On 2003, the first Spinoff of Saint Seiya came to light. Saint Seiya: Episode G, which narrates the fights that the Gold Saints had to face several years before the events of the Original Manga.
Made by Megumu Okada (Shadow Skill Creator), Saint Seiya: Episode G started as a project between Kurumada and Okada, where the first gave permission and total freedom to the second one.
The Story is a Prequel to Kurumada´s Manga, where Leo Aioria takes the lead role in a Holy war where the Sanctuary has to face the powerful Titans who want to return and destroy Humans and Gods alike!
The Manga itself is a more or less Seinen approach to the franchise of Saint Seiya; but makes no mistake, this is still a Shounen just that it has a little more blood compared to the (already bloody) Saint Seiya. Also when the Manga was revealed there it is to say that the art style was truly different from the Manga it is based off. So much that some characters, without their armors, are unrecognizable.
Leaving that aside let us check it out!
A Politica view on the Sanctuary
Saint Seiya: Episode G it is a Prequel that tells the story of the Gold Saints, specially Aioria, the Leo Gold Saint, who now is basically the underdog since his brother, Aioros, is now branded as a traitor of the Sanctuary. So now Aioria is conflicting inside of him since in one part he loves his brother, on the other He is convinced that Aioros is a traitor.
Regardless of that, Episode G makes a good work by explaining how the Sanctuary works and how the governments sees them, especially Greece. Mixing real life events with the fiction of Saint Seiya. The things go to stating how the police works and that the governments sometimes sends to the Sanctuary information regarding weird events that happens in the world, as an example the Three Mile Island Incident. It also shows us that the Sanctuary functions also as a company and it have its own funds and money.
This is interesting since it makes the world truly believable considering all the political things that happen in the world and the dance that a lot of countries do between each other. Making the story interesting enough in that regard.
There it is to say that even though there are such nods to real World events, it isn´t assassins Creed or anything like that either, so it doesn´t try to re-write history.
Mythology…And lots of it
During the first half of Episode G, countless monsters like The Minotaur, Hecatonchires, and others makes an appearance as enemies, and not only them since King Minos and Hector of the Troyan War appears too.
All of this is because of the Titans doing on the world.
The Manga it also offers a brief explanation on who are all these creatures/people, and that is nice, although sometimes it feels like Okada was just copy-pasting what a mythology book said about such characters. It´s only minor, so no biggie!
As A Shounen Series Episode G contains a big amount of Fights, although this one falls in the same trap that Lost Canvas and Saintia Sho tend to fall…To abuse on the flashy techniques. The building up to the fights are good; but when we got to the “main dish” it is a parade of Super power after super power, and while technically there is nothing bad with that, it can be a little tiresome. Still Okada manages itself to make the fights interesting enough to keep with the attention…Which BTW Okada included physics and such on how the attacks work, still the powers are bonkers; but one can thanks the effort.
Changes in Design
One of the things that could be a turnoff for various Saint Seiya fans it might be the fact that there are various changes in design, from armors, hair color and more.Especially with Aioria, whose hair is not light brown/blonde anymore; but red haired. Also the art style the Manga has it is not only vastly different from the one from Kurumada, but it is hard to look at when it´s on Gray scales (the art shines when it´s colored though). Still, when the characters use their armor they are recognizable … Most of the times.
Fun Fact: When Saint Seiya was still in the development Phase, Aioria was supposed to be the Main Character and he had Red Hair, in the end Seiya become the Main character and Aioria loss that hair color. So one can see where Okada´s inspiration came.
After the end of Episode G, Okada announced that a Sequel was in the works, and it came in the form of Saint Seiya: Episode G Assasins. Which is …A little crazy, since the main character is now Shura instead of Aioria, and both guys go to the future because reasons (other Gold Saints will join them too)… they go various years after the hypothetical end of Next Dimension. So one can see Seiya and the other Bronze Saints now as Adults and most of them as the New Gold Saints…As of right now everything points out that the Gold Saints will face some…Alternative Dimension Gold Saints? I don´t know. The whole thing is weird…
Still it is very fun to read and one can see that Okada´s work is best enjoyed in color, since sometimes when his work is on white and black, it can be hard to understand what is happening and truly appreciate all the little details that the pictures have.
Saint Seiya: Episode G is a fun Shounen that it is a little more mature than the original works while it still contains what the original manga did well. It has some flashy fights and a nice progression on the story.
While the art style can be a turnoff at first sight, when one gets used to it, it can be quite detailed and beautiful.