'(聖矢：Sacred Arrow).
From The Karate Kid: Master Miyagi helps unconcious Daniel.
Originally, the armor was Japanese styles but after considering it would look not too good, he changed it to a more western style considering Greek Myths. One of the inspiration Masami had was from Hajime Sorayama's "Sexy Robot" illustrations. Masami changed the setting of the beginning of the story to Greece. He was reluctant at the time because mangas that had the story start outside of Japan usually failed in the manga world. The fighters in the supposed manga were called, 'Seisenshi'(聖戦士：Sacred Warrior). Seiya comes home to Japan to his father's dojo and he finds out his father has been killed!
Cloth? Cosmo? The Characters? The Chapters? The Development of Saint Seiya...
Masami further developed
the ideas and characters. He first changed the name of the main
character to 'Star Arrow'(星矢) because he thought Sacred Arrow
was way to beautiful for his hero. It is still spelled the same
way, Seiya. And he changed the fighters to
'Seitoushi'(聖闘士：Sacred Fighter) and used the word
As covered above, he wanted the characters to wear armors but the actual inspiration of Cloths were from Masami looking at Greek Art and Statues of Greek Gods. Many of them were wearing white cloths. From that, he decided to called them 'Seinaru Koromo'(聖なる衣：Sacred Cloth) . He simiplflied it and called it, 'Sei I'(聖衣), and from the word koromo, he came up with the word, 'Kurosu'(Cloth). The first Cloth he thought of was close to Aiolia's Gold Cloth.
The idea of the Cosmo
first came from phases like "Ki ga takamaru"(His/her Chi is
rising); "Sakki wo kanjru!"(I can sense a bloodthirstlyness).
The ideas was then inspired by Masami watching a TV documentary.
The documentary talked about how a person's body is a
'Shouuchuu'(小宇宙：Microcosm). He then decided to use the word
'Kosumo'(Cosmo) along with the Japanese words.
The original main character was supposed to be Leo. Masami read some information of the Leonid, 'Shishiza Ryuusei Gun'(獅子座流星群：Leo Meteor Group). He talked with an editor of Shueisha and the editor suggested if Seiya had a Cloth like a horse that would be great! So Masami changed it to Pegasus(天馬座：Tenmaza). He really liked the idea of a horse flying through the sky. He chose from the Constellations, 10 to be Bronze Saints.
4 of them would be the main characters. Seiya was the passionate type. Shiryu was the trustworthy type. Hyoga was the cool type and Shun was the cute type. Ikki was never intended to be in the lead cast but considering adding a character that was the lone-wolf type to balance the personalities was perfect, so he added him later. Jabu was suppose to join the main cast but because his personality was close to Seiya, he was set with Ichi and the other 4 Bronze Saints.
Seiya's attack came from the 'Shishiza Ryuusei Gun' and it became the most famous line ever, 'Pegasasu Ryuusei Ken!!'(ペガサス流星拳：Pegasus Meteor Punch). Masami considers the meaning of Seiya's name to be 'Arrows of Stars'(星の矢). Shiryu's most powerful Punch and Shield came from the chinese story, 'Mao Dun'(矛盾：Spear Shield). And his character was inspired by the poems of Li Bai. The idea of a purple(紫) dragon(龍) climbing up a waterfall is where Shiryu(紫龍)'s name comes from.
Hyoga's character was intended to be quite different from the other three so that's why his race is half Russian and half Japanese. Hyoga breaking the ice field was first thought up for Seiya but in the end both used similar ideas. Seiya breaks the grounds and creates a crater. Hyoga breaks the ice and finds his Mama. The character of Hyoga's Mother was inspired by the ninja manga, 'Ninjya Bugei Chou'(忍者武芸帳). The name, Hyoga(氷河), was inspired by ice(氷) and the glaciers(氷河).
Shun's name comes from
the Twinkle of the Stars, 'Hoshi no Matataki', shining for a
brief moment. The kanji shun(瞬) is the same as matataki(瞬き). The
inspiration of the chains came from a western drawing of
Andromeda, with the left being a circle and the right a
triangle. To contrast Shun, Ikki(一輝)'s name is 'The Most
Shining' or 'One(一) Shine(輝)'. Ikki was intended to be the most
powerful enemy so his constellation had to be Phoenix. The
intention of the skill, 'Hoou Gen Ma Ken'(鳳凰幻魔拳：Phoenix Illusion
Punch) was to used this attack to touch on the past of a certain
character without interrupting the flow of the story.
The ranks of the Saints were inspired by school divisions: Junior High Students:Bronze Saints, High School Students:Silver Saints, College Students:Gold Saints. The ranks and the armor coverage of the Cloths were inspired by the military: Company Officer:Bronze, Field Officer:Silver, General:Gold. The lower ranks would wear jumpers with short sleeves, the higher ranks would wear jackets, and, the Generals would wear long coats.
As said in Taizen, the Gold Saints were thought up from the very beginning but Masami wanted to use them as great enemies later so he went with the other constellations first.
Mu was very elegant so he was chosen to be Aries. The design of the Libra Cloth was a little ill designed and it had a lot of weight to bear, so, the character that can bear that weight was decided to be Roshi, Dohko. The idea of Dohko returning to youth was thought up very early. On the actual sheding skin scene, it was actually inspired by Fuma no Kojiro 'Ougen Ken'(黄金剣：Golden Sword) where the sword would shed its wood skin to reveal its true form as a Golden Sword.
Aiolia was really intended to be a character that would only show up in the first issue but later choosing him for Leo really fitted the story.
Scorpio Milo was intended to be Hyoga's Master. If you look at the following picture of Hyoga's Master sinking Mama's ship, looking at it carefully, you will see, it is not Aquarius but Scorpio!
Masami considered that
water and ice fit perfectly so he changed the character to
The idenity of the Pope was decided to be Gemini from the very beginning but Masami had trouble deciding the character to be twins or split personality, in the end both ideas were used. The name of Gemini Saint was intended to be Shura from Ashura(阿修羅)[Asura]. But this name had a very warlike feel so it was perfect for the Saint who defeated Aiolos so the name became the name of Capricorn Saint. The name Saga comes from the Japanese word 'Saga'(性) which means nature as in 'Human Nature.'
When Masami first recieved the Yomikiri order from the publishers.[Yomikiri - One Issue Manga or Short Manga] He had an opportunity to reveal Ikki's past. It was that time he intended to have a Gold Saint appear. The first thing that came to his mind was a name, not even a constellation. The name is SHAKA! Shaka comes from the name Shaka Muni(釈迦牟尼) which is the Japanese way to call Siddhartha Gautama, the buddha. He wanted a really powerful character. This Shaka Yomikiri was later incorporated as part of Ikki's memories when he was hit by his own Genmaken.
The reason why Death Mask and Aphrodite was made to be bad guys was because Masami thought if all 12 Gold Saints were set up as good guys, it would be hard to tell a good story. It would be more interesting to have bad guys around in the breaking through of the 12 Palaces.
After the Sanctuary Chapter, Masami already had ideas for Hades chapter so the Poseidon Chapter was intended to be a cushion between two big chapters. Poseidon Chapter was intended to run only in one year's time. The original intention of the character of Tetis was to be like Sea Dragon and the character of Canon was intended to show up in Hades Chapter first, but later, he decided it would be better to have Canon appear in Poseidon Chapter first. The real Sea Dragon character has yet to be revealed. Canon's name comes from a real island named, 'Canon Island'.
The Scale color was going to be blue but Masami thought it wasn't a strong enough color. Maybe it was after discussing it with Toei and Bandai that he decided on Gold to make it strong enough to level with the Gold Cloths.
During Poseidon Chapter, Masami already thought of many chapters after it. He wrote the Great Holy War History or Hypermyth. In it, it contains hints to Hades Chapter and even chapters after the Hades. The Hades Chapter was intended to answer many questions of the manga: Who was the Pope? What was the previous Holy War? What happened to Seika? Why is Shaka closest to God? Even Shun got a hint about his plot in this pic here:
The structure of the underworld is actually based on 'The Inferno' of Dante's 'Divine Comedy.' The Chapter after Hades, 'Tenkai Hen'(天界編：Heaven Chapter) where the 12 Olympus Gods and the Kamui(Gods' Cloth) would be featured, was thought up a long time ago. In Soundtrack VIII booklet, it says a future fight with the disappeared Zeus is possible. In an anime magazine interview, Masami stated he wanted to continue the story right after Hades Chapter. The scene was to open with Seika with Seiya in a wheelchair and Seiya's Cosmo and Life Energy has gone to zero. However, he was stopped by the publishers of Shueisha. A future fight with Chronos is also a strong possbility as revealed recently. More on this below.
Saint Seiya, The Golden Age!!
Saint Seiya was released in Shonen Jump Weekly Magazine 1-2 in Dec. 1985 published by Shueisha.
In the same year, Saint
Seiya was picked up by Toei Animation to be adapted to be Anime.
It was announced in Jump Weekly Issue 38, 1986. The producer was
Yoshibumi Hatano. The Series Director was Kouzou Morishita.
Character Designers were Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno. They tried many different Cloth coloring and Cloth designs:
The Opening Songs
'Pegasus Fantasy' and 'Blue Forever' was produced by the band,
Make-Up. The soundtracks were written by Seiji Yokoyama. The
merchandising was to be called 'Saint Cloth Series(聖闘士聖衣大系:Seitoushi Seii
Daikei)' produced by Bandai.
The main cast was chosen. Tooru Furuya who played Amuro Ray of Original Gundam, Kyosuke of Orange Road and Yamcha of Dragon Ball was casted as Pegasus Seiya. In the auditon he actually dressed up as Seiya.
Hirotaka Suzuoki who played Bright Noa of Original Gundam, Kojiro Hyuga of Captain Tubasa, Tenshinhan of Dragon Ball and Tatewaki of Ranma 1/2 was casted as Dragon Shiryu.
Kouichi Hashimoto who played Genzou Wakabayashi of Captain Tubasa, Robert De Vice of Silent Mobius and Captain Kuro of One Piece was casted as Cygnus Hyoga.
Ryou Horikawa who played Kenta of Wingman, Vegeta of Dragon Ball Z and Heji of Detective Conan was casted as Andromeda Shun.
Hideyuki Hori who played Warsman of Kinikuman, Ginyu of Dragon Ball Z and Ryuuga of Fist of the North Star was casted as Phoenix Ikki.
Keiko Han who played Lalah Sune of Original Gundam, and Luna of Sailormoon was casted as Saori Kido or Athena.
When ever the anime
would catch up with the manga, the anime staff would create
Anime-Original characters and stories.(i.e. Ghost Saint, Ohko
and etc). Though their efforts are not to be dismissed, Masami
considers them a little off from his own Seiya world.
In Jump Weekly Issue 52, 1986, it showed fan drawings of Cloths. Two of them actually was latter used as a base for Masami's own design, Aquarius and Virgo.
From Kanzen Ban Manga
Scanned by Tetsu Aero
From Kanzen Ban Manga
Masami designed many of the beginning concepts of the movies of Saint Seiya. For Movie 1, he even designed how the possible Silver Cloths would look like in object form. The producers of the movie, Yoshibumi Hatano and Masayoshi Kawata.wanted the antagonist characters and their weapons to contrast the main cast. Eris, the Goddess of Discord was used as the main god because of the Golden Apple Mythology and also because she is the sister of War God, Ares.
The script was written
by Yoshiyuki Suga. The director of this movie was Kouzou
Morishita. Movie 1 was released on July 18th, 1987, a 45 min.
movie along with 1 other Anime movie and 2 Sentai(Robot Team)
movies. At the time the title of the movie was just 'Seitoushi
Seiya'(聖闘士星矢：Saint Seiya) but for the DVD release it was
Masami's idea to give a subtitle to the movie, 'Jashin
Erisu'(邪神エリス：Evil God Eris).
When the manga was near the end of Sanctuary Chapter, Masami recieved another Yomikiri order, that became, 'Natassia of Ice The Cygnus Story' This Yomikiri became the basis of the story of Movie two. Masami designed the characters also for the movie.
Scanned by Trevor, Trevor's Blog: http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/iam-trevor
Hatano suggested using Norse Mythology as a basis for the movie.
On the character Derbal, his name actually is an re-arrangement
of the name Balder in
On the character of Midgard, the real Midgard was supposed to
appear in the movie. He was actually imprisoned by Derbal
already, but this subplot was cut.
The 5 God Warriors: Derbal, Loki, Ull, Rung, and Midgard are considered the be 'Einherjar 5 Heroes' inspired by the Norse Myth of Einherjar. The full name of Rung is actually, 'Hrungnir'.
The script was written by Yoshiyuki Suga. The director of this movie was Shigeyasu Yamauchi. Movie 2, 'Saint Seiya The Heated War of the Gods' was released in March 12th, 1988, a 45 min. movie along with .2 anime movies and one Kamen Rider Black RX movie.[I love Black RX, BTW. :)]
Later Movie 2 became the basis for the Asgard Chapter(Golden Ring Chapter). Instead of Derbal, the Earth Representative of Odin is Hilda. Instead of Freya, Hilda's sister is Fleur. Instead of just 4 God Warriors, there are 7(8 really.).
Rung's Mjollnir Hammer was transfered to Thor. Migard's God Robe design was the base of Thor's Gamma Phecda God Robe. Ull's fire sword was the base of Aberich's Fire Sword. Ull's God Robe was the base of Fenrir's Epsilon Alioth God Robe. Loki's attack 'Attack Pack of Wolves Punchs(襲撃群狼拳:Shougeki Gunrou Ken)' was the base of Fenrir's 'Northern Pack of Wolves Punch(群狼拳)'. Loki's God Robe was the base of Alberich's Delta Megrez God Robe. The face of the real Migard was transfered to Hagen:
Instead of sending Saori
to another dimension, Saori had to maintain the artic ice from
melting. Instead of Seiya wearing Sagittarius Gold Cloth, Seiya
got to wear the Odin God Robe. The Opening and Ending song for
this Chapter and the next was changed to 'Soldier Dream' and
'Dream Traveler' sung by Hironobu Kageyama
In 1987 the first Nintendo Famicom game of Saint Seiya was released featuring the Sanctuary chapter with some of the Gold Saints. The Pope was then decided to be a character called Shadow Cloth, a fan idea. And 1988, the second game was released featuring the 12 Palace Battle. You get to fight Saga.
On Feb. 15th 1988, Kouzou Morishita was appointed producer of Movie 3, a 75 min. feature, conversing with Masami Kurumada who came up with the original ideas and with the script written by Yoshiyuki Suga, pre-production was done.
The Corona Cloth idea was to give an explanation of the missing Cloths idea(48 Bronze + 24 Silver + 12 Gold + 4 Mysterious = 88 Cloths). By July the whole animation was produced! The director of this movie was Shigeyasu Yamauchi. Movie 3 'Saint Seiya Legend of Crimson Boys' was released in July 23rd, 1988, along with one other anime movie.
At that time Saint Seiya was the most popular. The toys sales was breaking records, Saint Cloth Series beyond 8 Million figures sold.
In 1988, Saint Seiya was recognized as The Best of 5th Japan Anime Music Club . In 1989, Soundtrack III won Colombia Gold CD Award.
Seiya ga shinda!! Saint Seiya End? What Really Happened?
When you rise to great
heights you fall to great depths. Saint Seiya was very popular
but with bad story-telling and boring characters of Asgard
Chapter, the popularity began to slip. Also, people were annoyed
by the Poseidon Manga where the Gold Saints don't appear to
fight the Generals. Movie 4, Warriors of The Last Holy War,
didn't help things much either.
Masayuki Akehi was appointed the director of Movie 4. By the suggestion of Yoshiyuki Suga, the basis of the movie was from Dante's 'Divine Comedy' mainly 'The Paradise'. He also wrote the script. Movie 4 was released on Mar. 18th, 1989, a 45 min. movie along with 2 other Anime movie and 1 Sentai movie.
Even though Seiya's popularity was decreasing for the anime, the manga was hot! When the TV Series ended in April 1st 1989, the manga was serializing Hades Chapter. With the story of Gold Saints fighting each other and Athena dying. The story was greatly admired. Not many stories went to that extreme. Even when the manga reached itｓ final end, the popularity was still high. But everything ended mysteriously, what happened?
First, the last issue of Seiya was in Shonen Jump Weekly Issue 49 in 1990. This is the issue where Seiya hits Hades with Suisei Ken and it ends with a comment page.
Pic featured in Beatarai's Blog. The Japanese words reads: For [Jump] Weekly Magazine, this is Good bye!! 'Seiya' Gaiden[Outside Manga] will be published in V Jump, everyone go read it! <Masami>
The publishers intended
to do one final issue, where it would be published in V Jump. V
Jump has Athena wears Cloth and Seiya dies. The original
intention was that V Jump would publish the Yomirki works of
Saint Seiya featuring the Gold Saints. Their backgrounds would
be told like the 'SHAKA Yomikiri' but the publishers of Shueisha
decided to end Seiya right there and focus on Saint Paradise, so
the Yomikiri works was never drawn.. Saint Paradise was aimed at
younger fans. They were edited by Masami Kurumada himself.
It was in V Jump that they announce the Hades OVA, the title was to be called 'Gendai Shinwa Seitoushi Seiya'(現代神話 聖闘士星矢：Modern Myth Saint Seiya). The Hades Image Album was made with the intention that the music would be later used for the OVA. But at that time the OVA market was low and Toei Animation deicded to cancel the plans. In the last song, Masami Kurumada thanked Seiya and said good bye to Seiya.
In 1992, the Special Preimum Talking Live was released. It was packed with 4 LDs of the 4 Movies and limited edition drawings of Masami Kurumada. The CD has the Voice actors of the main cast talking about Seiya and this CD marked the end of Saint Seiya.
Saint Seiya, The Failed Resurrections...
Over the years, many
fans had mailed to Masami Kurumada asking if Seiya would come
back? Would he draw Tenkai Hen? Would Hades Chapter be animated?
Masami couldn't really answer them because it wasn't up to him.
In the time between Saint Seiya and B't X, he worked on many
works, Silent Knight Shou, Aoi Tori no Shinwa, Raimei no
Zaji, Akaneiro no Kaze, Shin Samurai Spirits but they were never
on the level of Saint Seiya.
Between the years 1992 to 1995, the original producer of Saint Seiya, Yoshifumi Hatano, wanted to resurrect Seiya as OVA or TV Series but he died in 95.
With B't X, Masami's career resurected for real and many fans wanted to know, what about that other famous work, Saint Seiya?! There was an intention to resurrect Saint Seiya by first testing the waters, creating the Shonenki Image CD in 1997. The drama in it was post-Hades War with Shun visitng Seiya on a beach and a Cosmo more powerful than Poseidon or Hades showing up in the end. But right then the asian economy was very low. Any plans for Seiya was cancelled.
Over the years, many fans had wrote and drew the next chapter of Saint Seiya.[I personally think this is great and awesome!] Finally in 2000, a french fan Jérôme Alquié pushed that to the extreme. In November 2001, he and his team released trailers for the Hades Chapter to delight of fans of Saint Seiya. Shingo Araki was there to see it.
What was the reaction in Toei though? Well, I'm sorry to say, they were pissed off. Japanese Companies are very famous for protecting their own products and ideas. Many Hollywood producers have gone home empty trying to get rights to certain books and manga for movies productions. Now, It may have relaxed a bit but still, it is not a easy thing to do. But, Jérôme Alquié and his production may have pushed Toei off their ass!!! So we have to thank Jérôme and his companions for that!!!!!
Unseal MISOPETHA-MENOS! The Return of Saint Seiya!! YES!!!
The offical story of Saint Seiya's resurrection from Toei and the like was that it was Ring ni Kakero 2 that pushed Seiya to come back.[However, Ring ni Kakero 2 started in '00, Seiya OVA didn't come back until near the end of '02. :)] In August 2001, the Saint Seiya Encyclopedia(Taizen) was published along with 3 Cloth drawings: Sculptor Tools, Cup and Altar Cloths in Object Form and possible Kamui Image of Zeus and the missing data of Orphee and Sion:
In the interview of
Taizen, Masami talked about Tenkai Hen. It would feature the 12
Olympus Gods naming Apollon and Artemis mainly and that it would
be the biggest story. There are times when he felt he couldn't
draw it. It is also in Taizen that says the Real Sea Dragon may
appear when the fights against the Gods opens. In Feb. '02,
Tokumori Magazine Dragon Issue, where Sion Q+A was featured, one
of the answers to the question about the 4 Mysterious Cloths was
that maybe in the future fight with the Gods, Saints wearing
those Cloths would appear!
In August 2002, the manga novel, Saint Seiya Gigantomachia Mei Chapter was published. The story was supervised by Masami and written by Tatsuya Hamazaki. Tatsuya used the sources the Hypermyth and Taizen to write his story. He says his novels are not a parallel world story but another interpretation of the Saint Seiya world. The story is after Sanctuary Chapter but exactly how much time has past is unclear but since the story is set in summer time, the story could take place after Hades Chapter.[Go here if you're unclear about this: Timeline] It was in the same month, the producers and Masami met to decided the plans of the Hades OVA.
The OVA would focus on the battle in the 12 Palaces and end in the Hades Castle. Because of the strength of Movie 2 and 3, the director was appointed to be Shigeyasu Yamauchi. Originally, the scripts written by Michiko Yokote followed the manga very closely but Masami said it was alright to create anime original images so instead of just Shiryu showing up in the beginning, all 5 Characters would show up.
In the last episode, they felt the ending in the manga was not a good enough climax so they changed it to a big battle with Rhadamanthys. Ikki was intended to appear, too, to fight him but they didn't have enough time to animate that part. There was intention to make a Soldier Dream opening where the characters featured would be Specters instead of God Warriors/Marina, but it was later cancelled.
Before the first episode of the OVA, a Digest episode was produced summing up what happened in the anime series. Finally, it details that the man killed on Star Hill is Ares and the Pope was killed around the time of Galaxian Wars.
Tooru Furuya spend alot of his own time making sure the OVA was a success.
The OVA featured a Grand Opening with the song 'Globe' by Yumi Matuzawa and 'Pegasus Fantasy' with better sound effects. The Grand Closing was 'Blue Forever' and 'The Same Blue Sky with You'. [Yumi Matuzawa sung the OP Song of anime: Nadesico. Nadesico is the funniest anime I have ever seen! :)] The OVA epsiodes would first air on cable and later released ond DVD with deleted scenes. Interesting enough, when the OVA was aired in Hong Kong, the deleted scenes were included. [I was so happy, I screamed!! :)]
Un-used! Conflicts!! Heaven Overture Movie and Voice Actors Change Episodes...
As many people who have
already seen the Heaven Chapter Overture Movie, the plot or lack
of it, was all over the place. The intention of director,
Shigeyasu Yamauchi, was that people would watch it more than
just one time to figure out the hints. Seiya fans would watch it
more than once, regardless, but I doubt non fans would. In this
section I will detail all the history and conflicts that went
into this movie.
In 2003, Toei approached Masami to do a Saint Seiya movie and Masami's suggestion was to make the Heaven Chapter. Though he wanted to draw the chapter himself, in this new era, he felt there are many ways in the media to release a manga story like that. He planned for 3 movies to be produced. After the first meeting on Jan. 24th, it was decided that Masami would create the story treatment and Michiko Yokote would write the scripts.
The focus would be on the story of Artemis and Marin's little brother. Masami gave the name of that character, Touma. Michiko became ill and Akatuki Yamatoya continued writing scripts in her stead.[My personal opinion: This could be the reason why the Overture movie story-telling was so weak considering the Hades Sanctuary story-telling was so strong.] There were 11 drafts total for the scripts.
Many ideas, some of them Masami's own were ignored and not used. Here is a list:
1. Dohko and Sion's New
Libra and Aries Gold Cloths would show up.
2. Seika and Saori was there beside Seiya in his wheel chair. It is then that Touma and the Angels would appear.
3. There were going to be 5 Enemies to be fought. Touma would drive a horse carriage where Zeus was riding inside and
there would be 4 Warriors with him. Masami wanted the fights to be Seiya vs. Marin's Little Brother, Shiryu&Hyoga vs.
2 Warriors and Ikki&Shun vs 2 Warriors.
4. Saori would read a letter from Shun for Seiya to hear. The letter would be about what the other Bronze Saints were
5. The Gold Saints were to be sealed in Heaven inside a pillar. The intention there was that they would *all* resurrect later
doing a whole reversal of the situation..
6. The Shiryu&Hyoga vs. Odysseus fight was supposed to be a longer fight. It was in the script at one time but it was cut.
7 and 8. But what Masami was *most angry* about was the end of the movie. His original end was that Athena would
plead with Apollon to save the lives of the Bronze Saints. Apollon does and wipes the memories of the Bronze Saints.
Masami's intention was that they would then be able to have other adventures.[This could be a bridge for a
new TV Series.] The other idea was Marin's and Touma's bells. There was supposed to be a big history
connected to it. Toei didn't use this idea either. Masami has not revealed what that history was supposed to be.
Regardless of these issues, Masami drew an Introduction Manga which was colored by Toei Production for the movie before the release. It was published in Super Jump, April Issue, prior to the release of the movie. Masami hoped that movie would turn out right, putting his faith on the Toei staff.
'Saint Seiya Heaven
Chapter Introduction ~Overture~', a full length feature was
released on Feb. 14, 2004. After watching the movie, Masmai
considered the Overture movie a complete failure. His intention
was that there could be 3 more movies, 'Tenkai Hen
Honshou'(天界編本章：Heaven Chapter True Chapter), 'Tentei
Hen'(天帝編：Sky Emperor Chapter or Zeus Chapter) and 'Jiku Kuronosu
Hen'(時空クロノス編：Time-Space Chronos Chapter) but he was scared that
his dream of Heaven Chapter movies was destroyed by Overture.
When Hades Sanctuary OVA was produced, Masami already had concerns that the Original Voice Actors of Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun, Ikki and Saori, might be too old to play their young characters. He suggested to re-cast but he was ignored. Even Marin and Shaina was played by the original voice actors for Overture movie. When Overture was in production, Tooru Furuya again didn't want the cast to change. He values the team work of the original cast and he doesn't think new Voice Actors could measure up to veterans.
Masami wanted maybe to have only Tooru Furuya to stay as Seiya and all the other Voice Actors to be recasted but at that time, Toei was already ignoring his suggestions. For Masami as long as there is Tooru Furuya as Seiya, Shingo Araki's Drawings and Seiji Yokoyama's music, then, no matter what, things would be a success. Seiji Yokoyama actually wrote another soundtrack of the Overture movie to be used in foreign countries. Was that other soundtrack used? It's not clear.
Since Overture was such a failure, in 2005, Masami decide to focus on Underworld Chapter OVA, again, cast issues was discussed. Toei wanted the whole Seiya and other characters to be re-casted but Masami didn't want that. He wanted Tooru Furuya for Seiya. Tooru wanted Masami to draw the Zeus Chapter already, but finally after discussing with Masami the cast issues, he declined to be involved in Underworld OVA. Masami never thought he would part ways with Tooru but it happened.
With the release of the OVA, the fans were angered by the change of cast of original voice actors and started a campaign to call and fax Shueisha, Toei, Seji Production(Tooru Furuya's Voice Actor agent company) to voice their anger. Finally on Oct. 23rd in Masami Kurumada's Official Homepage. The manager of Masami Kurumada, Masashi Yamaguchi released a statement talking about the above issues, hoping fans would stop the campaign. You can read it here.
With the death of Hirotaka Suzuoki, the voice actor of Shiryu in July 2006, the wishes of fans hoping the original cast would be reunited was gone.
Multi-Angle Mangas!? What!? Underworld OVA? Underwhelming...
In 2005, the first game
for the PS2 was released but the game play was stupid so it had
a mixed response.
In August 2006, Masami started a new Saint Seiya manga serialization published in Shonen Champion Weekly Issue 22-23 called, Saint Seiya Next Dimension Hades Mythology. In Issue 39, Champion announced that there would be Multi-Angle Mangas, one more manga drawn by Shiori Teshirogi and supervised by Masami called Saint Seiya The Lost Canvas Hades Mythology. Champion announced in that issue that Next Dimension would serialized randomly and Lost Canvas would be serialized weekly here:
Both mangas would deal
with the Previous Hades Holy War story. With Shiori following
Masami's Seiya world much much more than Okuda, her own fan base
started to build.
And in the same year, OVA Hades Inferno Back Chapter was released. But the OVA like the previous has weak animation.The perfect example of that is when the 12 Gold Saints reunited. They didn't even draw how the Gold Cloths separated and put on the Saints instead it had just *one shot* like the manga of 7 Cloths separating.
In 2007, the second game for PS2 was released. The game play was improved and it's quite fun but with the Big Bang Attack still launched the same way. It was still quite annoying for me and many fans.
In 2008, Hades Elysion OVA was released. It had its moments but again the animation was just too weak. The Hades death scene of his head floating is laughable.
Masami finally ended the serialization of Ring ni Kakero 2 makings fans to speculate: would he start Tenkai Hen in Super Jump?
Shingo Araki, The End of an Era...
In Sept. 2008, Masami
was interviewed for Saint Cloth Chronicle, and he mentions once
again the Kamui, revealing that maybe Athena's Cloth, Poseidon's
Scale and Hades' Surplice might be Kamui, giving fans the
possbility that Tenkai Hen would start again.
Masami went to Shanghai to help the effort of making the first Saint Seiya Online game to be released in summer time, 2009 but it was delayed to be released(maybe because of the fake one at the time).
In Feb. 6th, 2009, the first Volume of Next Dimension was published and it actually says ND is the canonical continuation of Saint Seiya Manga here:
This lead to speculation
that maybe Masami has given up on Shueisha and Super Jump. By
reading the most recent issue, with the plot of seeing Artemis
and Athena has to find Chronos, it lead to fans wondering if the
Hades Mythology is just one of many chapters for Next Dimension
With big sales and popularity of Lost Canvas, the first season OVA of 13 Episodes was produced and released in 6 Volumes on normal and Blue-ray DVDs in every other month from 2009 to 2010. In 2011 Spring, fans were disappointed by Shonen Champion when ND was not published as scheduled.
For LC OVA, Season 2 picked up where season one left off. 13 episodes were released from Feb to Jul. Original scenes was created just for the OVA. The manga, Lost Canvas ended its serializaton in April but fans were happy to find that in May, a Side Manga of Lost Canvas started to be serialized. Merchandise continued to expand for Saint Seiya. 2 New lines showed up for Cloth Myth from Aug and on, there were Ex and Crown. Ex is the next generation of Cloth Myth figures but fans considered the line to be another way for Bandai to resell characters they already sold before. With so many figures produced, and Crown being a 1/6 figure, many fans struggled to find new space for them.
A New Cosmo Burns!!
On Feb 7, 2012, fans were shocked and delighted to find out, not 1 but 2 productions were happening for Saint Seiya. The CG movie originally scheduled for 2011 may be released finally in 2012, but more shockingly a new TV Series will air in Apr!!
Will the CG movie feature the original characters? What God or enemy will they face? Fans were already guessing when they first heard the news in Feb 2011. As for the new TV Series, Saint Seiya Omega, they will face the enemy Mars!! Original characters like Seiya and Saori will show up as adults!!
Will these 2 works give new life to burn for Saint Seiya? Will fans be let down again? Only time will tell...
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